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Invitation to Participate in 2013 Black Squirrel Festival

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The 32nd Annual Black Squirrel Festival will take place on
Sept. 6 from 2-8 p.m. at the Kent Campus on the Student
Green and Risman Plaza. The festival will feature
entertainment, festival food, local vendors and more.

Kent Student Center Programming invites university departments to participate in the 32nd Annual Black Squirrel Festival taking place on Friday, Sept. 6, from 2-8 p.m. at the Kent Campus on the Student Green and Risman Plaza. The Black Squirrel Festival is one of Kent State's most beloved and popular traditions that attracts more than 3,000 students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Kent community. As usual, live, free entertainment, festival food, local vendors and Black Squirrel spirit will all be a part of this year's event. The movie Monsters University will be shown at 9 p.m. on the Student Green.

In order to participate and reserve your table, university departments are required to fill out a contract form and mail it or drop it off at Room 226 at the Kent Student Center by Aug. 30. Please note that if your organization is sponsoring a vendor, you must also have the vendor fill out a separate application, which can be obtained from the Kent Student Center Programming office. Fees may apply for the vendor.

Mail completed contract forms to:
Attn: Halie Morgan and Lindsay Wheeler
Kent Student Center Programming c/o CSI
P.O. Box 5190
226 Kent Student Center
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio 44242

If you have any questions about the Black Squirrel Festival, please contact Kent Student Center Programming at 330-672-8188 or email

Posted Aug. 19, 2013

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Wake Up With LaunchPad

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The Kent State University Blackstone LaunchPad office is
located at the Kent Student Center.

Free coffee and bagels will be served each morning from 8:30 - 10 a.m., Monday, Aug. 19, through Friday, Aug. 23, in the Kent State University Blackstone LaunchPad office at the Kent Student Center.

Stop in to start your day, grab some refreshments and information on how to connect and collaborate with Blackstone LaunchPad this year.

For more information about Kent State University’s Blackstone LaunchPad initiative, visit

Posted Aug. 19, 2013

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Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival Expands Musical Boundaries Sept. 19-22

Dawes, Poco and Pure Prairie League among headliners

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The rock band Dawes will headline the Kent State ’Round
Town Music Festival on Sept. 19 at the Student Green on the
Kent Campus.

(Photo Credit: Kevin Hayes)

WKSU and Kent State University present the dynamic Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival from Sept. 19-22 when a regional tradition adopts a fresh attitude and brings more live music to the city of Kent and Kent State. As both city and campus burst out of their shells with new businesses and a soon-to-be-open connecting University Esplanade, the former Kent State Folk Festival is expanding by welcoming even more artists and music fans to the party.

The new Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival takes on the flavors of the annual day of free ’Round Town concerts typically presented throughout the city of Kent on the final Friday of the folk festival. Although loosely themed as “roots” music, the genres offered during these daylong curated collections of performances pushed musical boundaries. The new festival takes its inspiration from these spirited music-filled Fridays and pulls in bands from a wider pool of entertainers. Music will radiate from the heart of the Kent State campus, at The Kent Stage on Main Street and in expected and surprising spaces throughout the city.

“For many years, ’Round Town Fridays have set the tone for the rest of the folk festival,” says WKSU Executive Director Dan Skinner. “These performances broadened the region’s definition of ‘folk’ to embrace other genres – like jazz, Americana and blues – that have roots music at their core. The Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival is a celebration of sounds, and we want everyone to join in the fun.”

The ’Round Town Music Fest takes full advantage of recent changes to the Kent Campus by welcoming rock band Dawes and special guests Good Old War to the new Student Green on Thursday, Sept. 19. The concert is free, and everyone is invited to this gala, kick-off event. The Student Green is located at Central Camps, extending from Risman Plaza to Summit Street. Dawes, who recently toured with Bob Dylan, has a large cross-generational following thanks to the band’s artfully concise and increasingly soulful sound. Philadelphia-based Good Old War harnesses a high-spirited simplicity to make its live shows unforgettable by revealing the group’s penchant for infectious folk-pop.

On Friday, Sept. 20, more than three-dozen spaces in downtown Kent will be home to live music during ’Round Town Free Friday. New restaurants and shops in downtown Kent will join familiar venues in presenting music ranging from folk to reggae to blues and beyond. Stand-out artists on this year’s bill include the Speedbumps (at Bar 145); Smokin’ Fez Monkeys, Johnny & the Apple Stompers and Bethesda (all performing at Acorn Alley); and the Twistoffs and Boy=Girl (playing at Ray’s Place). Red Michel (of Reo Neon) will perform a show aimed at youngsters at Kent Presbyterian Church. Additional artists are being added to the lineup every day with shows beginning for the lunch crowd and continuing well into the night.

Also on Sept. 20, The Kent Stage turns up the volume with country rock from Pure Prairie League and Poco. With hits like “Amie,” “Let Me Love You Tonight” and “Falling In and Out of Love with You,” Ohio-native sons Pure Prairie League have been wowing fans for more than four decades. Poco had its share of chart-makers, bringing the audience to its feet with songs including “Heart of the Night” and “Crazy Love.”

