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Farris Family Innovation Award Recipients Announced

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Min-Ho Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor
in the College of Applied Engineering,
Sustainability and Technology, was one
of two professors who received a Farris
Family Innovation Awards for their research

Two Kent State University professors have received Farris Family Innovation Awards for their research projects.

Min-Ho Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, won the award for his project titled “Targeted Nanothermotherapy Combined With Antibiotics Against Biofilm Infection in Diabetic Wounds.”

David Singer, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the award for his research project titled “The Impact of Trace Element Incorporation During Iron Sulfide Precipitation on Gas Extraction Potential and Flow-back Water Quality From Shale-gas Deposits.”

“I feel really honored to be selected as a recipient of this award,” says Kim. “I am also excited in that this award recognizes the significance of my research work.”

Kim says the theme of his project is “to develop effective therapeutics that can noninvasively target and destroy antibiotic resistant bacterial biofilm based on concept of nanobiotechnology.”

“I was very pleased and proud to receive a Farris Family Innovation Award,” says Singer. “I am incredibly grateful that Kent State, through the generosity of the Farris Family, supports young faculty, and I am glad to be getting positive recognition early in my career here.”

The focus of Singer’s project is on the fate and transport of metals and radionuclides in the environment. In particular, he says, “I am interested in the geochemical and biogeochemical processes that occur at mineral surfaces which can limit or promote contaminant transport.”

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David Singer, Ph.D., assistant professor
of geology in the College of Arts and
Sciences, received a Farris Family
Innovation Award for his research project.

The Farris Family Innovation Award rewards faculty members who combine scholarship of teaching, discovery and application in new and effective ways.

Both professors were nominated for the Farris Family Innovation Award by Kent State Senior Vice President and Provost Todd Diacon. After recommendations by the provost, applicants are reviewed by the Provost's Advisory Council and then sent to the president for final approval.

Beginning in the Fall 2013 Semester, the recipients receive $8,000 for up to three years while they continue their projects and remain untenured faculty members. The funds from the grant covers expenses in undergraduate research, graduate student stipends, equipment expenses and travel associated with faculty projects.

Singer says the funds from the Farris Family Innovation Awards will help him facilitate an X-ray portion of his project, as well as enhance the stand of Kent State’s reputation in the scientific community.

For more information about the professor’ projects, email Kim at and Singer at

Posted April 22, 2013 | Shannen Laur

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Kenneth Burhanna Named New Assistant Dean of University Libraries

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Associate Professor Kenneth Burhanna
has been named assistant dean for
Engagement and Outreach at University

University Libraries announces the promotion of Associate Professor Kenneth Burhanna to assistant dean, Engagement and Outreach, effective March 2013.

Burhanna, who began at Kent State University in July 2004 as a first-year experience librarian, served as head of Instructional Services from May 2008 to February 2013. Continuing his service to Kent State as the newest member of University Libraries Dean James Bracken’s leadership team, Burhanna seeks to provide leadership, direction and motivation to the public service departments of the library.

“I have a passion and vision for what we can do with the library and that is to play an essential role in the success of all our constituents — faculty, staff and especially students, and even the outside community,” Burhanna says.  “We hope that in the future, students leave with an experience about the library that was important to their success.”
As the new assistant dean, Burhanna will also take on a number of important responsibilities, such as directing and collaborating with the major functional units and service programs within University Libraries, formulating and implementing new library policies, strategic planning and the design and development of new services.

Burhanna says he hopes to help University Libraries manage a “dramatic time of change,” which includes budgetary changes, pressures on making resources more accessible to the public and innovating with new services to help meet university strategic plans and goals.  One way he hopes to manage change is to help people realize “the University Library itself is a place for engagement and experience.”

“I believe in Kent State and I believe in the libraries,” Burhanna says.  “My chief goal is to make students, faculty, staff and the community aware of the great services and resources we provide.”

Posted April 22, 2013

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University Libraries Names Karen MacDonald New Business Librarian

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Karen MacDonald has been appointed
business librarian for University Libraries.

Karen MacDonald has been hired as the new business librarian for University Libraries. MacDonald will also serve as director of professional development in the Business and Finance division of the Special Libraries Association.

Over the years, MacDonald has taught international marketing and general business for introductory business courses. At Texas A&M and Georgia State, MacDonald taught bibliographic courses as a librarian, which she will continue to teach here at Kent State.

“I’ve done bibliographic instruction, where you go into someone else’s classroom, usually just for one night, and you talk about library resources and how they might relate to what they’re studying in that course or what kind of special project they’re working on,” MacDonald says.

One specific area MacDonald wishes to make a top priority in her new position is entrepreneurship. She says the study of entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular on college campuses, so she hopes to work more with entrepreneurs, helping them with projects such as writing a business plan, conducting research and searching library databases.

MacDonald hopes to assist entrepreneur students in identifying markets or businesses that would be interested in their service or product. She had the pleasure of assisting a young entrepreneur in the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation Incubator to locate industry reports, understand the structure of her industry and track down good, quality marketing data.

MacDonald will make an effort to assist faculty and students in the College of Business Administration at Kent State. She says a lot of the business students and faculty members are unaware that the library can be a source for business information. 

