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Kent State Department of Sociology Dedicates Dr. James T. Laing Memorial Conference Room

To pay tribute to his father and provide a permanent legacy, Kent State University alumnus Tom Laing, ’55, ’56, and his wife, Barbara, made a recent gift to name the conference room in the Department of Sociology in memory of Dr. James T. Laing, the first chair of the department.

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Kent State University at Stark presents the 2011–12 Featured Speakers Series

Posted Aug. 29, 2011
An Evening With Michelle Rhee,
on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011

Kent State University at Stark proudly kicks off the 21st season of the popular Featured Speakers Series with another lineup of exciting speakers. Each season, nearly 2,500 campus and community members take advantage of a rare opportunity to be introduced to national and international experts on a wide range of topics and issues that shape our society. The stellar lineup for the 2011-12 season includes public education reformist Michelle Rhee, award-winning journalist Peter Bergen, children’s show host and scientist Bill Nye and memory champion and author Joshua Foer.

Each program will begin at 7:30 p.m. in The University Center’s Timken Great Hall, located at 6000 Frank Avenue N.W. in Jackson Township.

All lectures are free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 8 a.m. each weekday, on the date listed with each speaker. No phone reservations will be taken. Tickets will be limited to four (4) per person. The building will open at 6:45 p.m. prior to each event.

Enjoy An Evening With Michelle Rhee on Monday, Oct. 10, 2011.

The career of education reformist Michelle Rhee has been guided by one core principle – put students first. A former teacher, she founded The New Teacher Project to bring more excellent teachers to classrooms across the country. She was appointed as chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools in 2007. Rhee used unconventional methods to rebuild the country’s worst performing school district into the only major city system to see double-digit growth in state reading and math scores over three years. After leaving the position, she founded StudentsFirst in 2010, a national movement to transform America’s public education system into the best in the world. Rhee has appeared on television shows, radio programs and in the documentary, Waiting for Superman, a film analyzing the failure of American public education. Tickets for the Michelle Rhee event will be available, beginning on Monday, Sept. 19, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

Peter Bergen will present Obama's War
on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011.

Peter Bergen will present Obama’s War on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011.

Peter Bergen is an internationally renowned print and television journalist, an award-winning film producer and the best-selling author of The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda. He has worked as a correspondent for National Geographic Television, Discovery Television and CNN. While at CNN, he produced Osama bin Laden’s first television interview, marking the first time he declared war against the United States to the Western audience. As one of the foremost authorities on the war on terrorism, Bergen has reported on al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, homeland security and threats in Mid-Eastern countries for numerous newspapers, magazines and broadcasting stations, in addition to testifying before several congressional committees. Tickets for the Peter Bergen event will be available, beginning on Monday, Oct. 24, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, Bill Nye will present The Earth Is a Great Home, But We Have to Make Some Changes.

Bill Nye, best known as host of the popular children’s show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an established engineer, scientist, comedian, author and inventor with a lifelong fascination on how things work. After earning a Cornell University mechanical engineering degree, he accepted a position at Boeing, where he developed a device that continues to be used in 747s today. Combining his love of science with a flair for comedy, Nye moonlighted as a stand-up comic, eventually taking on the Science Guy persona. The series won 28 Emmy Awards during its five-year run and earned him seven Emmys for writing, performing and producing. He has authored five books and frequently appears as a guest on various shows. Tickets for the Bill Nye event will be available, beginning on Monday, Feb. 13, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

Joshua Foer will present Moonwalking
With Einstein: The Art and Science of
Remembering Everything
on Tuesday,
April 17, 2012.

Join us for Joshua Foer’s presentation of Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.

Named “One of the 10 People Who Could Change the World” by The New Statesman, freelance science journalist Joshua Foer attended the United States Memory Championship to report on the quirky subculture of competition memorizers. By interviewing competitors, he learned that it was possible for the average person to greatly enhance their memory through age-old techniques. Intrigued, he trained intensively and entered the competition the next year, emerging as the 2006 U.S. Memory Champion. Foer’s unlikely journey into the world of mnemonic skill is chronicled in his 2011 bestselling book, Moonwalking With Einstein. For audiences, he details the science and history of memorization, sharing how each of us can overcome personal limitations by using ancient techniques to unlock the brain’s potential. Tickets for the Joshua Foer event will be available, beginning on Monday, March 28, at the Main Hall Information Desk.

For additional information about the 2011-12 Featured Speakers Series, visit or contact Cynthia Williams at 330-244-3262 or