Youngstown State University Fall '09 Alumni Magazine

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On the

Cover This edition of YSU Magazine explores the experiences of veterans returning from combat and transitioning to college. Specifically, we examine the efforts that colleges and universities are making now to create veteran-friendly campuses, in contrast to the less-than-inviting environment that existed 40 years ago during the war in Vietnam. On the cover are Marine and YSU student Kyle Wilmouth, right, who served seven months in Iraq, and Jim Olive, a Vietnam War veteran and coordinator of YSU’s new Office of Veterans Affairs. Photos are by Bruce Palmer, university photographer, and design is by Renée Cannon, university layout design artist. ———————————

YSU President

David C. Sweet

Vice President for University Advancement

George McCloud

Executive Director of Marketing & Communications

Mark Van Tilburg

Director of University Communications

Magazine Editor

Layout Design Artist


Ron Cole

Cynthia Vinarsky Renée Cannon, ’90 Bruce Palmer Carl Leet

Graduate Assistant

Melissa Sullivan

Undergraduate Intern

Andrea Armeni

Sports Contributor

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications

Jean Engle, ’86

Chief Development Officer

Paul McFadden, ’84

Executive Director of Alumni and Events Management

Shannon Tirone, ’94

Trevor Parks

YSU Board of Trustees Chairman Scott R. Schulick Vice Chairman Sudershan K. Garg Millicent Counts Larry DeJane John R. Jakubek Harry Meshel John L. Pogue Carole S. Weimer Secretary Franklin S. Bennett Jr. Student Trustees Daniel J. DeMaiolo Lyndsie Hall Youngstown State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Youngstown State University - A Magazine for Alumni and Friends, Issue 2, Fall 2009, is published quarterly by the YSU Office of Marketing and Communications, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555. Application to mail at Periodical postage prices is pending at Youngstown, Ohio. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Youngstown State University, Office of Marketing and Communications, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555. Direct letters, comments or questions to the address above, or call 330-941-3519 or e-mail Youngstown State University is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or identity as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, in respect to students and/or to applicants for employment, and to organizations providing contractual services to YSU. 8-001

Fall 2009 in

issue this

4 Around Campus – Updates on campus news and events.

9 Art Williams,

YSU’s Singing Caterer.


Welcoming veterans to campus – so much has changed since Vietnam-era veterans returned.


Dana School of Music – Celebrating


of great music.

18 Reaching New Highs –

Faculty and staff bring home $11.7 million in grants.

26 Alumni Spotlight – Profiles of three exceptional YSU alumni.


Autumn leaves are falling...

2 3 20 21 22 24 29

President’s Message Letters to the Editor University Development YSU Foundation Sports News Alumni News Class Notes

Trees display a brilliant array of fall colors outside DeBartolo Hall in this view, looking east across the center of the YSU campus.

Fall 2009


President’s Message

Preparing for the next Great Generation The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill, is widely considered to be one of the most successful public policies ever adopted, leading to the creation of a permanent middle class and what many now refer to as the nation’s “Greatest Generation.” This generation of Americans grew up in the deprivation of the Depression, fought in World War II and returned home victorious to work and lead the United States into and through one of the most prosperous periods of the nation’s history. By providing access to college to millions of veterans, the G.I. Bill revolutionized and democratized a higher education system that until that time had been reserved in large part for the elite and wealthy. Today, higher education is on the cusp of another influx of veterans. This year alone, more than 450,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war-era veterans are expected to enroll in college, taking advantage of the newly enacted Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Since the terrorist attacks of 2001, more than 1.5 million men and women have served in the military. That could mean an enrollment boom for universities and colleges across the land, including Youngstown State University. To prepare, we created the new YSU Office of Veterans Affairs. Under the leadership of the YSU Veterans Advisory Council, the office has developed several initiatives to help transition veterans from combat to the classroom. VetNet, for instance, is a network of faculty and staff veterans designed to help student veterans with issues that they may face as they return to campus and civilian life. The office has also started veterans-only classes, making YSU one of only a handful of campuses nationwide to offer such courses. This fall, to honor all who have served their country, the university designated a stretch of Spring Street on campus as Armed Forces Boulevard. The street leads to YSU’s Veteran’s Plaza in front of Beeghly Center. In recognition of our efforts, G.I. Jobs magazine has identified YSU as one of the nation’s top Military Friendly Schools. As a university, we are always committed to providing the academic and support services that allow all of our students to fulfill their professional goals and personal dreams. At this time in history, we are especially committed to those young men and women who have risked life and limb for their country and are now back home to move on with their lives and ready themselves to become the nation’s next Great Generation. Sincerely, David C. Sweet, President

F rom

t h e


David C. Sweet

Dear Readers,

We hope you’ll enjoy this fall issue of YSU Magazine, the second under our new quarterly publication cycle. We’ve accomplished some significant savings in printing and postage costs since going quarterly, and we’re also revamping our distribution strategy, beginning with DESK this issue. Many readers, including all YSU donors, recent graduates and members of the YSU Alumni Society, can expect to get the magazine in the mail four times a year. All others will receive the magazine twice annually, as in the past, either in winter and summer or in spring and fall. If you are not included in one of the groups mentioned and would like to receive every issue by mail, send us a note or e-mail and you’ll be added to the list of quarterly subscribers. All readers are also encouraged to register for e-mail links to our user-friendly online edition at We’ll send you links four times a year so you’ll never miss a single issue. We appreciate your understanding and hope you’ll write to let us know what you think of your YSU Magazine.


Youngstown State University

Cynthia Vinarsky Editor, YSU Magazine

Letters to the Editor Dear Editor:

I saw your fine articles on “Our Environmental Footprint” (Summer, 2009) and was very impressed! However, while the Footprint issue is beautifully presented, it seems to violate everything your articles intend, or better put, seems out of place. On the very back cover it mentions that it took more than 15 tons of paper to produce the magazine and that it was probably responsible for more than 130 35-foot trees being cut down!! Knowing a bit about paper, I could say that by using 20 lb. stock on smooth or shiny paper along with very good half-tones, this tonnage could have been cut in half. This magazine flies in the face of conservation and saving the planet.

Summer 2009 Issue

Alfred P. Raghanti, ’56 BSE Austintown, Ohio

Editor’s Note: We certainly understand Mr. Raghanti’s concerns and have spent a great deal of time addressing the issues he raises. To produce a credible publication, we have to maintain certain production values, including paper that meets the reader's expectations of what a "real magazine" looks and feels like. That means a coated sheet that holds photographs well and is opaque enough that there is no "show through" on the page. We have found that the 70 lb. offset we use is the lightest weight we can use and still fulfill our requirements. Starting with the Summer ’09 issue, the magazine is being printed on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (, an international organization that monitors the sourcing of paper fiber. The magazine’s printer is HPC Integrated in Akron, Ohio, an FSC chain-of-custody printer. Efforts are underway worldwide to reduce pressure on forests, and we hope by seeking FSC certification for our large-run publications, we are helping. Readers can help too by opting in to the online edition of the Youngstown State University Magazine, thereby reducing our print run—and the number of trees that come down. For more information, go to

Dear Editor:

Your “Environmental Footprint” issue ranks right up there with the liberal New York Times. I’ll bet I could search all day and maybe find one or two conservative professors at YSU. Prove me wrong! Your beloved green eco-freak movement, based on Al Gore’s junk science global warming untruths, ruined the steel industry and other “rust belt” employers that allowed me to work my way through college. I doubt you care, but the “change we can believe in” and the Obama programs are quickly moving us into a socialist agenda that an old guy like me will not see. Welcome to the

REAL George Orwell’s 1984. You, however, and the generations to follow, will pay and pay and pay – trillions of dollars borrowed from China, a country which will pollute all it desires to maintain jobs. Socialized health care? Bailout packages? Cash for Clunkers? Keep them! I am sorry to see my Alma Mater leaning so far left. Don’t be part of it by pushing too liberal an education at our susceptible young people. Give them independence and let them make their own choices. Maybe hire a few conservative professors. I’m sure we could find much to agree on, but NOT the “green eco movement” which has done far too much damage to our once-great industrial base. I remember when the booming Mahoning Valley helped win a war or two. Not lately, I’m afraid, or ever again!

Don Bowker, ’59 BSBA Mantua, Ohio

(Bowker retired in 1987 as regional sales manager of the former Copperweld Steel in Warren, Ohio, then spent another 10 years as a self-employed sales marketing consultant working mostly with industrial companies.)

Dear Editor:

The summer issue of Youngstown State University Magazine was as instructive for what it didn’t say as for what it did say. Of the 37 alumni featured in the Class Notes column, not one works in manufacturing. Three had engineering degrees; the medical fields and law were heavily represented. A great nation such as the United States cannot survive if we don’t make anything. When the universities, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes and other accouterments of the medical field are the major employers, we are in big trouble. We will never solve the unemployment problem until we recognize that we have allowed five million manufacturing jobs to be exported to China, Japan, Mexico and other nations. Our $700 billion annual trade deficit tells the story. If we want those jobs back, we must bring our international trade into balance. In 1993 I wrote an article proposing establishment of a Trade Balancing Tariff (International Trade Journal, fall issue) that could be used to bring trade into balance and to repatriate those five million jobs. We must be realistic and face the facts of the economy or the nation will remain in an economic purgatory indefinitely.

Lawrence Briskin, ’56 BE Centerville, Ohio

Please Write!

YSU Magazine welcomes letters from readers. The editor reserves the right to select letters for publication and to edit for space and clarity. Brief letters are encouraged. Send letters to: or mail to: Cynthia Vinarsky, Editor, YSU Magazine, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555.

Fall 2009


Around Campus

Around C




Sweet to Retire, Presidential Search Is Launched



David C. Sweet, YSU’s president since 2000, has announced plans to retire on June 30, 2010, and the YSU Board of Trustees has launched a national search for his replacement. The trustees have appointed a 22-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, led by trustee chair Scott Schulick and including university faculty, staff, students, alumni and representatives from the community. Storbeck/Pimental, a minority-owned consulting firm with headquarters in Media, Pa., was selected to serve as consultant for the search. Following a series of open forums with faculty, staff, students and community members in September, the search committee developed a 12-page university profile and position description. That document is being used to recruit and advertise for the position. The committee plans to select eight to 10 candidates for in-person, confidential interviews by mid-November and to present an unranked list of three to five potential candidate finalists to the Board of Trustees no later than Jan. 15, 2010. The board will determine which of the candidates will be invited to campus for interviews, Schulick said, and hopes to name a new president no later than March 12, 2010.

Campus walkways were more crowded than usual when classes started in August. Enrollment is up 7.1 percent over a year ago.

Enrollment Up 25% Since 2000

Fall semester enrollment at YSU reached 14,682, a healthy 7.1 percent increase over the same period a year ago. The autumn total is up 970 students from last year. It’s an increase of nearly 3,000 students, or 25 percent, from the year 2000. Enrollment hasn’t been this high since 1992, when the tally reached 14,806. “One of the keys to the future of the Youngstown region is increasing the percentage of residents who have a college education,” YSU President David C. Sweet said. “As our enrollment grows and as more people successfully complete our quality programs, opportunities grow in the community for economic development.” Sweet said reasons for the continued increase in enrollment include a new program aimed at making YSU more affordable for students in Western Pennsylvania, a new Office of Veterans Affairs established to help attract returning veterans, sluggish local and national economies, high unemployment rates and the continuation of successful recruiting and marketing initiatives. “More and more people are understanding the value of a college degree,” Sweet said. “And more are recognizing that YSU offers a breadth of quality, affordable academic

Maps Offer Virtual Tours of YSU Campus


Youngstown State University

Has it been a while since you visited the YSU campus? A new 3D interactive flash map has been developed and deployed on the university Web site,, illustrative of the university’s strategic investment in the YSU Web site as our single most vital and systemic marketing and communications resource. Created by Mapformation LLC, one of North America's largest custom cartography firms, and the YSU Office of Marketing and Communications, the map will continually evolve to provide virtual campus tours, videos, slide shows and Web links to offices and academic departments. Another 3D perspective campus map, built using Google Sketch-up software technology, will also be available soon. Artwork and computer files pioneered by students and professors in YSU’s Geography Department, led by associate professor Bradley A. Shellito, were pivotal to completion of these innovative and fascinating new tools. YSU is one of only a handful of institutions worldwide deploying both of these sophisticated maps.

