Page 1



on the cover In this photo illustration, David Lewis, YSU University Scholar class of 2004, is pictured with Puss in Boots. Lewis is now a lighting technical assistant at DreamWorks in California, working on films such as the Academy Award-nominated “Puss in Boots.” He is one of hundreds of University Scholars alumni living their dreams. As the Scholars program welcomes its 20th class, YSU Magazine focuses on one of the most successful academic initiatives in the university’s history.

YSU President

Cynthia E. Anderson, ’73

YSU Board of Trustees Chair Sudershan K. Garg Vice Chair John R. Jakubek, ’79 Millicent Counts, ’63 Delores Crawford, ’68 David C. Deibel, ’75 Harry Meshel, ’49 Leonard Schiavone Scott R. Schulick, ’94, ’96 Carole S. Weimer, ’89 Secretary Franklin S. Bennett Jr. Student Trustee Ryan Meditz Joshua Michael Prest


Magazine Editor

Cynthia Vinarsky

Director of University Communications

Ron Cole

Executive Director of Marketing & Communications

Mark W. Van Tilburg

Renée Cannon, ’90

Layout Design Artist

Photographer Bruce Palmer

Graduate Assistant

Robert Merz

Interim Director, Office Jacquelyn LeViseur, ’08 of Alumni and Events Management Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications

Jean Engle, ’86

Sports Contributor

Trevor Parks

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 (ISSN 2152-3754), Issue 11 online edition, Winter 2012, is published quarterly by the YSU Office of Marketing and Communications, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555. Periodicals Postage Paid at Youngstown, Ohio. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Youngstown State University, Office of Marketing and Communications, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555. Direct letters to the editor, comments or questions to the address above, call 330-941-3519 or email universitymagazine@ 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



Send your letters to: universitymagazine@ysu. edu or YSU Office of Marketing and Communications, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555.

Scholar Service Community service is one of the hallmarks of the YSU University Scholars program, and there is no better example of that spirit than Shantytown. Scholars donate canned goods, money and service hours to local organizations, build a town of “shanties” out of cardboard boxes in the courtyard of Cafaro House residence hall and, each November, spend a night outside in the boxes to bring attention to homelessness. Over the course of 14 years, the project has raised more than $42,000, and Scholars have volunteered over 25,000 hours of service. To the left, Scholars Bobby Cameron and Heather Coonfare prepare one of the boxes for Shantytown this past November. Pictured below left is Scholar Ashley Smith, and below right is Scholar Megan Chambers. Read more about the University Scholars program on Page 8.

in this

3 6


Around Campus – The latest campus news and photos. Student Success Stories – A regular feature highlighting YSU student achievements.


Photos courtesy of University Scholars.

COVER STORY: University Scholars – Living Their Dreams. Read about the scholarship program that’s been attracting the best and brightest students to YSU for two decades.

DEPARTMENTS 2 16 17 18

President’s Message Alumni News YSU Foundation Class Notes

Editor's Note: The winter edition of YSU Magazine includes our 2011 Annual report, which recognizes YSU alumni and friends who support the university through their generous contributions. The annual report is not included in this online edition of the magazine, in consideration of the privacy of YSU's donors. To obtain a print copy of the winter magazine, including the annual report, contact YSU's Office of Marketing and Communications at 330-941-3519, or send an e-mail with your name and mailing address to

Scan the QR Code with your smartphone to visit YSU Magazine’s online edition at





Alumni can receive magazine 4X a year. Write or call us for more information.



President’s Message

University Scholars –

Attracting the Best and Brightest

Cynthia E. Anderson President

When I graduated from high school years ago, my career goal was to become an educator. Never once, in all my academic endeavors, did I change my major from education. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed teaching high school students as well as college students, and I’ve had the good fortune to work with wonderful, dedicated faculty and staff whose love for students was always very evident. The rewards of watching students reach their goals, achieve their dreams, and graduate with their desired degrees, cannot be matched. Thus, when it was my privilege to be selected president of Youngstown State University, it seemed natural to make “Student Success and Academic Excellence” our mantra. The Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars program fits that mission so well. Since it was founded at YSU in 1993, University Scholars has attracted some of this region’s best and brightest high school seniors, as well as top students from 17 states and six foreign countries, to begin their college careers at YSU. I think former YSU President Leslie Cochran put a tremendous plan in place when he created the Scholars program, which was renamed in his honor when he retired in 2000. President Cochran aimed to build the university’s image as a place of academic excellence, so he proposed a scholarship program that would provide full tuition and room-and-board for four years to high-achieving students, provided they maintain top grades throughout their college career. Since then, University Scholars has been awarding 40 full-ride academic scholarships each year, with the cost paid by the YSU Foundation. Year after year, those University Scholars have been a tremendous asset to the university. Invariably, they take on leadership roles, get involved in community service, inspire their teachers and classmates with their outstanding academic performance – and have a great time doing it. When they graduate, our Scholars continue to make YSU proud. In all, more than 600 University Scholars have earned degrees at YSU in the past two decades, and we often read about them in YSU Magazine and other university publications – they’re making a difference wherever they live, excelling in their professions and carrying on the tradition of community service that is so much a part of the Scholars program. You’ll get to meet some of our University Scholar alumni and learn more about the program in “University Scholars: Helping Students Live their Dreams,” our cover story, starting on Page 8. This edition also features YSU’s 2011 Annual Report, listing the names of more than 4,000 individuals, businesses and foundations that, by their generous contributions, are making initiatives like the University Scholars program possible. It’s our way of thanking our alumni and friends for all they do for the university as a whole, and to help our wonderful students achieve their dreams. Sincerely,

Cynthia E. Anderson President




as analysis and monitoring, remote sensing, remediation and treatment, reuse and recycling. The Institute will draw on faculty C A M P U S and facilities in YSU’s chemistry, mechanical engineering, environmental science, chemical engineering, geology and civil New Institute Focused engineering departments. on Emerging Shale The Utica Shale is a rock Gas Industry formation thousands of feet Poised to play an educational below the surface spanning and research role in an emergan area from eastern Ohio to ing multi-billion dollar shale Pennsylvania and across the natural gas industry in Ohio and Canadian border. Gas contained Pennsylvania, the university has in the Utica Shale is expected announced plans to develop the to become a dominant source YSU Natural Gas and Water of natural gas for the United Resources Institute. States in this decade. The Institute will provide A recent study indicates undergraduate courses in science that more than 200,000 jobs, inMartin Abraham, far right, dean of YSU’s STEM College, discusses the and engineering, leading to an cluding nearly 9,000 in profesnew Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute with reporters. academic minor in gas technolosional and technical services, gies. It will also provide research opportunities for industry, maybe created or supported by 2015 due to exploration, leasing, focusing on analysis of waste fluids generated by the shale drilling and pipeline construction for the Utica Shale reserve. gas extraction process. Visit for video on the “Given YSU’s location in the heart of the Utica Shale Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute. region, this new Institute is well-positioned to meet the educational and research demands and needs central to this new and growing industry,” said Martin Abraham, dean of YSU’s YSU Recognized as Healthy Worksite College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, in which the new Institute will be located. YSU has received the Healthy OhioAbraham said the YSU Natural Gas and Water Resources ans-Healthy Worksite Bronze Level Award Institute will provide research on water-related issues such for 2011 in recognition of the university’s

Scholarship Fund for Slain Officer Hits $250,000 The YSU scholarship fund in memory of slain Youngstown police officer Michael T. Hartzell has hit the $250,000 mark. YSU and Hartzell’s parents, Howard and Mary Kay, celebrated the milestone at a luncheon recently. “I would never have guessed when we started this scholarship fund that we would reach the quarter-million dollar level,” Howard Hartzell said. “It is a reflection of the support that we have had from so many people and businesses throughout the year. Michael would be proud to see his legacy live on in this way.” Hartzell was just 26 when he was shot and killed April 29, 2003, as he sat in his police cruiser in downtown Youngstown. The scholarship is funded through proceeds from an annual charity golf outing, and the fund has distributed 55 scholarships worth more than $60,000 to the children of police officers throughout the Mahoning Valley. The next golf outing is scheduled, for Sunday, July 29, at Knoll Run Golf Course in Lowellville. For more information on the golf outing, contact Jennifer Gaffney at 330-755-2499 or visit

commitment to the health and well-being of its employees. In all, just 34 businesses and organizations received awards, and YSU was the only university on the list. Mari-jean Siehl, director of the Healthy Ohio Business Council, commended YSU for “exemplary efforts” to provide employees with programs that encourage physical activity, better nutrition and the prevention Carrie Clyde or cessation of tobacco use. “This award recognizes YSU’s commitment to the health of our employees,” said Carrie Clyde, YSU’s wellness coordinator. “We know that a proactive wellness program that helps create a healthy work environment will result in healthier, more productive and happier employees, which allows us to better serve our students and our community.” YSU began offering a worksite wellness program called Living Well in August 2009, and by last year 53 percent of YSU’s more than 2,000 employees had participated in some type of Living Well program. Living Well offers a variety of activities, including Weight Watchers @ Work, health screenings and health risk assessments, fitness classes, and seminars on nutrition, disease and stress management, depression, smoking and diabetes.



