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Kent State’s Presidential Speaker Series Features Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalists

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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and human rights
advocates Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn speak at
Kent State University on Nov. 14 as part of the Kent State
University Presidential Speaker Series.

Husband-and-wife duo Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, who combine journalism and activism in their unique brand of reporting centered on human rights abuses and advocacy, will speak at the fourth Kent State University Presidential Speaker Series on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Kristof and WuDunn were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement.

This free, ticketed event is open to the public. For general admission tickets, which are required to gain entry, visit Their appearance is sponsored by Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the College of Communication and Information.

“These are front-line journalists who have seen the world’s history unfold in front of their eyes, and their perspective demands our attention,” says Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. “Human rights continue to be a dominant issue around the world – one that our students will face as they enter the global workforce. Kristof and WuDunn have a message that will resonate with both our heads and our hearts.”

In 1990, Kristof and WuDunn earned a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for their reporting on the pro-democracy student movement and the related Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. They co-wrote China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power and most recently penned the best-selling Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Addressing worldwide maltreatment, marginalization and brutality toward women, Half the Sky draws a compelling picture of the trials and triumphs of women struggling for opportunity and equality. Called “electrifying” by The Washington Post, the book inspired a special four-hour PBS series of the same name.

A two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, Kristof is often called a “reporter’s reporter” for his activism and was the subject of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival documentary Reporter. He has lived on four continents, reported on six and traveled to 140 countries, all 50 states, every Chinese province and every main Japanese island in order to offer a compassionate glimpse into global health, poverty and gender in the developing world. As part of the Half the Sky documentary series, Kristof traveled around the world along with celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union and Olivia Wilde to meet inspiring individuals confronting the global oppression of women.

The first Asian-American to win a Pulitzer Prize, WuDunn is a business executive, entrepreneur and best-selling author. She has special expertise in Asia, entrepreneurship, global women’s issues and philanthropy. As an investment banker, she currently helps growth companies, including those operating in the fields of new media technology, entertainment, social media, healthcare and the emerging markets, particularly China. In conjunction with Half the Sky, she helped launch the development of a robust multimedia effort, creating a thoughtful, effective philanthropic strategy that includes an online social game for Facebook, the PBS documentary series and outreach with many nongovernmental organizations.

As world-renowned human rights activists, Kristof and WuDunn give a voice to the voiceless. For more information about these speakers, visit

About the Kent State University Presidential Speaker Series

The Kent State Presidential Speaker Series seeks to bring high-profile, world-renowned experts to Kent State for serious, thought-provoking discussions and conversations. The program enhances the engagement of the world beyond Kent State’s campuses, which is one of the university’s strategic goals. Previous speakers were astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel and photographer Trey Ratcliff.

For more information about Kent State University’s Presidential Speaker Series, visit For questions about the Kent State Presidential Speaker Series event, please call 330-672-2216 during normal business hours or email

Posted Nov. 4, 2013

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Kent State University to Honor Veterans on Nov. 7

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Members of the Kent State University Army and Air Force
Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) prepare to fold the
flag during the campus’ observance of Veterans Day.

Kent State University will hold its annual Veterans Day observance on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 11 a.m. on the Student Green at Risman Plaza. The outdoor program will include a flag-raising ceremony conducted by a joint color guard from the Army and Air Force ROTC programs, and remarks from Kent State President Lester A. Lefton.

Former Staff Sergeant for the U.S. Air Force Andrew Altizer will be the guest speaker for the event. Altizer is a recipient of the Air Force’s Airmen College Scholarship and a current student at Kent State. A reception in the Kent Student Center Kiva lobby will follow the brief program.

All are invited to come and pay tribute to America’s veterans. A special invitation is extended to Kent State faculty, staff, students and community members who are veterans, active service members or who have family members in the military.

Reservations are requested and can be made by contacting Joshua Rider at 330-672-0510 or by Nov. 5. The rain location will be the Kiva.

Posted Nov. 4, 2013

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Covering the Egyptian Uprising: Award-Winning Independent Journalist to Speak at Kent State

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Izzy Award-winning journalist, Sharif Abdel Kouddous,
who covered the Egyptian uprising, will speak on Nov. 7
at Kent State University as part of the Northeast Ohio
Consortium for Middle East Studies speaker series.

Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will co-host a lecture, “Covering the Egyptian Uprising,” by Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva. Visitor parking is available in the Kent Student Center visitor lot on Summit Street. The night before, on Nov. 6, Kouddous will lead a conversation about the Middle East that is co-sponsored by the City Club of Cleveland at the Happy Dog, located at 5801 Detroit Ave. in Cleveland, at 7:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

Kouddous is an independent journalist based in Cairo. He is a correspondent for the independent TV/radio news hour Democracy Now!, a regular contributor to The Nation magazine and a fellow at the Nation Institute. In addition to reporting from across Egypt, Kouddous has reported from Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Bahrain. He is a board member of the independent media collective 'Mosireen' in Egypt and the 2012 recipient of the Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media for his coverage of the Egyptian revolution.

The events are part of the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies (NOCMES) speaker series currently led by Joshua Stacher, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science at Kent State and author of Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria.

"Since its creation, NOCMES has been about bringing the Middle East to Northeast Ohio," Stacher says. "We want to make the events in the Middle East and the ways that they touch our lives here more tangible. Egypt has dominated the news Americans have gotten since the eruption of the Arab Spring. Sharif Abdel Kouddous lived it and covered it, so he brings a special perspective. He is an excellent addition to the prestigious and now long list of speakers to participate in the speaker series.”

NOCMES is a collection of area universities and community partners dedicated to the mission of public education with an aim to bring leading voices that research and work on the Middle East to Northeast Ohio. Its institutional members include Case Western Reserve University, Kent State, Oberlin College and Conservatory, Cleveland State University, John Carroll University and Baldwin-Wallace University. Its community partners include the City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Civic Commons, CAIR-Ohio, Trinity Cathedral, Interact, and Case Western Reserve University’s Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities. Its media partners include WVIZ and WCPN, part of ideastream®.

Both events are co-sponsored by NOCMES, the Social Science Research Council, Cleveland Council on World Affairs and the City Club of Cleveland. For more information about these events and NOCMES, visit

Future Speaker
Laleh Khalili, Ph.D., a professor of Middle East politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, will speak on March 31 and April 1, 2014. Times and locations will be announced later. Khalili is the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge, 2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford, 2013).

Posted Nov. 4, 2013 | Jim Maxwell

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Kent State University Opera Presents an Entertaining Evening of Opera Vignettes With Singing Outside the Box

The Kent State University Opera will present Singing Outside the Box on Saturday, Nov. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright-Curtis Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1325 Theatre Drive on the Kent Campus.

Join members of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music's Opera Workshop as they perform scenes from the 18th through the 21st centuries. The scenes demonstrate how opera sheds light on confinement and freedom in the human condition. Audience members will be treated to excerpts from Guilio Cesare by Handel, Carmen by Bizet, Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart, Albert Herring by Britten and Too Many Sopranos by Penhorwood, among others.

The show comes to life through a series of collaborations, featuring vocal performance students, as well as conducting and piano students led by opera directors Marla Berg and Jay White. This year’s production marks an important and exciting first collaboration with Kent State’s new Orchestra Director Charles Latshaw, who will conduct the performances.

“These scenes are musical gems and the students have brought them to life” says Berg. “Our student singer/actors have taken these challenging scenes and made them vocally beautiful and dramatically engaging. It’s an exciting evening of singing.”

Tickets for the performance are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and Kent State faculty and staff, $10 for groups of 10 or more patrons, $8 for non-Kent State students, $5 for children, and free for full-time Kent Campus undergraduate students.

Tickets are available weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. at the Performing Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Roe Green Center in the Center for the Performing Arts at 1325 Theatre Drive on Kent Campus. The Performing Arts Box Office accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover, in addition to cash and checks.

The box office at Wright-Curtis Theatre will open one hour prior to the performances for walk-up sales, and will accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Tickets and more information are available by calling 330-672-ARTS (2787) or visiting

Posted Nov. 4, 2013

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Free Performance at Kent State University by Country’s Foremost Modern Dance Group, Limón Dance Company

67-year-old company is renowned for its technical mastery and dramatic expression

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Dancers with the Limón Dance Company of New York City
choreograph a psalm by José Limón. The dance company
will perform a free concert at Kent State University on
Dec. 6.

(Photo credit: Beatriz Schiller)

Kent State University’s Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series proudly presents a concert by one of the country’s foremost modern dance performance groups, the Limón Dance Company of New York City, on Friday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. The performance will take place in E. Turner Stump Theatre in the Center for the Performing Arts (formerly Music and Speech Building), 1325 Theatre Drive in Kent. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets must be reserved by calling 330-672-ARTS (2787) or online at A complimentary dessert reception will immediately follow the concert in the Roe Green Center lobby, adjacent to E. Turner Stump Theatre.

