September 11, 2008

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

Kent State University Stark Campus

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

Web Site: