News Briefs

Return to Issue of Jan. 26, 2009


Interim Directors Named for College of Communication and Information Schools

Dr. Carolyn Brodie is the interim director for the School of Library and Information Science.

Dr. Carolyn Brodie is the interim director for the School of Library and Information Science.

Two Kent State faculty stepped in to school directorship roles at the start of the year.

Greg Blase, the undergraduate coordinator for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, assumed the role of interim director for the school, effective Jan. 1. He is serving as interim director while Director Jeff Fruit serves as interim dean for the College of Communication and Information.

Blase joined Kent State in 1985 after working for more than 13 years in the advertising field.

Upon graduation with a bachelor's degree in English and philosophy from John Carroll University, Blase began working as an advertising copywriter and technical writer at Leblond/Makino Inc., a multinational capital goods manufacturer in Cincinnati. In 1978, Blase became advertising manager for Xomox Corporation, a multinational fluid flow control manufacturer in Cincinnati. After seven years with Xomox, he moved to Northeast Ohio to become an assistant professor of advertising at Kent State. He taught Principles of Advertising, Advertising Copywriting, Advertising Media Planning, Advertising Campaigns and Ethics and Issues in Mass Communication. He was associate director before his appointment as interim director.

He earned his master’s degree in English from Xavier University.

Dr. Carolyn Brodie, a professor in the School of Library and Information Science, replaced Director Dr. Richard Rubin on Jan. 1. Rubin is on sabbatical for Spring Semester 2009.

Brodie came to Kent State in 1989 from Texas Woman’s University where she was an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Studies. Brodie is well known in the library services profession for her extensive research in library services for children and young adults. She won Kent State's 2005 Distinguished Teaching Award.

Brodie has co-authored or edited five books and is widely published in journals and related materials. In 2003, The Library Journal named Brodie one of its "Movers and Shakers," a list of 55 of the most innovative librarians working in the United States and Canada. In 2008, the American Library Association awarded her the Scholastic Library Publishing Award, which is given for extraordinary contributions to promoting access to books and encouraging a love of reading for lifelong learning.

Brodie earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Central Arkansas. She also earned master’s degrees from Vanderbilt University and Texas Woman’s University. Her doctorate degree is in library science from Texas Woman’s University.

Learn more about the College of Communication and Information online.

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Crawford Named Interim Dean of Kent State College of the Arts

Dr. John R. Crawford, associate dean and professor of dance in the College of the Arts, has been named interim dean of Kent State’s College of the Arts, Provost Robert G. Frank announced last week.

Crawford, who will begin his new administrative role immediately, replaces Dr. Timothy J. L. Chandler, who recently was named senior associate provost.

Prior to his appointment as associate dean in 2006, Crawford served as director of the School of Theatre and Dance and producing director of Porthouse Theatre for 10 years. He earned his doctorate from Temple University.

A national search will begin shortly for the position of dean of the College of the Arts. Learn more about the college online.

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Kent State-led Design Contest Selects Winners for Fairfax Intergenerational Housing Design Competition

A juried design competition led by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative at Kent State University recently chose three winners for housing ideas to serve grandparents raising grandchildren. Fourteen submissions were evaluated in a competition open to architects from the United States and Canada.

Entrants in the competition were asked to present preliminary designs for a 36- to 50-unit rental housing complex in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood, intended to serve families in which grandparents are raising their grandchildren. The competition was sponsored by Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, with funding from the McGregor Foundation and management assistance from the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative.

Entrants were asked to provide overall urban design concepts for the five-acre site, including unit floor plans and preliminary information on project costs and sustainability features. Entries were evaluated by a jury that included visiting design professionals, experts on aging, grandparents from the Fairfax community and staff members of the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation.

The first prize of $10,000 was awarded to Fernando Bonilla of Cottage City, Md. The second prize of $5,000 went to Plumbob LLC of Philadelphia, and the third prize of $2,500 was won by FORUM Architects of Cleveland. The jury also awarded an honorable mention to Jonathan Barnes Architecture and Design Ltd. of Columbus.

In coming weeks Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation will negotiate with the competition winner to assemble a design team for the project, with the intention of breaking ground in 2009.

To learn more about the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, visit its Web site.

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Liquid Crystal Institute Lures Nanotechnology Expert from Japan

Dr. Hiroshi Yokoyama will join the Liquid Crystal Institute in July.

Dr. Hiroshi Yokoyama will join the Liquid Crystal Institute in July.

Kent State’s extensive international search for a world-class liquid crystal experimentalist to hold its Ohio Research Scholar post has resulted in the appointment of Dr. Hiroshi Yokoyama to the position of research scholar and professor of chemical physics at Kent State’s internationally renowned Liquid Crystal Institute.

"This is exciting news for Kent State University, its world-class research partners and Ohioans around the state," says Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut. "Dr. Yokoyama is a global leader in nanotechnology. Bringing him to Kent, Ohio, from Japan’s largest public research organization to serve as an Ohio Research Scholar will certainly help build the University System of Ohio’s talent and research pipelines. This appointment will attract talent, investment and entrepreneurial activity, all of which will contribute to Ohio’s economic growth."

The Ohio Research Scholars Program, established by the Ohio General Assembly and coordinated by the Ohio Board of Regents, provides grants to strengthen and increase the number of clusters of research excellence that are led by Ohio’s academic institutions that support regional economic priorities. Northeast Ohio has been widely recognized as a center of excellence in liquid crystal technology and technology transfer.

Kent State and eight Ohio entities received funding through the Ohio Third Frontier initiative for a $15.2 million project titled "Research Cluster on Surfaces in Advanced Materials (RC-SAM)." The project is the partnership of Kent State, Case Western Reserve University, Youngstown State University, AlphaMicron Inc., Cleveland Botanical Garden, CoAdna Photonics Inc., Kent Displays Inc., Kent Optronics Inc. and LXD Inc.

