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Kent State’s College of Education, Health, and Human Services Announces 2011 Hall of Fame Winners

Posted Sep. 9, 2011

Seven alumni to be recognized at dinner during Kent State Homecoming weekend

As part of Kent State University’s 2011 Homecoming festivities, the College of Education, Health, and Human Services (EHHS) will honor seven distinguished alumni at its second annual EHHS Hall of Fame Award Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 14, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Tickets for the event are $38 per person and include hors d’oeuvres, followed by a sit-down meal.

The second class in the 2011 College of EHHS Hall of Fame includes:

Centennial Alumni Award
Donald Coffee (1955, 1958)
Donald Coffee worked for Miller School Middle School in Akron, Ohio, and Greely School in Winnetka, Ill., in the 1950s as a teacher. In the 1960s, he accepted a principal position at Crestwood School District in Mantua, and later worked for East Cleveland School District and Shaker Heights City School District, all in Ohio. He received the National Distinguished Principal Award by the U.S. Department of Education in 1986 and the Shaker Emeritus Educator Award in 2009 for his continued support and involvement in education following retirement.

Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Thomas Fagan (1965, 1966, 1969)
Dr. Thomas Fagan is the coordinator of school psychology programs at the University of Memphis since 1976 and has been active in the National Association of School Psychologists since 1970, holding several elected and appointed positions including its presidency in 1980-81 and again in 1987-88. He also has presided over the state association in Illinois and twice in Tennessee in the 1980s and ‘90s. He served as an editorial board member to the School Psychology Review from its founding in 1972 to 2005, and he was editor of the NASP Communique for six years.

Recent Alumni Award
Dr. Geeta Verma (2001)
Dr. Geeta Verma, an associate professor of science education at the University of Colorado, is professionally involved with the American Education Research Association (AERA), National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) and the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE). She was honored with the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award in 2007 at Georgia State University and serves on the advisory panel and is a guest speaker at the iDiscoveri Center for Education and Enterprise in New Delhi, India.

Diversity Alumni Award
Shalva Tabatadze (2007)
Mr. Shalva Tabatadze, of Tbilisi, Ga., is an instructor at Tbilisi State University and teaches intercultural education course. He is the chairman of the board for the Centre for Civil Integration and Inter-Ethic Relations in Georgia and is the founder of the Samtskhe-Javakheti Teacher Association. He has published three textbooks and more than 15 articles about Georgian education. He has received the Phi Beta Delta International Scholars award in 2006, and he was named the Best Lecturer and the Most Open-Minded Lecturer by the students of the program of Educational Leadership and Administration of Tbilisi State University in 2010-2011.

International Alumni Award
Dr. Janette Habashi (2004)
Dr. Janette Habashi, an associate professor in the department of human relations at the University of Oklahoma, teaches courses about local and global human diversity issues and education developmental theories. She is committed to advocating for social policy that reflects her passion for youth and social justice. After earning her M.Ed. degree in Counseling in Education at the Center for International Studies, Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, she pursued a teaching and counseling career at Birzeit University. Her research with children and indigenous populations examine socialization, national identity, political participation/resistance, and children’s rights-based approaches in policy and research.

Distinguished Service to EHHS Award (posthumous award)
Dr. Gerald H. Read (1936)
Dr. Gerald H. Read, a Kent State professor from 1943 to 1976, established an endowment in 1987 to create the Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education. Consistent with the college’s commitment to global cooperation, the Gerald H. Read Center was designed to examine curricular issues related to international and intercultural education, to facilitate international student recruitment and retention, to encourage travel and cultural-immersion programs for students and faculty, and to support exchange and research projects with an international and/or intercultural focus. To date, the center continues to draw prominent scholars, writers and humanitarians to the Kent State campus; and an international travel program that offers valuable opportunities for educators to engage in overseas travel and observe various educational systems.

Alumni Leadership Award
Dr. Kenneth Dobbins (1987)
Dr. Kenneth Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, serves as chair for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and past chair of the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education. Also, he is a member of the finance committee for the Ohio Valley Conference President’s Council. He is actively involved in the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce; the Greater St. Louis Council, Boy Scouts of America; and the Southeast Missouri State University Symphony Board. He has served as a member of the Cape Girardeau Area United Way Board of Directors.

To purchase tickets to the College of Education, Health, and Human Services’ Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony at Kent State, visit  or contact Hope Bradley at 330-672-2208 or by Oct. 7.

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Photo Note:
Head shots of individual winners are available upon request by contacting Beth Thomas.

Media Contacts:
Beth Thomas,, 330-672-7838
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595