Around Campus programs taught by top-notch faculty on a beautiful and safe campus that can help them reach their professional career goals and personal dreams.”

Governor Appoints Student To Board of Trustees

Lyndsie Hall of Boardman, Ohio, a YSU sophomore majoring in middle childhood education, has been appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland as a student representative to the YSU Board of Trustees. Her term on the board runs through spring semester 2011. A 2007 graduate of Boardman High School, Hall is a peer mentor in YSU’s Center for Student Progress, a Lyndsie Hall member of YSU’s Emerging Leaders Program and a member of the YSU women’s track and field team. She also served as a volunteer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s National Youth Gathering. Explaining her interest in the student trustee post in her application, Hall said she relates and identifies with various student factions and has a genuine appreciation and concern for YSU. “I care about YSU’s reputation and its importance to the surrounding area residents,” she said. “I know that sometimes YSU can be underappreciated by young adults who are eager to get away from home and start their college careers elsewhere, but I want to help make it known that YSU is a wonderful college where people can really reach their full potential.”

WYSU Celebrates 40 Years

WYSU is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a series of special events, including a lecture Dec. 3 by NPR White House Correspondent Don Gonyea and an Ethnic Food Festival planned for October 2010 at Mill Creek Park. WYSU’s beginnings date to 1967, when Don Elser, the first chair of the YSU Drama and Speech Department, Steve Grcevich, YSU director of radio broadcasting, and YSU President Albert Pugsley proposed a fine arts radio station for Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. Two years later, on Oct. 23, 1969, WYSU began broadcasting at its current dial position, 88.5 FM. The station moved to its present home in Cushwa Hall in 1976, and in 1980 expanded to a 24-hour broadcast format. Today the station does most of its own programming with a staff of seven full-time and four part-time paid employees, nine student employees and several volunteers. Gary Sexton, WYSU director, said the station works to bring its listeners community-focused programs, in addition to programming through its partnership with National Public Radio. “WYSU is becoming more active in the community,” he said, “and a stronger participant in the rebirth of this town and region.” WYSU is licensed to YSU and operates under the auspices of the YSU Division of University Advancement as a community service. For more information, visit

Tower Is New YSU Landmark AT&T and YSU flipped the switch Sept. 16 on the new lighted YSU logo atop the AT&T Tower on campus, giving the university a new place as part of downtown Youngstown’s night skyline. Visible from all approaches to the city, the tower was painted white and the lighted, eight-feet by 20-feet logo was installed, culminating nearly a decade of planning. YSU President David C. Sweet initiated discussions about the tower improvements soon after he arrived at the university in the summer of 2000.”This project is an example of how persistence, positive attitudes and partnerships can produce outstanding and far-reaching results,” Sweet said. “The tower will stand as a beacon for visitors to campus and the city of Youngstown.” The project was supervised jointly by YSU and AT&T. Other partners that together donated about $160,000 to the project through monetary gifts or in-kind services include Boardman Steel, Diamond Steel, Dickey Electric, Painters and Allied Trades Union, Jenkins Sign Co., Joe Joseph Painting and PPG Industries.

Fall 2009


Around Campus

Emergency Text, E-Mail System Launched

YSU Alert, a new campus-wide text-messaging and e-mail system, is the latest in a series of tools YSU has implemented to communicate with students and employees in the event of a campus emergency or crisis. “This new alert system is one more step toward providing a safe learning environment for all students and staff at YSU,” said Cynthia Anderson, vice president for student affairs. A university committee, led by Jack Fahey, executive director of student services, selected Inspiron Logistics Corp.’s Wireless Emergency Notification System to provide the instant text-messaging and e-mail capabilities. The WENS platform enables university officials to instantly communicate directly with mobile devices via text-messaging. WENS has the capacity to message 30,000 individuals per minute. For more information, visit

American Chemical Society Honors STEM College Dean

The American Chemical Society named Martin Abraham, dean of YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as a member of its inaugural class of ACS Fellows. Abraham was one of 162 ACS members chosen nationwide for the society’s first Fellows class. “These 162 members share a common set of accomplishments,” said Bruce E. Bursten, the society’s immediate past-president. Martin Abraham “Namely, they share true excellence in their contributions to the chemical enterprise, coupled with distinctive service to ACS or to the broader world of chemistry.” The dean said he’s honored and humbled to be listed among some of the most elite chemists in the country. “I am fortunate to have the support of a university that provides the time for me to contribute, and the great opportunity to work with outstanding students and faculty colleagues,” he said. Abraham joined YSU in 2007 as founding dean of the College of STEM, coming from the University of Toledo, where he was dean of the College of Graduate Studies. He has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and earned a bachelor’s degree, also in chemical engineering, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The dean is a member of the governing board of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition and editor of Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, a quarterly journal on industrial environmental concerns. He is a councilor for ACS and chairs its Committee on Environmental Improvement. His record of scholarly publications and research includes more than 60 refereed publications and nearly 150 technical presentations.

Honorary Degree for Veteran Educator Presenting an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Joyce E. Brooks of Canfield are, from left, YSU Provost Ikram Khawaja, President David C. Sweet, and at right, YSU Board of Trustees Chair Scott R. Schulick. Brooks, an educator whose career has spanned more than 50 years, was honored at summer commencement Aug. 15. Brooks earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from YSU, in 1961 and 1970 respectively. She retired in 1993 as director of personnel for the Youngstown City School District and later served as assistant to the dean of the Beeghly College of Education at YSU. She has served as a member of the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center Governing Board and the Mahoning County Educational Service Center Board since 1997. 6

Youngstown State University

English Professor Featured in TV Miniseries

When English professor Scott Leonard was asked to lend his expertise on mythology to the History Channel’s miniseries Clash of the Gods, he didn’t expect to find himself in front of the camera. The author of the textbook Myth and Knowing: An Introduction to World Mythology, Leonard originally thought producers just wanted to correspond with him through e-mail as an expert

Around Campus reference. Instead, they asked him to come to New York in February for a whirlwind day of filming. Leonard’s commentary is featured in five of The History Channel’s nine Clash of the Gods episodes. Full episodes are available by visiting at the Clash of the Gods link. The professor is also working on-camera with the World Book Encyclopedia, which is creating a video to supplement its section on mythology and mythological figures. “These opportunities seem to keep coming up with increased interest in mythology these days,” he said. Leonard joined the faculty at YSU in 1992 after earning a doctorate from Ohio State University. He first became interested in mythology while earning his undergraduate degree at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. “I took this stimulating mythology literature course with this instructor who really made me fall in love with it,” he said. “He showed us that myths aren’t just exotic ancient artifacts but living, breathing forces in all societies at all times, including our own.”

Geology Professor Advances Abandoned Mine Research

Urban Farming Expert Speaks Will Allen, founder of Growing Power and one of the world’s foremost experts on urban farming, was a keynote speaker for the Grey to Green Festival Sept. 12 in Youngstown’s Wick Park. Growing Power, headquartered in Milwaukee, is a national nonprofit and land trust that helps people from diverse backgrounds to grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner. Allen was presented the 2008 MacArthur Genius Award and was recently featured in the New York Times Magazine. His visit was sponsored by YSU, Grow Youngstown and the Raymond John Wean Foundation. For more information on Growing Power visit

Ann Harris, professor emeritus of Geology and a recAnn Harris ognized expert on abandoned mines, catalogue abandoned mines throughout the region and has launched a Web site providing detailed information on led development of a Web site listing abandoned mines in more than 2,000 abandoned mines in 14 counties in Ohio and Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. Now she six counties in Western Pennsylvania. and her colleagues have enhanced and “Hundreds of coal, clay and other expanded that site. mines dotted the landscape of this region in the early 19th century,” said Harris, who joined the YSU faculty in Incubator, YSU Launch 1961 and retired in 2000. She’s hoping Entrepreneurial that realtors, contractors, developInternship Program ers, insurance companies, potential The Youngstown Business Incubahomebuyers and others will find the tor partnered with YSU’s Williamson abandoned mine Web site helpful. College of Business Administration to Harris worked on the site with launch the Entrepreneurial Internship Ron Canacci, a YSU computer sciProgram this fall. The program’s goal ence alumnus, student Troy Brant and is to expose students to entrepreneurJames Canacci, a YSU theater and ship and increase their understanding of English alum and a professor at Kent what is necessary to create and grow a State Trumbull Campus, who volunnew venture, explore new markets and teered to assist with editing content. develop a customer base. The site,, Four internships were awarded this lists data on mines dating back to the semester to WCBA students: 1800s. • Rose Shaffer, a senior marketing Harris has been investigating management major, is working abandoned mines since the late 1970s Adrianne Morris, left, a senior business adminwith BizVeo, which offers an and soon recognized that there was istration major, and Vanessa Shields, director of Internet-based video training and no central source of information on marketing at Syncro Medical Innovations, work together at the Youngstown Business Incubator abandoned mines. under a new Entrepreneurial Internship Program. She set out to identify and

Fall 2009


Around Campus competency testing solution. Jessica Sferra, a senior business administration major, will assist SenSource, a technology company that provides traffic and vehicle counting solutions and environmental sensors, with its marketing initiatives. • Arianne Morris, a senior business administration major, is interning with Syncro Medical Innovations, which has developed a unique magnetically guided feeding tube. • Courtney Vitullo, a senior management information systems major, will work directly with Youngstown Business Incubator to promote new entrepreneurial programs with YSU and social media applications. Betty Jo Licata, WCBA dean, said the program gives students invaluable experience with entrepreneurial companies. “These internships support the professional development of our students and their contributions to the success of our valley entrepreneurs,” she said.

Students ‘Light the Wick’ with New Show

YSU telecommunication students are producing a weekly taped program, titled “Light the Wick,” that spotlights people and events in Youngstown’s arts corridor. Producing the show teaches what cannot be found in a book: experience. “Our students are on a one-week production turn-around schedule, which is extraordinary because live-to-tape TV is high pressure and deadline-sensitive,” said Fred Owens, communications professor and supervisor for the show. “Students

Voice of the Scrappers YSU student John Brown was the voice of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers baseball team this summer as the official game announcer at Eastwood Field. It was an exciting season, as the team came one game short of winning the New York Penn League championship. Brown is a senior communications major from Warren who had worked as a Scrappers batboy and clubhouse employee since he was 14. The Scrappers organization has already offered the position to Brown for next season. He plans to pursue a graduate degree next year, but he said he’ll continue with the Scrappers if his graduate school plans allow. 8

Youngstown State University

become extremely competent and capable problem-solvers, and it gets them out of their comfort zones.” New episodes of “Light the Wick” are uploaded Friday evenings to, and the program can be seen on the Fine and Performing Arts homepage, http:// Telecommunications students are also working with the YSU Athletics Department on a new project that provides TV coverage and live broadcasts of YSU Olympic-style sports, and in September YSU became the first Horizon League school to stream a live broadcast of a game (women’s volleyball) from the league’s Web site.

Sophomores Named Emerging Scholars, Others Win Awards and Honors

YSU sophomores Brian Garcar and Justin McIntyre, who were presented national Phi Kappa Phi Emerging Scholar Awards for 2009, are just two of the many YSU students who won recognition recently. Garcar is an integrated math secondary education major; McIntyre is a political science and criminal justice major. Both are Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars. This was the third year for the national Phi Kappa Phi Emerging Scholar award competition and the third year that YSU students have qualified for the recognition. Senior Justin Boehm, a respiratory care major, was recognized with the Humility of Mary Health Partners “Excellence in Action” award for his outstanding patient care and dedication. The Canfield student is the first non-employee in HMHP’s history to be recognized with this honor. Boehm was nominated by a patient he worked with in the Sleep Diagnostic Laboratory at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center while on clinical rotation last summer. YSU also continued its winning streak at MathFest, held this summer in Portland, Ore. Four students YSU sophomores Brian Garcar, left, took home “outstandand Justin McIntyre were presented ing oral presentation” national Phi Kappa Phi Emerging awards, marking the Scholar Awards for 2009. fifth consecutive year that YSU students have won four or more honors. No other school has ever won more than three awards in a single year. Award-winners this year were Matthew Alexander of Espyville, Lisa Curll of Columbiana, Patrick Walker of Struthers and Moriah Wright of Ashtabula. Alexander won an MMA best speaker award at the event last year.

