Denise Seachrist, the dean and chief administrative officer at Kent State University at Stark, didn’t hesitate when asked what most excites her at the campus these days.
Her pick is the $9.7-million Fine Arts expansion and renovation project to be completed this fall.
“The two-part (project) will transform the facility to meet the needs of a growing student population and expand cultural offerings and interactions to the thousands of community members who visit the campus annually for our arts programming,” Seachrist said. “The building improvements affect not only our arts majors but also every student on campus.”
The expansion features state-of-the-art music technology studios where students can create, record and produce music and sound.
“The Music Technology bachelor’s degree is unique to Kent State Stark,” Seachrist noted. She expressed gratitude to the “generous community members and foundations” who have provided funding for the building.
Despite its obvious connection with Kent State University in Kent, at Kent State Stark, “we take pride in being actively involved in our community,” Seachrist said. “Our faculty, staff and students work with community partners regularly to make Stark County a better place to live, work and play. Our affordable tuition and numerous educational options and opportunities provide students with a quality education taught by highly qualified faculty. We now have 20 baccalaureate degrees that can be completed in their entirety at Kent State Stark.”
The most popular degrees at Kent State Stark are Business Management, Nursing, Music Technology, Psychology, Criminology/Justice Studies and Middle Childhood Education. Students also can begin coursework in 282 undergraduate programs, which can be completed at the Kent campus.
Through its College Credit Plus program, area high-school students have the ability to take college-level courses at their high school or at Kent State Stark, which is Stark County’s only public university. This past year, nearly 800 students participated in College Credit Plus.
Stating that, “We bring Stark County to the world and the world to Stark County,” Seachrist pointed out that nearly 150 Kent State Stark students made the trek in summer 2017 to such destinations as Italy, Switzerland and Japan. “Our English as a Second Language program continues to grow in popularity, and in August (2018), we will welcome our third group of Chinese students to campus,” she said.
Asked to define the student body at Kent State Stark, Seachrist said, “Our students come from all areas of Stark County and surrounding counties. The majority of our students are traditional age and are diverse in race, religion and socioeconomic status. They come from small and large school districts throughout Stark County and beyond, and a number of our students were home-schooled.”
In addition to educating more than 7,000 students each academic year, Kent State Stark offers professional development training opportunities through its Conference Center, which is the only certified International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) venue in Northeast Ohio.
“We educate the dreamers and doers who will move our community forward,” Seachrist said.
An economic impact report titled “Economic Contributions of Kent State University in FY17” by the independent accounting firm, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), that was released in February 2018 illustrates Kent State Stark’s impact in Stark County.
• $381.7 million Kent State Stark’s total economic impact in Northeast Ohio.
• $290.5 million estimated earnings of the 11,433 Kent State alumni living in Stark County.
• $55.3 million economic output in Stark County.
• 590 Kent State employees live in Stark County, earning nearly $25 million in wages and benefits.
• $6.7 million in labor income and an estimated 180 induced jobs result from Kent State employees spending money at Stark County businesses.
• $3.2 million estimated state and local taxes supported by university employees, suppliers and induced activity in FY17.