News Briefs

Return to Issue of April 20, 2009


WKSU-FM Series Examines Fallout of Skyrocketing Unemployment, Reemployment

The last six months have been one of the most extraordinary periods in U.S. economic history. As the stock market plunged and companies shed workers at an astonishing rate, thousands of people are suddenly looking for work.

While open positions have been sparse, some fields continue to expand, and even traditional manufacturing has its bright spots.

Meanwhile, people are adapting, making drastic changes in their career paths, piecing together their own businesses and finding ways during the lull to build resumes they hope will pay off later.

Beginning April 13, the WKSU-FM newsroom began to delve into the murky waters of the current employment situation in Northeast Ohio with the eight-part series Good Jobs in Bad Times.

With their reports, the award-winning news staff covers topics that include high-paying tech jobs, careers that don't need a four-year degree, the re-growth of agriculture as industry, working part-time as a full-time job, career makeovers, the truth about health care, bridge jobs after graduation and the future of Northeast Ohio employment.

Listen for reports weekdays during Morning Edition, heard from 5 to 9 a.m. and All Things Considered, heard from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

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Screening Mammograms Offered on Kent Campus in May

Photo by Bob Christy

The Women's Resource Center will offer screening mammograms in May.

The Women's Resource Center will again offer screening mammograms to Kent State employees and spouses in early May. The center contracted with Tiffany Breast Care Center of Youngstown to provide the Women’s Resource Center with a mobile mammogram unit for the two-day screening event.

Mammograms take approximately 12 minutes to complete and will be conveniently provided in Tiffany Breast Care's mobile mammography unit, which will be parked on the Kent Campus in front of the Women's Resource Center on May 5 and 6. Appointments will be available between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day.

Aside from nonmelanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women. Specific early detection recommendations include monthly breast self-examinations for women age 20 and older. Women ages 35-40 should have a first screening mammogram and women age 40 and older should have a screening mammogram each year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control in 2005, 186,467 women and 1,764 men were diagnosed with breast cancer, with 41,116 women and 375 men dying from the disease.

For additional information or to register, call the Women's Resource Center at 330-672-9230 or toll free 1-866-339-3699 by Friday, May 1. Participants will receive confirmation of appointment time, and medical forms will be forwarded for completion prior to the screening.

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Volunteers Sought for Teaching English as a Foreign Language Costa Rica Trip

Do you dream of studying abroad in a tropical climate? Are you interested in teaching as well? Look no further than the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at Kent State. The OIA is seeking volunteers who have experience (a certificate or diploma) teaching English as a second language to teach in Costa Rica. The program will last for six months to a year. Appointments begin in June of 2009.

Volunteers will be provided with pre-service training, free room and board, assistance with improving Spanish-language skills, teaching materials, medical insurance, free background checks (required by the Costa Rican government) and some financial assistance toward airfare from the United States.

Qualified applications should send resumes and other pertinent information to Barbara Brown, of the OIA, via e-mail at or to Dr. Klaus Gommlich, of the English as a Second Language Center, at

For more information, call Brown at 330-672-7980 or Gommlich at 330-672-3818.

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Legal Brief: How to Deal With Contracts Signed on Behalf of Kent State University

“Legal Briefs" is a monthly article from the Office of the University Counsel designed to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past Legal Briefs is available online. If you have an idea for a Legal Brief topic, send an e-mail to

If you or your department have formal agreements with consultants, vendors, suppliers, health care or educational facilities, those contracts should always be reviewed by the Office of University Counsel. The review should be done before any contract is signed on behalf of the university.

Regardless of the division in which you work, there is only one legal entity that outside groups can contract with: Kent State University. The authority to enter into contracts rests with the Board of Trustees, and that authority is delegated to the president and certain other administrative officials. If you or someone in your department is regularly signing contracts on behalf of the university, you should have a letter from the president or the vice president of your division that delegates the signing authority for those contracts.

There are certain clauses that are never acceptable in university contracts — language that calls for the university to indemnify a third party, language that calls for arbitration as the only legal remedy or language that subjects the university to the jurisdiction of another state or country. University Counsel is familiar with these clauses and will review and negotiate contracts at no charge to university departments.

