Welcome to the Rotary Club of Kent

 
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Club News
Amanda’s presentation, titled Supporting Students with Disabilities in College, shined a light on the variety of disabilities today’s college students have and all the ways in which her department offers accommodations so students can have a successful college career. Amanda’s presentation began with a quick breakdown of statistics related to disabilities of college students. Nationwide, 19% of undergrads, or 1 in 5 students, has a disability. Disabilities vary from psychological (depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar), learning, medical to physical. In addition, 25% of student veterans have a disability as do 11% of graduate students. At the KSU Main campus there are 2,000 students served by her office.
 
Amanda came to KSU in 2011. Since that time, the Accessibility Services department has put a focus on mental health of students. Amanda reported that since she came to KSU her department has seen an 80% increase in students reporting a psychological disability. This is exacerbated by the COVID pandemic and a recent nationwide poll showed that 60% of college students reported an increase in mental health issues like anxiety and depression related to the pandemic.
 
Amanda’s department assists students to the best of their ability, though unlike students in elementary, middle and high school, her department relies on students reporting their disability to the university. There is no burden to find or identify students needing assistance. Once a student begins working with the department they can receive assistance finding appropriate accommodations. Her department has a list of 250 accommodations available. Accommodations include anything that removes a barrier for a student, whether it is physical, social, educational, or calendar related. The department also seeks to change the culture on campus around those with disabilities and includes educating faculty and staff, parents, campus leaders, and state legislators. Amanda and her team advocate for proactive inclusivity and universal design on campus and in the community.
Todd Kamenesh delivered a nice introduction to our speaker today – Kent City Manager, Dave Ruller, who has prepared remarks on how the pandemic has affected the city.
 
To the surprise of no one, Dave stated that the city was not immune to the effects of the pandemic.  Approximately 50% of the city’s workforce was either diagnosed or has COVID.  Many businesses have been hurt with a number of pandemic-induced closures. 
 
For all of the bad, Dave believes the city is better for the experience.  In a way, the city has become an ecosystem of sorts – provoking various departments to learn how to work differently by working smarter.  A “unified command model” has led to better coordination of department duties, as well as developing a healthy reliance on each other.  Words such as “collaboration”, “cooperation” and “leadership” served as a rallying cry to leave no stone unturned and to seek and invite creative solutions.  As Dave opined…”it is open season on good ideas.”
 
You may remember that one of the first projects of our club underfounder William Walls was listing children of Portage County who had physical infirmities and assisting them in getting medical help. That was back in 1921.
 
In 1939 under the leadership of Jim Green the Crippled Children’s Committee became active in an investigation of the conditions in Portage County.  Jim called attention to the fact that the county by reason of failure to provide funds for its share of the necessary expenses had failed to provide for the indigent crippled children in conformity with the laws of the state of Ohio. He and other members of the club met with the probate judge, the auditor and the county commissioners to address the issue of funding for the care of crippled children in the county.
Amanda Senn introduced us to Liz Sidoti, the daughter of former President Roger, whose storied career in journalism began when she was 10 years old and delivering her newspaper route and, according to Liz, “reading every newspaper I could.”  Liz graduated from Roosevelt in 1993 and at the age of 17 enrolled in the Scripps School of Journalism program at Ohio University going on from there to Associated Press in Ohio starting in Cincinnati and then Columbus before going on to the national bureau of Associated Press where she eventually became AP’s politics writer for the nation during the Bush and Obama years.
 
Mason Kisamore Family Farms, LLC
Amanda Senn introduced Mason Kisamore, who frequents the Kent Farmer’s Market.  Amanda noted that Mason met his wife Stacy at the Randolf Fair.  Mason, his wife along with sons Harlan and Emerson raise animals, supplying meat for Dumas and the Farmer’s Market.
Mason told us that he has been involved with farming his entire life.  He started helping on his dad’s farm and now he has his own farm business.  He owns over 20 acres of land and leases an additional 600 acres of land, to grow crops and raise animals.  They raise cattle, lambs, pigs, turkeys, chickens, laying hens and milk cows.  They sell pork, lamb, beef to customers at Dumas Meats and the Kent Farmer’s Market.  They also sell fresh turkeys and eggs. 
About Our Club
Meetings moved online until further notice.
Kent

Service Above Self

We meet In Person
Tuesdays at 11:45 AM
United Meth. Church
1435 E. Main St.
Kent, OH 44240
United States of America
Mailing address: Rotary Club of Kent P.O. Box 6 Kent, Ohio 44240
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