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Kent State Seeks Reaffirmation for 2013-2014 Academic Year

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Kent State University will host a team from the Higher
Learning Commission from April 1-4 as part of its periodic
reaccreditation process.

Kent State University will undergo periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. To this end, the university will host a team from the Higher Learning Commission from April 1-4. The team will review Kent State’s ongoing ability to meet the commission’s criteria for accreditation, and will visit the Kent, Stark, East Liverpool and Trumbull campuses.

Kent State, which has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1915, will be assessed using the Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP).

“A university’s reaffirmation process is about assessing how well it is doing in meeting its objectives and keeping to institutional accreditation standards,” says Todd Diacon, Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Everyone at Kent State is part of this process, and as we prepare to welcome our reviewers in a few weeks, I hope it also will be an opportunity for us to re-examine what more we can do to continue to advance the quality of higher education for our students.”

“Kent State has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission for almost a century now, and we have continuously met the commission’s accreditation standards,” says Fashaad Crawford, Kent State’s assistant provost for accreditation, assessment and learning. “Thanks to the hard work and commitment of our faculty and staff, we continue to improve our quality and processes to ensure that our students are getting the best education in one of the best academic environments.”

Kent State issued a public announcement in local newspapers inviting comments from members of the public regarding the university.

For more information about university accreditation, visit

Posted Feb. 10, 2014

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Nominate an Outstanding Kent State Researcher

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Pictured are recipients of last year's Outstanding Research
and Scholar Awards. 

Nominations are due by March 10 for the 2014 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award honoring Kent State University's exceptional faculty researchers and scholars. Kent State faculty, students, staff and alumni are invited to nominate candidates for the award, which is based on the quality of research and scholarship and its impact on society. As many as four awards will be given.

A ceremony and reception will be held Wednesday, April 16, at 5 p.m. in Cartwright Hall to honor the 2014 recipients. The award is sponsored by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs and the University Research Council.

To nominate: Please print and submit the nomination form to Sheila Pratt in the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs, 145 Cartwright Hall or via email at

Nomination deadline: Monday, March 10, at 11:59 p.m.

Nomination process

  • Individuals may nominate only one candidate.
  • Nominations should be made on this standardized form.
  • All full-time, tenure-track and nontenure-track faculty members are eligible for an Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award.
  • Nominees have the option of accepting or rejecting their nomination.
  • After the nomination is accepted, nominees are asked to provide their vitae, a statement of research interests and achievements, as well as additional materials (or examples of creative activities) to the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Review criteria
Recognizing that the impact of outstanding scholarship and creative activity take many different forms, candidates will be evaluated and ranked within each discipline based on criteria including but not limited to:

  • Number of publications of original research in refereed journals
  • Book chapters
  • Book publications
  • Presentations at invited lectures, national and international meetings
  • Major exhibits or performances
  • Major grant or fellowship support
  • Other accomplishments, such as membership and leadership in professional organizations or on editorial boards

For more information, including the review process, visit

Posted Feb. 10, 2014

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Innovation Through Collaboration: Students Create Wearable Tech Ventures in 24 Hours

Mitchell Gillespie awarded $2,000 for first place

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Mitchell Gillespie, a Kent State University sophomore
physics major, won $2,000 at the Blackstone LaunchPad’s
"Innov8athon II: Fashion/Tech Hackathon" for his creation
of a foot sensor that can evaluate and correct one’s running

A foot sensor that can evaluate and correct one’s running gait won top prize at the Kent State University Blackstone LaunchPad’s "Innov8athon II: Fashion/Tech Hackathon," the nation’s first collegiate wearable tech hackathon.

Developed by Mitchell Gillespie, a Kent State sophomore physics major, the Miracle Sole was created to promote proper running form. Gillespie was one of 15 presenting teams to pitch their ideas and prototypes in front of a panel of regional leaders and entrepreneurs that included Rebecca Bagley, president and CEO of NorTech; Kerri Breen, vice-president of external finance, JumpStart Inc.; Charles Stack, co-founder, general partner and CEO, FlashStarts Inc.; John West, Ph.D., Trustees Research Professor with the Liquid Crystal Institute; J.R. Campbell, director and professor, Kent State’s Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising; Ken Burns, founder and CEO, TinyCircuits; Dana DeSantis, vice president of marketing, MOVABLE; and Hunter Morris, design manager, Kent Displays.

