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Kent State University at Stark Announces Speaker for Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony

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Sandy D. Womack Jr., principal of the
Altitude Academy at Crenshaw, is the
speaker for the Kent State University at
Stark 2014 Spring Commencement

Kent State University at Stark announces Sandy D. Womack Jr., principal of the Altitude Academy at Crenshaw, as the speaker for its 2014 Spring Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony, to be held on Sunday, May 11, at 3 p.m. at Umstattd Performing Arts Hall in Canton, is a ticketed event. More than 150 graduating students, receiving bachelor’s, master’s and associate degrees, will participate in this semester’s commencement exercises.

Womack’s passion for education has afforded him the opportunity to teach in Canton, Akron, Alliance, Columbus and the Cleveland public schools. He served as an assistant principal for Akron Public Schools for two years before becoming the head principal at Lathrop Elementary School in 2000. He held positions with Canton City Schools and was appointed as principal of Hartford Middle School in 2009. While there, he improved the state’s academic ranking of the school from Academic Emergency (F) to an Effective (B) ranking by 2011. Currently, Womack continues to serve Canton City Schools as the principal at the Altitude Academy at Crenshaw.

While earning his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Mount Union, Womack competed on the wrestling team. His skills ranked him as first in the nation by USA Wrestling magazine in 1991, and he became a two-time NCAA All-American athlete. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., he served as chapter president from 1989-91, and is also a member of Hiram Abiff Lodge. After completing his master’s degree from the University of Akron, Womack went on to earn his Ohio Superintendent’s License from Kent State. He is currently completing his doctorate in educational leadership at Ashland University.

Womack has established community partnerships and participated in activities, including sit-ins, marches and other nonviolent protests, to bring about positive social change. While attending the University of Mount Union, his involvement spurred the start of an African-American student organization, a new position for multicultural affairs and the campus’s recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

As a tireless advocate for improving the educational landscape for poor and minority children, he has been recognized with the Whitney M. Young Award by the Boy Scouts of America and the Martin Luther King Jr. Education Award from the Mayors MLK Commission. Womack serves as president of the Ohio Education and Prevention Association, an educational consulting group focusing on inner city youth. He has spoken to many groups throughout the country and has published several articles on poverty and community activism. In addition to speaking engagements, he shares his knowledge as the author of two books, Even the Best of Plans Go Astray and The Urban Educators Manual to School Improvement.

Posted May 5, 2014

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Kent State University at Stark Dean Decides to Return to Faculty Position

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Walter F. Wagor, Ph.D., has decided to
step down as dean and chief administrative
officer of Kent State University at Stark.
Wagor, whose last day as dean is June 30,
, will return to a faculty position.

Walter F. Wagor, Ph.D., has decided to return to a faculty position, after having served successfully as dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State University at Stark for the past four years. His last day as dean is June 30, 2014.
“Walter Wagor is a paragon of steady, wise and experienced leadership, and thus it is with regret that I accept his resignation,” says Todd Diacon, Kent State's senior vice president of academic affairs and provost. “I do so, however, knowing that he will continue in the Kent State family, and that he will return to his outstanding research on student success, which combines in the best manner a commitment to advancing and sharing knowledge. We are fortunate to have Walter at Kent State, and his shoes will be difficult to fill on the Stark Campus.”

Wagor became dean of Kent State Stark, the only public university in Stark County and the largest regional campus of Kent State, on Aug. 1, 2010. Under his leadership, the campus has developed a master plan directing the construction of a new sciences building and changes in the Fine Arts building; revised and updated a strategic plan that will guide the campus over the next several years; added new faculty; brought new bachelor's degrees to the community; significantly increased and refocused financial aid to improve recruitment and retention of high-quality students; hired top-quality faculty and staff; implemented new technologies; and remodeled student service to enhance the quality of services delivered.

“I am, and always will be an academic at heart,” Wagor says. “So, I look forward to reinvigorating that part of my professional life and to being more directly involved in the academic life of the university and in the lives of the students.”

Starting fall 2014, Wagor will serve as a full-time faculty member in psychology within Kent State's Regional Campus system. Before the start of the fall semester, from July 1 through Aug. 16, he will serve as senior assistant to Wanda Thomas, the associate provost for Kent State system integration.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Dr. Wagor over the past few years,” Thomas says. “He is someone who is dedicated to the mission of the Regional Campuses and makes decisions to ensure that students receive a high-quality learning experience. It is not surprising that Walter has chosen to return to teaching and to continue his scholarship in teaching and learning. I know that his students will benefit from his knowledge and commitment to student success.”

Diacon will consult with members of the Stark Campus regarding an interim dean and chief administrative officer.

For more information about Kent State Stark, visit

Posted May 5, 2014

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Kent State Introduces eTranscript

Kent State University’s Office of the University Registrar, in partnership with Parchment Inc., a leader in transcript exchange services, is now offering electronic delivery of student transcripts. The eTranscript service provides an official, certified, electronic Kent State transcript through a fast, secure and environmentally friendly delivery method.

“We continually strive to provide efficient and convenient solutions to our stakeholders,” says Gail Rebeta, the university registrar. “There are several benefits to offering a service like eTranscripts at Kent State. The primary advantage is that current and former students and alumni can easily initiate a request to send their transcripts and other documentation to a potential employer, graduate school admissions office or other recipients with an email address anywhere in the world the same day the order is placed.

“There is no standing in line to make a request or worries about slow delivery and lost mail,” Rebeta adds. “For a nominal convenience fee, last-minute requests can be accommodated without the exorbitant costs associated with express mail service. The university also benefits in that this highly secure delivery method reduces transcript printing costs, saves on staff resources, decreases transcript fraud and is FERPA compliant.”

The eTranscript features:

  • Electronic transcript that bears the Kent State logo, seal and legend. The document also bears the signature and title of the university registrar
  • Adobe Blue Ribbon Certification to ensure that the document is authentic and that the contents have not been altered
  • An additional watermark if the document is printed
  • Requires passcode authentication to retrieve the transcript
  • Allows recipient to download the transcript up to five times within 30 days
  • Allows requestor to attach supplemental electronic documents, such as résumé, applications, etc., which will be forwarded to the recipient with the transcript once the order has been fulfilled

Current and recently enrolled students will access the service via FlashLine. On the Student Tools & Courses tab, students will click on Request Official Transcript in either the GPS, Roadmaps & Advising channel or the Make a Request channel. There will be a link to the new Official Transcript Menu. The storefront will launch and allow students to enter their transcript request information.

Please note the following:

  • All financial obligations to Kent State must be satisfied before a transcript is released.
  • The eTranscripts receive priority processing during normal business hours. Students should allow extra processing time at the beginning and end of each semester.
  • The eTranscripts will reflect official grade and degree information at the time the request is processed. Special requests to hold for current term grades or degrees will not be available. Specific dates for availability of current semester grades and degrees may be found on the Processing Dates for Grades and Transcripts page.
  • A $3 convenience fee per transcript will be charged to the student’s credit card for this service after the order is fulfilled. 
  • Former students who cannot access FlashLine will need to create an account in the storefront. The link is available on the Office of the University Registrar’s website at
  • Additional options for transcript delivery include US Postal Service, In-Person pickup and FedEx.
Posted May 5, 2014

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FLASHperks Gives One Lucky Student Free Tuition

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Three Kent State University students won the FLASHperks
year-end prizes that included pizza for a year from Domino’s
Pizza, a $2,000 Surly Pugsley all-terrain mountain bike from
Portage Cyclery and free tuition for a year -- a $10,000

At FlashFest 2014, three lucky students took home the FLASHperks year-end prizes. This year’s prizes were pizza for a year from Domino’s Pizza, a $2,000 Surly Pugsley all-terrain mountain bike from Portage Cyclery, and free tuition for a year which is a $10,000 scholarship.

FLASHperks is a rewards program for Kent State students to win prizes for getting involved and attending various events on campus. Students simply swipe their Kent State I.D. to receive points at designated FLASHperks events, and as the points accumulate, they win prizes such as headphones, $100 bookstore gift cards and an ultimate bean-bag chair.

“More than 67 percent of the student body is registered for FLASHperks,” says Kristan Dolan, marketing coordinator for the Kent Student Center and Center for Student Involvement, and director of FLASHperks. “This program is one of the many ways we try to connect the students to the campus and enhance their student-life experience.”

For every FLASHperks event a student attended throughout the year, they receive an entry into the year-end prize drawing. More than 37,000 entries were entered into the random drawing.

The winner of Domino’s Pizza for a year was Matthew Mysliwiec, a freshman from North Royalton, Ohio. Mysliwiec earned 2,400 FLASHperks points by attending six events.

Katie Bishop, a freshman from Centerville, Ohio, won the Surley Pugsley bike from Portage Cyclery. Bishop attended 11 events this year and earned 5,700 points.

The grand prize winner of free tuition for a year was Paige Ford, a freshman from Reynoldsburg, Ohio. This year, Paige attended 13 FLASHperks events and racked up 5,100 points.

“I’ve never won anything before now,” says Ford. “I can honestly say I didn’t just win something, I won a prize that will help better my future!”

For more information about FLASHperks, visit

Posted May 5, 2014

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Kent State Scientists Report a Significant Advancement in the Study of Excited Subatomic Matter and Its Possible States

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Yadav Pandit, a recent Kent State
University Ph.D. graduate, works on the
STAR experiment at Brookhaven National
Lab, Long Island, NY. Pandit is currently
a postdoctoral researcher at the University
of Illinois, Chicago.

In the April 25 issue of Physical Review Letters, Kent State University scientists have revealed promising indications of a phase transition never previously observed that may offer better understanding of the early universe’s transformation and the nuclear matter that makes up 99.973 percent (by weight) of our everyday world. 

Results from the dissertation of Yadav Pandit, a 2012 Kent State physics Ph.D. graduate, point to a transition in the same mathematical category as the familiar phase changes between ice, liquid water and water vapor. 

Pandit and his research colleagues at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York are trying to understand how the subatomic particles that filled the early universe transformed into the ordinary matter of today’s world.   They attempt to recreate matter at the extreme temperatures and densities that existed just after the Big Bang by smashing together ordinary atomic nuclei at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC).

“When we collide heavy nuclei at RHIC, we focus on a type of collective motion that measures how the emitted particles deviate from spreading out uniformly in all directions, and this gives important information about the pressure,” says Pandit, now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois. “Energy that would normally expand the system is instead going into changing the state of matter, and we find a strong dip in pressure that suggests a water-like phase transition.”

The Kent State research group, led by nuclear physics professors Declan Keane and Spiros Margetis, works in collaboration with a large international team, representing more than 50 institutions, and conducts experiments using the RHIC accelerator. Other co-authors of this paper from Kent State include postdoctoral associate Jonathan Bouchet, and Ph.D. students Jeremy Alford, Michael Lomnitz, Amilkar Quintero and Prashanth Shanmuganathan, who contributed to the construction and operation of various interdependent subsystems of the Solenoidal Tracker At RHIC (STAR), a large house-sized detector for measurement of the particles that emerge when nuclei collide.

The atom smasher reproduces the “primordial soup” thousands of times per second. Using detectors to track what happens as exotic particles emerge from the trillion-degree collision zone and “freeze out” into more familiar forms of matter, they are learning how the transition takes place.

“In spite of this recent progress, some questions remain unresolved,” Keane says. “Even the latest state-of-the-art models do not agree at a quantitative level with various details of the measurements, an indication that further work remains to be done.”

The accelerator at Brookhaven is being upgraded to allow much enhanced data to be acquired, and more detailed and comprehensive experiments focusing on this phase transition are planned for 2018-2019.

The STAR Collaboration’s full article, “Beam-Energy Dependence of the Directed Flow of Protons, Antiprotons, and Pions in Au+Au Collisions,” published in Physical Review Letters, Volume 112, 162301 (2014) can be found at

Posted May 5, 2014

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Two Schools Collaborate to Create New Exhibit in the MuseLab

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Kent State University visual communication design student
Joe Wathen makes use of the MuseLab vinyl printer.