Art Williams YSU’s Singing Caterer

When Art Williams accepted a job 10 years ago with YSU’s food service contractor Sodexo, he didn’t know he was about to become a campus celebrity—not for his excellent catering skills but for his warm tenor singing voice. Word of Williams’ vocal talents started circulating at YSU shortly after he had joined the Sodexo staff, and YSU president David C. Sweet asked him to sing that first year at the winter holiday breakfast the university hosts annually for faculty and staff. Williams chose “The Christmas Song,” a 1940s tune that starts off with the famous line about “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” and his solos soon became a campus tradition. “You’d be amazed at the number of people who tell me how much they enjoy that song every year. Even in the summer people are talking about it,” he said. “One lady said it brings tears to her eyes every time.” Growing up on Youngstown’s South Side, Williams always loved to sing, and he won his share of recognition representing South High School in variety shows across the region. He graduated from South High in 1969, spent two and a half years at YSU working toward a business degree, then took a job at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, only to be laid off. At that point, Williams joined a band called Baby Brother, and he made a living singing with the rhythm and blues group for the next 15 years. Baby Brother played all over the southwestern states, performed for American troops across Europe with the USO and landed a recording contract with Atlantic Records. The record didn’t do well, though, and the band broke up. Williams is occasionally asked to sing for other community events, in addition to his yearly YSU holiday solo, but he and his wife, April, are more focused now on raising their five children, two of whom are YSU students. “I’m thinking about going back to school to finish my YSU degree,” he said. “I want to do that for myself, but also to motivate the kids. I know actions speak louder than words.” Editor’s Note: Shortly before press time, Williams lost his beloved son, Keith Stanford, 39, of Youngstown.

Fall 2009


Coming home By Ron Cole im Olive remembers    the day he left Vietnam as if it were yesterday. It was December 1967, late in the afternoon in an area known as Landing Zone Judy – just another day in II Corps in the central highlands region of South Vietnam. In his 12 months “in country” as a 20-yearold Army private first class artilleryman – “The only thing that kept drumming in my head was, ‘I want to go home. I want to go home’” – Olive experienced his share of firefights. There were snipers that day, too. “I was out in the field and caught a chopper back to our main L.Z.,” he said. “We caught a flight to the states. Within 48 hours of being in the field, I was back in my mom’s living room in Hubbard.” A month later, he was a student at Youngstown State University. What Olive found at YSU was not much different than what most of tens of thousands of other young men across the nation found as they entered college after Vietnam – stares, the occasional harsh words and sometimes outright hostility. And isolation. Jim Olive, left, served a year as an Army artilleryman in Vietnam and then enrolled at YSU in 1968. “I didn't look like anyone,” he said. “I didn't talk like anyone. I felt every eye was on me.”


Kyle Wilmouth, right, pictured with his comrades in Iraq, is now a YSU senior. On the reception his unit received when they came home, Wilmouth says, “I still get goose bumps thinking about it.”

“It wasn’t so much the people were out on the streets against you,” Jim Schramer, who spent parts of 1968 and 1969 in Vietnam as an Air Force lieutenant, said about being a student at the University of Washington in the early 1970s. “It was that you were alone. You were isolated,” said Schramer, now a YSU professor of English. Today, nearly 40 years after the end of the war, Vietnam is a tragic symbol of lessons learned the hard way – politically, militarily and culturally. With Americans again engaged in war halfway around the world, the United States once more faces the prospect of transitioning tens of thousands of war-weary soldiers back into civilian society. At the center of it all are university and college campuses. This year alone, more than 450,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war-era veterans are expected to enroll in college, taking advantage of a newly-enacted Post-9/11 G.I. Bill that essentially provides free tuition, housing, book allowances and other benefits. “For many students, the new G.I. Bill will translate into a free education,” said Matthew Pavelek, an editor for G.I. Jobs magazine. In all, Pavelek said more than 1.5 million men and women have served in the military since the terrorist attacks of 2001. That could mean an enrollment and economic boom for universities and colleges across the land. The question is: Are they ready? Forty years ago, the answer, it seems, was no. America at war in Vietnam was light-years from America at war in the Middle East, said Anne York, a YSU professor of history who teaches a course on the Vietnam War. While many Americans have grown weary and skeptical of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war in Vietnam was the source of vehement, massive and sometimes even violent protests. Through the draft, tens of thousands of young men were called to duty, forcing the war into the homes and shattering the lives of thousands of American families. And all of it, for the first time in American

Fall 2009


history, played out nightly on the TV news, in all its brutality. It was this America to which Vietnam veterans came home. “You found yourself in a difficult position,” Schramer said. “By that time, you knew that the war was not defensible. The number of deaths was pushing 50,000. At the same time, you had served your country, and it was a big chunk of your life. How do you repudiate that time? It was difficult.” Most returning troops were yanked out of combat and sent home alone, York said, absent the camaraderie of their fellow soldiers or any transitional Jim Schramer time or preparation. “Once their tour was over, they got on a plane – many times all alone – and 12 or 13 hours later,

they were home,” she said. “There was no debriefing whatsoever. Nothing. They were expected just to pick up and continue on with their lives.” Schramer added, “It was like we were creeping back.” They were perceived as “potheads, baby-killers and freaks who lost the war,” York added. “After World War II, returning veterans and the dead were revered and honored and respected. The Vietnam vet got none of that, and the resentment was tremendous.” Those who returned and enrolled in colleges or universities, where many of the most ardent anti-war protests took place, ran face-first into the political and cultural schism that the nation was experiencing. Carl Nunziato, a Youngstown native who received a bachelor’s degree in English from Youngstown University

In his 15 months patrolling the streets of Baghdad as a U.S. Army infantryman, Jesse Moy learned first-hand about what the military calls “muscle memory.” It meant that, in a crisis, his training kicked in without Moy having to think about it. His job in Iraq was patrolling the capital city’s neighborhoods, searching buildings in cordoned-off areas, looking for weapons or insurgents and working with Iraqi soldiers. The patrols were usually uneventful, but at times Moy’s unit was the target of enemy gunfire or handmade explosive devices. Moy saw comrades injured and had some close calls himself. “It’s not like the movies, I can tell you that much,” he said. “It’s loud and violent and scary and chaotic, and you’re not really sure what’s happening. You just try to remember your training.” The Brookfield, Ohio native wanted to jump out of airplanes when he joined the Army after high school, and he got his wish. Stationed with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, N.C., he made 30 jumps in his first two years with the paratrooper division. Moy was just six months from his release date when his orders came to go to Iraq as part of the “surge” in 2006, and six days later he was in Baghdad. His parachuting days were over. Moy came home in March 2008, having served more than four years instead of the three years he signed up for. He enrolled in YSU’s pre-law program with plans to continue on to law school. “I knew I didn’t want a mill job or anything like that. I decided a nice desk job was probably for me,” he said, laughing. In September, just a couple weeks into the fall semester, Moy thought he might have to give back his new-found civilian freedom. Still on reserve status for the next four years, he was ordered to return to Iraq. He applied for and received a higher education exemption, but he knows the Army can bring his exemption status up for review again in a year. Meanwhile, Moy said he’s still getting used to the simpler, slower pace of life outside the military. “It’s like the volume got turned down. For the first six months I still woke up at 6 every morning,” he said with a half-grin. “Now, I’m sleeping a little later – maybe until 6:30, 7 on weekends.”


Youngstown State University

in 1961, had both of his legs amputated after getting hit by a mortar in Vietnam in 1966. After nearly two years in the hospital, he enrolled in Case Western Law School in Cleveland. He was spit at, called a baby-killer and generally ostracized. “After a while, when people would ask me how I lost my legs, I’d just tell them I was in a car accident rather than identify myself as a veteran,” remembers Nunziato, who went on to a successful career as a banker and civic leader in the Mahoning Valley. “It was an ugly time, horrible.” Olive, drafted in 1965 and attached to the 2nd Battalion, th 7 Calvary Division in Vietnam, enrolled at YSU in January 1968, only a few weeks after leaving Vietnam. “As benign as YSU was back then – we didn’t have the protests and all that so many other campuses had – veterans still felt that edge to being here,” he said. Sporting his short military haircut and wearing his field jacket and combat boots – “It’s what I felt comfortable in” – Olive stood out. “I didn’t look like anyone,” he said. “I didn’t talk like anyone. I felt every eye was on me.” “Most of us did what we could to stay invisible,” said Mike Shepherd, a Marine who enrolled at YSU in 1976 and later worked for the university. Olive remembers the day in his second semester when an English instructor asked students to write about something that they were familiar with. Olive wrote about life as a soldier in Vietnam – the rain, the heat, sleeping on the ground, the sound of shrapnel ripping the air. “The day she handed back the papers, she holds up my paper for everyone to see – and it has a big red ‘F’ on it, and she says, ‘I don’t want to hear anything more in this class about this war. There will be no discussion, no topical writing, nothing about the Vietnam War. Do you understand?’

Carl Nunziato

For Jessica Potts, the toughest part of being deployed in Iraq with a U.S. Army transportation trucking unit was the uncertainty. Like any wartime duty, it was dangerous, with the constant threat of sniper gunfire and improvised explosive devices that lie hidden along the roadsides, and she never knew how long it would last, how long she would be away from her husband and two small daughters. Potts enlisted in the Army right out of high school in 1996. Jobs were scarce in her hometown of Jim Thorpe, Pa., and she thought the military offered the best career opportunities. She served most of her first four years of active duty on American soil, working as a system maintenance operator for Patriot missiles in El Paso, Texas. Shortly before her discharge in 2000 she signed up for a five-month stint in Saudi Arabia, even though it meant leaving her infant daughter. “It was peace time, I wanted to get some experience outside the U.S., and I knew I wouldn’t be gone long,” she recalled. “My daughter Aliece was so little, it only took her about a week to get used to me again when I got back.” When she’d finished her active-duty obligation, Potts and her husband, Butch, settled in Columbiana County, where he grew up, and added a second daughter, Megan, to their family. When the letter came in the spring of 2003 ordering her to report for redeployment to Iraq, she thought she might be exempt because her baby was just four-months old. She was wrong. She spent five months at a base in Kentucky and a year in the war zone. “Megan was almost 2 years old when I came home, and it was very hard,” she said. “It took her almost two months to realize who I was. “ Now the mother of three daughters, Potts enrolled this fall in YSU’s electrical engineering technology program, an interest she developed through her work with Patriot missiles. She got help from Jim Olive in YSU’s new Office of Veterans Affairs to complete the necessary paperwork, and the G.I. Bill will pay all her college expenses. Potts is also hoping to sign up for one of the all-veteran classes Olive’s office has initiated. “It’s nice to be around military people. They think like I do,” she said. “I miss the military life. I miss it every day.”

Fall 2009


And then, she hands me my paper,” Olive said. “I went home. I told my mom, ‘I can’t do this; I don’t belong.’” With the support of his parents, Olive continued his studies, earning a bachelor’s and later a master’s degree in education. Thousands of other veterans facing similar difficulties dropped out. “There was a lot of talent lost in that generation,” Olive said. “We cannot allow that to happen again.” YSU and universities nationwide, motivated in part by the hundreds of millions of dollars promised in the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, are working to ensure that the transition from war zone to college campus is Anne York friendlier for today’s returning veterans. Colleges from Maryland (Montgomery College’s Combat2College program) to California (San Diego State’s veterans-only residence hall) have developed initiatives to attract veterans. Even institutions renowned for their anti-war protests in the 1960s have turned more veteran-friendly. Columbia University in New York participates in an initiative known as the Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement Program, making Columbia more accessible to student veterans. And the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which saw some of the nation’s fiercest Vietnam War protests, recently hired retired Army Lt. Col. John Bechtol as assistant dean of students to serve veterans.

