faculty recognition

Congratulations to Julie Mazzei, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Political Science (in the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University) for being awarded the 2021 Mid American Conference (MAC) Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success. Mazzei is one of only 12 institutional winners for the award given out to recognize the outstanding efforts of MAC faculty to support and develop students both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Mazzei has been a political science professor at Kent State since 2007. She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from American University, 2006 and her Bachelor of Arts, from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is the author of Death Squads or Self-Defense Forces? Paramilitary Emergence in Contemporary Latin America, published in 2009 by University of North Carolina Press. Among her additional publications are articles on the post-conflict ramifications of paramilitary violence and reconciliation processes in El Salvador (Human Rights Quarterly, 2011), and the development agenda and its impact on rights in Cuba, looking specifically at the so-called "tourist apartheid" (Communist and Post-Communist Studies, 2012). 

Mazzei teaches our graduate courses on human rights, political violence and development. At the undergraduate level, she teaches sections of our World Politics and Comparative Politics courses, as well as the upper-division Human Rights and Social Justice, Politics of Development, and Latin American Politics courses. She also periodically teaches the Senior Seminar, focusing on political violence.
This student-focused award is distinguishable from academic or research-based awards as it celebrates the commitment of the MAC to a holistic student experience and the creation of an environment that supports success in school and in life.  
Eligibility for this award is broad in nature in an effort to identify a wide range of outstanding means by which faculty are significantly impacting students, and to create an opportunity to recognize the various ways that student success is supported within the MAC.  It is the hope of this award that the twelve nominees represent a diverse community that demonstrate support for student success throughout their entire collegiate experience.

To read the full press release from the Mid American Conference, visit: https://getsomemaction.com/news/2021/5/10/general-mac-announces-institutional-winners-for-outstanding-faculty-for-student-success-award.aspx

The winner of the 2021 Outstanding Faculty Award for Student Success will be announced on Friday, May 14.  


Composers Awarded Prestigious Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards
Written by Andrew Paa

Kent State faculty members Dr. Adam Roberts and Chris Coles have been awarded Individual Excellence Awards by the Ohio Arts Council. Each will receive a $5,000 grant in recognition of their exemplary body of work, which will support their continued growth and development.

These grants are decided by their artist-peers and were awarded in the areas of choreography, criticism, fiction and nonfiction, music composition, playwriting/screenplays, and poetry. Over 70 members of Ohio’s artist community received grants, including School of Theatre and Dance faculty members Kimberly Karpanty and Samuel McIntosh as well as Wick Poetry Executive Director David Hassler.

In a statement from the Council, Executive Director Donna Collins said, “The Ohio Arts Council’s Individual Excellence Awards give artists the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for their exemplary artistic achievements. Through their art, the individuals selected for these grants have expressed visionary ideas, spoken in a diversity of voices, and explored thought-provoking topics and themes from a variety of viewpoints. We congratulate the Individual Excellence Award recipients and thank them for enriching Ohio’s creative community.”​​​​​​​

Read their full statement and list of recipients here.

Saxophonists Invited to Perform at the North American Saxophone Alliance in March
Written by Andrew Paa

The Kent State University Saxophone Ensemble is set to travel to Tempe, AZ March 6-9, 2020 to perform at the invitation of the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA). The performance, part of NASA’s Biennial Conference, will feature new works commemorating May 4 by Kent State Jazz Studies faculty members Bobby Selvaggio and Chris Coles.

“Bringing this special project to a national audience at the NASA conference will demonstrate the breadth, creativity, and collaboration happening at the School of Music,” said Dr. Noa Even, saxophone professor. “The Saxophone Ensemble this semester includes thirteen students in music education, performance, composition, jazz studies and music minors.”

Both pieces will feature Dr. Even on soprano saxophone. Selvaggio’s piece, “A Bystander: 4 Musical Vignettes,” takes the listener through the event as it unfolds, melding classical, jazz, and free styles. Coles’ piece “If We Could See You” imagines what it would be like to meet and talk with those who were killed on May 4, 1970. 

This is the first time since Dr. Even joined the faculty that the saxophone studio and ensemble has been invited to perform at NASA’s conference. 

Learn more about Dr. Even here.

Learn more about Jazz Studies here.

Learn more about NASA here. 


Dr. Adam Roberts, Assistant Professor of Music Composition, has received the Farris Family Innovation Award to fund the recording of recently composed and forthcoming works. He is one of two recipients of this fellowship in the College of the Arts. This prestigious award is given to tenure-track faculty who are not yet tenured to support their research endeavors. Funding is provided for up to three years, totaling $24,000.

“I will put the money toward producing an album of works composed since coming to Kent State,” said Dr. Roberts. “For example, I just finished “Book of Doubt/Book of Faith” for chorus, percussion, and viola, which was premiered in NYC in May. I plan now to work with Scott MacPherson, Kent State’s Director of Choral Studies, and his Cleveland Chamber Choir to produce a studio recording of the work. Other upcoming commissions include a new song cycle for soprano Sharon Harms and Cleveland-based new music ensemble No Exit, a saxophone concerto for Kent State faculty member Noa Even and the KSU Wind Ensemble, a violin/viola duo for andPlay, and a percussion concerto for Cameron Leach. I plan to release a portrait disc featuring some of these works in the next few years,” he stated. 

Learn more about Adam here

Learn more about the award here

School of Communication Studies

Each year, the Kent State University Teaching Council hosts the Celebrating College Teaching Conference.

At the conference, faculty members who “have made a difference in the life of a student” are recognized and receive a formal certificate from the Office of the Provost.

On Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, four School of Communication Studies faculty members were honored with a Faculty Recognition Award at the University Teaching Council Conference. They are: (left to right) Sr. Lecturer Lisa Waite, Kent State at Stark; Associate Professor Suzy D’Enbeau, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor Aaron Bacue; and Part-time Instructor David Zachrich, Ph.D.

Kent State collects recommendations from students throughout the year for these awards. Students recognize instructors who have motivated them to gain unique knowledge and insight or who may have helped them to become engaged and responsible university students.

Learn more about the UTC, the annual conference and the awards on the UTC website.