Summer Wrap-up


This is the last official week of summer before faculty “return” to launch our fall semester on August 17. This summer has been an unusual time, but KSU students, faculty and staff continued to shine. Their tenacity has resulted in a summer of high achievements, including the following points of pride:

Admissions and Graduation

  • Nearly 5,000 students graduated from KSU in spring and summer semesters, even without formal ceremonies in May or July.
  • KSU was once again named a top school by U.S. News and World Report for academic yield rate, which means students who are accepted are making the choice to attend KSU in high numbers.
  • Kennesaw State was crowned champion of Declaration Days 2020 as more than 3,700 high school seniors enthusiastically declared Kennesaw State as their school of choice.
  • KSU Admissions met prospective students and parents where they could this summer – online. The University launched an interactive online campus tour, offered free weekly Facebook Live and Instagram Live sessions, and our Orientation team hosted more than 8,000 freshman and transfer students and parents this summer, serving as a leader in moving virtual orientation sessions to a fully synchronous experience.

Virtual Opportunities

  • Faculty successfully pivoted our summer courses to remote learning and our summer enrollment increased 14 percent over the prior year.
  • While some companies were forced to cancel summer internship opportunities, many pivoted and offered KSU students rewarding virtual opportunities to gain hands-on experience.
  • Faculty researchers shared their work with more than 120 people weekly during Research with Relevance, an online series from the Office of Research.

Faculty, Staff and Student Accolades

  • Chris Cornelison received grants totaling more than $300,000 for his study of bats and another grant from the Georgia Research Alliance for his work related to mushroom production.
  • Marrielle Meyers was co-principal in research that was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Spencer Foundation to study math teacher prep practices.
  • Ron Day, financial aid director, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
  • Paul McDaniel, associate professor of geography, was honored for his dedication to the field of ethnic geography, earning a national award from the American Association of Geographers.
  • Architecture student Andrew Smith was awarded a prestigious Portman Prize for his outstanding thesis designing shelters for the homeless population.
  • Doctoral student Jessica Rudd won a summer fellowship by Women in Sports Tech for her research in analytics and data science.

Donors Giving to KSU

  • Allen Brooks established a scholarship in honor of late KSU alum John Boyko to support students in the KSU Journey Honors College pursuing degrees in the College of Computing and Software Engineering.
  • Brian and Kim Newsome created a scholarship for students suffering financial hardships due to the pandemic.
  • Barry and Sylvia Hyman endowed a scholarship for KSU Journey Honors College.
  • Local businessmen have helped establish the John Slocum Memorial Scholarship, named for the late Southern Tech alumnus who passed earlier this year. It will benefit students pursuing degrees in the Southern Polytechnic College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.


  • KSU Owl coaches and players dominated the vote for the Big South All-Decade Team.
  • Kennesaw State University joined the Peach Belt Conference as an associate member for Esports.
  • The ASUN and Big South conferences named 252 student-athletes to their academic honor rolls.

There are so many other examples of how Kennesaw State continued to find success despite the unique times, and I expect that will continue as we head into a new semester this fall.

Pamela Whitten


Written By Whitten