Around C







ZERO Helps Emerging Businesses Compete YSU has partnered with the Youngstown Business Incubator to create Youngstown Phase Zero, a program that aims to help local entrepreneurs and emerging businesses to better compete for federal and state grants. Under the program, technologybased startup and small businesses can receive up to $5,000 for data gathering, lab testing, research, analysis and other reasonable expenses incurred to pay for the necessary preliminary work in applying for government grants that will help them develop new products for commercialization. “The result will be that these businesses will be able to prepare higher quality grant proposals that will greatly improve their chances of receiving the federal and state funding that is crucial for them to move forward with the development of their new products,” said Peter Kasvinsky, dean of the YSU School of Graduate Studies and Research. Youngstown Phase Zero is administered by YSU, in collaboration with the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the YSU School of Graduate Studies and Research and YBI. The Raymond John Wean Foundation, as well as YSU Graduate Studies and Research and the College of STEM, are funding the program. “These kinds of partnerships are absolutely crucial to diversifying our local economy and spurring the development of new products, processes and technologies in the Mahoning Valley,” said Barb Ewing, YBI chief operating officer. “We hope that local businesses will take advantage of this resource as they look to become more competitive in the world economy.”



Lockheed Martin Exec Speaks at Fall Commencement YSU alumna Linda Gooden, a top executive with Lockheed Martin Corp., was keynote speaker at Fall Commencement on Dec. 18. More than 600 students were presented degrees that day. Gooden is executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions, which generated nearly $10 billion in sales in 2010. She Linda Gooden earned a bachelor’s degree in computer technology from YSU, completed post-baccalaureate studies at San Diego State University and also earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the University of Maryland University College. Recently inducted into the prestigious Career Communications Hall of Fame, Gooden was appointed to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee by President Obama in 2010, and named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by Fortune magazine.

Three Deans Launch F&PA Scholarship Fund One current and two former deans of YSU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts have teamed up to launch the Reaching for Tomorrow’s Stars scholarship, the first-ever scholarship campaign for the college. Bryan DePoy, F&PA dean, has partnered with two former deans of the college – Joe Edwards and George McCloud – and together the three pledged $10,000 to initiate the scholarship campaign. The initial fundraising goal is $100,000 to establish an endowment that will provide scholarship funding in perpetuity. “As deans, we have experienced the immense joy of shaking the hands of numerous graduates during commencement ceremonies,” said DePoy, who became dean in 2009. “We know that many of those students would not have completed their college careers without financial assistance of some kind.” McCloud, F&PA dean from 1997 to 2005, said scholarships remain critical to attracting and retaining students in the college. “That is why this scholarship fund is so important,” he said. “It will allow students to pursue and reach their professional goals and personal dreams.” “The F&PA College strives to be a distinguished, nationally recognized center for education in the fine and performing arts,” said Edwards, who served as F&PA dean from 2005 to 2009. “This scholarship extends the extraordinary tradition of excellence for the future.” The dollar amount and number of scholarships will be determined by the amount of money raised for the endowment. The scholarship is for undergraduate or graduate students pursuing any degree in the College of F&PA and is renewable based on academic standing and by meeting benchmarks indicating progress toward a degree. For more information or to make a donation, call the YSU Office of University Development at 330-941-3119 or visit

Bryan DePoy

George McCloud

Joe Edwards

Around C

Art Students Offer Kudos to Two-Time Scholarship Donor






Graduating fine arts majors planning their senior exhibit in YSU’s McDonough Museum of Art decided to turn the spotlight away from themselves to honor a scholarship donor whose gifts benefit students majoring in the arts. The 14 seniors paid tribute in December to Theodore R. Cubbison Sr., a 1947 YSU alumnus and retired attorney who established two scholarship endowments, one for vocal music majors and a second for students majoring in studio art. Over the years, annual scholarships from the two funds have assisted dozens of students at YSU. Students presented Cubbison with a framed, original print created by Ross Mazzupappa, who graduated in December with a BFA in studio art. The artist said he started with a photo of Cubbison as a young man, then combined Senior fine arts majors recognized scholarship donor Theodore R. Cubbison Sr. printmaking techniques, computer manipulation and hand and presented him with a framed original print. drawing to create the print. Cubbison has many ties to YSU. After completing his ship for fine arts majors concentrating on studio art, because of undergraduate work at what was then Youngstown College, he his own, longtime interest in art. married B. Carrol Jones, the daughter of YSU’s first president, Stephanie Smith, an associate professor of art history and the Howard W. Jones. Two of their three children – Dr. Theodore faculty member who coordinated the senior art exhibition, said Cubbison Jr. and Christopher Cubbison – graduated from YSU she wants her students to recognize people, like Cubbison, who in 1974 and 1972, respectively, and Cubbison Sr. worked as a demonstrate appreciation for the arts. “He did something really legal advisor to the university for several years. generous that he didn’t have to do. These were big donations,” In 1985, he established the B. Carrol Cubbison Music she said. “I think it’s important for students to see someone like Scholarship in voice to honor his wife, who studied voice at this whose livelihood did not come from the arts, but who still Youngstown College. He said he created a second, $50,000 supports the arts.” endowment in 2000, the Theodore R. Cubbison Art Scholar-

STEM Initiative Helps City Students

State Honors YSU’s International Business Center Celebrating the designation of YSU’s Center of Excellence in International Business as an Ohio Center of Excellence in Cultural and Societal Transformation are, from left, YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson, Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro, Business College Dean Betty Jo Licata and Provost Ikram Khawaja. The center, a part of the Williamson College of Business Administration, is YSU’s third Center of Excellence designation, and the 50th in the state. The center provides global educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, supports faculty research in the various areas of global business, enhances local and regional economic development through workshops, seminars, consulting, networking, and student internships and projects.

YSU has launched an initiative, in partnership with the AT&T Foundation and the Youngstown City Schools, to encourage more city high school students to pursue college degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Known as the STEM Outreach Initiative, the new effort is funded by a $20,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation and involves YSU’s STEM College, Youngstown’s Chaney STEM High School, AT&T and area employers. Martin Abraham, STEM College dean, said the decision to work specifically with the Youngstown City Schools is intended to address populations that are nationally underrepresented in STEM disciplines, including economically disadvantaged, blue collar, first college generation, and minorities, particularly African Americans. “STEM education is imperative to Youngstown’s growth as a leader in sustainable energy, advanced materials and technology,” said Abraham. “To be successful, the Youngstown area will require technologically advanced and highly skilled STEM professionals. This initiative will inspire high school students to pursue STEM careers.” The centerpiece of the initiative is an internship program, scheduled to start this summer for Chaney STEM students, that will provide participants with hands-on, real-world experience in STEM-related fields.



s s e c c Su STUDENT

Highlighting the achievements of exceptional YSU students


Students Publish Online Literary Magazine YSU’s Student Literary Arts Association published the third edition of Jenny, an online literary magazine that has gained the attention of nationally acclaimed authors, influential writing competitions and a worldwide audience. Jenny’s core team is comprised of, clockwise from front left, Kayla Jeswald, treasurer; grad student Matt Lattanzi, outreach coordinator; grad student Christopher Lettera, president of SLAA and Jenny; senior Sarah Burnett, secretary; and Andrew Whitmer, 2010-11 SLAA vice president. Not pictured is Amber Pence, vice president. The online magazine features short fiction, poetry and essays from authors and students both around the globe and Youngstown born. Jenny has already earned an international reputation, receiving submissions from Korea; views in Europe, Australia, China and the Middle East; and nominations for national awards.

