Student Spotlight: Evan Harris

Evan HarrisYSU STEM loves to highlight student achievements and experiences! Please email us about students who have accomplished great things at STEMNews@ysu.edu so we can get the word out about our exceptional students!

Evan Harris is a junior Electrical Engineering student. He is a research assistant at YSU that helps collect data in groundbreaking experiments involving 3D printing and artificial intelligence.

Evan performs his research under Dr. Eric MacDonald, a professor and distinguished researcher in YSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has also worked with several of Dr. MacDonald’s co-workers, other distinguished professors and researchers on staff at YSU, as well as his classmates Andrea Beck and Chad Lynagh.

“Our group is currently handling projects dealing with Additive Manufacturing ranging from Commercial 3D printing to Industrial Sand Casting utilizing Computer Vision and Machine Learning, to recognize when a print is failing or about to fail,” said Evan. “We are also using the university’s S-Max 3D printer to gather experimental data on sand molds containing cavities of complex geometries to be used in metal casting, something that wasn’t previously possible. YSU is one of only two universities in the country with S-Max printers.”

“We hope to increase the efficiency, quality, and performance of both methods of 3D printing,” said Evan. “The commercial project aims to create a closed-loop system that recognizes common hazards, stops defective prints, and saves filament (feedstock) in the process. We’re comparing data we collect from our sand casting experiments to today’s models, looking for inconsistencies. Porosity is a very complex, yet important, property when it comes to casting metal, so the more data we can collect, the more we can learn about what causes defects and how that compares to current models.”

Through this research project, Evan hopes to learn more about Additive Manufacturing and have the opportunity to help advance the field in future.

“It’s an exciting area of study that could expand existing technologies and lead to new ones,” said Evan. “Large companies are beginning to take advantage of 3D printing metal parts that are currently out of production.”

When speaking about the 3D printing, “our YSU professors are also pioneering research into the way metal casting works. We’re one of only two universities in the country to have an S-Max 3D printer, and that gives us the ability to design our own experiments and try things that have never been explored, which to me is really exciting,” said Evan.

In addition to his research, Evan is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society, and a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Evan is also a huge Steelers fan.

To find out more about the research Evan participates in, visit the Google Scholar page for Dr. Eric MacDonald. You can also email Evan at emharris@student.ysu.edu.

Tau Beta Pi Welcomes Fall Initiates!

Tau Beta Pi InitiatesTau Beta Pi has initiated their new members this fall! The Tau Beta Pi Association is the oldest engineering honor society in the United States and the second oldest collegiate honor society in America. It is made of honors engineering students who have shown a history of academic achievement as well as a commitment to personal and professional integrity.

“Our purpose is to uphold to qualities of excellence and integrity of engineering,” said Tayah Turocy, current president of Tau Beta Pi. “We strive to be role models, achieve academic success, and hold leadership positions while being connected to a large network of engineers.”

Tau Beta Pi is one of the multiple Ohio Lambda Chapters at YSU. They have a similar process of initiation to the other chapters on campus. They truly celebrate the hard work of students. The group supports dedicated, hardworking, and successful engineers.

“After our initiation this week of 41 initiates, we now have almost 60 active members in our Ohio Lambda chapter. Tau Beta Pi is a society that one must be invited to join. A student must be of junior status or above to be considered,” said Tayah. “A student is eligible if they are pursuing an engineering degree and are in the top 1/8th of their junior class, top 1/5th of their senior class, or top 1/5th of their graduate class.”

Tau Beta Pi hosts several events each year. Their two main events are their fall and spring initiation. Their initiation process is very involved.

“Candidates go through an interview process with the current members, and they are elected by vote,” said Tayah. “After being elected to join, candidates go through an initiation ceremony, take a group photo in front of our symbol, the “bent,” and are invited to celebrate with their guests at a banquet.”

Additionally, Tau Beta Pi hosts Engineer’s Week. This is a weeklong competition in spring between civil engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and mathematics students. The events of the week range from paper airplanes to duct tape a team member to a wall to penny wars.

