Our Environmental Footprint

Page 1

On the

Cover This edition of YSU Magazine examines the university’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint and looks at YSU’s expanding role in bringing “green” research and economic development to Northeast Ohio. The cover is a photo-illustration designed by Renée Cannon, layout design artist, and Bruce Palmer, university photographer, in collaboration with the rest of the YSU Marketing and Communications team.

Summer 2009 in

3 Around Campus – Updates on


YSU President

David C. Sweet

Vice President for University Advancement

George McCloud

Executive Director of Marketing & Communications

Director of University Communications

Magazine Editor

Layout Design Artist

issue this

campus news and events


Mark Van Tilburg

Photo Page: Greg Moring’s Gates Project

Ron Cole

8 COVER STORY: Our Environmental

Cynthia Vinarsky

Footprint – A look at YSU’s sustainability efforts

Renée Cannon, ’90


Bruce Palmer Carl Leet

Graduate Assistant

Britta Snowberger, ’08

Sports Contributor

Trevor Parks

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications

Jean Engle, ’86

With Gary Boley – Job hunting tips for a tough economy

Chief Development Officer

Paul McFadden, ’84

16 From ‘Down and

Executive Director of Alumni and Events Management

Shannon Tirone, ’94

15 Q&


Out’ to Counseling Others – New graduate profile

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 Trustee Daniel J. DeMaiolo

18 Faculty Bookshelf and Alumni “Ghost” Writers

21 Graciela Perera – Faculty photo feature

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 1, Summer 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 330-9413519 or e-mail universitymagazine@ysu.edu. 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

27 Alumni Spotlight – Highlighting three exceptional YSU alumni


Campus in Bloom A perennial floral display frames a group of students walking outside Kilcawley Center on the YSU campus.

2 President’s Message 20 University Development 22 Sports News 24 YSU Foundation 25 Alumni News 30 Class Notes

Around Campus

President’s Message

Greening the Valley, for Generations to Come

David C. Sweet, President

It is a pleasure to report that our university – with students at the forefront – is taking steps to both embrace and enhance the environment of our campus and community. The university has increased its commitment to building an environmentally-friendly, sustainable campus and to making the greater Youngstown region a major national center of emerging energy technologies. One example is the new $34.3 million Williamson College of Business Administration building now under construction on the south side of the YSU campus. The building is symbolic of the university’s commitment to the Mahoning Valley in the 21st century and beyond. It is also being constructed in line with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and will be the first LEED-certified building on campus. YSU’s commitment to sustainability is bolstered by alumni such as Jack Scott, president and chief operating officer of Parsons Corp. of Pasadena, Calif., a global engineering and construction firm. Jack was the driving force behind the Sustainable Energy Forum at YSU in June, a two-day conference that brought together more than 100 representatives from government, industry and academe, including U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan and Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams. Participants focused on technologies related to renewable energy and energy efficiency and discussed the crucial role that the Cleveland-to-Youngstown-to-Pittsburgh Technology Belt can play in those emerging technologies. It was, indeed, an illustration of the leadership that YSU and its alumni from across the globe can and will continue to display in serving as a catalyst for the economic and environmental future of the entire Northeast Ohio region. From our LEED-certified College of Business Administration building and our nationally-awarded campus recycling and re-use programs, to the research being conducted in our labs on advanced automotive fuels, YSU is committed to making our mark – our footprint, if you will – on the global green revolution. I invite other alumni, university supporters and friends to join Jack Scott, me and others in this quest. As the old Native American proverb goes, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” As we move forward in making YSU a greenfriendly institution and positioning the university and the greater Mahoning Valley region as a center of the green technology movement, we do so – ultimately – for the generations who will follow.

Dear Readers:


David C. Sweet

With this edition of YSU Magazine we begin a new era, moving to a new print format and a quarterly publication cycle. It seems appropriate that this issue focuses on the university’s environmental footprint as we reshape our printed communications with our alumni and friends with an eye toward conserving resources and reducing costs. Even though we are publishing four issues instead of the previous two each year (along with two 8-page Insiders), our new print communications program incorporates a format and mailing process that realizes significant financial and resource savings overall. In an effort to “green” the magazine itself, we have contracted with a printer providing chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council, an international organization that certifies paper-fiber sourcing practices to meet strict standards for environmental sustainability and social responsibility. We will be further refining our publishing process by inviting readers to voluntarily opt out of receiving the print edition in favor of receiving a quarterly link to the online version of YSU Magazine (see inside back cover for details). We’ll also adjust our mailing list in other ways to ensure that those receiving the magazine clearly do want it mailed to them. We hope you enjoy this issue and our new format, and that you will support our initiatives to create a “greener” print communications footprint with our magazine. Mark Van Tilburg Executive Director, YSU Marketing and Communications


Youngstown State University

Around C






YSU Identifies Four Centers of Excellence

The YSU Board of Trustees has agreed to create Centers of Excellence on campus in four academic areas: materials science and engineering, applied chemical biology, international business and the study of autism. “While YSU has many outstanding programs with national and even international reputations, we believe these four areas of focus are particularly noteworthy,” said Provost Ikram Khawaja. Selection was based, he explained, on the programs’ present and future research capabilities and their potential to contribute to regional and statewide economic development. Ohio Chancellor Eric Fingerhut had set a June 30 deadline for all of the state’s public universities to identify areas of study and research that could be considered Centers of Excellence under the state’s 10-year Strategic Plan for Higher Education. While no funding is anticipated for the centers in the new two-year state budget, YSU hopes to commit internal funds to help jump start each of its centers, Khawaja said. YSU’s presentation for Fingerhut, which outlines specifics of each of the new centers, is available online at http:// www.ysu.edu/files/final2003.zip.

YSU Centers of Excellence • Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering • Center of Excellence in Applied Chemical Biology • Center of Excellence in International Business • Rich Center of Excellence for the Study of Autism

New Deans Appointed To Lead Two Colleges

Two new college deans – one a familiar face on campus and the other a newcomer from Louisiana – assumed their posts on July 1. Joseph Mosca, former associate dean of YSU’s Bitonte College of Health and Human Services, is now dean of that college, and Bryan DePoy, former interim dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Southeastern LouiJoseph Mosca siana University, is the new dean of YSU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts. Mosca replaced John Yemma, who retired as dean last summer. DePoy replaced Joe Edwards, who retired July 1. Mosca earned a Ph.D. in social work from the University of Pittsburgh and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He joined the YSU faculty in 1989, was chair of the Department of Social Work from 2001 to 2007 and had been Bryan DePoy associate dean of the Bitonte College since 2007. DePoy earned a doctor of music degree from Florida State University, a master of music degree from the University of New Mexico and a bachelor of music degree from Indiana University (Bloomington) School of Music. He joined the faculty at Delta State University in Mississippi in 1993 as an assistant professor of music and later was assistant to the dean of Arts and Sciences. Moving on to Southeastern Louisiana University as an assistant professor of music, he later became assistant dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and then served as interim dean of the college from July 2008 until assuming his new job at YSU.

Provocative Orator Cornel West, a prolific author, professor and director of Afro-American Studies at Princeton University, challenged a capacity crowd on issues of race and democracy Feb. 26 at Stambaugh Auditorium. Known as one of the nation’s most provocative public intellectuals, West was the featured speaker for YSU’s Skeggs Lecture Series. His latest book, Race Matters, an Analysis of Racism in American Democracy, has sold more than 500,000 copies, and he recently released a socially-conscious music CD, “Never Forget: A Journey of Revelations,” featuring collaborations with Prince, Outkast, Jill Scott and Talib Kweli. West offers weekly radio commentaries on Public Radio International’s The Tavis Smiley Show.

Summer 2009


Around Campus

Governor Names John R. Jakubek to YSU Board of Trustees

John R. Jakubek of Canfield, Ohio, an anesthesiologist and YSU graduate, was appointed to the YSU Board of Trustees in June by Gov. Ted Strickland. Jakubek will complete the unexpired term of Dianne Bitonte Miladore, which runs through June 2014. Miladore stepped down after being appointed to the board of trustees at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy. Jakubek earned a bachelor of science John Jakubek degree from YSU in 1979 and is a 1982 graduate of Ohio State University College of Medicine. He serves on the staff of Bel-Park Anesthesia Associates Inc. and St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center, where he is also a member of the Clinical Medical Executive Committee. He is a didactic and clinical instructor at the St. Elizabeth Health Center School for Nurse Anesthetists and medical director of the Surgery Center of Canfield. He also is a clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology at the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy.

New Veterans Affairs Office Welcomes, Assists Returning Vets

YSU has opened a new Office of Veterans Affairs as part of its effort to better serve members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The office, led by YSU graduate and Vietnam War veteran Jim Olive, will help veterans with the transition from military life to college life, including assistance with admissions, financial aid, registration, academic advising and tutoring. Located on the third floor of Tod Hall, the Office of Veterans Affairs was developed in response to the federal government’s new GI Bill for post-Sept. 11, 2001, Jim Olive, left, coordinator of YSU's veterans. The bill, which new Office of Veterans Affairs, and took effect Vernon Haynes, chair of the YSU this month, Veterans Advisory Council. will fund the full cost of tuition at YSU for veterans who are eligible for full benefits. With the bill, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects the total number of veterans enrolled in college to increase by 20 percent over the next two years. As an additional step, YSU has agreed to waive the university’s $30 application fee and $75 orientation fee for all veterans. Veterans also will receive priority registration for classes. For more information, contact Olive at the Office of Veterans Affairs, 330-941-2503 or veterans@ysu. edu or visit www.ysu.edu/veterans/. “The new GI Bill is a tremendous opportunity for veterans who have served since 9/11 to seek their college degrees,” said Vernon Haynes, YSU professor, chair of psychology and chair of a new nine-member Veterans Advisory Council, which advises the university on veteran issues.

Honorary Degree for Professor Emeritus Janet DelBene, second from right, YSU professor emeritus in Chemistry and an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, received an honorary degree at commencement ceremonies May 16. Presenting the award are, from left, Scott Schulick, chairman of the Board of Trustees, YSU President David C. Sweet, and at right, Provost Ikram Khawaja. A YSU alumna, DelBene retired from teaching in 1999 but has continued to pursue her research interests on hydrogen bonds. More than 1,000 students received diplomas at the spring event. DelBene spoke at the ceremony for graduate students; Constantine William Curris, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, was featured speaker for the undergraduate ceremony and also received an honorary degree.


Youngstown State University

Twelve Named to Serve on Magazine Advisory Committee

The YSU Magazine Advisory Committee, a newly-created 12-member panel made up of YSU alumni, faculty and staff, will be contributing ideas and insights as the university’s alumni magazine transitions from a biannual to a quarterly publication. Meeting at least twice a year, the panel will critique previous issues of YSU Magazine and will discuss story, photo and design ideas for

future editions. The committee’s goal is to help the magazine achieve journalistic excellence while inspiring YSU awareness and pride in the alumni readership. Advisory committee members are: Chet Cooper Jr., professor, Biological Sciences; Darla Funk, professor and special assistant for college initiatives, Dana School of Music; Mollie McGovern Hartup, assignment editor, WFMJ TV-21, Youngstown, and YSU alumna; Cryshanna Jackson, assistant professor, Political Science; Jacci Daniel Johnson, YSU annual giving coordinator; Bonnie Young Laing, assistant professor, Social Work; Trevor Parks, YSU sports information director; Jake Protivnak, assistant professor, Counseling and Special Education; Peter Reday, assistant professor, Marketing; Bruce Sherman, immediate past president, YSU Alumni Society, and president, Sherman Creative Promotions, Youngstown; Pat Shively, associate director, YSU Center for Student Progress; Shannon Tirone, executive director, Alumni and Events Management.