“The pendulum seems now to be swinging in the other direction,” Bechtol said. YSU itself has received high praise for the creation of the Office of Veterans Affairs earlier this year. The office, headed by Olive and a nine-member Veterans Advisory Council that includes Nunziato and Shepherd, has been cited in national publications such as Inside Higher Ed and Business Officer magazine, among others, for its efforts to help veterans. The university also designated a stretch of Spring Street on the campus’ west side as Armed Services Boulevard. G.I. Jobs magazine recently included YSU on its list of the nation’s top Military Friendly Schools. In addition to helping with G.I. benefits, waiving application and orientation fees and offering priority registration for veterans, the new YSU Office of Veterans Affairs has developed VetNet, a network of faculty and staff veterans to help student veterans with issues – academic and otherwise – that they may face on campus. “If we don’t have some sort of group for these kids to identify with, we’ll lose them,” Shepherd said. The office also helped coordinate the university’s first veterans-only classes. This fall, 26 YSU student veterans are enrolled, making YSU one of only a handful of campuses nationwide to offer such classes.

Michael De La Garza was determined to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan when he enlisted in the U.S. Army four years ago, but he never made it. Instead, De La Garza was recruited out of basic training to serve with an elite infantry unit assigned to escort the president and protect the national capital region. As a member of the Third U.S. Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard,” he carried the Army flag at President Obama’s inauguration, ushered for a party at former Vice President Dick Cheney’s house and served as a pall-bearer or flag carrier for a host of funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, including that of former President Gerald Ford. Growing up in Amarillo, Texas, De La Garza always planned to become a dentist, but he dropped out of Texas Tech University to join the Army in 2005 because he was inspired by his brother-in-law, a National Guardsman who served in Iraq. “I’m a pretty patriotic person,” he said. “I really wanted to serve my country in Iraq. That was my goal.” His unit was ordered to deploy to Iraq this summer, just as De La Garza was completing his final weeks of active duty. He would have had to sign up for another four years to go along. “When I didn’t get deployed, I guess I thought that everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I decided it was time to get a college education.” Released from duty Sept. 12, he immediately enrolled in the chemistry program at YSU, joined the Army ROTC program and decided to enlist with the Ohio National Guard. Now De La Garza has his college and career plans mapped out in detail. He’ll finish his bachelor’s degree at YSU, then he’ll attend dental school, with the National Guard paying all his tuition costs – in exchange, he’s committed to serve several years as a dentist for the Guard. Enlisting with the Guard ensures that he won’t be called back to active duty while still in school, De La Garza said. He gets a monthly living-expenses stipend from the G.I. Bill in lieu of tuition payments, along with a stipend from ROTC. “I’m just trying to make sure I have everything covered before I start. That’s another reason I joined the military,” he said. “I’m the kind of person who likes to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”


Youngstown State University

“It can be very difficult when you’re 24 years old and you’ve seen a ton of stuff in war and you’re sitting next to an 18-year-old freshman in some class, and that freshman has no idea what you’ve just been through,” said John Schupp, an adjunct professor of chemistry at Cleveland State University. Schupp, who has no military background, helped start veterans-only classes at Cleveland State in spring 2008 with 14 student veterans. This fall, enrollment has almost quadrupled to 52. And the classes seem to be working. Veterans in regular classes earned grade point averages of 3.1, while veterans in veterans-only classes earned GPAs of 3.42, Schupp said. “As a member of the military, you are trained to be successful in a unit,” said Schupp, who advised YSU on its veterans-only classes. “Your life depends on someone, and

their life depends on you. When you have vets-only classes, you create a unit again, and they have a friend that they can depend on so they can help each other be successful.” Kyle Wilmouth, a YSU senior who served seven months in 2005 as a Marine communications technician in the Anbar Province of Iraq, is also a member of the new YSU Veterans Advisory Council. Wilmouth enlisted in the Marines after graduating from Niles McKinley High School in 2004 and was part of the Third Batallion, 25th Marine Regiment stationed in Brook Park, Ohio, in suburban Cleveland. In Iraq, he and his colleagues were the target of small-arms fire on several convoys across the desert. He survived an improvised explosive device – a minivan filled with explosives – at a base camp. In all, 46 Marines in Wilmouth’s unit died in Iraq, one of the hardest-hit single units in the war. When Wilmouth left Iraq, he and his entire company returned together to a base in North Carolina, where they underwent a weeklong debriefing, including medical screenings and psychological counseling. A week later, when they landed at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, fire trucks lined the runway, and thousands of well-wishers filled the streets, waving American flags and holding signs, as they made their way on charter buses to Brook Park. “I still get goose bumps thinking about it,” he said. It’s a far cry from the reception that Vietnam vets experienced four decades earlier. “They’re coming home to an entirely different country,” York said about today’s veterans. A more mature country, as it relates to wars and those who fight in them. “There has been over the years a mea culpa toward the Vietnam veteran,” York said. “As a nation, we learned that whether you oppose the war or favor the war, you separate the war from the soldier. The vet is the vet is the vet, and he or she deserves the respect of the American people.” Nunziato added: “The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are just as ugly and vicious as the war was in Vietnam. But for the Vietnam veteran, coming home and being treated the way we were, it was a second trauma in itself. “I think we’ve learned that lesson – obviously the hard way, with many, many victims. Now, all of us need to make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes of 40 years ago.” Editor’s Note: Jim Olive is not the type of guy who likes putting himself in the public eye, especially when it comes to talking about Vietnam. We want to thank him and all of the veterans from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan who shared their experiences for this story.

Student veteran profiles by Cynthia Vinarsky

Fall 2009



Michael Crist, right, director of YSU's Dana School of Music, joins students Oct. 9 in celebrating the school's 140th birthday.

Dana School of Music

140 years of Great Music

When William H. Dana opened his musical institute in 1869, it was on the rented third floor of the Smith and McCombs Block building in Warren, Ohio. There were just two rooms and two pianos. Dana, a green but gutsy 23 at the time, charged a grand total of $269.50 a year for tuition and board and required only that applicants possess a “love for music” to enroll. While Dana was excited and confident about his new endeavor, many others were skeptical. His own father, as the story goes, even ordered Dana never to speak to him again, positive that Dana’s Musical Institute would quickly and definitely fail. Now, 140 years later, the Dana School of Music at YSU has achieved a history and tradition of excellence that would have prompted even Dana Sr. to tip his hat – and eat his words. One of the oldest music schools in the United States, the Dana School marks its 140th anniversary this year. With more than 50 faculty and staff members, the school is housed in Bliss Hall and features classrooms, faculty studios, practice rooms, a recital hall, a recording studio, music libraries and an electronic music laboratory. The school’s founder grew up in a musical family and studied the art himself, so he was determined to create a rigorous curriculum for his students, along with a strong social culture. Students and faculty were like family, attending parties and concerts together, celebrating every holiday and 16

Youngstown State University

birthday and participating in clubs and class rituals. Today, the sense of unity among Dana students and faculty continues. “Most people don’t realize how much time music majors spend together,” said Michael Crist, Dana School director. Senior music education major Justin Jones agrees. “Music majors often live, eat and breathe together,” said Jones, who shares a suite on campus with six music students and lives across the hall from three more. “I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group of friends to live and perform with.” Like any family, the Dana School has a range of personality types. Jazz people tend to be late-night studiers, while music education students are often early birds, Crist observed. Percussionists are known to practice persistently, tuba players are jokesters, oboe and 1935 Music violin players tend to be organized Lesson and precise. “It’s always fun watching some of the antics that go on. It’s what makes it interesting and exciting,” he said. “Like any other place, it’s really about the people.” Time-honored traditions also strengthen the school. Dana students come together every Friday for events such as student recitals, faculty presentations and guest performances. The marching band closes each home game with a gathering around “The Rock” on the campus core, the winter “Cookies and Cocoa” concert has been a much-loved event for more than 30 years, and a pre-game gathering called “Ice Breaker”

1963 Dana Sum

mer Festival Band

is the school’s newest tradition. The Dana school’s connection to YSU began Aug. 1, 1941, when a Warren newspaper delivered the shocking news to its Dana-proud public: “Dana Institute to Leave Warren, Merge with Youngstown College.” That year, to save itself from the financial crisis brought on by the Depression, the Dana Institute packed up instruments and pulled up deep-set Warren roots to make the move to Youngstown. The merger with Youngstown College would prove to be pivotal for the school’s expansion and survival. In 1979, the Dana school made another important move—this time to the newly-constructed Bliss Hall. Before the move the school was scattered in four or five buildings around campus, Crist said, so Bliss “helped to solidify things” even more. Today, Dana offers several bachelor’s degrees in music, including music education, performance, music history and music theory, recording technology and jazz studies, plus six master’s degree programs. Three new degree programs are planned—a bachelor’s in music with emphasis in music recording, a master’s in jazz studies and a doctorate in musical arts. Setting a standard of the highest quality has always been at the heart of the Dana mission. In 2004, YSU and Dana became the first university in Ohio and one of only 40 in the world to be designated as an All-Steinway school, committed to using only Steinway pianos. Today, the school boasts 68 Steinways - an impressive upgrade from its original two rentals. “The Dana School of Music has a reputation that reaches far beyond Ohio, to which I can attest personally,” said Bryan DePoy, dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, who

directed by Robe

rt Campbell

came to YSU from Southeastern Louisiana University last July. “Since my arrival, I have been so impressed. It is clearly an area of distinction not only for Youngstown State University, but for the entire region.” So what’s so special about Dana? Crist says it’s the alumni. “Any school becomes well-known because of its alumni. That’s the case with the Dana School of Music,” he said. “We’ve been turning out great students for 140 years.” Dana alumni have performed in prestigious military bands, ensembles in Europe, operas and symphonies across the nation and the world. They’ve played with Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey big bands and have taught at schools and universities across America and abroad. One alumnus, Bob DiPiero, has a spot in the Country Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in Nashville. Bill Bodine writes music for ESPN and Honda. Still others have performed for the Queen of England and at presidential inaugural ceremonies. One of those outstanding alumni is Brett Miller from the class of 1999, who currently plays with the U.S. Air Force Band in Washington D.C. Miller’s life is packed with Dana history. He graduated as a second-generation alumnus from Dana, met his wife through the school, and even works with Dana graduates David Sisk and Tim Leahy now. “Unlike the other two music schools I’d attended, Dana felt like family,” he said. “I knew the faculty and felt I could go to anyone for help or advice whenever needed.” Senior music education major Shanna Kelly agrees. “Unlike many large state schools where graduate assistants teach most classes, at YSU professors at Dana work closely with the students,” she said. “You can get a conservatory experience here - a very unique opportunity, especially in Northeast Ohio.” Story by Andrea Armeni

Fall 2009


Reaching New Heights:

Grants Funds Hit $11.7 Million They did it again. YSU faculty and staff brought home $11.7 million in research grants and other external funding, outshining last year’s record-breaking total by 72 percent. External funding has been growing steadily over the last decade, said Peter J. Kasvinsky, associate provost for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Last year’s $6.8 million tally was nearly $1 million more than the previous year. This year’s total, however, awarded over the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009, represents an impressive 478 percent increase over amounts reported a decade ago. Kasvinsky credits YSU faculty members and staff for the

growth. They’re working harder to win outside funding for their research, service and educational projects, he said, and their efforts are paying off. Competitive grants secured by faculty and staff comprise $9.45 million of this year’s total. Every one of YSU’s six colleges, the Office of the Provost, YSU’s Public Service Institute and several non-academic university programs were awarded grants, but the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics was the leader by far. STEM grants totaled $7 million, about 61 percent of the university’s total external funding. “We are especially gratified to have reached such a level of success this past year,” said Martin Abraham, STEM dean. “This is a testament to the outstanding effort our faculty has put forth, and to the new reality of our evolution into an urban research university. Now the really hard work begins—performing on these projects.” External grant funds help the university provide hands-on learning opportunities for students at YSU, said physics professor James “Jeff” Carroll, whose nuclear isomer research is funded by a three-year $1.09 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. He’s been awarded more than $4 million in federal research funds on a competitive, single-investigator basis, more than any other YSU faculty member. Carroll has six undergraduate YSU students and one undergrad intern from the University of Surrey, England, working with him as paid research assistants. “I think this is a niche that YSU has recognized,” he said. “We can offer research that is interesting and challenging and rewarding, and we can give undergraduates some hands-on opportunities that they probably wouldn’t have at most larger universities.” YSU is also forging partnerships with area businesses to obtain grant funds that can be used to further mutually beneficial research – and eventually, to create jobs. Tim Wagner, professor of chemistry and director of YSU’s new Center for Excellence Chemistry professor Tim Wagner, for in Advanced Materials Analysis, explains the workings of an X-ray diffractometer example, has been collaborating with Fireline used to examine properties of crystalline substances in powder form. Wagner is the TCON, a Youngstown manufacturing firm. principal investigator on a $2.1 million grant awarded in fiscal year 2009 through He had the distinction of landing the year’s the Ohio Department of Development’s Third Frontier Initiative. The university is using the funds to purchase two very powerful electron microscopes and to develop largest award, $2.1 million through the Ohio a materials analysis laboratory at Ward Beecher Hall where YSU faculty, staff and Department of Development’s Third Frontier students will collaborate on research with Fireline TCON, a Youngstown manufacInitiative, with Fireline TCON serving as a key turing firm and the key industrial partner on the grant. participant in the grant.


