Vision 21 showcases tech students, grads

Jessica Dreschel

The second-floor cafeteria at the Student Center bloomed with blue and gold flowers as the School of Technology hosted its eighth annual Vision 21 Awards Banquet Saturday.

The banquet honors 21 School of Technology graduates for excellence after graduation.

President Carol Cartwright was there to welcome attendees and pose for photographs with each of the 21 honorees.

Cartwright opened the evening by greeting the crowd and stressed the School of Technology’s extensive awards and recognitions and cited the “pressing need for citizens with technology knowledge.”

Cartwright said the School of Technology is an important part in creating informed citizens.

The school’s dean was colorful in his remarks.

“Our school is like an 800-pound gorilla. It is silent, but it makes a big impact on Ohio’s economy,” Dean Raj Chowdhury said.

Recipients were humble about the accolades.

“I was surprised that I got an award,” Sam F. Pagano, 1967 graduate, said. Pagano has invented eight patented products used to hold open top-bound computer books, Pagano said.

Other recipients were thankful for the opportunities opened with a Kent State degree.

“Unlike Rodney Dangerfield, I got respect for my degree from Kent State University,” Capt. Tony W. Mangano said.

Still others enjoyed the professors they encountered at Kent State.

Alumni James Contant reminisced about how he got his first job after graduation.

“My professor in Van Deusen, M.O. Johnson, told me to get a suit on and go over to Ravenna for an interview. I have been a teacher there for 34 years,” Contant said.

Non-graduates were also honored at Saturday’s banquet.

Each year, the Clinton Van Deusen Award is presented to individuals who made significant contributions to the School of Technology, emcee Tina Knauss said.

This year’s award went to Jack and Elsie Joy. The Joys established a scholarship in 1999 following Jack’s retirement from the Davey Tree Expert Company, Jack Joy said.

Joy was a B-17 pilot in World War II. After returning from the service, Joy wanted become an aeronautics engineer at Kent State. He started working at Davey Tree and never got his degree. The Joys’ contribution recognizes his unrealized goal, Joy said.

Overall, the event went off without a hitch, Peggy Studer, secretary and one of those coordinating the banquet, said.

According to Chowdhury, the graduates were the stars of the evening.

“When I am asked what the school’s hallmark or point of pride is, I always say the quality of our graduates,” Chowdhury said.

Contact academic technology reporter Jessica Dreschel at [email protected].