Recent Graduate Jenna Wise Awarded NSF Fellowship

Jenna WiseJenna Wise, a recent computer science and mathematics graduate, has been awarded a 2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. 2,000 STEM students nationwide were awarded out of a pool of more than 13,000 applicants.

The fellowship program recognizes students for their academic efforts while pursuing a research-based, graduate-level degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Jenna’s name may sound familiar to many because of her strong presence here at YSU:

  • Webmaster and former president of Pi Mu Epsilon
  • President and former vice president of the Association for Computing Machinery–Women
  • Tutor at the Mathematics Assistance Center
  • Student researcher in the Software Engineering Research and Empirical Studies Laboratory (CSIS Department under Dr. Sharif)
  • 2016 Barry Goldwater Scholarship recipient
  • Author and co-author of several math and computer science publications

With many activities and accomplishments under her belt, Jenna has already compiled an impressive resume through all of her hard work.

She has worked on NSF-funded research in the past, including her eye-tracking research with Dr. Sharif which was also the basis of her senior project.

Jenna is spending her summer as an intern for IBM Research before attending Carnegie Mellon University for her PhD studies in the fall.

Check out this article from YSU News to read more about Jenna and her award.

View details about the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program here.

Internship Experience: Taylor Simcox

The College of STEM at Youngstown State University focuses a lot of time and energy on promoting internships and hands-on experience for its students. The students gain valuable knowledge through this work because it is more than just an extension of their education. Taylor Simcox, a recent civil engineering graduate, explained the importance of her internship experience with us.

Taylor interned at Union Metal Corporation in Canton, Ohio, starting in the fall of 2015. The primary focus of her job was designing poles that support traffic lights.

“Designing poles sounded like the most boring job on the planet and to be completely honest, I didn’t know poles required engineering,” said Taylor, thinking back on her first impressions of the job.

She had expected to be given intern-level responsibilities at Union Metal. After all, she was an undergraduate student working as a part-time, temporary employee. As time went by, Taylor learned and grew with the company, taking on a bigger role and handling more responsibilities.

“In the spring I was assigned my own state, meaning I would handle all calculations and drawings that came through for the state of New York,” she said. “This was usually reserved for full-time, experienced engineers.”

She continued to grow within the company, working hard and taking on more responsibilities as a professional engineer.

Taylor accepted a full-time position at Union Metal in June 2016, just before graduating in August. She plans to continue her education in the near future by pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

At YSU STEM, student success is a big deal. We’d like to congratulate Taylor and wish her well for the future, and we’d like to leave you with a bit of advice from her:

“You have to express how you feel to your superiors. If you feel like you’re not getting enough work or if the work isn’t challenging enough, tell them. Show interest and ask questions, bug the right people for more responsibilities, and never let anyone tell you that you aren’t old enough or in the correct class level to apply for an internship.”

Taylor with concrete canoe

Staff Spotlight: Jonathan Kelly

Jonathan KellyJonathan Kelly is a YSU STEM alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering. As of November 2016, he’s back at YSU working with Drs. Brett Conner and Hazel Marie.

Earlier in 2016, it was announced that YSU would be partnering with the Air Force and other research centers to work on a grant-funded project involving additive manufacturing. With this new project came the need for additional personnel.

Jonathan is a project leader, meaning he works more behind-the-scenes than hands-on. With research and paperwork making its way back and forth between organizations and facilities, someone needs to be there to organize everything and help coordinate so that the project runs smoothly. He is here to assist Dr. Conner from an administrative view on this project.

Since earning his degree, Jonathan has worked as a quality engineer and as a quality and safety manager. This project will give him the opportunity to gain more experience while working on earning his MBA. He also works as a real estate agent on the side.

Jonathan Kelly is here for the duration of the project, ending in March 2019. For more information on the grant-funded project, read these resources from The Business Journal, WKBN, and the Tribune Chronicle.

STEM Expo & Meet the Employers


Every spring and fall semester, STEM Professional Services organizes a career fair of sorts for all STEM students. In the past only internships and co-ops for current students were the focus of the expo, but this semester debuted the new Expo. Beginning fall 2016, the STEM Expo is now available to STEM students and alumni for internships, co-ops, and full-time positions.

Because of this expansion, the Expo has become bigger than ever. The Fall 2016 STEM Expo saw more than 600 students meet with 65 companies to discuss employment options. With so much interest and involvement, the Expo is expected to grow even more in the future and possibly require a larger venue.

