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News Briefs

Founders Gala Celebrates Donor Support

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The 2013 Founders Gala honored 38 Founders Scholar
seniors and 45 juniors. Pictured are some of the honorees
at the event.

The 2013 Founders Gala, held on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Kent Student Center Ballroom, was a celebration of excellence at Kent State University and an opportunity to acknowledge the valuable partnerships between the university’s donors, students, faculty and staff. The university’s vision is focused on education, research and knowledge, all of which are made possible through the generous support of its benefactors.

More than 70 percent of Kent State students must borrow to pay for their college education, and the Founders Gala celebrates the alumni, friends, corporations and foundations that have helped make so many dreams a reality.

The event recognized vital contributions for new scholarships, from the sciences to the arts; saluted donors who are encouraging new frontiers in business and entrepreneurship; highlighted significant gifts that are transforming what’s possible in healthcare and education; and honored individuals whose giving is helping to support student athletes, communicators, designers and builders of the future.

This year, the university recognized more than $17 million in new gifts and pledges to the Kent State University Foundation, which is part of an overall $58 million contributed by alumni and friends over the past two years.

The event honored 38 Founders Scholar seniors and 45 juniors. Two of the students also spoke at the event: Kelli Fitzpatrick, a news major and Risman Honors Founders Scholar, and Andrew Rasner, a dual architectural studies and geography major, who also is a Risman Honors Founders Scholar.

Sixty-one benefactors, including individuals, foundations and corporations, were also honored for their contributions to scholarships, programs and Foundations of Excellence building projects. John and Fonda Elliot were the keynote speakers. The Elliots, of Charleston, W.Va., are supporting the new building for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design with a gift of $5 million.

Posted Nov. 25, 2013 | Deb McGuinness

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Kent State Student Aims to Be Finalist in McDonald’s Singing Competition

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Carrie Vieweg, Kent State University music major, is
competing in the Voice of McDonald’s singing competition.
Vieweg, the only semifinalist from Ohio, hopes that the
competition will give her the opportunity to start a career in
performance after she graduates. Online voting for U.S.
singers in the competition ends Dec. 2.

(Photo credit:

Kent State University music major Carrie Vieweg is one of 25 U.S. semifinalists in the Voice of McDonald’s singing competition.

According to a news release, Voice of McDonald’s is a biennial competition that “aims to discover, recognize and reward the most talented singers” among McDonald’s approximately 1.8 million employees. The top 16 global semifinalists win a trip to Orlando to compete for cash prizes in McDonald’s 2014 Worldwide Convention in April. There have been five competitions since its inception in 2006.

Vieweg hopes to become one of three U.S. finalists who will be selected by professional judging, as well as online votes that are collected at Voting for the U.S. ends Dec. 2.

“Being a student at Kent State has helped me hone my singing skills,” says Vieweg. “I’ve learned a lot in the last four years, like breath support and how not to ruin my voice.”

Vieweg, the only semifinalist from Ohio, began working at McDonald’s in Concord Township five years ago. She hopes this competition will give her the opportunity to start a career in performance after she graduates.

“I’ve always enjoyed performing,” says Vieweg. “It’s like second nature to me. I like the feeling I get when I sing for people.”

To watch Vieweg sing and to cast a vote for her in the Voice of McDonald’s competition, visit

Posted Nov. 25, 2013 | Amanda Lang

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Foundation Grant Program Issues Request for Proposals

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In the past, foundation grants have
included support for a nursing simulation
lab upgrade.

The Kent State University Foundation Grant Program will award up to $100,000 for the
2014-2015 academic year as part of its annual request for proposals. Funding will be available to departments, schools, colleges, institutes and centers universitywide.

There are no restrictions on the awards, which will be made to projects that have an impact on the quality of education offered to students at Kent State. Requests may be made up to the full $100,000. A committee of the Foundation Board will review all applications and make recommendations to the full board of directors for consideration.

Previous grants as part of this program have included support for the purchase of an IRT camera, funds to update technology and renovate a flexible classroom, funds to purchase equipment for various departments, support of the Successful Transitioning Action Team for Education (STATE) student research project and a nursing simulation lab upgrade.

To request funds, simply complete the electronic submission form.

Prior to submission, all proposals must have the approval of the academic dean responsible for the program. Each recipient will be required to submit a report on the use of funds to the Kent State University Foundation Board.

Applications must be received by Jan. 15, 2014.

Posted Nov. 25, 2013

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Nominations Being Accepted for 2014 Diversity Trailblazer Award

Kent State University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is now accepting nominations for the annual Diversity Trailblazer Award. The Diversity Trailblazer Award recognizes diversity pioneers associated with Kent State. The award is given to those individuals who have displayed exemplary contributions in the area of diversity to the university community.

Previous winners of the award include:
2013 – Eugene Shelton, associate professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
2012 – David Mohan, Ph.D., dean of Kent State University at Geauga
2011 – The Rev. Ronald Fowler, alumnus and special assistant to the president for community engagement
2010 –  Delores L. Noll, professor emeritus of English

Criteria for the award and nomination form are available at (self-nominations are accepted).

