Report Overview:
Total Clips (22)
Alumni; Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies (TLCS); University Press (1)
Athletics (1)
Athletics; Office of General Counsel (10)
College of Education, Health and Human Services (2)
College of Education, Health and Human Services; International and Intercultural Education (1)
Journalism and Mass Communications (1)
KSU at Stark (2)
KSU at Trumbull (1)
Marketing and Entrepreneurship (1)
Renovation at KSU (1)
University Press (1)


Headline Date Outlet

Alumni; Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies (TLCS); University Press (1)
Kent's beloved Ray's Place will open second location in Fairlawn 07/16/2013 Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The Text Attachment Email

...10,000-square-foot location in Copley Township in April, but announced its plans to move months earlier. Thomas said he's already starting to hear from Kent State University alumni who live and work in the Fairlawn area who are excited about a location opening near them. He also has had new customers...


Athletics (1)
Kent State athletics head talks about what's happening (Nielsen) 07/17/2013 Aurora Advocate Text Attachment Email

First of two-part series Editor's note: During the sports offseason, Record-Courier reporter Allen Moff chatted with Kent State University director...


Athletics; Office of General Counsel (10)
Kent State awarded $1.2 million in lawsuit against former men's basketball coach 07/17/2013 Crain's Cleveland Business Text Attachment Email

Kent State University has won a legal battle with its former men's basketball coach, Geno Ford. The university and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine...

Basketball coach's breach of contract leads to $1.2 million award for Kent State 07/17/2013 Akron Beacon Journal, The Text Attachment Email

A Portage County judge has awarded Kent State $1.2 million because its former men's basketball coach breached his contract. The Ohio Attorney General's...

Kent State awarded $1.2 million in judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford 07/17/2013 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email

A Portage County Common Pleas judge has awarded Kent State University $1.2 million in damages after ruling that former men's basketball coach Geno Ford...

Kent State Awarded $1.2 Million in Suit Against Former Basketball Coach 07/17/2013 Kent Patch Text Attachment Email

Kent State continues to pursue claims against Bradley University for its tortious interference with Kent State's contractual relationship with Coach Gene...

Kent State wins $1.2 million judgment against ex-coach 07/17/2013 WEWS-TV Text Attachment Email

KENT, Ohio - Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley....

(AUDIO) Former Kent coach ordered to pay $1.2 million for breach of contract 07/17/2013 WKSU-FM Text Attachment Email

Kent State's lawsuit against Bradley University is still pending A former coach at Kent State University has been ordered to repay the school more than...

Kent State awarded $1.2 million in case against coach 07/17/2013 Columbus Dispatch Text Attachment Email

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley....

Kent St. wins $1.2 million judgment against ex-coach 07/17/2013 USA Today Text Attachment Email

KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley....

Kent State wins $1.2M judgment against ex-coach 07/17/2013 WKYC-TV Text Attachment Email

KENT -- Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley. The...

Kent State awarded $1.2 million in breach of contract lawsuit against former coach Geno Ford 07/17/2013 College Basketball Talk Text Attachment Email

Kent State University was awarded $1.2 million by a Portage County Common Pleas judge in a breach of contract lawsuit against former head coach Geno Ford...


College of Education, Health and Human Services (2)
Smart phones 'reducing people's fitness' 07/16/2013 Irish Health.com Text Attachment Email

...I want'. This is believed to be the first study to assess the link between mobile phone use and fitness levels. According to the researchers from Kent State University, despite the fact that phones are small and mobile, making it possible to use them while actually doing physical activity, many...

Kent State researchers connect cell phone use with inactivity (Barkley, Cope) 07/16/2013 UWire Text Email

This generation of college couch potatoes don't need televisions or video games. Jacob Barkley and Andrew Lepp, Kent State researchers and faculty from the College of Education, Health and Human Services, have linked cell phone use to bad physical fitness in...


College of Education, Health and Human Services; International and Intercultural Education (1)
Kent State welcomes international scholars (Rasinski, Robertson)) 07/17/2013 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email

A group of international professors from China and Turkey visiting Kent State University's College of Education, Health and Human Services made it clear...


Journalism and Mass Communications (1)
Kent State hosts journalism workshop for high school teachers 07/17/2013 UWire Text Email

Thirty-five high school teachers are spending two weeks in Franklin Hall for a journalism boot camp. The Reynolds High School Journalism Institute...


KSU at Stark (2)
Business briefs for July 16 07/16/2013 Repository - Online, The Text Attachment Email

Kent State panel to discuss best practices JACKSON TWP. The Corporate University, Kent State University at Stark, is offering a panel discussion...

Business briefs for July 16 07/16/2013 Independent - Online, The Text Attachment Email

Kent State panel to discuss best practices JACKSON TWP.  The Corporate University, Kent State University at Stark, is offering a panel discussion...


KSU at Trumbull (1)
'Puss in Boots' visits Summer Reading Club 07/17/2013 Record-Courier Text Attachment Email

The Kent State University Trumbull County Summer Stock Theatre, under the direction of Jennifer Blazek, recently presented “Puss in Boots” to Summer...


Marketing and Entrepreneurship (1)
College of Business Administration to offer sales certificate program for Fall 2013 (Daniels, Albanese) 07/16/2013 UWire Text Email

The Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship will be offering the opportunity to earn a Kent State Professional Sales Certificate beginning Fall 2013, one of the few certificate programs offered on campus, said Ellen Daniels, marketing...


Renovation at KSU (1)
CAEST building will be under construction this August (Bruder, Nettey, Pickering) 07/17/2013 UWire Text Email

The College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology's new building will begin construction sometime in August. The goal of the new building...


University Press (1)
Iraq veteran Hugh Martin of Macedonia is nationally recognized poet 07/17/2013 Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The Text Attachment Email

...therapeutic.” Precise writing His first book, a chapbook or pocket-size book, contained 25 poems. Titled So How Was the War? it was published by Kent State University Press in 2010. Poetry, in terms of writing about war, Martin said, “is sort of superior than all forms of written communications....


News Headline: Kent's beloved Ray's Place will open second location in Fairlawn | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/16/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The
Contact Name: Lisa Abraham
News OCR Text: Ray's Place, downtown Kent's most beloved hangout, plans to open a second location in Fairlawn this fall.

Ray's owner Charlie Thomas said if all goes as planned, he will open by October at the former Winking Lizard Tavern location, in the plaza at 25 Ghent Road.

