Herbert W. Hoover Foundation Establishes the Herbert W. Hoover Initiative for Environmental...

Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:13pm EDT

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Herbert W. Hoover Foundation Establishes the Herbert W. Hoover Initiative for
Environmental Media Activism at Kent State University Stark

NORTH CANTON, Ohio, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Students interested in
environmental issues will be presented with a unique opportunity at Kent State
University Stark due to a generous gift from the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation
to establish the Herbert W. Hoover Initiative for Environmental Media
Activism. The Initiative, a collaboration between Kent State Stark and the
University of Miami (Florida), is designed to develop generations of scholars
who understand science and are able to produce new media that is fair, highly
educational and effective in triggering change on individual and social
levels. The Initiative will position the two institutions to address
world-changing issues through emerging digital media activism, including
Web-based reports, BLOGS, films, etc.

"This is an amazing opportunity for Kent State Stark students and Stark
County," says Betsy V. Boze, dean of Kent State Stark. "Our students and
faculty will learn from environmental and media experts on issues that affect
where we live, work and learn. Given the increased interest in protecting our
environment, Kent State Stark will be on the cutting edge of environmental
activism, encouraging dialogue on issues facing us today."

Additionally, the Initiative will:

-- Sponsor at least one project a year to create an educational campaign for
an environmental issue related to Ohio, and, where applicable, Stark County;

-- Provide grants for Kent State Stark faculty members to research and design
collaborative courses that incorporate environmental issues;

-- Sponsor frequent screenings of environmental films from celebrated
filmmakers;

-- Sponsor an annual environmental short film/new media festival for student
filmmakers with cash awards for the winners;

-- Bring world-class environmental experts to Kent State Stark to mentor
students; 

-- Provide student exchange opportunities with the University of Miami, in
addition to possible classroom research expeditions; and

-- Collaborate with the University of Miami's Arnold Center for Confluent
Media Studies to create and deliver media about relevant environmental themes.

"As a leader in environmental media activism and technology, the University of
Miami Information Technology Department is always seeking to partner with
visionaries in higher education, government and industry. Our mission is to
support and expand the reach and impact that students, nationally and
worldwide, can achieve through confluent media and technology," says Dr. Lew
Temares, dean emeritus and CIO of the University of Miami. "Our partnership
with Kent State University Stark supports that mission by creating an alliance
beyond each others' backyards, allowing students from the respective
institutions to collaborate and learn from one another."

"We envision the Environmental Media Initiative to touch all students on our
campus -- through coursework, internships, loaned faculty, student exchanges
and possibly, classroom research expeditions," says Boze. "The potential is
limitless."

Some topics already being discussed include climate change and its impact on
aquatic diversity and bird migration, in addition to the impact of local
pollution on diversity, as well as flora and fauna, in general in wetlands
such as the protected pond area on Kent State Stark's campus. Dr. Boze and
Kent State Stark faculty will travel to the University of Miami on September
13 to further discuss the initiative. 

"In our experience, a key element to mobilize students in environmental and
other important global issues is to empower them to produce new media that is
fair, highly educational and effective in triggering change on either
individual or social levels," says Ali Habashi, director of UM's Arnold Center
for Confluent Media Studies.

"I'm very excited about this initiative as it brings my father's legacy full
circle," says Elizabeth (Lacey) Hoover, president of the Herbert W. Hoover
Foundation. "He was an industrialist environmentalist -- and his heart was in
educating people about the environment. We are very proud to implement this
initiative and hope that it greatly enriches the lives of people in Stark
County."

The Hoover Initiative for Environmental Media Activism will be housed in Kent
State Stark's new Science Building, scheduled to open in 2010. The plan is for
the 35,000-square-foot building to be LEED Gold certified. 

"We are truly grateful to the Herbert W. Hoover Foundation for their gift.
Protecting the environment is one of our campus' core values. This gift
enables us to expand educational opportunities to the citizens of Stark County
and supports our existing and proposed majors and degrees," says Boze. 

For additional information about the Herbert W. Hoover Initiative for
Environmental Media Activism, contact Tina L. Biasella, director of External
Affairs, Kent State University Stark, at 330-244-3292; Mark Butterworth,
executive director, Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, at 330-453-5555; or Ali
Habashi, director, University of Miami Arnold Center for Confluent Media
Studies, at 305-284-4121.

About Kent State University Stark:

Kent State Stark is the largest regional campus of Kent State University and
serves 10,000 students each year, comprised of 5,300 enrolled in academic
coursework and 4,700 enrolled in professional development courses. Kent State
Stark offers 11 bachelor's degrees and three master's degrees, in addition to
associate degrees. The campus is located in Jackson Township and consists of
seven major buildings. The University Center - Professional Education and
Conference Center, which houses The Office of Corporate and Community Services
and the Small Business Development Center, is accredited under the stringent
guidelines of the International Association of Conference Centers. Kent State
Stark is committed to protecting the environment and is one of the largest
recyclers in the county. Combining the best of a major university and a
liberal arts college, Kent State University Stark serves our region as a key
intellectual resource providing access to academic, economic and cultural
advancement through excellence in teaching and learning. To learn more about
Kent State University Stark, visit www.stark.kent.edu.

SOURCE  Kent State University Stark Campus

Tina L. Biasella, Director of External Affairs of the Kent State University
Stark, +1-330-244-3292; Mark Butterworth, Executive Director of the Herbert W.
Hoover Foundation, +1-330-453-5555; or Ali Habashi, Director of the University
of Miami Arnold Center for Confluent Media Studies, +1-305-284-4121
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