Kent State Professors Directly Link Social Media Use to Boredom

Women bored on her phone looking out the window.

It would not be surprising if you have a social media app open right now; however, you may not be getting the enjoyment out of it that you think you are.

In a recent publication in “Computers in Human Behavior,” two Kent State University professors examined the relationship between social media usage and boredom. Students may be surprised by the results and parents might be excited by them. 

New Funding Leads to New Full-Body Virtual Reality Lab

Man wearing a virtual reality headset

Two Kent State sociology researchers are moving towards gaining insight into how people’s brains react in a variety of threatening situations using innovative virtual reality (VR) technology funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Army. Josh Pollock and William Kalkhoff both in the department of Sociology, are leading the research projects, which will benefit the Army, Kent State students and beyond.. 

TEXTURES, ‘The Most Ambitious Exhibition,’ Explores Discrimination of Black Hair

An image of an exhibit from the TEXTURES exhibition

Black lives and Black cultures have been underrepresented and discriminated against for many years. TEXTURES: The History and Art of Black Hair is an exhibition coming to the Kent State University Museum in 2021 with the help of significant sponsorship from corporate and federal funding that focuses on celebrating and empowering these lives and cultures.

Things Are Heating Up in Climate Change Research

Looking at the clouds of a hurricane from above

Climate change can now be measured on a global scale using multiple weather variables, according to new research published by Cameron C. Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Kent State.

Stream Ecologist receives $718,000 NSF CAREER Award to Study Trace Metals in Stream Algae

Dave Costello, Ph.D., (left), associate professor in Kent State University’s Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Devan Mathie (right), an undergraduate honors student, stand in Wahoo Ditch in Ravenna, Ohio.

Kent State’s David Costello is passionate about identifying what trace metals lie within Northeast Ohio’s streams and what the effects of these metals are on the surrounding environment. Costello, an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, received a $718,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study these important trace metals. The grant is awarded as part of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

Has COVID-19 Knocked Us Onto Our Backsides? Kent State Researchers Study Pandemic’s Effects on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior

A Kent State University faculty member conducts a meeting online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most universities across the United States transitioned from face-to-face classes to remote learning, closed campuses and sent students home this past spring. Recently, a group of Kent State University researchers sought to examine the impact of these pandemic-related changes upon physical activity and sedentary behavior, specifically sitting, across the university population. 

Two Kent State Psychology Faculty Selected for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Leadership Program

Cat in a car carrier at a veterinary clinic

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has selected two Kent State University College of Arts and Sciences faculty members, along with two community clinicians, for Clinical Scholars, an initiative that will provide funding and leadership training to the four team members. Their plan is to implement a project that will help veterinary professionals in Northeast Ohio address mental health stigmas they experience in their lives and provide usable techniques that can be incorporated into their veterinary practices.

Kent State Professors Use Mobile Devices To Study Behaviors During Pandemic

Young women with mask on cell phone, Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels

Before leaving the house, you most likely check to ensure you have your ID, your shoes and most importantly your smartphone. In the past decade, American smartphone usage has grown more than 50% according to a Pew Research Center study. Smartphones have become as commonplace as a wallet or car keys and Kent State researchers are taking advantage of this new commodity by using cell phone data to study individuals’ behavioral patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic and link cell phone use behaviors to mental health. 

Researcher Receives Additional Funding for Mental Health Study in Older Ages

Two People Standing in Forest, Photo by Magda Ehlers

The National Institute of Health granted additional funding to Kent State University researcher Karin Coifman, Ph.D., bringing her total award amount to more than $3 million to support her research on mental well-being and coping after traumatic injuries in individuals aged 65 and older. 

Anthropology Team Brings Home the 2020 Ig Nobel Award for Materials Science

Michelle Bebber sprays an air freshener in a bathroom.

In 2019, a team of researchers in Kent State’s Department of Anthropology published its “prize-winning” research article titled “Experimental replication shows knives manufactured from frozen human feces do not work” in the Journal of Archaeological Science. (Yes, the jokes are seemingly endless, but seriously folks, there is an important underlying message here about evidence-based research and fact-checking!)