The deadline for nominations is Friday, Dec. 13, and can be sent to Diane Matasek at University Library, Room 252, or by email to

Posted Nov. 25, 2013

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Kent State Peace Basket Project Needs Volunteers

Kent State University faculty, staff and students are invited to join in creating Holiday Peace Baskets on Saturday, Dec. 7, between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the King Kennedy Center, 6660 Garfield Rd., Ravenna.  Two shifts will run on that day, from 9-11 a.m., and from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

This activity, now in its 17th year, created more than 120 gift baskets for needy families in the area last year. Donations such as kitchen items, personal grooming items, school supplies and small stocking stuffers for children will be assembled into decorated baskets and boxes and will be distributed to the residents that the King Kennedy Center services during the center’s Christmas party.
The following Holiday Helpers are needed:

  • As a Prep Elf: Volunteers are needed on Friday, Dec. 6, noon to 3 p.m. at the King Kennedy Center to prepare for the basket assembly day. 
  • As an Elf: Join in a continental breakfast and help to assemble baskets and boxes of needed items on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the King Kennedy Center. Breakfast and decorating materials will be provided.  
  • As an Absentee Angel: Donate a $10 holiday-helper fee to be used toward the purchase of shrink wrapping, gift bags, ribbons and bows. You’ll be with us in spirit.
  • As Santa’s Shopper: Donate items to be used to fill the baskets, such as toiletries,  personal grooming products, small stocking stuffers (socks, jewelry, nail polish, stuffed animals, small toys, books or other children’s items), kitchen items and school supplies. For men:  cologne, socks, caps and hats, games for teenagers and other young men's items.  Shoe boxes wrapped with holiday paper and other items can be taken to the drop off points listed below.
  • As a Holiday Knitter: Hand-knitted or crocheted scarves and caps for kids will be accepted.

The Professional Women of Kent State is asking that all items to be donated be dropped off at the Office of the Vice President – Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Room 250 at the Kent Student Center beginning Nov. 25

For more information about the Peace Basket Project, contact Barb Boltz at 330-672-1306 or

Posted Nov. 25, 2013

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Last Chance to Submit Alumni Award Nominations

The Kent State University Alumni Association invites faculty and staff to nominate deserving alumni for the Kent State Alumni Awards. Sponsored by the Alumni Association, the Alumni Awards recognize graduates in the area of leadership, service, character and professional development.

Nominations will be accepted through Dec. 31, and award recipients will be honored at the 2014 Homecoming. To nominate an individual, visit

Posted Nov. 25, 2013 | Lindsay Kuntzman

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Kent State Participates in 2013 Football Game-Day Recycling Challenge

Kent State participated in the annual football Game-Day Recycling Challenge for the first time on Oct. 26 in a home game against the University at Buffalo. The competition promotes waste reduction at college and university football games and awards participants with the best results.

“This competition gives us the opportunity to get people thinking about recycling,” says Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager. “We can get people excited about recycling and wanting to take part in the competition.”

Volunteers contributed 151 hours to the event and were responsible for picking up recyclables off the ground, talking to fans about the project and carrying recycling bags. Volunteers included student members from the Sports Administration Department, members of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, the Kent State baseball team and student volunteers.

“The volunteers were very enthusiastic,” says Leah Graham, outreach and recycling coordinator at Kent State. “Some of them interacted with fans at the game, which got people interested and asking about the competition. The volunteers helped increase awareness of recycling efforts, which was nice to see.”

Football game attendance was at 14,197, and 1,485 pounds total were recycled, leading to a .143 pound per capita recycling rate. The amount of greenhouse gases avoided from recycling is comparable to taking one car off the road for six months.

The competition is organized by the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), RecycleMania and Keep America Beautiful (KAP) and supported by EPA’s WasteWise program. Results and winners were posted on on Nov. 15, America Recycles Day.

Knowles says Kent State plans to participate in next year’s Game Day Recycling Challenge.

“Since this was our first time competing, we learned a lot,” says Knowles. “Next year, it’ll be easier to prepare, and there are a lot of things we will improve upon. We would like to get some composting going at games next year as well.”

For more information about Kent State’s participation in the 2013 Game-Day Recycling Challenge, contact Graham at or Knowles at

Posted Nov. 25, 2013 | Amanda Lang

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Women’s Center and Child Development Center at Kent State Hold Diaper Drive

The Kent State University Women’s Center and Child Development Center are partnering to organize a diaper drive to benefit members of the university and families in Portage County who are struggling to provide for their children. Other baby essentials, such as formula, baby food, wipes and toiletries, also will be accepted.

From now through Dec. 9, you can drop off a pack of diapers or other baby essentials at the Child Development Center, the Women’s Center or at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

For more information, call the Kent State Women's Center at 330-672-9230.

Posted Nov. 25, 2013

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