Thomas, who has owned the 76-year-old Ray's for nearly 35 years, said he has been thinking about a second location for some time, but was a little surprised when he found the spot in Fairlawn.

“This became available last fall and when I went to look at the property, I said, ‘I think this is us,' ” Thomas said. “The price was right … I think we can do really well here.”

The Winking Lizard moved to a new 10,000-square-foot location in Copley Township in April, but announced its plans to move months earlier.

Thomas said he's already starting to hear from Kent State University alumni who live and work in the Fairlawn area who are excited about a location opening near them. He also has had new customers coming to Kent to check out the place to see what's coming to their neighborhood.

Ray's Place features a menu of burgers, sandwiches and entrees along with a large selection of beers.

Thomas said the menu in Fairlawn will be pretty much the same as the Kent location, including the famous MoFo Burger: two beef patties stuffed with bacon, mushrooms and American cheese, finished with relish, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup — every topping in the house.

The Fairlawn location is 6,500 square feet and will feature 60 beers on draft, including a large selection of craft beers, Thomas said.

Last week, the Fairlawn Planning Commission approved plans for $70,000 in renovations to the plaza.

According to the application filed with the commission by Jennifer Smith of David Pelligra & Architects Inc., “the remodel is creating a more consistent facade for the entire building and encourage a new restaurant to fill the void in the vacated spot.” The building is owned by Sandra Noll, SJL Stonegate LLC.

Bill Arnold, assistant commissioner of the Fairlawn zoning, housing, and residential building department said Thomas would have to apply for building permits for any renovation work he wants to perform inside, but there was nothing that would stop the restaurant from opening as planned this fall.

Ray's Place has been a fixture in downtown Kent since 1937.

In 2009, chef Michael Symon of Cleveland mentioned Ray's Place in an article in Food Network Magazine. When asked about his favorite burger, Symon said it was Ray's MoFo. In 2011, the Food Network show Best Thing I Ever Ate featured famous chefs talking about the best burgers they had ever eaten, and Symon again named the MoFo.

Last year, KSU associate professor Patrick O'Connor began working on a book to commemorate Ray's 75th anniversary, and sought stories from the public about the landmark. The book is to feature fond, funny, sentimental or weird memories shared by employees and customers.

Thomas said the book, which is being published by Black Squirrel Books, an imprint of the Kent State University Press, is expected to be released in late August.

Book signing events will be planned at Ray's when the book is released and during Kent State's Homecoming on Oct. 5, he said.

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News Headline: Kent State athletics head talks about what's happening (Nielsen) | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Aurora Advocate
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: First of two-part series

Editor's note: During the sports offseason, Record-Courier reporter Allen Moff chatted with Kent State University director of athletics Joel Nielsen about what's happening and what lies ahead.

Talk about the 2012-13 season, another fantastic overall campaign for Kent State athletics:

We won nine more [Mid-American Conference] championships this year. We finished 80th in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, the best finish in the MAC for the 13th time in the last 14 years, and we continue to be successful as a program because we win a lot of championships consistently.

We're averaging 8.2 championships over the past 11 years. Our coaches and student-athletes are the ones that deserve the credit. It goes back to the coaches especially; they're the ones that recruit the ingredients. They've got it figured out -- what it takes to be successful at Kent State and in the Mid-American Conference.

It also speaks to the longevity of our coaches. A lot of mid-majors change coaches left and right in all of their sports, and we just haven't done that here. It's an impressive thing that former KSU director of athletics Laing Kennedy got going here and that we've been able to continue.

What bugs me is that the schools our size and the schools that run comprehensive programs like we do never seem to get any credit. The schools that get credit are the big schools that have football or basketball on TV, the Cincinnatis, Pittsburghs, Xaviers. It gets frustrating working at this level.

We're producing all of these conference championships and NCAA qualifiers, and our academics are strong so we aren't giving that up, yet these other schools get all of this notoriety when they aren't doing it the same way we're doing it. We're doing it on budgets that are a fourth or a fifth of what they have.

It's a little frustrating, but I understand the way things work. Still, you just kind of shake your head in amazement at what we've been able to accomplish here over such a long period of time. And we haven't forgiven the academic side of it. We haven't said we're gonna win at all costs. We've been elevating academics along the way."

Fans notice the success Kent State has enjoyed on the field, but talk about the improvements the program as a whole has made in the classroom:

Our overall grade-point average continues to rise as a department. To go 3.06-3.07, then this spring we took it to 3.11; to jump that much is pretty impressive because it's hard to move that number with 425 kids.

We've brought in really good student-athletes -- that's the critical piece -- but once they get here then we have to support them. We've spent a lot of money in academics. We've actually added probably a position and a half in our academic support unit that we probably didn't have three years ago when I arrived, so we've actually put our resources in that area too and it's helping us.

We also started organizational specialists. It's a program that we saw Ohio State and some other schools doing that helps some of our young people coming in the first year that need help adjusting to college life.

We hire these people on a part-time basis and they help organize our young men and ladies to make sure that they know what's going on the next week or two weeks or three weeks to help plan, because it's a big adjustment from high school to college. We just instituted this program last year and we're already starting to see the fruits of that.

Really what has helped is football, because there's such a large number of players. Former KSU head football coach Darrell Hazell and current head coach Paul Haynes have really set the tone. We're changing our culture academically in that football program.

When you change 100 guys' culture academically out of a 400 sample size, you can move that overall GPA number quickly. The football program went from a team GPA of 2.74 to 2.85; that's 100 guys and that'll move your overall GPA. Then some of these other programs; look at softball, a 3.7 team GPA. That's just crazy.

You mentioned football. How has the record-setting 2012 season helped the overall athletic program and the university:

It's obviously really big. It was something that was challenging to me personally and challenged to me personally coming in from the people I work with. I think people around the program now and people at the university have seen what winning football does for the spirit on campus, and for the excitement around campus.

Football being a fall sport really kicks off the year from a perception and visibility and publicity side, so when you're good at football everything kind of starts rolling -- not only athletically, but also on campus. That's a big reason winning at football is so important, it has a lot to do with the perception of your institution and the feeling on campus from student-athletes and faculty, staff and the community.

That feeds into your other sports. I've been around that at a couple of other places where we've gone from not having winning football to having winning football, and it's really neat. It's fun to be around. Then you have the whole idea of looking forward to next year.