Second Emmy Nomination for Homework Express

Homework Express, an interactive call-in television show that is broadcast live five days a week from the YSU campus, has been nominated for an Emmy Award, the show’s second nomination in four years. The nomination was announced by the Lower Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which represents more than 40 television stations in parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. The awards will be presented Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cleveland. Homework Express is nominated in the category “Teen Program/Special.” Students, mostly in grades 6 through 8, call into the show and get assistance with homework questions from on-air teachers. Fred Owens, professor of communications, is project director; Jim Stipetich is executive producer. The program is a production of the YSU College of Fine and Performing Arts and the YSU Beeghly College of Education, with support from the Youngstown city, Warren city and Austintown local schools. Homework Express can be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 23, Armstrong Cable channel 20 and MyYTV, and is streamed on the Internet.

Peace Officer Training Academy Graduates 500th Student

Nineteen students graduated this spring from YSU’s Peace Officer Training Academy, bringing to 500 the number of aspiring police officers the program has trained since it began in March 2000. Now in its 10th year of operation, the academy has graduates working at police departments in cities such as Fayetteville, N.C., and Ocean City, Md., and with departments across the Mahoning Valley. One graduate landed a

Around Campus

Seeds of Hope Two students use a tilling machine to create a garden that would be used to feed and motivate homeless people at the Help Hotline Community Center in Youngstown. The service project involved 12 students enrolled in a communications foundations course taught by assistant professor Adam Earnheardt last spring. The students solicited local businesses for donations of necessary materials and then planted the garden behind the center.

job as a special agent with the U.S. State Department and has traveled all over the world in the position. “Job prospects seem to be pretty good, if you’re willing to move,” said Rick Mahan, academy coordinator and a former Niles police officer. “A fair share of our kids get jobs locally, too.” Housed in the Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science in Cushwa Hall, the academy is certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission. Students who complete the 582-hour course and meet certain physical fitness standards qualify to sit for a state police officer certification examination. Most cadets in the academy are pursuing bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in criminal justice. The course is also available on a non-credit basis for people who have lost a job or are looking to jump-start a career in law enforcement.

Political Science Professor Named Fulbright Scholar

Paul Sracic, professor and chair, Political Science, has been named a Fulbright Scholar and will lecture at the University of Tokyo and at Sophia University in Tokyo during the 20092010 academic year. Sracic, who also directs the Paul Sracic Rigelhaupt Pre-Law Center at YSU, joins an impressive list of individuals who have participated in the Fulbright Japan-United States program. That list includes five Nobel Prize Laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, five members of U.S. presidential cabinets, a dozen Supreme Court Justices and 17 members of Parliament.

Summer 2009


A resident of Boardman, Ohio, Sracic earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Albright College and a Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University. He joined the YSU faculty in 1992 and was named chair of political science in 2007. Sracic’s op-ed columns have appeared in The Washington Post and USA Today, and he has been interviewed by CNN, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Le Monde and The Yomiuri Shimbun (Japanese Daily).

Youngstown Named Among Top 10 Cities for Starting a New Business

Youngstown is one of the best places in the United States to start a new business, according to a cover story in the August issue of Entrepreneur magazine. The publication nicknamed Youngstown “The Dreamer” and praised the city’s innovative and successful Youngstown Business Incubator in the article, headlined “The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business (Youngstown, Ohio, anyone?)” Turning Technologies, the downtown technology company that has been the incubator’s biggest and best-known success story so far, was also featured. “It’s exciting to see Youngstown’s growth potential recognized in a national publication,” said George McCloud, YSU vice president for University Advancement. Other cities included in the magazine’s top 10 list are: Atlanta; Las Vegas; San Diego; Madison, for Wis.; Orlando, Fla.; Austin, Texas; Chapel INFORMATION Hill, N.C.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Portland, Ore.


New Grad Wins Fulbright Grant; Others Earn Awards and Scholarships

Nicole McElroy, a May graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in German and sociology, has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to spend the 2009-10 school year teaching high school English in Germany. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright is one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for college students. McElroy is among many YSU students who have recently earned national and international recognition. Others include: • Tara Esker, a senior political science and Spanish major, and Sarah Lewis, a senior psychology major, have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad. Lewis received a $3,000 award to participate in a Spanish, Ecological and Latin American Studies program in Costa Rica; Esker received a $2,500 award to study at the University of Winchester in England. • Tyler Drombosky of Boardman, a senior mathematics major, received the Phi Kappa Phi Award of Excellence, which includes a $2,000 scholarship. • J. Breen Mitchell, working as a student reporter for The Jambar, YSU’s student newspaper, was awarded first place for news in the 2009 Society of Collegiate Journalists competition for an article titled “Fight over eminent domain continues.” • Adam Magana, a sophomore, and juniors Benjamin Christen and Michael Walker, all computer science majors, participated in a grant-funded two-month summer research project at the University of California at Berkeley. • Emery Boyle-Scott, a May graduate with bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism, will be teaching in the Milwaukee City Schools this fall as part of Teach for America. The national non-profit program recruits new college graduates for two-year teaching stints in some of the nation’s most disadvantaged public school classrooms.

Beeghly Family Honored YSU president David C. Sweet presents the Friend of the University Award to the Beeghly Family at a dinner May 9. Accepting the award are Bruce Beeghly and Mary Alice Schaff, grandson and daughter, respectively, of Leon A. Beeghly, who founded the Standard Slag Company in Youngstown in 1918. Presented annually, the Friend of the University award recognizes alumni, friends and donors who have made a significant impact on YSU. Two YSU buildings - Beeghly Hall, home of the Beeghly College of Education, and the Beeghly Health and Physical Education Center - are among nine college buildings around the country that bear the Beeghly name. Bruce Beeghly, president of Altronic Inc. in Girard, now serves on the Ohio Board of Regents.


Youngstown State University

lmer y Bruce Pa Photos b

Around Campus

l e e t S tory in

S a g n i t p l u c S

lds and we s d n e b al t, or of ar s a form s a s e e f v o r r e p at will s et. sociate ates th lm Stre YSU as g E , d t n n c o a je s r o to wn’s pu Pr ungsto he cam , a sculp t Gates t o g e Y g e f in r r o in t o S h y M pproac he stor the Elm s, all in   Greg epicts t isitors a create proces d v o r t g t a o s in f r h n t a y r it a ge eet steel b univers in the le nd 16 f ar colla e a e g h n t e in li t o id t a a w s ip ce ject 25 feet feature entran s partic the pro will be design tudent s s n ’s e a s g t g a w in e g r o b   Mo oring and sh nished ty, and l. The fi enue. M l legacy ll Coun e v u ia e A r t b t s s f ln m u o o u r c ind bon e in T l to Lin uous rib his hom paralle t a d e r ll e a h a contin t t ins es toge will be oring’s the gat g tall and in c nicles M ie o . p r r , a r h e c e y t m ond ha about a last sum the sec xhibit t in e n h y o , is h y n p r a s to fi h Galle hotogr expect rie Smit nsive p a e t M x e e s e o r in the R   A mo display us. n o m is U ca p S work Y , ll a Tod H floor of




Summer 2009 Summer 2009

7 7


green By Jean Engle

In January the Pew Research Center released the

results of an opinion survey about which issues are most important to Americans. Topping the list was the economy; at the very bottom - number 20 - was global warming. (The undefined “environment” came in at 16, well below the halfway point.) Two months later, a Gallup poll of more than 1,000 adults showed that 41 percent felt global warming was being exaggerated in the media, and only 38 percent thought global warming would pose a serious threat to themselves or their way of life in their lifetime. These and other surveys conducted worldwide suggest that Americans, who have been by far the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, are significantly less aware and less concerned about climate change than people in other parts of the world, especially Europe and Latin America. Why this difference in attitude? What thought processes allow so many of us to take lightly what the rest of the world, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,

C o m m e n ta ry

It’s not easy, is it? When I thought about my approach to this article, my primary question was about the personal: How do we as individuals make decisions about our use of resources, our consumption of fossil fuels, our stewardship of the environment? How do we think about our own carbon footprint —if at all? Some things I think I know from years of reading and paying attention to environmental issues. I know that after decades of warnings from scientists, we humans have finally acknowledged that we face a climate calamity mostly of our own making. Industrialization, deforestation and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, all greenhouse gases that help trap heat near Earth’s surface. There is broad consensus within the scientific community that we will see major shifts in climate patterns worldwide, that land forms will change, that thousands more animal and plant species will go extinct, and that we will have to deal with huge shifts in where and how we live. For most of us, contemplating such changes is frightening. Others, like my young Hummer-driving colleague, are more inclined to ignore the implications. “Nothing individuals do to try to stop climate change matters,” he argues. “The earth is so huge. It will adjust.” And let’s face it: considering carefully how we live - and being willing to make some sacrifices to live more lightly on the earth - isn’t always easy. It may involve giving up some treasured pleasures, such as gas-guzzling SUVs, energy-hog plasma-screen televisions and endangered swordfish at the restaurant. For each of us, the process of considering, weighing and balancing our carbon footprint is, in itself, a microcosm of the decisions we humans have to make about how to clean up our global mess.

has acknowledged to be an imminent threat to life on Planet Earth? And what does it take to move us to think and act green—to buy earth-friendly products, eat locally grown food, conserve energy, buy fuel-efficient cars, ride a bike or bus to work, recycle our stuff—in

Jean Engle (Jean Engle, ’86 MA, is assistant director in YSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications, a board member of Grow Youngstown and co-founder of Treez Please—An Urban Reforestation Project. She is also steward of 125 acres in western Pennsylvania, which she is working to restore with native trees and meadows.)

short, to reduce our environmental footprint? (See Considering Green, page 10)


Youngstown State University

Summer 2009


Considering Green

Continued from page 9

The New York Times Magazine recently carried an article titled, “Why Isn’t the Brain Green?” (http:// www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/ magazine/19Science-t.html), an inquiry into that very question, by Jon Gertner. The locus of Gertner’s article is the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, or CRED, at Columbia University. There, working with a $6 million National Science Foundation grant, psychologists, economists, and anthropologists from around the world explore how people make decisions about environmental issues. Since 98 percent of all federal climate-change research funding in the United States goes into the physical and natural sciences, why does this kind of social science research matter? Elke Weber, director of CRED and a dual-appointed Columbia faculty member in business and psychology, told the New York Times that climate change is now widely acknowledged to be anthropogenic, i.e., caused by human behavior, so “the solution probably also lies in changing human behavior.” Understanding how we decide how green to be, Weber and her CRED colleagues argue, may give policy makers the tools they need to move the country toward palatable, even profound, changes in our energy-consumption levels. On the individual level, the research illuminates a new realm of decision making, where individual everyday activities, in the aggregate, are weighted down with global consequences.

