Kennesaw State University

Migrants, Refugees & Economic Opportunity

Name of Publication: 
Business Partners
Excerpt of Article: 

I worked as a humanitarian worker for twelve years. What do I think of the situation in Greece, with thousands of migrants and refugees flowing in daily? I think it will get worse. But I also feel it gives Athens an opportunity it wouldn’t have otherwise. That opportunity is to generate substantial jobs.

For nearly three weeks in December, and for three in February-March, I had the privilege of working with the Municipality of Athens with the support of the Fulbright Foundation in Greece. I have tried to help the City cope with this onslaught of human beings. I’ve been touched deeply by the generosity of Athenians. Yet I’ve also witnessed worry about how long this will continue, and how many people will come.

How does this situation translate into jobs? The migrant/refugee crisis is international news every day. Athens is at the epicenter of the crisis. People all over the world want to help the migrants and refugees, but they also feel for the Greek people. They want to help ease the pain of this situation.

This desire to help should be channeled into securing substantial, private financial resources. Of course, people want to and are making donations to non-governmental organizations. But they know that charity can only go so far.

In addition to charity, they should be given another option. They should be asked to invest.I spoke with a lot of Athenians during my stay. I did not reveal that I was working with the Municipality before asking them how they felt about Mayor Giorgos Kaminis. People trust him. He can lead the way in Athens’ economic resurgence. The business community and foundations must be heavily involved as well. It is time to build an economic engine. ...

Read more about Bock's work in Greece at

Interview with new KSU women's basketball coach Agnus Berenato

Name of Publication: 
1240 ESPN Radio (WGGA Gainesville, Ga.)
Excerpt of Article: 

Former Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh head coach Agnus Berenato said the "overall vision and philosophy and excitemement that Kennesaw State is creating right now" is what attracted her to lead the Lady Owls program.

Berenato, who was named KSU's new women's basketball head coach on March 29, spoke about the opportunity during an interview on "Game On with Katie B. Davis."

Click here to listen to the full interview:

Agnus Berenato named women’s basketball head coach

KSU Agnus Berenato

Veteran coach brings 29 years of coaching experience to the Owls

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 30, 2016) Agnus Berenato, the winningest coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the second-winningest at Georgia Tech, has been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Kennesaw State University.

“This is a tremendous day for the Kennesaw State family and our women’s basketball program,” Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams said. “Agnus Berenato is coming home to Atlanta where she spent nearly two decades leading Georgia Tech to national prominence. I am honored and excited that she accepted our offer and can’t wait for her to get started. Her track record speaks for itself. We could not ask for a better role model, mentor and leader of our women’s basketball team. She wins, builds programs and does it the right way. I welcome Agnus, her husband Jack, and their children to the Owl Family.”

The charismatic Berenato has a proven reputation of building programs. Within three years of assuming head-coaching duties at Georgia Tech, she led the Yellow Jackets to the 1992 WNIT championship. The next year, Tech made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Two years after taking the helm at Pitt, the Panthers rattled off five consecutive postseason berths, including back-to-back NCAA Sweet 16 appearances in 2008 and 2009.

“It is an honor to be selected as the Kennesaw State University women's basketball head coach. To work with, and for, Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams at this thriving university is an exciting opportunity,” said Berenato. “I am fired up to get back on the court, meet the team and represent Kennesaw State and our KSU community. Together we will enjoy the journey, grow our student-athletes and experience the thrill of victory. I would like to thank President Dr. Daniel Papp, a man of great integrity and vision; Vaughn Williams; and the search committee for their commitment to women's basketball, the commitment to building a formidable Division I athletic program and their confidence in me to lead this program.” 

Berenato has won 444 games in her 29-year head coaching career that spans four years at Rider University, 15 at Georgia Tech and 10 at Pitt. Her teams have competed in the postseason on 11 different occasions. 

On the court, Berenato has mentored five players to All-America recognition: Joyce Pierce, Kisha Ford and Sonja Mallory at Georgia Tech, and Shavonte Zellous and Marcedes Walker at Pittsburgh. Her players achieved 21 all-conference honors at Pitt, and 16 more at Georgia Tech.

Berenato emphasizes the development of the total person, and her student-athletes have complemented athletic success with academic achievement. She proudly boasts a 100 percent graduation rate of every student-athlete who completed their eligibility.

She is recognized as an inspirational leader and motivator and a dynamic public speaker. In her three years since leaving Pitt, Berenato has been an analyst for the American Sports Network, has continued to remain active in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), spoken to Fortune 500 companies and University commencements and presented at the Final Four.

In the community and abroad, her extensive list of volunteer work includes a medical mission with Surgicorps to Vietnam in 2015, a 2009 college basketball tour in the Middle East and a mission trip to Jamaica in 2003. She has been a spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Opera, while offering her time with the Girl Scouts of America, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Pittsburgh Food Bank, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Girls on the Run, among many others.

A 1980 graduate of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., Berenato earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and was a three-year starter on the basketball team. Playing for former NBA star Fred Carter, she was a two-time captain for the Mountaineers. Following eight years of service on the college’s Board of Trustees, she is now a Trustee Emeritus.

Named an ACC Women’s Basketball Legend in 2014, Berenato was recognized on two occasions as a Division I Coach of the Year by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. She has been inducted into the South Jersey Hall of Fame, the Rider College Hall of Fame and the Mount St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

In May of 2009, Berenato was awarded with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Seton Hill University and delivered the commencement speech to its spring graduates. She also holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from her alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s.

A native of Gloucester City, N.J., Berenato and her husband Jack have five children: Theresa Marie, Andrew, Joey, Clare and Christina.

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering nearly 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 33,000 students from over 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.

