Check out Firefall and Dynamic Earth at the Planetarium!


FirefallThroughout Earth’s violent history, impacts from comets and asteroids have mercilessly shaped its surface. The ancient barrage continues today; from harmless meteors - those brilliant streaks in the night sky, to mountain sized boulders wandering perilously close to Earth. Terrifying and majestic, these invaders from space are capable of utter destruction yet they have delivered life-giving water and most of the organic materials necessary for life. The program, which features the stunning artwork of Joe Tucciarone, YSU alum and noted space artist, is appropriate for general audiences.


DYNAMIC EARTH Dynamic Earth:

The Earth is a living, dynamic planet. How did it get that way? What happens if our global climate changes? This immersive program, narrated by Liam Neeson, takes the audience above Earth to look at how our atmosphere moves, below the ocean to seek how currents move and how the carbon chain begins, and to Venus, the perfect example of a climate system gone wrong.

Dickey Electric Promotes David Wright, YSU STEM alumn, to Head of Estimating

“Joe” Dickey Electric has promoted David Wright to head of estimating and engineering. Wright replaces Gary Williams, senior estimator, who’s retiring after 40 years with the Mahoning Valley electrical contractor.

Wright was previously a junior estimator who completed his electrical engineering technology degree from Youngstown State University in 2013 while working full-time for “Joe” Dickey Electric. Before that, he joined the company as a journeyman residential electrician after completing an apprenticeship through the Youngstown Area Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee in 2004. He’s a Youngstown native now residing in Washingtonville.

Williams is a well-known and respected electrical industry professional who is staying on part-time to help in the Wright’s transition.

“David is a bright, young star with a comprehensive background in the electrical industry,” said David Dickey, president, “Joe” Dickey Electric. “Between his experience and formal education, and the knowledge transfer he’s been receiving from Gary Williams, we feel very strongly about the future of our estimating department.”

While working as a journeyman electrician for “Joe” Dickey Electric, Wright continued his education earning an Associate’s Degree from YSU in technical studies. He was promoted to junior estimator upon completion of that degree. During the course of his Bachelor studies he was part of a Mahoning Valley National Electrical Contractors Association-sponsored student-engineering team that won a national championship in the Green Energy Challenge.

“Joe” Dickey Electric was formed in 1957, and strives to be the area’s most trusted and cost-effective electrical contractor, handling commercial, industrial, residential, green technology and 24/7 emergency electrical services. The company employs up to 250 electricians, has an office staff of 20 professionals and maintains a fleet of more than 50 specialized vehicles.

Exploring the Unknown: Math Professor Looks into How Temperature Affects Sleep

IMA3-2Assistant professor of math Dr. Alicia Prieto Langarica is teaming up with five other women from around the world to look at how temperature affects sleep patterns.

“Sleep is really interesting, and there are a lot of things that everybody shares, but it is also extremely stochastic since it varies a lot,” said. Prieto Langarica. “So sometimes you don’t sleep very well, or you find a different position, or you just sleep different. But between people, it’s even more different. Some people need more sleep from other people and some like colder temperatures than others.”

Dr. Prieto Langarica explained that while awake, a person’s body spends most of its energy on thermoregulation. While sleeping, once a person has their rapid eye movement sleep, the body stops its thermoregulation.

“If we don’t get REM, things get bad in your mind, and we get real tired and things like that. But we cannot get a lot of REM because when you are in REM you are not thermoregulating, meaning you’re like a lizard,” she explained. “So when we’re in REM, we cannot maintain our body temperature, so it starts drifting to whatever the ambient temperature is.”

While the exact reason for shutting off thermoregulation isn’t known, she said that a doctor came up with a theory that says the energy normally used for thermoregulation is instead used for other necessary processes, such as saving memories and growing.

“You need that energy to do all these processes that you need to do once a day, like saving your memories, growing — most of the growing that you do when you’re a child and even when you’re an adult happens during your sleep — you change your skin all the time, your bones are remodeling, everything,” Dr. Prieto Langarica said. “Most of those processes happen while you’re sleeping, and you’re turning off your thermoregulation so you have all this other energy to file everything in our head. “

Dr. Prieto Langarica went on to explain that even in very similar conditions, a person sleeps differently, and while most people believe the temperature in the room matters, it’s actually the temperature between the person and the sheets that matters.

“The temperature, what we call the distal skin temperature, is the temperature right above your skin. So for example some people like it cooler because they like more covers, but they’re actually achieving the same temperature as the guy who keeps it warmer but is sleeping in shorts without covers,” she said.

The group’s first manuscript on the study has been accepted, and they are working with Dr. Markus Smith on the function of sleep on mathematical models.

Faculty Faction: Tony Vercellino

Dr. Tony Vercellino, assistant professor of Civil Engineering, didn’t originally want to teach.

“Ten years ago if you asked me if I would be teaching at a university, I would have said you’re out of your mind,” he said.