Greening the University

Institutions are made up of individuals whose decisions about reducing their carbon footprint are multi-faceted and complex. How does that complexity translate into policy making at an institution, specifically YSU, as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint in an era of climate change? Universities around the world are considering how best to address the climate crisis in their curricula and their operations. In the United States, 645 institutions of all sizes, public and private, have signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org), pledging to achieve carbon neutrality by a date of their choosing. That means cutting or offsetting energy use, reducing waste, purchasing energy-efficient equipment and recycled-content products. Others, including YSU, are examining their resource use, purchasing and operations to discover where greener practices can be achieved at costs that are either absorbed over time or justified based on some other return on investment. We interviewed YSU President David C. Sweet to find out more about the university’s approach to reducing its carbon footprint. “Because of our $10 million investment in energy efficiency improvements,” Sweet said, “we are now ahead of the targets and deadlines set by the Ohio Board of Regents regarding energy use.” Sweet praised the Mahoning County 10

Youngstown State University

Green Team’s long-term partnership with the university that has helped build an award-winning recycling program, and cited the construction of the environmentally-friendly rain garden incorporated into the new F-1 parking lot. But the first priority, he said, is increasing emphasis on curricular initiatives, as “a core component” of the university’s mission. “We need to commit to helping our students better understand the world and the environment they’re going to inherit,” he said. “We need to connect the tangible efforts we’re making to our students in ways that will help them be on the cutting edge of leadership in this area in their professional lives. This is clearly an area that needs an educated citizenry.” On the question of university operations, Sweet spoke of the complex set of trade-offs that must be made to measure up-front investments against long-term savings. “For example, the decision to purchase recycled paper should come from discussions at the department level,” he said. “Eventually, many departments may decide to do the same, in spite of slightly higher cost, and that will change our purchasing practices for paper across the institution. Many of these things arise from individual decision making.” Sweet pointed to the new home of the Williamson College of Business Administration, which will be the first LEED-certified building on campus. The University’s decision to design for silver or gold certification, Sweet said, while having major cost implications, puts YSU in the position of modeling sustainability and investment in a cleaner, greener future. The theme of cleaner and greener is much on the minds of decision makers in the Youngstown area, as Sweet pointed out. The Youngstown 2010 Plan has made national news in its call to rethink the city in smaller terms, while turning it from “gray to green” by creation of green spaces and conversion of city land from housing to other uses, such as food production and forests. The Sustainable Energy Forum held on campus this summer included plans for the development of urban agriculture and local food networks that could feed area residents, provide employment, and convert brownfields and abandoned housing lots into gardens and farms. In fact, Sweet said, the university will very likely be part of a privately and publicly funded project beginning this fall to explore that very vision. “Certainly in this community and universities in gen-

eral, we should be about innovation and development of new ideas and knowledge,” Sweet said. “There’s an important educational component to this, both academically and as it relates to the way in which we invest our resources in campus facilities, activities and programs.”

So how does a university make those decisions about “going green”? It isn’t easy, and it’s multi-dimensional—but it’s happening.

YSU Has Pivotal Role in Green Research, Economic Stimulus By Mark Van Tilburg

Martin Abraham, dean of YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), has a vision of the burgeoning green energy revolution that is truly holistic, reflecting his commitment to ensuring that the university is a leader in helping create the next great economic engine that will drive the region and the nation in the coming years. As a young scientist and chemical engineer, Abraham researched hydrogen fuel cell catalysts, looking for environmentally-friendly alternatives for common manufacturing solvents. With both applied and basic research in his background, he developed an appreciation for the need to create viable green technologies and processes. “As I took on more organizational and administrative responsibilities, leading eventually to my current position as dean, I have done less laboratory-based science myself,” he said, “focusing instead on empowering other scientists to advance their research.” He sees the university as a systemic resource that will play a pivotal part in revitalizing the technological and industrial vigor for which Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley have historically been known. “We are perfectly positioned and we have most of the resources required to be a key player as the ‘green economy’ continues to grow and evolve,” Abraham said during the Sustainable Energy Forum hosted by YSU this summer. The threeday conference brought together government, business and industry leaders, entrepreneurs and scientists who are at the forefront of emerging energy and environmental technologies. “High-level collaborations across disciplines are natural outcomes of the organizational structure in our STEM College,” Abraham said, noting that YSU faculty and staff were known, even before the reorganization that formed the College of STEM, for doing cross-disciplinary research that had scientific significance, as well as regional and national economic impact. Stressing the importance of the university's resources and its rich history of economic development and collaboration, Abraham listed a plethora of research projects connected to energy issues that are underway now at YSU. (See list of Martin Abraham addresses news reporters at YSU’s Sustainable Energy Forum.

research projects at www.ysumagazine.org.) One group of researchers is monitoring the clean-up of the Shenango River in Western Pennsylvania, for example. Others are exploring ways to build more efficient wind turbines, and a third group is studying energy re-capture techniques in large- and small-scale manufacturing environments. “We have faculty and students who are able to take their passion for environmental improvement, ecology and green alternative energies and create a significant and scientifically viable research agenda that will have a major impact on the direction and image our STEM College will have in the coming years,” he noted. YSU alumnus Jack Scott, president and chief operating officer of Parsons Corp., said the university is ideally positioned to help develop green technology manufacturing in the region. Parsons is a California-based engineering and construction company with more than 12,000 employees worldwide, and Scott was the lead organizer behind YSU’s Sustainable Energy Forum. “We want to make sure that we’re not only doing the best research in the world, but also converting that research into advanced manufacturing,” Scott said. “There is no reason why the regional corridor that includes Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Warren and Pittsburgh could not become a leader in green technology manufacturing.” The same sentiment was echoed by U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who has been promoting the idea of a new ClevelandYoungstown-Pittsburgh “tech belt” since he took office in 2003. “I actually think we’re ahead of the curve. We have the research institutions and we have the manufacturing legacy to convert the latest technology into a product,” he said. “We cannot afford to miss this next wave of job development and wealth-building in America.” Ryan said some companies in the Youngstown and Warren area are already working on alternative-energy products. “The more the green revolution expands, the more work will be available,” he said. “This rebrands the whole region.’’ As Abraham sees it, YSU’s commitment in the STEM College to researching and developing marketable technical expertise in energy and environmental sustainability has the potential to truly distinguish and differentiate YSU from among the many other regional and national universities. “This becomes more and more apparent for as the momentum for developing strategies based on renewable and sustainable energies INFORMATION grows,” he said, “not just in America, but around the world.”


Summer 2009


Ralph Morrone, facilities engineer, stands in YSU’s Central Utility Plant where improvements have helped reduce energy bills by $1.3 million a year.

Mission: Shrinking YSU’s Environmental Footprint By Cynthia Vinarsky There’s no getting around it, YSU’s environmental footprint is substantial. The campus, with nearly 14,000 students and 1,250 faculty and staff, consumes the resources of a small city. But the university’s commitment to environmental responsibility is building momentum, with significant results that are measured in tons of waste reused and recycled, millions of electrical kilowatt hours conserved and hundreds of thousands of dollars saved. And the efforts are bearing fruit. YSU’s footprint is actually shrinking, even with the addition of new buildings and increasing enrollment. One example: A comprehensive energy conservation campaign that has reduced the university’s electricity use by 10 million kilowatts annually and lopped $1.3 million a year off its operating costs. YSU facilities engineer Ralph C. Morrone said the university began a series of improvements in 2005 that included installation of energy-efficient lighting in every one of its 40 buildings, along with improvements in steam heating and cooling systems.

New Lamps Produce Big Savings

“Just by replacing all the fluorescent lamps with new, low-energy lamps we shaved off 14 percent of our electric use right off the bat,” he said. “That change alone is saving us $500,000 a year.” In all, Morrone said the program coordinated by Johnson Controls, a global company specializing in controls, automation and performance contracting, is on track to save YSU $13 million over a decade. Morrone said officials are nego12

Youngstown State University

tiating with the company for a second contract phase which, over time, would reduce energy costs by another $400,000 to $500,000 annually. “As an engineer, I’m very practical. It’s my job to make sure that we’re using electricity, gas, steam and water as efficiently as we can, and that we’re being a good steward of the tax dollars and the tuition dollars,” Morrone said. “But when people ask me if YSU is going green, I can’t help thinking that saving energy and going green are synonymous. You can’t save energy without becoming greener, and certainly going green can have beneficial energy implications.” Dan Kuzma, manager of YSU Recycling, coordinates a range of programs that allowed the university to reuse or recycle nearly 1.2 million pounds of waste over the past year, including surplus electronics, food waste, scrap metal, yard waste, paper, cans, bottles and scrap wood. That’s 600 tons of waste that’s not going into area landfills. Probably Kuzma’s favorite project, and one that is winning YSU statewide recognition, is the food composting program he started at the Christman Dining Commons three years ago. YSU was the first university in Ohio to try composting post-consumer plate scrapings – food discarded by students – to create rich agricultural compost.

Creating Soil from Food Waste

The idea of composting food waste came to him, Kuzma said, after a campus waste audit by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources revealed that 35 percent of YSU’s waste was food, and most of that came from the Christman Dining Commons, where hundreds of students eat daily during the academic year.

Students eating in the dining hall are asked to scrape their uneaten food into a designated container after every meal, and workers dump the accumulated food waste several times a day into a 4,000 pound-capacity composting vessel outside the residence halls. Kuzma and his staff add bark mulch and wood chips provided by YSU’s grounds workers and “stir” the mixture once a day to encourage a uniform composting process. The natural composting process raises the temperature inside the vessel as high as 120 degrees, he said, turning the mixture of food waste and wood chips into rich soil in three to five weeks. Then it’s moved to an outdoor curing area for another six months to a year. Kuzma has about two tons of compost ready to be used for landscaping on campus this fall, and he expects the project to create about 10 tons of compost annually. The university is also making plans to expand the composting project to include food waste generated by restaurants in Kilcawley Center. “The students weren’t too keen on it at first,” he said,

recalling how he had to post monitors at the doors to ask the students to scrape their uneaten food into a special container. “Now almost everybody is participating. It’s become a routine, and that’s what we want.”

Student Discards Helping Homeless

Kuzma’s department also spearheaded an innovative spring project called Dump and Run in which staffers collect unwanted clothing, furniture and electronics from students moving out of the residence halls at the end of the school year. The items are donated to the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley, which uses them to help homeless people get back on their feet, he said, and YSU saves the cost of renting dumpsters for as much as five tons of discarded student belongings a year. YSU was the first Ohio university or college to adopt the Dump and Run program, said Kuzma, but several schools have since followed. YSU Recycling, which is housed on campus but funded by a grant from the Mahoning County Solid Waste District Green Team, also collects tons of beverage cans and bottles, paper and cardboard from recycling bins in every building on campus and finds creative ways to reuse discarded electronics, wood, metal and yard waste.

Dan Kuzma, YSU’s recycling coordinator, shows off compost created by recycling food waste from Chrisman Dining Commons.

Summer 2009


Looking for New Transportation Options

Paul Kobulnicky crosses the campus on his bike.


