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Kent State University’s Department of Sociology Celebrates 75th Anniversary

enter photo description
Pictured above is a historical photo of
Kent Hall, former location of Kent State's
Department of Sociology, (it is now
located in Merrill Hall).

This fall, Kent State’s Department of Sociology will celebrate its 75th anniversary. The department was founded in 1937 by James T. Laing. The celebration begins Thursday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. with a reception and presentation by Glen Elder, Ph.D., a distinguished sociologist from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Kent State University alumnus.

On Friday, Oct. 12, there will be programs including a keynote address by Bernice Pescosolido, Ph.D., of Indiana University, a film by Kent State Associate Professor Will Kalkhoff, Ph.D., on the history of the department, a panel of Kent State alumni talking about their time at the university and a panel on current departmental research with current faculty and doctoral students. The day will end with a tour of the May 4 National Historic Landmark site guided by Jerry M. Lewis, Ph.D.

During the celebration, Kent State alumni will receive a new award developed by the department. This award – the Oscar Ritchie Distinguished Alumni Award – is named for the first African-American to become a full professor in the Ohio Higher Education System. The Oscar Ritchie Distinguished Alumni Award will be given annually to recognize alumni contributions in the areas of teaching, research or service.

More information about the anniversary celebration and registration to attend the events will be announced soon.  RSVP for the event to Vanessa Decker at the Department of Sociology at or call 330-672-8339.  

Posted Aug. 27, 2012

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University Libraries and Information Services Enhance Student and Faculty Support

Information Services and University Libraries are implementing a collaborative plan to enhance student and faculty support services beginning this fall.

The plan centers on three initiatives:

  1. Co-locating the Information Services’ Lab Helpdesk staff with University Libraries reference desk staff
  2. Enhancing student access to multimedia services
  3. Continuing to identify new ways for Information Services and University Libraries to cooperatively improve services

Co-location of Information Services Helpdesk staff with University Libraries reference staff

The existing University Libraries reference desk will be expanded into a new walk-up service desk where Information Services and University Libraries will jointly provide services. Information Services manager Wendy Shih and analyst Dolly Lowe say this will allow their walk-up services to be more easily accessible than at the old location.

“I think this is a great idea,” Lowe says. “Instead of being in the back of University Library, we’ll be more visible to the students using the services.”

Information Services will help support computers and printers throughout the building. Information Services and University Libraries will cross-train the staff located at the new walk-up service desk, so that services can be provided during University Libraries 24/5 operating hours.

“The number one thing that we started talking about was better communication, so that everyone knows what everyone else is doing,” says assistant professor Gary Mote. “Any time there is an opportunity to increase collaboration and communication, it’s good for everyone.”

Enhancing student access to multimedia services

Information Services and University Libraries will jointly create, equip and operate the Student Multimedia Services to help students become familiar with a variety of multimedia. The collaboration has resulted in the purchase of the new video cameras that students will be able to check out at the University Library circulation desk. In addition, the equipment in the Student Multimedia Services labs will be kept current.

Continuing to identify new ways for Information Services and University Libraries to cooperatively improve services

Information Services and University Libraries will continue to look for new ways to better support technology and enhance student services in the future. Current items being discussed include:

  1. Possible expansion of the Student Multimedia Services lab
  2. Providing an emerging technology sandbox that gives students access to the latest technology
  3. A new funding model for public computers, multimedia equipment and printers located in University Library
  4. The need for a Digital Asset Management system
Posted Aug. 27, 2012

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Second Phase of Allerton Apartments Closure Begins

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Kent State is beginning the second phase of the planned
closure of the Allerton Apartment complex.

Kent State University is beginning the second phase of the planned closure of the Allerton Apartment complex, taking Buildings E, F, J and K offline and preparing them for demolition. The university announced the phased closure of Allerton Apartments in 2010 due to the buildings reaching the end of their life cycle. It is cost-prohibitive to maintain the buildings in the future. 

Located on the southern edge of campus, the Allerton Apartment complex was constructed in two phases, completed in 1962 and 1966. Apartments in the complex are rented to upper-division students and Kent State students with families.

Two buildings were closed in July 2005 and demolished in July 2006. Buildings L and M were closed in July 2011 and will be demolished beginning in September along with Buildings E, F, J and K, which were closed this summer. Building E served as a storage building, while Buildings F, J and K had 46 apartments.

“We were able to accommodate all of those who lived in Buildings F, J and K and wanted to stay at Allerton by relocating them to Buildings A, B, C and D,” explains Betsy Joseph, Kent State’s director of Residence Services. “The rest of the affected residents either graduated or opted for other housing arrangements.

“The university worked with local social services agencies, including Habitat for Humanity, allowing them to go through the closed buildings and remove any items they wanted, like refrigerators and stoves,” Joseph adds.

With the amount of existing housing and the influx of new student housing options in the Kent community by private developers, Kent State’s Department of Residence Services determined that the Kent area has sufficient housing to accommodate the affected residents.

Buildings A, B, C and D will operate until July 2015. At that time, the remaining 69 apartments will be taken offline, and the buildings will eventually be demolished. The university does not have plans for the Allerton property at this time.

For more information about Kent State’s Residence Services, visit

Posted Aug. 27, 2012 | Eric Mansfield

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Kent State University Partners With Staples on Ink and Toner Cartridge Recycling

Staples, provider of office supplies, technology, cleaning solutions and more, is partnering with Kent State University to offer an ink and toner cartridge recycling program that helps to further the university’s sustainability goals.  

“Many people on campus are not aware that Staples offers recycling of ink and toner cartridges,” says Melanie Knowles, Kent State’s sustainability manager.

By recycling ink and toner cartridges, Kent State is conserving natural resources, reducing materials in landfills, recycling packaging and also showing its commitment to the environment.

Collector stations can be set up by each department. Once it is time for the boxes to be picked up, or sent off, Staples makes it easy for the university to do so.

While Kent State will be helping the environment through this recycling program, the university also is benefiting from the partnership. If not properly disposed of, ink and toner cartridges could pose a threat to the environment. With this partnership, the university will help ensure that empty cartridges do not end up in landfills where they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.

For more information about Kent State’s Sustainability projects, visit

If you would like to know more about Staple’s Easy on the Planet Services, click here.

Posted Aug. 27, 2012 | Alexandria Rhodes

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