News Briefs


Return to Issue of Oct. 5, 2009



First H1N1 Flu Case is Confirmed as Flu Season Officially Begins

Flu season has arrived.

On Sept. 30, University Health Services confirmed an isolated case of H1N1 flu. This student does not live in the residence halls and did not require hospitalization.

Knowing that the H1N1 flu is in Portage County and is affecting at least one Kent State student is not a surprise, and it only emphasizes the need to be extra diligent about washing your hands and covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Please take advantage of the hand sanitizing stations found in university buildings. We also encourage you to get a seasonal flu shot, either at a university-sponsored flu clinic, from your primary care physician or at your local retail pharmacy.

Oct. 4 marked the official start of the seasonal flu season. This fall, University Health Services has tested hundreds of students. Most of the students have been diagnosed with common colds, bronchitis and strep throat. Only six students have had ILI (influenza-like illness), and this is our first and only confirmed H1N1 flu case.

If you get sick with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Most people with 2009 H1N1 flu have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs. The same is true of seasonal flu.
Please continue to check the university’s flu Web site, www.kent.edu/flu, for more information and updates concerning seasonal and H1N1 flu.


Employee Flu Clinics Require Registration; No Walk-ins Permitted

Registration for the seasonal flu clinics for faculty and staff is required. As opposed to prior years, walk-ins will not be permitted as vaccine injectable supplies are limited. FluMist, a nasal flu vaccine spray, will also be made available for those under the age of 49 who do not have respiratory problems. Whether you receive a traditional shot or the FluMist, you must make an appointment in advance.

The Oct. 6 seasonal flu clinic on the Kent Campus is full. Flu clinics at the Regional Campuses are scheduled for:

  • Oct. 15 – Salem Campus – 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 19 – Trumbull Campus – 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Nov. 12 – Stark Campus – 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

To register for an appointment, visit http://www1.kent.edu/hr/Employee/fluprevention.cfm.

University Health Services anticipates receiving a large shipment of flu shots in early October, so we encourage you to check www.kent.edu/flu for new flu clinic dates as they are announced.

You also may contact your primary care physician or visit your local retail pharmacy to receive a seasonal flu shot. A list of pharmacies that offer seasonal flu shots is available at http://www.kent.edu/hr/employee/fluprevention.cfm.


Plan Now to Make Your United Way Donation

Kent State is the largest employer in Portage County. Just as we all focus on results in our work, United Way of Portage County is focusing on achieving measurable, long-lasting results here in Portage County through vital, locally-operated programs. Our donations comprise a substantial portion of the operating funds of the United Way of Portage County.

Some of the types of programs the local United Way supports are: crisis relief efforts, programs for children and youth, senior citizens and families. United Way of Portage County also supports the 211 Portage phone referral program for community resources and volunteer opportunities.

The annual United Way fundraising campaign at Kent State started late last month. Please consider supporting the United Way. Your gift to the United Way will make a tangible, positive difference in the lives of Portage County residents – your friends, neighbors and colleagues – every day.

For more information on the United Way of Portage County and to donate, please go to the Web site.


Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 11

Open Enrollment is just around the corner.

The Open Enrollment period for selecting medical, insurance and other benefits-related options for 2010, will run from Oct. 11 through Nov. 8 this year.

It is important for employees to carefully review their benefit choices and their list of dependents for accuracy before completing the enrollment process. In an effort to reduce costs and improve access, the enrollment booklet detailing the benefit selections will be online this year, through the Open Enrollment Web site. Employees will receive a postcard at their home address this week with details on how to access the information and complete the enrollment process.

For questions, contact the Benefits Office at 330-672-3107 or benefits@kent.edu.


Where at Kent State Is This? Check Out This New Photo Contest

 

Can you figure out where this appears on one of Kent State’s eight campuses?

Beginning Oct. 5, and appearing the first week of each month, e-Inside will publish a close-up image from one of the eight campuses that comprise the Kent State system.

The first image appears this week in the top left corner of the issue, and is repeated here.

Check out the image and see if you can identify where it appears!

A Kent State-branded item will be awarded each month to the first person who correctly identifies what’s in the photo.

If you can identify this image, shoot an e-mail to einside@kent.edu, and specify what the image captured is, and on which campus it appears. We will select the first correct entry and announce the prizewinner and the prize in an issue of e-Inside that is published later in the same month.