Youngstown State University

Paul Kobulnicky, executive director of Maag Library, does his share for the environment personally by riding a bicycle from his Poland, Ohio, home to the YSU campus every day, except when roads are unusually icy. But Kobulnicky hopes to have a greater impact in his position as chair of YSU’s new Alternative Transportation Committee. Organized last year when gasoline costs topped $4 a gallon, the committee is looking for ways to solve transportation-related issues, promoting energy efficient transportation choices for faculty, staff and students, and developing policies to make the campus more bicycle- and motorcyclefriendly. “This is a very strong one car/one person culture, and moving away from that is difficult,” Kobulnicky said. “We don’t want to be preachy, but as an institution of higher learning we have an obligation to address large community problems, such as energy conservation. Our challenge is to make changes that are cultural rather than crisis-oriented.” He said the committee is looking into ride-share programs so that students could volunteer to give or get rides, and is in talks with Western Reserve Transit Authority, the regional bus agency, about park-and-ride options and student bus discounts. “If gas reaches $4 again, I think YSU has to be ready. We need to be able to offer some alternatives,” Kobulnicky said. Looking to the future, YSU is demonstrating its commitment to environmental responsibility by planning its new $34.3 million Williamson College of Business Administration building to meet qualifications for certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, known as LEED. Designed by LEED-accredited Strollo Architects, Perkins & Will Architects and CJL Engineering, the building is under construction and scheduled for completion by fall 2010. Facilities engineer Morrone, a LEED-certified professional himself, said YSU is working to achieve as many LEED rating system points as possible and is committed to reaching at least a silver LEED certification rating. He said the university won’t know what LEED rating the building has earned, however, until at least a year after it has been open and in use. Silver is the third-highest rating available, behind gold and platinum. Behind the scenes at YSU, students, faculty and staff who share a passion for sustainability are working together in organizations such as the YSU GreenGroup to create more awareness of environmental issues on campus. Norma Stefanik, an active participant and former research associate and urban designer in YSU’s Urban and Regional Studies Department, said the GreenGroup has been publishing a campus newsletter and its members have participated in tree planting events, attended conferences and participated in regional environmental events. The group’s latest project was to create light switch reminders, to be distributed across campus, with the simple logo: Flip It Off. “They’re just gentle reminders,” said Stefanik, “that anyone and everyone can do something to engage in sustainability.”


Looking for Work in a Tough Job Market It helps the person respond to a question by sharing an anecdote, a real world example, and that gives the employer a way to determine how you will perform in the future based on your past. Career strategies, tactics and self-awareness - those are the kinds of things we try to teach.

Q. Helping YSU graduates and alumni find work has got to be difficult right now. Everyday we’re hearing news reports of mass layoffs and skyrocketing unemployment rates. Are there jobs out there?

Q. And what’s your success rate?

A. I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions, that there are no jobs. Our office sponsors Career Expos on campus every year – we had 57 employers recruiting in the spring, 87 in the fall. There’s still a lot of economic activity, and people are getting hired, not only here in the Youngstown area but also in Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh. You might not find every opportunity right here, you might have to consider an hour’s drive, but you don’t have to move across the country to find work.

A. Assessment of our services is very important to us because we want to know if what we’re doing is working. We survey our graduates every year. The latest data – for the undergraduate class of 200708 – shows that 79 percent of those who responded are employed and another 14 percent are attending graduate school. It’s also interesting that 82 percent of the graduates who are employed did not have to relocate.

Q. Your department offers career services for YSU alumni as well as for students and new graduates. Do you see many alumni coming in for assistance?

Gary Boley

Director, YSU Career & Counseling Services

Gary Boley joined YSU as director of Career & Counseling Services in 2008. He has more than 20 years experience in academic career services, most recently as director of career services at the Metropolitan State College of Denver. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Kent State University.

Q. Are there misconceptions that sometimes hurt a job seeker’s chances of success?

A. Oh yes, we get everything from freshmen trying to make career decisions to alumni with 10 or 20 years experience who have lost their jobs or want to make a career transition. And there’s no cost. We used to require that alumni join the YSU Alumni Association to get help, but that requirement has been waived. We have walk-in hours every day.

A. For students, it’s thinking that graduation or senior year is the time to look for a job. Actually it’s much earlier. Internships, co-op arrangements and part-time jobs have the greatest chance of turning into full-time jobs. For more experienced workers, it’s pigeonholing themselves. Sometimes you have to make a transition from one career area to another one, or consider temporary or contingent employment. Whenever somebody tells me there are no jobs, I know we just have to broaden their job search a little bit.

Q. Where do you start with someone who needs help finding employment? A. When you’re managing your career in a difficult economic environment, preparation is so important. It’s about making sure that your résumé does a very effective job of reflecting your experience and skill sets, with a little bit of what you want to do in the future, too. You have to be aware who you are as a commodity.

Q. Are there “hot jobs,” careers in demand that you suggest to people looking to retrain? A. No, I never approach it that way because the job market is smarter than we are, and we can never get ahead of it. We would have all become IT professionals in the 90s, wouldn’t we, based on the market? But it’s always changing. The best thing you can do is identify where your passion is and where your competencies happen to lie, and then connect them to the market.

Q. So your staff helps with writing and organizing résumés? A. We help with the résumé, then we do a mock interview and we actually record it so you get to see yourself, in the moment, answering the questions. We teach a behavioral interview formula that’s very effective.

Summer 2009


From ‘Down and Out’ to

Counseling Others Stricken with debilitating hearing and speech impairments at the age of three, Darian Scott spent most of his early years isolating himself from the world. He’s been abandoned. He’s been homeless and hungry. Today, Scott, a 30-yearold Youngstown native, is proof that unrelenting determination can breed success, even in the most dire of circumstances. “I’ve always been told I would be nothing,” Scott said, “but I refuse to be a failure.”


Youngstown State University

Scott graduated from YSU in May with a bachelor’s degree in social work, has his own apartment on Youngstown’s west side and is starting a new job as a chemical dependency counselor assistant at Glenbeigh Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic affiliate in Ashtabula, Ohio. Glenbeigh program manager Gary Seech said Scott’s challenging life experiences helped him develop the insight and the compassionate nature that make him an effective counselor at the treatment center. “He uses a great balance of confrontation and caring about a person that is necessary to break through a patient’s denial,” Seech said. As a toddler, Scott was diagnosed with spinal meningitis which caused extensive nerve damage, leaving him deaf in his right ear. He had to learn to walk and talk all over again. His parents were not able to cope with his disabilities. They divorced when he was very young and his mother moved to California with his four siblings, leaving him to be raised alone by his great-grandmother. Scott recalls those years as the best time of his life. “I would not be the man I am today if it wasn’t for the values my great-grandmother instilled in me,” he said. Just 11 when his great-grandmother died, he was left to fend for himself, finding temporary shelter in relatives’ homes and in school gymnasiums, never sure where his next meal would come from. His maternal grandparents took him in when he was 15, bringing some normalcy to his teen years. He managed to graduate from Woodrow Wilson High School in Youngstown and then moved to Huntsville, Ala., to be close to some of his mother’s extended family. But soon after, at age 20, he suddenly and inexplicably lost the hearing in his left ear. His confidence was badly shaken and from then on, almost completely deaf and with a severe speech impediment, Scott said he was most comfortable keeping to himself. He moved back to Ohio where he spent years on the streets, often sleeping in Youngtown’s Greyhound bus station. He panhandled for cash to supplement the small money orders his older brother and sister sent him occasionally from California and Kentucky, respectively. In his mid-20s, Scott said he was mistakenly identified as an armed bank robber and spent five nights in jail before the charge was dropped. Then, falsely accused of cocaine possession while in jail, he spent several weeks at Glenbeigh’s drug rehabilitation program in Ashtabula. He said the drug accusation was eventually dropped, but he doesn’t deny the valuable lessons learned during those tough times. “I was dirty and homeless, and even though I had a clean record, my time at the clinic really showed me where my life could be headed,” he said. “That’s when I said

‘enough is enough.’ I knew I had to put in the effort to turn my life around. I remember telling the counselor, ‘I’m going to take your job someday.’” After his stint at Glenbeigh, Scott went to California for a desert hiking retreat with his brother, who convinced him to try to make the best of what was left of his life. Returning to Youngstown, he met with a caseworker who helped him apply for low-income grants and financial aid to attend YSU. He paid for fall and spring semester classes each year with scholarships and other financial aid, then worked “I know what it’s part-time at the Youngstown City like to be down Water Department, a Giant Eagle store and as a security officer at and out, so I can his church to raise cash for truly relate to my summer classes. clients. I just tell Over time, Scott acquired a hearing aid and became prothem, ‘If I can do ficient at lip reading. While in it, so can you.’” class, he said, he always tried to sit - Darian Scott    close to the front so he could read the professors’ words, employing the assistance of a student note taker only for larger, noisier classrooms. He graduated with a 3.2 grade point average and was presented the Bachelor of Social Work Recognition Internship Award in mid-April. He believes he found his life’s calling while he was at YSU, working as a student mentor at Youngstown Christian School and the Mill Creek Children’s Center and then as a student intern at Glenbeigh. “I mentor students who are struggling to get their lives in order, and I help people get off of drugs,” he said of his new position as an counselor assistant. “It’s the perfect fit for me because I know what it’s like to be down and out, so I can truly relate to my clients. I just tell them, ‘If I can do it, so can you.’” Scott plans to enroll in the social work master’s degree program at YSU while working at Glenbeigh and also hopes to pursue a second bachelor’s degree in sociology. “I owe a lot to several faculty members here at YSU for helping me throughout the years,” he said. “Some of them gave me the support and encouragement to not give up, because I almost did.” Money is still tight, but Scott said he pays his college bills before anything else because it’s the most important thing to him. He’s determined to continue turning negatives into positives and not to make excuses for himself. “I don’t want people to feel bad for me and give me special privileges that others may not receive,” he said. “I just want them to recognize my potential without prejudice of any kind.”


Story by Britta Snowberger

Summer 2009




Faculty Bookshelf has become a summer tradition for YSU Magazine, celebrating the success of university faculty and staff who have recently published new books or released new musical CDs.

The Love We Share Without Knowing, by Christopher Barzak, instructor of creative writing, English. Bantam Books, 2008. In his second novel, set in modern Japan, the author explores ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides with a story linking the lives of several strangers through love, loss and fate. Barzak’s first novel, “One for Sorrow,” was published in 2007. By Heart: Reflections of a Rust Belt Bard, by Philip Brady, professor, English. University of Tennessee Press, 2008. Set in rust-belts from Northeast Ohio to Queens, N.Y. to Lubumbashi in Africa, these 20 essays recall a time when “bards” were teaching poets and poetry was a common feature of conversation and song. The book, which challenges conventional ideas about poetry’s place in academics and in the world at large, was named Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year for 2008 in the essay category. Doing Democracy: Striving for Political Literacy and Social Justice, edited by Paul R. Carr, assistant professor, Beeghly College of Education, and Darren E. Lund. Peter Lang, New York, 2008. A collection of essays written by authors from four continents who share their visions on how democracy needs to be cultivated, critiqued, demonstrated and manifested throughout the educational experience. Carr’s book The Great White North?: Exploring Whiteness, Privilege and Identity in Education, published in 2007, won an award of distinction from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. Romance for Clarinet, Strings and Harp - Chamber Music by Johnterryl Plumeri, a musical CD with selections featuring the late Robert Fitzer, former clarinet instructor at YSU’s Dana School of Music, and Kathryn Thomas Umble, assistant professor of flute. GMMC Records, 2009. The recording is dedicated to Fitzer’s memory. Urban Requiem, a musical CD featuring the YSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by Stephen L. Gage, professor of music and YSU director of bands. NAXOS International Recording Label, 2008. The CD includes six compositions by Dana School of Music faculty members James Umble, Kent Engelhardt, Kathryn Thomas Umble and the late Robert Fitzer. YSU alumni Allen Cordingley and Joseph Carey are also featured as soloists on the recording. YSU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble has a five-year exclusive recording contract with NAXOS, one of six university bands across the country awarded that distinction.


