Honors College and Education Abroad Gave Kent State Grad Tools For Success
After changing his major several times, Kent State graduate Josh Budd finally found his passion in the College of Education, Health and Human Services (EHHS) and in the Honors College.
His coursework in integrated social studies, as well as the Honors College curriculum, led the 2020 graduate to his current career as an instructor at Stow-Munroe Falls High School, where he teaches ninth-grade American History and 12th-grade World Geography.
“I started out as an integrated language arts major, and then I decided, ‘Well, I don't like to read, so that is a problem,’ ” said Budd, a Green, Ohio, resident. “Then I wanted to be a speech therapy major, and I did not stick to the coursework as much as I would have liked. Then I found my passion for social studies and graduated with a bachelor's degree in integrated social studies.”
Honors College ranked high when Budd was deciding whether to attend Kent State because it offered him a challenging experience through its thesis programs and its education-abroad program. Studying abroad helped him develop more empathy and connection with people of backgrounds different from his own.
Budd recommends that new students consider applying to Honors College because it fosters critical problem-solving skills and the tools to take on the challenges that they will confront once they graduate.
“If I had to describe the Honors College to somebody who's never heard of it before, I would say that it is a place that rigorously sets you up with opportunities and tools that you will need in order to become, not just a member of the Kent State University community, but also a student that actively gives back to the community,” Budd said.
“A generator of ideas, activities, published works, all those things give the Honors College the ability to add to the Kent State ecosystem, rather than just merely being a part of it,” Budd said.
When Budd graduated, he decided to stay in Ohio to work because he believes education is a priority for Northeast Ohio and his connections in the Kent State community were invaluable.
“The state dictates all the things that schools are tested on,” Budd said. “Yes, the state dictates the budget, and sometimes our State House does not get it right, but I think our local communities have shown – especially in Northeast Ohio – that they care about education. I think having those connections around the Kent area and being familiar with the population has also helped to enhance my practice as an educator with each of the districts that I have worked in.”
His work in the Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools district goes beyond the typical school day. Budd started a mock trial program to give his students legal education, an ability to interact with actual judges and other experiences outside of the classroom, which mirrors his experiences at Kent State.
Budd’s graduation year was interrupted by the COVID-19 virus, which was a major challenge, but it also taught him an important lesson that he lives by today – that flexibility is key to success in the real world.
“Kent State, specifically the Honors College, has offered me the ability to take advantage of opportunities with my degree to seize whatever job opening that comes my way or whatever opportunity I want to pursue, whether that's running operations for a multimillion-dollar company, or teaching social studies down the road at Stow High School, or teaching English in some far off country,” Budd said. “That flexibility has enabled me to feel successful but also not be afraid to take risks.”