Please provide your university affiliation with each entry.


University Unveils Plaque Honoring Former Football Player Jack Rittichier

Jack Rittichier was honored at the home football game of Sept. 26.

At halftime of the Sept. 26 home football game against Miami University, Kent State unveiled a plaque underneath the scoreboard in Dix Stadium’s south plaza honoring former Kent State letterwinner Jack Rittichier. From now on, the football Most Valuable Player Award will be known as the Lt. Jack Columbus Rittichier Award.

Famous for his 90-yard touchdown run in a 1954 Homecoming game defeat of Bowling Green State University that helped propel the Flashes to the Refrigerator Bowl (the first bowl game in school history), Rittichier went on to captain the 1955 squad, as well as the 1956 track team.

After graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force, and upon the completion of his tour of duty, Rittichier entered the U.S. Coast Guard as a helicopter pilot. After several life-saving missions in the Great Lakes area, he volunteered for duty with the Air Force, flying combat rescue missions in Vietnam.

Unfortunately, he and three other crewmen made the ultimate sacrifice on June 9, 1968, while attempting to rescue a downed U.S. Marine Corps pilot. Rittichier’s remains were not recovered until 2002, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Oct. 6, 2003, with full military honors.

Members of Rittichier’s family were joined by representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard and university officials for the Heroes Day halftime ceremony.


College of Communication and Information Semester in Florence Seeks Participants

CCI will also expose students to the educational opportunities in Florence, Italy.

Kent State’s College of Communication and Information is recruiting undergraduate students to participate in its new study abroad program in Florence, Italy. The deadline to apply for the spring 2010 program is Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009.

The college plans to offer the study abroad experience in both fall and spring semesters. Available courses include comparative media, Italian language and a practicum involving the employment of students’ communication skills to produce information, entertainment and multimedia news under the instruction of Italian media professionals.

Stan Wearden, dean, College of Communication and Information, says the study abroad program is an opportunity for students to experience living and working in a different culture and to differentiate themselves in a competitive job market.

“Our students will be working in a world of global finance, politics and communication,” Wearden says. “They need to understand and have some familiarity with cultures other than our own. In addition to that, we have known for centuries that travel itself is a form of education. Spending a significant amount of time immersed in another culture is a life-transforming experience.”

Deborah Davis, an academic adviser in the college, met with nearly 25 students as part of an informational session to discuss the program details and answer questions.

“CCI is willing to send as few as five to seven [students] for this spring 2010 pilot semester,” Davis says. “We're working to bring down program fees, as some costs like food and spending money are impossible to estimate because students will live so differently.”

To help offset the additional costs of studying in Florence, the college is awarding $1,000 scholarships to all students enrolled for spring 2010. No special qualifications are required.

Faculty members are urged to inform and encourage their students to take advantage of this rare educational opportunity.

To find out more about the College of Communication and Information’s study abroad program, contact Davis at dldavis@kent.edu.


Celebrating Teaching Conference, Oct. 29 and 30

Chancellor Eric Fingerhut will keynote this years’ University Teaching Conference.

The University Teaching Council will recognize Kent State’s faculty and staff at the 16th annual Celebrating College Teaching Conference. The conference will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29, and Friday, Oct. 30.

The activities will begin Thursday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Kiva. The conference starts with the Read Distinguished Lecture Series speaker. The keynote speaker is Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. Fingerhut’s lecture is titled “How Higher Education Is Moving Ohio Forward in the Global Economy.”

Events on Friday, Oct. 30, include:

  • Provost’s continental breakfast
  • Refereed round tables
    • Read Lecture round table, “How Higher Education Is Moving Ohio Forward in the Global Economy,” Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents
  • Thematic breakout sessions:
    • Campus Conversations
  • Invited round tables
    • Emerita round table, “Who’s to Judge the Quality of Teaching? What Are the Measures of Excellence?” Joanne Schwartz, dean emerita
  • President’s luncheon and Glenn W. Frank Lecture
    • Distinguished Teaching Awards and Outstanding Teaching Awards Ceremony (Keep watching e-Inside for more information about this year’s finalists.)
  • Dessert reception

All events are free and open to all conference participants, but reservations for Friday’s breakfast and luncheon are limited to the first 400 respondents.
The final day to register for the conference is Monday, Oct. 26. For more information, visit the University Teaching Council Web site.