Free Workshop Saturday on Sept. 21 offers a city full of opportunities to share musical exploration. From noon to 5 p.m., hour-long workshops throughout downtown Kent invite musicians and music fans to learn more about everything from Russian folk and jug band music to clogging and arranging music for group sings.

Visitors can stick around after the workshops to enjoy indie folk from Black Prairie at The Kent Stage. A brilliant amalgam of parts of the Decemberists, the lead singer of Bearfoot bluegrass and other indie musicians who call Portland home, Black Prairie brings a different edge to the roots music scene. The band is in demand and has entertained audiences at Bonnaroo, SXSW, Newport Folk, Philadelphia Folk and other A-list festivals.

The music continues Sunday, Sept. 22, with the return of the Talent Contest, this year held in the tent behind Black Squirrel Gallery & Gifts in downtown Kent. Submissions will be accepted and voted on through the Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival Facebook page with the top 10 vote-getters competing live for a chance to be’s featured Open Mic artist.

The one-and-only Leon Redbone wraps up the Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival with his unique blend of folky blues pop on a Legends Night at The Kent Stage. Brewer & Shipley will open, and singer/songwriter Alex Bevan acts as the evening’s host. Redbone has an instantly recognizable voice and a stage presence that is pure entertainment. Mike Brewer and Tom Shipley met in Kent at the former Blind Owl before beginning their Billboard-charting partnership. Local-son Bevan is beloved for songs including “Skinny Little Boy from Cleveland” and his recent music projects for children that focus on the environment.

Ticket sale began Thursday, July 18, for all Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival concerts and are available at The Kent Stage, by phone toll-free at 1-877-987-6487 or online at The Kent Stage is located at 175 East Main St. in downtown Kent, and the box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The festival website — — will be updated with artist bios and videos, along with the complete list of ’Round Town Free Friday performances and Community Workshops as they become available.

The lineup for the Kent State ’Round Town Music Festival:

Thursday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m. Dawes and Good Old War (Student Green at Kent State University) – FREE
Friday, Sept. 20 (various times) ’Round Town Free Friday (37 venues throughout Kent) – FREE
Friday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. Pure Prairie League and Poco (The Kent Stage) – $$
Saturday, Sept. 21, noon-5 p.m. Workshops (venues throughout Kent) – FREE
Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. Black Prairie with TBA (The Kent Stage) – $$
Sunday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. Talent Contest (behind Black Squirrel Gallery & Gifts) – FREE
Sunday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m. Legends Night: featuring Leon Redbone with Brewer & Shipley and special guest emcee Alex Bevan (The Kent Stage) – $$

Festival support is provided by: Kent State University, Dominion East Ohio, Great Lakes Brewing Company and Lehman’s; media partners: the Record-Courier and; and community partners: Western Reserve Folk Arts Association (WRFAA) and the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center.

WKSU broadcasts NPR and classical music at 89.7 FM, and is a service of Kent State University. WKSU programming is also heard on WKRW 89.3 FM in Wooster, WKRJ 91.5 FM in Dover/New Philadelphia, WKSV 89.1 FM in Thompson, WNRK 90.7 in Norwalk and W239AZ 95.7 FM in Ashland. The station broadcasts four HD Radio channels – adding WKSU-2 Folk Alley, WKSU-3 The Classical Channel and WKSU-4 The News Channel to the analog broadcast schedule. The WKSU website is

Posted Aug. 19, 2013

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Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Hosts Leadership Workshop

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Kerry Ann Rockquemore, Ph.D., will
facilitate a leadership workshop at Kent
State on Aug. 22. The workshop,
sponsored by the Division of Diversity,
Equity and Inclusion, is designed for
department chairs, deans and campus

Kent State University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is sponsoring a leadership workshop designed for Kent State department chairs, deans and campus leaders. The workshop, “Mentoring Throughout the Academic Year: How to Build Communities of Inclusion, Support and Accountability,” will take place on Thursday, Aug. 22, from 1-3 p.m. in Room 317 at the Kent Student Center. The workshop will be facilitated by Kerry Ann Rockquemore, Ph.D.

Rockquemore works with organizational leaders to facilitate discussions about reimagining how mentoring occurs on college campuses. She describes the challenges that all pre-tenure faculty face on the tenure-track and the unique challenges underrepresented faculty experience. The workshop will culminate in a description of alternative models for internal and external mentoring programs.

Rockquemore is president of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). Her scholarship has focused on interracial families, biracial identity and the politics of racial categorization. She is author of the books: Beyond Black and Raising Biracial Children, as well as more than two dozen articles and book chapters on multiracial youth.

After Rockquemore became a tenured professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, her focus shifted to improving conditions for pre-tenure faculty by creating supportive communities for professional development, writing productivity and work/life balance. Her award-winning work with underrepresented faculty led to the publication of her most recent book: The Black Academic's Guide to Winning Tenure Without Losing Your Soul. Through the NCFDD, Rockquemore provides workshops for new faculty at colleges across the United States, writes a weekly advice column for Inside Higher Ed, and works with a select group of new faculty each semester in the NCFDD’s Faculty Success Program.

For questions and/or registration, please contact Diane Matasek at 330-672-8540 or

For more information about Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, visit

Posted Aug. 19, 2013

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