Throughout the year, Tau Beta Pi also holds a Pi day event, futures for engineers’ sessions. If you’ve seen people walking around campus with laptop stickers that look like Ohio and have a “Y” for Youngstown, that’s also Tau Beta Pi!

“Many people do not know anything about Tau Beta Pi when they are asked to join, but it is the largest engineering society in the world with over 580,000 members,” said Tayah. “Also, we just had our largest initiate class in 17 years!”

For more information about the organization, visit www.tbp.org. To keep up with Tau Beta Pi’s events on campus, you can also follow them on their Facebook page: YSU Tau Beta Pi Ohio Lambda Chapter.

Although a student must be invited to join, it is never too early or too late to think about joining. Freshman and sophomore students can look forward to being invited in the future by keeping their grades up, and juniors and seniors can improve their grades to be asked in a future semester. If thinking about attending grad school, students can look into how that school’s chapter operates. For more detailed questions, contact Tayah Turocy at tdturocy@student.ysu.edu.

STEM Students Explored Career Opportunities This Month!

Constructor for a Day – 2017

Robert J. Korenic, Youngstown State University Associate Professor of Civil and Construction Engineering Technology, in collaboration with the Ohio Contractors Association (OCA) hosted the 25th annual “Constructor for A Day” program.  The event is a proven way to strengthen ties between contractors and students attending YSU who are majoring in Civil and Construction Engineering Technology as well as Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Students met at the A.P. O’Horo Company on Belmont Avenue and then toured local job sites (such as bridges on Interstate 80, the Niles Wastewater Treatment Plant, Mahoning Valley Sanitary District facility and more).  The program allows students to see firsthand practical applications of their education.  It also provides students the opportunity to network with area contractors and to see the various areas of the field that are available to work in with a degree in Civil and Construction Engineering Technology or Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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STEM Expo – Fall 2017

The STEM Expo was a tremendous success this fall. There was a total of 78 employers who participated in the expo. Students in all STEM majors could meet with employers to discuss available positions and job requirements. The expo event was created to provide students with internships, co-ops, full-time jobs, and part-time jobs. In total, there were 833 students that came to the expo in hopes of finding an opportunity in their designated career field.

If you were unable to attend the fall expo, don’t panic! There will be another expo this spring! For more information, contact STEM Professional Services at stem.jobs@ysu.edu.

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Join Handshake!

If you haven’t already joined Handshake, now is the time to do it! The Career and Professional Services at YSU switched to Handshake and they will use the database for all future communications and job postings. Handshake is home to over 200,000 employers from a wide variety of career fields. Every current student at YSU already has an account on Handshake. All you will need to do is go to the login page and enter your YSU credentials. If you are an alumnus who would wish to join Handshake, contact STEM Professional Services at stem.jobs@ysu.edu. For all the mobile users out there, Handshake also has a free app available to both Android and Apple users. Handshake offers you the ability to upload a resume for employers to view when they see your profile. Handshake also provides all students with various job openings that they can apply for right on the site that correspond to their chosen career field.

Handshake Logo

 

 

 

National Manufacturing Day and Design Competition– 2017

On October 6, 2017, YSU celebrated National Manufacturing Day. There were various events held across campus from 11-3.

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There were 5 events that took place in the WCBA:

Industry Showcase A talk with industry professionals about their profession and the various technologies of manufacturing.
The Wonder of 3D Printing Ashley Martof, a recent YSU graduate and former intern at America Makes, shared her engaging insights about how 3D printing attracted her to a manufacturing career.
Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Joseph Angelo, Director of the WCBA Entrepreneurship Center, shared how many of the best (and worst) entrepreneurial aspirations are tied to manufacturing.
LaunchLab LaunchLab provides a multidisciplinary learning environment and maker space that supports education, learning, and innovation.

