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Kent State’s 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Commemorative Events

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A Kent State student sings “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
during the opening of Kent State’s Martin Luther King Jr.
Celebration last year.

Kent State University will hold its 12th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with a variety of events and activities planned.

Jan. 20: Kent State’s Day of Service, Monday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Kent State University faculty, staff and students will engage in service to a variety of nonprofits in the area. A kickoff will be held at the Cohn Jewish Student Center (613 E. Summit St.) where breakfast and lunch will be provided. Service sites are still in the process of being confirmed, and volunteers will be able to choose a service site the morning of the event. Site selections will be on a first-come, first-served basis. If you have questions regarding this event, email

12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Thursday, Jan. 23

The 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23, and includes a variety of events:

  • Little Activists Minimarch and Service Project, Thursday, Jan. 23
    Prior to the event and new this year, children from Kent State’s Child Development Center will ride the PARTA bus to the University Library where they will participate in readings and signing of a scroll with messages that honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr. The children are reading Shane Evans’ book We March, which explains the purpose of “marches” and community. In addition, the students will sign a “How I Will Honor the Dream” scroll detailing how they plan to honor the dream. The scroll will be passed on to the Kent State community. Children from the Child Development Center also will participate in a Day of Service at the Campus Kitchen, helping with meal preparation for local families in need.

  • Annual Celebration
    Commencing at 2 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom, this free celebratory event will feature a variety of activities, including the presentation of the 2014 Diversity Trailblazer Award, a special “Honor the Dream” segment, including a student-led film debut and reflections by Kent State students, faculty and staff. The event will culminate in the first-ever “Honor the Dream” silent march.

  • Honor the Dream Silent March
    A commemorative silent march will immediately follow the celebratory event. The march will proceed from the “K” on Risman Plaza to Ritchie Hall, and will conclude with brief remarks from Richard Serpe, chair of the Department of Sociology, and Mwatabu Okantah, associate professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies. Refreshments will be provided and guests will have an opportunity to sign the “How I Will Honor the Dream” scroll passed off by the children from the Child Development Center.

Other Commemorative Events, Jan. 22-30
To continue the celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and usher in Black History Month, a wealth of commemorative events have been planned, including:

  • Jan. 22, Chasing Rainbows — A film that explores issues surrounding gay marriage and civil unions, from 8 - 9 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Kiva. The event is sponsored by Kent State’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center and the Center for Student Involvement.
  • Jan. 27, “They Led the Way” — An exhibition that tells the stories of the eight students who desegregated Leon County, Fla., public schools 50 years ago, from 4:30 - 6 p.m. in the FirstEnergy Auditorium in Franklin Hall. The event is sponsored by Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Jan. 28, “White-washing in the Queer Community” — A discussion that will explore the lack of diversity in the queer community, from 5 - 6:30 p.m. at the Women’s Center. The event is sponsored by Kent State’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student Center.
  • Jan. 29, “Women and the Civil Rights Movement” — An interactive presentation that will highlight women in the civil rights movement, from noon - 1:30 p.m. at the Student Multicultural Center Lounge, 206 Kent Student Center. The event is sponsored by the Student Multicultural and Women’s centers.
  • Jan. 29, Spring Involvement Fair — from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The fair is sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement.
  • Jan. 29, Game of Life Simulation — from 4:30 - 6 p.m. at the Kent Student Center, Room 310B. The event is sponsored by the College of Education, Health and Human Services and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Jan. 30, Diversity Roundtable – from 7 - 8 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva. The event is sponsored by the Latino Networking Caucus and the Pan-African Faculty and Staff Student Association.

Also, stop by the University Bookstore for special Martin Luther King Jr. displays and books. For detailed information or questions, contact Dana Lawless-Andric, Office of Diversity and Inclusion Leadership, at or 330-672-2569 or visit

Posted Jan. 20, 2014

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Amy Cuddy to Open Kent State University’s Spirit of Women in Business Conference

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Amy Cuddy, Ph.D., associate professor at Harvard
Business School and nationally recognized speaker, will
kick off the Kent State University College of Business
Administration’s annual Spirit of Women in Business
Conference on March 5.

Nationally recognized speaker and professor, Amy Cuddy, Ph.D., will kick off the Kent State University College of Business Administration’s annual Spirit of Women in Business Conference on Wednesday, March 5, at the Kent Student Center.

Cuddy, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, studies how people perceive and interact with one another. Her research on social judgments, emotions, nonverbal behaviors and hormones revealed that these variables help to shape emotions, intentions and behaviors in both business and society.

“We are honored to have Dr. Amy Cuddy as the opening keynote speaker at the Spirit of Women in Business Conference. Her research provides insight into how body language shapes how you are perceived by others,” says Deborah Spake, dean of the College of Business Administration. “Dr. Cuddy’s expertise in this area of power and influence provides a commanding message for business women and men alike.”

Cuddy’s presentation – “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” – was named one of “15 TED Talks That Will Change Your Life” by Her work has been featured in a variety of news sources, including “The Today Show,” CNN, MSNBC and in The New York Times, Harvard Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. In 2013, Business Insider named Cuddy one of the 50 Women Who Are Changing the World and Time magazine named her one of 2012’s “Game Changers”.

The conference also will feature Farai Chideya, a journalist, entrepreneur and sociopolitical analyst, as the luncheon keynote speaker. Chideya’s background includes being an award-winning reporter for Newsweek magazine, a political analyst for CNN, a reporter and guest host for ABC News and a host for NPR.