But luckily for us STEMians, he changed his mind.

“I [thought I] was just going to be an engineer working with construction, and then I did the consulting stuff, found out it wasn’t my cup of tea, went back to school, got the opportunity to teach and found out I really liked it,” Vercellino said. “I guess you could say I kind of fell into it. I like being able to teach and being able to interact with the students and watch the ideas click whenever you explain something well in the classroom.”

He said he likes the small-school feel of the university, and that’s what made YSU appealing to him.

“I came from a big research university and that atmosphere was too research focused compared to what I want to do. It’s easy to lose touch with students at such a big university,” Vercellino said.

One of his main goals is to build a successful research program and further the name of the university. He said he wants to help build the program to be well-rounded so the students that do want to come here can get a broad environmental background as a part of their civil engineering degree.

He hasn’t started research yet, but Vercellino said he is looking to get into oil and gas research as well as broaden his research background in water and wastewater treatment. He is currently putting together a research article about the uptake of micropollutants in agriculture due to wastewater reuse, and will be serving as a professional mentor to the YSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

When he’s not in the classroom, you can find him refereeing ice hockey in his spare time or rooting for his favorite teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues.

Transforming the Future: Professors Look to Harness the Power of Light

It’s pretty commonplace for each of us to have cell phones, a computer, and an internet connection. In order to get information to these devices at the user end, much of the information has to be sent through wires or wirelessly. But many people don’t realize that, even with wifi, most digital information is moved as light in fiber optics. Drs. Jim Andrews and Mike Crescimanno, both professors in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, are looking at new ways of manipulating that light.

“Transmitting information via light is more effective than transmitting it via electricity, but processing it as light has always been a challenge,” said Andrews.

Essentially, Andrews and Crescimanno are looking to control light with light, instead of another means of energy.

Crescimmano_Andrews story POEM 2014 zoom“It was one of those things that we came up with, and I really wanted to push it a bit further,” said Crescimanno. “When you pick up an old-fashioned telephone, there’s a wire that goes to the wall, and guess what happens? When the signal in the wire goes into the wall and goes to the bottom of the building, it gets converted to light and sent into fiber optics.”

Currently, information being transferred via light has to be converted into electricity and then converted back to light at every branch point along its path. Andrews and Crescimanno are working toward not having to convert the light to electricity, but instead having the light control other light directly by changing its polarization, that is, the direction of the light’s electric field, transverse to its propagation direction.

“So what we’ve done,” Crescimanno explained, “is thought very critically about how to change the polarization of light in a device more completely and efficiently. We’ve been looking rather critically at combining the existing methods of rotating the polarization of light by using wave interference in a process we call ‘coherent perfect rotation’.”

By harnessing the power of light and cutting out the middle step of converting the light to electricity, this makes for a more efficient and more cost effective way to transfer information.

Andrews and Crescimanno are working on this research with Dr. Chuanhong Zhou of the physics department and several students. They received support for this work from the National Science Foundation through a $129,750 Early concept Grant for Exploratory Research, or EAGER.

STEMians: Scholarship Information! Read how to get assistance for next academic year

Welcome back, STEMians! Now is the perfect time to begin filling out applications for scholarships for next academic year. Below is a list of scholarships available to STEM majors (check out the financial aid website for additional scholarship opportunities), as well as links to applications. All of this information can also be found here.

Applications are due by February 15. Many of the scholarships listed require FAFSA to be completed, so please complete your FAFSA prior to February 15.

Be sure to like STEM Scholarships on Facebook so you can stay up to date on the latest scholarships!


Current Students

STEM Common Application

Over 30 scholarships are available for current STEM students through the STEM Scholarship Application. By completing this one application, you will be considered for all available STEM College Scholarships for which you qualify for that academic year. Completed applications must be submitted by 5pm on February 15th every year to be considered for the following academic year. Most scholarships require that a FAFSA also be completed.

For a full list of scholarships awarded through the STEM Scholarship Application, Click Here

APPLY ON-LINE HERE. You can also find scholarship applications, along with additional information, on the scholarship board outside of the Dean’s Office in Moser Hall, Room 2200.


