Geauga dean to be awarded Trailblazer Award

Katie Paukst

The 2012 Diversity Trailblazer Award will be awarded to David Mohan, dean of Kent State Geauga campus, in a ceremony Thursday.

“The Diversity Trailblazer Award is a university-wide award that recognizes faculty, staff or a departmental group for their significant contributions to enhance diversity and inclusive excellence at Kent State,” said Geraldine Hayes-Nelson, executive director of Diversity Programming and Community Outreach and a member of the committee that chose Mohan.

According to the award’s website, along with being dean of the Geauga campus, Mohan also supervises the Kent State Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg.

The Rev. Ronald Fowler, last year’s recipient and this year’s chairman of the trailblazer award committee, said, “Dr. Mohan has an outstanding record of inclusive excellence that is demonstrated through his community initiative, such as community forms rights on his campus, which bring together people of class and racial groups. He is very affirming and celebrative of the town he has.”

Fowler said he was humbled to receive last year’s award because reaching out to others has always been a passion of his.

“All of us have a responsibility to create an environment for others, and I believe Mohan is a great representative of this,” Fowler said.

The process for choosing a recipient involves a nomination process. Nominations can come from individuals who wish to be considered on their own behalf, by co-workers, students, faculty and staff or any other person wishing to nominate a candidate.

The committee then meets with the applicants and narrows down the contenders. Fowler said the process was difficult because many people were worthy of the award this year

“Dr. Mohan is a class gentleman and he loves people. He is a leader who makes others want to lead and inspires others,” Fowler said.

Hayes-Nelson said the ultimate decision came down to the way Mohan is expanding Kent State Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg.

“He is making a place for students from around the community to access a common point for higher education,” she said.

This year’s award will be given to Mohan during Kent State’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Thursday at 2 p.m. The ceremony will take place in the Kent State Student Center Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Contact Katie Paukst at [email protected].