There were 3 events held in Moser Hall:

Center For Innovation in Additive Manufacturing, CIAM As one of the only universities in the country to have all 7 Additive Manufacturing Processes, visitors were able to learn how YSU is at the cutting edge of the next revolution in manufacturing.
CNC/AMBIT Lab Visitors could see how YSU students and faculty use computer-controlled additive and subtractive processes to create complex components.
Automation and Robotics Lab They assemble cars, sort products and do increasingly complex tasks in ever closer cooperation with humans. Visitors saw how robotics and automation can be used to support safe, efficient manufacturing processes.

There were two additional events:

Bliss Hall Foundry (Located in Bliss Hall) Where molten metal is transformed into functional and artistic castings, the Bliss Hall Foundry provides support metal casting activities across multiple disciplines at YSU.
Historical Center of Industry and Labor Visitors learned about the steel industry that dominated Youngstown in the 20th century and got to check out the “last hearts” (the final batches of steel produced at each of the mills before they closed).

 

National Manufacturing Day Design Competition – 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 3D Design Competition winners, Larry and Mariah, from Austintown! The 3D Printing Design Competition allowed students, 13 years of age and older, to test original designs for useful products that can ordinarily be purchased commercially, but that might be 3D printed at a competitive cost or with improvements to function or value. Winners, Larry and Mariah, will receive a New FlashForge Finder 3D Printer.

Student Spotlight: Efrain Velez

Efrain Velez

YSU STEM loves to highlight student achievements and experiences! Please email us about students who have accomplished great things at STEMNews@ysu.edu so we can get the word out about our exceptional students!

Efrain Velez is a junior at YSU who is studying Industrial and Systems Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. This past summer, Efrain had the opportunity to intern at Exal Corporation.

The company is a leading producer in the can and bottle industry. Exal makes bottles for various companies like Monster, Bud Light, Budweiser, Dove, and Loreal Paris. All products made at the company are packaged in-house and shipped out directly from the plant to the producing companies. Exal’s headquarters are located right here in Youngstown and they also have multiple subdivisions in places like Argentina and Brazil.

There are two types of certification offered at YSU that pertain to Efrain’s career, Lean Six Sigma and Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma deals primarily with non-numerical issues like efficiency, getting rid of wastes by eliminating what you can, and improving the workplace. Six Sigma is number-based ideology.

During his freshman year at YSU, Efrain decided to take the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification course that is offered to any majors on campus.

“I highly recommend the course to anyone,” said Efrain. “This was so helpful to me because many companies want their employees to have this type of certification.”

Efrain, who was only a sophomore at the time he was hired at Exal, outshone many junior and senior applicants because of his Lean Six Sigma certification.

“Getting this certificate really advances you and makes you stand out to companies,” said Efrain. “It tells these companies that you really want more and that you are willing to go above and beyond in your job.”

Efrain plans to take the Six Sigma Group Belt Certification course at YSU this spring. It is a great opportunity offered at YSU because it is a lot less expensive here than at other public universities.

At Exal, Efrain is classified as an Operational Excellence Intern. He is directly under the head director for Operation Intelligence, Mr. Oscar Mayet. At the time he was hired, he was one of two industrial engineers working for the Youngstown Exal location. His daily tasks consisted of recreating work standards, analyzing statistical data, and quality control. He was also able to provide translating services for documents that came from other Exal subdivisions in Spanish and even some Portuguese.

“It is very rewarding to work at Exal under the director,” said Efrain. “Mr. Mayet has such a wealth of knowledge and he has shown that YSU students are welcome at Exal.”

Efrain continues to work at Exal this semester and hopes to work there for as long as he can.

“Exal is like a very close-knit family and I love that about my job,” said Efrain.

By working at Exal, Efrain has realized that he wants to specialize his career in industrial and systems management.

Outside of his internship, Efrain is a member of the STEM Leadership Society, the Honors College, the YSU Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), and the Choose Ohio First program. He has also been a member in the Honors College’s Big and Little program, iPals, and English Conversation Partners. He hopes to get more involved on campus before his time is up at YSU.

“A little fun fact about me is that I love to sing,” said Efrain. “I was part of the choirs and drama club throughout high school, so if all else fails, I’m trying out for American Idol.”

