Bringing new perspective to science, technology, education and the arts, Elevations is a weekly radio show presented Saturdays at 7 a.m. on 89.7 WKSU-FM. Hosted by Dr. Amy Reynolds, dean of the College of Communication and Information, Elevations features interviews with Kent State University faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends. Through engaging conversations, we are telling the story of Kent State’s upward trajectory made possible by the innovative spirit and boundless energy of our community members.

Picture of Mark Suchan.
Joe Gunderman

The Quasar Energy Group has been tasked with hauling away Kent State University's food waste that was ground up through the Grind2Energy system. The food waste will then be fed to Quasar's anaerobic digester. 

Mark Suchan is the Director of Materials Management for Quasar Energy Group. Quasar is a Cleveland company that speacializes in renewable energy and organics management.

Heather Dougherty stands next to Grind2Energy storage tank
Joe Gunderman

Kent State University is adding a Grind2Energy system in the dining area of it's new Design Innovation Hub.  No food scraps pre- or post-consumer will go to a landfill, but rather will be ground and stored until it is trucked to a processing system that will turn those scraps into energy and soil enhance

Picture of Lisa Audet, Ph.D.
Kent State University

Lisa Audet, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in Speech Pathology and Audiology at Kent State University. She is a former Provost Faculty Associate in the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where her work focuses on developing successful experiences for college students with ASD, and increasing diversity within Speech Pathology and Audiology. 

photo of Julia Kucmanic, cooking manager, and Emily France, director of Campus Kitchen
Jon Nungesser

Students run Kent State's Campus Kitchen, which recovers food from area sources and provides that food to local folks who are in need.  The Kitchen provides or supplies food pantries and meals, all accomplished by student volunteers.  One such distribution is the weekly Tuesday dinner at Kentway Senior Affordable Apartments.

Hannah Bragg on Computer

IdeaBase is a Kent State University student design agency that offers advertising, branding, copywriting, identity design, marketing research, web design, usability studies, and environmental design services.       

Amy Reynolds and Karl Kosko with VR headset.
Joe Gunderman / WKSU

Karl W. Kosko, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University.

Kosko, with partners Richard Ferdig and Cheng Chang Lu received a grant of $1.48 million from the National Science Foundation to fund their innovative video project. The project involves the use of 360-degree video and multiple cameras to train future teachers.

Picture of Tracey Motter
Kent State University

Tracey Motter DNP, RN is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the Kent State University College of Nursing. She has received the Robert Wood Johnson New Careers in Nursing funding for five consecutive years and the Outstanding Teaching Award by the Kent State University Teaching Council.

Melissa McCarley is a senior in the College of Nursing at Kent State. 

photo of David Hassler
Kent State Univeristy

David Hassler, Director of the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University, tells us about two calls for poetry in anticipation of the upcoming 50th commemoration of the May 4th shootings. As an example, Charles Malone (Program & Outreach Manager, Wick Poetry Center) accompanied by Bobby Selvaggio on saxophone, reads a poem by Tiff Holland from the 20th commemoration.

Picture of Robert Eckman teaching class.
Kent State University

As Chief Information Security Officer at Kent State University, Robert Eckman is responsible for driving cyber security excellence and maturity across the University.

He has over 25 years of experience in technology as a project management specialist. His background includes work as the Cyber Security Program Manager for FirstEnergy’s Nuclear division and in roles at Progressive Insurance and Shearer’s Foods.

photo of Doctor Joseph Ortiz

Trained in Aquatic Biology and Oceanography, Joseph Ortiz is a Professor of Geology at Kent State University.  His research takes him all over the world as he attempts to "unravel climate mysteries."  As a companion piece to our Watershed news series starting June 24, 2019, he talked with us about the current conditions of Lake Erie, from the algae blooms in the western part of the la

Picture of Todd Diacon
Kent State University

Provost Todd Diacon was recently appointed by the Kent State Trustees to become the 13th President of Kent State Univeristy. He succeeds President Beverly J. Warren, who is stepping down after five years of service to the university.

Picture of Kent State President Beverly J. Warren.