How can a single ordinary object - like a top hat - be interpreted in different ways through sound, movement, text or touch? This is the question the new exhibit “What’s Real? Investigating Multimodality” attempts to solve through a new interactive experience.

Forty students from Kent State University’s School of Visual Communication Design and the School of Library and Information Science have collaborated to create a multidisciplinary project called “What’s Real? Investigating Multimodality” that is currently on display in the MuseLab in the School of Library and Information Science on the third floor of the University Library.

The collaborative project explores how visitors respond to the question “What is real?” in a designed environment by interacting with physical and digital media. The project and exhibit focus on how a visitor responds to a specific object, in this case a top hat, through different modes of interaction in the forms of sound, touch, movement and text.

Professors Kiersten F. Latham, from the School of Library and Information Science, and Jessica Barness and David Middleton, from the School of Visual Communication Design, spent seven months researching and designing the course project and are now watching it come to life. 

“The interesting part about doing an interdisciplinary project like this is that you get a richer experience when the other disciplines understand the limitations and expectations of the other area,” says Middleton. “In that way, you can get a better quality project.”

The students were broken up into five different teams to conceptualize, create, design, build and install the exhibit in the MuseLab in seven weeks. The teams were assigned a specific mode of interaction and had to develop a portion of the exhibit using a variety of media. The teams include: Introduction, which is assigned to introduce the project purpose and scope and frame the problem; Sound, which was required to use audio, speech and voice; Touch, which used physical, imaginative and tactile properties; movement, which used movement, performance and action; and Text, which used writing, typography and lettering. 

“This has been nothing but a positive experience for us,” says senior Josh Bird, who is a part of the sound team.

The students came together through three different courses, including the School of Visual Communication Design classes Retail Environments and Interaction Design, and Object Knowledge, from the School of Library and Information Science. The project had to be designed to fit into a 20-by-20-foot space in the MuseLab.

“The MuseLab just opened up in the fall of 2013,” says Latham. “The intent of this space really was to be collaborative. It was created to cross paths and figure out where, across the entire university and beyond, we could work collaboratively.”

“What’s Real?” opened May 1 and will run through December 2014.

“It’s really exciting to see everything come to motion,” says graduate student Cori Iannaggi, who worked on the Introduction team. “When you’re just planning it, it’s just a basic idea of what everything is going to be, but when you start seeing what everyone is doing, it’s really exciting.”

Visit the “What’s Real?” exhibit during its summer hours on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

Posted May 5, 2014 | Shannen Laur

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Update Departmental Information in Online Directory

To ensure complete and accurate directory listings, University Communications and Marketing is requesting that designated departmental representatives verify and update departmental listings in the online directory.

To review departmental listings, designated staff members should click here or access the Phone Directories icon from the Kent State University home page and select the Find All Departments option.

If information in the directory is incorrect, please request access and instructions for making updates.

  1. Departments beginning with A-L, contact Lin Danes at
  2. Departments beginning with L-Z, contact Ramona Stamm at

For example, Office of Procurement: please contact Stamm, reference the “P” in procurement vs. the “O” in office.

Posted May 5, 2014

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Kent State’s Center for Student Involvement Now Serves More Than 300 Student Organizations

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Kent State University's Center for Student Involvement
reports that the number of registered student
organizations and memberships reached an all-time high
this year. About 15,000 students were  involved in 325
different organizations. 

Kent State University’s Center for Student Involvement fosters student growth and development through leadership, civic, cultural, social and involvement opportunities on campus. Joining a registered student organization gives students a unique set of opportunities to enhance their leadership skills, build relationships with peers and alumni and network with business leaders through conferences and seminars.

The number of registered student organizations at Kent State, and membership within, reached an all-time high this year with nearly 15,000 students involved in 325 different organizations.

”I remember a time when we only had 150 student organizations,” says Della Marie Marshall, senior associate director for Kent State’s Center for Student Involvement. “It is exciting to see the growth and the increased number of students engaged in extracurricular activities.”

Student organizations are an integral part of the student life experience at Kent State. Throughout the year, student organizations host more than 300 events, raise money toward numerous philanthropies, volunteer in the community and promote diversity on campus. Moreover, research has shown that if students are involved in at least one out-of-class activity on campus, they are more likely to succeed in the classroom, graduate and be successful beyond college.

“Student organizations provide the important out-of-class experience that fosters engagement, appreciation of differences, networking and enhancement of social skills critical for life post-undergrad,” says Timeka Rashid, Ph.D., associate dean of students and director of the Kent Student Center and Center for Student Involvement. “The many activities hosted by student organizations are a vital component to increasing retention at Kent State.”

Whether it is Black United Students (BUS), Pride! Kent or KSU Equestrians, the student organizations at Kent State represent diverse interests in academics, culture, politics, Greek life, media, religion, sports, special interest and more. Many organizations on campus have been active for decades and others are just getting started.

“What is so exciting about the organizations at Kent State is the variety of interests and causes that our students are passionate about,” says Katie Goldring, assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement. “The range of clubs gives students such great opportunities to try something new during their college experience.”

Registered student organizations and their members are eligible to receive certain benefits. These benefits include access to training programs, leadership workshops, advising and use of university facilities to host events. All student organizations are eligible to apply for financial allocations to support their many programs and events.

For a complete list of recognized student organizations, visit

Posted May 5, 2014

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Envision, Innovate and Explore Design This Summer

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Students explore graphic design, illustration, photography,
Web design and more at the the Kent State University
School of Visual Communication Design's Inspire summer
camp.The weeklong pre-college experience will run from
July 27 to Aug. 1

Kent State University’s School of Visual Communication Design will host a weeklong pre-college experience, July 27 to Aug. 1 where participants can explore graphic design, illustration, photography, Web design, interaction and motion. Camp attendees will get an introduction to the practice of design, the profession and creative problem solving, as well as to faculty and administrators on the Kent Campus.

Throughout the week, projects will focus on various areas of design, allowing campers to foster creativity in a fun, collaborative and learning-centered environment. Participants will build their creative skills while engaging with current design students and professionals.

The Inspire Camp is for high school and incoming college students interested in pursuing a degree in design. Students have the option of staying overnight in campus residence halls and participating in additional design activities. Jillian Coorey and Gretchen Rinnert, assistant professors in Kent State’s School of Visual Communication Design, direct the camp, which culminates with a show to display student work for friends and family.

This camp is not required for students entering the School of Visual Communication Design, but is an opportunity to get a head start and an introduction to design in the college atmosphere. Incoming Kent State college freshmen will receive a $100 scholarship off the Inspire tuition to attend camp.

Last year, campers said they valued:

  • "Being able to learn about all the different career paths in visual communication design. I also liked how different people came in to speak about their careers in design.”
  • "I honestly loved everything, but hearing the designers/students talk to us really made me want to be a designer."
  • "Being able to have creative freedom with the projects and learning about different ways I could use design in a job field later on."

For more information and pricing, visit or download the camp's brochure. Email with questions. 

Posted May 5, 2014

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Kent State’s Department of Recreational Services Hosts 14th Annual PEAK Summer Camp

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Participants get creative at the Kent State University PEAK
Summer Camp that is hosted by Kent State's Department of
Recreational Services. 

This summer marks the 14th consecutive year of PEAK Summer Camp, hosted by Kent State University’s Department of Recreational Services. 

Beginning June 9, children ages six to 12 can participate in up to nine uniquely themed weeks of fun and character-building activities, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers will be entertained throughout the summer and learn about dinosaurs in the Camp Before Time, play a multitude of sports during the five days of X-Treme Fun and explore the mysteries of wild animals during Zoofari.

A Leaders-in-Training program also will be available for 13- to 15-years-olds.

“The social interaction campers get with other children is the most important part,” says Phelan Fletcher, camp director. “They get a varied experience. Campers get to swim and have a great time with a little bit of learning mixed in – in a fun environment.”

The camp counselors are trustworthy and responsible Kent State students. They undergo mandatory training that lasts a week and a half and includes American Red Cross CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer, first-aid training and must undergo a background test, Fletcher says.

