Organizer of Kent State Commencement Ceremonies Plans Own Commencement
Not too many people have the opportunity to organize their own university Commencement ceremony and participate in it as a graduating student, but Lashonda Taylor did just that at Kent State University.read more
Kent State Recognizes 2013 20-Year Club MembersPosted June 10, 2013
Thirteen Kent State employees were honored recently at the 20-Year Club annual service awards dinner. The service awards program honors classified and unclassified employees who have 20 years of continuous service at any Kent State campus. Inductees receive their choice of a commemorative Kent State chair, a tree planted on campus in their honor or a bench to be placed in a campus building of the honoree's choice.
Prior to the program, this year’s inductees were asked to reflect back on the past 20 years. Here are their responses, along with their photos.
Heather W. Auld
Business Analyst, Information Services
Start Date: Nov. 30, 1992
Likes best about working at Kent State: I like being able to work for and support a cause I believe in like education. I enjoy knowing that I have helped an individual and/or society improve in some way.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: I have seen the university and campus grow in its offerings, effectiveness and impact.
Favorite Kent State memory: I have worked with so many wonderful individuals over the years that have inspired, taught and encouraged me. Some have become lasting friends, and I have grown professionally and personally during my tenure at Kent State University.
Brice R. Biggin
Head Gymnastics Coach, Intercollegiate Athletics
Start Date: Sept. 1, 1992
Likes best about working at Kent State: The incredible friendships that I have gained working with great people at Kent State University. Also, the opportunity to watch student-athletes mature, graduate and then go on to become successful in their respective fields of study.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: The academic and athletic recognition both nationally and internationally that Kent State has received. Also, the growth and cooperation of the city of Kent with Kent State University to build an incredible downtown experience for the students and faculty, as well the Kent community.
Professional accomplishments: Kent State University President’s Excellence Award and multiple regional and national Coach of the Year awards.
Lori M. Cantor
Senior Business Manager, Journalism and Mass Communication
Start Date: April 1, 1993
Likes best about working at Kent State: I like working with students and I have been blessed with an incredible and supportive staff. I also enjoy working in a stimulating, educational environment on a beautiful campus.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: Technology has changed the college experience and our media environment, making it much easier to communicate and share information. I’ve also been amazed at the growth of the campus itself and am excited about the expansion into the downtown area. I think the campus is more beautiful now than it was 20 years ago.
Professional accomplishments: JMC Director’s Service Award, JMC Alumni Council Service Award, Advisor Excellence Award, Outstanding University Citizen Award and this year’s Mothers, Mentors and Muses Award.
Hobbies: I enjoy flower gardening and travel.
Darryl M. Crosby
Assistant Publication Production Manager, University Press
Start Date: Dec. 21, 1992
Likes best about working at Kent State: I appreciate my coworkers and other members of the campus community that I’ve had the pleasure of working with through the years, as well as the atmosphere of intellect and self-improvement.
Hobbies: I’ve taught myself website design and digital illustration, and I write and record music and play guitar in local bands on occasion. Some of my work can be found on my website at www.CreatedbyCrosby.com. I also enjoy spending time with my family and watching my young daughter grow.
Favorite Kent State memory: My best memories are of the Center for Pan-African Culture in the pre-renovation Oscar Ritchie Hall in the late '80s and early '90s. It was a time and place of independent thought and cultural awareness. It was also where I met my wife.
Lisa A. Frank
Clerical Coordinator, Kent State University at Liverpool
Start Date: April 26, 1993
Likes best about working at Kent State: I love being part of education. I have been blessed to be a part of the accomplishments of young and older adults.
Professional accomplishments: Board of Directors for the United Way student activities.
Favorite Kent State memory: I have witnessed our campus’ enrollment growth and the many improvements to our buildings and surroundings in the community.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: East Liverpool as combined with the Salem Campus to become Columbiana County Campuses. I believe this has been a positive move for our communities.
Geraldine L. Hayes-Nelson, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Outreach Initiatives, Human Resources
Start Date: April 5, 1993
Likes best about working at Kent State: The people I work with or interact with on a day-to-day basis and the beautiful campus. It is a great place to work!
