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National TV Correspondent and Kent State Alumnus to Keynote M.A.L.E. Initiative Conference

Posted Feb. 25, 2013

The second annual M.A.L.E. Initiative Conference will take place on Saturday, March 9, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Kent Student Center featuring national television correspondent, author and Kent State alumnus Shannon LaNier. The event is free, but registration is required by March 1. Lunch will be provided.

The theme of this year’s M.A.L.E. Initiative Conference is “Modeling Greatness: It’s in Your Character.”  The conference will explore the personal concept of greatness.  The conference also will explain how success is connected to character via the topics of action, leadership and engagement.  Kent State President’s Ambassador José Feliciano will deliver the opening remarks at the conference.

The M.A.L.E. initiative, men focusing on action, leadership and engagement, is a program of Kent State University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The initiative provides an inclusive venue for men at Kent State with the goal of learning from and working with one another, engaging and uplifting society through civic and community service and life after college.

“This year’s conference is based on persistence and what it means to be a leader,” says Trinidy Jeter, program coordinator for the Student Multicultural Center.  “I think oftentimes we describe leadership and success by a matter of achievement, and this year we wanted to focus on it being internal and being based on who you are as a person.”

The M.A.L.E. Initiative Conference focuses on networking among successful and professional men from Kent State and surrounding areas.  Attendees will learn about being leaders and engaging the community with positive change. Jeter says although most of the topics are tailored toward male students, females are also welcome to attend.

LaNier, keynote speaker at the conference, will host a book signing for his book Jefferson’s Children: The Story of One American Family following the conference at the library.  LaNier’s book was named one of the Best Books of 2001 by the American Library Association.

“Since Shannon was so successful while he was here and because of all his achievements, we really thought he would resonate well with the group,” says Shana Lee, director of the Student Multicultural Center. “He is very personable and could really talk to anyone.  Given his energy and his age, we thought he would be the ideal person for students to meet.”

LaNier graduated from Kent State in 2004 from the College of Communication and Information.  He currently is a television correspondent for “Black Enterprise Business Report.”  He also has hosted the popular Web series “Celebrity Hustle,” worked in production and tours the country for speaking events. 

“Shannon stood out when he was here,” says Lee. “He was an outstanding individual and would do everything he was asked to do and did it with excellence.”  

To register for the M.A.L.E. Initiative Conference, visit