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Kent State University Continues Tradition of Hosting Global UGRAD-Pakistan Student

The U.S. Department of State’s program helps to increases cross-cultural learning and understanding 

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Muhammad Sohaib, a Kent State student
from Pakistan, skates at the Kent State Ice
Arena. Sohaib is part of the U.S. Department
of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange
Program in Pakistan. The program empowers
youth leaders from under served populations
across Pakistan through U.S.-based training
and cross-cultural understanding.

Kent State University welcomes international student Muhammad Sohaib to the Kent Campus as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan (Global UGRAD-Pakistan). Sohaib is studying for a degree in business management.

The Global UGRAD-Pakistan program empowers a diverse group of youth leaders from underserved populations across Pakistan. Through U.S.-based training and practical experience in leadership positions, community engagement and in their professional fields, undergraduate students gain the skills needed to implement long-term civic and economic changes in their communities, building stability through increased cross-cultural understanding.

“There is a very rigorous application process,” says Ryan Fleming, international student and scholar advisor and campus coordinator for the Global UGRAD-Pakistan program at Kent State.  “Muhammad was selected among hundreds of other applicants from Pakistan.”

In addition to their academic studies, Global UGRAD-Pakistan students are required to complete 20 hours of community service and take part in the Cultural Passport to America program, which is designed to expose them to different aspects of American culture.

Sohaib will also complete a country presentation, where he will share information about his country to an intercultural communications class taught by Kent State Associate Professor of Communication Studies Mei Chen Lin, Ph.D.

Fleming says the purpose of the program is for the students to get as much cultural exchange and exposure as possible. To achieve this, Sohaib is required to stay with an American roommate in Van Campen Hall. By interacting with Americans in the community and on campus, Sohaib will develop a well-rounded awareness of American culture.

“When he goes back home, he is going to have fairly informed opinions about what Americans are like, American lifestyles and values, which I think potentially helps to diffuse otherwise conflict-ridden situations,” says Fleming. 

Global UGRAD-Pakistan students are also “ambassadors” for Pakistan. Their unique perspectives and backgrounds enrich the learning experience for American students.

“Muhammad is really happy and very driven—you have to have a very clear view of what you want to do, and it’s such an undertaking that it self-selects for motivated people. And I think that’s been evident,” says Fleming.

After only being at Kent State for a month and a half, Sohaib says this short amount of time has changed his views about the U.S., its culture, traditions and people. He says that the program helps him interact with people from every corner of the world and experience different cultures, traditions and religions not available in his native country. “I think this broadens my view of thinking,” Sohaib says. “Selection in this program is a great opportunity for me.”

The Global Undergraduate Exchange Program in Pakistan is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State and is administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). For more information about the program, visit

Posted Feb. 25, 2013 | Aubrey Johnson

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Town Hall Meetings Set to Discuss Tobacco-Free University

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Kent State faculty, staff and students can have their say
on the university becoming a tobacco-free campus. Town
hall meetings are scheduled to be held on the Kent and
Regional campuses.

A series of town hall meetings are scheduled this spring at the Kent and Regional campuses, to gather additional input from the university community on becoming a tobacco-free institution.

Last fall, a universitywide committee was convened at the request of President Lester A. Lefton to study a proposal that would make all Kent State University campuses tobacco-free. That was in response to the recommendation from the Ohio Board of Regents that all public college and university campuses in Ohio become tobacco-free. The committee conducted a survey last semester.

The town hall sessions will be conducted at all campuses between Feb. 26 and March 14. Each session will last one hour, and faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

You can view the schedule to find the meeting time and location at your campus. Questions should be directed to Rachael Decker, wellness coordinator, at 330-672-8368 or

Posted Feb. 25, 2013

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Kent State Invites Community to Provide Input for New Airport Master Plan

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A meeting to discuss the Kent State University Airport
Master Plan is scheduled for Monday, March 4, at 6 p.m.
at the Council Chambers in the Stow City Hall.

The first public meeting for the Kent State University Airport Master Plan has been scheduled for Monday, March 4. In this meeting, the public will be introduced to the project and learn why university leaders are reassessing recommendations from the 2006 plan and taking a fresh look at the airport’s assets and needs.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at Council Chambers at Stow City Hall, located at 3760 Darrow Rd. in Stow. It will include a presentation of the master plan process, the project schedule and how the public can provide input on the airport’s existing conditions and future use.

Kent State has owned the public-use, general aviation airport since 1942 and uses the facility to support its Aeronautics Program, one of 32 accredited aviation education programs worldwide. The airport is a critical asset for the Aeronautics Program, which serves more than 560 students in five areas of concentration under the Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics.

In 2004, the airport completed a master plan, which was then updated in 2006. At that time, the university was considering closing the airport and moving operations to another nearby airport. University leaders are now reassessing the recommendations of the previous plan, and a new plan is required to take a fresh look at the airport’s assets and determine its needs.

