Graduate Spotlight: Michelle Kordupel

This summer, YSU STEM will highlight a different graduating student each month. This month, we’re highlighting Michelle Kordupel, a biological sciences major.

Michelle has plans on pursuing veterinary medicine, but it’s not all about the domestic pets for her.

“I’m going to North Carolina State School of Veterinary Medicine. Right now my focus is avian and reptilian medicine,” she said. “In private practice and corporate medicine, it’s all dogs and cats, and it’s a lot of seeing the same thing over and over again.”

Michelle said the thing she wants to focus on research with the animals, since not much is known about their health complications.

“[With] birds and reptiles, there is not a lot of research done on these species. So, there are a lot of problems common in other types of [veterinary] medicine that they really don’t know how to treat in reptilian and aviary medicine. So I’m interested in the research aspect of it. Why do we understand these problems in other species but not in reptiles and birds?”

Michelle was part of the honors program her entire collegiate career, as well as various student organizations. She said that being active in the campus community has helped her immensely in the very social aspect of veterinary medicine.

“We deal directly with our clients who own our patients, the pets. Everything goes to our clients, so you have to be very good with people, which a lot of people don’t quite realize when they think of vets,” Michelle said. “Sometimes you have to deal with the people even more so than the pets.”

The best part of being involved in organizations at YSU was the diversity.

“We are acting with people from different countries. We have a lot of foreign exchange students who lived in Cafaro, and there are also a lot of foreign exchange students that are a part of the STEM program itself, so being able to interact with diverse people in diverse situations, being able to talk to different people from different backgrounds has been one of the biggest influencing factors I would say for me,” she said.

In addition to the diversity, Michelle volunteered through the STEM College and the Honor’s Program. She said that volunteerism allows a person to give more of themselves to a cause.

“Veterinary medicine, specifically, is a very difficult profession where you’re giving a lot of yourself to these patients, to these clients. “A lot of your time and your energy and your effort goes into this career, so the people who are passionate are able to do that.”

Transforming the Future: Ashley Martof Named Intern of the Year

Ashley Martof holds the letter that she designed and printed for President Obama.

Ashley Martof holds the letter that she designed and printed for President Obama.

The STEM Intern of the Year award is given to a student that has shown a high quality of work, has shown initiative, has completed presentations, and has had an impact on the company with whom they have worked. This year, Ashley Martof, a senior industrial engineer student, won the award.

Ashley said that she toured America Makes in Spring 2013, and that was the first time she was introduced to additive manufacturing and 3D printing. She said she fell in love with the technology immediately. Ashley began interning with America Makes in January, where she helps with workforce and educational outreach.

America Makes is the first institute in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation. ”Our focus is on additive manufacturing research”, said Mike Hripko, director of workforce and educational outreach, “ At the same time, we know by developing and offering educational content, we will enable people to take full advantage of the new technology.”

Mike Hripko and Ashley Martof showcase some of the materials printed at America Makes, including a side mirror for a car and a honeycomb-structure metal beam.

Mike Hripko and Ashley Martof showcase some of the materials printed at America Makes, including a side mirror for a car and a honeycomb-structure metal beam.

One of the first projects Ashley did was develop an additive manufacturing curriculum for teachers.

“Last year if you Googled ‘additive manufacturing,’ no results for curriculum showed up. Teaching tools for 3D printing had not been developed; the technology was so new. So I had to research additive manufacturing and develop curriculum from scratch,” Ashley said.

Other projects Ashley completed include developing a 3D printing student camp, where she took the children from 2D and 3D basics to designing and printing their own products in five days, designing a 3D letter to President Obama, designing a side mirror for the 3D Print Your Car project from Local Motors, and designing a coyote for a collaboration award.

Ashley was also a student participant in the STEM Professional Practice Program and was a participant with the PICAM 1 and the OH-PENN grants.

After Ashley graduates in May, she plans on returning to YSU to pursue a master’s degree in industrial engineering.

Student Spotlight: Connor Hetzel

HetzelThird year physics major Connor Hetzel sat at a table in Maag Library sipping his coffee and wearing a Boardman tennis sweatshirt. At first glance he seems like a normal college student, just trying to get through his day with his coffee by his side.

But while most college students are wondering if they’ll get a job in their field of study, Connor already knows that he will be taking another path.

“I’m planning on only using my major as a hobby of sorts. I am planning on pursuing theology when I graduate from here. I am a Roman Catholic, so I will be entering the seminary,” he said.

Connor said that he did some studying of religion in high school, but that he realizes entering the seminary will be a completely different type of studying for him.

“It’ll be a culture shock that I’m ready for,” he said.

As for his love of physics, Connor mentioned that it’s something that comes easily to him.

“In high school and previous, sciences and mathematics just came very naturally, very intuitively to me. I understood them, and I was able to tell that I had a gift with it that I could perceive that not everyone had,” he said. “I wanted to do something with it that would both challenge and excite me. As I took more courses, I just found a love of the material, a love of the challenges that the professors put before us.”