To find out more about Exal Corporation and what Efrain does, visit their website at www.exal.com.

Student Organization: Actuarial Science Club

Actuarial science is the career field that applies mathematical and statistical methods to calculate risk in insurance, finance, and other industries or professions. Actuaries are professionals who are qualified through intense education and real-life experiences. Actuarial science includes several interrelated subjects, including mathematics, probability theory, statistics, finance, economics, and computer science.

ASC

The Actuarial Science Club (ASC) has been at YSU for approximately ten years. The club was created to provide opportunities for students interested in actuarial science careers. In this club, students can learn more about the profession through speakers from the industry, attendance at conferences and career/internship fairs.

Dr. Thomas Wakefield is the co-advisor of the Actuarial Science Club and he is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics. Dr. Moon Nyugen is also a co-advisor of ASC; she is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics. As the advisors, Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Nyugen work diligently to provide all the members of the club with adequate resources for their future.

“There are currently about 20 members in the Actuarial Science Club and there are no requirements to join our club,” said Aaron Loveless, President of ASC.

There are many students who do not know anything about the actuarial science field. For that very reason, ASC provides students with information that allows them to make an informed decision as to whether actuarial science is the career for them. The club also provides its members with extremely beneficial study tips and practice for actuarial examinations.

“The organization typically brings 1-2 speakers from industry in each year,” said Dr. Wakefield. “In the past YSU grads have returned to talk about their experiences working in the insurance industry.”

Several members of ASC are also preparing to attend the Midwest Actuary Student Conference at the University of Iowa at the end of September.

ASC is also involved in several aspects of campus life. They frequently partner with the other math clubs (Pi Mu Epsilon, AWM, SIAM) to support various activities each semester within the Math Department.

Any student who is considering a degree in the actuarial field is encouraged to contact Dr. Thomas Wakefield (tpwakefield@ysu.edu) or Moon Nguyen (ntnguyen01@ysu.edu) or the Club VP Maddie Cope (mcope01@student.ysu.edu). Students can also visit the website for ASC here and look for its addition to the Department page!

Student Spotlight: Rayann Atway

Rayann AtwayNo matter where you look at YSU, there are always STEM students making an impact on campus. Whether our students are taking part in organizations, sororities or fraternities, internships, or volunteer services, it is noticeable that each student is striving to be the best they can possibly be.

This year, Rayann Atway has stepped up to take on the role of YSU’s Student Government Association President. Rayann is a senior in the Biology, Pre-Med program and has accomplished several great things in her time at YSU. For the past two summers, she has interned at National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is a part of many organizations on campus, like YSU’s American Medical Student Organization (AMSA), Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED), and Student Government Association (SGA). She is also a member of the YSU Honors College where she actively participates in the Pen Pals Program.

Throughout the course of her years at YSU, Rayann has volunteered at several organizations like Akron Children’s Hospital and Northside Medical Center. She was also given the opportunity to work as a medical scribe at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where she charted various types of information given by the physicians at the hospital. After she graduates this year, Rayann wants to attend medical school.

When she started at YSU, her interests in SGA also began. In her first year, she served as a freshman representative, taking actions to promote change at YSU. During the following two years, Rayann became the STEM representative and served as a parliamentarian on the executive board.

“I fell in love with SGA,” she said. “I absolutely love the things SGA does for YSU students and our community.”

This year, SGA will be tackling several projects. Some of these projects include the expansion of the food pantry, assistance in the community, the gathering of supplies for hurricane victims, textbook affordability, and improving voter registration rates on campus.

Students who are interested in joining SGA can attend their meetings every other Monday at 4:00pm. To find out more about SGA’s projects or how to get involved, contact Rayann Atway at ratway@student.ysu.edu.

Join YSU’s New AIAA Student Branch!