It's been fun to watch. People have said a lot of years here, well if we ever win at football I wonder what it's gonna feel like. Coach Hazell and those guys gave everybody that feeling, at least once. Now it's like anything else, now that you've had the feeling one time you want it again and again and again.

I know coach Haynes has experienced a lot of those feelings at the places he's worked during his career, and he's really anticipating keeping that feeling going here. This is his alma mater, and he didn't have that feeling a lot when he was here as a student-athlete [one winning season as a player] or as a coach [3-19 record in two years as an assistant at KSU].

Coming from the places he's come from [Ohio State and Michigan State among others] and seeing what it does, he wants to feel that here. We're all hopeful that we can keep this thing rolling.

Is there any way you can measure the excitement football is generating?

It's pretty early yet, so primarily what we're doing right now is our renewal process. We've always had decent renewal rates here, not great, and now our renewal numbers are up. That would be a first indication, that people are staying on board with us.

In the 90s is a good renewal rate, and we've always been mid-80s, which is decent. But now we're bounding into those 90s numbers this year. That's the first true sign of increased excitement that more people are staying on board. We aren't losing those people that say well, they haven't won for a number of years.

We're retaining those people. And the people that gave it a try last year and said wow, that was kind of fun, they're staying with us. We're also seeing a lot of new sales come in, which is obviously a reflection of the success we had last year.

How satisfying was that 2012 football season for yourself and other administrators at KSU?

There are a lot of people on campus and off campus that didn't think we could ever win. I understood that, I respected that, and I never beat anybody down because of that. But we've been around programs and have seen it happen.

We've seen the Kansas States, Northwesterns, Vanderbilts, and I saw Wake Forest personally -- teams that have risen really from the depths. And we were right there with them. When I was at Wake Forest we were battling Kansas State for the most losses in Division I history. That's what I kept preaching to people, other places have done it.

They may have done it with less resources in comparison to who they play in their league, or academic challenges like at Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest. We always had that belief, Darrell had that belief, former KSU deputy athletic director Tom Kleinlein had that belief, our administration had that belief and the student-athletes performed.

These programs I mentioned have turned it around and kept it turned, and that's our challenge now. We don't want to be just a one-hit wonder, we've gotta keep building off that great year last year. That doesn't mean you have to win 11 games next year, but you have to win more than you lose and keep that spirit and that excitement and expectations up.

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News Headline: Kent State awarded $1.2 million in lawsuit against former men's basketball coach | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Crain's Cleveland Business
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State University has won a legal battle with its former men's basketball coach, Geno Ford.

The university and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that a Portage County judge has awarded Kent State $1.2 million after ruling that Mr. Ford breached his contract in 2011 by leaving to become head coach at Bradley University in Illinois.

“When coaches and high-profile employees leave public universities in breach of their contracts, the state of Ohio has an obligation to seek the compensation to which it is entitled,” Mr. DeWine said in a statement. “I am pleased that the court has awarded the damages due to Kent State."

According to a news release from Mr. DeWine's office, Portage County Common Pleas Judge John A. Enlow on July 12 granted a request for judgment against Mr. Ford for breach of his employment contract and damages.

Pursuant to the court order, Mr. Ford “will pay Kent State the $1.2 million in damages as calculated in the liquidated damages provision in his employment contract with Kent State,” according to the news release. The liquidated damages provision stated that if Mr. Ford resigned or terminated his employment with Kent State, “the university would be entitled to liquidated damages totaling the balance of Ford's annual salary due for the remaining amount of his contract term,” the release stated.

Kent State hired Mr. Ford in April 2008 for a five-year term at an annual salary of $200,000. In April 2010, he received a contract extension through the end of the 2014-2015 season that provided for an increase in his annual salary to $300,000.

However, Mr. Ford in March 2011 agreed to become head basketball coach for Bradley, which is in Peoria, Ill.

Kent State sued Mr. Ford and Bradley in April 2011. The news release stated that Kent State “continues to pursue claims against Bradley University for its tortious interference with Kent State's contractual relationship with Coach Ford.”

The case against Bradley is set for trial on Oct. 7, according to Mr. DeWine's office.

Eric Mansfield, Kent State's executive director of media relations, university communications and marketing, said the university would not comment on the matter because litigation remains active.

Bill Kohlhase, legal counsel for Bradley, declined to answer questions about the judgment but issued the following statement: "Bradley University continues to strongly believe the university's and Coach Ford's actions have been entirely ethical, legal and transparent. The lawsuit is ongoing and will continue to be addressed through the court system."

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News Headline: Basketball coach's breach of contract leads to $1.2 million award for Kent State | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal, The
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: A Portage County judge has awarded Kent State $1.2 million because its former men's basketball coach breached his contract.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office said Tuesday that Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow had granted KSU's request for summary judgment against Geno Ford.

“When coaches and high-profile employees leave public universities in breach of their contracts, the state of Ohio has an obligation to seek the compensation to which it is entitled,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a news release.

Ford, 38, did not return a call seeking comment. His attorney, Fritz Byers of Toledo, had no comment.

KSU spokesman Eric Mansfield said the university would not comment because the university is continuing to sue Ford's new employer, the private, independent Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.

KSU sought liquidated damages from Ford when he announced in March 2011 that he would leave to become the basketball coach at Bradley.

In his three years as coach at Kent State, Ford led the Golden Flashes to a 68-37 record and twice won the Mid-American Conference.

The university renegotiated his contract in 2010, increasing his salary by half to $300,000 and making him the highest paid basketball coach in the conference.

His renegotiated contract included a clause that if Ford or KSU canceled the agreement before March 31, 2015, the other party would get the balance of the base salary remaining in Ford's contract.

While Ford more than doubled his base salary with the move to Bradley — from $300,000 to $700,000 — he also triggered the liquidated damages clause.

KSU expected to be compensated for the remaining four years on Ford's contract: $300,000 for four years, or $1.2 million.

When the money wasn't paid, Kent State filed a lawsuit in Portage County Common Pleas Court a month later, seeking $1.2 million.

In a written statement at the time, Ford expressed regret that the dispute had reached the courts.

“During the process, everything was handled professionally and appropriately,” Ford said. “It is unfortunate that this has turned into a legal matter. I look forward to a quick resolution.”

While KSU's then-Athletic Director Laing Kennedy gave Ford permission to talk to other sports programs, that did not cancel the contract, Enlow said in his ruling.

“Consent to interview was not a consent to breach the employment agreement.”