Connor said that he sees a “beautiful harmony” between science and religion, a place where some see conflict.

“My understanding of science deepens my level of faith, and I see a necessity for divine inspiration — not in a way that many describe as contradictory to science, but in a way that is, ‘How could this be spontaneous chance?’ Everything around us working to an exact perfection beyond what we could ever come up with, and it just furthers my faith,” he said.

Connor said that he hopes that his alternate career path will allow him some free time that he can devote to “self learning,” where he will spend his time involved in theoretical research. Some aspects of theoretical research that he hopes to explore are Einstein’s unified field theory and gravity.

“It wasn’t even that I didn’t want to pursue physics as a career,” he said. “It was that I realized I had a calling that superseded a calling to physics. With the help of some very good friends of mine, they helped me realized that I have certain gifts that call me to the ministry that call me to be a leader in the Roman Catholic church.”

Student Spotlight: Steve Zaborsky

Many students despise those dreaded eight o’clock in the morning classes. Some students get up much earlier and accomplish more before those eight o’clock classes than some students do all day. Steve Zaborsky, a junior Mechanical Engineering student, is one of those students. Getting up at five o’clock every morning, Steve works out, attends classes, volunteers his time, and then practices with the rest of the football team.

Steve, a graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, enjoys what he does and staying busy. As a mechanical engineering student, Steve excels in mathematics and sciences. While he is engaged in many different types of classes, there is more to being an outstanding STEMian than Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Ashley Bowers

AshleyBowersMuch of what YSU STEM stands for can be shown through students like Ashley Bowers, a junior Industrial and Systems Engineering student with a minor in Mathematics. Ashley, who will become the new President of the STEM Leadership Society next fall, displays the top characteristics that STEM works hard to instill in its students.

Ashley, an Austintown Fitch graduate and valedictorian, has worked her way through the last three years of college like many other students. What is different about Ashley is how she has also worked her way up in the STEM Leadership Society (SLS). Starting with a basic position she moved to being the Vice President this year. Next year, Ashley will be the new President. SLS isn’t the only organization that Ashley is a part of; she is also a part of Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society and the YSU Honors Society. Continue reading

STEM Intern of the Year: Teresa McKinney!

TeresaweldingMany STEM students participate in internships during their college career. One STEM student, Teresa McKinney, has won the STEM Intern of the Year. The STEM Intern of the Year award is given to a student that has shown a high quality of work, has shown initiative, has completed presentations, and has had an impact on the company with whom they have worked.

Teresa McKinney, a senior Mechanical Engineering student, has accomplished a great deal in her college career. While she has held several internships, one of her most memorable ones was her internship at Nucor Steel Auburn, Inc. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Tai Jaune Robinson

TaiJaune Robinson PicWhile each and every one of our Student Spotlights feature a remarkable student for their grades and research, not many of them can say that they are as inspirational to the people around them as Tai Jaune Robinson.

Tai, a sophomore Industrial Engineering student, had always wanted to go into engineering, but didn’t know which one would fit the best. During her high school years at Youngstown Early College, she did research, finding that YSU and the Industrial and Systems Engineering program were the best fit for her. Tai graduated YSU with her associate’s degree a few days before receiving her diploma from YEC.

Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Eric Shehadi

Second from right, Eric Shehadi

Second from right, Eric Shehadi

Many STEM students are busy with school, social lives, and part-time jobs. Eric Shehadi, a junior mathematics student, is one of those students. While he does more than just his school work and hang out with friends, Eric finds time in his busy schedule to help with various clubs and organizations.

Community involvement is one of the most important aspects of Eric’s education. He is often found coordinating volunteer events for various organizations he participates in; for example, he brought a crew of Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Sebastian Hagn

HagnBeing a STEMian takes a lot of time and effort, but being a STEMian and being involved with athletics takes even more. Sebastian Hagn is not only a senior civil engineering student, but he is a tournament winning tennis player for the YSU Men’s Tennis team too.

Sebastian, an Austria native, first attended the University of South Florida, but it wasn’t quite what he was looking for. Sebastian started to look for a school that had a great engineering program. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Tyler Vitullo

Hello STEMians!

plane2Our group of students from the Electrical Engineering Capstone course recently went to Morgantown, West Virginia, to participate in the IEEE Student Activities Conference. This conference is made up of students from universities located in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Our group included: myself (Tyler Vitullo), Kevin Marstellar, Christopher Smaldino, Kurt Shambaugh, and Nathan Jones. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Estee George

Estee GeorgeYoungstown State University College of STEM has a reputation for excellence, and students like junior Estee George propel that excellence forward. Estee is a double major in Chemical Engineering and Applied Mathematics and is minoring in Chemistry.