Geology Professor and Science Historian Co-Author Article Exploring Eunice Foote’s Climate Experiments From 1856

Eunice Foote's article “Circumstances Affecting the Heat of Sun’s Rays”, in American Journal of Art and Science, 2nd Series, v. XXII/no. LXVI, November 1856, p. 382-383.

Recently, Joseph Ortiz, Ph.D., professor and assistant chair in the Department of Geology in Kent State University’s College of Arts and Science, partnered with Sir Roland Jackson, Ph.D., a historian of science at the Royal Institution and the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London, to co-author a paper assessing the experiments described in Eunice Foote’s papers from a detailed quantitative perspective and to place them in historical context. They point out the differences between her hypothesis and that of the modern greenhouse effect.

Biological Sciences Faculty to Lead H2Ohio Wetlands Monitoring Program

Old Woman Creek: one of the wetlands that is part of H2Ohio Initiative Wetland Monitoring Program. Researchers will assess how effective wetland restoration, construction, and management projects are at removing polluting nutrients from inflowing water.

Lauren Kinsman-Costello, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as the H2Ohio Wetland Monitoring Program Lead for Lake Erie and Aquatic Research Network (LEARN). The group will assess the effectiveness and future role of implemented and planned wetland restoration projects in partnership with the Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR). This project is part of Governor Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio Initiative, a comprehensive, data-driven approach to improving Ohio’s water quality.

Materials Science Research Receives Grant for New X-ray Scattering Instrument

Torsten Hegmann, director of Kent State's Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute, shows the area in the basement of the Integrated Sciences Building where a new X-ray scattering machine will be installed in 2021.

Kent State University’s Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute soon will be home to a new X-ray scattering instrument capable of examining materials in scales from as small as a fraction of a nanometer to as large as several micrometers.

Kent State Nursing Researcher Awarded $1.5 Million, Three-Year Grant to Advance Nurse Education Within Integrated Care Settings

Photo of Jim Tudhope

The Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recently awarded a $1.5 million, three-year grant to Kent State University College of Nursing research faculty member Jim Tudhope, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC (principal investigator) and his team.

NSF Funds Kent State Research Team’s Interdisciplinary Study of Plant Biodiversity

A black and white print of North American Lobelia species, made by Kent State student Jaret Arnold

Scientists have long recognized that biodiverse ecosystems are more stable and productive. What makes ecosystems diverse is having many species living together in the same place. But what factors allow for the success of the species in diverse communities? Are there some species that just can’t live together while others can?

A pair of Kent State University researchers will explore this question thanks to a new $580,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Kent State Mathematicians Win NSF Grant to Study Complex But Important Geometry Problems

A black and white image of a chest X-ray

The National Science Foundation believes Kent State University mathematicians Artem Zvavitch, Ph.D., and Dmitry Ryabogin, Ph.D., are having worthwhile conversations about some age-old unsolved problems, and it has provided support to keep the discussion going for another three years.

Ohio Space Grant Award Helps Kent Robotics Team Prepare for Long-term Success

Kent State Robotics Team Places Receives Third Place Award in NASA Robotics Mining Competition

For the second straight year, Kent State University’s robotics mining team will not compete. The COVID19 pandemic canceled this year’s event at Kennedy Space Center, and last-year’s was reduced to a virtual event after the government shutdown held up NASA’s schedule.

Kent State Aviation Professor I. Richmond Nettey Chairs National Academy Research Committee

An airport staff member guides an incoming aircraft into position during a past Aviation Heritage Fair at the Kent State University Airport.

I. Richmond Nettey, Ph.D., professor of aeronautics in Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering, has been appointed the new chair of the Transportation Research Board Standing Committee on Airport Terminals and Ground Access at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Kent State Interdisciplinary Team Selected as a Top 10 Team for NASA SUITS Challenge

Caitlyn Lenhoff, a masters student in Computer Science, demonstrates the ATR_FLUX augmented reality user interface

There is a very good chance that technology, incubated at Kent State University, could play an integral role in improving NASA astronauts’ performance on the next space missions to the moon and Mars.