AIAAAre you interested in a career in the aerospace industry? The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest technical society that focuses globally on the aerospace industry. This year, a new student branch is forming at YSU. But, we need YOU! Sound like something you want to be a part of? Come to the information session on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, from 2:00pm to 2:30pm in Moser Hall, Rm. 2400. Mechanical Engineering professor, Dr. Kevin Disotell, will present interested students with a roadmap for beginning YSU’s AIAA Student Branch. Any student with an interest in aerospace careers is encouraged to go and talk to Dr. Disotell. Some aerospace careers are manufacturing, aerospace medicine, digital avionics, aerodynamics, space and satellite systems, and propellants and combustion. If you have any questions, feel free to email Dr. Disotell at kjdisotell@ysu.edu or visit AIAA’s website here.

YSU Student Math Group Receives Award

On Friday, July 28, the YSU Association for Women in Mathematics Student Chapter was awarded the AWM Award for Professional Development at the MathFest Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The chapter was presented with a certificate and a $100 honorarium. The following students attended the event: Monica Busser, Julie Phillis, Alanis Chew, Sarah Elizabeth Odidika, Mirella Boulus, Hannah Haynie, Jacqueline Chapman, Ashley Amendol, Lexi Rager, Christine Langer, and Nathalie Halavick.

The purpose of the award was to reward a student chapter for its recruitment and development of students’ professional involvement in mathematics.

Alanis Chew, a junior Business Economics and Mathematics major, is the Secretary of YSU’s AWM Student Chapter. Speaking of the AWM Award for Professional Development, Alanis explained that “our chapter received this award because of our former president, Monica Busser, who started the AWM Bigs and Littles program.”

She also mentioned that Busser organized several events to promote women in STEM. A few of the events that YSU’s AWM was recognized for were pursuing an event that provided a more inclusive environment in STEM, the Women’s History Month Colloquium, and the Women in Math Trivia Day.

Each member that attended the conference also presented research they have worked on for the past year. Some of the research topics include Konstant’s Partition Function, Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematics, infinite series, bones, and muscles.

President Julie Phillis began her research in April with the assistance of a special computer system. “We were continuing the research done by Gabrielle Van Scoy, who graduated this past spring with her math degree and is now pursuing her PhD at the University of Kentucky,” said Phillis. “Gabbie succeeded in creating a mathematical simulation that accurately mimics how bone cells form bone in nature.”

Researcher Lexi Rager and her group found uses for recommender systems. “Our research uses recommender systems in the academic sphere,” said Rager. “We’ve created a program that recommends classes and professors to students based on classes and professors a student has already had and liked.”

AWM strives to promote and encourage women to be more involved in a math community. Chew said that the chapter “wants everyone to know how amazing female mathematicians are and how much fun math can be!”

AWM also helps with many events that the math department hosts like movie nights and pancake dinner nights.

“There are no qualifications to join AWM, you just have to be open to making a lot of new friends,” said Chew.

Any students that are interested in joining AWM can email Alanis Chew at ajchew@student.ysu.edu or the President of AWM, Julie Phillis at japhillis@student.ysu.edu. You can also find the organization on Facebook.

CSIS Professor and Student Participate In Summer Research Project

Dr. Lazar and Zackary Harnett at Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryDr. Alina Lazar, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, and her student Zackary Harnett traveled to the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab this summer.

They joined efforts with the lab as part of the Scientific Data Management Group. Dr. Lazar and her student, Zack, were sponsored by the Department of Energy through the Visiting Faculty Program. They worked closely with the Energy Technology Area on a research project titled “Sequence Cluster Analysis for Identifying Long-term Lifecycle Trajectory Patterns.”

This research project was performed to further study the relationship between life-cycle patterns and decisions or choices (such as the choices of purchasing a home, owning a car, or investing in new technologies). Dr. Lazar and Harnett assisted the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to show the wide availability of mobile devices and sensors that are connected to the internet. They collected research in data sets to model long-term user behavior of both test variables.

The research Dr. Lazar and Harnett assisted with observed sequence data representations, as well as several methods designed to test similarity algorithms. Methods to test these algorithms can range from classical approaches to a system called Optimal Matching. The methods used can then display what it would take to overcome the issues present between life-cycle patterns and decisions. It can also use strategies to model real sequence data to identify life-long behavior and produce descriptive self-explanatory visualizations even in the presence of disturbances and missing values.