As Kent State University President Dr. Beverly J. Warren prepares to depart the university, we sat down with President Warren to discuss her time as leader of the university.

Dr. Warren became the 12th president of Kent State University in July 2014. She will be suceeded by current Kent State Provost, Dr. Todd A. Diacon.

Picture of Kent State University team at computers playing video games
Kent State University

Maria Hawkins is the project manager of the eSports program at Kent State University. Esports is multiplayer online video gaming competition played for spectators - either in person or on streaming sites such as Twitch.  

The Kent State varsity eSports team plays on four different platforms: Overwatch, League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Rocket League. As new games become popular, the university will consider adding them as competitive platforms.

photo of John Saylor holding guitar pin
Joe Gunderman / WKSU

John Saylor works with the developmentally disabled, helping them with job placements and housing, to name just a little of his involvement.  But he also is a fashioner of specialty guitar pins and other parts for the instrument.  We spoke with him at the shops of Guitar Parts and More.

photo of Angela Deibel and Dr. Yanhai Du holding one type of fuel cell.

Elevations visited with Dr Yanhai Du in his fuel cell lab in the College of Aeronautics and Engineering at Kent State University.  Marketing and engineering double major Angela Deibel gave us a tour, and the two explained fuel cells, how they are constructed and some of their applications.  We also got a ride in Kent State's new Zero Emissions Vehicle, a project Ms Deibel has been team leader on for the past three years.  One might see it driving around Kent's main campus.  The vehicle is charg

Project Citizen logo
Kent State University

Scott Bogoniewski is the director of Kent State’s School of Digital Sciences and a College of Communication and Innovation Professional-in-Residence for the groundbreaking six-week course, Project Citizen. 

picture of children walking on path lead by teacher.

Dr. Monica Miller Marsh is the Director of the Kent State University Child Development Center (CDC) and an associate professor in the Early Childhood Education program at Kent State. The Kent State CDC's philosophy is grounded in social constructivism and believes knowledge is constructed through an active process of inquiry that prioritizes exploration, communication, meaningful relationships and play. 

Picture of Sarah Rogers in front of black and white dress.
Joe Gunderman

Sarah J. Rogers is the current Director of the Kent State University Museum.  The museum’s goal is to advance the understanding of world cultures through collecting, preserving, and exhibiting fashion and textiles.

Ron West is a writer, director, and actor.  He is the Roe Green Visiting Director for 2018-2019 and his "Any Resemblance" is being fully staged for the first time at Kent Theatre in April, 2019.  Last year he directed Twist Your Dickens for Portland Center Stage and his musical deLEARious for the Open Fist Theater in Los Angeles.

photo of Justin Hilton
Kent State University

Justin Hilton started out as an architectural designer, and worked with The Rock Hall, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Great Lakes Science Center and many others.  He then became an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Architectural Design and Orientation at Kent State University, garnering multiple Outstanding Teaching Award nominations.  Now he is Senior Administrator for Community Outreach.  He is deeply involved in coordinated

David's carving of The Eagle

David Warther started carving ships at 6 years old.  The grandson of Ernest "Mooney" Warther who carved the history of the steam engine, David has used blueprints and deep historical findings to create a collection that surveys sailing history, spanning from the ancient world to clipper ships.  86 ships so far, with the 87th about to be completed when we talked in March, 2019, and more to come.  They're all on display at Dav

photo of Valora Renicker
Kent State University / Kent State University

Valora Renicker, Associate Professor of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University, is co-founder of Traveling Stanzas.  In 2009 she approached David Hassler, Director of The Wick Poetry Center at Kent, and the two developed a project that combines poetry and design.  The idea is to reach out to and interract with the community using these two creative forms.  

Picture of Michael Chanak Jr.

Michael Chanak Jr. is a gay rights activist who started working for Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the mid-1980s. He worked for years to get the company to add a clause to the equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy that protected the rights of gay people against discrimination at the workplace.

Picture of Michael Beam (left), picture of social media apps (right).
Kent State University / pixabay.com

How is personalized news (social media, cable networks, etc.) changing our roles as citizens? Michael Beam, Ph.D.  is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University.