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Kent State Honors College 
Parents & Friends Newsletter
November 27th, 2019
Honors College students and staff take a moment to pose for a photo 
while relaxing and decorating pumpkins during fall break.

Greetings from the Honors College Dean

Hello everyone!

The Thanksgiving Holiday is almost upon us, and soon students will be headed home for that wonderful long weekend with family and friends.  They will have so many stories to tell you! For those of you with freshmen, you may be surprised to learn of their new plans and latest successes.  Your student may also seem to you to be very tired!  Across the country, first semester freshmen are coming home after a considerable stretch of new challenges and new living patterns, and they are indeed tired.  In fact, stress and time management problems are the most commonly reported issues for students  at this point in the semester.  Then, they will return to campus for the final week of classes and exam week, so you can really help them by finding ways to talk about  Resilience.  

Resilience is the ability to handle challenges and  "bounce back" from adversity, great or small.  Please share with them how you handled challenges you faced (particularly at their age) and how you figured your way through them.  They will absorb these stories and put them to practical use in their own resilience development.  Whether you have a first year student or a senior, remind them that there are always options, always ways to handle challenges successfully, and give them examples from your own experience.  Here are some talking points you might find useful:
  • Maintaining a hopeful outlook - discuss specific, concrete ways to find a path forward!  
  • Suggest getting the conversation going with friends - make connections with others!
  • Being kind to yourself - suggest meditation, working out, attention to sleep and meals...
A good summary of steps students can take to become more resilient can be found at this American Psychological Association website: 

The Honors College and the university provide programming and opportunities to build resilience.   Meditation is available in many locations on campus, and yoga classes are taught for any level through the Group X program in  Recreational Services.  The Honors College staff is always a good source of information - remind your student to just ask!  Also, here are important links you and your student should know regarding student health related programs on campus:

Where can I find Health and Wellness Resources?

Don't forget about that flu shot! Students may call 888-935-7378 to schedule an on-campus flu shot:  the days/times available are listed here:

How About Residence Hall Questions or Issues?

What about Commuter Students? 

KSU has a Commuter Student Organization-"COSO"

The Honors College offers Honors Student Commuter/Off Campus Special Events too!

Where do I go with Financial Aid Questions? 

As a final note, please remind your student to register for their spring courses - it is time!  I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and a delightful holiday season.

With warm regards,

Dr. Alison J. Smith
Dean of the Honors College

2019 Golden Flash Award:
Honors College Student Elena Neoh Named 2019 Recipient 

Elena Neoh, a human resource management major with a creative writing minor, has been announced as the recipient of the 2019 Golden Flash Award. According to the website for the Kent State Alumni Association, which sponsors the award, the Golden Flash Award recognizes a student who "promotes Kent State University spirit, pride, and tradition," is involved in campus activities, and who serves as a positive role model for other students. Elena, a member of the Honors College, embodies such a student: she is an editor for  Brainchild, a managing editor for  UHURU, and a content writer for the division of Information Technology.
To read the entire article, please visit the link below:

Preview KSU Fall 2019:
Stopher-Johnson Residence Hall Tours

A big THANKS! to all of our honors students who volunteered their time and knowledge to assist with residence hall tours during multiple Preview KSU events this fall!  The Honors College appreciates the time and effort our honors students spent meeting with prospective honors students/families and answering questions about every day college life.  

Tell your honors student to keep an eye out for more opportunities, as we will be hosting another Honors Visit Day in early December and will need more volunteers to give residence hall tours at that time!

Honors Leadership Academy:
Washington, D.C.- Here We Come!

      HLA students & staff pose for a group photo in front of the Kent Historical Society. 

The college's second year of  Honors Leadership Academy (HLA)  is comprised of 16 freshmen honors  students who are dedicating themselves to a year of leadership learning and civic engagement during their first year at Kent State.  

This winter break, students of the Honors Leadership Academy will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will be immersed in the culture of the nation's capital, while also learning about many of the capital's challenges, including hunger and homelessness.  The academy is looking forward to a tour of the White House, along with many other stops at monumental locations along the way!

Photos Below:
Left- HLA students mentor a young child as part of tutoring with LoveLight, Inc.
Right- HLA students listen to a presentation from Kent Historical Society.

Career Conversations with Alumni
Fall 2019

Students engage in active discussion with Lisa Aurilio (COO, Akron Children's Hospital), Rabon Allen (Nurse Manager, UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital), Brian Rink (Director of Ambulatory Nursing, Cleveland Clinic), and Dr. Karen Bankston (Professor and Leadership Consultant, University of Cincinnati).

During the fall 2019 semester, the Honors College hosted a total of  38 very talented and successful Kent State alumni volunteers , including many Honors College graduates, for a professional speaker series aimed at preparing our students for life after college.  From  doctors and researchers , to  architects and school teachers , our KSU alumni provided advice on how students can set themselves apart and become the next generation of leaders.  Many students used the opportunity to network with these professionals in their field, setting up to shadow future meetings and discuss potential internships for next summer.

