Learning Facilities: Franklin Hall
Where you learn impacts how well you learn.
The School of Media and Journalism is housed in Franklin Hall, a modern, multimedia facility that sets the standard for other journalism schools. Our facility features a HD digital TV studio; a collaborative newsroom where print, broadcast and multimedia intersect; an online radio station and classrooms and meeting spaces designed for collaboration and hands-on learning experiences.
Franklin Hall is part of Kent State University’s iconic front campus and is located at 550 Hilltop Drive.
Take a Virtual Tour of Franklin Hall
Students in the School of Media and Journalism have access to some of the most innovative classroom spaces on campus. Explore these spaces in 360-degree imaging here.
About our Spaces
BLACK SQUIRREL RADIO STUDIO
Black Squirrel Radio is Kent State’s student-run Internet radio station, with nearly 150 students on staff. It provides students with an opportunity to hone their on-air and management skills. The station usually offers more than 60 different specialty music programs, with student DJs in the booth until 2 a.m. every day. Our programming includes newscasts and live broadcasts of Kent State football and basketball games.
Students learn and practice their craft in a $2.5-million television studio and control room. This state-of-the-art digital facility fully replicates what our students will find in professional TV studios and provides them with real-world opportunities to grow and develop in this multimedia age. The facility is home to our student media station, TV2, and provides versatility for classes and for extensive student use. The studio features green-screen technology for multi-set environments, which allows students to participate in different television program productions in addition to news. Learn more about the studio and control room.
TV2 Kent State Control Room - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA
FIRSTENERGY INTERACTIVE AUDITORIUM
Located on the third-floor, the FirstEnergy Interactive Auditorium is home to many of the school’s introductory classes. The 150-seat auditorium was upgraded in 2021 to be equipped for in-person, remote and hybrid instruction. The space enhances student learning and interaction through technology, with a dedicated Microsoft Surface Hub to facilitate hybrid and remote delivery, cameras and microphones and 98-inch 4K monitors. The auditorium also serves as a resource for professional development workshops and guest speakers. The auditorium was made possible through a generous gift from the FirstEnergy Foundation.
IdeaBase, a student-powered design agency, relocated to Franklin Hall in Fall 2019. The team represents a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, united in a passion for creating meaningful solutions for real-world clients. IdeaBase works with clients as classroom experiences as well as professional experiences. Its classroom experiences allow Kent State students from communications-related fields to build their portfolios and skills as part of collaborative, for-credit studio courses at IdeaBase. The professional experiences allow paid Kent State students to work outside of the classroom with real clients from the community. These transformative project experiences adhere to a practical budget and timeline, but with quality and process representative of a large design agency.
Please see a virtual tour of the newly remodeled space in Franklin Hall including the eye-tracking lab.
MARCUS THOMAS FOCUS GROUP ROOM
Students in the advertising, public relations and electronic media classes are fortunate to have access to the focus group room to gain insights on audience attitudes and perceptions. The room’s observation area sports a one-way window and theater-style seating and is equipped with built-in cameras and microphones, flat-screen LCD TVs, projectors, wireless touch panels for controlling cameras, a DVD burner and a digital mixer. Professionals also use the space to conduct research. The room is named after Marcus Thomas, Cleveland’s renowned integrated marketing communications agency.
A striking stainless steel, three-dimensional sculpture is an iconic part of the Franklin Hall landscape. StarSphere 2010 — a starburst contained within an intersecting circle — was expressly designed for the School of Media and Journalism by Susan Ewing, Associate Dean of the Center for Performing Arts at Miami University of Ohio, to symbolize the School’s mission. The star symbolizes the themes of global communication, friendship and freedom — especially those freedoms implicit in the First Amendment of our Constitution, which edges the circumference of the circular disc in raised letters.
StarSphere 2010 is open and accessible to all who visit our School and is easily visible from East Main Street, Hilltop Dr. and the new Gateway Esplanade.
STUDENT MEDIA NEWSROOM
The converged student media newsroom is more than 2,400 square feet, has about 50 workstations, a multimedia center and a wing for podcasts. Working under one roof, the Kent Stater, TV2, and Black Squirrel Radio collaborate to produce KentWired.com.
STUDENT RESOURCE LAB (SRL)
The facility consists of two resource and equipment training suites where students can check out one of the 3,000 pieces of equipment and receive extensive hands-on training. The SRL is impacting the learning experience of nearly every student in every major across the School by providing them with training and equipping them with invaluable technical skills.
WALLACE J. HAGEDORN GALLERY
Just outside of FirstEnergy Auditorium in Franklin Hall, the Wallace J. Hagedorn Gallery features student work in photojournalism. It is named for Wallace J. Hagedorn, who established Kent State’s largest scholarship fund in 2014. The $4.2 million legacy gift supports photojournalism students’ tuition and portfolio-building experiences.