Report Overview:
Total Clips (14)
Alumni; Athletics (1)
Alumni; Fashion Design and Merchandising (1)
Athletics (1)
Dual Enrollment Programs (1)
Entrepreneurship (1)
Hotel and Conference Center; Town-Gown (2)
KSU at Stark (2)
KSU at Tuscarawas (1)
KSU Museum (1)
Liquid Crystal Institute; Research (1)
Recreational Services (1)
Theatre and Dance (1)


Headline Date Outlet

Alumni; Athletics (1)
On the record -- Three former KSU golfers in U.S. Open (Page) 06/13/2013 Akron Beacon Journal, The Text Attachment Email

Three former Kent State University golfers are in the field for the U.S. Open, which begins today at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia. Hudson graduate...


Alumni; Fashion Design and Merchandising (1)
KSU fashion grads collections to be shown off in New York (Quevedo) 06/13/2013 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email

SYLVIA BUKOWSKI, WILL RIDDLE ARE CHOSEN FOR THE SUPIMA DESIGN COMPETITION IN SEPTEMBER Only weeks after graduating from Kent State University's Fashion...


Athletics (1)
Sources indicate Mike Birkbeck staying with Kent State baseball program 06/13/2013 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email

According to sources close to the Kent State baseball program and several posts by players and recruits on Twitter, Mike Birkbeck has decided to keep his...


Dual Enrollment Programs (1)
Ravenna students place high in program 06/13/2013 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email

More than 250 students attended the Health Professions Affinity Community program sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Medical University and Kent State...


Entrepreneurship (1)
HHS entrepreneurs win second annual Teen Shark Tank competition 06/12/2013 Hudson Hub-Times - Online Text Attachment Email

...window cleaning product. The winners receive cash awards to actually start up their microbusinesses, and they will tap into the abundant resources of the University of Akron Research Foundation. All financing for the microbusiness is provided by an anonymous donor. Winners of this year's competition...


Hotel and Conference Center; Town-Gown (2)
Updated: Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center to open Friday 06/13/2013 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email

UPDATE: The ribbon-cutting scheduled for Friday has been postponed. Check back with RecordPub.com and we'll let you know when more information is available...

(VIDEO) UPDATE: Kent State Hotel to Open Friday 06/13/2013 Kent Patch Text Attachment Email

New, five-story hotel on South DePeyster Street part of downtown redevelopment Correction: there is no ribbon-cutting Friday for the new hotel. The...


KSU at Stark (2)
Art exhibits 06/13/2013 Akron Beacon Journal, The Text Attachment Email

Verdant Visions - Through June 21 at Kent State University Stark Campus, University Center Dining Room, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, Jackson Township. 330-244-3518....

Kent State Stark announces new science building breaks ground this fall (Wagor, Williams) 06/12/2013 Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The Text Attachment Email

Kent State University at Stark has announced that they will begin construction on a new science building in the fall of 2013. The building, which...


KSU at Tuscarawas (1)
Tickets still available for Jewel 06/12/2013 New Philadelphia Times-Reporter Text Attachment Email

More than 100 tickets remain for the Jewel Greatest Hits show set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Performing Arts Center at Kent State University at Tuscarawas. Jewel, an acclaimed singer and songwriter, will perform solo and acoustic. Tickets range from $46 to $66....


KSU Museum (1)
Art exhibits 06/13/2013 Akron Beacon Journal, The Text Attachment Email

ART BEST BETS Fashion Timeline — Through June at Kent State University Museum, 515 Hilltop Drive. 330-672-3450.


Liquid Crystal Institute; Research (1)
Two teams led by Case Western Reserve awarded $6 million in Third Frontier money 06/13/2013 Crain's Cleveland Business Text Attachment Email

The Ohio Third Frontier Commission has awarded $6 million to two teams led by Case Western Reserve University that are developing new medical technology,...


Recreational Services (1)
Area briefs -- June 12 06/13/2013 Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The Text Attachment Email

PORTAGE COUNTY Swim record effort KENT: Kent State will be one of 13 locations statewide to take part in the attempt to make the Guinness World Record for the site of the largest simultaneous...


Theatre and Dance (1)
Prejudice Set to Music (Kent) 06/12/2013 Scene - Online Text Attachment Email

...iconic show and having only 2½ weeks to rehearse. So there is no time wasted as the cast gathers at the appointed times in the Wright-Curtis Theatre on the Kent State University campus to run small snatches of the show and refine their performances. Although the selection of South Pacific for this...


News Headline: On the record -- Three former KSU golfers in U.S. Open (Page) | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal, The
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Three former Kent State University golfers are in the field for the U.S. Open, which begins today at Merion Golf Club near Philadelphia.

Hudson graduate John Hahn, Mackenzie Hughes and Ryan Yip will tee it up in today's first round.

Yip is a 2006 graduate of KSU, Hahn a 2011 graduate and Hughes a 2012 graduate.

“I'm very excited for Ryan, John and Mackenzie,” KSU coach Herb Page said in a news release. “In the 2004 U.S. Open at Shinecock Hills, we had both Ben Curtis and David Morland in the field. This is the first time we've had three Kent State
players in a U.S. Open.”

Baseball

Three Kent State baseball players were drafted on the third day of the Major League Baseball Draft.

Redshirt sophomore Eric Dorsch was selected in the 21st round Saturday by the Cincinnati Reds, junior Derek Toadvine was taken by the New York Yankees in the 22nd round and senior George Roberts was a 26th-round pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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News Headline: KSU fashion grads collections to be shown off in New York (Quevedo) | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: SYLVIA BUKOWSKI, WILL RIDDLE ARE CHOSEN FOR THE SUPIMA DESIGN COMPETITION IN SEPTEMBER

Only weeks after graduating
from Kent State University's
Fashion School, Sylvia
Bukowski, 22, has an opportunity
most designers will
never get in their lifetime
— to show her collection
in New York Fashion Week
Sept. 5 through 12.

Bukowski along with fellow
graduate Will Riddle
were selected to compete
in this year's Supima Design
Competition, a fashion
design contest that takes
place in a New York Fashion
Week runway show at Lincoln
Center with a $10,000
grand prize.

The Supima competition
is only reserved for the top
schools in the country, including
Kent State University
Fashion School, Rhode
Island School of Design, the
Fashion Institute of Technology
and the Savannah
College of Art and Design.
Each school in the competition
was asked to select
two graduating seniors to
compete.

The two contestants were
announced at the Kent
State Fashion School's Annual
Fashion show that took
place in April, where Bukowski
won the Knitwear
Collection Award.

“Senior year we had to
make a collection like we're
doing for the Supima competition,”
Bukowski said.
“We're still in the beginning
stages. It's all about finding
inspiration and putting it all
together and hopefully we
get started soon.”

The students will work
with only premium Supima
denims, knits, corduroys,
twills and shirting to create
five evening looks.

“I'm trying to figure out
fabric manipulation, what
colors I want to use, how
to dye it or if I'm going to
use print,” Bukowski said.
“There are so many options
we can do with the fabric.
Right now, we only have little
swatches they sent out to
us. To be fair, they are sending
out the fabric in June
when all the universities are
done.”

Bukowski is basing her
collection off a rare sea urchin
with bendable spines.

“I want to incorporate
it through the fabric,” Bukowski
said. “It's a very interesting
animal. I think
I can get a lot of textile.
Throughout the five pieces,
you'll see it integrating
and moving as the sea urchin
does.”

With a little research, Bukowski
found a connection
between cotton and the sea
urchin.

“We're using all cotton and
cotton is obviously grown
in crops, but sometimes
we don't think of where it
comes from or how it was
formed when we're wearing
it,” Bukowski said. “I was
thinking of how we don't
see things in the ocean and
I was thinking of other environmental
things and that's
how I want to represent the
cotton. I want to show how
the sea urchin starts forming
and how bendable their
spines are throughout the
collection and towards the
end it just is this completely
amazing, unique creature.
It's kind of like how cotton
grows. We grow it, we make
the fabric and then we make
clothes out of it. That's the
kind of connection I have
with it.”

Bukowski will compete
against her best friend, Riddle,
in the competition.

“I think we will both support
each other. I think it will
be easy, not time wise, but
just with the environment I
will be working in,” she said.
Bukowski said she will
work up until the day of the
competition.

“I honestly don't know
when I will be done,” Bukowski
said. “Maybe the day
before the show. I'm always
working on it up to the last
minute. I'm much more of a
person that deletes things,
adds things and changes
things just to enhance the
look.”

Bukowski said to show
her collection in New York
Fashion Week is a dream
come true.

“It's probably going to
be one of my proudest moments,”
Bukowski said.