KSU also recovered damages from Ford's predecessor. When basketball coach Jim Christian left in 2008 for a similar job at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Kent State received about $350,000, according to news accounts.

Mansfield could not confirm the payback amount.

Meanwhile, KSU continues to seek monetary damages “in excess of $25,000” from Bradley University for interfering with a contract.

A jury trial has been scheduled for Oct. 7 in the Portage County court.

The attorney general's office appointed the Akron law firm of Roderick Linton Belfance to represent Kent State.

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News Headline: Kent State awarded $1.2 million in judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: A Portage County Common Pleas judge has awarded Kent State University $1.2 million in damages after ruling that former men's basketball coach Geno Ford breached his contract by taking a new coaching position at Bradley University in Illinois in March 2011.

Judge John Enlow handed down his decision in the case, granting a request by the university for judgment against Ford. In his decision, Enlow wrote that "the intention of the parties was made clear in the employment contract" between Kent State and Ford.

Ford's contract with Kent State prohibited him from taking other coaching jobs within the Mid-American Conference while employed with Kent State, and required him to seek permission from Kent State's athletic director before replying to potential job offers outside of the MAC, according to Enlow's ruling.

"To KSU, the essence of the employment contract was to retain a winning coach and provide long term continuity in the basketball program," Enlow wrote. "Coach Ford's intentions were to gain a substantial increase in compensation and a stable, long term position as head men's basketball coach."

Bradley and Ford were given permission to speak to each other by Kent State Athletic Director Joel Nielsen, who informed Bradley officials that Ford's contract contained a damages clause that would activate if he left Kent State prior to the end of his contract, according to Enlow's ruling.

Ford still agreed to take over as head coach of the men's basketball program at Bradley, only two days after the season ended in March 2011. Kent State filed a lawsuit against Ford and Bradley a month later.

Kent State spokeswoman Emily Vincent said the university had no comment Tuesday, citing the ongoing lawsuit against Bradley U. Ford's attorney, Fritz Byers, declined to comment on the ruling through a spokesperson at his Toledo office.

The $1.2 million in damages was calculated using a provision in the contract that stated Ford would owe Kent State damages "totaling the balance of Ford's annual salary due for the remaining amount of his contract term," according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office, which announced the judgment on Tuesday.

The case against Bradley for allegedly interfering with Kent State's contract with Ford is set to go to trial on Oct. 7, according to DeWine's office.

Kent State had Ford locked into a contract through the 2014-15 school year at an annual salary of $300,000, according to court records. His original five-year contract was signed in April 2008 and paid him an annual salary of $200,000.

That contract was extended by a year and his salary increased to $300,000 in April 2010.

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News Headline: Kent State Awarded $1.2 Million in Suit Against Former Basketball Coach | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Kent Patch
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State continues to pursue claims against Bradley University for its tortious interference with Kent State's contractual relationship with Coach Gene A. Ford.

Portage County Judge John Enlow awarded Kent State University $1.2 million after its former men's basketball coach breached his contract by leaving to becomes the head coach at Bradley University.

The university and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWin's office requested the judgement against former men's basketball coach Gene A. Ford for a breach of his employment contract and damages in the amount of $1.2 million for Kent State.

A provision in Ford's contract stated that if he resigned or terminated his employment with Kent State, the university would be entitled to liquidated damages totaling the balance of Ford's annual salary due for the remaining amount of his contract term.

Ford was hired in April 2008 for a five-year term with an annual salary of 200,000. In April 2010, a new contract was signed extending Ford's employment through the end of the 2014-15 season and increasing the annual salary to $300,000. (This made Ford the highest paid basketball coach in the Mid-American Conference.)

In March 2011, Ford agreed to become the head basketball coach for Bradley University in Illinois, which breached his agreement with Kent State, according to the judge's ruling.

The Kent State Athletics director said in a press conference in March that he never had a chance to counter-offer before two-time Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year accepted the head coaching position at Bradley.

“Ohio's public colleges and universities have a duty to students and taxpayers to be wise stewards of tuition and taxpayer moneys,” DeWine said in a prepared statement. “When coaches and high-profile employees leave public universities in breach of their contracts, the state of Ohio has an obligation to seek the compensation to which it is entitled. I am pleased that the court has awarded the damages due to Kent State.”

Kent State continues to pursue claims against Bradley University for its tortious interference with Kent State's contractual relationship with Ford. A trial against Bradley University is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2013.

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News Headline: Kent State wins $1.2 million judgment against ex-coach | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: WEWS-TV
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: KENT, Ohio - Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley.

The lawsuit claimed Ford had no permission to terminate his Kent State contract, which was scheduled to expire in 2015. Ford's teams went 68-37 in three seasons at Kent State.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says Friday's court ruling by a judge in Portage County, home of Kent State, reflects a state obligation to insure contract enforcement.

There was no immediate comment in response to messages left Tuesday for Ford and the Bradley University legal office handling media inquiries.

At the time of the lawsuit filing, Bradley said it had recruited Ford "in a straightforward and professional manner" with the consent of Kent State.

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News Headline: (AUDIO) Former Kent coach ordered to pay $1.2 million for breach of contract | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: WKSU-FM
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State's lawsuit against Bradley University is still pending

A former coach at Kent State University has been ordered to repay the school more than a million dollars to make up for breaking his contract.

A Portage County judge says former Kent State men's basketball coach Geno Ford owes the university $1.2 million for breach of contract.

Ford had signed a five-year contract with Kent State in 2008, one that paid him $200,000 a year. That was bumped to $300,000 with an extra year added to the contract in 2010.

Less than a year later, Ford announced he was heading to Bradley University in Illinois.

But his Kent contract had included a pay-back clause, and the university sued. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine oversaw the case for the state university.

“Coaches are like anybody else. If they sign a contract they have to abide by the contract. They may get paid a little more than most of us but they have to follow the law and follow whatever they agreed to.”

Kent is also suing Bradley University, saying it interfered with its contract with Ford. That case is set to go to trial this October, and the university is not commenting while that's pending. Ford could not be reached for comment.

To listen to audio, please click on link:
http://www.wksu.org/news/story/36217

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News Headline: Kent State awarded $1.2 million in case against coach | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Columbus Dispatch
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley.

The lawsuit claimed Ford had no permission to terminate his Kent State contract, which was scheduled to expire in 2015. Ford's teams went 68-37 in three seasons at Kent State.