Youngstown State University

Teaching the Selected Works of Chris Crutcher, by Patricia M. Hauschildt, associate professor, English. Heinemann, August 2008. Working with four teachers in different school contexts, the author presents ways to help students discuss issues such as religious beliefs, ethics, abuse and relationships through reading young adult literature works by popular, award-winning teen author Chris Crutcher. Creating Competent Communication, Fifth Edition, by Cary Horvath, associate professor and chair, Department of Communication, and co-authors L. Hugenberg, C.W. Wallace and D. Yoder. Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2007. Communications foundations courses at YSU, Kent State University and the University of Dayton are using this textbook, which helps students understand and practice effective and attractive interpersonal, group and public communication. Multicore Programming Design and Implementation for C++ Developers, by Cameron Hughes, programmer/ analyst, YSU Computer Services,

and Tracey Hughes. Wiley-VCH Publishing, 2008. This professional guide is for developers of various skill levels who are making the move into multi-core programming and application development. The authors discuss parallel and multi-threaded programming techniques and the fundamentals of programming for multiprocessor and multi-threaded architectures. Song of the Rest of Us, by Mindi Kirchner, adjunct faculty member, English. Kent State University Press, 2009. This 18-poem chapbook, the author’s first published collection, was a winner of the 2007 Wick Poetry Chapbook Competition. Three poems from the chapbook are featured in “The Next of Us is About to Be Born,” Wick Poetry Center’s 25th anniversary anthology. Understanding and Engaging Under-Resourced College Students, by Karla Krodel, director of Metro Credit Education, and Karen Becker, coordinator, Reading and Study Skills Center. Aha! Process Inc., 2009. The authors offer post-secondary educators, administrators and student support services personnel a fresh look at the influence economic class can have on teaching and learning in higher education. The book can be used as a tool for improving higher education retention and graduation rates.

The Ultimate Guided Reading HowTo Book, 2nd edition, by Gail Saunders-Smith, assistant professor, Teacher Education. Corwin, 2009. The book is a practitioner’s guide to preparing for and implementing guided reading as an instructional practice and discusses topics such as forming and managing groups, selecting texts, designing lessons, addressing skills, strategies and comprehension.

Synergos: Selected Poems of Roberto Manzano, translated by Steven Reese, associate professor, English. Etruscan Press, April 2009. A bilingual book, it is the first American translation of poems written by Manzano, one of Cuba’s leading poets and the winner of the prestigious Nicolas Guillen Prize.

Alumni “Ghost” Writers

Pentax-Discuss Mail List (PDML) Photo Annual, edited by Mark Roberts, instructor, Computer Science and Information Systems. Blurb.com, 2009. The book is a compilation of photographs from 59 photographers representing 15 different countries around the globe. All proceeds from its sale will benefit the National Childhood Cancer Foundation, which works to identify cancer causes and to pioneer new treatments and cures.

YSU alumni David Lee Morgan Jr., ’94, (above left) and Greg Gulas, ’77, (right) are co-authors of Kelly “The Ghost” Pavlik: The Pride of Youngstown, which chronicles the Mahoning Valley boxer’s rise to Middleweight Champion of the World. The book is available at Pavlik’s Web site, www.teampavlik.com. Morgan, a sports writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, also wrote LeBron James: The Rise of a Star and More Than a Coach: What It Means to Play for Coach, Friend and Mentor Jim Tressel. Gulas, assistant director of Campus Recreation and Student Programming at YSU, also authored Boys of Summer: My Memories as a Brooklyn Dodger: The George “Shotgun” Shuba Story.

Legends, Ceremonials and Prayer, a musical CD by Robert Rollin, professor, Dana School of Music. NEMUS Records and the Dana Recording Project, 2008. Among others, the recording features: Dana alumni Jennifer Johnstone and James Johnson, both on piano; John Wilcox, associate professor; and Micah Howard, an alumnus and former professor, on string bass. Available online at www. newmusicsociety.net. All revenues will benefit the New Music Society at YSU.

Summer 2009



New Initiative Promotes Campus Beauty The destruction of 70 trees by two summer storms that swept across the YSU campus in 2007 and 2008 has led to the creation of a Campus Beautification Initiative, giving literal meaning to the adage, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” YSU President David C. Sweet was the first to make a significant contribution toward replacement of the damaged trees – and with that gift, the idea for the Campus Beautification Initiative was born. YSU’s oasis of green, a signature quality of our urban campus, is treasured by faculty, staff, students and alumni. Visitors to campus are often amazed by the abundance and beauty of our trees, plants and flowers, which are nurtured by YSU groundskeepers. The Campus Beautification Initiative seeks not only to replace the 70 lost trees, but also to sustain and enhance the YSU landscape by establishing an endowment that will help support the perpetual care and maintenance of campus grounds. To generate funds for the endowment, YSU is introducing a new program that will provide opportunities to honor or memorialize loved ones. Donors may choose to have a tree planted on the

campus core with a commemorative plaque placed adjacent to the tree. Another option is the purchase of a bench made from recycled material and featuring an inlaid plaque on the backrest. Trees are offered at $1,500 and benches are offered at $2,500. These amounts include the cost of the new tree or bench and the ongoing care or maintenance of each. In keeping with campus sustainability standards, YSU horticulturists have recommended placing trees that will thrive in the Northeast Ohio climate zone, with emphases on native species and diversification of campus flora. Tree selection and bench placement will be determined with consideration to donor preference and the priorities of the campus landscape master plan. The Campus Beautification Initiative will help insure that Youngstown State University is able to sustain the extraordinary beauty of its campus landscape –­ to be enjoyed by future generations of students and members of the campus and area communities. For more information, contact Catherine Cala, development director, at 330-941-2752 or cacala@ysu.edu or visit www.ysu.edu/treesbenches.

Brick Campaign Adds to

Beautification Effort The Office of University Development is providing alumni and friends one final opportunity to mark YSU’s 100th anniversary with a lasting remembrance through the Centennial Circle Brick Campaign. The campaign is offering personalized bricks that will be placed around the bronze sculpture of the late Howard W. Jones, YSU’s first president. Located at the entrance to YSU’s campus core, the site of the statue will be named Centennial Circle. The sculpture was commissioned by Tony, ’66 and Mary Lariccia of Boardman, and their daughters, Natalie and Dana, ’08. Centennial Circle bricks are available in two sizes: 4 by 8 inch bricks are $150 and provide three lines of text and 14 spaces per line; 8 by 8 inch bricks are $300 and include six lines of text and 14 spaces per line. Brick donors will receive a genuine mini-replica, certificate of appreciation and a locator map. All proceeds from the brick sales will be designated to the Campus Beautification Initiative to help sustain the flora and green spaces that give the YSU campus its unique parklike atmosphere. “YSU’s Walk of Pride brick campaign for Stambaugh Stadium in 1998 was very popular,” said Paul McFadden,’84, chief development officer. “We expect our new brick campaign to run through summer 2010, with the dedication of Centennial Circle to occur in fall 2010.” To order a brick, visit www.ysubricks.com or contact Jacquelyn Daniel Johnson, annual giving coordinator, at 330-941-2329 or jmdaniel@ysu.edu


Youngstown State University

*Bricks shown are digitally simulated with inscriptions.

Decorative brickwork encircling the bronze sculpture of Howard W. Jones, YSU’s first president, will be named the Centennial Circle as part of a campaign to support a new Campus Beautification Initiative. Donors may purchase personalized* bricks in two sizes, to be positioned within the circle as a lasting memorial on the YSU campus.

graciela Perera

Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Information Systems Graciela Perera sees field experience as the best kind of confidence-builder. That’s why the computer science professor has made it a priority to find hands-on opportunities for students in her first two years as a member of the YSU faculty. She secured grant funds, for example, to send two junior computer science majors and one sophomore for a twomonth research seminar with Ph.D. students at the University of California at Berkeley this summer. Another grant paid for her and two undergraduates to travel to a conference at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., earlier this year. The students made a research poster presentation there before the annual meeting of the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI), which provided funding support. Now Perera is using a $10,000 grant from the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission to create a computer research project for Hispanic students at YSU, and she’s making plans to establish an undergraduate research group to engage more YSU computer science majors. “A lot of times, students don’t succeed because they don’t believe in themselves,” Perera explained. “I think they need role models, mentors, and definitely opportunities to participate actively outside the classroom. I myself have mentors – like Ann Gates, an associate vice president at the University of Texas at El Paso, and others at CAHSI – who have given me guidance, support and invaluable advice.” Born in Venezuela, Perera grew up in Canada and the United States because of her father’s employment. She is fluent in English and Spanish. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Metropolitan University and her master’s at Simon Bolivar University, both in Venezuela, and discovered her passion for teaching while working part-time as a lab assistant and tutor. When Microsoft offered her a computer industry position she turned it down to teach at Simon Bolivar, and then went to the University of South Florida to earn a Ph.D. in computer science and engineering. Perera had just completed her doctorate when she met Alina Lazar, a YSU associate professor of computer science and information systems, and heard about the faculty opening at YSU. “She made a good impression, so I decided to apply,” Perera said of the YSU position. “It turned out to be the real thing.”

Summer 2009


sports news

Sports News

Game Day Program Named Best in Nation

Members of the YSU women's track and field team celebrate winning the Horizon League Outdoor Championship title for the second consecutive year.

Track and Field Team Wins Horizon Title

Penguin Pitcher in Slow Motion This multiple-exposure photo captures the fast pitch form of Penguin baseball pitcher Aaron Swenson of Twinsburg, Ohio. Swenson, named 2008 Horizon League Pitcher-of-the-Year, followed with another solid campaign this spring. His 70 strikeouts ranked him fifth in the league for 2009, and he pitched 90 innings, ranking fourth in that category. Swenson, a junior, picked up three wins against Horizon League opponents and threw six complete games this season, the highest total by a Penguin in six years. Swenson and First-Team All-Horizon League pitcher Phil Klein became only the second Penguin duo in school history to strike out at least 70 batters in the same season. Klein was joined on the Horizon League first team by shortstop Jack Healey; Healey was also named to the all-newcomer team. 22

Youngstown State University

The YSU women’s track and field team successfully defended its outdoor conference crown, beating out Milwaukee 208-180 to claim back-to-back Horizon League Track and Field Outdoor Championship titles. The May league victory was the team’s fifth outdoor conference title, YSU’s ninth Horizon League title and the university’s 17th championship overall. Sophomore Danielle Curry was named Outstanding Field Performer after winning both the discus and the shot put events. Curry threw a distance of 43.54 meters in the discus and heaved the shot put 14.07 meters. Other team members who claimed first place awards were: sophomore Alisha Anthony, winning the triple jump for the second straight year; junior Jen Grayson, high jump; Lyndsie Hall, javelin; and senior Yandeh Joh, heptathlon. Finally, a team comprised of seniors Joh, Emily Wollet, Kari Kreutzfeld and sophomore Breanne Romeo won the 4x400 meter relay with a league record time of 3:45.72. Head coach Brian Gorby was named the league’s Coach of the Year on the outdoor circuit for the second consecutive year. The award also marks the 16th time the YSU coaching staff has been honored.