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Meet the Employers

STEM Leadership Society coordinated with STEM Professional Services to host the Meet the Employers event. Mike Hripko, Associate Vice President for Research, moderated a panel consisting of representatives from Goodyear, Vallourec, Pearne & Gordon LLP, and the Cafaro Company. The panel members were invited to discuss their companies and explain what they look for in an applicant, and questions from the audience followed.

Representatives from other companies joined in a round table discussion where students could ask about the companies and the employers could get a sense of what the students were looking for as well. Companies involved were Tech Corps, MS Consultants, Progressive, Simmers Crane Design & Services, and Mercy Health.

Around 30 students attended this first-ever Meet the Employers, but STEM Leadership Society is eager to host more of them as a regular event in the future with more involvement from both students and employers.

Fall 2016 STEM Expo

The STEM Professional Services office in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics hosts the semi-annual Fall 2016 STEM Expo on Thursday, October 6, 2016, from 12 to 4 p.m. in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University.

Employers fromprivate, non-profit, and government sectors are invited to participate in the event to recruit and fill available internship/co-op and full-time/entry-level science, technology, engineering and mathematic positions. Employers can register here until Friday, September 30, 2016, or until registration is filled to participate in the event. Currently there are more than 60 employers registered for the event

The Expo is open to all current STEM students and STEM alumni who are either seeking an internship/co-op for the upcoming year or a full-time/entry level position.  The Expo is a great opportunity to build awareness about your organization, to learn more about student dynamics, and to potentially connect with faculty in various academic departments.

For more information, call the STEM Professional Services office at 330-941-2151.

Stem Logo

Alumni Spotlight: Janet Gbur

Janet GburJanet Gbur, a Youngstown State University alumna and a current Case Western Reserve University doctoral candidate, is certainly making waves in the STEM community.

Though still pursuing a degree, she is very active in research and real-world experience.

“As an active member of ASTM International, I participated in the development of a test standard that relates to my dissertation work and I sit on several committees that create and maintain standards for metallurgy, fatigue and fracture, mechanical testing, and medical devices,” said Janet.

Her dissertation focuses on the effects of material purity on the fatigue and fracture of wires used in biomedical applications.

“Perhaps the most exciting and rewarding work is related to a project under PI Dustin Tyler in Biomedical Engineering,” said Janet. “His group is working on restoring the sense of touch to amputees through a unique neural interface system.”

Janet’s role in this project is to develop tests and evaluate the materials and mechanics to ensure quality and functionality for implantation. This requires knowledge of several disciplines, including materials science and mechanical, electrical, and biomedical engineering.

She has been published twice this year, once with Daniela Solomon and once with John J. Lewandowski, her doctoral advisor. You can read about the publications here.

Janet holds a BS in Biology from Kent State University, a BS in Materials Engineering and MSE in Mechanical Engineering from YSU. After she completes her doctorate at CWRU, she plans to continue her research and eventually teach at the university level.

“The most important part of my YSU STEM education was the early introduction to lab coursework and emphasis on fundamentals across all core engineering disciplines,” said Janet. “Strong mentorship from faculty Bob McCoy, Dan Suchora, and Hazel Marie helped to keep me focused and provide a solid academic foundation from which I could confidently pursue a doctoral degree and chart a career in research and academia.”

Recent Publications: Janet Gbur

Promoting Technical Standards Education in Engineering
2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


The United States Standards Strategy, the framework developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to guide the U.S. standards system, recognizes the need for standards education programs as a high priority and recommends initiatives that address the significance and value of standards. To this intent, a novel workshop was developed in partnership with the library and the School of Engineering to raise the level of awareness of technical standards and standards usage on campus. The effort was a result of a campus-wide collaboration that provided a low-cost method of introducing technical standards and providing a foundation to develop a series of online tools accessible to the campus community. The event featured guest speakers representative of six major national and international standards bodies in addition to faculty, staff and students. The panels provided discussions on the background of the various types of standards and industries impacted, the development and implementation of these documents, the ways in which students and faculty can become more familiar with these documents and the benefit to becoming actively involved with standards organizations. The presentations and question-and-answer sessions provided a venue to learn about technical standards and to talk about ways to improve standards education within the campus community. The event was well received as shown by strong attendance and follow up to online materials continues to show activity five months following the event. This paper summarizes the implementation of the workshop, its impact, and strategies to further improve standards education on campus.

