KSU presentations educate Statehouse visitors

Britni Williams

The sound of excited students, faculty, administrators and community members filled the gallery of the Ohio Statehouse Wednesday morning.

Kent State University Office of Government Relations and Alumni Association presented its Impact and Innovations Exhibit to inform state legislators and Statehouse visitors about the university.

President Lester Lefton said the goal was to show legislators how important Kent State is to the local economy.

“We’re here as a family today, a community, to represent Kent State,” Lefton said. “We are Kent State, all of us, together. We are a community of individuals, of employees, of alumni, of students trying to represent what we do and what we do well.”

The exhibit consisted of several displays spread throughout the Statehouse gallery where legislators and visitors could walk through and interact with students and representatives of the university.

The College of Nursing displayed its patient simulator, a life-size doll that allows nursing students to realistically practice what they learn, and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design showcased student-made building models. Other exhibits were presented by the regional campuses, the alumni association, the Wick Poetry Center and numerous other Kent State programs.

Jackie Woods, chair of the Board of Trustees, said it’s hard for legislators to come to Kent State. This exhibit brought Kent State to the legislators.

“We really were timely with what we brought to Columbus today because representing the university in its largest context which is the community, business, the students, the faculty, the programs really is where the state is right now,” Woods said. “They’re looking for economic development, jobs, education, and that’s what this is all about. I just think it has been an excellent example of Kent State at its largest capability.”

Gregory Jarvie, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said despite the budget coming out Tuesday, it wasn’t the main concern.

“I think it’s about showcasing the university, so it’s really not about the budget today,” Jarvie said. “That day has come and gone. We have a lot of folks that are obviously keeping an eye on it, and we’ll do what we can to get through that, but today is about Kent State.”

Dennis Eckart, member of the Board of Trustees, said he didn’t think the trip could have been planned any better.

“I love what we have done by bringing actual parts of Kent State,” Eckart said. “It’s not just to talk about issues. We’re here to show visually many of our centers of excellence, and it captures the spirit of the school so well. It’s not just talking about it — we’re demonstrating it.”

Contact Britni Williams at [email protected].