KSU professors awarded for research

Ashley Sepanski

Three Kent State professors joined a select group of faculty yesterday as recipients of the Distinguished Scholar Award.

John Dunlosky, Robert Flexer and Phillip Rumrill each received the award for contributing to their field through excellence in research. Out of the five finalists nominated, they joined past winners, consisting of 36 tenured, tenure-track and emeriti faculty.

“All three winners were extraordinary in the depth of their research,” Provost Robert Frank said. “These are three scholars that bring great honor to Kent State. They’re all fantastic, but these guys did a great job this year.”

Dunlosky, who was nominated by an office colleague, researched how students learn and how to improve student learning. His research produced an automated tutor that he hopes to release within the next several years.

“I’m really interested in improving students’ scholarship across the board,” Dunlosky said. “I’m going to do a lot of that, but you know, I do think successful scholars reinvent themselves every so many years. So I’m not sure what I’ll be doing five or 10 years from now.”

With future plans to retire, Flexer’s research focused on helping people with special needs and disabilities transition into adulthood. Flexer said the award was an honor, and he hopes his research will help the disabled live better lives.

“I feel very honored and humbled and very happy,” Flexer said.

Rumrill, fellow Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences professor, received his award for researching the “psychological, social and political implications of disabilities.” More specifically, Rumrill focused on issues the disabled face when seeking employment and education.

Rumrill’s wife and Kent State professor, Amy Rumrill, said she was thankful to see his work get recognized.

“He’s very thrilled that he’s been honored for his accomplishments,” Amy said. “He’s worked so hard, and he’s put a lot of dedication into his work.”

Rumrill said he still has a lot of work left to accomplish on his research, about five years worth, but was pleased to be acknowledged and rewarded.

“I’ve been nominated a few times before,” Rumrill said. “I’ve been a finalist about three or four times, so it was very exciting. Each year you think ‘Maybe this year,’ and this year I did (win). It’s great, it’s really great.”

Contact health reporter Ashley Sepanski at [email protected].