The mission of the College of Business Administration’s Spirit of Women in Business Conference is to provide a program that enhances personal and professional development through education and networking opportunities. Along with the keynote speakers, the daylong program includes breakout sessions on professional development and business topics, and concludes with an evening networking reception.

The conference annually sells out, so early registration is encouraged. For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, or to register, visit

Posted Jan. 20, 2014

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Kent State School of Art Mounts Biennial Faculty Show

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Visitors at the Kent State University School of Art gallery
view artwork by current and retired faculty members.
The Biennial Faculty Show is on display through Jan. 31.

The Kent State University School of Art’s Biennial Faculty Show is on display through Jan. 31 at the School of Art Gallery, located on the second floor of the Art Building at 400 Janik Dr. in Kent.

The exhibit collects work from 40 artists, drawing on a mix of full-time, part-time and emeriti faculty from the university’s Kent, Stark and Trumbull campuses.

The artists whose work appears in the show are: Martin Ball, Charles Basham, Ben Bassham, Kathleen Browne, Phillip Buntin, Rebecca Cross, Debra Degregorio, Kelly Dietrick, Isabel Farnsworth, Julie Friedman, Marlene Mancini Frost, Henry Halem, Sarah Jane, Lori Kella, Sungsoo Kim, Eva Kwong, Thompson Lehnert, Janice Lessman-Moss, Michael Loderstedt, Lauren Mangeri, Susan McClelland, Carey McDougall, Taryn McMahon, Jack McWhorter, Sean Mercer, Richard Myers, Kortney Niewierski, Paul O’Keeffe, Darice Polo, Meaghan Milner Reed, Albert Reischuck, Mark Schatz, Jonathan Schwartz, Marchelle Simms, Emily Sullivan Smith, Frank D. Susi, Brinsley Tyrrell, Douglas Unger, Gingr Vaughan and Shawn Watrous.

For more information, contact Anderson Turner, director of galleries, at or 330-672-1369.

Posted Jan. 20, 2014

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Brian Babb to Exhibit Portraits at the Kent State School of Art’s Downtown Gallery

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The Kent State University School of Art’s Downtown
Gallery will exhibit the works of Akron-based artist Brian
Babb from Jan. 21 to Feb. 22.

The work of Akron-based artist Brian Babb will be featured in a solo exhibition at the Kent State University School of Art’s Downtown Gallery.

Babb’s show, dubbed “Rendered: Portraits and Processes,” will run from Tuesday, Jan. 21, to Saturday, Feb. 22. The gallery, located at 141 E. Main St. in Kent, also will host an opening reception for “Rendered” on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 5-7 p.m. Both the gallery and reception are free and open to the public.

Babb is a graduate of Hiram College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in studio art with an emphasis in painting and a minor in photography. In Babb’s work, the two disciplines are inextricably linked, with printed reference photos often serving as the basis for photorealist paintings.

In early drawings and paintings, Babb used a grid technique to transfer the detailed visual information contained within his reference photos.

“The grid helps to break down a complex combination of variable light and shadow into smaller, more manageable parts, like pixels that make up a digital image,” he explains.

By contrast, Babb’s recent work positions photography as the final product rather than an intermediary stage. One of the portraits in “Rendered” was derived from a single photograph broken into 96 squares during printing.

“Each square is slightly cropped in order to print ‘full-bleed,’ or edge-to-edge,” says Babb. “The squares were then combined on the board and the original image reassembled, but with the cropped portions now missing. The grid is therefore evident in the finished piece, a nod to the reference prints that were essential to my earlier works.”

Babb has previously shown work with the Cleveland artist collective All Go Signs and at Summit Art Space. He currently works as director of operations at a professional digital print lab in Akron.

For more information, contact Lesley Sickle, Downtown Gallery coordinator, at or 330-676-1549.

Posted Jan. 20, 2014

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Main Street Kent Announces 2014 Chocolate Walk

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A downtown Kent store owner sets out
chocolates during last year's Main Street
Kent Chocolate Walk. Several downtown
businesses will be participating in this
year's event on Feb. 15.

Main Street Kent is pleased to announce the 2014 Chocolate Walk that will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15, from 2-5 p.m. in downtown Kent. Tickets are $20 each and must be purchased in advance. Two hundred tickets are available and can be purchased online at or in person at McKay Bricker Framing & Gallery. This is a rain, snow or shine event, and tickets are non-refundable. All proceeds will benefit Main Street Kent.

The day of the event, ticketholders will go to Earl's Nest (located in Acorn Alley) to pick up their Chocolate Walk maps, "passes," and bags to collect their chocolate goods. Then, at their leisure, they can go to each of the participating businesses to gather a chocolate surprise at each one.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this is an opportunity to take a loved one out for the afternoon or grab a friend and enjoy this excursion in downtown Kent. Participating businesses have included Baked in the Village Café, Belleria Pizza & Italian Restaurant, Carnaby Street Style, Downtown Gallery, Empire, Gracylane, Kent Cycle, McKay Bricker Framing & Black Squirrel Gifts, Off the Wagon, Pita Pit, Pufferbelly, Rush – Dino Palmieri Salon, Scribbles, Secret Cellar, Sue Nelson Designs, Taco Tonto’s, The Market Path, Tree City Coffee & Pastry, Troy Grille and Wild Earth Outfitters. Others are expected to join as well.

A complete, final list of participants will be provided to ticketholders on the day of the event. For more information, visit or call 330-677-8000.

Main Street Kent is a nonprofit organization focused on the revitalization of downtown Kent. It is an affiliate of the national Main Street program and the Heritage Ohio program.

Posted Jan. 20, 2014

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