Women Golfers Are League Champs

The Penguin women’s golf team took home the 2009 Horizon League Championship in April with a commanding17-stroke lead, and head coach Roseann Schwartz was named league Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season. As a team, the Penguins carded a three-round total of 968 (331-319-318) and held their lead in every round of the tournament to take the crown. Their final round score of 318 was a tournament low. Leading the way for the Penguins was freshman Samantha Formeck, who took medalist honors following a three-round total of 239 (78-82-79). Formeck followed Katie Rogner’s impressive freshman performance last year, marking back-to-back freshman medalist honors for the Penguins. Junior Brittany Stillwagon finished in second place after firing a 241 threeround total, and Rogner was one stroke behind with a 242 total to claim fifth place. Formeck, Stillwagon and Rogner were named to the All-Tournament Team, and Rogner also earned All-Horizon League Team honors. The women’s golf team last won the Horizon League title in 2003.

The 2008 edition of Penguin Power, YSU’s football game program, was named Best in the Nation for the third consecutive year by the College Sports Information Directors of America. YSU’s sports information and marketing staffs are responsible for the content, editing and design for the program; Pegasus Printing of Youngstown assists in the design and prints the program. The 2008 edition featured an impressive 180 pages for all six home games. The award, presented at the FSC’s annual workshop in San Antonio, Tex., marks the fifth time in eight years - and the third consecutive year - that Penguin Power has been selected as best game day program. YSU’s football programs were also honored as the nation’s best in 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007. Additionally, the 2008 YSU Football Media and Recruiting Guide was ranked fourth in the country on the FCS level. Media and recruiting guides are printed on campus at YSU Printing Services.

Penguin Football 2009 Date Sept. 5 Sept. 12 Sept. 19 Sept. 26 Oct. 3 Oct. 10 Oct. 17 Oct. 24 Oct. 31 Nov. 7 Nov. 14 Nov. 21 Nov. 28

Opponent at Pittsburgh Austin Peay at Northeastern at Indiana State* Missouri State* Western Illinois* OPEN at Southern Illinois* South Dakota State* at Northern Iowa* Illinois State* at North Dakota State* FCS Playoffs

Time 1 p.m. 4 p.m. 1 p.m. 12:05 p.m. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 4 p.m. 4 p.m. 5:05 p.m. 1 p.m. 2 p.m.

*Missouri Valley Football Conference All Game Times Eastern and Subject to Change

Summer 2009



Fireline Scholarship

Encouraging Innovation Developing new materials and processes has always played a crucial role in the success of Fireline, Inc. Now the Youngstown manufacturing firm has created a scholarship to support and encourage YSU students who share that interest in material innovations. The renewable scholarship, awarded for the first time last fall, was established by Fireline under a long-term agreement with the YSU Foundation. The company intends to award $2,000 per semester to a qualified junior or senior in YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Roger and Gloria Jones are the owners and founders of Fireline, which manufactures ceramic components used in aerospace and other industries. A long-time research partner with YSU, the company has also provided engineering internships for YSU students for many years. “We had given bits and pieces over the years,” said Gloria Jones, treasurer of the company’s board of directors and chair of its charitable contribution committee. “We decided our goals would best be met at YSU by giving a scholarship to encourage development of new materials and to encourage interest in manufacturing. We believe in manufacturing, and we believe Fireline TCON general manager Mark Peters, left, and scholarship recipient Devin Wilmouth, it is important for the future of this area.” a YSU senior engineering major, at the company’s production plant in Youngstown. Devin Wilmouth of Cortland, now a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, was the first recipient of the Fireline scholarship. Mark Peters, general manager at Fireline’s subsidiary company, Fireline TCON, Inc., said Wilmouth and another engineering major, senior Eric Wojcik of Cortland, are also working as research interns at the plant. The company planned, at first, to limit the award to engineering students but decided to expand eligibility to juniors and seniors in Physics, Chemistry and other STEM fields that involve material research and development. Jones said development of new materials and processes and excellent quality production have been priorities at Fireline since she and her husband founded the company in their basement 45 years ago. The ceramic components production field was dominated then by giant, billion-dollar businesses, she said, but Fireline managed to thrive, now with about 100 employees, annual sales of more than $13 million and a worldwide customer base. Applicants for the Fireline scholarship must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average in their major courses, must demonstrate financial need and be residents of a five-county area that includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio, Mercer and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania. For more information, contact the YSU Foundation, 330-941-3211 or foundation@ysufoundation.org.


Youngstown State University

Scholarships Encourage Excellence By Reid Schmutz, YSU Foundation President

YSU’s long tradition of open enrollment has been consistent through six administrations, but Howard Jones, the university’s first president, also recognized the need to encourage outstanding student achieveReid Schmutz ment. He created a scholarship program to reward excellent academic performance. In the 1990s, then-president Leslie Cochran ratcheted up this goal by establishing the University Scholars program, providing 40 full-ride scholarships to qualified new freshman each year. Eligibility for the prestigious awards is determined by test scores, class rank and academic performance. This highly-competitive scholars program has been sustained under YSU President David C. Sweet’s administration, paving the way for scores of exceptional students to complete their undergraduate studies at YSU. University Scholar Nicole McElroy, for example, was recently awarded a Fulbright grant to teach English in Germany, one of many in the program who have brought honor to themselves and the university. Dr. Paul Sracic, professor and chair of Political Science and the Rigelhaupt Pre-Law Center, was also named a Fulbright Scholar and will be lecturing and teaching in Tokyo during the 2009–2010 academic year. The Scholarships for Excellence program, which includes University Scholars, has a 42-year history as the YSU Foundation’s largest program. It continues to grow, thanks to generous alumni and friends’ contributions to the YSU Foundation General Scholarship Fund. For more information about University Scholars and other scholarship programs, call the Foundation at 330-9413211. Contributions to the YSU Foundation General Scholarship Fund can be mailed to: YSU Foundation, 606 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44502.


lumni •





Forté on the Fifty

Western Pa. Band Features Four Dana School Grads

Four graduates of the Dana School of Music brought their musical talents back to the YSU campus this summer when they performed at the annual Forté on the Fifty celebration as members of 2nd Avenue Project, a popular Western Pennsylvania band. Alumni Steve Dalrymple, John Onufrak, John Rindy and Nick Yoho make up half of the eight-member ensemble, which shared the Stambaugh Stadium stage July 11 with the Dana All Star Band. The music was followed by a fireworks display presented by B. J. Alan’s Phantom Fireworks, which co-sponsored Forté on the Fifty with Fox 17/62 and Handel’s Ice Cream. Members of 2nd Avenue Project have been performing together for more than a decade. They’ve played fundraising concerts for national charities, charity balls, civic events and summer concerts in Ohio and Pennsylvania. DVDs and CDs of their induction concert backup performances for the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Sharon, Pa., are still being sold worldwide. All four of 2nd Avenue’s YSU alumni members have managed to balance professional careers with the band’s busy performance schedule.

The 2nd Avenue Project, which includes four YSU alumni, shared the stage with the Dana All Star Band at this year’s Forté on the Fifty celebration July 11. YSU alumni members of 2nd Avenue are, from left, Steve Dalrymple, John Rindy, Nick Yoho and John Onufrak; other members, continuing from left, are Jeff Sweigard, Kari Thormodsgard, Buddy White and Terry McDonald.

Dalrymple, who plays trombone, spends his workdays as plant manager at Phillips Manufacturing in Niles, Ohio. His musical experience included a stint with the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus Orchestra, and he also performed with the Modernaires and Manhattan Transfer. Dana alumni John Onufrak and Nick Yoho are both music teachers in the New Castle, Pa., school district. Onufrak, who plays the trumpet and keyboard, has performed with several nationally-known artists and is a prolific songwriter and musical arranger. Yoho plays saxophone and has played with popular recording artists such as The Temptations and Tony Butala of The Lettermen. John Rindy, lead male vocalist who also plays percussion and keyboard for 2nd Avenue, is a dean of educational outreach at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. He’s worked opening shows and backups for a host of popular acts in the United States and Canada.

Terrace Dinners: You’re Invited

Make reservations to attend one or more Alumni Terrace Dinners, held 90 minutes before each home football game on the Stambaugh Stadium Terrace, weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, dinners are inside Stambaugh Stadium. Call 330-941-3496 for more information.

YSU vs. Pittsburgh Floating Tailgate Party Tasting Virginia Wines YSU’s Alumni Society sponsored a wine tasting event in Arlington, Va. that drew about 30 alumni and friends to the Hotel Palomar in late May. Guests sampled several Virginia wines, then rated and discussed their favorites, expanding their wine knowledge while getting to know fellow alumni. YSU has about 750 alumni living in northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and southern Maryland. D.C.-area alums are creating an online listserv to help participants keep in touch and to plan future alumni events. Any D.C.-area alumni interested in joining the listserv can do so by sending an e-mail to: habelgin@ysu.edu.

Make plans to attend the Floating Tailgate Party when YSU faces the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday, Sept. 5 in Pittsburgh. A pre-game buffet on the Gateway Clipper will give alumni and friends a fun, convenient location to prepare to cheer on the Penguins, and three Floating Tailgate Parties will accommodate YSU fans. The cost is $15 per person and the reservation deadline is August 28. Reservations are required. For details contact the Office of Alumni and Events Management, 330-941-3497. Game tickets can be purchased through the Athletic Ticket Office, 330-941-7466.

Summer 2009


Alumni potligh

Alumni News

homecoming YO U N G STO W N STATE U NI V E R SIT Y


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 through


Be part of the festivities during YSU’s 2009 Homecoming. Special campus events begin Sunday, October 25.

Mark your calendars! Highlights include: • WCBA Awards Banquet, 6 p.m., Oct. 30 • Homecoming Parade, 2 p.m., Oct. 31 • Alumni Terrace Dinner, 2:30 p.m., Oct. 31 • Homecoming Game vs. South Dakota State, 4 p.m., Oct. 31 • Half Century Club Reunion, reception – 11:30 a.m.; luncheon – noon, Nov. 1 Homecoming is the perfect time for alumni, family and friends to revisit favorite spots on campus, gather with friends and enjoy many different campus activities.

For more information as the date draws closer visit


You may also call the Office of Alumni and Events Management at 330-941-3497.


Youngstown State University

Applications Being Accepted for YSU Alumni Society Board The YSU Alumni Society Board is now accepting applications for four board positions, with terms to run October 2009 through October 2015. The Alumni Society Board’s mission is to develop and foster sound relationships and lifelong involvement between the university and its alumni. The board meets four times per year, and its members assist the Office of Alumni and Events Management with events and programs. Current members of the Alumni Society Board include: Bruce Sherman ’70, immediate past president; Germaine Bennett ’83, president; Dr. Rich Crepage ’71, ’78, ’99, vice-president; John Africa ’62; Chris Buccino ’91, ’02; Karen Conklin ’70; Renee DiSalvo ’93; David Ivko ’70; Francine Irwin Jablonski ’74; Shelly LaBerto ’90; Jesse McClain ’76; Noreen Moderalli ’75; and Laurie Moore ’77, ’84. Applications are available on the YSU Alumni website, www.ysu.edu/alumni, or call 330-941-3497 for more information.

Need a Job? Career Services Can Help Due to the current economic climate and widespread job losses, YSU’s Office of Career and Counseling Services invites alumni to register for a free Penguinlink account. Penguinlink is an online recruiting system designed to connect YSU students and alumni with employers. The fee for alumni to access Penguinlink has been waived until January 2010 to assist alumni who have become displaced workers or are having difficulty finding employment. To register for Penguinlink, visit the Career & Counseling Services website at www.ysu.edu/ career-services. Penguinlink provides access to job postings and allows alumni to get their résumés referred to employers seeking candidates in their preferred fields. Career Services staff are also available to review alumni résumés and to make recommendations. For more information or to schedule an appointment call the Office of Career and Counseling Services, 330-941-3515.


