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Events/Professional Development

Teaching Scholars Hosts Workshops for 10th Anniversary

The Teaching Scholars Learning Community, in conjunction with the Faculty Professional Development Center and the University Teaching Council at Kent State University, are hosting a series of workshops titled Decoding the Disciplines for its 10th anniversary Feb. 17 and 18.

events Dr
David Dees (right)

"Decoding the Disciplines is a workshop that teaches professors to find ways to invite students into the discipline they're teaching," says Dr. David Dees, senior faculty associate and leader of Teaching Scholars Learning Community and professor of education foundations and special services at Kent State University at Salem.

George Rehrey, Lea Shopkow and Chen Zhu from Indiana University will facilitate the Decoding the Disciplines workshop, which focuses on how professors encourage better student learning.

"It is a nice fit because the work Indiana University does with its Decoding the Disciplines workshops really fits with what Teaching Scholars is all about," Dees says.

The workshops take place Feb. 17 at the Moulton Hall Ballroom and Feb. 18 at the Student Center Ballroom Balcony and are open to all faculty members who are interested in the Teaching Scholars program.

The Teaching Scholars program began in the summer of 2000 with 14 faculty members from a variety of disciplines and campuses. These scholars spent a year studying their teaching and working with colleagues and students to better develop the scholarship of teaching and learning within specific courses.

Now, Teaching Scholars is for faculty on track for tenure to think about a problem in their classroom that they want to study and improve.

Click here for more information regarding Teaching Scholars, and click here for more information and registration for the Decoding the Disciplines workshops.

By Sara Petersen

Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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Porthouse Theatre Announces Razzle-Dazzle 2011 Summer Season

Porthouse Theatre, Kent State University's outdoor summer theatre located on the grounds of Blossom Music Center, announces a razzle-dazzle season for 2011. The professional theatre, celebrating its 43rd year, opens the season with the Broadway sensation Chicago, with book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander, and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins.

events Hello Dolly
Terri Kent as Dolly

The show will be directed by Porthouse Theatre's Artistic Director Terri Kent. Kent is a professor of theatre at Kent State and also serves as director of the musical theatre program for the university's School of Theatre and Dance. Chicago will run June 16 - 18, June 21 - 25, June 28 - 30 and July 1 and 2 at 8 p.m.; and June 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.

The second production of the season is The Sunshine Boys by Neil Simon. The show will be directed by Rohn Thomas, who won Best Comedy of 2010 for his "perfectly balanced" direction of The Foreigner last summer, according to local theatre critic Bob Abelman. "The Sunshine Boys" will run July 7- 9, July 12 - 16 and July 19 - 23 at 8 p.m.; and July 10 and July 17 at 2 p.m.

The Porthouse Theatre season closes with the iconic musical Hello, Dolly! Featuring music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart, the show will be directed by returning guest artist Victoria Bussert. A nationally acclaimed director, Bussert has been involved in directing and acting in international tours, and in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. She serves as the resident director for Cleveland's Great Lakes Theater Festival and as the head of the musical theatre program at Baldwin-Wallace College. Hello Dolly! will run July 28 - 30, Aug. 2 - 6 and Aug. 9 - 14 at 8 p.m.; and July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 at 2 p.m.

One of the highlights of the season will be Terri Kent's return to stage after a 13-year hiatus, as she alters roles and steps into the part of Dolly Levy. John Crawford, dean of Kent State's College of the Arts, will choreograph the play. Crawford's work for last season's Bye Bye Birdie garnered him the city's "Best Choreography of a Musical" award by Abelman.

Subscriptions are currently on sale. Prices for Tuesday through Friday evening performances are $60 for adults and $51 for seniors; Saturday nights are $66 for adults and seniors; and Sunday matinees are $57 for adults and $51 for seniors. Gift subscriptions are also available. Special rates are available for students and groups of 20 or more.

Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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Poet Mark Brazaitis to Share Experiences with Kent State University

On Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7:30 pm in Room 306 of the Kent State Student Center, poet Mark Brazaitis will share his work with the Kent State University community.

Brazaitis is the author of numerous books including The Other Language: Poems, The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, and Steal My Heart. His merits include winning the 2008 ABZ Poetry Prize, the 2001 Maria Thomas Fiction Award and the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award.

Brazaitis served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1990 to 1993, as well as a Peace Corps technical trainer from 1995 to 1996. Currently, Brazaitis directs the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at West Virginia University.

For more information regarding the Mark Brazaitis poetry reading, contact the Wick Poetry Center at

By Sarah James

Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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Avoid Cabin Fever with Flash Ice Fest 2011

With an ice arena on the Kent State Kent Campus, there's no reason to feel cabin fever this winter - especially when the alumni association is hosting Flash Ice Fest 2011. The night of ice skating and fun at the Kent State Ice Arena is set for Saturday, Jan. 29, from 6-8:30 p.m.

events Alumni Ice Fest

"It's the perfect time to return to campus with your family and enjoy some good old-fashioned winter activities," says Nancy Schiappa, associate director of alumni relations.

A dinner, including pizza and pop, will be ready at 6 p.m., and alumni and families can hit the ice at 6:45 p.m. The night will also feature an ice carving demonstration, face painting and a visit from a Kent State personality. After the ice carving, the sculpture will be used as a backdrop for family photos.

"It's an opportunity to get out of the house for some fun," Schiappa says. "All alumni are welcome to participate. Come one, come all!"

The cost for Alumni Association members is $5, including dinner, skate rental and ice skating. The cost for non-members is $8. Tickets for children 12 and under with an Alumni Association member are $3, and non-member children tickets are $5. To register, visit or call 1-888-320-5368. Please register by Jan. 24 and note ice skate size.