Estee keeps herself busy at YSU. She is the treasurer of Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Fraternity and is a member of both the STEM Leadership Society and Women in Mathematics. Also on campus, she is a member of the College Democrats.

While she is very busy on campus, Estee still takes time to do volunteer work with the Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, and Friends of the Mahoning River. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Kylie Delgros

Hello STEMians!

Kylie and Stitch

Kylie and Stitch

I am a senior in Industrial Engineering at YSU. I got hired as an Engineering Services intern here at Walt Disney World in August 2012. The department I am apart of is called Global Contracts. My team handles all of the large contracting agreements that affect Walt Disney World properties.

Working for Disney is great! I am especially lucky to have been hired in the role I have. Because my team handles global contracts, I get to experience everything the Walt Disney Resort has to offer. Whether I’m off checking furniture layouts or shadowing my boss on an elevator inspection walk, I get to see every aspect of the resort, onstage (within guest view) and off-stage (cast areas).

My main role here at Disney is establishing a global furniture program for all of the public spaces in our resorts across Walt Disney World. I am creating a centralized database that contains the furniture specifications for each of these assets. It might not sound like much, but when you think about it, so far I have collected data on about 20,000 pieces of furniture. In the future, we are hoping to implement my database into a work-order-based system that can effectively track the maintenance cycle, as well as the life cycle of our furniture. That being said, I have compiled past work orders so that our team can be more cost effective when awarding bids to vendors (for refinishing furniture). My work has been extremely helpful to estimating a budget for our program for upcoming years.

One of my favorite things about my role is it is not what you would think of when you think of an Industrial Engineer. If I have learned one thing from Disney, it’s that Industrial Engineers can be used everywhere. Industrial Engineering is all about efficiencies. In my role, I have centralized a system of information that had no documentation in some areas, or information that was ten years old in other areas. It feels great to be able to help organize something on such a large scale. At Disney, we realize that people are spending their money to be encompassed by the charm that our resort promises, whether that charm be not having to wait in a two hour line all the way down to being impressed with the quality of furniture within or resorts. I’m excited that the work I’m doing is helping to keep that Disney magic going for our guests in years to come!

Have a magical day,

Kylie Delgros

Student Spotlight: Katie Smith

Katie SmithMost college seniors dread looking for careers in the months after graduation. Katie Smith, a senior chemical engineering major, is ahead of the game, having already procured a position with the Edison Engineering Development Program at General Electric Lighting, in East Cleveland, Ohio.

Starting in June, Katie will embark on the first leg of the Edison Engineering Development Program’s two-year rotation. The program is an accelerated track for gaining leadership within the company.

During the past two summers, Katie has interned with the company in two separate departments: LED Technology and Fluorescent. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Massey Fowler

Massey Fowler

Any student at YSU will tell you that a full schedule of classes is a lot to handle. Massey Fowler, however, just keeps adding more to his already busy schedule. The junior Mechanical Engineering and Math major likes keeping busy all the time.

Massey is currently the president of the YSU STEM Leadership Society. As if being the president wasn’t an accomplishment enough, he is one of the founding members that brought SLS to YSU’s campus.

“SLS’s mission is to develop students into better leaders and therein greater successes beyond their years at YSU,” Massey says.

STEM Leadership Society is a student organization where students are provided excellent opportunities for networking, mentoring, and interaction with area businesses.

Continue reading

International Internship for Mechanical Engineering Student

Bryan Zilka is going global with a co-op internship in Seoul, South Korea this summer.

A junior mechanical engineering major in YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Zilka will be working for light electric vehicle manufacturer MPS Korea Co., Ltd. MPS is based in Seoul and sells products throughout Asia and North America as the maker of small electric vehicles, such as golf carts, electric manufacturing trucks and other applications.

This is the first time the STEM College has been able to send an intern on a foreign assignment in recent memory. Zilka will spend the summer and return in the fall.

Zilka says he’s excited for an opportunity to work abroad in his field. He will be staying in Seoul for nearly two months this summer, working on the product line for an MPS industrial truck.

“Mechanical engineering is a much broader field than I thought it was going into my major,” said Zilka. “So I’m working on figuring out all the opportunities available to me before deciding on a career. That’s what this internship will really help me do.”

Zilka is a member the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Honors Program at YSU.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber approached the STEM College in the spring about the opportunity, as in their communication with MPS found a need for engineering support for some of MPS’s upcoming new products. The Regional Chamber’s Vice-President of International Business Attraction, Eric Planey, lauded the efforts by MPS to hire Zilka:  “MPS has given us at the Chamber great insight as to the business climate in Korea, to help attract Korean businesses to the area. Further, we have seen how MPS excels at engineering-driven solutions for its products, and we thought this would be an excellent opportunity for a student like Bryan and the STEM College to showcase their talents.”

MPS was one of three Asian companies that came to Youngstown to attend  the YSU Sustainable Energy Forum, and they were hosted by the Regional Chamber.