Two KSU officials win humanitarian award

Two Kent State officials were awarded with the Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian award this month.

Vice President of University Relations Iris Harvey and Board of Trustees member Virginia Albanese received the award at the 24th annual ceremony on March 14 in Akron.

The Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award honors individuals who have made contributions in various areas such as social action, medicine, law, government and business. The award is named after Stubbs, a municipal court judge in Akron and a Kent State alumnus.

Since Stubbs’ death in 1989, the awards program has recognized individuals for their community service.

Harvey said she was shocked that she was considered.

“I didn’t even know anyone nominated me,” Harvey said. “It was a delightful surprise.”

Harvey has been involved with Kent State since 2008. As the vice president for university relations, she oversees the offices of Government Relations, University Communications and Marketing and WKSU-FM, the educational radio station in Kent.

Harvey said she has also received awards from the Akron Urban League earlier this year. She said that before winning the award, she never thought of herself as a humanitarian.

“I would like to think that I meet whatever criteria that’s needed to deserve the award,” she said. “But I wouldn’t personally label myself as a humanitarian.”

Harvey said that Kent State has had a partnership with the Harold K. Stubbs awards program for a number of years. Every year, the program gives out a number of scholarships to Kent State students.

“I think it is important for Kent State to be engaged in the community and to work with organizations such as this program that are having such a positive impact on young people,” Harvey said.

Sonya Williams works as Harvey’s special assistant and said she wasn’t surprised that Harvey won the award.

“She is a great leader in terms of humanitarianism,” Williams said. “She supports any community she is apart of and truly cares about things that are going on in it.”

Williams said that she thinks Harvey’s recent win will be a platform to do more things within the community.

“The Harold K. Stubbs award is one of the most prestigious awards,” Williams said. “She can absolutely use this to continue to lead others as a recipient of the award.”

Albanese, who is also the president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, the largest critical-shipment carrier in North America, received a Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award for her work in the business field.

Albanese is a 1985 Kent State graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree. She then earned an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 1995.

Albanese said she was flattered to have received the award as well.

“I’m honored to receive this award and to share the stage with so many deserving leaders and volunteers,” Albanese said. “Our community is shaped by those willing to lead and collaborate, and I’m humbled to be recognized with this achievement.”

Contact Elizabeth Randolph at [email protected] and Nicholas Sewell at [email protected].