Kent State faculty, staff, students and members of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center can enroll their children at a discounted price of $135. In addition to the regular camp hours, parents have the option of registering their children for before-care, 7:30 to 9 a.m., and after-care, 4 to 5:30 p.m., at an additional cost. The camp is open to the public for $160 per child. There also is a $15 discount for the second child from a household enrolled in the same session of camp.

Registration for each week must be turned in by the Wednesday before the desired week of camp. A 2014 PEAK Summer Camp T-shirt will be provided, as well as lunch and snacks.

The 2014 summer schedule is as follows:

  • June 9-13 (The Camp Before Time)
  • June 16-20 (X-Treme Fun)
  • June 23-27 (Adventure Quest)
  • July 7-11 (A PEAK Around the World)
  • July 14-18 (Heading out West)
  • July 21-25 (Camping with the S.T.A.R.R.S)
  • July 28 to Aug. 1 (To the Future and Back)
  • Aug. 4-8 (Zoofari)
  • Aug. 11-15 (Celebration)

Enrollment is now open. Forms can be submitted at the Pro Shop of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center. 

For more information, including registration details, descriptions of the themes for each week and mandatory forms that must be filled out for each camper, visit or contact Fletcher at

Posted May 5, 2014 | Hannah Hamner

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Summer Technology Camps for Students, Grades 1-6

Kent State University’s Research Center for Educational Technology is hosting a technology camp series for students in grades 1-6 in the center's AT&T Classroom, a high-tech classroom located in Moulton Hall. Campers may choose from a variety of topics including LEGO WeDo Robotics, Stop Motion Animation, Minecraft, game design, and computer coding and programming. Camp sessions run from June through July.

“Kids are very inquisitive about technology,” says Annette Kratcoski, Ph.D., director of Kent State’s Research Center for Educational Technology. “We design the camps to build on that curiosity by providing the participants with hands-on experiences with the latest technologies, as well as opportunities to use those tools to create projects that have personal meaning and significance. We focus on tools and apps that are free and accessible online so that after completing a camp, the child can use the skills they have learned in the camp and continue to create and design with those tools.”

Discounted registration rates are available for children of Kent State faculty and staff. Registration is open online at

For more information about Kent State’s Research Center for Educational Technology, visit

Posted May 5, 2014

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Important Information about Final Grading of Spring 2014 Classes

Online final grading for spring 2014 Full Term (1: Jan. 13-May 4, 2014), Third Five Weeks (F3: March 31-May 4, 2014), Second Half of Semester (H2: March 6-May 4, 2014) or Second Seven Weeks (W2: March 10-May 3, 2014) parts of term began Friday, May 2, via FlashFAST. In addition, grades must also be submitted for any spring 2014 course section that was flexibly scheduled. The deadline for grading submission is midnight on Tuesday, May 13. Any final grades not reported in FlashFAST by the grades processing deadline will have to be submitted using the Grade Change Workflow. These spring 2014 courses will be available in the Workflow on Thursday, May 15.

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 FAQs may be found on the Office of the University Registrar's website at Faculty members who need 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, login 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 May 5, 2014

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Stratosphere Juried Art Competition Announces Winners

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Winners of the Stratosphere Juried Art Competition
celebrate at the Downtown Gallery with College of the Arts
Dean John R. Crawford (center). The students pictured
are (left to right) Gina DeSimone, Katie Scekeres, Lindsey
and Edwin J. Knesek IV.

The new College of the Arts-sponsored juried art competition, Stratosphere, culminated during Spring for the Arts at the Downtown Gallery. The top 25 student finalists’ works were exhibited and judged by guest juror Scott Sherer. Prizes ranged from the $1,000 Best in Show to second and third prizes, $500 and $250 respectively, and the People’s Choice Award of $500. 

The competition was open to any full-time undergraduate student on the Kent Campus. Regardless of their major, students were invited to submit up to three art pieces pertaining to this year's theme "Art and the Body."  Stratosphere was a success with 130 submissions. Participants’ majors included psychology, fashion design, photo illustration, dance, engineering technology, as well as painting, sculpture, jewelry/metals, printmaking, textiles and ceramics.