“I came into this weekend having no intention of placing in the top three or even making a product,” says Gillespie. “I was more focused on learning how to use the technology, and once I figured it out, the ideas started flowing. Winning feels amazing, as I came into this hackathon with basically a blank slate.”

Sponsored by Kent State's Blackstone LaunchPad, in partnership with the Fashion School’s TechStyleLAB and the student organization Hacksu, the event attracted teams from six universities that were challenged to create a wearable technology or an app that referenced a wearable context within a 24-hour time span. Participants from varying majors and disciplines collaborated with one another in building prototypes and learning new technologies.

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The GLOW team works on a reflective shirt for bicyclists
at the Blackstone LaunchPad’s "Innov8athon II: Fashion/Tech
Hackathon." The team took second place in the competition.

“This year’s Innov8athon event was particularly challenging for participants as we provided hardware and supplies that many of them had never used before,” says Zach Mikrut, marketing manager of Blackstone LaunchPad at Kent State. “Instead of playing it safe, the participants thrived on the challenge, and with the assistance of Margarita Benitez, Kent State Fashion School technologist, and Kevin Wolfgang, manager of the TechStyleLab, developed a wide range of wearable products.”

Second place went to the GLOW team, made up of Kent State fashion design students Madison Kalson and Dara Sander, and Bowling Green University student Lindsay Pizzurro, who created a shirt that glows in the dark for bicyclists.

The Impluvian Jacket that allows for vents to open when one perspires took third place and was created by Kent State architecture student Jake Johnson.

“As a means to promote a broader and deeper understanding of our TechStyleLAB in the Fashion School, we were very pleased to partner with the Blackstone LaunchPad to host what turned out to be a fantastic fashion hackathon event,” says Campbell. “Tying entrepreneurial thinking to technology implementation in the context of wearable inevitably sparks engaging conversations about how we, as humans, experience the world. Supporting students to explore these questions, to brainstorm and propose innovative solutions is what the Fashion School is all about!”

Kent State University’s Blackstone LaunchPad promotes entrepreneurship as a viable career path. Through mentoring, workshops and events and connecting entrepreneurs to resources, Blackstone LaunchPad helps Kent State students, faculty, staff and alumni to create new startups or grow existing businesses in Northeast Ohio. For more information about Kent State's Blackstone LaunchPad, visit

Posted Feb. 10, 2014

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Kent State University’s 2014 Homecoming Scheduled for Oct. 18

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Flash, the Kent State University mascot, spreads cheer
during a Homecoming game. 

Kent State University will celebrate its 2014 Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 18. Make plans now to attend the celebration and watch as the Golden Flashes take on the Army Black Knights at Dix Stadium. Other activities will include the Homecoming parade, the annual alumni continental breakfast and parade viewing party, Kiss on the K and much more.

Be sure to visit for event updates and to watch highlights from Kent State’s 2013 Homecoming.

Posted Feb. 10, 2014 | Lindsay Kuntzman

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Important Information About Final Grading of Spring 2014 First 5 Weeks (F1) Classes

Online final grading for spring 2014 first 5 Weeks (F1) courses meeting from Jan. 13 through Feb. 16 begins Thursday, Feb. 13, via FlashFAST. Grading is also now available for any spring 2014 course section that was flexibly scheduled and has an end date no later than Feb. 16. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Any final grades for spring 2014 first 5 Weeks (F1) courses not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow. These spring 2014 first 5 Weeks (F1) courses will be available in the Workflow on Thursday, Feb. 20.