A special thank you to all of the alumni speakers who presented to 231  student attendees  over the course of the semester!

Photos Below:
LEFT- CEO of Marketing Solutions Unlimited, Inc., Jayni Sech, talks with students about entrepreneurship and business management.
RIGHT- Standing in photo from left to right- Shane Hoover (Canton Repository), Lindsay McCoy (WFMJ) and Andy Baskin (92.3 The Fan), pose for a group photo.

Summer Planning Already? Yes!
Thinking about Federal Internships...

Although the autumn leaves are falling, it is now time for students to start thinking about some types of summer internships!  There are several types of internships; paid, unpaid, federal, state or local, businesses, non-profits, even some that happen on campus.   Last summer, hundreds of students in the Honors College had summer internships.  Many of the U.S. Federal programs have application deadlines beginning as early as January for their summer internships.  Here is a "heads-up" about federal, paid/unpaid internships.  These are fantastic internships that take place over a ten-week time block in the summer.  Many of them are paid internships.  

What are federal summer internships?  These include internships with NASA, NOAA, National Parks, Fish & Wildlife, EPA, USGS, the State Department, the Federal Reserve, and others.  A few programs, such as the Federal Reserve, require summer internship applications an entire year ahead, but most have January, February, or March deadlines.

Where can students learn about them?  Here are some popular links.  To explore others, use the name of the federal program (e.g., Federal Reserve) and summer 2020 internships as keywords in your search.  

NASA  - Deadline is March 8, 2020 (Remember, NASA-Lewis is in the Cleveland area!)

NOAA -  a sampling of internships -  Deadlines are all in January/February

NOAA Hollings Scholarship -  undergraduate internship - Deadline is January 30th, 2020

NOAA Marine & Coastal REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates)  - at University of Maryland Eastern Shore - Deadline is  February 29, 2020

NOAA NCEP (National Center for Environmental Prediction) -  Deadline is January 31, 2020

(Remember, the Cuyahoga Valley has a national park!).  Future Park Leaders Internships -  the National Park Service, in partnership with the Ecological Society of America - Deadline January 24, 2020

Various deadlines, of special interest is the virtual intern program!

We will be talking about other kinds of internships in the March issue of the  Parents & Friends Newsletter !

Honors Professor shares knowledge, perspectives in emotional exhibit

When Denise Harrison, Associate Lecturer in the  Department of English , teaching in the  Department of Pan-African Studies  and the Honors College at Kent State, got her idea to create an exhibit about the "cradle-to-prison" pipeline for young people of color, she was already very familiar with quilting. Harrison has always sewn, and she is a former costume designer for the University of Akron School of Dance Program, where she worked for fourteen years. Three years ago, Harrison started making social activist quilts. She and some of her colleagues had written a paper on quilting and women's art, and they "wanted to make a statement about the first-wave feminists." With the help of community members who created their own squares to contribute to the project, Harrison and her colleagues were able to create two quilts, which were displayed at the Seneca Falls Fourth Biannual Dialogues.

To read the entire article, please visit the link below:
Pictured second from right in this photo of first and second place winners is zoology senior Harlee Rush, Honors College student, and also, student worker for the Honors College who placed first in her group of presenters!

In Honors College Research News...
SURE Competition & Fulbright Nominations

The Honors College would like to congratulate all of the Honors College students who competed in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Three-Minute Competition on October 22nd in the Kent State Student Center. The students were placed into one of eight groups where they presented their work in a three-minute presentation using one PowerPoint slide.  Each student was judged by a panel of faculty and administrators.  

Below is the list of Honors College students who took part in the 2019 SURE Three-Minute Competition:

David Austin                 Natasha Gaj                                  Meggie Moore
Colin Armstrong           Megan Gottsacker                        Harlee Rush
Michael Back                 Benjamin Hook                             Thomas Sonnanstine
Rose Beechboard         Courtney Kasturiarachi                Madison Summers   
Kimberly Bretland        John Koleski                                  Minhchau To
Sam Carroll                   Alexander Kozak                           Christian Ward
Erin Fanning                 Kiersten McMahon                        Drake Wartman
Emily France                Tiera Moore                                    Meredith Zendlo

Please visit the  Office of Student Research website  for more information regarding the SURE Program.

Additionally, the Honors College would also like to recognize honors student Joshua Budd for being nominated for a Fulbright Teaching Assistant fellowship in Italy.  If awarded, Josh will spend ten months in Italy assisting in an English classroom.  Josh is a senior Honors College student majoring in Integrated Social Studies with a concentration in Political Science.  Good luck to Josh!

Senior Honors Luncheon 2020:

Parents of graduating seniors, please save-the-date for our Senior Honors Luncheon for seniors graduating in the spring, summer AND fall of 2020! Graduating seniors will be honored at the annual Senior Honors Luncheon, which will be held on Saturday, April 4th, 2020  in the Kent State University Student Center ballroom.