Yokoyama most recently held the position of director of the Nanotechnology Research Institute at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, one of the largest government-funded research organizations in Japan, which is responsible for strategic planning and implementation of research programs over the entire spectrum of nanotechnology in that country. Yokoyama is a world-renowned expert in the field of liquid crystal physics with a focus on surface properties. His primary research interests are in the areas of liquid crystals, surface and colloid science, organic thin films and scanning probe technology.

Yokoyama will join the Liquid Crystal Institute on July 1, 2009. A search for a second Ohio Research Scholar funded by this grant is currently underway.

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Photojournalism Major Wins First Place in National Hearst Editorial Writing Contest

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation recently awarded a first-place editorial writing prize to Beth Rankin, a December graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as part of its Journalism Awards Program.

Rankin will receive a $2,000 scholarship for her winning article, "I am not a white bitch," published in the Daily Kent Stater in April 2008. The School of Journalism and Mass Communication will receive a matching grant. Rankin also qualified to participate in the Hearst National Writing Championship in San Francisco in June.

"The Hearst Awards are the Pulitzers of college journalism," says Jeff Fruit, interim dean of the College of Communication and Information. "Beth’s win in the editorial writing category is all the more impressive because she’s a photojournalism major. She’s a great example of a 21st century journalism school graduate with a broad-based skill set."

The awards program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication, in which 110 undergraduate journalism programs at colleges and universities across the nation are eligible to participate. The program is fully funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

The contest consists of six monthly writing, three photojournalism and four broadcast news competitions and one multimedia competition, with championship finals in all divisions except multimedia. The program awards up to $550,000 in scholarships and grants annually.

There were 98 students from 54 universities and colleges who participated in the program's second writing competition of this academic year.

To read Rankin’s winning article, visit or the Daily Kent Stater Web site.

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WKSU-FM and WYSU-FM Announce News Partnership

WKSU-FM, Kent State's public radio affiliate, and Youngstown State University's WYSU-FM have formed a partnership to better serve the area's news audience. The WKSU-FM news team is now providing hourly newscasts to WYSU during National Public Radio's popular newsmagazine Morning Edition.

Regional and state news headlines from WKSU-FM reporter/producer Amanda Rabinowitz air following national headlines from NPR at 6 a.m., 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Gary Sexton, WYSU's director of broadcasting, says, "We currently don't have the staff or the resources to provide regional and state headlines to our audience, but it's something we have wanted to do. We are very pleased that this partnership with WKSU allows us to do so during Morning Edition. We look forward to exploring other ways of working together to better serve our region."

Al Bartholet, executive director and general manager of WKSU-FM, echoed Sexton's remarks. "We are pleased to be working with WYSU to better serve the public radio audience in Northeast Ohio, and I hope this is the first of many future collaborations," he says.

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New Web Site on the Horizon: Share Your Thoughts

What do you think about the Kent State University Web site (http// Is it meeting your needs? Do you like it? Do you think the navigation could be better? Do you read the home page success stories? Do you find it confusing, boring or just right? Now is your chance to speak out!

As the university prepares for a redesign of the Web site, it is critical that we get feedback from important users like you. Your feedback will help determine if the site is well organized and is easy to use or if information on the site needs to be changed.

Take a few minutes to fill out a short questionnaire, which also will be accessible from the university’s home page until Friday, Jan. 30.

The divisions of University Relations and Information Services will use data from the survey, as well as data from usability tests and focus groups, to make necessary modifications to the existing site.

For more information about the redesign of the Web site, contact Lin Danes at

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Legal Brief: Welcome to the Office of the University Counsel

Legal Briefs appears in e-Inside monthly to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past Legal Briefs is available online.

The Office of the University Counsel (UC) serves as more than just the legal representative of the university in the courtroom. University Counsel is also available to provide legal advice and guidance on university-related matters to employees and departments at all eight campuses.

Reporting directly to the President, the Chief Counsel is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the counsel office and for ensuring that the university remains in legal compliance with numerous state and federal laws and regulations. The attorneys and legal associates in the University Counsel office provide many services, including the following:

  • Assist departments with the administration and negotiation of third-party contracts;
  • Provide notary services for university documents;
  • Coordinate all public records requests for the Kent and Regional campuses;
  • Assist in the development of university policy, as well as department-specific regulations;
  • Provide advice on patent, copyright and technology-transfer information;
  • Assist international employees with the permanent residency process; and
  • Provide training in regulatory compliance and guidance when new laws go into effect.

The University Counsel office is located on the second floor of the University Library in the Executive Offices. More information and legal resources are available online. Anyone with questions also is encouraged to call 330-672-2982 or send legal inquiries to

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Human Resources Question: Where can I access my Total Compensation statement?

Kent State employees can access their individual Total Compensation Statements through FlashLine.

The online statements will allow employees to view their earned income, which includes salary, vacation and sick leave. The statements also will reflect university contributions for health benefits, the tuition waiver, workers’ compensation, Medicare and employee retirement plans (Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, State Teachers Retirement System or Alternative Retirement Plan).

Employees can view a summary of their 2008 total compensation statement by logging in to FlashLine and selecting the My HR tab. At this point, employees can either:

  1. Go to the Employment Details channel, select Employee Menu, then click on the link to Total Compensation Statements, or
  2. Go to the Total Compensation channel, and select the Your Total Compensation Statement link.

The statements here are published annually, and previous statements (from 2007) will remain available in FlashLine. If you have problems accessing your statement, contact the Helpdesk at 330-672-HELP (4357). If you have questions regarding information contained in the Total Compensation Statement, contact the Benefits and Compensation office at 330-672-3107.

View the Human Resources Question of the Week archive. 

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