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Kent State’s 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Takes Place On Jan. 24

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Kent State University will mark its 11th annual Martin Luther
King Jr. Celebration, themed “Empowering the Individual,
Strengthening the Community,” on Thursday, Jan. 24, in the
Kent Student Center Ballroom.

Kent State University’s 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, themed “Empowering the Individual, Strengthening the Community,” will take place on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 2 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Inspirational speaker and Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies Carlos Muñoz Jr., Ph.D., at UC Berkeley is the keynote speaker at the event.

“Our celebration at Kent State gives us the opportunity to reflect on the ideals of a great man whose struggle for civil rights and inclusion has led to many great things for our citizens and country,” says Alfreda Brown, Ed.D., vice president for Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “This year, I am delighted to have Dr. Carlos Muñoz Jr. as our keynote speaker. Dr. Muñoz has been at the forefront of civil rights issues for many decades, and we all can learn a lot from his experiences. I invite all members and friends of our diverse and inclusive Kent State community to join us in this year’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.”

In his 37-year academic career, Muñoz gained international prominence as a political scientist, historian, journalist and public intellectual. He was born in the “segundo barrio” in El Paso, Texas, and raised in the barrios of East Los Angeles, Calif. Muñoz authored several pioneering works on the Mexican-American political experience and on African-American and Latino political coalitions, including his award-winning Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement. He is an acknowledged expert on the issues of ethnic and racial politics, multiculturalism and diversity, immigration, civil and human rights and affirmative action.

Muñoz has appeared on PBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS and the Spanish-speaking networks Univision and Telemundo, and he is a syndicated columnist with the Progressive Media Project. His newspaper columns are distributed nationally by the Knight-Ridder newswire service and have appeared online on and on the BBC World Service.

As a scholar-activist, Muñoz has been a central figure in the struggles for civil and human rights, social and economic justice, and peace in the United States and abroad. He played a prominent leadership role as a founder of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. He co-founded the Institute for Multiracial Justice in San Francisco and the Latinos Unidos, a grassroots community organization in Berkeley, Calif. Today, Muñoz is active in the Immigrant Rights Movement, and he is currently working on several new books, including Diversity and the Challenge for a Multiracial Democracy in America.

Pre-celebratory events marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Kent State begin on Jan. 15 with a “Black and Brown Discussion,” featuring Kent State President’s Ambassador José Feliciano at the Kent Student Center Kiva at 7 p.m. On Jan. 16, there will be a Support and Mentoring Fair at the Kent Student Center Ballroom Balcony from 1-3 p.m., and a campus conversation, “The Power of Words,” at Studio A in Twin Towers at 6 p.m. Other events include a Game of Life Simulation on Jan. 23 from 5-7 p.m. at Room 310B in the Kent Student Center.

For more information about Kent State’s 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and commemorative events, visit

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki to Speak at Kent State University

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2012 National Teacher of the Year
Rebecca Mieliwocki will present a
Gerald H. Read Distinguished lecture on
Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 4:30 p.m. in the Kent
Student Center Kiva.

Rebecca Mieliwocki, who was recognized by President Barack Obama as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, will present a Gerald H. Read Distinguished lecture on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 4:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Mieliwocki teaches seventh grade English classes at Luther Burbank Middle School, in Burbank, Calif. Mieliwocki, who has taught for 14 years, is known for inspiring and motivating students, often using the Socratic method of questioning to stimulate students' critical thinking and create dynamic lessons. She hosts family nights, sends out weekly memos to parents and maintains a Facebook page for her class.

Mieliwocki explained that when she was 18, the last thing she wanted to be was a teacher. As the daughter of two public school teachers, she rebelled by studying to become a lawyer. She eventually went on to try a few different careers — in publishing, floral design and event planning — before becoming a teacher.

The National Teacher of the Year Program, sponsored by Target, is a project of the Council of Chief State School Officers in partnership with the ING Foundation, the University of Phoenix and People to People Ambassador Programs.

For more information, contact Linda Robertson, Ph.D., director of the Center for International and Intercultural Education in the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, at or call 330-672-0563.

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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Jennifer Pozner to Speak About Impacts of Reality Television

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Media critic and author Jennifer Pozner
will talk about the impacts of reality
television at Kent State on Jan. 22.

Kent Student Center Programming is teaming up with Wolfman Productions on a presentation to students about the impacts of reality television by Jennifer Pozner, media critic, author and founder of Women in Media and News. The event is free.

The presentation, titled “Project Brainwash: Why Reality TV is Bad for Women (…and Men, People of Color, The Economy, Love, Sex and Sheer Common Sense!),” will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m., in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

Using humor, video clips from your favorite programs and a decade of journalistic research, Pozner deconstructs reality TV’s twisted fairytales, demonstrating that far from harmless “guilty pleasures,” this form of pop culture has a damaging impact on our intellectual and political development. Project Brainwash gives you the tools to understand and challenge stereotypes and become active, critical media consumers. You’ll never see dating, modeling, makeover and lifestyle shows the same way again—and you’ll laugh, a lot!

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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Kent State University Orchestra Celebrates Concerto Competition Winners on Feb. 10

The Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music’s Orchestra continues its 2012-2013 season with a performance highlighting the undergraduate and graduate concerto competition winners on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3:30 p.m. in the University Auditorium at Cartwright Hall.

The graduate concerto contest winner, cellist José Luis Herrera, will perform “Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 33” by Camille Saint- Saëns. The undergraduate winner, senior music performance major and violinist Yang Zeng, will perform “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A minor, Op. 53” by Antonin Dvořák.

The orchestra will also perform “The Planets,” an orchestral suite by Gustav Holst. Tickets for the performance are $10 for adults, $5 for students with valid ID, and free for all full-time Kent Campus undergraduate students.