More details will be sent out via an official email invite to senior honors students within the first few weeks of the spring 2020 semester.  Parents are encouraged to attend and must register for the meal via the registration link that will be included in the student email invite. 
Student Spotlight:
Thomas Niepsuj, 
Undergraduate Student Government Representative

Junior Honors College student and biology major (public health minor) Thomas Niepsuj, has been elected as this year's Honors College representative for Undergraduate Student Government (USG).  Thomas is a native of Atwater, OH and attended Southeast High School before coming to Kent State.  
When asked why he ran for student government, Thomas states that his friends encouraged him, and that he wanted to improve his connections on campus.  He explains that in his current role, he would like to change the idea of what students have in their mind as to what "Honors" is, and that he would like to fulfill an engaging role in the community. He hopes to make the USG Honors Representative position something of prestige and honor; also an engaging role that fellow honors students will strive to compete for.   
Thomas plans to attend medical school, and eventually enter a PhD/MD program to continue his passion to educate others.  He also states that a Master's in Public Health is in his sights, and has a passion for Greek Life, which he would also like to pursue at some point in his career pathway. 

Prestigious Awards & Scholarships

In addition to the academic and social programming organized and planned by the Honors College, the college also oversees the university's  prestigious awards and scholarships .  These awards and scholarships range from research focused scholarship awards, to those concentrating on environmental issues, and even scholarships for critical language acquisition for undergraduate students.  

Additionally, the Honors College works with graduating seniors to apply for prestigious awards, including the  Fulbright and  Marshall .  If selected, these awards offer stipends, international experiences and academic credit. Moreover, having been granted an award strengthens graduate school applications and resumes. 

For more information on some of the scholarships and prestigious awards, please visit the links below:

Barry Goldwater Scholarship                            
Udall Scholarship                   

Fall Break at the Honors College:
Community Service and Pumpkin Decorating

While many students ventured home for a few days during fall break, many students also stayed on campus during the lull in the semester.  The Honors College provided fun, fall-themed activities to give honors students a well-deserved break from studies.  Honors students and staff ventured to Restore, of Habitat for Humanity of Portage County, to assist store staff with projects within their Kent location.  Later in the day, students enjoyed painting pumpkins while sipping apple cider and munching on donuts.  For more photos from our talented group of pumpkin decorators, follow our Facebook page and view our photo album !     

Alpha Lambda Delta

In October, members of Alpha Lambda Delta, along with Honors College advisor Lauren Huffman, attended the
annual leadership conference  in Buffalo, New York .   Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society for first-year students, with inductions taking place after they qualify and complete their first semester at Kent State. 

Membership invitations for eligible first-year students to join ALD will be emailed to students in January of 2020. Current m embers of the KSU chapter of ALD placed first at the Buffalo conference last month, after they were challenged to create a student service project in a pitch competition.  

Great job to Alpha Lambda Delta! 

Nicholas DiAntonio (standing left) and Alyssa Henderson (standing right), presenting the Graduate School Preparation workshop.

Graduate School Preparation Workshop

On November 13th, members of the Honors College gathered for a formal presentation to discuss  Graduate School Preparation , presented by  Alyssa Henderson, Career Exploration and Development graduate assistant , and  Nicholas DiAntonio, Honors College graduate intern . Honors students learned how to evaluate graduate school options for deciding if graduate school was a good fit for them, along with the process for how to narrow down graduate institutions to attend.  The presentation also included an informative overview of the applications process for graduate school, along with funding opportunities.  

Be sure to check out the Graduate School 'Evaluating and Applying' document from Kent State University's Career Exploration and Development, as it provides some helpful tips!     

To start the graduate school preparation process, your honors student may find it helpful to download Kent State University's Graduate School Decision and Admissions Guide eBook now!

For questions regarding the Graduate School Preparation Presentation or the graduate school process, please reach out to Honors College academic advising coordinator Lauren Huffman at  

Remember, it's never too early to begin planning for the future!

                       Honors staff pass out candy to honors students for Halloween!

Meet the Honors  College Staff!

Our Honors College staff is dedicated to creating positive relationships with students, which enhance the undergraduate Honors experience.  

Staff members are always eager to meet with students. Visit our Honors College staff webpage to meet our team of honors staff. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns relating to your student.

               The Honors College volunteered at Kent Social Services to serve a hot meal to          
                                                    members of the Kent community.

Honors Colllege Takes on Partnership with Community Involvement

Honors students are invited to join in each month, as the Honors College adopts various organizations and groups throughout the community during the 2019-2020 academic year, to assist with their many needs. 

Volunteer service for the month of November was dedicated to Kent Social Services, located right here in the city of Kent.  Students and staff of the Honors College spent the lunch hour serving a warm meal to those in need.  

This monthly volunteer opportunity is a great way for Honors College students to meet peers and give back to the community.  Please encourage your student to volunteer with us in the upcoming months!

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