Bukowski selected Kent
State associate professor of
fashion design Vince Quevedo
as her faculty mentor.

“She was with me during
the production of her senior
collection,” Quevedo said.
“We work well together because
there are some things
students draw on paper, but
may not know if it's possible
to make into reality, and
that's why I'm here to help.”

The winner of the competition
will receive $10,000.
The school will receive
$5,000, which will go toward
a new scholarship or award
for students.

For more information
about Kent State's Fashion
School, visit kent.edu/
artscollege/fashion.

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News Headline: Sources indicate Mike Birkbeck staying with Kent State baseball program | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: According to sources close to the Kent State baseball program and several posts by players and recruits on Twitter, Mike Birkbeck has decided to keep his current position as the Golden Flashes' Associate Head Coach/Pitching Coach.

Birkbeck has been weighing offers to join former Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin in Georgia, and to become the Golden Flashes' head coach. Stricklin agreed to a six-year deal worth $600,000 annually to lead the Bulldogs program on June 3 and immediately offered jobs to Kent State assistant coaches Birkbeck and Scott Daeley, who were with him during his entire nine-year stint at KSU. Daeley accepted the offer to join the Georgia staff on Tuesday.

Birkbeck did not return a message seeking comment on Wednesday, while Flashes Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen would not comment on Birkbeck's status. An official announcement is expected today.

Birkbeck has spent the past 17 seasons as pitching coach of the Flashes and has earned his reputation as one of the elite assistants in the country.

The Orrville native and former University of Akron All-American pitcher was named 2012 Baseball America/American Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year after helping Kent State reach the College World Series in 2012, and has worked with 40 KSU pitchers who have gone on to play professionally.

Birkbeck was offered the position as head coach at Kent State in 2004 when Rick Rembielak left the Flashes in order to take over the Wake Forest program, but decided to remain KSU's pitching coach. He found himself in a similar situation when Stricklin moved on to Georgia.

Birkbeck's son, John, just completed his sophomore season as a relief pitcher for the Flashes.

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News Headline: Ravenna students place high in program | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: More than 250 students
attended the Health Professions
Affinity Community
program sponsored by
the Northeast Ohio Medical
University and Kent State
University. The universities
partnered with 14 school
districts, non-profit organizations,
the Portage County
College Access Network,
colleges and universities in
Northeast Ohio.

Health Professions Affinity
Community is a pipeline program
for ninth- through 12thgrade
students who have an
interest in extending their
connection to health professions
and learning more
about a professional school.

A team from Ravenna
High School earned first
place for its research presentation.
Revealing and
relieving stress was the format
for the presentation.
The five girls receiving first
place also retained a 3.75
GPA or higher.

Dr. Gina Weisblat, director
of Education for Service at
NEOMED, Dr. Gloria Dunnivan,
director of Dual Enrollment
Programs and the Portage
County College Access
Network at Kent State University
supported and provided
guidance to students
of the HPAC and PCCAN
programs.

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News Headline: HHS entrepreneurs win second annual Teen Shark Tank competition | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/12/2013
Outlet Full Name: Hudson Hub-Times - Online
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Students in Hudson High School's Economics & Entrepreneurship in a Global Economy Course were swimming with the sharks on April 30 at the Hudson Library & Historical Society Teen Shark Tank competition.

Eight teams presented ideas for products ranging from technology, clothing and food to a car window cleaning product. The winners receive cash awards to actually start up their microbusinesses, and they will tap into the abundant resources of the University of Akron Research Foundation. All financing for the microbusiness is provided by an anonymous donor.

Winners of this year's competition were 10th graders Jenna Fink, Annie O'Brien and Faith Voinovich. Their team, BraFusion, introduced a new idea for a bra that has interchangeable straps and sides. While interchangeable straps are currently on the market, their unique product idea also includes sides that can be switched to different colors and fabrics. The team's professional mentor is Karyn Buggs.

Tenth grader Patrick Stepanek was named first runner-up for his social median web service.

The Shark judges were Caroline Barni, Vice President, Marketing, Brand and Communications for COSE; Katherine Harmon, Program Manager, Blackstone LaunchPad of Kent State University; Barry Rosenbaum, Former Technical Director of Exxon and Founder of the University of Akron's Angel Investing Group and Donald S. Sedlock, Vice President of Junior Achievement for North Central Ohio.

Before announcing the winners, the four Sharks complimented all the Hudson High School students on their poise, articulation and business demeanor.