Bradley University issued a statement today saying its actions and Ford's actions "have been entirely ethical, legal, and transparent. The lawsuit is ongoing and will continue to be addressed through the court system."

Fritz Byers, an attorney representing Ford, declined comment. Messages seeking comment were left for the coach.

While Kent State agreed to let Ford talk to Bradley, "Consent to interview was not a consent to breach the employment contract," Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow said in a 14-page ruling Friday. "KSU did not acquiesce to Coach Ford's abandonment of their mutual contract."

Ford was Kent State's head coach from April 2008 through March 27, 2011, when Bradley announced him as its new coach.

Ford led Kent State to its second consecutive Mid-American Conference regular-season title in 2010-11. The Flashes finished 25-12 and lost in the NIT quarterfinals.

Ford also has coached at NAIA Shawnee State and Division III Muskingum.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the ruling reflects a state obligation to insure contract enforcement.

"When coaches and high-profile employees leave public universities in breach of their contracts, the state of Ohio has an obligation to seek the compensation to which it is entitled," DeWine said in a statement today.

Kent State's claims against Bradley for alleged contract interference are scheduled for trial Oct. 7, DeWine said.

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News Headline: Kent St. wins $1.2 million judgment against ex-coach | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: USA Today
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley.

The lawsuit claimed Ford had no permission to terminate his Kent State contract, which was scheduled to expire in 2015. Ford's teams went 68-37 in three seasons at Kent State.

Bradley University issued a statement Tuesday saying its actions and Ford's actions "have been entirely ethical, legal, and transparent. The lawsuit is ongoing and will continue to be addressed through the court system."

Fritz Byers, an attorney representing Ford, declined comment. Messages seeking comment were left for the coach.

While Kent State agreed to let Ford talk to Bradley, "Consent to interview was not a consent to breach the employment contract," Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow said in a 14-page ruling Friday. "KSU did not acquiesce to Coach Ford's abandonment of their mutual contract."

Ford was Kent State's head coach from April 2008 through March 27, 2011, when Bradley announced him as its new coach.

Ford led Kent State to its second consecutive Mid-American Conference regular-season title in 2010-11. The Flashes finished 25-12 and lost in the NIT quarterfinals.

Ford also has coached at NAIA Shawnee State and Division III Muskingum.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the ruling reflects a state obligation to insure contract enforcement.

"When coaches and high-profile employees leave public universities in breach of their contracts, the state of Ohio has an obligation to seek the compensation to which it is entitled," DeWine said in a statement Tuesday.

Kent State's claims against Bradley for alleged contract interference are scheduled for trial Oct. 7, DeWine said.

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News Headline: Kent State wins $1.2M judgment against ex-coach | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: WKYC-TV
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: KENT -- Kent State has won a $1.2 million judgment against former men's basketball coach Geno Ford for leaving in 2011 to become coach at Bradley.

The lawsuit claimed Ford had no permission to terminate his Kent State contract, which was scheduled to expire in 2015.

Ford's teams went 68-37 in three seasons at Kent State.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says Friday's court ruling by a judge in Portage County, home of Kent State, reflects a state obligation to insure contract enforcement.

There was no immediate comment in response to messages left Tuesday for Ford and the Bradley University legal office handling media inquiries.

At the time of the lawsuit filing, Bradley said it had recruited Ford "in a straightforward and professional manner" with the consent of Kent State.

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News Headline: Kent State awarded $1.2 million in breach of contract lawsuit against former coach Geno Ford | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: College Basketball Talk
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State University was awarded $1.2 million by a Portage County Common Pleas judge in a breach of contract lawsuit against former head coach Geno Ford on Tuesday morning.

Ford had left Kent State for the same position at Bradley University in 2011. The lawsuit, which was filed in April 2011, alleged that Ford had no permission to terminate his contract, which was slated to run out in 2015.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine explained the ruling in a statement on Tuesday morning:

“Ohio's public colleges and universities have a duty to students and taxpayers to be wise stewards of tuition and taxpayer moneys,” DeWine said. “When coaches and high-profile employees leave public universities in breach of their contracts, the state of Ohio has an obligation to seek the compensation to which it is entitled. I am pleased that the court has awarded the damages due to Kent State.”

Ford took over the Kent State program in 2008, amassing a 68-37 record the Golden Flashes, including back-to-back Mid-American regular season titles in 2010-2011. Through two years in Bradley, Ford 25-42 record, although, he had an 11-win turnaround this past season.

The Associated Press is reporting that Kent State is alleging contract interference by Bradley. That trial is set for Oct. 7, according to DeWine.

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News Headline: Smart phones 'reducing people's fitness' | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/16/2013
Outlet Full Name: Irish Health.com
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: People who use their smart phones a lot - and who doesn't these days - may have poorer fitness levels as a result, a new study has found.

According to US researchers, people are now able to access a range of sedentary activities, such as surfing the internet and playing video games, more easily on their phones. As a result, they decided to look at the relationship between smartphones and physical activity levels.

They assessed over 300 college students. All were questioned about their phone use and physical activity levels, while almost 50 also had their fitness levels and body composition tested.

The study found that some participants spent up to 14 hours a day on their phones. Furthermore, those who spent a lot of time on their phones were less physically fit than those who spent no more than 90 minutes per day on them.

One participant said that it ‘definitely decreases my physical activity because if I'm bored, I can just download whatever I want'.

This is believed to be the first study to assess the link between mobile phone use and fitness levels. According to the researchers from Kent State University, despite the fact that phones are small and mobile, making it possible to use them while actually doing physical activity, many people are becoming more sedentary as a result of them.

Details of these findings are published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

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News Headline: Kent State researchers connect cell phone use with inactivity (Barkley, Cope) | Email

News Date: 07/16/2013
Outlet Full Name: UWire
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: This generation of college couch potatoes don't need televisions or video games. Jacob Barkley and Andrew Lepp, Kent State researchers and faculty from the College of Education, Health and Human Services, have linked cell phone use to bad physical fitness in college students.

"We found that there is a negative association between fitness and cell phone use," Barkley said. "The more you use it the lower their cardiovascular fitness."

"We were well aware of previous research that indicated a link between watching television and playing video games and the negative outcomes it has on health," said Barkley. "Modern cell phones can do the same thing as a computer or television, but it does not have to be sedentary activity so we wanted to explore the relationship it could have on fitness."