Dr. Alina Lazar is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems. She completed her PhD in Computer Science in 2002 from Wayne State University. She specializes in several areas like data analysis, algorithms, and data mining.

Student Organization Spotlight: Women in Science

WinS logoWomen in Science (WinS) is a brand new STEM student organization here at Youngstown State University. It was created to help promote the participation of women in science-related fields.

Alexandra Fountaine, student president and cofounder of the organization, is a senior studying psychology and biology. She is excited for WinS to grow and really make an impact on students at YSU.

“When Gloria Steinem lectured at Stambaugh Auditorium last March, she said WinS ‘sounds like a great idea’ and she wished us ‘the best of luck’ with our group!” said Alex. “Not many organizations can say that Gloria Steinem endorses them!”

So far, WinS has hosted holiday bake sales and a guest speaker seminar, and they are hoping to collaborate with local middle schools and high schools for more events.

Being female is not a requirement to join WinS. Gender inclusivity and diversity in science is the real focus, so any students with a STEM major or minor are welcome.

“We hope to find novel ways to provide females with the encouragement and support they need to maintain successful educations and careers in science,” said Alex.

Students interested in joining or learning more about WinS can email Alex at afountaine@student.ysu.edu. This is a great opportunity for students, especially freshmen, to become involved in science-related events and to help build a community on campus.

Student Competitions: Steel Bridge & Baja Car

Steel Bridge

The YSU Steel Bridge team placed 11th overall at the National Student Steel Bridge Competition. This is tied for the highest that YSU has ever placed at the competition. There were approximately 45 schools there mostly from the United States, but Puerto Rico, China, Mexico, and Canada were all represented as well. Approximately 250 schools participated in the regional competitions combined prior.

The 2017 National Student Steel Bridge Competition was hosted by the ASCE Student Chapter of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, on May 26-27, 2017.

YSU placed second in the display category, fifth in the construction economy category, and eighth in the lightness category.

The team members were Tommy Carnes, Greg Lipp, David Mendenhall, Nico Pagley, Spencer DeSalvo, and Kenny Anderson.

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Competition Mission:

The mission of the ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC) is to supplement the education of civil engineering students with a comprehensive, student-driven project experience from conception and design through fabrication, erection, and testing, culminating in a steel structure that meets client specifications and optimizes performance and economy. The SSBC increases awareness of real-world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, material properties, strength, serviceability, fabrication and erection processes, safety, esthetics, and cost. Success in inter-collegiate competition requires effective teamwork and project management. Future engineers are stimulated to innovate, practice professionalism, and use structural steel efficiently.

Baja Car

The YSU Baja team competed at the Baja International event in Peoria, IL, June 7-10, 2017.

109 teams participated from the US (all over), Canada, Mexico, India, and the United Arab Emirates. View the full list of participating schools: http://students.sae.org/cds/bajasae/midwest/teams/.

YSU placed 33rd overall.

In dynamic events:

Acceleration 62nd
Rock Crawl 48th
Hill Climb 42nd
Maneuverability 20th

The main event: 4-hour endurance race, YSU placed 16th!

YSU Baja Team

Students that went to competition include

4 newly graduated seniors:

  • Zach Thompson—hired at Marsh Bellofram
  • Donny Dixon—hired at Timken
  • Nick Mastrangelo—hired at Quality Bridge and Fab
  • Matt Silvers—job searching now that Baja is complete

5 rising seniors that will be doing Baja next year in senior design,

4 rising juniors that will assist in Baja next year.

Student Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant

Elizabeth UrigElizabeth Urig of Canfield, Ohio, recently was awarded a Study Abroad Grant worth $1,000 from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi—the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Urig is one of 50 students nationwide to receive the award.

A recent graduate of applied mathematics and mechanical engineering at Youngstown State University, Urig will use the grant to study abroad in Budapest, Hungary.