"All eight students and teams presented with passion and animation. Even those students who didn't win enjoyed the experience. And, isn't that what life is about…the journey…the anticipation!" said business and computer science teacher and business club advisor Betty Banks-Burke of her students.

The Teen Shark Tank is an adaptation of TV's popular Shark Tank program. Teams or individual students must present their products and then answer questions presented by the Sharks about their product or service proposals. The questions are often pointed and challenge the competitors to convince the Sharks that their product or plan is worthy of consideration for investment.

Last year's winner Elaina Arsham is currently a junior at Hudson High School. Arsham and is ready to launch her business, Bottle Band-It.

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News Headline: Updated: Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center to open Friday | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: UPDATE: The ribbon-cutting scheduled for Friday has been postponed. Check back with RecordPub.com and we'll let you know when more information is available and a new date has been selected.

Come Friday, another major facet of downtown Kent's redevelopment will swing into motion when the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center opens and begins welcoming overnight guests, wedding parties, business conferences and more.

The new hotel, a $16 million project bordered by Haymaker Parkway and South DePeyster and Erie streets, has 94 guest rooms, a restaurant and lounge, an indoor pool and workout facility, a 24-hour business center and 5,000 square feet of event space with an executive boardroom.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 4:30 p.m. Friday at the hotel, 215 S. DePeyster St.

The project is a partnership between the Kent State University Foundation and the Pizzuti Companies of Columbus, Ohio. Ground was broken on Sept. 19, 2011.

KSU will hold an official launch on Oct. 4, coinciding with the opening of the Esplanade extension and Homecoming activities.

The project is part of the $110 million redevelopment of downtown Kent, which includes the Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority's Kent Central Gateway facility, two phases of Acorn Al ley retail, the Fairmount project, which includes retail and offices for the Davey Tree Expert Co. and Ametek, and revitalization of the old Kent Hotel.

Mike Riccio, general manager of the KSU hotel, said the new hotel is "beautiful fit" in downtown Kent. He foresees it having a great impact on the city and university.

"With everything that's going on and having the hotel here, there now is a vibrant operation that really supplements all of the businesses and allows those who have either been to Kent or would like to come to Kent to stay downtown and walk to pretty much anywhere that they would like to go," Riccio said.

Riccio said the look and feel of the guest rooms can be described as "comfortable and boutique-like," and the front desk, restaurant and lounge area share a large open space.

"It's a very open space and it gives guests a very open feel with a lot of energy and activity and excitement going on in one location," he said.

The hotel's restaurant, "Zenas," is named after Zenas Kent, father of Kent's founder Marvin Kent, and will feature a constantly changing menu of daily, weekly and seasonal specials, with a few core entrees, Riccio said.

Kent City Manager Dave Ruller called the hotel the "final anchor" of Kent's revitalization project. He said that although the site held many challenges through construction, its design gives it an "unmistakably Kent" charm.

"What had been a pipedream for decades can now be counted as one of downtown Kent's premier assets and stands as a monument to the spirt of city-university collaboration," Ruller said. "Thousands of decisions went into the design and construction of the building and the university, the Alumni Foundation and the architects delivered a remarkable product on a small and angular parcel.

About 40 people including banquet staff are employed by the hotel. About 50 events, small and large, have been lined up for the future, Riccio said, noting that staff has undergone thorough training to accommodate guests.

"Our goal is to anticipate guests' needs and exceed expectations," he said. "Our staff is being trained at every opportunity to be able to read a guest, understand what they might be looking for and then deliver service at a higher level."

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News Headline: (VIDEO) UPDATE: Kent State Hotel to Open Friday | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Kent Patch
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: New, five-story hotel on South DePeyster Street part of downtown redevelopment

Correction: there is no ribbon-cutting Friday for the new hotel.

The 94-room, five-story Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center with 300-seat banquet hall will get its ribbon cut Friday as the latest downtown Kent redevelopment project to open to the public.

The new hotel is located at 215 S. DePeyster St.

The June 14 opening keeps the hotel on track for the target opening date set earlier this year by the project developer, The Pizzuti Companies, and investor the Kent State Foundation.

Above, watch a time lapse progression of the hotel from construction to opening.

To view video, please click on link:
http://kent.patch.com/groups/editors-picks/p/kent-state-hotel-to-open-friday

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News Headline: Art exhibits | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal, The
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Verdant Visions - Through June 21 at Kent State University Stark Campus, University Center Dining Room, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, Jackson Township. 330-244-3518.

