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Professor’s Passion Inspires Students

Associate Professor Susan Taft’s first memory of teaching was as a doctoral graduate student standing in front of a class of students, trying to keep her knees from knocking and her hands from shaking. Now, after enthusiastically teaching at Kent State University for more than two decades, Taft has earned one of the 2011 Distinguished Teaching Awards, which is awarded to full-time tenure track faculty who demonstrate extraordinary teaching.

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Kent State Students Featured in ESPN's Monday Night Football Story

Posted Jan. 16, 2012 | Foluke Omosun

Kent State student Willie Williams being interviewed by an ESPN producer in the “Fab Fourth,” the fourth floor of the Kent State University Library, for a feature story that aired Dec. 19 during ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Kent State University students were featured in a story about the Braylon Edwards Foundation during ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast on Dec. 19. The students, all recipients of scholarships from the foundation of former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards, were interviewed by ESPN staff for the feature story.

ESPN Feature Producer Tina Cerbone led the ESPN film crew to shoot at various locations on the Kent Campus on Dec. 15, including the “Fab Fourth” at the Kent State University Library and Risman Plaza.

Freshman sports management major Willie Williams, one of the Kent State students who was featured in the ESPN story, considered it a blessing to be on the sports network.

“I’ve always wanted to be featured on ESPN, but I never thought it would be this early,” Williams says. “I just thank God for blessing me with this opportunity. The ESPN people were amazing and very nice. They made me feel good and relaxed. I was very happy that they chose me to be one of the kids to interview.”

The Braylon Edwards Foundation was established in 2005 and emphasizes the importance of education by providing scholarships and incentives to young people who demonstrate strong commitment and effort to excel in academics, conduct and community volunteerism.

Williams said the Braylon Edwards Foundation gave him the opportunity of a lifetime and taught him values and skills required to succeed in life.

“They made sure that each and every one of the kids got something out of the program,” says Williams. “I thank God for Braylon because he did not have to create the foundation. I am very happy that he is a man that is the same when the cameras are off and when they are on. Overall, I pray that he succeeds in all that he does, and I am truly grateful.”

To watch the story, go to