Youngstown State University

The state money is being used, Wagner said, to construct YSU’s new Center for Excellence in Advanced Materials Analysis laboratory in Ward Beecher Hall and to buy two very powerful electron microscopes. STEM students and faculty will work with Fireline TCON and other companies to analyze the internal chemical structure of advanced materials, a research process that has commercial and defense applications. Eighteen percent of YSU’s external funding, or about $2.2 million, came in the form of federal appropriations through the support of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, and chemistry professor Allen Hunter’s award falls in that category. He was presented $1.6 million by the U.S. Department of Defense to establish the National Defense Center of Excellence in Industrial Metrology and 3D Imaging. Hunter said the Metrology and 3D Imaging Center gives YSU a tool for promoting economic development in the region by helping local companies develop advanced manufacturing techniques. “Very soon we’ll be launching our first product,” he said. “We’re working on projects that will create jobs in this community and will create income for YSU.” Story by Cynthia Vinarsky

Chemistry professor Allen Hunter displays a robotic X-ray diffractometer that is used to capture three-dimensional photographs of molecules. Hunter was awarded a $1.6 million federal direct appropriation, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and with the support of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, to establish YSU’s new National Defense Center of Excellence in Industrial Metrology and 3D Imaging. He said the center is an outgrowth of YSU’s partnerships with several Youngstown-area companies, and he expects that it will soon begin to produce new products and create jobs in the community.

External grant funding 2009

$11.7 million


$6.8 million


$5.9 million


$4.8 million


$4.6 million


$6.5 million


$5.9 million


$4.4 million


$3.7 million


$3.4 million

Physics professor James Carroll holds a radiation detector used in his research on nuclear isomers under a threeyear, $1.09 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Carroll has been awarded more than $4 million in federal research funds on a competitive, single-investigator basis since he joined the faculty in 1995. He has six YSU undergraduates working with him in the Isomer Physics Project, along with an undergraduate intern from the University of Surrey, one of England’s top schools in the field of nuclear physics, and a Ph.D. instrumentation specialist.

Fall 2009



Donors Claim WCBA Naming Opportunities

What a difference a year makes. On Sept. 23, just 12 months after ground was broken for the new Williamson College of Business Administration building, the campus and the community celebrated completion of the steel framing with a “Topping Off” ceremony in which the final steel beam was hoisted into place. The $34.3 million project is being funded with a mix of private and state dollars. To date, $14.2 million of the $16 million philanthropic goal has been raised. More than 30 donors have made major gifts ranging from $50,000 to $5 million. In recognition of their generosity, YSU has provided major donors with naming opportunities in the new building and is honored to list them below.

WCBA Building: Warren P. Williamson Family School of Accounting and Finance: Lariccia Family (Tony, ’66,

Mary, Natalie and Dana, ’08)

Financial Services Lab: John S. and Doris M. Andrews Trust Undergraduate Student Center: First Place Bank Professional Sales and Communication Lab: Hynes-Finnegan Foundations Gallery for Industrial History: Jocelyne Kollay Linsalata, ’74, ’80 Executive Boardroom: Pollock Foundations 70-Seat Tiered Symposium Suite: PNC Bank

Dean Suites: Family of Ken Burdman, ’57

Café: Schwebel Family 70-Seat Tiered Classroom: Anonymous 50-Seat Tiered Classrooms: Huntington Bank and E.M. Barr Trust; E. Wayne Cliffe, Jr. in honor of George Woodman; Schmutz Family/ W.E. Bliss Foundation. Classrooms: Bresnahan Family; Alan W. Cope, ’63; John A. “Jack” DePizzo Jr.,’71; Johnson Controls; Liberty Steel Products/Andrew “Jack” Weller, ’61, and James T. Weller; Anthony, ’65, and Lenora, ’05, Petrarca; Samuel A. and Judy B.,’83, Roth; Walter & Caroline Watson Trust; The Youngstown Foundation. Student Breakout Rooms: Patrick W. Calhoun, ’84; J. Ford Crandall Foundation; Hill Barth & King; P&S Equities; Packer Thomas; Stifel Nicolaus & Co. Butler Wick Division.

Room not yet selected: Payiavlas Family The following WCBA naming venues are still available: Conference Center, Atrium, Auditorium, Outreach Center Suites, Conference Center Reception Area, Student Entrepreneur Lab, three Computer Labs, Student Commons, one Classroom, Student Quiet Study Lounge, Faculty Reception Room Foyer, Faculty Conference Rooms A and B, one Student Team Breakout Room, and Faculty Lounge. For more information, contact Paul McFadden, chief development officer, at 330-941-3119 or Heather Chunn, development officer, at 20

Youngstown State University

Celebrating the placement of the final beam in the construction of YSU’s new Williamson College of Business Administration are, from left, YSU president David C. Sweet, WCBA Dean Betty Jo Licata, Warren P. Williamson III and Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams. Donors joined dozens of YSU employees, students and government leaders in signing a white beam that was then lifted and put into place on the building as part of a “Topping Off” ceremony Sept. 23.

Kresge Challenge Continues

YSU continues to seek philanthropic support for the Williamson College of Business Administration Building Campaign in its effort to meet The Kresge Challenge by Dec. 31. The $1.2 million commitment from Kresge in December 2008 challenged YSU to raise $2.4 million by the end of this calendar year. “More than 500 donors responded, but the sluggish economy has slowed the pace of gift-giving and YSU still needs $1.8 million to meet the Challenge,” noted Paul McFadden, YSU’s chief development officer. “The $1.2 million commitment is twice as much as our first Kresge grant in 2004 for the Andrews Student Recreation & Wellness Center,” added McFadden, “an indication of Kresge’s confidence in the philanthropic spirit of our alumni.” Gifts to The Kresge Challenge for the WCBA Building Campaign may be made online at or by contacting McFadden at 330-941-3119.


Gerontology Scholarship Honors “Dr. K”

The YSU Foundation has established an endowed gerontology scholarship fund to honor James Kiriazis, former chair of the university’s Sociology and Anthropology Department and a professor on campus for five decades. The first scholarships will be awarded in fall 2010. The Dr. James Kiriazis Scholarship Endowment was established through the generosity of two YSU alumni, James Collins,’88, a Ph.D. gerontologist and owner of The Collins Group, a Poland, Ohio-based professional development consulting firm, and his wife, Anabel Collins, ’87, a geriatric social worker. Best known by his students as Dr. K, Kiriazis began teaching at YSU in 1957. He served as chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department for 22 years, retiring in 1991, but continued teaching until 2007. Kiriazis helped to launch aging education at YSU and establish the university’s gerontology degree program. “Dr. K was a great inspiration, not only to me, but to countless students in the social sciences,” said donor James Collins. “I am in the field of gerontology today because of his significant and lasting influence.” Kiriazis earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Youngstown College, a master’s degree in social work from Louisiana State University, and master’s and doctorate deJames Kiriazis, left, retired Sociology and Anthropology Department chair, with Daniel J. grees in anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Van Dussen, gerontology coordinator. He served on the Ohio Counselor and Social Worker Licensing Board and was a research professor in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine for 30 years. “Dr. Kiriazis has influenced most of us in our pursuit of the field of gerontology,” said Daniel J. Van Dussen, coordinator of YSU’s new gerontology program and assistant professor of sociology and anthropology. YSU’s gerontology program is housed in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Gerontology in DeBartolo Hall. The program offers a certificate in applied gerontology and a bachelor’s degree in gerontology. For more information about the scholarship, contact Van Dussen at 330-941-1683 or

Ohio Budget Cuts Create More Student Need

Reid Schmutz

By C. Reid Schmutz President, YSU Foundation

Students who currently receive financial assistance through the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) will see the amount drop to $1,008 in the 20092010 academic year, down from last year’s $2,496 total. This cut of $1,488, along with YSU’s tuition increase of 3.5 percent, means an additional burden of $1,723 for OCOG-qualified students in this school year. Obviously, the YSU Foundation has experienced an increase in applications for need-based scholarship funds this fall. Fortunately, the past generosity of donors to this area has increased the Foundation’s ability to meet these demands. Many scholarships are awarded based upon financial need, along with academic performance. Approximately one-third of the $5 million in the Foundation scholarship budget has a need component in the eligibility criteria. Particularly in these trying times, it is rewarding to have the funds available for those who qualify for need-based aid, as well as the academic-based scholarship assistance. Scholarships can be designed to meet a donor’s specific goals, focusing either on financial need, academic excellence, or both. For more information on how to establish a scholarship fund that meets your desired criteria, please contact the YSU Foundation, 330-941-3211.

Centennial Circle bricks on Sale Now Personalized bricks make fine gifts for any occasion.

Bricks will be placed around the sculpture of YSU’s first president, Howard W. Jones. Each brick comes with a genuine, engraved mini-replica to keep or give as a gift, a certificate of appreciation and a locator map. All proceeds go the Campus Beautification Endowment to help sustain the green spaces on the YSU campus for future generations. Two sizes and prices are available: 4x8-inch at $150 and 8x8-inch at $300. Order your personalized brick at or call University Development at 330-941-3119.


sports news

YSU @ PITT Senior quarterback Brandon Summers escapes the grasp of a defender during the Penguins game against the Pitt Panthers in September. It was the second time in four years that YSU opened the season in Heinz Field, home of the Super Bowl XLIII Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. This year also marked two important YSU football anniversaries – the 1979 NCAA Division II Championship finalist team and the 1999 NCAA FCS Championship finalist team. Both teams were honored in pre-game ceremonies on Oct. 10. Also honored were players from the 1946-49 post-World War II era.


