Category Archives: CCI Student Focus

Research, Jazz and a Doctorate Degree: Q&A with a Ph.D. Student

OmerMeet Omer Farooq, a doctoral student in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS). Farooq completed the master’s program in SLIS in 2012 and remained a Golden Flash to pursue his doctoral degree. In our Q&A, Farooq talked about his research, his experience teaching and his favorite local Kent restaurants.

Q: What is your educational background?
A: I went to Ohio State University for my undergrad in psychology. Go Bucks! I finished my Master in Library and Information Science from Kent State while in Columbus.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a doctoral degree?
A: Throughout my master’s program I had a wonderful advisor, Dr. Miriam Matteson, and she involved me in a few research projects that organically developed. She was very encouraging in that aspect. Then I decided to apply for a Ph.D. program, and I got accepted with the teaching assistantship.

Q: What are your research interests, and what projects are you working on currently?
A: In a nutshell it’s how students acquire information literacy skills and how they learn to be proficient in academic research. My dissertation topic is looking at the intersection of information literacy instruction and effective learning and instructional techniques that draw from cognitive science and educational psychology. Undergraduate freshman are my research participants.

Q: How has your experience teaching been?
A: This is my second year of teaching Information Fluency in the Workplace and Beyond. I helped revise this class with a faculty member, an adjunct instructor and a couple instructional designers over the course of the summer. We’ve had this course offered to undergraduates for a while, but it was time to revise it. The information in the course was outdated. The social media spectrum has evolved, and there are new tools and platforms.

The Association of College and Research Libraries had a new guiding document for academic libraries titled Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. We looked at the course in light of what are the knowledge practices undergrads should be able to do in terms of information seeking behavior, information needs and information use. It was an interesting and rewarding experience at the same time.

Q: When you find free time, what sorts of things do you like to do?
A: I like listening to music. I play the guitar, but I haven’t really had time to play like I used to. I’ve been listening to a lot of early jazz like Soft Machine and Indian saxophonist Vijay Iyer. Also, my wife and I like to explore new places to eat. Some of our favorite places are Wild Goats, because they have great discounts, and Ray’s Place.

Q: Do you have a dream job?
A: I like to see myself in a lot of different positions. For me, an important thing is the institutional culture of people. Good culture and good colleagues that help support what you do. That really is how it started for me. The important thing in a dream job is that nurturing cultivating factor where you have good support on top and good support laterally.

by Elline Concepcion

Why D.C.?


Why D.C.?

My first piece of advice for anyone going to college is to not be afraid to make it your own experience. Everyone goes through college a little bit differently, some graduate early, some decide to study abroad and others do a four-year track and then there are some that do a track that isn’t written in any brochure.

When I came to Kent State, I immediately knew I was interested in doing the Washington Program in National Issues (WPNI) offered by the College of Arts and Sciences. It was the perfect way for me to complete my Political Science minor while gaining some invaluable experience.

When interning in Washington, I caught a bug, I knew DC was where I wanted to be and where I could make an impact on the world. I was going to do whatever I could to get back. I then made a plan to sort out my class schedule so I could take my last semester of classes online and do one more internship in Washington, D.C.  This did cause a few stressful semesters of loading up on my major classes (which isn’t recommended, but it can be done).


If you’re interested in non-profits or government, this is the center of the action. Most companies have some kind of office in the area because of government work.  I love DC because while it is a city, it still has its very residential parts and almost every place is historic for some reason.

The advice I was given was that if you wanted to live and work in DC, to just move out here with a good savings and be prepared to just apply for job after job and meet as many people as you can. Kent State has a great alumni group here that is willing to help you in anyway they can. So that is what I am doing while I intern here, I am trying to meet every person I can and learn about their career as well as exploring all the opportunities around me.

By Gabrielle Woodard, ’17

How I Got an Internship from Career Expo

By Alex Taylor, ’17


Last year at the CCI Career Expo, I had no idea what to expect, but I decided to take full advantage of the opportunity. I am a Broadcast Journalism major, so I made an effort to try and sit down with every broadcast organization that I knew was going to be there.

