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Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Visits Kent State to Make Special Announcement

Posted Sept. 19, 2011
enter photo description
Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro (left)
and School of Fashion Director J.R. Campbell (right).

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro, joined by the Kent State University Board of Trustees, named The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State an Ohio Center of Excellence in Cultural and Societal Transformation. Petro made the announcement at a press conference in Rockwell Hall on Sept. 14.

Ranked as the third best fashion school in the U.S. and 13th in the world, the Fashion School at Kent State has trained its students by using a forward-looking and rigorous curriculum with an aggressive approach in the use of digital technologies for 28 years.

As the sixth and final category of Centers of Excellence for the state, Cultural and Societal Transformation recognizes programs that, in significant and innovative ways, study factors that affect the human condition and community welfare and offer solutions leading to the greater social and economic prosperity of individuals and communities.

“Kent State University is to be commended for developing strong relationships with the world’s top fashion centers of Paris, Hong Kong, Florence, Italy, and New York City, along with providing students with rigorous forward-thinking technology to help establish the university as one of Ohio’s Centers of Excellence for its Fashion School,” says Petro.

Partnerships with the Paris Academy and Hong Kong’s Institute for Textiles and Clothing, among others, provide the Fashion School’s students with a range of international and education-abroad experiences. Through dedicated design and lecture studios in both New York City and Florence, Italy, they train more than 180 students abroad, graduate approximately 200 students annually and boast a job placement rate of more than 90 percent for the program.

Funded research projects at Kent State’s Fashion School have ranged from working with the Korean government on counterfeit fashion goods to working with Cotton Incorporated to promote market research.

Additionally, the Fashion School’s recently established TechStyleLAB functions as a teaching/learning, research and commercial service environment, bringing together a broad range of digital design and production technologies into one space to investigate models for more localized, sustainable and creative digital supply chains for the fashion industry.

“On behalf of the Kent State University community, I would like to thank Chancellor Petro and the Ohio Board of Regents for recognizing our Fashion School as a Center of Excellence,” says Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “We strive for excellence in all we do, and our Fashion School is a wonderful example of the excellence in action on our campus.”

For more information on Ohio’s Centers of Excellence, visit For more information on The Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State, visit