Cleveland Clinic Program Selects New Grad Cassie Garland, a biology major who graduated in December, was one of just seven students accepted into the Cleveland Clinic School of Perfusion, a highly competitive program that combines perfusion-specific clinical experience and field-related courses. When Garland was introduced to perfusion, which involves controlling heart-lung machines and other technologies during heart surgery, she knew the career would suit her. She started classes in January. A University Scholar at YSU, the McDonald native became interested in the medical field when she underwent heart surgery herself at 15. Later, she shadowed several area doctors and a cardiologist, worked as a research assistant in YSU’s Department of Biological Sciences and gained experience in a cardiac dynamics laboratory performing research in the study and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.

Phi Kappa Phi Award Helps with Grad School Daniel DeMaiolo’s work as a Phi Kappa Phi member at YSU is now paying off with financial help in grad school. DeMaiolo recently completed his bachelor’s degree at YSU and is now working toward a master’s degree in digital media arts and technology at Michigan State University. An advertising and public relations major while at YSU, DeMaiolo was among 140 students across the country honored with the 2011 Love of Learning award. The awards are distributed annually to active Phi Kappa Phi members to help fund post-baccalaureate studies or career development. Funds can pay for graduate or professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education or other professional routes. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and one of the most selective collegiate societies and awards more than $700,000 each year to its outstanding members through various awards and competitions. 6



Team Takes

Student-Run Newspaper Wins Accolades



in National Green


Six YSU students placed second nationally in this year’s Green Energy Challenge, winning a total of $2,800 for their accomplishments in both the team project presentation and the poster competition. The team traveled to San Diego as one of three finalist teams to present their project, which involved a full-scale energy audit and upgrade plan for YSU’s Cafaro House residence hall. It’s the second year in a row that a YSU team placed within the top three nationally. This year’s team, pictured below, includes, from left: David Wright, sophomore electrical engineering technology major, Youngstown; Ethan Parks, freshman electrical engineering technology major, Greenford, Ohio; Justin Hosseininejad, graduate engineering major, Austintown; Jason Nutt, junior electrical engineering technology major, Cortland; Jarrett Scacchetti, third-year student in electrical engineering and applied mathematics major, Canfield; and Michael Sammartino, senior electrical engineering major, Austintown.

The Jambar, YSU’s semiweekly news publication, placed fifth in the nation in an Associated Collegiate Press Best of Show competition. The Jambar competed with other semiweekly broadsheet newspapers at four-year universities. Staffers in photo below are, from left, front row: Emmalee Torisk of Struthers, copy editor; and Chelsea Miller of Brookfield, assistant online editor; back row, Nick Young of Ellsworth, assistant online editor; Joe Catullo Jr. of Boardman, sports editor; Josh Stipanovich of Austintown, editor-in-chief; Doug Livingston of Vienna, managing editor; and Chris Cotelesse of New Wilmington, Pa., online editor. They traveled to Orlando for the competition. YSU’s publication placed fifth in its category among such large-school newspapers as The Red & Black at the University of Georgia and The Orion at California State University. Jambar student staff members travel to the conference every fall, and the fifth-place award is among the highest honors the publication has received.

Penguins Honored for Academics

Quarterback Kurt Hess was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s All-Academic First Team, and two other Penguins made the All-Academic Second Team. Hess of Dayton, in photo at right, is an early childhood education major whose high GPA and stellar football career at YSU, along with a designation from various league sports information directors, earned him a spot on the AllAcademic first team. In 2010, Hess was selected as the Missouri Valley Football Conference’s Freshman of the Year. He started all 11 games for the Penguins this season and was a recipient of the Curbstone Coaches Scholarship and the Kosar Family Scholarship. Senior quarterback Marc Kanetsky, a biology major from Hubbard, and senior defensive tackle Andrew Johnson, a sociology major from Detroit, were named to the MVFC All-Academic Second Team.



C E L E B R AT I N G 2 0 Y E A R S

University Scholars:

Helping Students Live their Dreams by Ron Cole

University Scholar, Andrea Armeni, ’10, ’11




s a boy, David Lewis was obsessed with dinosaurs – his room filled with dinosaur books, dinosaur pictures and dinosaur toys. Then, Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” hit movie theaters. “I was absolutely floored,” he remembers. “Here were my childhood heroes, alive in front of me on the screen. I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do someday.’” Lewis thinks about that daily as he drives through the gates of Spielberg’s DreamWorks Animation studios in Glendale, Calif., where he now works as a lighting technical assistant on movies like the oscarnominated “Puss in Boots” and the upcoming “Rise of the Guardians.” “Everyday I go through those gates with a smile on my face,” he says. Over the course of the past two decades, that’s what the YSU University Scholars program has done best – give students like Lewis the chance to live their dreams. Lewis, who earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from YSU in 2004, is among 621 alumni of David Lewis the Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars – a full-tuition, room-and-board scholarship program started in 1993 to attract the best and brightest high school students to YSU. Today, as the campus prepares to welcome the 20th class of Scholars, the program is widely recognized for producing some of YSU’s most successful graduates and, at the same time, raising the academic profile of the institution in a way few other initiatives have in the 104-year history of the university. Its far-reaching impact on both the professional and personal lives of the Scholars themselves, and on the university as a whole, is hard to overstate. “The Scholars program allowed us to recruit students that in the past may not have come to YSU,” said Nathan Ritchey, chair of YSU’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the first director of the program. “It helped lift the level of academic discourse and student leadership on campus. And, in the end, it has produced a proud, cohesive group of alumni who are leaders in their professions and active members of their communities. “I can’t think of any other single program at the university that has had that kind of impact.” The University Scholars was the brainchild of Leslie H. Cochran, who helped start the program within a year of becoming YSU’s fifth president in 1992. (See story, Page 13.) The YSU Foundation, a private endowment dedicated to funding scholarships for YSU students, agreed to provide the financial backing, which today amounts to about $2.4 million a year, said Reid Schmutz, former president of the Foundation. The idea was simple: Award 40 full-tuition, room-andboard scholarships annually to the region’s top high school

graduates. Students would live together in the same residence hall, creating a living-learning environment that would also emphasize service to the campus and surrounding community. “It grabbed the attention of everyone,” said Cochran, who retired from YSU in 2000. While Cochran went on the banquet tour touting the new program, Ritchey was charged with recruiting the first class. “It was an exciting time,” he recalled. “I felt like a football coach going out to build my team.” Doors to high school guidance counselor offices that in the past may have been closed to YSU were suddenly flung open. Parents of top high school students found the program too good to pass by. “I struggled with whether to stay local at YSU or to go to another prestigious university,” said Joe Smith, a 1995 graduate of Hubbard High School and a member of the 1999 class of Scholars. “But this was such a great opportunity,” said Smith, now vice president/account director at a prominent New York advertising agency. Ritchey and Cochran went to area high schools and held “signing ceremonies” for new Scholars, drawing widespread media attention. “It illustrated that YSU could, in fact, bring in top students from throughout the region and beyond, and that great

Jaymin Patel Graduated: 2005, Bachelor’s in industrial and systems engineering. Other education: Master’s in business administration and master’s in public policy management, both from Carnegie Mellon University. Occupation: Management consultant with Booz & Co. in Cleveland. “My experience as a University Scholar wasn’t just for four years; it has continued with me since I graduated and even as I traveled around the world. In fact, the University Scholars program is truly global. In January 2009, I bought a round-the-world ticket on my way to a study-abroad experience in Australia as part of my master’s work at Carnegie Mellon. I was at the Singapore airport and stopped in to a service desk area to ask a question. Then, from behind me, I hear: “Jaymin?” Sure enough, I turn around to see Dave Slanina, who had joined the Scholar program just a year or two after I had. I was on my way to New Zealand for a one-month camping trip, and Dave was returning from having worked for the past year in the New Zealand financial sector. As amazed and happy as I was to see him, I wasn’t necessarily surprised to run into a University Scholar abroad.  If there’s one thing about the Scholars program, it’s that the experience spans across the globe and the relationships last a lifetime.”