Student Recreation and Wellness Center Closing Oct. 8; Limited Access All of This Week

The Department of Recreational Services at Kent State University would like to inform all students and members that due to a Kent State Centennial Campaign event, only limited access will be available to multiple areas during this week. The restrictions are as follows:

Monday, Oct. 5, through Friday, Oct. 9, closures:
Sports Arena
Combative Studio

Wednesday, Oct. 7, through Friday, Oct. 9, closures:
Track
Multipurpose Gym
Studio 1 and 2
Seminar Rooms
Summit St. Cafe
Lobby (Limited Access)

On Thursday, Oct. 8, the entire facility will close at noon and remain closed until 6 a.m. Friday morning, Oct. 9.

For more information, visit the Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s Web site.


The Squirrels are Coming! The Squirrels are Coming!

The time has come to judge the squirrels!

Departments, colleges, businesses and school groups are hard at work, putting the finishing touches on their decorated squirrels as part of the Centennial Squirrel decorating contest. More than 30 squirrel statues in two different sizes – 8 inches and 30 inches – will be judged by popular vote at the KSU vs BGSU game on Saturday, Oct. 10, in Tailgate Alley at Dix Stadium. So be sure to visit the contest tent to cast your vote. Registered contestants include local businesses, residence halls and sororities and numerous university departments and schools.

Don’t miss this chance to show your school spirit and to help your favorite entrant win one of these fabulous donated prizes:

  • Black squirrel basket from McKay-Bricker Gallery
  • Free one-year Special Parking Pass from Parking Services
  • One of five Intercollegiate Athletics Centennial baskets
  • Kent/Blossom music tickets and orchestra society season tickets from the School of Music
  • Departmental photo shoot and image CD from University Communications and Marketing
  • Kent State logo promotional gift basket from University Communications and Marketing
  • Pizza party from Enrollment Management and Student Affairs

More prizes are being donated daily.

Voting will take place from 1 p.m. until the end of halftime at the Homecoming game. Winners will be announced during the second half of the game.

For more information, contact Diana Ryman at dryman@kent.edu or Pat Nash at pnash@kent.edu.


Direct Deposit Notifications Now Available for Reimbursements

Accounts Payable is pleased to announce that effective Oct. 5, 2009, employees, students and vendors will receive e-mail notifications confirming when payment is sent from the university to their financial institution for various payments. Expense reimbursements, student refunds and vendor invoices are examples of payments processed by the Accounts Payable department. A remittance advice will be attached to each e-mail detailing the reason for payment.

Direct deposit payments processed by the Accounts Payable department are dependent upon the banking information already elected by employees and students via FlashLine. In order to view or modify an existing allocation, refer to the following guidelines:

  • Employees: FlashLine must be used to update your Accounts Payable direct deposit information. Review the Expense Reimbursement Creator Reference Guide located on the Accounts Payable Web site for step-by-step instructions.
  • Students: FlashLine must be used to update your direct deposit information. Students can refer to the Bursar’s Office Web site for Step-by-Step Student Account Access instructions, including information on how to elect or modify an existing direct deposit allocation.

Accounts Payable representatives say they believe this new process is a real benefit to the university community and represents another step in leveraging the university’s administrative systems investment.


Open Enrollment/Wellness Fair Prize Winner

More than 300 faculty and staff attended the Open Enrollment/Wellness Fair on Sept. 30 at the Kent Student Center. Those attending had an opportunity to meet with the university’s medial, insurance and other benefits-related vendors for 2010, sample healthy snacks, get a chair massage and enter a drawing for door prizes. The list of door prizes winners is below; winners will be notified on how to pick up their prize. The event was sponsored by the Benefits unit in Human Resources.