Youngstown State University

Sports News

Senior Is Back on the Court After 7-Month Cancer Battle

Senior history major Dallas Blocker had childhood ond stage, so his prognosis was good, but the road ahead would dreams of playing Division I college basketball. Little did he be long and full of challenges. The young athlete underwent know that, just as the dream was becoming a reality, it would two surgeries in Kansas and then came back to Youngstown for nearly be taken away. summer school. Diagnosed with testicular Soon after returning to Ohio, cancer on Feb.10, 2009, Blocker Blocker discovered that the cancer went through seven long months had spread to his lymph nodes. He of surgeries, chemotherapy and had handled the surgical procedures working to regain his physical and well, he said, but his brave, optimisemotional strength. Now he’s back tic outlook was shaken when doctors on the court and looking ahead to a told him that chemotherapy was successful and healthy season. necessary. The 6-foot-9-inch forward from With the support of YSU asTopeka, Kan., was in the midst sistant athletic trainer Todd Burkey, of an impressive first season with Blocker was able to continue sumYSU when he got the devastating mer classes and regain his physical diagnosis. Just two weeks earlier he strength while going through chemo had scored a career-high 12 points here in Youngstown. “He [Burkey] against Wright State University. was the one who set up and took me While on the court all seemed to appointments and was with me well, Blocker had been feeling ill through the whole process from bebetween games. As the team travginning to end. I really clung to him eled to Chicago, he had yet another Penguin forward Dallas Blocker, right, defends the ball for support,” Blocker said. bout of nausea and decided to talk He maintained hope that he during a game last season, before his cancer diagnosis. to the team athletic trainer. Just a would beat the disease until the final few days later the seemingly-healthy athlete was back in Tochemo session, but then the physical repercussions of the treatpeka with his family, working out a treatment plan. ments began to take a toll. “Going through the side effects—the “I felt like it was a dream, like this can’t happen to me,” throwing up, the weakness, going to the hospital with high Blocker recalled. “I’m 21. I’m a healthy guy. All I could think fevers—I just really began to think that maybe this would be it.” is that I didn’t want to die. I felt very out of control.” On Sept. 11, almost exactly seven months after the initial Blocker had been recruited to YSU from Cloud County life-altering diagnosis, Blocker went to the doctor’s office with Community College in Concordia, Kan., where he played two his mother and Burkey at his side. He was relieved to learn that years of junior college basketball. As a Penguin, he averaged he was in remission. 15.6 minutes of playing time, 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per “I just thanked God when I heard,” he said. “I’ve definitely game in 20 games last season prior to his illness. grown a lot from this experience. Before I was an immature kid, Head basketball coach Jerry Slocum said his staff and but now I appreciate life so much more.” team were stunned by Blocker’s cancer news, but determined Today, with the help of his teammates and coaching staff, to support and encourage him. “We took the high road,” SloBlocker has moved from victim to survivor. “He is back,” said cum said. “I refused to let our staff or Dallas even think that he Slocum, “and we refuse to define him by his cancer. He is a wouldn’t return.” full-fledged, functioning member of the team, and that’s how it Blocker’s cancer was detected relatively early, in the secshould be.”

Story by Melissa Sullivan

Social Media Adds New Dimension to Horizon League Network Penguin fans can watch YSU sports broadcasts live or ondemand and read the blogs and “Tweets” of student-athletes and coaches by accessing the Horizon League’s revamped online-TV network. The league launched its newly-redesigned Web site this fall at, working with WebStream Productions, a leader in live sports Webcasting. Besides serving as a video portal for YSU sports and other Horizon League athletic events, the network also connects to Facebook, Twitter, an integrated blog, hundreds of league team photos and a news aggregator. “This new network will bring our fans and alumni even closer to the action,” league commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone said.

Each league team has its own uniquely-branded channel. YSU’s channel, also available at, the university’s official athletics Web site, features live and on-demand videos of Penguin men’s and women’s home basketball games, volleyball and soccer games, swimming and diving meets. “Our Athletics Web site is adding a great new dimension with this addition of more interactive new media features, and we’re also adding more video and other rich media content to YSU’s Web site ( daily,” said Mark Van Tilburg, executive director of YSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications. “This is an exciting era for university communications.”

Fall 2009


Alumni Scientists Create Tribute for Retired Prof Six research chemists working at the Schering-Plough Research Institute in Kenilworth, N.J., have at least two things in common: They’re all YSU alumni, and they all credit part of their success to retired YSU chemistry professor Friedrich Koknat. When the YSU alums heard that their beloved professor was retiring in September after 41 years in the Chemistry Department, they wanted to be sure he knew what an impact he had on their careers. The chemists assembled for a group photo, and each composed a note recounting college memories of Koknat in the classroom. It was Mary Ann Caplen’s idea to honor the retiring teacher. “I was the first YSU graduate hired here, but five more people have joined Schering-Plough over the past five years, and every one of them talked about Dr. Koknat,” she said. “He’s a common denominator with all of us.” Chemistry Department chair and professor Daryl Mincey said Koknat’s forté has always been teaching introductory chemistry courses. “We have very few students coming to YSU with the intention of becoming chemistry majors, but 600 students a year take the first-year chemistry course,” he said, explaining that the course is required for many disciplines, including pre-med, pre-pharmacy, pre-veterinary, engineering and other sciences. “I call (Koknat) our ‘fisherman’ because he’s been excellent at encouraging students to consider chemistry as a major. He’s such a vibrant teacher. It will be hard to replace him,” Mincey said. Koknat won’t be leaving YSU completely, however. He’ll be back in January, teaching halftime under an extended teaching service contract.

Kevin Day

Phil Rauscher


Several of the alumni chemists also took the opportunity to write about Peter Norris, a YSU professor of organic chemistry, who was also instrumental in their career choices. “Peter is another talented teacher, the equivalent to Fred in organic chemistry,” said Mincey. Caplen, who earned her YSU bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1985, joined Schering-Plough 21 years ago after earning her master’s in chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. Until five years ago she was the lone YSU graduate at the lab. Having six YSU alumni at one pharmaceutical laboratory is not as unusual as it might seem. “We may have four or five at Pfizer in New York right now, and I think we have about that number at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis,” Mincey said. “It’s a credit to our faculty. The faculty wrote the grants to get us the equipment to build a world-class instrumentation facility, and they’re training their students to have a tremendous amount of hands-on experience, the kind of experience that employers are looking for.”

Sigma Tau Gamma Alumni Chapter Presents Scholarships The Alumni Chapter of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity presented two students with scholarships during its 12th annual mixer at the DeBartolo Stadium Club in August. Scholarship winners were Kevin Day, a junior marketing major, and Phil Rauscher, a senior public health major. Day is executive vice president of the Sigma Tau Gamma Beta Gamma chapter, and Rauscher is vice president of programs. The Sigma Tau Gamma alumni group is making plans to continue offering scholarships to recognize the achievements of active members of the fraternity in the coming years.

Youngstown State University

YSU Alumni who work together as research chemists at the Schering-Plough Research Institute in New Jersey are, from left, front row: Mary Ann Caplen (BS ’85), Yuriko Root (BS ’01, MS ’03), Sara Duncan-Esposite (MS ’06) and Monica Viceral (BS ’04, MS ’06); back row: Mathew Maust (BS ’03, MS ’05), and Abdul-Basit Alhassan (MS ’06).

Arizona Chapter Donates $1,000 for Scholarship

YSU alumni in Phoenix, Ariz., may be more than 2,000 miles from campus, but they’ve never lost their Penguin spirit! Members of the Phoenix chapter have once again raised the funds needed to award a scholarship to a deserving student.

Four YSU Graduates Named WCBA Outstanding Alumni

Four YSU graduates were recognized as 2009 Outstanding Alumni at the Williamson College of Business Administration’s 14th annual alumni banquet Oct. 30 in Kilcawley Center. Award recipients were: Outstanding Business Alumnus: John A. DePizzo Jr., ’71 BSBA, president and chief executive officer of JAD Enterprises in Youngstown. DePizzo, a certified public accountant and licensed nursing home administrator, is completing acquisition of his 31st nursing home and/or assisted living facility. He has completed acquisition and development projects valued at more than $100 million. Outstanding MBA Alumnus: John Finizio Jr., ’73 BSBA, ’85 MBA, president, St. Joseph Health Center in Warren. Finizio oversees operation and leadership of the 219-bed acute care teaching hospital, with a staff of 351 physicians and 1,133 full- and part-time employees. Outstanding Recent Alumnus: Ted Uehlinger, ’99 BSBA, assistant chief accountant, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. Uehlinger was employed as a national auditor at Ernst & Young in Cleveland and New York before joining the SEC, and he also worked previously as a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Cleveland. Outstanding Service Award: Richard J. Schiraldi, ’76 BA; partner, Cohen & Company, Youngstown office. Schiraldi, a CPA and an attorney, earned his law degree from the University of Akron. His primary practice focus is advising closely-held businesses, he serves as director of strategic development for Cohen & Company and previously was director of tax operations in the firm’s Youngstown office for 21 years.

Alumni News

Floating Tailgate Party

Hundreds of alumni and friends enjoyed a delicious pre-game buffet and lots of Penguin spirit aboard the Gateway Clipper “The Empress” in Pittsburgh on Sept. 5. The floating tailgate party was held prior to the Penguins’ gridiron match-up with the University of Pittsburgh Panthers at Heinz Field. At left, two alumni enjoy the festive atmosphere on board; below, a view of the sightseeing riverboat docked near the stadium.

Heritage Award Nominations

Nominations are being accepted through Dec. 31 for the YSU Heritage Award, the most prestigious honor available to former YSU faculty and administrative staff who have made outstanding contributions to the university. The program started in 1981. Nominees are screened by a 16-person committee comprised of alumni, faculty, staff and representatives of the YSU Retiree Association. Award recipients are honored by having their names on plaques mounted on the wall of the concourse of Maag Library. The names of past Heritage Award recipients are available at the YSU Human Resources Web site, Faculty, staff or alumni can download a nomination form from that Web site or obtain one in person at the Office of Alumni and Events Management. For more information, contact Linda Moore, YSU Office of Human Resources, at 330-941-2137, or

Celebrating at the Canfield Fair Celebrating the YSU’s tent at the at annual Canfield Fair Canfield Fair was a gathering place for hundreds of alumni and

friends Sept. 3-7. Each YSU college spent a day showcasing its projects and activities. Highlights included an archaeological dig, chemistry experiments, previews of this season’s University Theater productions, health screenings and construction plans for the new Williamson College of Business Administration building.

Alumni Basketball Dinners:

Saturday, Jan. 2, Women vs. Milwaukee, 4:35 p.m.; Men vs. Cleveland State, 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, Women vs. Detroit, 2:05 p.m.; Men vs. Detroit, 4:35 p.m. (Dinners will be in Room 119, Beeghly Center, during the break between the women’s and men’s doubleheader basketball games.)

Youngstown Day in Sarasota, Fla.:

Sunday, March 7 The Office of Alumni and Events Management will host the 2010 Youngstown Area Reunion in Sarasota, Fla., a popular event that draws as many as 500 YSU alumni, friends and family who have relocated from Youngstown or reside in Florida for part of the year.

Skeggs Lecture Series:

Tuesday, April 20, Dr. Jane Goodall speaks at Stambaugh Auditorium, Youngstown. For more information call the Office of Alumni and Events Management at 330-941-3497.

Fall 2009


Alumni potligh


Celebrating Accomplished Graduates


Taking the Politics Out of Healthcare Reform Dr. Debra Smith,’89 Dr. Debra Smith is accustomed to people asking for her analysis and diagnosis. After all, she’s been a doctor of osteopathic medicine for years, and she’s worked with the World Bank and the United Nations as a healthcare financing and public health consultant. But when friends and colleagues involved in her specialty began asking for advice on how to advocate for or against the healthcare reform proposals being bandied about by U.S. government officials, there were no short answers. “It seemed that a lot of people had the same questions, so I decided to write a book,” said Smith. “I think there is a lot of misinformation in the national news, either because people don’t have a complete understanding of the situation and the full implications of the proposals, or because the facts are skewed by those who have a stake in the outcome.” Her book, titled Healthcare Solved – Real Answers, No Politics, was released in late August. It is available on and at Barnes & Noble stores. Dr. Debra Smith Smith was born in Youngstown, a daughter of Dr. Larry Lee Smith and Lola Ventresco-Smith, both YSU alumni. She graduated from Villa Maria High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in international economics from YSU in 1989 and a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in 1993. She also earned master’s degrees in international health management and business administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Now living in Indianapolis, Ind., she is board-certified in public health and occupational medicine. As a physician and an economist, Smith has experience in clinical medicine, medical administration and insurance underwriting.