Celebrating Accomplished Graduates


Finding New Ways to Tell Great Stories Craig Duff, ’85

He’s a storyteller, plain and simple. At least that’s how Craig Duff sees himself. But the YSU alum’s talent for bringing stories to life in sound and video has taken him to the ends of the earth as an award-winning broadcast journalist, writer and documentary producer. Duff is director of multimedia for Time.com, the online home of Time magazine. He specializes in “multi-platform journalism,” using every available type of media to report news and feature stories. “I like to think that a story is a story,” he said. “What we’re doing is telling the story in all the different ways that people like to get their news, from a four word review on Twitter to an 8,000-word print piece to a 90-second podcast.” To illustrate, he recalls a video he did for Time.com this spring on a speed stacking competition where participants stack and restack plastic cups at lightening speeds. It may sound dull in print, but Duff’s short video of an 11-year-old boy’s record-breaking performance brought out the excitement of it all. “Sometimes it just works better if we can show you,” he said. Duff grew up in Fowler, a rural community in Northeast Ohio, and earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from YSU in 1985. “YSU allowed me to try on a lot of different hats,” he said, remembering the long list of on- and off-campus activities he was involved in, including University Theater, Student Government and working for WYSU. He went on to the University of Texas at Austin to earn a master’s degree in radio, television and film-making. His big break came next. Duff was recruited for what he calls “a

bottom-rung job” running a studio camera for CNN’s Headline News. Within nine years, he had advanced to executive producer. Still in his early 30s, Duff decided then to focus exclusively on making documentaries, first for CNN, then for the New York Times, Discovery Channel and others. His work-related adventures included mushing across Minnesota on a dog sled, flying on a B-52 bomber training mission and spending a week on an aircraft carrier in wartime. There were some close calls, particularly when he covered the war in Iraq, but Duff jokes that his only on-the-job injury occurred when he stepped on a 10-inch basket weaving needle while reporting from a village near Timbuktu. He likes to teach. Last year he accepted a post as a Ferris Professor of Journalism in residence at Princeton University, and he was in Egypt for a year in 2007 as a Knight International Journalism Fellow at the American University in Cairo. Visiting YSU’s campus in March, he conducted multiplatform journalism workshops for students and members of the Youngstown-area news media. Now focused on his position at Time.com, Duff said he looks forward to the expanding role that multi-platform reporting will play for Time magazine and other print publications. “Multimedia is not going to be the only way people will want to get their news. People are not going to stop reading,” he said. “But I will say this: When the Pulitzer Prize nominations came out last year, every single print candidate had a multi-platform package. They all had a multimedia side that was pretty strong.”

Story by Cynthia Vinarsky

Summer 2009


Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

Speaking Out for Peace in Palestine Riyad Mansour, ’71, ’73

Angela Speece Angela Speece

Art Grad Lands Internship in Venice Angela Speece, ’06 Angela Speece wanted to experience living in Europe and she longed to land a once-in-alifetime internship. She’s managed to do both. Speece, who earned bachelor’s degrees in art education and fine arts from YSU in 2006, was selected from among thousands of applicants for an autumn internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy, one of four Guggenheim art centers around the globe. The YSU graduate will wear many hats during her three months at the world-renowned museum, hanging and guarding exhibits, conducting tours and teaching children’s art classes in English. Now a graduate student at the Tufts University School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Speece will be working with student interns from 34 countries. “I’m really looking forward to working in such an important place in art and seeing what goes on behind the scenes,” said Speece. “Because it is small - it was once Peggy Guggenheim’s residence - I’ll be able to meet people involved with all aspects of the museum.” She laid the groundwork for her selection two years ago when she was in Venice as part of a program called Volunteer for Peace and stopped off to visit the Guggenheim museum. Speece said she purposely approached every employee she saw, introducing herself and striking up conversations.


Youngstown State University

“I knew if they could put my face with the name on my application, I’d have a better chance of making it,” she said. She lacked one requirement for the Guggenheim internship - the ability to speak some Italian – but fortunately her boyfriend, a second-generation Italian who is fluent in the language, has agreed to tutor her. The daughter of Robin and William Speece, North Jackson, Ohio, the recent grad has a long list of study grants and awards to her credit, such as the 2008 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Love of Learning Award and the 2008 Tufts Graduate Student Travel Grant. Also an accomplished artist, her artwork was featured in the spring 2009 issue of Studio Visit Magazine, her first showing in a national publication. Recently accepted into the museum studies program at Tufts, Speece expects to complete her master’s degree in December 2010 and then plans to pursue a doctorate in contemporary art history or contemporary visual studies. She has fond memories of her years at YSU. “I wouldn’t have changed my time there for anything. The professors were great, and the art professors especially were amazing,” she said, listing professors Louis Zona, Al Bright and Sam AduPoku as her most memorable. Speece knows she’ll be busy at the Guggenheim when her internship begins Sept. 1, but she’s hoping to find enough free time to explore the inner-workings of Venice. “I’ve toured Europe before, but I’ve never had the chance to stay in one place for very long,” she said. “I’d really like to get to know the city, and I’d like it to feel more like home by the end of my stay.”

Story by Britta Snowberger

A YSU alumnus is at the epicenter of one of the world’s most bitter and complex international disputes: the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Riyad Mansour is Palestine’s chief ambassador to the United Nations and has dedicated most of his 20-year career as a UN diplomat to campaigning for peace between Palestine and Israel. Quoted frequently on the subject by print and electronic news media worldwide, he uses every opportunity to defend the rights of Palestinian refugees and to call for resolution of the decades-old dispute. Mansour explained the Palestinian view of the situation when he addressed several hundred Mahoning Valley high school students attending the 21st annual YSU Model UN meeting on campus in April. “The UN General Assembly approved a resolution in 1947 dividing Palestine into two states, Jewish and Arab, but it never happened,” he said. “It is the largest and longest refugee problem in the history of the world, a tragic situation. Throughout the Muslim and Arab world, many believe that the UN has failed Palestine.” Still, Mansour believes in the power of diplomacy and its ability to eventually affect change. “What I like best about what I’m doing is that it is meaningful for advancing the cause of the Palestinian people and the cause of peace,” he said. “It’s disappointing when you think sometimes that we’re close to having peace and then it dashes away, but I always try to look for the light at the end of the tunnel.” Mansour spent the first 18 years of his life in Palestine, the son of a refugee family. His father immigrated to Youngstown and found a job as a steelworker at Youngstown Sheet & Tube, mailing his paychecks back home to his wife, four sons and two daughters. One by one, as the brothers reached college age, he brought them to the United States and enrolled them at YSU. Mansour earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in counseling at YSU, then a Ph.D. in counseling at the University of Akron. He wanted to be a medical doctor at first, but an interest in politics drew him to the UN. He started there in 1977 as a research adviser, then served as deputy permanent observer for Palestine until 1994. He spent 11 years working in the private sector as vice president of a commercial development company and teaching at the University of Central Florida before returning to the UN to assume Palestine’s top diplomatic post in 2005. With residences in Manhattan, Orlando and Ramallah, Palestine, Mansour travels more than 100,000 miles a year, representing Palestine’s interests at conferences and meetings with world leaders across

the globe. “It’s an experience similar to being a member of Congress because the UN is a global parliament,” he said. Mansour established some strong connections while at YSU. He met his wife, the former Caryl Galicia, a YSU alumna, when both were students at the university. The couple has two children, a son and a daughter. “YSU holds a special place in my heart. I always think of the inspiring and engaging professors I had there, and the wonderful friends I made,” he said, remembering Thomas Shipka, professor and chair emeritus, Philosophy and Religious Studies, as one of his favorites. Mansour is still loyal to the region’s sports teams: the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, the YSU Penguins and the Akron Zips, and he enjoys playing golf. “It’s like chess to me,” he said, “and the best part is, when I’m playing with other ambassadors, we negotiate resolutions on the golf course.” Story by Cynthia Vinarsky

Riyad Mansour

Summer 2009




’50s James A. Lowery

Jr. of Baldwinsville,

N.Y., ’50 AB in English, was inducted into the Central New York Sectional III Basketball Hall of Fame in recognition of his many years of broadcasting high James Lowery school basketball games in New York and Ohio. Formerly a partner of Century Broadcasting Co. in Baldwinsville, he was also vice president and general manager. His wife, Marjorie Grimsley Lowery, is a 1951 Youngstown College alumna.

’60s Joyce E. Brooks

of Canfield, ’61 BSEd, ’70 MSEd, was honored by the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center Governing Board when Joyce Brooks it named the new MCCTC conference center in her honor, recognizing her career in education spanning 50 years. Brooks was a school teacher and served as director of personnel for the Mahoning County Schools and the Youngstown City Schools and worked several years as an administrator at YSU. She has served as a member of the Mahoning County Educational Service Center board and the MCCTC board since 1997.

Carolyn Yoest Turnbull of Meadville,

Pa., ’68 BSEd, was recognized by the Meadville YWCA in its annual Tribute to Women. She earned a master’s degree in special education and a post-master’s certificate, both from Slippery Rock University, held various teaching positions in her career as an educator and has authored several articles on education issues.

’70s Steve Pernotto

of Charlotte, N.C., ’70 BSBA, has retired from his position as executive vice president of human resources for Belk Inc., a


department store chain with 308 stores in 16 states. He joined the company in 1994 and served as its media spokesman.

Dr. Ronald E. Domen of Hershey, Pa.,

’72 AB, is entering his fifth year as associate dean for graduate medical education at Penn State University College of Medicine. Dr. Domen specializes in transfusion medicine. He completed his medical degree through the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico.

Suzanne Fleming of

Youngstown, ’73 AAS in nursing and ’89 BA in sociology, was named to the board of directors for the Raymond John Wean Foundation in Warren. Suzanne Fleming She retired last year from YSU’s Center for Human Services Development. She has a master’s degree from Kent State University.

James Loveland of Williamsburg, Va.,

’73 BE in civil engineering, is a gas operations manager for Waste Management, Inc. and manages landfill gas collection and control system activities for over 50 landfills across the Mid-Atlantic region. A professional engineer, he has been with Waste Management for more than 22 years.

James P. Peterson

of Marion, Ohio, ’74 BS in education, was named superintendent of Fredericktown Local Schools. An educator for 35 years, he was recently presented the ADvanED CASI State Excel- James Peterson lence in Education Award, sponsored by a national school accreditation organization. Peterson earned a master’s degree from the University of Dayton.

Dr. Dianne Bitonte Miladore of

Steve Pernotto

Youngstown State University

Canfield, ’78 BS, has been appointed to the board of trustees at the Northeast Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rootstown and, therefore, resigned her position on the YSU Board of Trustees. Her term was to expire in 2014. She earned her medical degree as a member of the charter class at NEOUCOM and has served as an

Class Notes office. He earned his law degree from Capital University and joined the firm in 2005. emergency room attending physician at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, St. Elizabeth Health Center and the former Beeghly Urgent Care Center, both in Youngstown.