Kent State Aeronautics Researchers to Help Develop “Sky-Taxi” Software

Blake Stringer, Ph.D. (right), associate professor of aerospace engineering at Kent State, and research assistant Kendy Edmonds study the power needs for a new larger generation of drones for a research grant funded by the Army Research Laboratory.

It’s the year 2020, and while flying cars have yet to materialize, the next wave of airborne transport technology may be hovering on the horizon.

Thanks to a contract through the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), Kent State will play a part in developing the software to integrate “sky taxis” and large-scale logistics delivery drones into existing air traffic systems.

Kent State Biologist Secures NIH Support to Expand Study into Muscle Thermogenesis

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Colleen Novak works in her lab.

Scientists have long since established that the effects of stress on our bodies are largely negative. But understanding stress as a trigger for using calories and burning fat also could lead us to better mechanisms for healthier behaviors.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently funded a Kent State University researcher to continue her efforts toward that goal.

Internationally Renowned Biodesign Scholar to Headline Kent State Symposium

Rachel Armstrong, of Newcastle University (U.K.) stands near a beach at night.

Just like the research that goes into understanding and applying a complicated concept like biodesign, holding an entire symposium devoted to it is no small undertaking.

So, when a world-renowned scholar on the subject agreed to come do some of the heavy lifting, Kent State University was elated to welcome her.

Kent State artist, biologist unite to design print for national project

Case and McMahon's print, depicting overlapping plants in blue, pink, purple, orange, yellow and black, on a white background.

Andrea Case sits at a table in Kent State’s Center for the Visual Arts, carefully contemplating the silhouettes of leaves printed in bold contrasting colors on the paper in front of her.

Kent State Chemist Follows up on Baseball Core Study, Refuting MLB Findings.

In 1901, the 16 Major League Baseball teams produced 455 home runs. Players were discouraged from attempting it. Nearly 120 years later, players couldn’t seem to help themselves, and MLB smashed all previous records. More homers might mean more exciting games, but some people question why the spike happened. A Kent State University chemist thinks he has some clues about this unusual surge in home runs.

NSF Grant Supports Kent State Researchers’ Plan to Help Students Improve Study Habits

Students studying in a classroom

The “C” in “college” might as well stand for “cramming.”
Studies show students are notoriously bad at adopting and adhering consistently to high-impact study habits that help them retain knowledge long-term.
Researchers and faculty at Kent State University, however, are collaborating on a new project to put a modern technological twist on a tried-and-true study tactic.

Kent State Materials Scientist Again Named Among Most Highly Cited Scholars

Mietek Jaroniec, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of Kent State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, was appointed to the editorial board of the journal Science Advances.

It’s starting to look a lot like an annual tradition to see a certain Kent State University professor named on Clarivate Analytics’ list of Highly Cited Researchers in the world.

Kent State Classics Researcher Uncovers Ancient Burial Site in Italy

Etruscan tombs at Orvieto, Italy — about 45 northwest from where Dr. Sarah Harvey and her colleagues discovered a likely Etruscan necropolis in summer 2019.
A routine research trip to Italy turned into the archaeological discovery of a lifetime for a Kent State University Classics professor this summer.

Kent State Biology Lab Publishes Paper Describing Potential for New Male Contraceptives

A free stock image depicting sperm approaching an egg for fertilization
The first rubber condoms were manufactured in 1838. Along with abstinence, they would remain the only effective and widely available means of male contraception until the vasectomy became a common procedure in the mid 20th century.

Kent State Education Researchers Receive Million-Dollar Grant for Cross-disciplinary Training in Early Childhood Professions

Preschool children learning sign language (free stock photo)

Ohio, like many states, suffers from a teacher shortage, especially in early childhood education and special education. The Buckeye State also is in need of more school psychologists, analysts say.