By Carrie Drummond
Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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Standing Rock Cultural Arts Announces International Film Festival Jan. 29

Standing Rock Cultural Arts presents the 8th Annual International Short Film Festival, featuring independent short films from around the world. This popular annual event becomes even bigger this year with films from as far away as The Netherlands, Turkey and Israel, and from as close by as Kent.

Film types include animation, music videos, short comedy, experimental films, documentaries and silent films with live music accompaniment.

The event takes place Saturday, Jan. 29, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Kent Stage.

General admission is $10 and students and seniors are $7. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online from

Updates and additional information, including a list of all the movies on the program can be found at

Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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Made in India: Indian Textiles, Global Markets Exhibit Now Open

The Kent State University Museum is proud to present the exhibition Made in India: Indian Textiles, Global Markets, open now until March 20, 2011 in the Stager and Blum Galleries. Rather than simply explore the rich and varied textile traditions of India, this exhibit aims to trace the complex influences that Indian textiles have had on fashions in Europe and America.

While the exhibit concentrates on objects that were made in India, the cultural exchanges in the realm of textiles and clothing over the past two centuries have gone in both directions. Not only have Indian clothing and textiles travelled to the West and served as enrichment and inspiration, Western designs and goods have, in turn, exerted an undeniable influence of their own.

Textiles and clothing in India are more than striking representatives of the nation creativity and ingenuity they have played an integral role in the cultural, political and economic shifts that the nation has faced through the twentieth century.

Through the establishment of unequal conditions for the textile industries, the British stifled the handloom industry in India in favor of its own production of machine woven cotton. Raw materials were imported from India to Britain where they were woven then re-exported back for sale in India. Rather than a free exchange of goods and ideas, Britain hampered Indian production and trade through restrictions and taxation.

The array of items selected for this exhibition demonstrate the reciprocal exchange of goods and styles that occurred between India and the West, but moreover attest to the central role that textiles have had in this oftentimes fraught relationship.

For more information, visit the website or contact Sara Hume at 330-672-3450.

By Rebecca Mohr

Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume Headlines Kent State's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Former congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume will be the special guest speaker at Kent State University's Ninth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center. Mfume is also a nationally respected diversity advocate and TV and radio commentator. Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to celebrate cultural diversity, network, socialize and be motivated and entertained at the free event.

Kweisi Mfume

This year's celebration centers on the theme "Empowering the Individual, Strengthening the Community."

Kent State annually hosts its Martin Luther King Jr. event the week following the national holiday to better involve students, faculty, staff and community members.

The afternoon's schedule begins at 1 p.m. with a cultural celebration of music, word and dance as the Kent Student Center Kiva stage showcases a performance by the Bhutanese-Nepali Dance Group; a cultural expression presentation by Lecturer Traci Williams; spoken word by Robin Wright, Kent State-NAACP president; the Kent State student-led alternative band AstroVan and the university's Voices of Testimony Gospel Choir.

The celebration moves to the Kent Student Center Ballroom from 2:10 to 3:30 p.m. Following a video montage and a musical selection by the Kent State University Gospel Choir, Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton will give his welcoming remarks. Richard Serpe, chair of the Department of Sociology, will introduce Mfume who will present his address.

Kent State's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration is free and open to the public.
It is wheelchair accessible and will be interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL). For more information, call 330-672-8563. Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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Pan-African Studies Partners with Tri-C to Present "Cosmopolitanism and Diversity in the African World" Lecture Series

As part of a new collaboration with Cuyahoga Community College's (Tri-C) Office of Student Life, Kent State University's Department of Pan-African Studies presents a panel lecture "West African Muslim Societies and Their Contributions to World and U.S. Culture" as part of the 2011-2012 Pan-African Studies lecture series at Kent State. The series, titled "Cosmopolitanism and Diversity in the African World," benefits from support of the Ohio Humanities Council and the West African Research Association (WARA). The first lecture at Tri-C is being funded by WARA and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

"West African Muslim Societies and Their Contributions to World and U.S. Culture" will take place Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at Tri-C's Eastern Campus in its new Health Careers and Sciences Building and on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at the second floor Lecture Hall in Ritchie Hall on the Kent Campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

The program includes a panel of scholars, including Dr. Fallou Ngom, associate professor and director of the African Languages Program at Boston University; Dr. Ousseina Alidou, director of the Center for African Studies at Rutgers University; and Dr. Erin Augis, associate professor of sociology at Ramapo College of New Jersey. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Wendy Wilson-Fall, chair and associate professor of Kent State's Department of Pan-African Studies.

Topics that will be discussed during the program include:

  • West African Intellectual Tradition and Ajami (traditions of writing African languages in Arabic)
  • A Comparative Study of Muslim African Women in Niger and Kenya
  • Urban and Immigrant African Muslim Women and Youth
  • Historical and cultural connections between North America and Muslim West Africa

"The goal of the program is to provide more understanding of a new sector of immigrants to the United States: West Africans, among whom a good percentage is Muslim," Wilson-Fall says. "We'll look at cultural differences between West Africans and Arabs, and also national origins.

"We expect this to be the first of several more collaborations between the Department of Pan-African Studies and Tri-C's Eastern Campus," Wilson-Fall adds.

"Cosmopolitanism and Diversity in the African World" is made possible through a grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers to the West African Research Association, which selected Kent State's Department of Pan-African Studies as the beneficiary partner.

For more information on Kent State's Department of Pan-African Studies, visit

For more information about Tri-C's Eastern Campus in Highland Hills, Ohio, visit

Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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