Fatigue and fracture of wires and cables for biomedical applications
International Materials Reviews


Fine wires and cables play a critical role in the design of medical devices and subsequent treatment of a large array of medical diagnoses. Devices such as guide wires, catheters, pacemakers, stents, staples, functional electrical stimulation systems, eyeglass frames and orthodontic braces can be comprised of wires with diameters ranging from 10s to 100s of micrometres. Reliability is paramount as part of either internal or external treatment modalities. While the incidence of verified fractures in many of these devices is quite low, the criticality of these components requires a strong understanding of the factors controlling the fracture and fatigue behaviour. Additionally, optimisation of the performance and reliability of these devices necessitates characterisation of the fatigue and fracture properties of its constituent wires. A review of cable architecture and stress states experienced during testing is followed by an overview of the effects of changes in material composition, microstructure, processing and test conditions on fracture and fatigue behaviour of wire and cable systems used in biomedical applications.The review concludes with recommendations for future work.

Making a Difference: Eighth Annual STEM Awards Dinner

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The eighth annual YSU STEM College Awards Dinner took place on Wednesday, February 17th, 2016. In attendance were students, faculty, alumni, and community partners to celebrate past and future achievements in STEM.

YSU is proud to have honored the following:

Outstanding Young Alumnus: Bijan Hosseininejad, B&W Engineering, Research and Operation Team Leader
Outstanding Young Alumnus: Jared Bilas, Product Design Engineer, MAC Trailer & Assistant Professor, Mount Union
Outstanding Alumnus: John Hamley, Director of NASA Space Flight Systems
Outstanding Community Partner: Drew Hirt, President and Senior Scientist, Materials Research Laboratory
Outstanding Educational Partner: OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology
Intern of the Year: Kyle Spickler, Senior Electrical Engineering Major
Co-op Student of the Year: Hailey Sullivan, Junior Chemical Engineering Major


Read the full bios of the honorees here.

What does a civil engineer do?

In a series of articles, YSU STEM will take you through some of the most complex jobs out there. We will explore the hows, whys, and wheres of these jobs. For this second article, we will take a look at civil engineers.

Civil engineers create the framework for our world, literally. Civil engineers deal with the design and construction of important structures that we come into contact with every day. The road you drove on to get to class today is there thanks to a civil engineer. But civil engineering is more than just roads, bridges and buildings.

Mark McDonough

Mark McDonough

Mark McDonough, YSU STEM graduate in engineering and current Civil Engineering Project Manager in the Telecommunications Division for the GPD Group in Akron, talked with us and told us exactly what he does with his engineering degree.

As a project manager, Mark oversees many other engineers who provide services to clients, such as site audits, design work and construction drawings.

“In the Telecom division of GPD Group, we ensure that all the various cellular carriers, local municipalities, tower owners and building owners receive top notch designs and structural analysis of their facilities,” Mark said. “Another component of my day to day work is developing strong client relationships.”

Mark said YSU was critical to his growth as an engineer.

“Not only does my education stack up with that of my peers, I find that my critical thinking and desire to continually learn was developed excellently,” Mark said. “Throughout my career, I have been excited to take on new tasks or role[s] and [have] been able to learn and adapt well thanks to my Youngstown State education.”

Being a civil engineer is starting to sound like a great career choice, but let’s go a little further. Many people and future employers will encourage you to pursue a graduate degree, but don’t worry, it will pay off. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that civil engineers in Ohio have a mean wage of $75,930. Not only does the pay look good, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 20 percent increase in civil engineering jobs by 2022; that’s almost 54,000 more jobs!

If there is a career or job you would like to see covered, don’t hesitate to let us know. We want to know what you want to read about, so shoot us an email, and we will get to work! You can read the first article of this series here.

Students study sloths in Costa Rica

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Ever wondered how sloths hang upside down in trees for such long periods of time? Or how it is that sloths can climb so high, and yet move so slow? Dr. Michael Butcher, of the Department of Biological Sciences, has pondered these questions and is attempting to answer them by researching the specialized anatomy of the brown-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus). These animals are somewhat rare in the wild, and having the opportunity to study their muscles is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Butcher and his students.

Dr. Butcher traveled to The Sloth Sanctuary in Penshurst-Limon, Costa Rica, on May 26 accompanied by his graduate student, Dylan Thomas, his undergraduate research assistant, Zachary Glenn, and former graduate student, Rachel Olson (YSU 2013). The team collaborated with Rebecca Cliffe, a British zoologist who has dedicated her life to studying these primitive mammals and has been featured on Discovery Channel’s “Meet the Sloths”.

“It was a once in a lifetime trip to work with the sloths and venture into the jungle with some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet,” Dylan said. “It was such a culture shock going from living in the city and waking up with an alarm clock to living in the jungle and waking up to Howler Monkeys securing their territory at sunrise around 4:30 [or] 5 a.m.”