Kent State Biologist Lands NIH Grant to Research Cannabinoids’ Effect on Sleep Cycles

Stock photo of a blonde woman in red pajamas sleeping
There are two cycles most people can’t avoid — sleep and the news. And If you’re awake, you can’t help hearing the news reporting about cannabinoids. A Kent State researcher may soon have news about how these substances affect our body’s natural clock.

Kent State and University of Akron Team Up to Develop Online Treatment for Neurological Condition

Carved stone brain statue at Kent State University

Researchers at Kent State University and the University of Akron have partnered to develop a new intervention program for a relatively common but largely unrecognized neurological condition.

Kent State Healthcare Design Researcher Receives $2.47 Million to Design Safer and More Efficient Level I Trauma Rooms

Sara Bayramzadeh, Ph.D., serves as coordinator and Elliot Professor in the Healthcare Design Program in Kent State University's College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

Traumatic injuries are the third leading cause of death nationally and the first in Americans age 44 and younger, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Level I trauma rooms are intended to stabilize and save the lives of patients with the most severe traumatic injuries. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded a $2.47 million grant to Sara Bayramzadeh, a Kent State University researcher, to help create trauma rooms that support staff in saving patients’ lives.

Kent State Physicist Joins Inter-Institutional Research Project to Study Light-Driven Materials

Kent State University continues to march in the vanguard of technological advancement. A KSU researcher has joined a cutting-edge collaborative study into light-driven materials.
The technology has the potential to replace electric motors unilaterally.
The Office of Naval Research awarded a $7.5 million Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant for a five-year project led by Polymer Scientist Dr. Ryan Hayward at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, with five other participating institutions, including KSU.

Kent State Geographer Describes Novel Weather-Typing Model in New Paper

An image of the globe over North America, showing increased warm weather in a yellow-to-red scale

Research into the air masses that drive changes in our day-to-day weather has been limited by land-based and regional studies, leaving wide gaps in our understanding of these impactful phenomena. A new paper by a Kent State University geographer has just filled in most of those gaps.

NSF Supports Inter-institutional Project to Develop Chemical Sensor Technology

Military personnel in camouflage put on ventilator masks before an exercise involving airborne toxins

Toxic air pollutants such as chlorine and ozone are hazards for civilian workers and public service employees like firefighters, police and military personnel. Some airborne chemicals can be difficult to detect at low levels with high specificity, though, and relevant technologies like wearable sensors have been slow to catch up. 

NSF Award Helps Kent State Anthropologists Expand International Partnership

A bonobo stares back at the camera while another walks away
A new federal grant will help Kent State University expand an international relationship and provide invaluable opportunities for some graduate students.

Kent State Researchers Receive $1.48 Million NSF Grant for Extended Reality Technology in Teacher Training

Karl Kosko, Ph.D., and his colleagues use virtual reality goggles and 360 videos to help train future teachers.

A trio of Kent State University researchers has landed a large federal grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to apply a novel video technology to train future teachers.

Acclaimed Photography Exhibition Returns to Kent Campus

Kent State's "We the People" Exhibition on Display near the Esplanade Arch in May 2019

Kent State University is pleased and proud to announce the return of “We the People,” a photography exhibition that shines a light on our common humanity.

NIH Continues Support of Kent State Alzheimer’s Researcher with New 2-Year Grant

Gemma Casadesus Smith, Ph.D. (right), professor of biological sciences at Kent State University, works with a student in her lab.

Once it begins, Alzheimer’s Disease progresses systematically and aggressively, attacking victims on multiple fronts. But scientists studying the disease operate the same way — like Kent State University’s own Dr. Gemma Casadesus Smith.

NIH Funds Kent State Psychologist’s Project to Teach Children Food Allergy Safety Skills

A woman sits at a table with small children eating healthy food.

A Kent State University researcher with a background in safety training models — and a very personal motivation — has devised a method to help some children with food allergies stay safe, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) just granted him the funding to test it.

Kent State Researcher and Professor Elected to the European Academy of Sciences

Dr. Quan Li, Senior Research Fellow in the Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute

One of Kent State University’s most prolific and renowned researchers has been elected to the European Academy of Sciences.