The airport is a significant economic driver locally, supporting not only the university’s Aeronautics Program, but also local businesses, community services and private pilots. The new master plan must take into account how the airport can best serve the needs of all members of the community.

For more information about the development of the master plan, visit

Posted Feb. 25, 2013

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How to Request a Photographer for Your Kent State Event

Kent State University Communications and Marketing photographers provide compelling images that capture the Kent State experience while chronicling the history of the institution. They provide images for marketing and public relations projects, university websites, e-Inside and publication needs, as well as departmental requests.

University Communications and Marketing photographers are available for a nominal, hourly fee to provide photographic coverage for individual departments, schools and colleges across Kent State’s eight-campus system and any off-campus learning experience that illustrates the quality of the departments and programs available to Kent State students.

Due to the volume of events that require coverage, please make a request for a photographer at least one month in advance of your event date. Event coverage is based on scheduling priorities, Monday through Saturday.

For more information or to request a photographer, call 330-672-8500 or email You can also browse the public photo archive at

Posted Feb. 25, 2013 | Michael Cellars

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Kent State University Promotes Recycling Through Game Day Challenge

Kent State University will continue its recycling efforts by participating in the Game Day Challenge as part of the annual RecycleMania competition, where colleges and universities strive to reduce waste and increase recycling.

The Kent State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, the sustainability program at Kent State and Portage County are teaming up to host the Game Day Challenge on Tuesday, March 5, during the men’s basketball game against Bowling Green State University.

The challenge compares schools based on recycling and waste minimization efforts made during a single home basketball game in the February and March timeframe of RecycleMania. A recycling bin will be placed next to every trash can, accompanied by a volunteer who will provide guidance on determining what is and what is not recyclable.

The Game Day Challenge is sponsored by the Portage County Waste Department to raise awareness about recycling throughout the community.

Bill Steiner, director of Portage County Waste, says a lot of the attendees at the games are local residents.

“Some people don’t really know what our district offers beyond curbside services. This game is a good way for us to reach a large audience at once,” Steiner says.

Tom Sitko, account executive for Kent State IMG Sports Marketing, says the Game Day Challenge coincides with the end of the basketball season and is a great way to help out with RecycleMania.

“Not only are we helping out with the competition, but it’s a fun to way to get athletes, fans and students involved,” Sitko says. “Plus, it’s another way for us to compete with Akron,” he jokes.

Schools will report the weights of both recyclables and trash following the game and be ranked in three game day categories:

  • Waste Generation – Schools are ranked based on who has the least amount of combined trash and recycling.
  • Diversion Rate – Schools are ranked based on who has the highest recycling as a percentage of total trash and recycling.
  • Per Capita Recycling – Schools are ranked based on the total amount of recycling collected on a per capita basis.

“Beyond hoping the Flashes win the game, we really want people to recycle and do the right thing,” says Steiner. “We don’t want to keep relying on landfills. Sustainability really helps out with the economy.”

For more information regarding the Game Day Challenge, visit

Posted Feb. 25, 2013 | Madalyn Etzel

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Kent State Connects Blog: About Books, Weight Loss and IRAs

Good Reads: My Top Five Books

Effie Tsengas, communications and marketing director for the College of the Arts, writes about her top five books on the Kent State Connects blog. Tsengas invites you to share some of your favorite books on the blog.

“After nearly 13 years of belonging to the most extraordinary book group anyone can imagine, I have had the great fortune of reading some amazing fiction. Paring it down to even my top 20 was a challenge, but after revisiting my list of books, here are my top five books by contemporary authors…”

Click here to read more.

Food Fools Update – Fat Tuesday and Chocolate Hearts – The Double Whammy!

Emily Myers, special assistant in the Office of the Provost, writes about managing eating habits to maintain a healthy weight.

“Reportedly Fat Tuesday is a day when people can eat and drink whatever they want knowing that with Ash Wednesday the next day, a period of fasting for Christians begins.  From the perspective of someone trying to manage eating habits this could be a day of grave consequences.  Pair that up with Valentine’s Day in the same week and it just spells disaster.”

Click here to read more.

Remember to Make Your 2012 IRA Contributions by April 15

Erik Zemljic, instructor in the Department of Economics, offers tips about IRAs.

“For good reason, IRAs (individual investment accounts) rank among the most popular tax-sheltered retirement savings vehicles available to U.S. taxpayers.  If purchased outside of a tax-sheltered vehicle, dividend and interest income earned on assets such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds can lead to substantial tax bills each year, even if the proceeds are reinvested.”

Click here to read more.

Click here to subscribe to the Kent State Connects blog and receive an email notification when a new post has been published. It is the easy way to always keep up with what your Kent State colleagues are writing about on the blog.

Posted Feb. 25, 2013

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