In addition, all university contracts should be reported to the Procurement Office on a regular basis. If you are contracting for use of services from a minority or woman-owned business, it is important to identify those contractors in your report. This assists Procurement in keeping an accurate record of the university’s engagement of minority or woman-owned firms, which is a mandate from the state of Ohio in order to improve diversity.

As a state institution, Kent State is required to retain copies of contracts for a period of five years after the contract expires. It is important to determine if your department is the custodian of the contract; if so, the record should be stored in paper or electronic form.

For questions about contracts or to schedule a contract review, contact the Office of University Counsel at 330-672-2982 or

Student Journalists Bring Home Regional Honors in Annual Competition

Photo by Bob Christy

Student journalists and media outlets in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication brought home regional honors from the Society of Professional Journalism.
Student journalists and media outlets in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication cleaned up at this year’s Society of Professional Journalism's (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards in Columbus on April 5. The awards honor the best in student journalism. The awards offer 39 categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

Kent State took home a total of 18 awards – more than any school in the region. Eight of the awards are first-place regional winners, and those student journalists will move on to compete against 11 other regional winners. National winners will be announced at the SPJ national conference, to be held
Aug. 27-30.

Kent State's regional awards:

Breaking News Reporting

Third Place - Megan Rozsa and Caitlyn Wachovec, "September 11 Memorial Coverage"

General News Reporting
First Place - Tyrel Linkhorn, "I didn't know you, but I loved you"
Second Place - Staff, Daily Kent Stater, "Five years later: Like after five years in Iraq"

Editorial Cartooning
Second Place - Christopher Sharron

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper (published four + times per week)
Second Place -
Daily Kent Stater

Non-Fiction Article
First Place - Ted Hamilton, "The Last Great Gun Debate," The Burr
Second Place - Ben Wolford, "A New Era," Fusion
Third Place - Sarah Steimer, "Anyone Can Come and Not Be Judged,"

Best Student Magazine
First Place - Fusion
Second Place - The Burr

Feature Photography
Second Place – "24 Hours in Portage County"

Best Affiliated Web Site
First Place -
Second Place -

Online Sports Reporting
First place -, "Kent State Football vs. Akron"

Online News Reporting
First place -, "Prentice Hall Fire"

TV In-Depth reporting
First place - Julie Landis, Jenelle Maddox and Lauren Yelicheck, "
Cystic Fibrosis"

TV General News Reporting
First place - Kyle Miller, "Center of Hope"
Third place - Julie Landis, "MROD"

For more information about the SPJ awards, go to its
Web site.


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National Association That Advocates for State Universities Changes Name, Updates Mission

The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) recently announced a name change, now calling itself the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or the APLU. Kent State University is a member of this association.

The new name, approved by the organization's Board of Directors in November 2008, combines a new simplicity with an acknowledgement of the group's heritage. The acronym, just four letters long, is easier to remember and pronounce using the name of each letter.

According to the association, the retirement of the longer name and acronym is necessary as they "aggressively reach out to advance the organization’s goals." Born of a merger in the 1960s, the name was a compromise devised to welcome the membership of two distinct organizations. The acronym's letter combination and pronunciation have always been awkward. For most not deeply involved in the association, the name was hard to remember.

To prepare for the transition, the staff of the group has developed a new brand, updated the Web site and e-mail system, designed new stationery and changed building signs.

During the past two years, the organization has changed its approach to issues and significantly expanded its activities. Important leadership projects underway at APLU include:

The APLU is the oldest higher education association in the nation, with a legacy of advocacy for public higher education that stretches back to 1887. Today, the group advocates for 186 public institutions and 27 state university systems that encompass 3.5 million undergraduate students, 1.1 million graduate students, and 645,000 faculty and professional staff. Combined, the member-institutions generate nearly $30 billion in research funding annually.

For additional information about the organization, go to thei
Web site.

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Human Resources Question of the Week: When should I use the new Change in Status/Term Assignment Renewal form?

Human Resources recently introduced the new Change in Status/Term Assignment Renewal form as a way to simplify the process when a current classified or unclassified employee has a change in job status. The form should be used in the following situations:

This form replaces the need for completing the Position Request Authorization (PRA) and will be used in place of the Personnel Action Form in the instances mentioned above. Please note not it does not replace the need to complete a PRA when filling a newly created vacancy that will be posted or waived for posting. The form can be found in the HR
Forms Library along with an instruction sheet.

View the HR Question of the Week archive.

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