The trip proved to be highly productive, and together they performed several experiments evaluating the strength of sloths, including detailed dissections of their limb anatomy to allow for quantifications of muscle force and power and bone stress.

“Sloths are very unique in their movement and behavior because of their very slow movement through the trees. Sloths are thought to be weak because of this and their small muscles, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth,” Dylan said. “Sloths are able to suspend their entire body weight hanging from one limb for long periods of time and have unbelievable grip strength. Sloths can produce an incredible amount of force for how ‘wimpy’ their muscles are, in fact if you were to arm-wrestle a sloth, the sloth would win every time!”

Dr. Butcher and his team also harvested muscle tissue to determine the distributions of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles in their limbs, and how these collective muscle properties relate to their ability to ‘walk’ while hanging beneath tree branches. These tissue-type analyses will be conducted in his laboratory at YSU.

“Each day was an early start to get a jump on the dissections because each limb took approximately 10 to 12 hours to gather measurements and collect muscle samples,” Dylan said.

In addition, Butcher was able to biopsy fresh tissue from their heart, liver, and kidneys for a future project that will map out their genome. The outcomes of all of these studies will provide answers to numerous questions about the unusual biology of sloths. Perhaps most importantly, assembling a set of anatomical and genomic characteristics from three-toed sloths will allow Dr. Butcher to further test hypotheses surrounding the evolution of mammals.

Sloths are members of an assemblage of ancient placental mammals known as Xenarthrans, and knowledge of their emergence is important to understanding how and when other placental mammals like humans evolved.

“I took a lot from this trip, not only from the collected data but also from the personal experience. I realized all of the opportunities that research could bring and how much of the jungle is unknown,” Dylan said. “In the future, I would like to travel back down to Central American and do more research because it’s an area with infinite knowledge, not only for studying muscle anatomy and physiology but also possible treatments for clinical disease.”

Kristi Yazvac Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship

Yazvac, KristiKristi Cosette Yazvac of Boardman, Ohio, has been awarded a Fellowship worth $5,000 by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.

Yazvac received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from Youngstown State University. As a Phi Kappa Phi Fellow, she will pursue a Master of Arts in economics from YSU.

Yazvac is among 57 students nationwide to receive a Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship. Since its creation in 1932, the Fellowship Program has become one of the Society’s most visible and financially well-supported endeavors, allocating $345,000 annually to deserving students for first-year graduate or professional study. Currently, 51 Fellowships of $5,000 and six of $15,000 are awarded each year.

The selection process for the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowships is based on the applicants’ evidence of graduate potential, undergraduate academic achievement, service and leadership experience, letters of recommendation, personal statement of educational perspective and career goals, and acceptance at an approved graduate or professional program.

In addition to the fellowships, Phi Kappa Phi’s robust award programs give more than $1 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through undergraduate study abroad grants, grants for literacy initiatives, and member and chapter awards. To learn more about the award and grant programs, visit

More About Phi Kappa Phi

Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni annually. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society’s mission is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” For more information, visit

Recent Publications: Associate Professor Michael Butcher, Alum Brett Aiello

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Aiello BR (YSU STEM alum), Iriarte-Diaz J, Blob RW, Butcher MT (YSU STEM associate professor), Carrano MT, Espinoza NR, Main RP, Ross CF. Tissue-level strain magnitude is encoded in tissue-level bone strain rate and cellular-level fluid flow rate. In press, Proceedings of the Royal Society B   (impact factor: 5.29)

The structural integrity of vertebrate bones is maintained via adaptive modeling in response to mechanical stimuli. Increased tissue-level strain magnitude and rate have both been identified as potent stimuli leading to increased bone formation. Using strain gauge data from tetrapod limb bones we identified strong correlations between strain rate and magnitude across clades employing diverse locomotor styles. The breadth of our sample suggests that this pattern is likely a common feature of tetrapod bone loading. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that it might be encoded in fluid-flow rate at the cellular-level, facilitating bone adaptation via mechanotransduction.

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.”

Alumni Corner: Juggerbot 3D

Nobody works harder than YSU STEM students and alumni. Anybody can look at YSU STEM success stories and see that. Big ideas and friendship took three industrial engineering alumni to the Youngstown Business Incubator. These alumni are so hardworking and believe in their project so much that they are dedicating over 25 hours a week (in addition to their 40-50 hour a week jobs) to develop what they are hoping to be a juggernaut of the desktop 3D printing industry: Juggerbot 3D.

imageJim D’Andrea, Zac DiVencenzo and Dan Fernback are the pioneers of Juggerbot 3D. All three were industrial engineering majors at YSU. Jim and Dan graduated in May 2014, and Zac graduated in December 2014.