Marianne Lloyd Graduated: 2000, Bachelor’s in psychology, minor in mathematics. Other education: Master’s in cognitive psychology, 2003, and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, 2005, from Binghamton University, with post doctoral work at Temple University. Occupation: Assistant professor of psychology at Seton Hall University. “Being a University Scholar started as a way to pay for college but ended up being so much more. While I’ve stayed in touch with many Scholars from my class, I am especially grateful for two friendships I made through the program. The first is with my freshman year roommate, Sara LaLumia, who is also a tenure track professor, though at a different school and in economics as opposed to my field of psychology. We talk frequently about how to be better researchers and educators and hope to someday find a way to collaborate across our fields. The second is with Gina (Guzell) Melnik. She went from my homework pal for stats class, to my roommate, to the matron of honor at my wedding and we still email almost every day. Now that I teach statistics on a regular basis, I hope my students can also make such good friends learning about t-tests. Through fostering a community of learners, the Scholars program encouraged scholastic excellence, personal growth, and lifelong Penguin Pride.”



things would happen to them once they got here,” Ritchey said. The first class started in 1993, and within two years a new residence hall – Cafaro House – opened exclusively for Scholars and other honors students. “I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I came to YSU,” said Joe Folk, a member of the inaugural Scholars class who spoke at the ribbon cutting of Cafaro House and is now an engineering group manager at the General Motors proving grounds outside Detroit. “But it certainly exceeded whatever I could have expected.” In all, the Scholars program has attracted students from 17 states and six foreign countries. More than 300 of them were at the top of their high school classes. Nearly 90 Scholar graduates have either completed or are in the process of completing a terminal degree – i.e., Ph.D., law, medicine. Seven Scholars received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship award while at YSU; four others were awarded Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowships. Scholar Nicole McElroy received a Fulbright award in 2009 – believed to be a first for a YSU student. Scholar Erik Johnson was nominated for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Today, Scholars are bankers, teachers, advertising executives, engineers, professors, TV personalities, entrepreneurs, research biologists, veterinarians, ministers, medical professionals and one is even a “brewing team leader” for MillerCoors beer company. They create video games, work on movie sets, do research on ballistic naval defense systems, test software, develop websites, play cello for symphony orchestras and work for high-end law firms. “It’s staggering what the University Scholars have gone on to do – where they’re living, where they’re working,” said Marianne Lloyd, Scholar class of 2000, now an assistant professor of psychology at Seton Hall University. “It makes me very proud to come from that tradition.” A key ingredient to the program’s success, alumni say, is Cafaro House, where students live, learn and work side-by-side for four years – engaging, challenging, supporting and pushing each other to succeed. “When you have that many gifted and talented people all in one building like that, it just feeds off itself. It grows. Everybody kind of expands mentally and emotionally,” Lewis said. “You end up sitting around the common area table until 3 o’clock in the morning having a philosophical debate or solving a math equation or some other intellectual pursuit or emotional sharing that kind of ties everybody together.” “There was always a lot of support for all of the things you go through in college, whether it’s breaking up with a boyfriend or you’re having a bad day or you need a little help,” said Melissa Mack, Scholar class of 2003 and now a broadcast meteorologist with WBZ-TV in Boston. “It’s so cool having your brothers and sisters right there with you.” Mary Beth Bugno, Scholar class of 2000 and now an instructional designer in the eLearning department at Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio, added: “Growing up, I know that I never felt like myself with people. Coming to Cafaro was liberating – being smart was not only OK, it was the norm.” Another important aspect of the program, alumni say, is community service. Scholars are required to perform a minimum of 60 hours of volunteer work a year. “The Scholars program was not designed for eggheads – people who are really bright but work in isolation and aren’t engaged and don’t connect,” Cochran said. “It just seemed like a natural fit that we have a service component to show the community that these students aren’t just getting a handout – they’re giving back.” In 19 years, University Scholars have volunteered an estimated 190,000 hours to hundreds of nonprofit agencies and community service projects – from Angels for Animals, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Grey to Green

Joe Folk Festival to spaghetti dinner fundraisers, the Ronald McDonald House and the National Down Syndrome Society Buddy Walk. During the 2010-11 academic year alone, Scholars devoted more than 9,600 hours of service – that’s more than one year’s worth of non-stop volunteering. In 1999, University Scholars was recognized as a “Program of Character” by the John Templeton Foundation. In 2010, YSU was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. The Honor Roll award specifically recognized Shantytown, an annual homelessness awareness project started in 1998 by the University Scholars. Scholars donate canned goods, money and service hours to local organizations, build a town of “shanties” out of cardboard boxes in the Cafaro House courtyard and, each November, spend a night outside in the boxes to bring attention to the cause. Since its inception, Shantytown volunteers have raised more than $42,000 and amassed over 25,000 service hours. “We volunteer because it lets us give something back to the area,” said Lauren Baker, a senior nursing major and current Scholar. “A lot of the donors who make our scholarships possible live in the immediate area, so these service projects give us a way to show our appreciation as a group.” Even more, community service instills a sense of volunteerism that sticks with Scholars after they leave YSU. For instance, Jaymin Patel, Scholar class of 2005 and now a management consultant with Booz & Co. in Cleveland, currently serves on the board of an organization that works with rural farmers in Nicaragua, and he is a member of the community service team at his office. Tyler Clark, Scholar class of 2005 and now owner of Tyler Clark Consulting in downtown

Graduated: 1998, Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. Other education: Master’s in engineering, Purdue University. Occupation: Engineering Group Manager for Gas Engine On Board Diagnostics and Evaporative Emissions for General Motors in Milford, Mich. “I first learned of the newly created YSU University Scholars program as I was sorting the college mail that I had been receiving as a high school senior. I knew that I wanted to be an engineer in the auto industry, and I was looking for engineering schools and sources of financial aid or scholarships so that I could work towards this goal. I applied to the program and was fortunate enough to be accepted.  I found my educational experience at YSU to be quite rewarding. The University Scholars program also required those in the program to contribute to the community through volunteer community service hours. In my adult life, I’ve continued to volunteer at various events over the years. Last year, my wife and I each made blankets for Project Linus, and more recently, I volunteered with my daughter at Gleaners Food Bank. In addition to growing academically, my experience at YSU as a member of the University Scholars program also allowed me to grow as a person. I am very grateful for the opportunity that was given to me.” Youngstown, sits on the boards of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society and WYSU 88.5 FM. Bugno and Adam Messner, Scholars who are now married, volunteer at the Akron-Canton Foodbank. Folk and his wife have made blankets for Project Linus, and he and his daughter have volunteered at a food bank. Community service is one of the centerpieces of the University Scholars program. In 1998, the Scholars started Shantytown, an annual homelessness awareness project that, among other things, involves sleeping outside in cardboard boxes. In this photo taken in 2007, from the left, Scholars Emilie Hall, Hillary Howard and Amy Olszewski are shown in Cafaro House residence hall the morning of Shantytown as they head out to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

PLEASE NOTE The University Scholars program will host a series of events this year to celebrate the 20th class of Scholars. To view the list of events, visit alumni.htm.



