Kent State’s R1 Research status aims to enhance student learning opportunities and experiences

Alex Zito, Reporter

Kent State is an R1 Research accredited university that focuses on providing students with career advancement opportunities.

Only 146 universities in the United States receive the R1 designation, which is given to universities that exhibit exceptional educational and research opportunities, according to Kent State.

Douglas Delahanty is the Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs. (Courtesy of Kent State University)

Douglas Delahanty, vice president for research and sponsored programs, said he believes student involvement in the research process is key to the program’s success.

“I really liked the puzzle pieces of putting information together and being involved in the research process,” Delahanty said.

Delahanty attributed his own experiences and successes to the research he conducted throughout his undergraduate studies.

“I was at a really small college, and I was pre-med when I was initially there,” Delahanty said. “I got involved with an animal study and then a human study that is relatively close to what I do at Kent.”

Kent State offers programs such as student research experiences, summer experiences and the undergraduate research symposium, which have a significant impact on the campus and students, Delahanty said.

“I probably have 10 undergrad students and five grad students at any given time,” Delahanty said. “They do things like collect data, conduct analyses and write up things for papers.”

Despite the university’s successes, the program still faces challenges, particularly when it comes to funding.

Ann Gosky is the director of research and sponsored programs at Kent State University. (Courtesy of Kent State University)

As Kent State continues to expand and improve its research facilities and curriculum, the competitiveness grows for funding proposals and grants.

The university has been able to receive grants and scholarships in the past through working with institutions of higher education and four-year universities.

To attract and retain students, the university displays its R1 designation through advertisements, recruitment and the pins that everyone wears, Delahanty said.

Strategy stories and narratives are also told on the Research and Sponsored Programs page.

The goal is to share the values and beliefs of the program while learning more about specific strategies and tactics that work to expand research efforts.

Ann Gosky, the director of division research and sponsored programs, echoed those sentiments.

“Research is much broader than that,” Gosky said. “We have students from the college of the arts, fashion, jewelry making and the more traditional science areas.”

To give students experience early on in the program, Kent State utilizes the Upward Bound Office, which offers students the opportunity to have a paid research position on campus.

The program measures its success by having students fill out surveys, Gosky said.

“We ask them at the end of their experience to tell us what it was like,” Gosky said. “It’s not so much about how they liked the experience, but it’s an opportunity to reflect on growth.”

Alex Zito is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].