Before graduation, the three alumni became the guinea pigs of additive manufacturing at YSU.

“When the 3D printers first came into YSU, it just fell right into our laps. It came into the room that we liked to study. We got to take part in some of the projects down there that involved additive manufacturing,” Zac said.“Dan, Jim and I kind of participated as student ambassadors for additive manufacturing. So toward the end of our junior year we had plenty of ideas how we wanted to start a business and how we wanted to get into additive manufacturing.”

Jim and Dan already had some ideas they were running past each other, including installing a 3D printing kiosk in the main lobby of Moser Hall. From there, Jim and Zac worked together to design and manufacture a kiosk, and then tinkered with the YSU machines. Funds for this project were provided by Mrs. Patsy Bakos in memory of her late husband Jack Bakos, who was a very dedicated professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department. The kiosks were then put out for student use. Zac said that’s when they realized “this is where it’s at.”

After Jim and Dan graduated in may, the trio still met up at local coffee shops to talk about pursuing a larger project. Through those talks they decided that they should make the 3D printers faster, along with other ideas. Soon, they decided they should try to get some space in the Youngstown Business Incubator.

While in the YBI Inspire Lab and in their work space, the Juggerbot 3D team produced their first prototype. The team wants to engage with local companies to do test runs, and they hope to launch the company fully and go to market come 2016.

Juggerbot 3D hopes to some day move onto working with metal printers, but for now they’re focusing on thermoplastic filament 3D printers.

“When you get into the thermoplastic filament printers, you have your desktops and your industrial grade printers, but there’s not a lot of in between,” Jim said. “Your industrial grade printers run anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000. Whereas a desktop, the nice ones are $4,000 to $6,000 but they go all the way down to a couple hundred dollars. So what we’re doing is we’re trying to create a desktop 3D printer that prints industrial grade parts.”

The biggest thing Juggerbot is going to tackle is quality.

“The parts that [most desktop printers] print end up being very poor quality, and we think with our designs and our ideas, we can kind of take some of the best parts of the desktop printer — like size and it’s agility — but get high quality parts off of them. [We want to make] something that prints industrial grade parts and can sit on your desk,” Jim said.

Jim stressed that Juggerbot is in the perfect location to continue its journey.

“We couldn’t have graduated from a better school in a better location,” Jim said. “And everything’s been working out perfectly. We’re at the number one university affiliated business incubator in the world, right down the street from YSU,” Jim said. “We’re all graduates. We know the professors up there, and they’re constantly graduating high-caliber students. America Makes is right in our back yard, the national research development center for additive manufacturing.”

Zac echoed Jim’s love for the area.

“We can’t come back enough and say how much [YBI] have given us,” he said. “They’ve given us a home. We started in their inspire lab. Jim Cossler has pushed us down the path that we’re on. … He is a true mentor, and he is a true entrepreneur in residence.”

Alumni Corner: William Hurst

HurstWilliam Hurst is a YSU STEM alum who gets to work at a truly magical place: a chocolate company.

Hurst started his career at the Hershey’s Company in 1976, a year after he finished his Master of Science in Chemistry at YSU. Soon afterward, in 1984, he received his doctorate from Columbia Pacific University.

He now works as a principle scientist for the Hershey’s Company.

“I’ve spent a number of years looking at analytical methods on food safety and nutrition I now provide technical assistance to our regulatory affairs group,” he said.

Hurst described coming to YSU as “serendipitous.”

“I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to go. YSU looked intriguing,” Hurst said. “I enjoyed my time at YSU, and my family enjoyed the time in Youngstown. … I was married when I went there and had two children, so I didn’t get immersed, as you will, as some may have. I ended up with a teaching assistantship so I taught in the Chemistry department.”

He said that he was very fortunate that he had a job out of graduate school.

“Hershey’s was very supportive and I’ve done a lot here. I’m finishing up my 8th book. Between presentations and publications, I’ve got between 350 and 400. “

One thing that Hurst stressed was the importance of the STEM program.

“I think that there is a need for people in the program. We need people in the STEM program who are interested in the sciences,” he said. “I have two daughters that are young ladies, and I know the issues that are around women going into the sciences and the engineering, and we need to do what we can to support women in these fields.”

Hurst and his wife have started a diversity center at one of his local colleges.

“I think that we need diversity and we need to support young people going into the STEM area,” he said.

If you’re considering a degree in Chemistry, visit the YSU Department of Chemistry website.