The Write Stuff


Reception recognizes Kennesaw State faculty, student authors

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 30, 2016)— The Kennesaw State University Library System hosted an Authors’ Reception Tuesday at the Horace W. Sturgis Library to honor the more than a hundred KSU faculty members and students who have been published in recent months.

A display showcased their books and articles, in categories including history, nursing, management, political science, English, foreign languages, computer science and marketing. The reception recognized all the works produced or jointly authored by KSU faculty, staff and students from October 2014 through December 2015.

Kennesaw State President Daniel Papp commended the faculty authors for “helping your students by staying in the forefront of your respective fields.” Being published is one way to promote a university’s mission to expand and distribute knowledge, he added.

“But the impact is more than simply educating ourselves and educating others,” Papp said. “Your own reputation is enhanced when you publish. The reputation of the institution is enhanced when you publish. And one of the good things about enhancing the reputation of the university is that also enhances the reputation of the students who are being educated there.”

The Authors’ Reception began in 1999 at Southern Polytechnic State University. Following the consolidation of SPSU and Kennesaw State, the event was held at KSU for the first time on Tuesday.

“We want to keep this great tradition alive and keep people engaged with it,” said David Evans, dean for library services.

Along with the hard copies of their books and articles, the authors’ works are being promoted through KSU’s Digital Commons, an online collection of intellectual and creative output. Content from the Digital Commons – which includes dissertations, theses and journal articles – has had more than 300,000 downloads over the past 12 months, according to Aajay Murphy, managing editor of the Digital Commons.

Gone are the days of a thesis being bound and stuck on a shelf at the library, Evans said, as works by KSU faculty and students are readily accessible to people around the world. One of the many benefits is giving undergraduate students an avenue to share the research they are doing.

“The audience has been optimized,” Evans said. “Now you have people all over the world, if they’re researching that topic, guess who pops up? Your undergraduate student.”

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– Paul Floeckher

Photo by David Caselli

Ken Hill


Manager of PEGS program set to oversee KSU’s education abroad facility in Italy

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 25, 2016)Working in higher education in the beautiful Italian countryside is something Ken Hill acknowledges he never would have imagined when he was in operations management and human resources earlier in his career.

Diversity at KSU

Exhibit includes histories and portraits of 14 who made a difference for diversity at KSU

Kennesaw State launches exhibit chronicling University’s history of diversity

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 24, 2016) — The evolution of diversity and inclusion over Kennesaw State University’s first half century is captured in “Emerging From Within,” a new exhibit that will be on display for public viewing in the Social Sciences Atrium through April 24.

Thinking Globally

Panel, from left, Papp, Isakson, Hessler-Radelet and Carr

St. Patrick's Day Used to Be Blue

Name of Publication: 
WABE 90.1 FM
Excerpt of Article: 
On "A Closer Look" with Rose Scott and Jim Burress, Bryan McGovern, associate professor of history at Kennesaw State University, discusses why the iconic color of St. Patrick’s Day changed to green – from blue. (Interview starts at 25:15.)

Atlanta Hawks CEO shares winning strategies with KSU students

Steve Koonin stresses that success extends beyond the court

KENNESAW, Ga. (March 16, 2016) – The Atlanta Hawks have become a trendsetter among pro sports franchises with their innovative marketing strategies. Hawks CEO and part-owner Steve Koonin told Kennesaw State University students that they too should set themselves apart if they’re interested in a career in the entertainment industry.

Koonin explained “building a winning brand” during a lecture Tuesday hosted by the Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business (MEBUS) program at KSU. He also encouraged students to take advantage of MEBUS internships and other opportunities to make themselves more marketable.

“Differentiate yourself. It wins,” Koonin said. “If you want to be in content, write compelling and differentiating content. If you want to be in production, study and be a fan of production. Have a point of view.”

In Koonin’s first full year as CEO, the Hawks had the highest attendance increase in the NBA and set franchise records for season ticket sales, game sellouts and retail sales. One way the Hawks made their merchandise accessible – and affordable – was to become the first team to create and license 16 different shoelaces, Koonin said.

“Any kid who wants to have authentic NBA gear can wear Hawks shoelaces, and we’re giving them out all over town,” he said. “It’s a huge success for including people into the program.”

The Hawks became the first of North America’s 122 pro sports teams to hire a chief diversity and inclusion officer, according to Koonin. He added that the team also is active in the community; the new Junior Hawks program will allow thousands of children to attend basketball camps and clinics – most at no cost – and the Hawks are in the midst of building 25 basketball courts in Atlanta communities.

“We’re doing it in neighborhoods that, quite candidly, will never buy a season ticket,” Koonin said. “We’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. We’re trying to affect communities every day through our mantra to build bridges through basketball.”

The audience for the lecture included two Kennesaw State alums who now are working for the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. Sasha Gwin, a 2014 graduate, credited the three internships she had through MEBUS with helping her land her position as the assistant to the booking department.

“I love it,” Gwin said. “MEBUS was a really good opportunity to focus in and figure out what I really wanted to do.”

Haley-Kate Daykin also had three internships through MEBUS prior to graduating last May. She majored in international business, but has remained close to home as a fan-experience assistant for the Hawks.

“My internships were probably the biggest help,” Daykin said. “I definitely like the entertainment industry, and I would like to stay within entertainment, sports, music – I love all of that.”


–  Paul Floeckher

Photo by Dave Caselli

KSU at the Capitol

2016 KSU Day at the Capitol copy 2.jpg

Outstanding students celebrate with KSU leaders and legislators at State Capitol

KENNESAW, Ga. (March, 14, 2016) —A pair of resolutions adopted last week in both the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate recognized and commended the academic accomplishments of two Kennesaw State University engineering students and their dean, as well as the athletes, coaches and athletic staff who launched the University’s first football season. 

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