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News Headline: Kent State Stark announces new science building breaks ground this fall (Wagor, Williams) | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/12/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State University at Stark has announced that they will begin construction on a new science building in the fall of 2013.

The building, which broke ground on May 15, will feature state of the art technology and be a platform for student research, hands on education and active learning.

“The new Sciences Building, which is slated to begin construction in fall 2013, will guide us in meeting the needs of our current students, as well as planning for the needs that will come with future campus growth,” said Dr. Walter F. Wagor, dean of Kent State Stark in a news release. “The expansion will include new and renovated science laboratories, increased nursing laboratory space and more classrooms, in addition to student study and gathering spaces.”

This new 41,140-square-foot building will cost approximately $17 million. According to spokesperson Cynthia Williams via email, the building will feature a 125-seat lecture hall, a 40-station computer classroom and state-of-the-art classroom technology.

“Keeping with Kent State Stark's commitment to protect and preserve the environment, the Sciences Building will be constructed to achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification,” Williams said.

In order to maintain its eco-friendly requirements, the building will features such as solar-generated hot water, light-harvesting techniques and on-site storm-water management with rain gardens.

For more information on the new building, contact Brent Wood, senior facilities manager at 330-244-3270 or bwood11@kent.edu.

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News Headline: Tickets still available for Jewel | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/12/2013
Outlet Full Name: New Philadelphia Times-Reporter
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: More than 100 tickets remain for the Jewel Greatest Hits show set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Performing Arts Center at Kent State University at Tuscarawas.

Jewel, an acclaimed singer and songwriter, will perform solo and acoustic.

Tickets range from $46 to $66. They can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office, online at www.tusc.kent.edu/pac or by calling 330-308-6400.

The box office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. leading up to Friday's show.

Jewel's hits include "Who Will Save Your Soul," "You Were Meant for Me" and "Foolish Games." Her love ballad "Satisfied," received a Grammy nomination for "Best Female Country Vocal Performance." Jewel has a total of four Grammy Award nominations, an American Music Award and an MTV Video Music Award. In 1999, Jewel was presented the prestigious Governors Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the Recording Academy (NARAS).

The award, known as the "Recording Academy Honors" award, recognizes those whose creative talents and accomplishments have crossed all musical boundaries and have been recognized as an asset to the music community.

Jewel has enjoyed a long career and has earned the respect of other singer-songwriters.

Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan and Neil Young are a few artists who invited Jewel to open shows for them in the early stage of her career.

The versatile artist also has recorded children's albums, written books and portrayed June Carter Cash in the Lifetime movie which aired, recently, based on Cash's life.

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News Headline: Art exhibits | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal, The
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: ART BEST BETS

Fashion Timeline — Through June at Kent State University Museum, 515 Hilltop Drive. 330-672-3450.

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News Headline: Two teams led by Case Western Reserve awarded $6 million in Third Frontier money | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Crain's Cleveland Business
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: The Ohio Third Frontier Commission has awarded $6 million to two teams led by Case Western Reserve University that are developing new medical technology, as well as more than $1 million in other awards meant to support high-tech projects and internships in Northeast Ohio.

The first CWRU team received $3 million, which it will use to develop neurostimulation implants and software designed to restore muscle function lost due to head or spine injuries. That team includes NDI Medical and SPR Therapeutics, both of Highland Hills, and Valtronic of Solon.

The second team will receive $3 million to develop a component for breast biopsy imaging systems and other products designed to meet new radiology standards. That team includes Quality Electrodynamics of Mayfield Village and Hyper Tech Research of Columbus.

The Third Frontier Commission, which oversees most of the state's main technology-based economic development initiatives, also awarded two $429,000 grants to the Workforce Initiative Association of Canton and the Workforce Institute of Lorain County. The organizations plan to use the money to help connect students with technology-related internships in Northeast Ohio.

The commission also awarded about $500,000 to local organizations working to commercialize new technologies:

Apto Orthopaedics of Akron will receive $100,000 to develop a spinal implant that can be adjusted magnetically, preventing scoliosis patients from having to undergo surgery.

Folio Photonics LLC of Pepper Pike was awarded $100,000 to create high-capacity optical discs for storing computer data.

LARAD Inc. of Wooster will receive $100,000 to develop virus-like particles meant to serve as vaccines for poultry infections.

