Dean of Arts and Sciences endows scholarship

Anna Riggenbach

Last night was a night of new beginnings, as a new set of scholarships and new faculty and staff members were introduced at the Dean’s Welcoming Reception for the College of Arts and Sciences.

“September is always a month of new beginnings,” said Dean Jerry Feezel.

Feezel’s donation of $10,000 provided a new set of scholarships to five students within the College of Arts and Sciences.

The students each received a $2,000 scholarship after being nominated by a department within the college. “This is now the dean’s scholarship,” said Feezel.

Zachariah Riel, a scholarship recipient, was happy about being nominated.

“Free money is always good,” he said.

Riel, a senior mathematics major, has used scholarship money to pay most of his way through college. Even with the scholarship money, Riel said he may still be in debt after he graduates. He is planning on teaching college mathematics to help pay his debt.

“I chose poverty for the love of mathematics,” Riel said.

Since this is Feezel’s first year funding the scholarships, he wanted to make some changes in the scholarship criteria.

“I didn’t want to isolate by areas,” he said.

Because of Feezel’s donation, an extra scholarship was given out this year.

Feezel also wanted to make sure that a scholarship was given to a non-traditional student and a Bachelor of General Studies student.

Rebecca Ollikainen fit both of these criteria, though she had no idea she was getting the scholarship.

“It was really a wonderful surprise,” Ollikainen said.

When E. Timothy Moore, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, called to tell her that she had received the scholarship, Ollikainen thought he was asking her about her student loans. She was unaware that eligibility for the scholarship was extended to the Ashtabula campus, where she attends classes.

Ollikainen was recognized for her outstanding community service and her involvement on and off the Ashtabula campus.

Without the dean’s donation for the scholarship, money would have had to come from other funds, which would have left less money for the other departments, Feezel said.

Feezel did not want to see any departments or students suffer because of the lack of donations, so he decided to step in.

The money for the scholarships was previously donated by an outside benefactor, but the donation was not made this year, Feezel said.

He is hoping that his donation will set a leadership example and will expand the number of scholarships that are given out in the future.

“My intent will be to continue to donate,” Feezel said.

The other scholarship recipients were psychology major Kate Guerini, physics major Lewis Sharpnack and senior geology major Lyanne Yurco.

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

The College of Arts and Sciences introduced 37 new faculty members yesterday at a welcoming reception. The new faculty addressed what they are most looking forward to at Kent State.

“I want to continue my research in physical oceanography and develop a broad teaching focus with my students.”

Donna Witter, geology department

“I really enjoy teaching and the contact I have with students. The best part is that I feel I learn a lot from teaching, and I find the students at Kent are stimulating and help me develop ideas.”

Isabel Lacruz, psychology department

“I’m really excited about developing an education minor for English as a Second Language (ESL). We would then be able to be a major supplier of ESL teachers in the area.”

Karl Uhrig, English department

“I’m looking forward to more research in geographic information systems. I also look forward to teaching that to students.”

Chuanrong Zhang, geography department

“I’d like to bring more focus on the African-American diaspora of Canada, which is the life experiences of African-Americans in the Canadian region. It’s really not studied a lot, but it is interesting.”

Amoaba Gooden, Pan-African studies

“I really look forward to working with graduate students and expanding my research opportunities.”

Chris Banks, political science department

“I like to teach and research, and Kent is a good place to do both. The students here are nice and are also good researchers.”

Mikhail Chebotar, mathematics department