Grand opening of science building sees integration of students, faculty, donors

The Integrated Sciences Building.

Logan Lutton

Science is now officially on display after the grand opening of the Integrated Sciences Building Friday.

The event began in the Timken Foundation Active Learning Classroom, where attendees listened to speeches given by faculty and donors.  

President Beverly Warren hosted the dedication, saying that “magic happens when disciplines collide.”

Some of the other speakers in attendance included David Hassler, head of the Wick Poetry Center, and State Representative Kathleen Clyde. Hassler explained the connection of poetry and science while Clyde reminisced about the day they broke ground for the building.

Following the ceremony, guests were treated to refreshments. One of the most popular attractions was the ice cream booth, where faculty from the chemistry department served ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.

The ceremony also saw the unveiling of a new lecture hall named after its donor.

A retired Kent State alumni and professor, Dr. Sandra S. Fishel, posed for pictures next to her hall.

“I thought they really brought out the meaning of education and I think everyone is excited to occupy the new space,” Fishel said.

Fishel’s involvement with the university continues with volunteer work for the Dogs on Campus program. She frequently visits the campus with her dog, Sophie, to help soothe distressed students.

Faculty members who contributed to the design of the building were also present for the ceremony. The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, James Blank, was the person in charge of selecting a committee. He made these choices by looking at faculty who were contributing the most to on-campus research.

One of those chosen was Dr. Laura Leff, who is the chair of the biology department. She studies microscopic organisms.

“My role was to basically work with the university architect, the other science department chairs and the construction company that was hired,” Leff said.

“In this integrated sciences building, we have classroom facilities. We also have research labs for multiple departments, and so it’s kind of a unique way for students and faculty to all interact and make new discoveries,” Leff said. “It also represents the most modern, state-of-the-art design of research labs and instructional spaces.”

“I thought the event gave everyone a pretty cool grasp of how good of a tool this building is,” said Raissa Mendonca, a graduate student who was in attendance.

Logan Lutton is the science reporter. Contact her at [email protected].