New Professor Completes His ‘Freshman’ Year

Computer Science professor says Kent State is his new home

Kent State Today followed a group of Golden Flashes for the 2023-24 academic year chronicling their efforts and successes during the fall and spring semesters. The group included students, faculty and administrators who are in different places on their Kent State journeys.

Freshman year can be a little stressful, even for a faculty member.

But Raiful Hasan, Ph.D., who just completed his first year as an assistant professor of computer science at Kent State University, is feeling content and excited for the next academic year.

The year, he said, went by in a blur.

Year with a Flash Graphic

In addition to learning the university and the protocols of teaching, setting up a research lab and getting to know his students, Hasan and his wife welcomed their first child, a son, in December, adding to the exciting mix of professional and personal events that made for an extraordinary year.

“It was really a roller coaster ride,” Hasan said.

As Hasan reflects on the past nine months, and the year ahead, two words come to mind: “happy and belonging.”

Hasan recalled his three-day new faculty orientation in August when Senior Vice President and Provost Melody Tankersley, Ph.D., spoke of “belonging,” a term that really did not resonate with him until after spending a year at Kent State.

“It was difficult to understand, truly. I didn’t realize the meaning or the `belonging’ significance,” he said. “After one year, I can understand what the meaning of belonging is at Kent State. I feel that I am part of a bigger family and in the bigger family, everyone values my opinion.”

Hasan said he is happy to have successfully launched his academic career.

When Hasan left his job in his native Bangladesh to pursue his doctorate degree at an American university, he intended to return to a job in the private sector upon graduation. He previously had worked as a computer software developer for two companies in Bangladesh.

But after working in academic circles while studying for his doctorate, Hasan began to see a future in teaching at the university level. After obtaining his doctorate, Hasan chose Kent State out of six job offers.

What has impressed Hasan the most about Kent State over the past year is the concept of “shared governance” between administration and faculty.

“The transparency and collective values really matter here,” he said.

In addition to teaching, Hasan had seven students take part in his research lab, including four undergraduates, two graduate students and one doctoral student.

Hasan’s research team looks at how people use app technology, through their smartphones, watches or glasses, to look for ways it can be repurposed and streamlined to aid people in various ways. Specifically, they are researching ways that clothing can be embedded with technology to connect with the wearer intuitively, for protection for medical conditions or to improve pedestrian safety for young children and adults.

Hasan intends to spend his summer devoted to his research, to set up an even stronger program for the upcoming academic year for himself and his students. Another goal for next year is to look for external funding and grants to support his research.

Assistant Professor Raiful Hasan, with his wife Taiaba Afrin and infant son Rawad.
Raiful Hasan with wife Taiaba Afrin and son Rawad Azlan.


“After one year, I’m feeling blessed and happy,” Hasan said. “Kent State is my new home.”

Read more about Hasan’s Kent State Journey: 

POSTED: Monday, May 20, 2024 09:54 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 23, 2024 10:53 AM
Lisa Abraham