How Far Does $825,000 Stretch at KSU?

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State grants to Kent State

Mikala Lugen

Ohio granted Kent State $825,000 in May 2016 for state-funded programs and renovations on several academic buildings. The university is dispersing the money for campus updates. 

The State of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Education initially gifted $510,000 of the grant to fund the Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) Program.

The program’s goal is to bring business and education partners together to fulfill the need for qualified workers in the health care industry, especially within telemedicine and additive manufacturing, according to its website. 

“We are grateful to the (Ohio Department of Higher Education) for their determination to fill jobs by providing grants through RAPIDS and the Ohio Means Internships & Co-ops initiatives. These grants have positively affected the lives of many of our students,” said Jackie Ruller, project manager for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology (CAEST).

The innovation of telemedicine will use $300,000 of the grant. This will allow the university to purchase two portable teaching units, as well as 14 portable telemedicine devices. These units will be used for teaching and clinical settings at Kent State healthcare partners throughout Northeast Ohio, according to Kristin Anderson, director of External Relations. These instruments provide patients with the means to remotely communicate with health-care professionals.

Another $70,000 will fund the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) Program at Kent State.

“We are excited to be taking part in this project to provide our students with new avenues to get involved in telemedicine,” said Austin Melton, a professor from the department of Computer Science. “We are also excited to address research questions regarding the future of telemedicine and how we can play a role in shaping and directing its future.”

An additional $140,000 went toward a new 3-D Printer, which allows students to acquire necessary knowledge and skills for advanced manufacturing, according to Anderson.

The printer is in the CAEST. The college is collaborating with the College of Podiatric Medicine and the Fashion School so students can produce customized components, such as feet equipment, as well as accessories for clothing designs. Kent State students — as well as those from universities in the Northeast Ohio area — are able to use the equipment by filling out a request form.

“Adding the 3D printer has complement the existing equipment in the college and allows students to learn about additive manufacturing and the many industries it will impact in the future,” said Bob Sines, the dean of CAEST.

The remaining $315,000 will fund building renovations on campus during the summers of 2017-18 and winter recesses.

Rockwell Hall is scheduled to have the chiller and air handling unit replaced, while Bowman Hall will receive replacements in the heating and air conditioning, plumbing and power systems.

“By investing in the university, Northeast Ohio will continue to be a hub of learning and innovation,” State of Ohio Rep. Kathleen Clyde said.

Mikala Lugen is the student finance reporter, contact her at [email protected]