Incomplete Mark and NF/SF Grades
The administrative mark of IN (Incomplete) may be given to students who are unable to complete the work due to extenuating circumstances. To be eligible, undergraduate students must be currently passing and have completed at least 12 weeks of the semester. The timeline shall be adjusted appropriately for flexibly scheduled courses. Graduate students must be currently earning a C or better grade and are unable to complete the required work between the course withdrawal deadline and the end of classes. Instructors are required to complete and submit an Incomplete Mark Form to the department chair when an incomplete mark is assigned. Access the form from your Faculty Toolbox in FlashLine.

The grade SF (Stopped Attending–Fail) denotes that the student stopped attending the course and did not formally withdraw and must be accompanied by a date of last attendance in the course.

The grade NF (Never Attended–Fail) denotes that the student neither attended one class session nor formally withdrew from the course.

For complete information on university grading policies including Incomplete Mark and NF/SF grading policies, procedures and timelines, please visit the Grading Policies and Procedures section in the University Catalog at

Grades Processing Tips and FAQ may be found on the Office of the Registrar's website at Any faculty members needing personalized instruction on submitting their grades via FlashFAST should contact their campus Registrar's Office during normal business hours for assistance.

To access FlashFAST to post your final grades, log in to FlashLine from (click FlashLine Login from top right menu bar) then click the Faculty & Advisor Tools tab. Locate the Faculty Toolbox, and select Final under the Submit Grades heading.

Troubleshooting TIP: FlashFAST is accessible from any Internet-capable computer that has the cookies function enabled. We recommend that you clean out your cookie and cache files regularly to help your computer run faster, and to potentially restore and/or improve your access to FlashFAST and/or FlashLine by improving your connection to the server. Our Helpdesk is prepared to offer assistance with these issues. Please contact them at 330-672-HELP (4357) for one-on-one assistance and technical issues.

Posted Feb. 10, 2014

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Your Opinion Matters!

Evaluation of the Martin Luther King Jr. celebratory events requested

Your evaluation of the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. celebratory events is greatly valued and can help the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee in its effort toward continuous improvement as it plans for next year. 

The committee hopes you found time to attend or join in one or more of the many celebratory events that took place throughout January and early February. Your opinion of the 2014 celebratory events will go a long way toward making next year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration an even more thoughtful, engaging and inspiring series of events.

Please take a few minutes to complete the evaluation form at

Posted Feb. 10, 2014

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Snow Phenomenon Rolls Into Kent

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Pictured are snow rollers on the Kent Campus.

An unusual weather phenomenon is rolling into town and onto campus. Perhaps you’ve seen them. They are called snow rollers and only occur when specific, uncommon weather conditions are present. Snow rollers are hollow, cylinder snow tubes made by nature only under very specific conditions.

“The two factors that must be present are a layer of moist snow at the surface and a strong wind,” says Thomas Schmidlin, professor in Kent State University’s Department of Geography. “When the layer of moist snow is underlain by something else, usually a dry, powdery snow, the wind gusts will pick up chunks of that wet surface snow and begin to roll it downwind until the roller becomes too big that the wind can no longer push it.”

Schmidlin says the reason the snow rollers are appearing in surrounding areas are due to the weather conditions on Jan. 26. Although he has been researching and teaching meteorology at Kent State since 1985, he says this is the first time he has seen the phenomenon.

“We had a weekend of about six inches of new, powdery snow,” says Schmidlin. “Then, we had warm air come in before arctic air. The temperature was around 40 degrees, making the top inch or two of snow wet. “

Schmidlin says following the warmer air, an arctic cold front swept through the air, with winds near 40 miles an hour.

“That was the perfect combination: the warm air and high winds,” says Schmidlin.

Schmidlin has been contacted by several other media outlets, including the Akron Beacon Journal, the Record-Courier, the Daily Kent Stater and WKSU to share his weather expertise. Schmidlin has bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in meteorology.

The snow rollers have been appearing throughout Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and the Kent Campus, and have captured the attentions of many. The rollers were showing up on flat areas around campus, including the fields next to the Center for the Performing Arts and the Child Development Center.

Posted Feb. 10, 2014 | Shannen Laur

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