Kent State group in first place in national contest on


Alyssa Lawman, Lea Baron, Athena Catsoules and Khala Febres-Cordero created the group Kent Touch This, which is currently in first place in StumbleUpon’s “Stumble to Spring Break” contest. Photo by Megann Galehouse.

Natalie Moses

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, It is the only thing that ever has.”

A group of four sophomores from Kent State identify themselves by that quote and are doing exactly what Mead suggested. Alyssa Lawman, Lea Baron, Athena Catsoules and Khala Febres-Cordero, a group also known as “Kent Touch This,” are currently in first place in a contest that is open to every college student in the country.

The contest is called “Stumble to Spring Break.” It is sponsored by the website The four girls are very passionate about spreading the word about the site.

Baron, sophomore Spanish translation major, described StumbleUpon as “a website that takes a bunch of collaborative interests and basically mashes it up into a random set order, and all you have to do is click a button on the toolbar that says ‘stumble’ and it brings you to all of these different websites.”

However, this is not simply a search engine. Lawman, sophomore early childhood education major, notes that you can select from an extremely wide range of interests, including computer science, architecture, beer, the universe and politics.

“It’s very interesting stuff. None of it is boring,” Lawman said.

About three months ago, Catsoules, sophomore advertising major, already an “avid stumbler” at the time, received an e-mail about a contest the website was having just for college students. Students had to create a group and get as many people to join the website as they could. When she shared it with the other girls, they said “yeah, right,” implying that they never imagined they would win. Currently, the group is in first place nationally.

“I thought it was cool. They’re just trying to help college kids out and out give them a chance to go on vacation,” Catsoules said.

Although spring break anywhere in the United States and cool prizes like an iPad are involved, the girls said they would still be in the contest even if there were no incentives. This is obvious in their excitement when promoting the site.

“I just want kids to know about it. Not enough people know what it is,” Catsoules said.

They point out that the website itself is not just for college students.

“It’s literally for everyone. It is extremely personalized, only linking you to the interests you click,” Baron said. “It’s good for older people and all ages, really. My stepmom goes on it.”

Lawman loves the gardening sites she found, while Febres-Cordero, sophomore Spanish major, found some awesome workouts.

“You can make it for anyone,” Lawman said.

Febres-Cordero went on to explain that the perks are endless. There are no viruses or pop-ups, and StumbleUpon approves all the websites that users find.

Catsoules pointed out that the site itself solves the problem of finding websites that pertain to your preferences.

“It brings so much that’s out there. It’s sometimes hard to find good websites that you’re interested in and these are legit, good websites,” she said.

It is perfectly useful for a college student because, as Febres-Cordero mentioned, she has found pointers on how to make papers longer. It also cuts down on “Facebook creeping” time in class. “You can just Stumble instead!”

The contest is good for the website and the Kent Touch This group. The girls also felt it is truly good for Kent State University.

“There’s people all over the country doing this,” Baron said.

“It’s showing that Kent is getting together and working as an actual team. Winning would show what Kent can accomplish,” Febres-Cordero said.

Catsoules urges fellow Flashes to “discover the best of the web,” and Baron comically put in a request to the student body — “Help us while we help you!”

The girls are still in the lead, but it’s crunch time for them. They are doing everything possible. They’re making flyers, spreading the word, sending links and all around “bombarding the school” to raise awareness. The easiest thing that other students can do to help them is to go on their Facebook group’s page,“Start the Stumbling.” But, as Baron mentioned, you are not only helping them, you’re helping yourself as well.

Joining only takes a minute, and students will most likely find it to be a new addiction.

To sign up for free, go to

Contact Natalie Moses at [email protected].