The selection process for a study abroad grant is based on the applicant’s academic achievement, campus and community service, relation of travel to academic preparation and career goals, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and acceptance into a study abroad program.

Established in 2001, Phi Kappa Phi’s Study Abroad Grant Program has awarded more than $775,000 to undergraduate students. In addition to these grants, the Society awards $1.4 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, funding for post-baccalaureate development, member and chapter awards, and grants for local, national and international literacy initiatives.

To learn more about the study abroad grants and other Phi Kappa Phi awards, visit www.phikappaphi.org/awards.

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 annually approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters at 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 about Phi Kappa Phi, visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.

Civil Engineering Competitions: Concrete Canoe & Steel Bridge

The YSU American Society of Civil Engineers has been hard at work this year. The concrete canoe and steel bridge teams competed well at the Ohio Valley Student Conference in Columbus, Ohio (The Ohio State University) in April.

Concrete Canoe

The concrete canoe team placed second overall out of nine teams at their regional competition.

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There are four main categories for judging: design paper, oral presentation, final product, and racing.

2nd in design paper

4th in oral presentation

2nd in final product

2nd in racing

1st in men’s sprint
2nd in men’s endurance
3rd in women’s sprint
3rd in women’s endurance
2nd in coed sprint

The endurance races include a 100 m slalom with 500 m of additional course.

Men’s and women’s sprints are two 100 m straights with a 180 degree turn in between.

Both men’s and women’s races have two people in the canoe at a time.

The coed sprint has two men and two women in the boat, and the team must altogether complete 400 m of straight and three 180 degree turns.

Other schools in the competition included the University of Akron, Western Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati, University of Louisville, Cincinnati State University, University of Pittsburgh, Ohio University, and Ohio State University.

YSU team members included Miranda DeFuria (captain), Thomas Carnes, David Mendenhall, Leah McConnell, Karen Schilling, Nico Pagley, Gregory Lipp, Spencer DeSalvo, Kelly Hollis, Taylor Monroe, Jacob Millerleile, Julian Rosales, Montana Gessler, and Kenneth Anderson.

Steel Bridge

For this competition, students must design a 20′ scale bridge of a 200′ bridge. There are various design constraints that are given each year that present new challenges and are given in attempt to make this design experience as close to a real-life situation as possible.

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The factors that decide the score are as follows:

  • the weight of the bridge
  • the amount that the bridge deflects when loaded with 2500 pounds
  • how quickly the bridge can be assembled at the competition
  • the appearance of the bridge

The YSU team placed first overall

1st in lightness

1st in display

1st in structural efficiency

2nd in construction speed

2nd in construction economy

4th in stiffness

The team members included Tommy Carnes (captain), David Mendenhall, Leah McConnell, Karen Schilling, Nico Pagley, Greg Lipp, Spencer DeSalvo, Miranda DeFuria, Montana Gessler, and Kenny Anderson.

Nationals are being hosted by Oregon State University May 26-27.

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.

Co-op of the Year: Rana Abuhashim

Rana AbuhashimJunior chemical engineering major Rana Abuhashim was named Co-op of the Year 2016 for her work with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron.

Each year, one student is selected to receive the award for outstanding performance on the job and positive influence in the community.

Though much of Rana’s work with Goodyear was confidential, she said that it was a good fit with her major area of study.

“A lot of stuff that I learned in class I was able to apply in the field,” she said.

All professors hope that their classroom instruction really does make an impact and help students in their fields, and students like Rana prove that the connection between school and work is real.

Rana is continuing her work with Goodyear this summer as she spends this rotation in Kansas.

Students can be considered for Co-op or Intern of the Year through an application process which includes an essay and a recommendation from a faculty advisor and employer. Rana received notice of the opportunity through the STEM Professional Services at YSU.

Rana’s advice to all students is to get involved—join student organizations, find an internship, stand out.

“It’s not all about the grades. Get the experience and put it on your resume,” said Rana.

In addition to her co-op experience, Rana has also been involved in AIChE, SWE, Phi Sigma Rho, and the Emerging Leaders Program.