Quan Li, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow in the Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute, joins the prestigious Brussels-based organization that includes about 660 members from 45 nations, including 65 Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners.

NSF Awards Kent State Researchers $1.3 Million to Nourish Children’s Minds, Fill Their Bellies

A man in a chef's hat shows young children how to make food.

Science is complex, and it’s difficult to discuss it with children under the best circumstances; it’s even more difficult when they are hungry. Two Kent State University researchers may have cooked up a way to solve both of those problems, and the National Science Foundation just awarded them a three-year, $1.3 million grant to determine if their recipe works.

NSF Awards Kent State Researcher Nearly $1 Million for Separate Liquid Crystal Studies

Oleg Lavrentovich, Ph.D. (second from left), works in a microscopy lab with a colleague and Kent State students.

Trustees Research Professor Oleg Lavrentovich, Ph.D., a chemical physicist in Kent State University’s Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute (AMLCI), just received nearly $1 million between two grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for separate studies with potential applications in biomedical science, commercial electronics and beyond.

Research Initiative Pilot Project Shows Akron Children What Being a Scientist Is All About

Kent State Department of Geology graduate student Kortney Cole shows Schumacher Elementary School sixth grader students how to collect soil samples.

Bridget Mulvey, Ph.D., associate professor of science education in the College of Education, Health and Human Services; and David Singer, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Geology in the College of Arts and Sciences, recently merged real geology research with community service in an effort to show some Akron Public Schools students that science is not just a benefit to their community but a viable career option, too.

Kent State Biological Sciences Researchers to Lead Study on the Effects of the Spreading Eastern Red Cedars

Close up image of an Eastern Red Cedar branch with berries. (Photo by Sheila Brown,

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $914,000 grant to Kent State University to lead a collaborative research project to study how and at what rate the geographically most widespread native conifer in the eastern United States, the Eastern Red Cedar tree species (Juniperus virginiana), spreads across the landscape.

Model Kent State Language Academy Continues with 12th Year of Federal Funding

High school students from Portage County and surrounding areas hold Chinese hand fans during a past STARTALK Summer Foreign Language Camp at Kent State.

While the daily news is full of tumultuous conversations about Russia and China, Kent State is helping some area high school students learn to converse in Russian and Chinese to facilitate greater global understanding and a less contentious tomorrow.

NSF Extends Kent State Anthropologist’s Study of Human Brain Evolution

An artful black and white image of a human woman sitting and laughing with a gorilla.

While scientists have long believed human behavior developed with the expanded cerebrum, a Kent State University researcher has shown that our path diverged while our brains were still comparable in size to those of chimpanzees.

Ohio Renews TeCK Fund

Drs. Elda (left) and Torsten (right) Hegmann show off a liquid crystal nanoparticle sensor they're designing with Merck Materials, one of three KSU projects supported by the TeCK Fund

State Approves Round 2 of Kent State-Cleveland State Innovation Partnership


State of Ohio officials have renewed a $600,000 technology commercialization partnership between Kent State University and Cleveland State University.


Kent State Chemists Create Microscopic Environment to Study Cancer Cell Growth

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2017.

These numbers are stark and sobering, and worse yet, we still do not know exactly why cancer develops in its victims or how to stop it.

An online publication in Nature Nanotechnology this week by Kent State University researchers and their colleagues at Kyoto University in Japan, however, may offer new understanding about what turns good cells bad.

Kent State Foreign Language Academy for High School Students Funded for 11th Year

Kent State Language Professor Tatyana Bystrova sits in front of the Honors College with high school students enrolled in last year's STARTALK Summer Foreign Language Academy

Federal grant funds Kent State summer foreign language academy for 10th year

A Kent State University summer program that teaches foreign languages to high school students has just received federal funding for the 10th consecutive year.

Professors Brian Baer and Theresa Minick of the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies received two grants last month totaling $180,000 to host the 2017 Kent State Regents-STARTALK Foreign Language Academy.