Barkley and Lepp surveyed 300 students throughout the Midwest. Forty-nine of those students had their fitness level and composition tested. It showed students who spent as much as 14 hours on their phone were less fit than those who only spent 90 minutes on it.

Benjamin Cope, recreation program coordinator at Student Recreation and Wellness Center, said students on their cell phone would be more distracted.

"The people who were on their phone excessively would be more distracted and have less time to be engaged in exercise related activates throughout the day," said Cope.

Ryan Nolen, graduate higher education major, knew he had to change his inactivity with exercise.

"My trigger moment was when my pants started not to fit," he said. He now does a daily exercise routine to stop from falling into sedentary activities.

Barkley recommends students not using their phone when walking because it can slow you down, and do not use a cell phone when you're on the treadmill to help increase physical fitness.

Cope also recommends using time wisely and trying new activities.

"Take a bike ride or try a new activity that you have never tried before such as rock climbing or kayaking. If you need visual stimulation while working out try some Wii exercise related games," Cope said.

"Figure out a set time to devote yourself to exercising because it becomes easier to keep up with it," suggested Nolen. "It should get to a point where you feel guilty if you are not doing your workout."

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News Headline: Kent State welcomes international scholars (Rasinski, Robertson)) | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: A group of international professors from China and Turkey visiting Kent State University's College of Education, Health and Human Services made it clear during a welcome reception Tuesday that they're excited and eager to learn during their stay in Kent.

All of the international professors, whose visits are facilitated through the College of Education, Health and Human Services' Gerald H. Read Center for International and Intercultural Education, are scholars in residence during their lengths of stay at KSU, which range from two to nine months.

KSU welcomed 13 visitors, seven from China and six from Turkey. Later this year, they will be joined by four more scholars including one from India, bringing the total number of visitors to 17, a record for the program.

The visiting scholars will study how KSU professors instruct on subjects pertaining to each individual guest's teaching field, including reading, intercultural communication, educational administration, marketing, leadership and more.

Lou Peiya, a professor at Sichuan International Studies University in Chongqing, China, who has adopted the English name Mary during her stay, said plans to study marketing and international business law during her six-month stay.

"All of the universities in China, especially in the southwest part of China, are developing very fast," she said. "The university I am working for used to be an institute of foreign languages, and now they have expanded very quickly and have business, journalism, social sciences and much more."

Discussing her first impression of America, she Kent is much cooler in temperature than Chongqing at this time of year, and she has met many "unselfish, helpful people."

Tim Rasinski, a professor of literacy education at KSU, said his interaction and guidance of the English language with Turkish scholars in the past three years have given him a greater appreciation for their culture.

"Their scholars are top notch as far as the ones I've met," he said.

Linda Robertson, director of the Gerald H. Read Center, said cultural understanding and global knowledge underscore the benefits of the program.

"Professor to professor, as they talk about their fields and learn about higher education systems, it advances our own understanding of our own work," she said.

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News Headline: Kent State hosts journalism workshop for high school teachers | Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: UWire
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Thirty-five high school teachers are spending two weeks in Franklin Hall for a journalism boot camp.

The Reynolds High School Journalism Institute is an intensive two week workshop for high school teachers who want to renew their education in journalism or who don't have much journalism background said Professor Candace Perkins Bowen, director of The Center for Scholastic Journalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the director of the workshop.

JMC has been hosting the workshop since 2001, and was chosen as a host for he program because it is an accredited journalism school that had a good idea for a curriculum said Bowen. The workshop started on July 7 and will end on July 19.

The teachers apply from all over the country to attend one of the five workshops administered by the American Society of News Editors and funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, according to the workshop's website, www.hsj.org.

The students in the course will be instructed on a wide range of subjects such as ethics, the basics of writing, reporting, multimedia, and various issues high school journalism advisors and teachers might face. Students also get a tour of The Akron Beacon Journal and a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Bowen said the students divide into smaller groups to work on a multimedia project together. At the end of the two weeks the students must turn in a portfolio including various writing assignments along with the multimedia project.

Nicole Hoffman from Milwaukee, Wis. is a student in the workshop. She said she is taking the workshop because she recently became a high school newspaper advisor and has no journalism background.

"I think I'll take everything in, and start to write a curriculum that revolves around my knowledge of journalism," Hoffman said about how she will use the information she's learning in the course. "Hopefully this will give me the basics so I can think about how I can best relate this information to students."

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News Headline: Business briefs for July 16 | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/16/2013
Outlet Full Name: Repository - Online, The
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State panel to discuss best practices JACKSON TWP. The Corporate University, Kent State University at Stark, is offering a panel discussion to address best practices in the workplace, ?Best Practices in Career Management,? from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 7 at the University Center, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, according to a release.

Panelists include Laura Brownlee, consultant; Patrick Johnson, leadership development coach at Summa Health System, and Faith Sheaffer-Polen, director of The Corporate University, Kent State University at Stark. Moderating the panel discussion will be consultant Scott Tackett.

The upcoming panel discussion, ?Best Practices to Impact Your Organization,? is set for Nov. 6. Registration for each panel discussion is $25 per person. To register or for additional information, call 330-244-3508, email mzink@kent.edu or visit www.YourCorporateU.com. Information to help new small businesses JACKSON TWP. The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Kent State University at Stark is sponsoring an information session for individuals interested in starting a small business, or those who are in the early stages of business formation, according to a release from the school.

The session will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at The University Center at Kent State Stark, 6000 Frank Ave. NW.

The orientation will provide a general overview of issues related to starting a business, such as business planning, determining market demand, financing options and available community resources. After attending the program, participants may contact the Small Business Development Center to schedule an appointment with a business counselor for a one-on-one consultation.

The $10 fee includes materials. Registration and payment must be made online at www.cantonsbdc.org (click on ?orientation?). For more details, call 330-244-3290 or email info@cantonsbdc.org. The session will close one week prior to the event or when the session is full.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance; call 330-244-3290 (or 330-244-3239 for TDD) or email info@cantonsbdc.org.

The Small Business Development Center is hosted at Kent State Stark by The Corporate University.

Fifth Third, NextJob offer Job Seeker's Toolkit Fifth Third Bank and NextJob, a nationwide reemployment solutions company, have teamed up to offer a Job Seeker?s Toolkit for Fifth Third banking customers, according to a release.

The customized program includes video interviews with job search experts, job seekers and hiring managers who provide learning opportunities from real-life hiring experiences. Topics addressed in this multimedia program include resumes, cover letters, networking, social media use, job boards and development of a self-marketing plan.