Teresa Selee Graduated: 2002, Bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and economics. Other education: Master’s in applied mathematics, 2005, and Ph.D. in applied mathematics, 2008, both from North Carolina State University. Occupation: Research scientist, Georgia Tech Research Institute. “I’m proud to have been a part of the organizational committee for the inaugural Shantytown, held in November of 1998. For those not aware, Shantytown started as a 24-hour volunteer project. Students spent the day volunteering their time at shelters and food banks, and their evening sleeping outside in cardboard boxes to help raise awareness for the serious problem of homelessness in our community. I participated all four years I was at YSU, and for me, the most memorable part of the evening was a visit from men at a local shelter who formed a choir. Their music and stories moved me, and their hopeful spirit was contagious. Shantytown has now become an integral part of the Scholar program, and I’m honored to have helped start that tradition.”

Tyler Clark Graduated: 1998, Bachelor’s in music and literature Occupation: Owner of Tyler Clark Consulting LLC in Youngstown and Chief Imagination Officer of the Youngstown Business Incubator. “I was drawn to YSU from out of state for two reasons. One was the College of Fine & Performing Arts. I was impressed with the faculty and the opportunities in a variety of musical ensembles. The second draw was something I hadn’t found in other schools: the University Scholars program. I’m still impressed with the program and proud that it continues nearly 20 years after I entered its second class. In order to participate in the program, I had to commit to a rigorous schedule of honors programs and a generous helping of community service. Both of these challenges continue to influence how I work and involve myself in the community today. Youngstown is a city of opportunity for those who know what they want. I experienced some of my most memorable years during my tenure at YSU, playing a leading role in numerous theater and music ensembles and building a supportive network in the process. After a decade living elsewhere following graduation, we returned to Youngstown and are happily building a family here, helping select new University Scholars and rooting for them to take advantage of all the city and its university have to offer.” 12


Lloyd is the treasurer of a nonprofit agency. “For me, being a Scholar planted a seed and served as an introduction to the joys of doing community service and giving back,” Patel said. “Community service is just an important part of a successful ecosystem, in terms of being a part of the community, volunteering, serving on boards, getting to know people in the community and then giving back,” Clark said. “You get your education, and you give back,” said Teresa Selee, Scholar class of 2002, who was on the planning committee for the first Shantytown and is now a research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. “That was something that was ingrained in all of us as Scholars.” Scholars also contribute widely to campus life. In each of the last 12 years, a Scholar has been either president or vice president of YSU Student Government. They are regularly leaders of organizations across campus; several have been student members of the YSU Board of Trustees. “They are an anchor,” said Amy Cossentino, assistant director of the program. “They help elevate everything and everyone on campus.” “The work of the Scholars in the classroom, in the laboratory, in fine arts performances, in volunteer efforts and in professional internships is infectious,” said Ron Shaklee, professor of geography and director of the Scholars program since 2000. “Fellow students are drafted into these efforts and learn to expand their own capabilities beyond the acceptable as they transition into a culture where the exceptional is the norm.” Ritchey added, “They have had a profound impact on the reputation of the entire university.” They’ve also had a profound impact on each other. Living in Cafaro House together, working hand-in-hand on community service projects, sleeping in freezing cold temperatures for Shantytown – there may be no more closeknit group of students on campus. The friendships last a lifetime, many times even turning to matrimony. (See story, Page. 14). “We just recently had a Scholar get married here in New York,” Smith said. “There were about 18 Scholars at the wedding. You just pick up where you left off. Now there are babies and careers and everything, but you just keep those connections.” Folk said Scholars from the first class still gather for an annual summer picnic. Selee was back on campus in early January, and one of the first places she stopped was Cossentino’s office in Cafaro House. Lloyd says the Scholars she shared an eight-person suite with in Cafaro still try to get together every Christmas. “The Scholars program was never about just going to class and graduating,” Lewis said. “It’s about so much more. It’s about improving yourself, improving the people around you, giving back to the community and making connections that span years and years. It’s about learning to strive and not to settle.”

In this 1994 photo, Hollie Reed Kelleher, a senior at Boardman High School, signs on as a University Scholar as YSU President Leslie Cochran looks on. Kelleher graduated from YSU with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and later earned a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology. She is now a reservoir simulation engineer for ExxonMobil and was featured in an Alumni Spotlight story in the Spring 2011 edition of YSU Magazine.

“Like Winning a National Championship” When Leslie Cochran became the fifth president of YSU in 1992, the Penguin football team had just marched to its first national championship and was destined to win three more over the course of the next five years. To say YSU was known as a football school would be an understatement. Cochran, who came to the university after serving as provost at Southeast Missouri State University, thought YSU could so be much more. “We were a pretty good institution, but we didn’t believe it; no one believed it,” Cochran remembered recently during a telephone interview from his home in Florida. “The community had been beaten down. We had the loss of the steel industry, and the institution was a reflection of the community. Not that we didn’t have wonderful people or good programs, but football was what people saw. The football program was great, but people didn’t see the rest of the institution like that.” Cochran’s response to that perception was the University Scholars program. In partnership with the YSU Foundation, YSU began offering 40 full-tuition, room and board academic scholarships annually to the region’s top high school students. After four years, YSU could boast that it was the only public university in Ohio – and possibly the nation – to offer more full-ride academic scholarships than athletics scholarships.

“That, I thought, was a powerful statement about what we are as an institution, and it provided a tangible symbol to the community and to everyone everywhere that YSU was moving in a different direction,” Cochran said. “Signing ceremonies,” similar to those for scholar athletes, were held with much fanfare and media coverage for high school students accepted as University Scholars. Cochran said the high-profile and popularity of the program acted as a springboard for the university’s first comprehensive capital fund-raising campaign, including a new residence hall designed specifically for University Scholars and other honors students, called Cafaro House. By the time Cochran left Youngstown eight years later, more than 300 students had come to YSU through the Scholars program – most of them moving on to highly successful careers in disciplines ranging from law and banking to music and education. The program was named the Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars program upon Cochran’s retirement in 2000. “It took on a life of its own,” he said. “It was to the academic part of the campus like winning a national championship. It had that same aura, that same feeling of pride and recognition that YSU is a great academic institution with great people and great students who go on to accomplish great things.”



University Scholars:

Joe Smith Graduated: 1999, Bachelor’s in business administration in advertising and public relations. Occupation: Vice President, Account Director at Draftfcb advertising agency in New York. “It was the University Scholars program’s commitment to community service that led me to New York City. I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity’s local affiliate. I never lifted a hammer, but as a board member helped rebuild the organization. There, I met Bill Farragher, a Youngstown PR maven and local Habitat president. It was Bill who said, “Joe, I think you should send your resume to a friend of mine in New York City.” And so I did. When I first moved to New York, I lived at the Vanderbilt YMCA in Midtown, sharing a bathroom with the rest of the floor. While it was smaller, cramped and went for the “bargain” price of $79/night, I thought, “This isn’t all that different from Cafaro House.” Except, the folks down the hall were from Australia, Germany and France, instead of Austintown, Akron and West Virginia. I began to realize how my YSU Scholar experience—even my life and friends at the dorm— had helped prepare me for my future.”


It was one of the first big decisions of Travis Watson’s college career. The new batch of YSU University Scholars was gathered in a meeting room in Cafaro House residence hall, breaking into smaller groups to work on their first community service project. Quickly, Watson found himself without a group. He looked around and spotted Mary Campbell. “I thought she was cute, so I asked to join her group,” he said about that chance encounter in August 2008. Within two months, the two were dating. Two years later they were engaged. And on July 14, 2012, in Austintown Community Church, the two will be married. The Watson-Campbell nuptials continue a tradition that dates to 1993, when the YSU University Scholars program started. Over that time, the program has spun off more than 30 Scholar couples that are either married or engaged. In fact, of the 16 classes of University Scholars that have graduated as of this May, all but one has had at least one marriage or engagement. “We have had our fair share of romances over the years,” said Amy Cossentino, assistant director of the YSU University Scholars and Honors Programs. “The Scholars are really one big family, and those connections run deep throughout the years.” “When you have so many like-minded people with the same work ethic, the same longterm goals who are all living in one place, it’s just natural that some of them are going to end up together,” said Scholar Andrea Snyder. Snyder and fellow Scholar Tom Wakefield met as freshmen in 1998. In 2002, Snyder graduated with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice, and Wakefield earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and economics. Four years later, they married. Eight members of their wedding party were fellow Scholars. Both went on to earn Ph.D. degrees – Wakefield in mathematics and Snyder in counseling psychology. While the number of children from Scholar marriages is not known, the Snyder-Wakefield union alone has resulted in three – all at once. The couple had girl triplets in January 2011 – Elena, Coraline and Meredith. Mom and dad have already done the math – Elena, Coraline and Meredith would be part of the University Scholars Class of 2038. “It’s the next generation of University Scholars,” joked Wakefield, now an University Scholars Tom Wakefield and Andrea Snyder married in 2006 and had triplets in January 2010 - from the left, Meredith, Coraline and Elena. assistant professor of