Under the artistic direction of Carla Maxwell, the Limón Dance Company is hailed as one of the world’s greatest dance companies. The Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American modern dance since its inception in 1946. The company is the living legacy of the dance theater developed by José Limón and his mentors, Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, whose innovative works revolutionized the American dance. After Limón’s death in 1972, the company pioneered the idea that it was possible to survive the death of its founder, setting an example for the entire dance field. Now in its 67th year, the company is renowned for its technical mastery and dramatic expression, and demonstrates both the timelessness of Limón’s works and the humanistic vision that guides the repertory choices.

“I am most especially thrilled that Kent State is able to present a free performance to the public by the Limón Dance Company,” says John R. Crawford, dean of Kent State's College of the Arts and dancer by trade. “Years ago, I studied the José Limón technique, later performed and then eventually taught the Limón principles of style. The company has such a rich dance history and impressive reputation. I encourage everyone to attend the concert to experience firsthand this expressive and passionate form of dance.”

Current Artistic Director Carla Maxwell worked closely with Limón before becoming artistic director in 1978. The company has been committed to producing and presenting programs that balance classic works of American modern dance with commissions and acquisitions from contemporary choreographers, resulting in a repertory of unparalleled breadth. In its first half-century, the company achieved many important milestones: It was the first group to tour under the auspices of the American Cultural Exchange Program (1954), the first dance troupe to perform at Lincoln Center (1963) and has had the honor of appearing twice at the White House (1967 and 1995). More recently, the José Limón Dance Foundation was awarded a 2008 National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

The Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series has presented guest artists respected in the field of theatre, dance, visual arts, music and architecture. Now in its 11th year, the Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series has brought such noted artists as Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz and Next to Normal actress Alice Ripley; GRAMMY-winning Emerson String Quartet; postmodern minimalist artist Richard Tuttle; artists and fashion designers Ruben and Isabel Toledo; and internationally acclaimed dance company Ballet Florida; and actor, dancer and arts advocate Ben Vereen, just to name a few.

The Schroth series was established in 2002 by the late Max and Cil Draime of Warren, Ohio, to honor their dear friend, Tom Schroth (1922-1997). A noted regional architect, Schroth designed the Butler Institute of Art’s Trumbull museum in Howland, Ohio, as well as numerous other award-winning projects. Schroth spent his life in Niles, Ohio, as a prominent architect and inveterate collaborator in the artistic life of the Mahoning Valley and Northeast Ohio. A world traveler, he saw human creativity as a window that frames human experience. The Thomas Schroth Visiting Artist Series brings diverse views through that window to the Kent Campus and community. The events are always free and open to the public.

Posted Nov. 4, 2013

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Three Award-Winning Poets to Present at Wick Poetry Center

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Joseph Millar, author of several poetry collections, is one of
three poets who will present at Kent State University's Wick
Poetry Center on Nov. 6.

Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center will host two special events on Nov. 6 featuring renowned poets Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar and Michael Mlekoday.

The first event of the day features Laux and Millar hosting “A Conversation About Poetry” at 11 a.m. in Room 317 at the Kent Student Center. The second event is a poetry reading with Laux and Mlekoday at 7:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva.

Laux, judge of the 2012 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, is the author of several collections of poetry, including Awake; What We Carry, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Smoke; Facts about the Moon, chosen by the poet Ai as winner of the Oregon Book Award and also a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and The Book of Men. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has been a Pushcart Prize winner. Laux has taught creative writing at the University of Oregon, Pacific University and North Carolina State University. She has led summer workshops at Esalen in Big Sur. She is the co-author, with Kim Addonizio, of The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry.

Millar is the author of several poetry collections, including Blue Rust, Fortune and Overtime, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Montalvo Arts Center and Oregon Literary Arts. His poetry has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio program, “The Writer’s Almanac,” and has won a Pushcart Prize. Millar has taught at Pacific University, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

Mlekoday is the winner of the 2012 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize for his book The Dead Eat Everything. He won the National Poetry Slam in 2009 as a member of the St. Paul team and returned the following year to coach the team to its second championship. He serves as poetry editor of Indiana Review, and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ninth Letter, RHINO, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Anti-, Muzzle Magazine and other journals.

“To have Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar and Michael Mlekoday all reading and discussing their poetry on the same day is a spectacular opportunity for the Kent Sate students, employees and for those in the community,” says Nicole Robinson, outreach manager for the Wick Poetry Center. “All three poets have a unique voice in their poetry, but all encompass such passion, depth and radiance in their craft. Nov. 6 promises to be a magical day and an evening of poetry and inspiration for all who attend the events.”

For more information about the upcoming Wick Poetry Center events, visit

Posted Nov. 4, 2013

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