Graduate winner Herrera began playing the cello at age 17, when he picked up the instrument in a music theory class and completely fell in love with it. Herrera had previously played electric guitar in a punk rock band, but when he found the cello, he says he “traded the band for the orchestra and Green Day for Bach.”

Before attending Kent State University and studying with Keith Robinson and the Miami String Quartet, Herrera studied at Conservatorio de las Rosas in Mexico. Herrera says the concerto competition gives students great stage experience and a sample of the competition atmosphere that they will need to be prepared for once they graduate.

Saint- Saëns’ “Concerto No. 1” was one of the first major pieces Herrera ever learned, and he found it very challenging when he first took it on years ago. Because of this, Herrera says he decided to try the piece again for the concerto competition. This second time learning the piece made the concerto seem “totally new and exciting,” Herrera says.

Undergraduate winner Zeng says it is hard to describe the exact emotions of the Dvořák piece he will perform, but audiences will sense Dvořák’s patriotism and spiritualism in his work. “You do feel the love through the music — a feeling of the love you have for your family and your country,” Zeng says.

Zeng, born in Yunnan, China, has been studying violin since he was six years old. He has performed with the Orchestra of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Middle School, the Orchestra of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Shanghai Sinfonietta. Zeng also participated in the Kent Blossom Music Festival in 2011 and 2012. He is currently a student of Cathy Meng Robinson and has also studied violin with Benny Kim while at Kent State.

Tickets are available weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. at the Performing Arts Box Office (PABO), located in the lobby of the Roe Green Center in the Music and Speech Building at 1325 Theatre Dr. on the Kent Campus. PABO accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover, in addition to cash and checks.

The Cartwright Hall Box Office will open one hour prior to the performance for walk-up sales, and will also accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Tickets and more information are also available by calling 330-672-ARTS (2787) or visiting

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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Kent State University Downtown Gallery Presents “Visions of Paradise”

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Rob Vander Zee's exhibition “Visions of Paradise” is on
display through Feb. 9 at the Kent State University
Downtown Gallery.

Kent State University Downtown Gallery will present “Visions of Paradise,” an exhibition by Rob Vander Zee, now through Feb. 9 in the Downtown Gallery.

“Visions of Paradise,” which began in 2009, is an ongoing series of paintings that focuses on an imagined world of vibrant colors and fantastic plants, animals and new mutant creatures. These paintings explore the complex questions surrounding our relationship to the natural world and the role that science has in shaping the living environment.

Both science and human psychology play a role in these paintings. The work asks a basic question about the impact of evolution and genetic engineering on the environment: “What will emerge from our ability to manipulate the genetic code of any species on Earth, including ourselves?”

Born in 1971 in Grand Rapids, Mich., Vander Zee grew up in rural Cedar Springs, surrounded by nature. He went on to major in both painting and drawing at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. Vander Zee received his MFA from Michigan State University in 1998. The landscape as a site of emotional drama became the subject of Vander Zee’s work in the mid-2000s.

In 2005, Vander Zee started the gallery that bears his name in Alexandria, Va., and in the following year founded a school at which he mentors 35 to 40 students each year. In 2005, the artist continued a series of trips that have become important influences on his work. Vander Zee has exhibited his paintings at many venues including Gallery A, Washington D.C., Trowbridge-Lewis Gallery, Middleburg, Va. and the Tallin Art Academy, Tallin, Estonia. His work has traveled in group exhibitions to Vilnius, Lithuania, Romania and to the Republic of Georgia.

The Downtown Gallery is located at 141 E. Main St. in downtown Kent. Hours are Wednesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 330-676-1549 or visit

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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Kent State University's School of Art Gallery Presents “KSU/MFA 2013”

Exhibition features the work of all students currently enrolled full-time in the MFA program

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The “KSU/MFA 2013” features works of work of students
enrolled full-time in the MFA program. The exhibition runs
through Feb. 15.

Kent State University's School of Art Gallery presents “KSU/MFA 2013” now through Feb. 15, curated by Brenton Pahl, Kathryn Shinko and Anderson Turner. This exhibition features the work of all students currently enrolled full-time in the MFA program, 31 in all.

The School of Art offers the only program in Northeast Ohio where students can earn the terminal master's degree in studio art. For more than 50 years, the MFA program has welcomed students from around the world to engage in artistic research and bring their unique vision to the broader community.

The School of Art Gallery is located in the Art Building at 400 Janik Dr. on the Kent Campus. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 330-672-7853 or visit

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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The Game of Life Interactive Inequality Simulation Holds Jan. 23

Event marks Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Kent State

The Game of Life, an interactive inequality simulation, will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 5 p.m. in Room 310B at the Kent Student Center. This event is open to all Kent State faculty, staff and students, and is meant to be an immersion-style game played with real people, real emotions, but fake money.

The Game of Life event is part of activities marking Kent State’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. The event is co-sponsored by the College of Education, Health and Human Services’ Office of Diversity Outreach and Development, LGBTQ Student Center, Student Multicultural Center, Office of Global Education and Residence Services.

“The Game of Life is similar to the board game, but acted out by the participants and the simulation actors. It is a way for individuals within our community to gain a greater awareness of the inequality that exists within our society. It is really a hyper-play on the stereotypes and acts of discrimination that occur around issues of sexuality, gender, race and ability level,” says N. J. Akbar, director of the College of Education, Health and Human Services’ Office of Diversity Outreach and Development.

There will be several cohorts going through the simulation, therefore, if you want to participate, plan to arrive between 5 and 6 p.m.

For more information about this event, contact Akbar at

Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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