Mary SeminaraSchostok of Lib-

ertyville, Ill.,’79 AAB,’82 BSEd, was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a judge in the state’s Second District Appellate Court. Mary Seminara-Schostok She earned her law degree at Capital University College of Law in Columbus and had been a 19th Judicial Circuit judge since 2001. Seminara-Schostok is third vice-president of the Illinois Judges Association and chairs the Criminal Law and Probation Committee of the Illinois Supreme Court.

’80s Dr. Roberta Kalafut of Abilene, Texas,

’80 AB, immediate past president of the Texas Medical Board, has been appointed to the board’s District Three Review. A physician in private practice certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine, she was the first female president of the state’s medical board. Her medical degree is from Ohio University of Osteopathic Medicine.

Jim Cain of Brockport, N.Y., ’83 BE in

mechanical engineering, has authored his fifth teambuilding text, Essential Staff Training Activities, published by Kendall/Hunt Publishers. Cain owns a training company called Teamwork & Teamplay and is a senior consultant for Cornell University’s Corporate Teambuilding Program. He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a second master’s and a doctorate from the University of Rochester.

Dean Talaganis

of Mentor, ’86 BSBA in industrial marketing, has been promoted to partner in Morris Hardwick Schneider, a large Atlanta-based real estate closing law firm. TaDean Talaganis laganis is district president for the firm’s Ohio operations and managing attorney for its Cleveland

R. Tad Greig of Mercer, Pa., ’89 MMEd,

presented two sessions at the South Carolina Music Educators state conference in February and spoke at the Pennsylvania Music Educators state conference in April. An associate professor of music and director of bands at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., he is president of the Pennsylvania chapter of Phi Beta Mu, the national band masters fraternity. Greig has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and R. Tad Greig a doctorate from Kent State University.

’90s Darryl Rodgers of Cortland, ’90 BA,

was named to the Trumbull County African American Achievers Association Hall of Fame in February. Rodgers is a supervisor for the Trumbull County Drug Court and an instructor for the Kent State University Police Academy. He is a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor, a licensed social worker, a certified clinical supervisor and a special deputy sheriff. He earned a master’s degree from Tiffin University and is associate minister of Trinity Baptist Church in Warren.

Jodi (McCreary) Jorgensen of

Struthers, ’91 BSN, was promoted to regional director of clinical services for Maxim Healthcare Services in Youngstown. A registered nurse, she earned a master’s degree in nursing from Kent State University.

Dr. Joseph A. Rodrigo of Charles-

ton, S.C., ’93 BS combined sciences, is a board certified anesthesiologist in private practice in Charleston, where he was also named Joseph Rodrigo director of regional anesthesia and acute pain management at Roper Hospital. A graduate of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, he founded the American School for Ultrasound-Guided Regional Anesthesia, also known as AMSURA, in 2008.

Jim Hammond of Canfield, ’93 BSBA,

was named president and owner of Valley Industrial Trucks, which has offices in Youngstown and Akron. Previously vice president and sales manager of the company, Hammond joined the business as a sales representative the year he graduated from YSU.

Trent Boykin of

Jackson, Tenn, ’96 BA, is in his second season as head football coach at Lane College in Jackson. He was a standout wide receiver and punt returner for the Penguins as a Trent Boykin student and holds the school record for career punt returns and punt return yards. Boykin later held assistant coaching positions at YSU, Ball State, Kentucky State, Tiffin and Boston College.

Thomas Evan Green of Boston

Heights, Ohio, ’93 BSEd, has been named a shareholder in Kastner Westman & Wilkins, an Akron labor and employment law firm. A graduate of the Cleveland- Thomas Green Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, he joined the firm in 2002. Prior to law school he was a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service in the Youngstown area.

David J. Hrina of Canfield, ’93 BE and

’94 ME, has been named to the 2009 edition of Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars, a publication recognizing outstanding attorneys who are under 40 or practicing for less than 10 years. Hrina was recently elected a shareholder in the Akron law office of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, where he is part of its business, litigation, intellectual property and environmental law practice groups. He earned his law degree at the University of Akron School of Law, where he has also served as an adjunct professor. David Hrina

John Picuri of Cortland, ’97 BE in civil engineering, was recently appointed Trumbull County’s deputy engineer after working more than a decade as a bridge and project engineer for the county. Picuri also has a bachelor’s John Picuri degree in surveying and mapping from the University of Akron, is licensed in both Ohio and Pennsylvania as a professional engineer and is working towards a professional surveyor’s license. He is a part-time instructor at YSU. Barbara Rombach

of Hermitage, Pa., ’98 Associate degree in management, ’00 BSBA, was appointed practice manager for Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth Health Center and for Associates in Cardiothoracic Surgery. The MFM department

Barbara Rombach

Imagine a Cadillac with luxury car looks and the cargo capacity of an SUV.

Paul West of Detroit, ‘87 BE in mechanical engineering, did more than imag-

ine. A longtime engineer for the Ford Motor Co. who lost his job in January in the automaker’s latest round of salaried-employee layoffs, West modified a Cadillac to create what he calls the SRX Custom Crossover Sedan and introduced it to the public at the 2009 Cleveland Auto Show. Now president and founder of Mahoning Automotive Design LC, West is working to sell his crossover vehicle design with the dual-action trunk to a major auto manufacturer, and he has several other auto-related projects in mind as well. “I want to help change the culture of the auto industry,” he said. “We’ve got to come up with some new ideas, and this is an idea I believe in.” West spent the first decade of his career in aerospace engineering, working for contractors that supplied the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “Everybody I worked with loved rockets, but I had a passion for cars,” he said. He joined Ford in 2000, working in product planning, vehicle development, business strategy and hybrid electric vehicle engineering. A Youngstown native, West said his company’s name and logo were inspired by his Mahoning Valley birthplace.

Summer 2009


Class Notes provides care to high-risk expectant mothers at offices in Youngstown, Niles and Salem. Previously, Rombach was financial decision support coordinator for Forum Health.

Elisabeth Novakovich of Cortland, ’99

BS in applied science, was named nurse manager of the emergency department at St. Joseph Health Center in Warren. A registered nurse, she earned a nursing diploma Elisabeth Novakovich from Idabelle Firestone School of Nursing and a paramedic certification from St. Thomas Medical Center. Before the promotion she was trauma coordinator for St. Joseph’s.

Brian Kraynak of Fuquay-Varina, N.C.,

’99 MS in engineering, has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional designation. A project manager at SEPI Engineering Group in Raleigh, N.C., Kraynak earned a BS in civil engineering from the University of Toledo and holds an MBA from the University of Akron.

Two YSU alumni ­– Ed Mitchell of Austintown (above) and Sean Sich of

’00s Darren Hudach

of Uniontown, Ohio, ’00 BS in computer science, is director of global software and North American technical Darren Hudach support for PerkinElmer, a company with operations in 150 countries. Hudach earned an MBA from the University of Findlay, Ohio and joined PerkinElmer about six years ago.

Brandon C. Schneider of Arlington,

Va., ’00 AB in history and Russian, was recently appointed assistant dean for admissions at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington D.C. He is also working on a Ph.D. in Russian history at Georgetown.

Jamie Marich of

Howland, ’00 BA American studies and history, won first prize for her research poster at the 2008 International Conference of the Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Jamie Marich International Association and had a research article published in the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research. A certified EMDR therapist, she is a clinical counselor at PsyCare, Inc. in Youngstown, an adjunct faculty member with Argosy University Online and Ottawa University Online, and a Ph.D. candidate with Capella University’s School of Human Services.

Youngstown (right) - beat out thousands of competitors this year for a chance to compete in the television game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Mitchell, ’04 BS in biology, said he was thrilled to be selected for the Millionaire “hot seat” and enjoyed the experience, though he was disappointed with his $1,000 in winnings. A volunteer scuba instructor for the Mahoning County Sheriff Department who works in the banking industry, Mitchell made it to the $25,000-question on the show, which aired March 31 and April 1, but guessed the answer incorrectly. Sich, ’02 BA in philosophy, ’05 BSEd in social studies, was working two jobs and struggling to pay some medical bills when he heard about a Millionaire contestant search in Pittsburgh and decided to try for it. He won $16,000 on the show that aired in mid-February. “I stopped there instead of guessing, and it turned out to be a good decision,” said Sich, who is now employed as a system test engineer for Notify Technology in Canfield.


Youngstown State University

Dr. David A. Bitonte of

Louisville, Ohio, ’03 MBA, was named to the Ohio Department of Health’s Public Health Council. A physician and public health medical officer for the City of Akron Health Department, he has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, a medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a master’s in public health from A.T. Still University, Missouri.

Adam Booth of New Water-

ford, ‘03 BA in political science, was named deputy director of the Columbiana County Board of Elections. He is vice chairman of the Columbiana County Republican Party and serves on the county’s Educa-

tional Service Center board. Booth has a master’s degree in applied politics from the University of Akron.

Printing this 32-page edition of YSU Magazine used about 15 tons of paper. That translates into 255 35-foot Adam Booth

Donna J. Haworth of Turtle Creek, Pa.,

’04 BS in chemical engineering, is a winner of the 2009 Carnegie Science Awards University/ Post-Secondary Student Award, which recognizes advances through research. A bioengineering Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh, Haworth is doing research on stress Donna Haworth urinary incontinence.

Tara Mady

of Poland, ’05 BSBA in marketing, ’06 MBA, was recently promoted to director of marketing for the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Tara Mady Valley. She has been working with the United Way since August 2007.

David Mills of Marina Del Rey, Calif.,

’05 BS in physical education, was one of 20 bachelors chosen to compete on the Warner Brothers reality television program “The Cougar.” A former Penguin football player, he worked as an advertising consultant in Los Angeles until recently when he was laid off and decided to try out for reality television programs. He also appeared on Fox Reality’s “Battle of the Bods.”

trees. Even subtracting the 10 percent post-consumer recycled fiber we’ve built into the print specifications, we end up using about 230 trees. No matter how you cut it, that’s still a lot of trees. Would you like to help us reduce our chainsaw quotient by receiving the magazine online?

SAVE a Tree

If you’ll sign up for our online “green” edition, we will send you an e-mail every time a new magazine is available, along with a hotlink to the online edition. You’ll find our online edition is an accessible, reader-friendly version of YSU Magazine, and it includes additional photo galleries and other resources that supplement the content of the print edition. So help us save some trees. Please visit www.ysumagazine.org to check out the online edition of YSU Magazine and to register for your online subscription.

David Mills

Anthony Saccoccia of East Lansing,

Mich., ’07 BSEd in special education, was a graduate student-manager of the Michigan State University men’s basketball program when the team qualified for the 2009 NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship tournament in April. As a student at YSU he served four seasons as head manager for the Penguin men’s basketball program. Send your Class Notes to cevinarsky@ysu.edu


Youngstown State University

Non-Profit Org. US Postage

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


Permit 264 Youngstown, Ohio

change service requested

Going for the Green

Women’s sports have come a long way since these Youngstown College students met for a golf class on campus in 1947. The Women’s Athletic Association was organized in 1939, but opportunities for women were limited to physical education classes and intramural sports in those early days. Women’s varsity sports became part of YSU’s athletic program in the mid-1970s, starting with basketball, softball, volleyball, field hockey and gymnastics. Today, golf is one of 10 intercollegiate sports YSU offers for women. The Penguin women’s golf team brought home the Horizon League Championship this season, head coach Roseann Schwartz was named league Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, and two student-athletes - junior Brittany Stillwagon and freshman Samantha Formeck – were named to the National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar Team. For details, see page 23.