Favorite Kent State memory: To witness the marriage of my son and daughter-in-law at the newly renovated Oscar Ritchie Hall. I have fond memories of the wonderful years as a Kent State Upward Bound student, and as a Kent State University undergraduate and graduate student.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: New buildings and increased presence of engaged students and staff.
Community Activities: Board member – Portage County Salvation Army; Board member – King Kennedy Center of Portage County; and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Mary M. Linger
Business Manager, College of the Arts
Start Date: May 10, 1993
Likes best about working at Kent State: The people I’ve been lucky enough to work with, the friendships I’ve made, the incredible work environment and all the opportunities for professional development.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: Less paper, more emails. Served as a member of the Kent State campus conversion to RCM. I have earned Brown Belt status in the Cognos Training Series.
Personal hobbies: Gardening; trying to train my dog, Dugan; sewing and being active at church.
Cathy L. Mahrle, Ph.D.
Manager, Information Services
Start Date: Feb. 15, 1993
Like best about working at Kent State: I enjoy all of the different people I get to work with. I provide support to Information Services and also to Educational Technology.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: Too many to name.
Professional accomplishments: I worked with the graduate student senate and I graduated from Kent State University.
In which buildings have you worked: I have worked in White Hall, the Library, Moulton Hall, Cartwright Hall and the College of Business Administration building.
Michelle (Mickey) A. McGregor
Special Assistant, College of Business Administration
Start Date: Jan. 14, 1993
Favorite Kent State memory: I completed my bachelor’s degree in May 2011.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: The student profile has changed. We now have a very eclectic, diverse group of students. I think it’s terrific to be in this environment because it is very educational and exciting.
In which buildings have you worked: I have worked in Rockwell Hall, the Schwartz Center and the College of Business Administration building.
Professional accomplishments: I was the hearing officer for the Office of Student Conduct, Student Rights and Standards.
Brenda A. Richardson
Administrative Assistant, Kent Student Center Administration
Start Date: Aug. 31, 1992
Like best about working at Kent State: The students have been the best part of working at Kent State; they are inspiring in what they are able to accomplish. I have also enjoyed cultural opportunities to hear speakers and concerts on campus. I consider myself fortunate to have worked with people over the years that I truly consider my friends.
Favorite Kent State memory: Participating in the homecoming parade, as well as being a judge at the Iron Chef competition for students.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: There has been a huge shift in technology and the way in which we communicate with students and external customers.
Professional accomplishments: Women’s Resource committee member, Student Ambassador selection committee member.
Dennis C. Rule
Program Assistant, Academic Success Center
Start Date: Feb. 10, 1993
Work history: Developmental Services, which later became the Academic Success Center. I have worked in the Schwartz Center for the past 20 years.
Likes best about working at Kent State: Working with our amazing student employees – past and present.
Favorite Kent State memory: Having had the pleasure of working with some exceptional people over the past 20 years.
Stephen G. Sokany
Senior Associate Vice President, Institutional Advancement
Start Date: March 29, 1993
Likes best about working at Kent State: The internal community is amazing in terms of the great people who work for and are passionate about Kent State. My interactions with Kent State University alumni and friends are simply amazing.
Professional Accomplishments: When I started at Kent State, the university was generating roughly $2 million in private support. In 2013, our goal is to raise $37 million.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: The changes are unbelievable and too numerous to count; however, examples include the construction of the Liquid Crystal Institute, the renovations of the front campus buildings, new facilities in athletics, Risman Plaza and new buildings at the regional campuses.
Kristin A. Toothman
Enrollment Management and Student Services, Kent State University at Salem
Start Date: May 3, 1993
Likes best about working at Kent State: My Kent State Salem family and helping prospective students get started on their educational goals. I also like that I wear many hats and no day is the same.
Changes witnessed on campus over the past 20 years: The biggest change is the increase in enrollment, especially in the traditional student population. I believe the increase is due to the increased number of bachelor degrees offered at the Salem Campus.
Personal hobbies: I enjoy walking and golfing in my free time.