I made sure ahead of time to print professional resumes and business cards so that I could talk over them with potential employers and my goal was to find an internship for the summer of 2016.

I left Career Expo feeling good about my meetings with potential employers and within days I had two internship opportunities.

I decided to go with the one that was paid because they were in the same location and why not? I started just a month later at WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio and was so excited to work in a professional environment.

I had a lot of cool opportunities while at WFMJ. One was attending and covering the Cleveland Cavaliers championship parade in downtown Cleveland.


Since then I have actually started my second internship that I also found during that same career fair. Internships are so helpful and help you gain so much experience that you cant get just from school. I am so thankful for the CCI Career fair… it’s thanks to that I feel like I’m ahead in my field.

Career Expo is Wednesday, March 1. Students, register here by February 24. 

First Full-Time Dual-Degree Master’s Student Tackles Challenging Courses, Reporting Abroad

KelseyHusnickby Sarah Matthews

Not many Kent State students study abroad more than four times, instruct hundreds of students as a teaching assistant and pursue two master’s degrees as a full-time student.

For graduate student Kelsey Husnick, this is her reality, as she is the first full-time student to participate in the dual-degree program; she is pursuing her master’s in business administration and her master’s in communication with a focus in global communication.

“I’m basically the guinea pig for this program,” Husnick said.

The few students who are pursuing the dual degree are part time, pursuing their professional careers during the day. Husnick, however, is a full-time student who intends to finish the 55-credit-hour-minimum program in two years.

“I’m taking 16 credit hours, and full time for grad school is nine, so the dual degree program is taking double the amount of classes in order to get the two degrees,” she said.

Husnick, who received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State, said the goal of her dual degree program is to one day pursue a career in covering businesses in journalism. During an internship at Business Inside Magazine in Cleveland, Husnick said she was first exposed to business writing and enjoyed the challenge of it.

“It was very fun to me to have to take a boring subject and put an interesting twist on it and make it relatable for people,” she said.

Husnick believes her MBA will give her a leg up when applying for jobs and will improve the quality of her writing.

“It’ll help me be more thorough and be more competent in my reporting because business is full of jargon,” she said.

Husnick, who recently returned from her fourth study abroad trip with Kent State, said her time studying abroad has been the most beneficial in furthering her education. Specifically, Husnick has enjoyed the International Storytelling course, which she has participated in three times, traveling to and reporting in Brazil, Estonia and Cyprus.

“Gary Hanson and Mitch McKenney have been really great, because they’re the ones who run the storytelling course and they’ve welcomed me back with open arms every time,” she said.

During job or internship interviews, the first thing Husnick said she is asked about is her time abroad.

“That’s really awesome because not many people can say that they’ve been able to report in a foreign country,” Husnick said. “That right there always sets me apart, and it’s such a great conversation starter for any interview.”

During her most recent trip, Husnick reported on the aftermath of the financial crisis in Cyprus, which officially ended in October of 2015. To read her story, visit the International Storytelling website.

“I was kind of checking on how the country was actually recovering after that financial crisis and seeing how the everyday citizens were feeling the blow of this crisis still to this day,” she said.

Husnick hopes to find a job after graduation where she can combine her passion for journalism and traveling.

“The dream is to be a foreign correspondent for some magazine like The Atlantic or The New Yorker, but more practical would be to write for something like Crain’s Cleveland Business or on the business news desk of some paper,” Husnick said.

Communication Studies Alumna Balanced School Work with Singing and Acting Career

Photo by Gina DeSimone

by Gabrielle Woodard


Recent School of Communication Studies alumna Claudia Hoyser is using skills learned in the classroom to further her aspirations in the entertainment industry.

“My major in communication studies at Kent has really helped me pursue my dream career,” Hoyser said. “The communication courses have proved to be key elements in building the foundation of my own brand as [an] artist.”

Hoyser completed her practicum at GFI Studios, a recording studio in upstate New York. During this time, she met a movie director who was casting for the Sony Provident film “Wildflower.” After an impromptu audition, Hoyser was cast as the role of Hannah in the film. In addition to playing Hannah, Hoyser sang four songs on the soundtrack.