Youngstown State University

“I spent a lot of years in corporate medicine and insurance, but I got into medicine to help fix healthcare systems in the Third World, which I did for a while,” she said. “At the time, our healthcare system was in good shape. It seems I have come full-circle.” Smith acknowledged that the healthcare system in the United States needs to be overhauled, and quickly, but she argued that changes shouldn’t be made without careful forethought. Finding a way to properly fund a national healthcare program is critical to success, she said. “The bottom line is that the plan has to be underwritten correctly,” she said. “We have to do it responsibly. We need to find a way to make it happen, coverage for more people, without bankrupting the country in the process.” Drawing on her dual backgrounds as both a physician and an economist, Smith said her book lays out the problems surrounding healthcare and offers workable solutions that can help more people get coverage. She said she addressed the issue from a practical point of view, rather than political. “I think people are smart enough to look and think and decide for themselves whether this makes sense or not,” Smith said. “I didn’t write a book just for the sake of writing a book. I did it to help get people informed. I think we’re stuck on a method as opposed to an outcome.” Smith said her years growing up in Youngstown and attending YSU were important in guiding her life’s path. The diversity that the Mahoning Valley and the YSU campus are so well known for were particularly influential. “I think the cultural diversity makes you stronger, able to work with other people and more tolerant,” she said. “It definitely helped me to be more open and accepting of other cultures.”

Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II

Alumni Spotlight

Lending Prison Inmates a Helping Hand Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II, ’89

When the Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II answered God’s call into the ministry, he had no idea it would land him behind bars ­- not as an inmate, but as a frequent visitor, both in person and through countless letters that he and his congregants have written to inmates. Macklin launched the Free Indeed Prison Outreach Ministry as part of his role as senior pastor at Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church on Youngstown’s South Side. The ministry reaches out to local, state and federal inmates. “We communicate with people who are locked up and we try to encourage them,” he said. The YSU alumnus and his wife, Dorothy, have four children: Ashley, 20; Donnell, 17; Naomi, 13; and Jasmine, 8, and one grandson. His wife will soon be a YSU alum as well. She’ll graduate in December with an associate degree in early childhood education. A career in the ministry wasn’t what Macklin had in mind when he earned his YSU bachelor’s degree in sociology, with a concentration in gerontology, in 1989. He worked a dozen years for the District XI Agency on Aging and had intended to make that his life’s work. “Believe it or not, it was truly the calling [of God],” he said, that caused him to make the transition from social service to God’s service. “I wasn’t raised in the church, so I struggled with the call.” After what he considers nothing less than divine intervention, Macklin enrolled at the Southern Bible Baptist Institute and Seminary in Augusta, Ga., where he earned his ministry credentials. He’s been senior pastor at Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist for 12 years. The Free Indeed outreach is just one of the church’s ministries. Macklin said it started because someone in the congregation had a brush with the law and ended up behind bars.

“I was angry. I was really upset with him because it was dumb. He didn’t have to do it,” Macklin said of the man. “But when I got past that and I started to communicate with him, I found out that there is a huge disconnect for these people who are in prison.” Prison inmates, especially those who have been inside for long stretches, are often out of touch with things going on in the outside world. “We talk about Twittering and iPods and things like that, but there are people in prison who have no idea what we’re talking about,” he said. He cautions the two dozen or so congregants who participate in the ministry to approach each inmate with an open mind and an open heart, but not to fall for their “sob stories” or get emotionally involved with them. “It’s not for us to judge anyone. The church is not for perfect people,” he said. “It’s a place where imperfect people with their imperfections can come to get help.” All Holy Trinity’s ministries are aimed at reaching out to people in the community surrounding the church, said Macklin, because there are so many needs there in its own backyard. “Some people call me the city pastor because I’m involved in so many things,” Macklin said. “I always commend my congregation. They are not selfish people. They have always allowed me to minister to people without any conditions or restraints.” He said pastors have a social obligation, as well as a spiritual obligation, to serve their communities. “We don’t minister with the idea of recruitment,” he said. “We minister because there is a need.” Macklin tries to work with other churches and social service agencies to find help for those who need it. “Collaboration is critical,” he said. “I think I learned that from my YSU study groups.”

Fall 2009


Alumni Spotlight Edwin Thompson

Memories of a Life Well-Lived Edwin Thompson, ’34 Not many people can say they saw legendary slugger Babe Ruth smack a homerun to mark their high school graduation. Edwin Thompson is among those who can. At 98, Thompson is believed to be the oldest living graduate of Youngstown State University, or Youngstown College as it was known when he was studying engineering here. All classes were held in Jones Hall at the time, and Thompson had just 69 students in his graduating class. To say that he’s seen it all would be an understatement. During his lifetime he has seen two world wars, witnessed the advent of the automobile, and lived through 19 different United States presidents’ administrations. William Howard Taft was in office when Thompson was born. “Going to the moon, I think, was one of the greatest things I ever saw,” said Thompson, who lives in Canfield Township. “That was pretty amazing to me.” Despite being nearly a century old, the details of his life are still fresh in his mind, and he eagerly shares them. He can rattle off where he went to school, beginning with kindergarten at Monroe School in Youngstown in 1916, up to his graduation in 1928 from Chaney High School. “My sister and her husband took me to Cleveland to see a baseball game for my graduation, and I saw Babe Ruth knock a home run,” Thompson recalled. In 1930, he went off to Asbury College in Kentucky with the intention of going into the ministry. It was the fulfillment of a promise made by his parents, William E. and Mary Thompson, after one of their sons died a year before Edwin was born. “My parents made a covenant that if they had another son, they would put him in the ministry. That’s how I ended up there,” Thompson said. “But I wasn’t too sold on that. I didn’t think the ministry was right for me. I was more interested in mechanics.” Thompson left Asbury College after one year because he ran out of money. He later enrolled at Youngstown College, where he took an engineering drawing class under Dwight “Dike” Beede in Jones Hall. It was Beede, a legendary football coach at YSU, who helped him land his first professional job doing engineering work at 28 cents per hour for an inventor, James L. Adams Jr., who had a shop in downtown Youngstown. “That’s how I 28

Youngstown State University

got through college,” said Thompson, who graduated in 1934 with a bachelor’s degree. He said Beede was the most interesting and influential person he has known over the years. Thompson put his engineering degree to use in several positions over the years, including eight years at Youngstown Sheet & Tube and four years at Canfield Manufacturing, where he was vice president. He started two companies: Thompson Canfield in 1949, where he did engineering work “on the side”; and Western Reserve Plastics in Canfield, a company that manufactured nylon parts for storm windows, founded in 1952. He retired later in the 1950s. The first car Thompson ever bought was a new 1934 Plymouth convertible, for which he paid $818. He’s had convertibles pretty much his whole life since then, selling the last two just last year. “I really like convertibles,” he said. “I like driving with the top down.” He joked that it was that first car that helped him woo and eventually win his wife, Katherine, whom he met in 1936. They were married just shy of 74 years when she died late last year. Together they had four children, 15 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and one great-greatgrandchild. How does he feel about being the oldest living graduate YSU? “I’m kind of glad I’m still around,” he said with a chuckle. Profiles by Bob Jackson, ’90 BA English

A former newspaper journalist with 20 years experience, YSU alumnus Bob Jackson is now jury commissioner for the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court and a freelance writer.

Class ’60s

Mary E. Stratford of Cincinnati, ’64 BSEd, was one of 12 school principals from across the United States to receive the 2008 Dr. Robert J. Kealey Distinguished Principal Award presented by the National Catholic Education Association. Stratford is in her 13th year as principal of All Saints School in Cincinnati. She has a master’s degree from Xavier University.


Nick Protos of Cranberry Township, Pa., ’71 BSEd, earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in May from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. He has been senior pastor of Gospel Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Valencia, Pa. for 16 years. Janice DeVivo Aubrey of Brooklyn, N.Y.,’72 BM, was musical director this summer for the West End production tour of the musical “Grease” in Byblos, Lebanon, and Linz, Austria. AuJanice DeVivo Aubrey brey has a master’s degree in music from Indiana University, Bloomington. She had previously conducted productions of “West Side Story” in Europe, and most recently conducted performances of the musical theater production in Houston, Atlanta, Kansas City and Vienna, Va. Dennis P. Zapka of Strongsville, Ohio, ’72 AB, is one of four 2009 Northeast Ohio Fellows named to the Ohio State


Bar Foundation. Members of the Fellows Class will spend the next 18 months working together on a service project that furthers the foundaDennis Zapka tion’s mission of promoting public understanding of the law and improving Ohio’s justice system. Zapka is a private practice attorney for the law firm McLaughlin & McCafferty and focuses on litigation.

Nick Kardulias of Wooster, Ohio, ’74 BA anthropology, ’77 MA history, was elected second vice president of the Central States Anthropological Society, the oldest regional association of anthropologists in the United States. The election involves a four-year commitment, and he will advance to first vice president, then president, and past president in successive years. Kardulias, who also holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University, is a professor of anthropology and archaeology at the College of Wooster and is chair of its archaeology program.

Jayne Duffett Boucherle, ’76 BS in education, and Paul Clifford Boucherle, ’78 Associate of Applied Science, ’81 Jayne Boucherle BSBA, of Canfield, are married and the co-owners of Matterhorn Consulting, LLC, which specializes in sales training and business coaching. Both received Paul Boucherle certification as Sherpa coaches through Penn State’s Executive Program. Paul’s grandfather, Paul Boucherle, was the architect for Jones Hall.

Dr. Dennis Sullivan of Beavercreek, Ohio, ’74 BS in biology, was presented the Cedarville University Faculty Teaching Effectiveness Award. Sullivan joined the Cedarville faculty in 1996 and serves as professor of biology and director of the Center for Bioethics. He earned a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1978 and a master’s degree in ethics from Trinity International University in 2004.

Charlene Carabbia of Poland, ’78 AAS in nursing, ’90 BS in nursing,’06 MHHS with certification in health care management, has been appointed director Charlene Carabbia of Wound Care Centers and hyperbaric medicine by Humility of Mary Health Partners. Previously she was a representative for Merck and Co. and worked for HMHP in several management positions. Jim Marsh of Hubbard, ’78 BSBA in accounting, is celebrating the 31st anniversary of his business, J.P. Marsh & Co., an accounting and business Jim Marsh consulting firm based in Hubbard. He was named to the Reagan Congressional Commission, participated in the Small Business Tax Summit in Washington D.C. and has been recognized for his historic preservation efforts by the Trumbull County Historical Society and the Historic Florida Keys Foundation.

At age 84, the Rev. Arthur Cameron Joachim of Canfield, ’48 BA, spends a lot of time running. “I’ve run more than 2,630 races since I started 28 years ago,” he says. “It might be the most in the country, but I can’t prove it. I run about 100 races or more a year.” The Rev. Mr. Joachim retired in 1990 as pastor of Wycliffe Presbyterian Church in Austintown after 40 years in the ministry. A member of the YSU Alumni Society’s Half-Century Club, he served in the Navy during World War II and then attended YSU under the G.I. Bill to earn a bachelor’s degree in history. He works out regularly at the Youngstown YMCA during cold weather months but saves his strength for racing in the spring, summer and fall. “Running helps me to keep my weight down,” he said with a grin. “I’ve never seen a pastry I could pass up.”

Fall 2009


Class Notes Freelance videographer, cameraman and lighting director Kim W. Cook,’75 BSBA in public relations,’79 BFA in studio art and photography, celebrated his 25th year of videotaping the Daytona 500 when he covered the race in February for ESPN. Residing in Charlotte, N.C., Cook keeps up a hectic schedule working for ESPN, ESPNU, Speed TV and the NASCAR Media Group. He tapes a program on ESPNU with on-air television football analyst Jim Donnan, a retired college football coach who spent several years with the Marshall University Thundering Herd in the early 1990s. “I like to remind him of all the times that YSU and Jim Tressel beat Marshall,” Cook quipped in an e-mail, “and I like to wear one of my YSU t-shirts from back then, just to dig him a little more.”

Kenneth J. Koran of Tampa, Fla., ’78 BS in Electrical Engineering Technology, retired in May from Diebold Inc. in Canton, Ohio, where he was principal software engineer. He worked 29 years for the company, was a member of its Inventor’s Hall of Fame and was named Inventor of the Year in 2006. He has eight patents registered with the U.S. Patent Office, all related to automated teller machines.

Ron Martino

Ron Martino of Poland, ’79 BSBA, has been appointed director of supply chain management for Humility of Mary Health Partners. Martino is a certified registered central service technician and formerly served as corporate administrator of materials management for Forum Health.


