Arts and Sciences banquet honors students, faculty

Anna Duszkiewicz

A quote is taped to the monitor of John Krisinski’s computer.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

Every time he gets a new monitor, the Robert Kennedy quote gets retaped.

His father handed it to him on a piece of paper when he was experiencing self-doubt at the start of his career as an entrepreneur.

“That quote has led me through everything I’ve done in life,” he said. “If you want to achieve something there’s always a risk, but you’re not going to achieve it if you don’t go after it.”

Krisinski, president and CEO of three multimillion dollar companies and Kent State alumnus, offered students advice and inspiration in his keynote address at the College of Arts and Sciences’ annual Distinguished Student Leadership and Faculty Awards Banquet last night at the Student Center.

The college honored 17 students for their leadership abilities and academic achievements at the banquet.

Three faculty members who received the annual Distinguished Teacher Award were also recognized.

Tim Moore, associate dean of advising, said the award is unique because the recipients are nominated by students and then selected by the Student Advisory Council with no help from faculty.

Peter Dahl, professor of geology; John Gunstad, assistant professor of psychology; and Matthew Kemp, assistant professor of French, received the award this year.

Jerry Feezel, interim dean of the college, said the banquet is the college’s key celebration of the year, and this year’s ceremony is especially important to him because it is his last.

Feezel, who will leave Kent State at the end of the semester, was moved by Krisinski’s speech.

“It’s not very often I’m speechless, but you’ve got me speechless, John.”

Krisinski told students they have the ability to change the world.

“Please don’t ever doubt that and don’t forget that,” he said. “The world needs you to achieve.”

He said major world issues could be changed for the better by the students at the banquet.

“Economic development and world peace may be affected by the minds in this room,” he said. “You will face hard times and even failure. But you need to keep going and move on. You need to realize your value and act on it now. We need you.”

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Anna Duszkiewicz at [email protected].