Hosyer also sang “You Are My Sunshine” for a Golisano Children’s Hospital commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

Throughout her time at Kent State, Claudia managed to balance being a full time student with three minors and being an active member of Delta Gamma Fraternity, all while working on her performance career.

“The faculty was always willing to help me when I needed it, which made me feel more at ease knowing I could turn to them,” Hoyser said.

After she graduates in May, Hoyser said she is finishing up her album and is hitting the road.

“I am beaming with excitement and feel more than ready to start the journey thanks to my amazing four years at Kent State,” Hoyser said.

VCD Ambassador Expresses Love for Major, Passion for Creativity

EmilyThomas_headshot_bwby Morgan Barba

Emily Thomas, a visual communication design major, is a unique mix of ambitious, creative and professional.

A Delta, Ohio, native and star student in a tough major, Thomas became a CCI Ambassador in the fall of 2014. As her own way of “paying it forward,” she said, “I believe it’s important to help connect incoming VCD students to the program and help ease the transition from high school to college.”

She became an ambassador so she could hone her leadership abilities in an effort to encourage prospective students to join a major she loves dearly.

“It is both challenging and exhilarating,” Thomas said. “Design and illustration appealed to me because of the opportunity to combine my love of creativity with helping people.”

Thomas said she was born into a loud, fun family that encouraged her to be creative from the start. As a self-proclaimed creative problem solver, Thomas spent a lot of time crafting, building, designing and playing as a child. With an upbringing like this, it’s no surprise she went on to study in a creative field.

She said a major portion of her inspiration comes from her role model: her mother. “She’s a strong leader, great communicator and has an awesome sense of humor,” Thomas said. “She inspires me to put others first and has taught me to believe anything is possible.”

Thomas has been studying visual communication design at Kent for two years, and she is developing her own style of design. She enjoys focusing on anything humorous and playful and hopes to use that specific style to one day design and illustrate children’s books. Thomas says she appreciates the honesty and whimsicality of children’s books.

*The CCI Ambassador program is open to all CCI students interested in serving the college in this way. Students can apply through May 2 at

Communication Studies Senior Leaves Her Mark at Kent, Across the World

by Maggie Wachtel

Greece1Communication studies major Amanda Bevington is taking the world – and Kent State – by storm.

A senior concentrating in interpersonal communication from Solon, Ohio, Bevington recently visited Greece as part of a gender and sexuality course through the College of Arts and Sciences. While there, Bevington met with LGBTQ activists and members of the Starfish Foundation, a nonprofit offering aid to refugees in Molyvos, Greece.

“It was great to meet activists and to learn more about the Starfish Foundation and the refugee crisis from their point of view,” Bevington said.

Bevington has been incredibly involved in extracurricular activities at Kent State throughout her college career. She has been a Flash Guide Orientation Leader, a Resident Assistant, President of the Kent State Student Ambassadors, Senator in Undergraduate Student Government and a member of Chi-Omega.

Bevington’s involvement earned her the titles of Kent State University Homecoming Queen last fall and Student Leader of the Year at Kent State’s CSI Awards. The Student Leader of the Year award recognizes students who have contributed significantly to the leadership of the organizations they are involved in.

“I have learned to believe in myself in my time at Kent State while also finding my purpose and my passion,” Bevington said.

Bevington’s travels are far from over. This summer, she plans to travel to Nicaragua and Ecuador with Kent State’s Office of Experimental Education and Civic Engagement. She will work with nonprofits from both countries to help their citizens become better leaders within their community.Greece7

“This is the first ever international global service learning trip. I have been waiting for a trip like this [my] entire time at Kent State, so I am super excited,” Bevington said.

After coming home from her travels, Bevington will return to Kent State to earn her master’s in Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel. She always knew she wanted to pursue a graduate degree; it was just a matter of where she would get it. It was the strength of Kent State’s program that helped her make her decision. Oh, and she also thinks Kent State is the best place in the world.

“I came into college with no self-confidence,” Bevington said. “I am leaving knowing I can accomplish anything with my determination and persistence.”