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron was awarded $49,000 to develop syringes and pipettes for low-dose drug delivery.

Case Western Reserve will received $50,000 to create a faster, cheaper way to predict the outcome of different treatments for certain kinds of breast cancer.

Kent State University received $46,500 to develop printed electronics and sensors using ink jet printing and specially formulated and optimized inks.

Kent State received another grant, for $50,000, to create liquid crystal-based electro-optic switches, which are meant to improve the performance of micro electromechanical systems.

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News Headline: Area briefs -- June 12 | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/13/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The
Contact Name: Associated Press
News OCR Text: PORTAGE COUNTY

Swim record effort

KENT: Kent State will be one of 13 locations statewide to take part in the attempt to make the Guinness World Record for the site of the largest simultaneous swimming lesson conducted.

About 100 children and their families will be at the KSU Recreation and Wellness Center at 11 a.m. Tuesday to take part in the global event. The event aims to instruct families about the need to teach children to swim to prevent drowning.

The event is sponsored by a coalition of water safety and instruction organizations including the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.

The event is free and open to all. Children planning to participate should bring a swimsuit and a towel.

For more information, call 330-672-0480 or email cbaker5@kent.edu.

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News Headline: Prejudice Set to Music (Kent) | Attachment Email

News Date: 06/12/2013
Outlet Full Name: Scene - Online
Contact Name: Christine Howey
News OCR Text: "First touch your heart with your hands, then EXTEND THEM TO HIM while bending your knees and tilting your head to the side and towards him." Those are the words of director Terri Kent, as she instructs the lovely Tonkinese lass Liat in a flirtatious scene with Lieutenant Joe (McDreamy) Cable in a rehearsal for South Pacific.

It is a week before the June 13 opening night at Porthouse Theatre, and Kent and choreographer MaryAnn Black are polishing small moments. If only we all had Kent to organize our physical gestures during amorous interactions, things might turn out better.

As Kent says, "Getting the small beats right makes all the difference between a good show and a great one. In this musical, the story is told in the book and not as much in the music and lyrics, so we have to make sure the relationships ring true."

Of course, that's a significant challenge when dealing with such an iconic show and having only 2½ weeks to rehearse. So there is no time wasted as the cast gathers at the appointed times in the Wright-Curtis Theatre on the Kent State University campus to run small snatches of the show and refine their performances.

Although the selection of South Pacific for this summer season was almost accidental, due to another show not being available, the Rogers and Hammerstein epic appeals to Kent for several reasons.

"I've fallen in love with the show," she says, " because it deals so directly with prejudice and race issues. While many people adore this musical because of the wonderful songs, there are two story lines that explore racial conflicts.

"Both Nellie Forbush (Kayce Cummings) and Lt. Cable (Jake Wood) have to confront their own latent prejudices. We have had long talks with the cast about bigotry, and about how we would represent it in our production."

While audiences may perceive a well-known show such as South Pacific (it opened on Broadway in 1949) as a finished and unchanging entity, nothing could be further from the truth.

As Kent explains, "They played it light back when it opened, since the war was so fresh in people's minds. But in the 2008 revival at Lincoln Center, the production was much darker, reflecting the mood and the attitudes at the time."

And since the bulk of the cast is comprised of young performers, these talks are necessary to enable them to plug into the mindset of a different era.

However, there is another reason Kent is affected by South Pacific. She and her husband, actor and acting teacher Rohn Thomas, adopted Kaishawn Thomas, who plays Liat in this production, when she was four years old. "Since Kaishawn is African-American, we have dealt with issues of race and prejudice for 14 years. So the themes of this show hit home in personal ways."

That said, South Pacific is a memorable song-fest unlike any other, featuring a stellar lineup of tunes such as "Some Enchanted Evening," "Younger Than Springtime," "Bali Ha'i," "Cockeyed Optimist," and "There Is Nothing Like a Dame."

As choreographer Black says, "This is an old-fashioned big musical, and the movements are very athletic. Even with just two pianos as accompaniment, the effect is powerful."

The young cast is bolstered by two veteran performers in the lead roles, Cummings and Greg Violand who plays her love interest, the suave French planter Emile de Becque.

But the essence of the show is the serious theme underneath. "I believe South Pacific can and should be a transformational piece, able to change minds or at least encourage people to think about their attitudes," says Kent. "And that's always a good thing."

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