Advisory Board


The purpose of the Kent State University at Stark Advisory Board is to represent the interests of both the local community and Kent State University in the overall development of higher educational programs for the campus’ service area.

Specifically, the board is established to:

  • Assist the university and community to understand better local educational needs and opportunities
  • Interpret the role and mission of the local campus to the community
  • Promote the goals and objectives of both the campus and the university
  • Assist in the development of those resources necessary for the campus to carry out its educational mission, especially the financial resources necessary to meet the ever-increasing costs of higher education
  • Encourage and provide political, educational and any other assistance it deems appropriate for the campus and the university to accomplish their educational objectives  


Jeff Dafler
President and Chief Executive Officer, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce

Ajay Das
Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, The Timken Company

Faye A. Heston
Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Trustees for the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Foundation

John Humphrey, M.D.
Executive Director, North Canton Medical Foundation

Mary Ellen Icaza
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Stark Library

Brent May  |  Vice Chair
Superintendent, Plain Local Schools

Thomas Norton-Smith, Ph.D.  |  Secretary
Emeritus Professor, Kent State University at Stark

Bryon Palitto
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Palitto Consulting Services, Inc.

Scott Pollock 
President, Aspen Industrial Consulting Services

Richard S. Regula
Stark County Commissioner

Diane Stevens Robinson
Former President and Chief Executive Officer, The Greater Stark County Urban League

Tracy Stevens  |  Chair
Retired External Affairs Manager, Dominion Energy

Keni Thomas
Former United States Army Ranger and award-winning country music recording artist and songwriter

John Zucal
Superintendent, Conotton Valley Union Local School District


Jacqueline DeGarmo 
President/Lead Consultant, Hilliard Jeane

J. Kirk Schuring
Ohio Senator District 29


Denise A. Seachrist, Ph.D.
Dean and Chief Administrative Officer, Kent State University at Stark