For some, It’s a Matchmaker mathematics and statistics at YSU, whose younger brother and sister, Dan and Sarah, were also University Scholars. The Scholars program also holds a prominent place in the lives and families of siblings Matthew and Sarah Vansuch. Matthew graduated as a Scholar in 2002, and his sister, Sarah, graduated five years later. Both went on to marry Scholars. Matthew and Deena DeVico married in 2005, and they have “two great little Penguins,” Alex and Ethan. Matthew is an attorney with Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell in Warren and Youngstown, and Deena is an assistant prosecutor for Trumbull County. Meanwhile, Sarah married fellow Scholar Josh Wilson in 2008. They live in Chicago, where Sarah is an associate at a real estate research firm and Josh is a senior consultant for Deloitte Consulting. “I remember we met on Move-In Day in 2003,” Sarah said. “I was one of a handful of freshmen placed on an upperclassmen floor, which just happened to be the same floor that Josh lived on. That day, he and some of his friends came down to my suite to introduce themselves. We became friends and started dating a few months later.” Seven years earlier, Mary Beth Bugno was a freshman Scholar when she met her future husband, sophomore Adam Messner. “I remember I had taken a shower and was returning to my dorm room,” she said. “I walked into the room wearing a green plaid bathrobe and shower shoes with my hair in a towel. There was a guy in my room talking to my roommate. It was Adam.” Adam earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1999, and Mary Beth received a bachelor’s degree in English in 2000. They married in 2003 and live in North Canton with their one-year-old daughter, Sydney. Both went on to earn master’s degrees. Mary Beth is an instructional designer in the eLearning department at Stark State College, and Adam is assistant director of admissions and data manager at the University of Akron School of Law. Adam and Mary Beth were teamed up as Big Scholars/Little Scholars, a program designed to help new Scholars transition into the Scholar environment. Adam remembers he and Mary Beth pulling an all-nighter once to put together a Quest poster display that was due the next morning – “It took us all night, but the display turned out great, and it was an important bonding experience for us.” Mary Beth remembers studying together in the alcove on the fourth floor of Cafaro House, painting “The Rock” outside Kilcawley Center and taking a ballroom dancing class together. “The experiences I had as a Scholar shaped me as a person, and they have influenced us as a couple as well,” she said.

YSU seniors Mary Campbell and Travis Watson, top left, are the latest among more than two dozen University Scholar couples that are either married or engaged. They’re planning a July wedding. The Scholars program also holds a prominent place in the lives of sibling Scholars Matthew and Sarah Vansuch. Matthew married Scholar Deena DeVico, pictured in the top photo with their children Alex and Ethan. Sarah married fellow Scholar Josh Wilson, pictured above with their dog, Grady.



Alumni News WCBA Honors Exceptional Alumni Four outstanding business alumni were honored at the Warren P. Williamson Jr. College of Business Administration’s 16th annual alumni banquet. Honorees were: William Hartwig, ’77 BSBA, who retired as vice president for supplier relations and international procurement with the Marriott Corporation, outstanding business alumnus; Karen Conklin, ’70 BSBA, executive director, American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley, outstanding business alumna; Judge Theresa Dellick, ’80 BSBA, Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas-Juvenile Division, outstanding business alumna; and Lorilyn Shandor, ’05 BSBA, ’09 MBA, prospect/event administrator, Humility of Mary Health Partners Foundation, outstanding recent alumna.

Society Welcomes New Members

50 Years and Counting: YSU’s Half Century Club Members of YSU’s graduating class of 1961 returned to campus in late October to be honored at the annual Half Century Club Luncheon. Twenty-one other alumni who graduated between 1941 and 1960, already members of the Half Century Club, also attended and were honored. New Half Century Club members from the class of 1961 and YSU representatives attending the event are, from left: front row: Robert Bostard and Lois Bostard, both of Gahanna, Ohio; Joyce Brooks of Canfield; Joan Catherman of Youngstown; Dominic Chick of Fredericksburg, Va.; Maurene Hritz of Poland, Ohio; John Kicz of Youngstown; Charlene May of Huron, Ohio; and Carl Nunziato of Boardman. Second row: Jacquelyn LeViseur, Interim Director YSU Alumni and Events; Patricia Flynn Murphy of Canfield; Jerry Navarra of New Castle, Pa.; Peggy Potts of North Lima, Ohio; William Serjak of Dover, Mass.; Margaret Stanhope of Pittsburgh; John Ulicney of Youngstown; Edward Winsen and Sally Knapick Winsen, both of Youngstown; Ron Wolfgang of Normal, Ill.; and YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson.

Save ate! D the

Members of YSU’s Alumni Society board traditionally attend commencement ceremonies and welcome new graduates with the presentation of a red alumni pin, and all new grads receive a free one-year Alumni Society membership. Alumni and Events Management is also kicking off a new membership campaign for grads of all ages this year, with the hope of engaging more YSU graduates through new communications and social events. Call Alumni and Events, 330-941-3497, for more information.

Event Recognizes Alumni Life Members More than 100 alumni and friends turned out for the annual YSU Alumni Society Life Member Reception on Nov. 13. The event featured a dessert reception, followed by a YSU Theater production of “The 1940s Radio Hour.” The Alumni Society boasts more than 1,100 Life Members. 16


March 4 – Youngstown Day luncheon for YSU alumni and friends at the Hyatt in Sarasota, Fla. March 29 – Las Vegas Area YSU Alumni Dinner at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall.

Take Pete Along … Last year, we asked alumni to take Pete the Penguin along on family vacations, and the Sweeney family of Boardman accepted the invitation. Celebrating Thanksgiving at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. and dressed proudly in their YSU fan T-shirts are, from left, Michael Sweeney, ’99, future Penguin McKenna Sweeney and Marnee Sweeney, ’00.

June 28 – National Networking Day 2012. (Want to connect with other alumni where you live? Consider hosting a networking reception in your city. It’s easy, and YSU staff will give you the tools to make it a success!) Contact Alumni & Events Management at 330-941-3497 or for details on these events, or scan this Alumni Quick Response code.

YSU Foundation

McFadden Assumes Leadership of YSU Foundation Paul McFadden likes knowing that his new desk at the YSU Foundation isn’t new at all. In fact, it has quite a history. The ornate, slant-front desk caught McFadden’s eye in December while he was moving his office into YSU’s Alumni House to begin a new job as president of the YSU Foundation. A bit of research revealed that the desk had been used by Howard Jones, YSU’s first president and the foundation’s founder, from 1931 until his retirement in 1966. McFadden appreciated the significance of that discovery and decided to make the desk the centerpiece of his new office. “I consider it a great honor to sit at this desk,” he said. “It was used by our institution’s patriarchal leader. I think that’s exciting.” A YSU alumnus, McFadden moved just a few hundred yards and across the street when he was named president of the foundation this fall after a national search. Before that, he served as YSU’s chief development officer for more than a decade and was based in Tod Hall. He replaces Reid Schmutz, who retired Dec. 31 YSU Foundation team members are, from left, Paul McFadden, president, administrative after 22 years as president of the YSU Foundation. assistants Diane Playforth and Lorrie Durkin, and Elinor Zedaker, senior associate. The Catherine Cala, director of University Development, group is standing behind the desk once used by Howard Jones, YSU's first president and founder of the YSU Foundation. has been named interim chief development officer for the university. McFadden and Schmutz worked together through the from 1984 through 1989. He played with the Philadelphia month of December to ensure a smooth transition, and Eagles, the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants. Schmutz will be available on a consultancy basis until July He returned to YSU to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1. “I’ve worked with Reid for almost 20 years as a colleague history in 1991 and later completed a master’s degree in and a mentor, and it’s a special honor to follow him,” philanthropy and development from St. Mary’s University of McFadden said. “He has set the bar very high.” Minnesota. McFadden came to work at YSU as director of He’s been meeting one-on-one with members of the Athletic Development in 1993 and was promoted to director YSU Foundation Board of Trustees, seeking their ideas and of University Development and chief development officer advice during the transition. In late February, McFadden in 2000. said, the board will organize a committee of trustees to work The YSU Foundation, founded in 1966, is a private, with him on a new 10-year strategic plan. nonprofit foundation that supports YSU exclusively, mostly McFadden first came to YSU as a student in the early through scholarships for students. The foundation, now with 1980s and became a star placekicker for the Penguins’ footassets of $180 million, funded more than 2,500 scholarships ball team, going on to kick in the National Football League in the 2010-11 academic year.