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News Headline: Business briefs for July 16 | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/16/2013
Outlet Full Name: Independent - Online, The
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: Kent State panel to discuss best practices

JACKSON TWP.  The Corporate University, Kent State University at Stark, is offering a panel discussion to address best practices in the workplace, “Best Practices in Career Management,” from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 7 at the University Center, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, according to a release.

Panelists include Laura Brownlee, consultant; Patrick Johnson, leadership development coach at Summa Health System, and Faith Sheaffer-Polen, director of The Corporate University, Kent State University at Stark. Moderating the panel discussion will be consultant Scott Tackett.

The upcoming panel discussion, “Best Practices to Impact Your Organization,” is set for Nov. 6.

Registration for each panel discussion is $25 per person. To register or for additional information, call 330-244-3508, email mzink@kent.edu or visit www.YourCorporateU.com.

Information to  help new small businesses

JACKSON TWP.  The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Kent State University at Stark is sponsoring an information session for individuals interested in starting a small business, or those who are in the early stages of business formation, according to a release from the school.

The session will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at The University Center at Kent State Stark, 6000 Frank Ave. NW.

The orientation will provide a general overview of issues related to starting a business, such as business planning, determining market demand, financing options and available community resources. After attending the program, participants may contact the Small Business Development Center to schedule an appointment with a business counselor for a one-on-one consultation.

The $10 fee includes materials. Registration and payment must be made online at www.cantonsbdc.org (click on “orientation”).

For more details, call 330-244-3290 or email info@cantonsbdc.org. The session will close one week prior to the event or when the session is full.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance; call 330-244-3290 (or 330-244-3239 for TDD) or email info@cantonsbdc.org.

The Small Business Development Center is hosted at Kent State Stark by The Corporate University.

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News Headline: 'Puss in Boots' visits Summer Reading Club | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Record-Courier
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: The Kent State University Trumbull County Summer Stock Theatre,
under the direction of Jennifer Blazek, recently presented “Puss in
Boots” to Summer Reading Club members at the Pierce-Streetsboro
Branch of the Portage County District Library. Appearing in costume are,
from left, Isabelle Shavetz, Kate Fultz, Sara Glassmeyer and Destiny Gibbons.

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News Headline: College of Business Administration to offer sales certificate program for Fall 2013 (Daniels, Albanese) | Email

News Date: 07/16/2013
Outlet Full Name: UWire
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: The Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship will be offering the opportunity to earn a Kent State Professional Sales Certificate beginning Fall 2013, one of the few certificate programs offered on campus, said Ellen Daniels, marketing professor and leading force behind the sales program.

"Having a professional sales certificate in addition to whatever your degree is tells an employer that you have taken some additional coursework and sets you apart," Daniels said.

The 15-credit hour program is open to all majors, and requires two prerequisite courses, Daniels said.

A certificate is different from a degree in that it requires students to take a series of courses relating only to a particular subject, as opposed to a degree that often requires core coursework to support a more rounded education.

A key component of those 15 credit hours is the completion of a sales internship.

- 6 credit hours prerequisites: Principles of Microeconomics Principles of Marketing - 9 credit hours: (select one)Personal SellingSales in the entrepreneurial ventureSales and sales management Advanced Professional Selling Sales Internship

"The purpose of the internship is to give the students as much real-world experience as possible," Daniels said.

Daniels, along with Greg Graham, marketing lecturer and certificate program professor, said they issued a survey to local business, sales professionals and alumni to ensure that students enrolled in the certificate program will be able to secure sales internships.

Daniels and Graham also consulted with the Kent State sales advisory board, composed of sales and business professionals in the area, to confirm the program was comparable to similar professional sales certificate programs.

The opportunities for sales professionals are widespread, Daniels said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 13 million people working in sales in the United States as of May 2012.

"Sales is primarily the area where we're seeing a lot of growth, so there's a lot of opportunities for students to go into it right after college, regardless of your major," Daniels said.

Students receive a certificate after completion of the program, which can be obtained as soon as the requirements are fulfilled, regardless of class standing, Daniels said.

"A person who is awarded a professional sales certificate is going to make them very employable," said Paul Albanese, associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship and certificate program professor. "A lot of our students begin in sales, so this gives them a specialized type of training."

Daniels said the ability to receive this certificate at any time during a student's college career also gives them more opportunities if they want to work part-time during the school year or over summer break.

"The certificate in professional selling is also significant because it can supplement any major," Graham said. "For example, an Interior Design major is going to have to sell their designs to potential clients as well as co-workers."

Daniels said she hopes program enrollment will be high because the rewards are so significant.

"It's a great opportunity because the job market is so tough," Daniels said. "So this just gives students another advantage to help them in their careers."

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News Headline: CAEST building will be under construction this August (Bruder, Nettey, Pickering) | Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: UWire
Contact Name:
News OCR Text: The College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology's new building will begin construction sometime in August.

The goal of the new building is to keep STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) concentrations in one designated spot, as the college is currently housed in Van Deusen Hall away from the Science Mall. Michael Bruder, executive director of Facilities, Planning and Design, said the new $16 million building will be built on a portion of the R-5 parking lot, specifically between the Mathematics and Computer Sciences Building and the Liquid Crystal Materials Science Building and spanning about 50,000 to 55,000 square feet. He said that portion of the R-5 lot will be moved to the green space behind the Liquid Crystal Materials Science Building, which will be designated as the R-8 lot.

"The CAEST project started probably around three and a half years ago," Bruder said. "I've always wanted to have another building in that section along the Science Mall. I always called it the missing tooth."

Bruder said the building will be two stories tall and will house classrooms, labs and administrative and faculty offices. He said the basement will be designated for the Air Traffic Control Center, labs, mechanical room and support spaces. The first floor will have a lobby, classrooms and additional labs. The second floor will have the administrative and faculty offices, smaller classrooms and seminar rooms. Issac Nettey, associate dean of CAEST, said the new building provides a marketing tool to prospective students.

"It speaks to the university of STEM education," Nettey said. "This building, at this point, has not been a recruitment tool."

Nettey said the college works in a multidisciplinary approach to research and instruction, which means that they work with multiple concentrations, especially with the sciences, to conduct research and instruct their classes. With the college's new Liquid Crystal and Display Engineering concentration coming Fall 2013, he said moving closer to the Science Mall made sense.

"It will be nice to move into a new building," Nettey said. "Hopefully we can engage in even more collaborative work."

As for the R-5 lot, it will still maintain 200 parking spaces and have an entryway to the R-6 lot, according to Brian Pickering, project manager at the Office of the University Architect. In addition to this project, walkways will be added between Henderson Hall and the new lot.

Depending on how the weather will be throughout the rest of the summer, he said the construction crew is aiming to complete the parking lot by the end of August.

"It's working out very well," Pickering said. "Certainly you're going to run into issues and concerns and things we have to work around. We're really trying to systematically move people where spaces are ready."

Bruder said the foundation of the new CAEST building will begin sometime in August and the construction will continue throughout the upcoming school year. The building is expected to finish by Fall 2014. He said once the college is moved out of Van Deusen Hall and into the new CAEST building, the construction crew will begin renovating the vacant building for the School of Art.

"From a campus planning standpoint, having the faculty and the students all in that same corridor together will help with a lot of research ideas and activities," Bruder said. "It's currently happening to some degree, but locating them here is only going to strengthen that whole scientific corridor."

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News Headline: Iraq veteran Hugh Martin of Macedonia is nationally recognized poet | Attachment Email

News Date: 07/17/2013
Outlet Full Name: Akron Beacon Journal - Online, The
Contact Name: Carney, Jim
News OCR Text: Hugh Martin talks about his recently published book of poetry entitled "Stick Soldiers" at his family's home in Macedonia. His poetry is inspired by his experiences while serving in the Ohio Army National Guard. (Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal)

MACEDONIA:

Hugh Martin never expected to be where he is today.

A so-so student in high school who joined the Ohio Army National Guard in hopes of making his life better, Martin had never written a poem when he was deployed to Iraq nearly a decade ago.

Years later, while a student at Muskingum University he took a poetry class.

Something clicked.

“It was an interesting situation. I immediately recognized him as a poet, even though I'm fairly sure he had never written a poem before then,” said Jane Varley, an associate professor at Muskingum and chair of the English department. She taught the poetry class Martin was taking.

“He had a poet's sensibility, and it was simple to get him started,” Varley said. “All I had to do was give him the names of some books and poets. From there, he discovered the world of poetry.

“From the start, his poems were good because they didn't mess around with unnecessary language, and he has gotten better and better at balancing clarity with an incredible depth of feeling,” she said.

Martin, 29, a Nordonia High School graduate and native of Macedonia, is midway through a two-year Stegner Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. Novelist Wallace Stegner established the fellowship in 1946.

Martin hopes to land a position teaching poetry and writing at a college or university after his fellowship ends next summer, but also plans to continue writing and is interested in filmmaking as well.

He was one of about 2,000 who applied for 10 of the fellowships at Stanford, including only five in poetry.

His book of poems about his experiences in Iraq, The Stick Soldiers, was published in March. It was named winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize.

Also in March, the New York Times published an essay Martin wrote to mark the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war.

Martin, son of Ken and Katherine Martin, joined the Ohio Army National Guard's 1-107th Armored Battalion out of Stow while still in high school, a few months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He went to basic training the next summer. He had been enrolled at Muskingum for one semester before being called to active duty and was deployed to Iraq in 2004.

While he was trained as a tanker, he served in Iraq as an infantryman. He wrote a journal daily but no poems.

It wasn't until Varley's poetry class that he began to write free-verse poems about his experiences in the Middle East.

“I got very comfortable with working with one page and focusing on a very particular, specific moment and writing different drafts and working on one poem at a time,” Martin said during a recent interview at his parents' home in Macedonia.

“My teacher was very encouraging and she gave me a lot of authors to read. And that is when I started seriously writing about Iraq.”

Soldier's viewpoint

Ken Martin, 60, an attorney and Macedonia councilman, said he appreciates his son's sensitivity.

“He wrote from the standpoint of the ordinary grunt out there slogging through it,” he said. “I admire what he has been able to do with storytelling.”

Katherine Martin, 61, also an attorney and a media relations official at NASA, said her son's poems make her realize the importance of poetry in painting a mental picture.

“It is amazing to me that he has turned what he experienced in Iraq into poetry,” she said.

Martin said he really doesn't consider himself a poet but more of a writer.

He has hundreds of drafts of poems, is working on a second book related to Iraq that includes poems and essays and also has put together 150 pages of a memoir.

“It is very relaxing,” he said of the act of writing. “It helped me adjust a lot because I have learned how to get [his war experiences] out there in a way. It feels good.”

After receiving his bachelor's degree in English from Muskingum, he spent three years at Arizona State University, where he received a master's degree in fine arts in creative writing.

Writing poems about Iraq, he said, “was a way to write about these experiences that were very strange to me, and it was hard to communicate them to anybody or to civilians. ... It was therapeutic.”

Precise writing

His first book, a chapbook or pocket-size book, contained 25 poems. Titled So How Was the War? it was published by Kent State University Press in 2010.

Poetry, in terms of writing about war, Martin said, “is sort of superior than all forms of written communications. To write a good poem, it has to be very precise. You have to use an economy of language. ... You have to look at the humanity of everyone — American, Iraqi, civilians.”

Eavan Boland, director of the Creative Writing Program at Stanford, said Martin's work “came off the page so strong, so authentic, so deeply involved in an important public event.”

She said what makes Martin's work so strong is “not so much that it's war poetry ... as that it leads out into the really universal theme of the struggle between humane individual feeling and the intense collective obligation any soldier puts on with a uniform. That is a tension that could swamp any poem. But it doesn't in Hugh's work. It enriches and confirms it.”

Muskingum's Varley said the reason Martin has had success as a poet “is because he is working with the compelling and complicated landscape of war, but beyond that, his poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. If I had to pinpoint one quality that characterizes him as a poet, I'd say it's compassion.”

There is something about the experience of war, Varley said, that draws people to art.

“Art is an endeavor to try to make sense of chaos,” she said, “and in the case of Hugh Martin, to make poetry is not a reaction to war but a present-tense, proactive, ongoing effort to find what is beneath the surface of our lives.”

In the forward of The Stick Soldiers, Cornelius Eady wrote: “Here's eleven months worth of sawdust, sweat, dear reader. Somehow, Hugh Martin has wrung poetry from a scab, and now, the full shock and beauty and mystery of the things of war that won't let go will stick to you.”

Martin's books can be purchased through Amazon.com.

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