Kent State faculty honored this week

Victoria Manenti

The Kent State community celebrated faculty members during its third annual Faculty Appreciation Week from April 13 to 17.

Todd Diacon, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, created the week-long event when he arrived at the university to formally recognize faculty members’ hard work, said Lashonda Taylor, director of university ceremonies, events and special programs.

“It’s a pretty jam-packed week with a variety of events,” Taylor said.

The week kicked off with an informal breakfast in the Student Center Ballroom open to all faculty members. Taylor said university divisions and departments passed out different items for faculty to enjoy. During the event, President Beverly Warren and Diacon made remarks, as well.

Published faculty members and their works were honored at the University Library. Recipients of the Outstanding Researcher and Scholarship Award received recognition, as well.

The university recognized faculty members who earned tenure or promotion in the past academic year by hosting a dinner at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center on Wednesday evening. Warren and Diacon presented remarks once again, and all faculty members received a complimentary gift, Taylor said.

Faculty Club, a social event held monthly year-round, specifically honored retiring and newly hired faculty members in the Student Center Schwebel Room Thursday evening. The event was open to all faculty members.

Diacon began the event by thanking faculty members for their outstanding service.

“This week has been a small token of our appreciation for all that you do, and we wish you a great summer, a great end to the semester and a very happy and healthy and productive summer,” Diacon said. “Now, let’s have fun.”

Warren also expressed her appreciation for faculty members during the social.

“It has been an incredible week,” Warren said. “I said last night, I have never been to a university that celebrates faculty for an entire week, and I think that it’s the right way to do it. We should probably do it for longer than a week for all that we owe to the great, great work of the faculty. I have to say from the bottom of my heart, I’m almost through one academic year, and it has been wonderful being a part of you.”

Faculty members chatted over music, food and refreshments while enjoying each other’s company.

“This is my second time at Faculty Club,” said Elizabeth Herndon, assistant professor of geology.  “I think it’s a really nice event to bring faculty from all across the university together because I don’t often get a chance to interact with people outside my department who aren’t direct collaborators, so it’s just a nice event to kind of relax and talk to people.”

Students were also encouraged to post a selfie with their favorite professors throughout the week on Instagram or Twitter using the hastag “ksufaculty.” Faculty members who were featured on a student’s social media were entered into a special raffle drawing during the Faculty Club event. Marianne Warzinski, academic program director in the College of Communication and Information, won the raffle.

The week will conclude with the Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellows presentation on Friday in the Moulton Hall Ballroom. A light lunch will be served while various faculty members lecture.  

“(Faculty Appreciation Week) helps us reflect on the work that we put in during this year,” Vernon Sykes, assistant professor of political science, said.

Contact Victoria Manenti at [email protected].