Foundation Matches Minority Scholarships Since 1996, the YSU Foundation has made it a practice to match all gifts designated for minority scholarships, so far matching more than $680,000 in contributions. Whenever a donor contributes to an existing minority scholarship fund or establishes a new minority fund, their contribution amount is matched to that specific fund. If you have questions, contact Paul McFadden or Elinor Zedaker at the YSU Foundation, 330-941-3211 or Students may visit the YSU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website,, and select the “scholarship search” tab for a list of available minority scholarships.





Nathaniel R. Jones of Cincinnati, ’51 AB, was inducted to Ohio’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame for his lifetime of promoting civil rights and human rights in the state. Jones was the first African American to serve as Assistant Attorney for the Nathaniel Jones Northern District of Ohio in the 1960s and later served 10 years as general counsel for the NAACP, arguing several school desegregation cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as cases involving race discrimination and affirmative action. He was appointed Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1979 and served on the court for 23 years before retiring in 2002. He continues to serve as senior counsel in the Cincinnati office of Blank Rome LLP. Milton R. Kochert of Canfield, ’53 BS in social studies and physical education, was named grand marshal for the 2011 Canfield Fourth of July Parade. Kochert, who earned a MSEd from Westminster College after completing his undergraduate work at YSU, retired in 1986 after a career as a high school social studies teacher and department chair in the Austintown and Poland schools. Kochert joined the Naval Reserves while he was still in high school and retired as a captain in 1978, but he remains active in recruitment, training and scholarship programs. John A. Hernandis of Broadview Heights, Ohio, ’59 BA in English and business, retired in January 2010 as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley in Cleveland. During his career, Hernandis also served on the news staff of the former Cleveland Press, as director of information for the Cleveland Diocesan schools, in public relations for the former Standard Oil of Ohio and American Greetings in Cleveland, and as a registered

representative with Merrill Lynch in Cleveland.

’70s Mike Marrie of Phoenix, ’70 BSBA in accounting, was named to the board of directors for the Catholic Community Foundation Mike Marrie of Phoenix. He has served since 1995 as executive director of Snell & Wilmer, a regional law firm. He also serves on the boards of the Association of Legal Administrators and the Foundation for Junior Achievement of Arizona. Bruce E. Sherman of Boardman, ’70 BSBA, was elected to the Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation Board of Directors. He will serve a three-year term with the foundation, which was recently renamed to align with a similar name change approved for the university, formerly the Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine and Pharmacy. Sherman is president of Sherman Creative Promotions and a Certified Public Accountant. He’s a member and past president of the board of Bruce Sherman the YSU Alumni Society, a member and past chair of the Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley board, and a board member for Leadership Mahoning County and Interfaith Home Maintenance.

Training Afghan Soldiers



Patrick Myers, center, a YSU alumnus living in southern Afghanistan, poses with a group of Afghan soldiers he trained while serving as a civilian contractor for Computer Science Corp. Myers, who earned an associate degree in technical studies at YSU in 2008, plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in general studies this summer. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2011 as a Chief Petty Officer with 24 years of service, including a stint as senior enlisted advisor to the Afghanistan National Armies Communications Support Unit based in Kabul where he mentored and taught leadership and management skills. CSC is contracted by the U.S. Army to support the NATO Training Mission Afghanistan Command, focused mainly on training soldiers in the operation, repair and maintenance of military communication systems. 

Philip Battafarano of Boardman, ’71 BA, was formally recognized as Health Systems Vice President of the Year for Cardinal Health, a Fortune 500 Company headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. Battafarano has spent the past 10 years of his 37-year career working with Cardinal Health in its Nuclear Pharmacy Services business. Prior to joining Cardinal Health, he held various sales and management posi- Philip Battafarano tions with Endo Laboratories and DuPont Pharmaceuticals. Stephen J. Gurgovits of Sharon, Pa., ’72 AB in economics, was honored for 50 years of service to First National Bank of Pennsylvania when the bank’s parent company, F.N.B. Corp., dedicated a Stephen Gurgovits human resources and learning center in his honor. Gurgovits, now chairman of the F.N.B. Board of Directors, joined the corporation as a teller in 1961 and served in a succession of executive roles. Gurgovits, who also holds a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, wrote a book, Financing Small Business, which was used as a component of the American Institute of Banking Curriculum, and is a former chairman of the Pennyslvania Bankers Association.

Class Notes

Alumni Author Rich Denamen of Austintown, ’73 BSE, ’77 MSEd, has been named director of the Trumbull County YMCA. Previously, he was superintendent of the Educational Service Center for the Mahoning County Board of Education for six years, and before that he served 11 years as superintendent of the Austintown Local Schools. Marilyn Burns of Boardman, ’74 BS, ’79 MSEd, ’80 MSEd in guidance and counseling, has authored a second book, titled Now I Lay Him Down to Rest, published by Warren Publishing. It is the story of a boy who loses his father in a motor vehicle accident and must find a way to cope with the loss. Burns is a licensed clinical counselor with an office in Boardman. Her books are available at and her website, Marilyn Burns

Julia G. Burnett-Taylor of Birmingham, Ala., ’76 AAS in nursing, has been hired as adjunct faculty at Virginia College at Birmingham where she teaches nursing and health science courses. A registered nurse, she earned a BS in nursing from Wayne State University in Detroit and completed her master’s in nursing on a pediatric nurse practitioner track at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Previously, she was employed at the former Tod Childrens Hospital in Youngstown. Larry A. Davis of Los Angeles, ’76 BFA, a senior show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, has been chosen for the team overseeJulia Burnett-Taylor ing creative development and execution of the new Shanghai Disney Resort project in China. His role is to focus on the entry plaza and Main Street development for the park, which will cover 963 acres and will be the first Disney theme park in mainland China. Davis, who also holds an MFA from California State University in Long Beach, has been employed with Disney for more than 25 years. He will continue to work out of his office in Glendale, Calif. for the two-year concept and design development phase of the project and will relocate to China for the execution phase. The new park is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

Barry George

Dr. Barry S. George of Columbus, Ohio, ’76 BE, is the new director of Advanced Interventional Cardiovascular Medicine and Structural Heart Disease at the Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus. George earned his medical degree from the OSU Medical Center. He has published more than 100 articles in major medical journals and authored book chapters on topics related to cardiovascular medicine and biomedical devices. Named to a list of “Best Doctors in America” several years running, he has served on the board of the Society of Cardiovascular Interventionalists and on the editorial boards of several medical journals.

Jeffrey Mark Ferezan of Phoenix, ’78 BSBA in industrial marketing, recently completed his Ph.D. in leadership skills and systems from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati. Ferezan is an adjunct professor on the faculty of Webster University of St. Louis, Mo., working in the MBA program being delivered at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz. He also consults with private industry on organizational performance. Ferezan has an MBA in international management and finance from Franklin University in Columbus.


