Arts and Sciences award students, faculty

Heather Bing

Khadija Williams, senior political science major, receives a plaque from Jerry Feezel, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, at the Distinguished Student Leadership and Faculty Awards Banquet Friday in the Student Center. Williams was named to

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

While Dr. Seuss might praise graduates on the places they’ll go, figuring out those places can be a little bit tricky, said Susan Scheutzow, a 1975 Kent State graduate.

With commencement quickly approaching and many graduates considering where to go from here, Scheutzow recommends students spend more time enjoying their accomplishments today than wondering where they will be tomorrow.

“How do you know where you go from here?” she asked. “You don’t, and you probably never will. You don’t know where you’ll be in 30 years or where you’ll go. You don’t know what’s out there yet.”

Scheutzow was the keynote speaker at the College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Student Leadership and Faculty Awards Banquet Friday, which honored individuals’ successes throughout the school year.

Scheutzow said she looked up what to say on an occasion like the college’s awards ceremony and read that she should offer pieces of advice. She shared quotes from individuals like Woody Allen and Maya Angelo, and compiled them into her own message of advice for students.

“Some of you may know what you want to do and you’ll do it,” she said. “Good for you. But some of you won’t. Regardless, you need to show up, follow your heart, have integrity and thank those that helped you.

“Jimi Hendrix put it best when he sang ‘excuse me while I kiss the sky,’ although he might have meant it a little differently than I do tonight. I hope tonight you take the time to kiss the sky because you deserve it.”

Along with the 19 students honored for their work in different disciplines, three faculty members chosen for the Distinguished Teacher Award for the College of Arts and Sciences. The teachers were chosen without any faculty input and the final decisions were made by the Student Advisory Council based on recommendations from students.

Shawn Banasick, assistant professor of geography; Robin Joynes, assistant professor of psychology; and Walter Pechenuk, computer science lecturer, were all presented with their awards as the student who recommended each of them read his or her recommendation letter.

Jerry Feezel, interim dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, said students should remember that commencement actually means beginnings. Students might look toward the future, but, echoing Scheutzow’s advice, Feezel said they should also remember to celebrate their present accomplishments and those who helped them to achieve success.

Contact College of Arts and Sciences reporter Heather Bing at [email protected]