“When I show students and faculty certain databases, it’s like amazing to see the look on their faces,” MacDonald says. “I like doing that; just making them aware of things that would really, really help them that they didn’t even know existed. You can’t Google it if you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
MacDonald uses and directs her consults to free government databases, such as Business Source Complete, for scholarly articles and trade journals related to business. She also provides students with access to other databases, as well as access to free government information. At the Kent Student Center, MacDonald helps with Blackstone LaunchPad by providing students with information they need to make their business idea prosper.

MacDonald also plans to reach out to the community by visiting places such as small business development centers and rotary clubs, where she will offer her assistance and business knowledge to anyone who needs her help and expertise.

“I’ll work with anyone who asks me a question,” she says. “That could be student entrepreneurs, whether it’s for a project or a nonacademic project, and it doesn’t have to be limited to the College of Business Administration. Entrepreneurs are people in other professions who get a good idea.”

To contact MacDonald for assistance, patrons are welcome to email her at For in-person meetings, her office hours are Wednesday, 10-11 a.m. and Thursday, 3-4 p.m. MacDonald can also be reached at other times by appointment.

Posted April 22, 2013

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Kent State Connects Blog: Who’s the Fool?

It has been more than three months since Emily Myers, special assistant in the Office of the Provost, and some Kent State colleagues embarked on a unique weight-loss challenge. Myers provides an update the Kent State Connects blog on how successful the challenge was for her and others in her "Who's the Fool?" post.

“I have been remiss in keeping up to date on the Food Fool’s weight-loss challenge – apologies. I’d like to say I have been so focused on efforts to lose weight I had no time for anything else. If that had been the case, I would be in much better shape today. Truthfully, I was just busy – imagine you all know about being busy,” Myers says.

Click here to read more from Myers’ post.

An Emotional Achievement for Our Finest Faculty
Also on the blog, Nancy Schiappa, associate director for alumni relations, writes about the Distinguished Teaching Award that is bestowed yearly on deserving Kent State faculty members.

“After many years of awarding outstanding faculty members with the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA), I am still touched by the overwhelming response from not only the recipients, but the students as well,” Schiappa says.

Click here to read more from Schiappa’s post.

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 April 22, 2013

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Entrepreneurs’ Ideas Highlighted at Kent State University

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Winners of the ideaLabs 2013 business idea competition
took home cash prizes for pitching new business ideas.

Kent State University’s College of Business Administration recently hosted the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s (EEC) ideaLabs 2013 competition where aspiring entrepreneurs from Kent State and nine other Ohio colleges and universities pitched their ideas for new businesses.

IdeaLabs is a business idea competition where undergraduate students pitch their best entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of experts. The competition encourages students from all disciplines to think about new venture ideas, applying the feasibility study methodology and answering three key questions: Is there a market?  Do the financials make sense?  and What resources are necessary?

“Startups are the buildings blocks of the new economy,” says Charles Stack, ideaLabs judge and founder/CEO of FlashStarts. “The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s ideaLabs competition provides a superb first step on the way to creating a successful business. The process encourages the try, try and try again iterative cycle that is so essential to entrepreneurial success.”

The winners took home cash prizes and high hopes that their big ideas would translate into big money down the road.

The winners were:
First Place-$5,000: “Citrus Icer” – Bryan Nemire, Hiram College

Second Place - $3,000: “Matchstick” – Kevin Met, Cleveland State University

Third Place - $1,000: “Swipe-U-Lock” - Chimadika Okoye and Marie Brosovich, Case Western Reserve University
The competition’s judges were impressed with the quality of all the ideas and presentations.

"The ideaLabs competition is a great glimpse into the state of student entrepreneurship around the region,” says David Crain, ideaLabs judge and director of entrepreneurial services at MAGNET. “Every year, the competition seems better than before, and this year was no exception.  I have no doubt I was looking at some of our region's future success stories.”

Undergraduate students or teams of students from Ashland University, Baldwin-Wallace University, John Carroll University, Kent State University, Lake Erie College, The University of Akron and University of Mount Union also competed.

The competition was sponsored by the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, a consortium of 11 colleges and universities that encourages student exploration of new, innovative ideas in their quest to either create new enterprises or become entrepreneurs within existing organizations. This event rotates among the 11-member institutions, and this was the first time the College of Business Administration and Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation at Kent State hosted the ideaLabs competition.

Judges included Dorothy Baunach, president emeritus at NorTech; David Crain, director for entrepreneurial services at MAGNET; John Dearborn, president of Jumpstart; John Monter, partner at Centre Partners Management; Barbara Morgan, investment associate at North Coast Angel Fund; Elise Saur, manager for transaction advisory service at Ernst & Young; and Charles Stack, founder of

The Entrepreneurship Education Consortium is grateful to The Burton D. Morgan Foundation for its generous support of ideaLabs and the consortium’s Entrepreneurship Immersion Week.
For more information about entrepreneurship at Kent State, contact Julie Messing, director for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, at or 330-672-9430, or visit .

For more information about Kent State’s College of Business Administration, visit

Posted April 22, 2013

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Common Reading Program Seeks Discussion Leaders

The Common Reading Program is currently seeking 200 faculty, staff and alumni to facilitate book discussions during Destination Kent State: Welcome Weekend. The Common Reading Program will involve a one-hour discussion Friday, Aug. 23, in the afternoon. Prior to the discussion, facilitators will be provided with a copy of the book, a training session and discussion materials. Several training sessions will be held throughout the summer for new and returning discussion leaders.

Faculty, staff and alumni interested in serving as discussion leaders should sign up at The sign-up deadline is Friday, July 19.

Posted April 22, 2013

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