Myron Wick Scholarship in Science and Engineering: CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION

  • Available to full-time Junior and Senior Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Environmental Science, and Engineering Majors
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Deadline: February 15

Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania Scholarship: CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION

Carol Lamb 330-941-4625

  • Available for majors in Civil And Construction Engineering Technology
  • Deadline: July 1

Alan Jacobs Achievement in Environmental Studies: CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION

Geology and Environmental Science Department, Moser Hall 2120

  • Refund for the cost of the textbook for students who receive an A in ENST 1500
  • Deadline: 5 days before the end of the term

Ann Harris Scholarship: Geology and Environmental Science Department, Moser Hall 2120

  • For Junior and Senior Geology majors with at least a 3.5 toward the cost of a summer field camp
  • Deadline: March 1

Donald Marcy Scholarship: Biological Sciences Department, Ward Beecher Hall 4037

  • For sophomore, junior, and senior Biology majors with at least a 2.5
  • Deadline: February 15

John and Lina Moteff Scholarship: Physics Department, Ward Beecher Hall 2023 CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION

  • Available to science majors with first preference to incoming physics majors
  • Deadline: February 15

Dr. Ronald A. Parise Scholarship: Physics Department, Ward Beecher Hall 2023

  • Awarded to physics majors with at least a 3.0 GPA, preference to Mahoning and Trumbull residents
  • Deadline: February 15

Help A Sister Out: Sherri Lovelace-Cameron, Ward Beecher Hall 5016 CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION

  • Awarded to full-time graduate and undergraduate female African American students majoring in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics with minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Deadline: March 15

Additional Resources for current students


Incoming Students

First-time STEM students are encouraged to apply for one of our several scholarships available to incoming students. See details below for deadlines and application information.


STEM Scholarship Common Application

Although most of these scholarships require at least sophomore level status, by completing this one application, you will be considered for all available STEM College Scholarships for which you qualify for that academic year, in the event that a new scholarship becomes available. Completed applications must be submitted by 5pm on February 15th every year to be considered for the following academic year. Most scholarships require that a FAFSA also be completed.

For a full list of scholarships awarded through the STEM Scholarship Application, Click Here

APPLY ON-LINE HERE. You can also find scholarship applications, along with additional information, on the scholarship board outside of the Dean’s Office in Moser Hall, Room 2200.


Choose Ohio First Scholarship Program

Available to incoming students who place into the minimum math required for their major (Pre-Calculus or Calculus) and have at least a 2.5 high school GPA. Preference is given to students from our partner schools (Austintown Fitch, Boardman, Campbell Memorial, Chaney, East, Girard, Hubbard, Liberty, Lowellville, McDonald, Niles McKinley, Struthers, Warren Harding, Youngstown Early College), but all applications are accepted. Only 20-25 scholarship are awarded per year.

More info and application


FIRST Robotics Scholarship

Available to an incoming student who has participated for at least one year on a FIRST Robotics Team.

More info and application


John and Lina Moteff Scholarship

Preferably given to incoming students majoring in Physics. Those majoring in any science will be given secondary consideration.

Click here for application

More info


Teachers Experience The Flipped Classroom

On December 16, area high school chemistry teachers and several faculty of the STEM College were introduced to the concept of The Flipped Classroom as a part of Professional Day, which was jointly hosted by the Department of Chemistry and the Beeghly College of Education. The Flipped Classroom, pioneered by Aaron Sams and Jon Bergmann, provides a way for students to have a more hands-on learning experience.

“The basic idea of flipped learning is to present lecture material outside of the classroom. This is usually done through the preparation of videos that are then posted to sites like YouTube. Students are expected to view the videos before class,” said Dr. Mike Serra, an Associate Professor of Chemistry, and the principle organizer of the event . “Some teachers present students with an outline of the notes that students fill in during each presentation. During class the students can focus on other things such as problem solving or performing more experiments. It can be beneficial for the STEM disciplines that are more problem based.”

This year, there were 45 participants from local high schools, as well as some participants from the Department of Chemistry. Sams gave a presentation introducing all of the participants to flipped learning.

Recent Publications: Alumn William Hurst

William Hurst, a 1975 graduate of Chemistry, is publishing his eighth book, Chocolate and Health, with Dr. Philip Wilson of East Tenn. State Univ and Dr. W Jeffrey Hurst of the Hershey Co as editors. The book is currently in production in Europe with publication in early 2015 by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Their first book, Chocolate as Medicine, won the prestigious Gourmand award as the best book published in the UK on this topic and the 2nd Best in the world.

Recent Publications: Dr. Rodabaugh

Stephen E. Rodabaugh, Associate Dean of the College of STEM, has just published or is publishing in the near future the following four papers: first, Enriched categories and many-valued preorders: categorical, semantical, and topological perspectives (with Denniston, Melton), Fuzzy Sets and Systems 256(2014) 4–56; second, Formal contexts, Formal Concept Analysis, and Galois connections (with Denniston, Melton), Theoretical Computer Science (electronic): Festschrift in Honor of David Schmidt’s 60th Birthday, to appear; third, Lattice-valued preordered sets as lattice-valued topological systems (with Denniston, Melton, Solovjovs), Fuzzy Sets and Systems, to appear; fourth, Function spaces and L-preordered sets(with Denniston, Melton), Topology Proceedings, to appear.  In addition, Dr. Rodabaugh recently presented a four session, NSF supported series Many-Valued Topology: A Tutorial at an international conference on topology and its applications hosted by the City University of New York on its Staten Island campus.