The exhibit was judged by Scott Sherer of the University of Texas in San Antonio, who serves as an associate professor of art history and director of the UTSA Gallery and Satellite Space. 

Katie Scekeres, a dance performance major from the School of Theatre and Dance won the Best in Show $1,000 prize for her video of her dance piece titled “Grey Area (s).”

Winners of the 2014 Stratosphere Juried Art Competition

Best in Show ($1,000)
Katie Scekeres
Major:  Dance Performance
Video:  Dance piece titled “Grey Area (s)”

Second place ($500)

Lindsey James
Major:  Jewelry/Metals
Winning piece:  Postules
Wool, Copper
3’ x 1.5’

Third place ($250)
E.J. Knesek IV
Major:  Printmaking/Painting
Piece: “Ce n’est pas une chemise col blanc”
Body Matrix Printmaking

People’s Choice ($500)
Gina DeSimone
Major:  Photo Illustration
Piece:  Photo series titled “What I Don’t Like”

Posted May 5, 2014

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Kent State Students Combine Expertise to Produce Digital Magazine

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Kent State University students from the School of
Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of
Digital Sciences collaborated to publish a digital magazine
called Branches that focuses on conservation.

Kent State University journalism professors Gordon Murray, Ph.D., and Jacqueline Marino tasked students in their Mobile Publishing class with a special project to create a magazine designed for tablets. The course brought together students from the schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Digital Sciences to create an interactive magazine with an accompanying website.

The class, in its first semester, was something that Murray and Marino envisioned and conceptualized together.

“Both Jacqueline and I are used to working in creative, collaborative environments, and that’s what we wanted to create for the course,” says Murray. “The class is designed to help students get the expertise and knowledge of the magazine publishing process and the theory behind it.”

At the start of the class, the students were given a focus for the magazine, which was conservation. The intended audience for the magazine was young, college-age adults. The students then applied for positions at Branches magazine and got to work on creating the product. 

The 22 students in the class were in charge of all aspects of the project, from creating the content to developing the mobile application.

“Students run this. They picked the stories, they designed it, they wrote everything,” says Marino. “We give them feedback and grade them, but the magazine is their work.”

Murray and Marino partnered with the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, which is one of the largest arboretums and botanical gardens in the country. Students visited the arboretum to learn about conservation and to develop story ideas, conduct interviews, take pictures and shoot video for the magazine.

Clinton Wright, senior digital sciences major, is the chief of user experience for Branches. His role was to learn about the different software and decide if they were reasonable choices for the magazine. He says the digital science students and the journalism students got along well.

“Although not all students from each college interacted with each other while working, I think that we all learned a little bit about each other’s schools and skill sets,” says Wright.

For the first part of the class, the journalism students used what they learned at the arboretum and developed content for the magazine. Once the editorial work was complete, the digital sciences students began to work on transforming the content into a magazine and finding a user-friendly magazine publishing solution.

Kelli Fitzpatrick, senior magazine journalism major and magazine editor-in-chief, says this was her first time working with digital sciences students.

“It’s an interesting balance between journalism and digital, and I’m glad it wasn’t just journalism students in the class,” says Fitzpatrick. “It was cool to see the samples the design team showed us and to see our pieces becoming part of an interactive element.”

The class presented a soft launch of the magazine to Holden Arboretum staff on April 22. The public launch of the magazine will take place May 8 at the First Energy classroom in Franklin Hall at 12:45 p.m. The launch is free and open to the public. After the full launch of the magazine, it will be available to download on iTunes for free. The website for Branches can be found at

For more information about the Mobile Publishing class or Branches magazine, contact Marino at or Murray at

Posted May 5, 2014 | Wezley Garlick

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e-Inside Takes a Break

The e-Inside newsletter will take a break between semesters. The May 5 issue is the last for the Spring 2014 Semester. e-Inside will resume June 9. Copy submissions for that issue should be emailed to by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 3.

Thank you for reading and contributing to e-Inside.

Posted May 5, 2014

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