Elizabeth Ford

Deborah Mitchell


Elizabeth A. Ford of Struthers, MA ’82, and Deborah C. Mitchell of Poland, MA’83, coauthored the book Royal Portraits in Hollywood: Filming the Lives of Queens, published by University Press of Kentucky. Ford is professor emeritus of English and Mitchell is an associate professor, both at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa.

Youngstown State University

Jerry Turjanica of Cincinnati, ’83 BSBA in accounting,’87 MBA in finance, was appointed national sales director of the wholesale division for ARAG, an insurance company based in Des Moines, Iowa. Turjanica previously served as director of national sales for EyeMed Vision Care LLC. Joseph Olexa Jr. of Indianapolis,’86 BSBA in management and finance, was ranked one of Indiana’s top 15 financial advisers by Barron’s magazine in a February cover story naming America’s top 1,000 advisors. Olexa, a managing director and investment adviser, has been with J.P. Joseph Olexa Jr. Morgan’s Private Wealth Management office in Indianapolis for 10 years and is a Certified Investment Management Analyst. In 2008 he was named a Five Star: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Manager by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine. Jan Divelbiss of Austintown, ’88 BS in nursing, has been named director of emergency services at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center and St. Elizabeth Emergency and Diagnostic Center in Austintown. She is a certified emergency nurse and had been manager of the Austintown Jan Divelbiss facility.

Tim Harrington of Atsugi, Japan, ’88 BSBA in finance, a Commander in the U.S. Navy, has been appointed logistics director for the Commander, Fleet Air Western Pacific, in Atsugi, Japan. Harrington has also completed successful tours as supply officer Tim Harrington for the Navy’s only forward deployed aircraft carriers, the Kitty Hawk and the George Washington. He earned an MBA in 2000 from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. John Keleman of Liberty, ’88 BS in combined sciences, was named supervisor of the laboratory histology department at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Keleman attended the St. Elizabeth School of Cytotechnology and is certified in that field John Keleman and in histotechnology. He is the former manager of technical support for the Ohio Valley region of Ventana Medical Systems Inc. based in Tucson, Ariz.


Barbara K. Welch of Columbus, ’90 Associate in medical assisting, has been recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who, a membership organization that recognizes executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. A registered nurse, Welch earned

Class Notes her nursing diploma from St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing. She is an emergency nursing specialist at the Ohio State University Medical Center. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl of Suffolk, Va., ’91 BM in flute performance, recently released a musical CD, titled “Clear Water Reflections, Native American and World Flute Music,” for which she was executive producer. The recording has been getting airplay on and the National Public Radio program ECHOES. Joyce-Grendahl is executive director of the International Native American Flute Association. She has a master’s degree from the University of Akron and earned a doctorate from the University of Arizona, both in flute performance.

presents on privacy law, general labor and employment issues. She earned her law degree from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2001.

Wound Care Centers, he has a master’s degree from Slippery Rock University and is working on an MBA at YSU.

’00s Dawn Hays

James D. Willcock Jr. of Salem, ’97 BSAS in criminal justice and political science, was named Mill Creek MetroParks police chief in August after a nationwide search. He is the former chief of the Goshen Police District in Columbiana County.

Kevin Carpenter of Charlotte, N.C., ’00 MS in industrial engineering, is the new director of research, development and engineering for Nexxus Lighting, a lighting technology company. Carpenter has more than 14 years of experience in the automotive and lighting industries. He holds bachelor’s degrees in engineering from Morehouse College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and he also has an MBA from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Mary Lynn Jimm of Sean Jones of PittsNew Castle, Pa.,’98 burgh, ’00 BM in Chuck Colucci III of Canfield, ’95 BS BS, was recently classical trumpet in criminal justice, ’01 MS in police named one of Pennperformance, was administration, is the new chief of sylvania’s 50 Best named artistic director police of the Canfield City Police Women in Business of the Cleveland Jazz Department. A 13-year veteran of the for 2009, a program Orchestra, and he department, Colucci formerly served as directed by the Pennrecently released his sergeant and assistant chief. sylvania Department fifth jazz recording, of Community and titled “The Search Sheryl P. Gumino Economic DevelopWithin.” Jones, who Sean Jones Mary Lynn Jimm of Howland, BS ment in association holds a master’s degree ’95 in allied health, with the business journals of Pennsylfrom Rutgers University, also plays has been appointed vania. Jimm is the owner of Diane’s lead trumpet for the Jazz at Lincoln director of radiolBoutique in New Castle. Center Orchestra in New York. ogy services at St. Joseph Health Rod Neill of Elizabeth Nelson of Austintown, ’00 Center in Warren. Boardman,’98 BS in computer science, ’06 MBA in Gumino is also BS, was named management, is pursuing a doctorate a graduate of the director of phyin information science and technolWestern Reserve sician practice ogy at Penn State University. She is a Care System management system analyst in Computer Services Sheryl Gumino School of Radiofor Humility of at YSU and an adjunct faculty member logic Technology and has an MS in Mary Health in Computer Science and Informaorganizational leadership from Geneva Partners. Fortion Systems but is taking a leave of College in Beaver Falls, Pa. Prior merly director of absence from the university to pursue to her recent appointment she was the St. Elizabeth Rod Neill her Ph.D. studies. manager of radiology, non-invasive and St. Joseph cardiology and the stress lab at St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center and St. Elizabeth Emergency and Diagnostic Center in Austintown. H. Marlene Dailey, left, ’87 AAB, ’90 BS, ’96 MBA, and Deborah Liptak, ’78 AAB, both of Josh Lukin of Philadelphia, ’95 BA, Youngstown, were inducted as alumni members assembled a collection of essays for to the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, YSU the book Invisible Suburbs: RecoverChapter 143. ing Protest Fiction in the 1950s United States, published by the University Dailey retired from YSU in 2006 as Press of Mississippi. Lukin is an asadministrative assistant to the Provost and earned sistant professor of English at Temple all three of her degrees while working full-time University. at YSU. She was honored for her academic achievement and service to the university. Liptak Dawn R. Hays of Columbus, Ohio, ’96 is development director for the Public Library of BA, was recently elected to a two-year term on the Ohio State Bar Association Youngstown and Mahoning County and she was Council of Delegates. An associate recognized for her extensive record of community in the Columbus law firm of Hahn, service and leadership. Loeser & Parks LLP, Hays focuses her Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest practice in the fields of labor, employand largest collegiate honor society dedicated ment and litigation and frequently to the recognition and promotion of academic excellence in all disciplines. The society inducts students and a select group of YSU faculty, administrative staff and alumni each year.


Class Notes Michael Yonchak of Westerville, Ohio,’00 Bachelor’s of Music and ’03 Master’s of Music, is director of Athletic Bands at Otterbein College in Westerville. Yonchak recently completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Matthew Kesic of Chapel Hill, N.C., ’02 BS in pre-med biology and ’04 MS in cell biology, earned a Ph.D. in virology and molecular genetics from Ohio State University in May. He is starting a new postdoctoral fellowship as a research scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, conducting toxicology studies to better understand viral susceptibility in patients that smoke or children who have been exposed to second-hand smoke.

Michael Yonchak

Chad Schenker of Columbus, Ohio, ’03 BSBA in finance, is a process improvement analyst for BMW Financial Service in Hilliard, Ohio, where he recently earned his Lean Six Sigma

Black Belt certification. Schenker earned a master’s degree in business logistics engineering from Ohio State University in 2007. J.T. Holt of Washington, D.C., ’04 BS in computer science, recently completed his law degree at George Washington University and is working as a law clerk at the law firm Hunton & Williams LLP while preparing J.T. Holt for the bar exam. He served as executive vice president of the Student Government Association while at YSU and had opportunities to work on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon for the Department of Defense while in law school. Bill Mehalco of Manhattan, N.Y., ’05 BA in hospitality management, accepted a position as front office manager for the new Hotel Indigo - Chelsea in New York City, which was scheduled to open this fall. Previously, Mehalco was assistant director of front office

Donald McCoy of Georgetown, Ky., ’89 BS in Computer Science, at the Great Wall of China. McCoy learned first-hand about techniques for marketing products to the Chinese people when he visited four cities in China this year to meet with senior management officials at companies such as Manley Toys, Proctor and Gamble and AC Nielsen. The trip was part of his preparation for an MBA in international business from Xavier University in Cincinnati, which he completed in August. As the lead research and development engineer for Lexmark International, McCoy has eight U.S. patents for a customer relationship management system and two for cryptography algorithms that are used to secure transactions in ATM cash machines. He has four more patents pending for inkjet printing technologies. McCoy earned his MS in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University and then worked as a graduate adjunct professor at the University of Akron teaching software engineering, security engineering and usability engineering. He joined Lexmark five years ago and in 2008 was named its Best of the Best R&D Engineer based on a vote by his peers.


for Fitzpatrick Hotels Group, also in New York. Christopher McKee Jr. of Pittsburgh, ’06 BA in history, earned a master’s of divinity degree in May from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Conn. He is staff pastor of Christian education at the Christian Revival and Discipleship Center in Christopher McKee Youngstown and works as an organizer at the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative. McKee is making plans to pursue a doctorate at Carnegie Mellon University in the fall of 2010. Jaclyn Sarah Elias of Canfield, ’07 BSEd in middle childhood education, is beginning her second year as a language arts teacher in the Austintown Local School District.

Jaclyn Elias

Jason Kelly of Lawton, Okla., ’07 BA in telecommunications, is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He is a speech writer for the commanding general and others in the Army’s Fires Center of Excellence and Field Artillery School Command Group at Fort Sill, Okla., and is an information specialist for the Fires Bulletin. He received his commission through YSU’s Army ROTC program. Brian O’Neill of Chicago, ’07 BSBA in accounting, has been promoted to regional vice president of sales for TempurPedic, North America Inc. O’Neill’s career Brian O’Neill in the mattress industry began when he was a YSU student working as a sales associate for the Sleepy Hollow Sleep Shop, and since then he has also worked for Sealy and Serta.

Got Good News?

E-mail your Class Notes to or mail to: YSU Magazine, Marketing and Communications, Youngstown State University, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555.

the kresge challenge for Youngstown State University Williamson College of Business Administration Building Campaign


he new home of the Williamson College of Business Administration is currently under construction and will open in August 2010. The new facility will provide a cutting-edge learning environment for generations of students and connect the campus to Youngstown’s central business district. YSU stands at 90% of the Building Campaign’s $16-million philanthropic goal. If we raise the remaining 10% by December 31, 2009, The Kresge Foundation will provide $1.2 million to top off our campaign.

Will you help YSU meet THE KRESGE CHALLENGE?

Yes! I want to help YSU meet THE KRESGE CHALLENGE

by December 31, 2009 with my pledge in the amount of $____________. Signature__________________________________________________ Name____________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________________ City/State/Zip______________________________________________


❏ Full amount enclosed (Make checks payable to YSU Kresge Challenge) ❏ Initial payment of $____________ enclosed, with the remaining payments to be made:

❏ Annually ❏ Quarterly ❏ Semi-annually ❏ Monthly Charge: ❏ Visa ❏ Mastercard ❏ Discover Account #______________________________Exp. Date____________

Home Phone________________E-mail_ _________________________


Please mail this pledge card and your payment to: Youngstown State University • The Kresge Challenge One University Plaza, Youngstown, Ohio 44555 330-941-3119 • Fax 330-941-2755 •

❏ Matching Gift Company

(Please enclose employer’s matching gift form.)

Gifts may also be made online at For information, call YSU Development Office at 330-941-3119.

Youngstown State University Office of University Development One University Plaza Youngstown, Ohio 44555-0001

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Rock of Ages… Just about everyone at YSU knows about the painted rock that famously – or infamously, depending on your point of view – rests next to Kilcawley Center. But, in the world of rocks at YSU, there is actually another that came first. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the University Marker – a 10-ton granite boulder that sits in front of Jones Hall. The boulder was given to what was then Youngstown College by the class of 1949, which received it as a gift from Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. In this 1949 photo, workers put the boulder in place.

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