George Cheney

Jeffrey Ferezan

George Cheney of Kent, Ohio, ’80 AB, has joined the School of Communication Studies at Kent State University as a professor. Cheney has authored or co-authored six books, including the award-winning Values at Work, published by Cornell University Press in 1999, and he has written more than 80 articles and book chapters. He is North American book review editor for Organization, an international journal, and is a past chair of the organizational communication division of the National Communication Association. He earned his master’s degree and his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1982 and 1985, respectively.

Michele Gianetti of Canfield, ’84 BS in nursing, writes about her work as an advocate for her daughter with special needs in her new book, I Believe in You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey, released by Tate Publishing. Gianetti is a registered nurse and mother of three who was formerly employed as a school nurse but decided to become a stay-at-home mom when her second child was diagnosed with dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder. The book offers suggestions, helpful websites and encouragement for other families working to make a difference in the life of a specialneeds child. It is available at and at

Alumna Releases Alternative Music CD Lisa Miles of Pittsburgh, ’87 BA in English, has released a new alternative music CD, titled NALADA, under the Ravello Records label. Miles is a professional classical violinist with more than 25 years of experience as a creative artist, composer and performer. She has collaborated with dance, theatre, film and visual artists in a variety of projects and has authored two books. The CD, supported in part by The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music, is available through iTunes and


Class Notes

Bradley P. May, of Sharon, Pa., ’80 BFA, was recently named director of Advancement Services at Slippery Rock University. May has 15 years experience in higher education. Previously, he was a Bradley May database reporting specialist for Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., and more recently, he was a prospect research manager for Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

’90s James and Gillian Britt of Portland, Maine, ’94 BSBA and ’94 AB in English, respectively, are owners of and partners in gBritt PR, a public relations and marketing agency in Portland. The agency specializes in event planning and promotion, arts and culture marketing, promotions for the culinary and hospitality industries, music industry publicity, product awareness campaigns and internal communications. Gillian is the daughter of two retired YSU English professors, John and Alice Wilkinson. Bernard J. Mauser of Bloomington, Minn., ’97 BSAS, was named a faculty tutor for Rivendell Sanctuary, a college in Bloomington. He is also an adjunct professor at Liberty University, Veritas Evangelical Seminary and Bethlehem College and Seminary. Bernard Mauser After completing his undergraduate degree at YSU, Mauser earned a master’s degree in Christian apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, a master’s degree in philosophy and a Ph.D., both from Marquette University.

Jason Cicchillo Robert Zastany

Tony Maroni

Jason Michael Cicchillo of Boardman, ’99 BSAS in health care administration, has been named executive director of three health care facilities – The Assumption Village, Marian Living Center and Humility House – all operated by Humility of Mary Health Partners. Previously, Cicchillo was an administrator for the Liberty Health Care Center. Tony Maroni of Leetonia, ’99 BA in sociology, has been named administrator for The Assumption Village and Marian Living Center, both operated by Humility of Mary Health Partners. 20

Previously, he was employed as administrator for Essex of Salem I.

’00s Steven R. Little of Pittsburgh, ’00 BE in chemical engineering, was presented the 2012 Young Investigator Award by the Society for Biomaterials at its fall symposium in New Orleans. The annual award recognizes one individual who has demonstrated Steven Little outstanding achievement in the field of biomaterials research within 10 years following completion of a terminal degree or formal training. Little is an assistant professor and Bicentennial Alumni Faculty Fellow of chemical engineering, bioengineering, immunology in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Paul J. Stacharczyk of Chesapeake, Va., ’01 MBA, has been appointed senior vice president of TFC Recycling in Chesapeake. Previously, he served as vice president of operations for the company. He joined TFC in 2008 after 15 years with BFI and Allied Waste Services. Stacharczyk also serves as vice president of the board of directors for the South Hampton Roads Habitat for Humanity. Gregory Panuccio of Danbury, Conn., ’02 BS Chemistry and BE Chemical Engineering, was named associate director of global energy market development at Praxair, Inc. Panuccio has been with Praxair since earning his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2006.

Gregory Panuccio

Dennis Watson of Kent, Ohio, ’02 BSBA, has been named to the newly created position of group ticket/marketing manager in Kent State University’s athletic department. Previously, he spent three seasons as director of group sales and account executive for the independent Southern Illinois Miners baseball team and held management positions with the South Bend Silver Hawks. After completing his undergraduate work at YSU, he earned a master’s in sports management from KSU in 2004. Alisa Balestra of Cincinnati, ’04 BA in English and religious studies, ’06 MA in English and graduate certificate in bioethics, has accepted a position as program manager and director of continuous learning with Public Allies Cincinnati, a nonprofit organization

focused on youth leadership development. Balestra also completed her Ph.D. in English in May, 2011 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Bill Mehalco of Manhattan, N.Y., ’05 BSAS in hospitality management, has been promoted to general manager of Hotel Indigo New York City – Chelsea, as well as Bill Mehalco project manager for another Hotel Indigo under construction in SoHo and scheduled to open in winter 2013. Mehalco started at the Chelsea hotel as front office manager when it opened in the fall of 2009.

’10s Ben Detwiler of Palo Alto, Calif., ’11 BE in electrical engineering and BSBA in accounting, is now a student in the MS/ Ph.D. program in electrical engineering at Stanford University, where Ben Detwiler he was awarded full tuition plus a stipend. Detwiler, who graduated from YSU in May with a 4.0 GPA, also had the opportunity to travel the world as a student working on nuclear physics research projects for three years with Jeff Carroll, a former YSU physics and astronomy professor. Michael Robinson of Poland, ’11 MBA, was recently appointed to the board of directors for Seven Seventeen Credit Union in Warren. Robinson is regional director for Humility of Mary Home Health Michael Robinson Services and has received numerous professional awards and honors, including being named Young Healthcare Executive of the Year by the National Association of Health Service Executives. In addition to his MBA from YSU, he has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Xavier University and a master’s degree in health administration from Saint Louis University.

Got Good News?

Email class notes to or mail to: YSU Magazine, Marketing and Communications, Youngstown State University, One University Plaza, Youngstown, OH 44555.

A Scholarship Endowment … A Lasting Legacy

Scholarship donor Joe Nohra with nursing students Courtney McCullough, left, a senior from Hubbard, and Michele Mancini, a junior from Youngstown, both recipients of the Joseph S. and Betty C. Nohra Scholarship in Nursing. Nohra holds a photograph of his late wife, Betty, in whose honor the scholarship endowment was created.

Looking for a way to establish a lasting legacy for yourself or your family? Consider creating a YSU scholarship endowment. It’s a way to provide a funding source for deserving students that will continue for generations. Joe Nohra, ’57 BSBA, with support from the Cafaro family and other friends, started an endowment in 2006 to honor the memory of Joe’s wife, Betty C. Nohra. Since then, the Joseph S. and Betty C. Nohra Scholarship in Nursing has been providing scholarships every year to deserving students in YSU’s Department of Nursing. “She was very much a nurse – the best nurse I ever knew,” he said of his wife, “And she was very much into education and nursing. It makes me feel good to honor her this way.” Nohra’s family also has close ties to YSU. A retired longtime chief financial officer of the Cafaro Co., he served on the YSU Board of Trustees and is a member of the YSU Foundation Board of Trustees. Seven of the couple’s eight children are YSU graduates. Endowed scholarships can be established at a minimum of $10,000. Many donors choose to pledge this over a period of three to five years, or make provisions for an endowed scholarship in their estate plan. To learn more about how to establish a scholarship endowment, contact Catherine Cala in University Development at 330-941-3119 or or Paul McFadden at the YSU Foundation at 330-941-3211 or



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

Community Service, 1951 Students involved in community service at YSU are following a long tradition on campus, as reflected in this December 1951 photo publicizing a student-run Youngstown College food drive to benefit the Salvation Army. As with many of the historic photos on file in the Maag Library archives, the students in this photo are not identified. Read about Shantytown, one of many community service projects that YSU students participate in today, on the inside front cover and in the cover story of this issue.

YSU Winter Magazine: 2012  

Youngstown State University winter magazine 2012.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you