Name
Affiliation Prize
Brenda McKenzie
Center for Student Involvement Best Buy Gift Card
Paula Rossi
Police Department Best Buy Gift Card
Tim Smith
WKSU-FM Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Sara Biltz
Grounds Department
The Vue Gift Card
Barbara Schloman
Libraries and Media Services BP Gas Card
Virginia Wright
Mathematical Sciences BP Gas Card
Arla McPherson
Chemistry BP Gas Card
Judy Wakabayashi
Modern and Classical Languages Best Buy Gift Card
Prasanna Joshi
Project Management The Vue Gift Card
Valorie Adkins
Admin Affairs and Graduate Education AFLAC Duck
Mary Lovin
Unversity Libraries AFLAC Duck
Debbie Roeder
College of Education AFLAC Duck
Bruce Ahrens
Residence Services AFLAC Duck
Florence Nickel
Campus Environment and Operations AFLAC Duck
Lisa Taylor
Bursar's Office AFLAC Golf Club Cover
Kari Ford
Campus Environment and
Operations
Giant Eagle Gift Card
Debbie McFrederick
Residence Services Stainless Bottle & Mug Set
Darlene Kosar
College of Continuing Studies Sonic Tooth Brush
Donna Taylor
Admissions Anthem Gym Bag
Thomas Pastva
Residence Services iPod
Benjamin Pijor
Academic Computing and Technology 2 Cavaliers Tickets
Shelly Verba
University Health Services 2 Cavaliers Tickets
Cathy Arnette
Sociology Gift Card




Schneider Moves From Trumbull Campus to Join Student Success Programs

Randi Schneider

Randi Schneider, former director of enrollment management at the Kent State Trumbull Campus has assumed the role of associate director of student success programs as of Sept. 8.

Schneider replaces Joanna Liedel who will continue her role as an associate director with Student Success Programs working with the First-Year Experience course and academic initiatives such as the Faculty Referral System.

The student success office is responsible for numerous events and programs including Destination Kent State: Advising and Registration, as well as Destination Kent State: Welcome Weekend.

Schneider notes, “I think the most important responsibility of my position is to play an active role in student success programs so that we can help students make a successful transition to Kent State University.”

Schneider has been with Kent State for five years. Prior to her employment at Kent State, she worked for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Kansas and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“We are very fortunate to have Randi join our staff,” says Eboni Pringle director, student success programs. “Her passion for student success and her previous positions, both here at Kent State and other institutions, make her an excellent candidate to assist our students and their families in becoming connected to and familiar with the university. Randi has already done a remarkable job of settling into the office and has already jumped in and began planning for next’s year Destination Kent State program.”

Schneider’s background includes a bachelor’s degree in social work, a master’s in counselor education from Illinois State University and a doctorate in education, organizations and leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Help 14 Local Food Pantries With a Donation to the Annual Food Drive

Local food pantries need Kent State’s assistance in filling their shelves.

Kent State is hosting its annual food drive to combat hunger in Portage County. The downturn in the economy has hit food pantries particularly hard, creating record lows in food supplies. Families who have been adversely affected by the country’s economic situation often turn to the 14 food pantries in Portage County to meet basic food needs.

Most needed items include: soups, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruit and vegetables, powered milk and pasta.

The food drive runs until Oct. 24 and will end on “National Make a Difference Day” with students canvassing neighborhoods, collecting food items and delivering those donations along with Kent State’s donations to Maplewood Joint Vocational School. There, donations will be sorted and sent to the 14 food pantries.

This year, Kent State has challenged Robinson Memorial Hospital in a friendly competition. Let’s collect 10,000 pounds of food to surpass Robinson’s 2008 collection total. For more details, contact Vicki Ladd at vladd@kent.edu, Ann Gosky at agosky@kent.edu or Chris Hook at chook@kent.edu.

Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to donation bins located on the first floor of the Kent Student Center or to bins located in most academic buildings and residence halls, or call 330-672-4050 for pick-up. Basic hygiene items (soaps, shampoo, etc.) are also welcome donations.


Human Resources Question of the Week: Is there a discount for Kent State employees to purchase Microsoft software for personal use?

Kent State maintains an agreement with Microsoft that allows the university, as well as faculty, staff and students, to purchase Microsoft software at a substantial discount. Available software includes Microsoft Office products, Communicator and Infopath, among others.

If the software is intended for personal use, faculty and staff should make their purchases using the Student Select License, which is valid even if employees leave the university. This software is available on the Faculty/Staff tab at http://kent.e-academy.com. (Note: products strictly for university business on an employee’s personal computer, called “Work at Home” software purchased under this license is valid ONLY for duration of employment at Kent State and cannot be accessed for personal use.)

More information about the university’s Microsoft agreement can be found on the Information Services Web site at http://www.kent.edu/is/Software/Microsoft.cfm.

View the HR Question of the Week archive.


Return to Issue of Oct. 5, 2009


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