From the Dean: April 2013


April is always a very busy time of year for the STEM College, and it seems that 2013 has been busier than ever. Just this past week alone, we’ve had Biology Day, the Women in Science and Engineering Career Day, the Choose Ohio First Research Conference, and the Society of Women Engineers Dinner with Industry. Our STEM Leadership Society students organized a tour to the Great Lakes Brewery up in Cleveland, and our American Society of Civil Engineering students took first place in the regional concrete canoe competition. Our students and faculty certainly are an active bunch.

I want to especially note all of the activities around “Women in STEM Week”, some of which are highlighted elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter. We had Sonia Kovalevsky Day, organized by Alicia Prieto-Langarica, attracting roughly 60 high school girls to YSU to learn about the role of women in mathematics. We had the Edward W. Powers Women in Science and Engineering Career Day, organized by Diana Fagan, attracting nearly 100 middle and high school girls for a day of panel discussion and workshops.

Within the College, we’ve increased the number of women faculty by over 40% in the last several years. Last year we added three tenure-track women faculty. This year, we have another two that we expect to be hiring, and we’re still recruiting more faculty into our ranks. Having women faculty in STEM is the first step in helping our women students to understand that they can succeed and to fulfill their potential for long productive careers. It’s tremendous growth, and it demonstrates the commitment that YSU and the STEM College have made to promoting underrepresented students.

To further illustrate the many activities of our STEM students, we will be hosting the annual STEM Showcase this Sunday from 2-4p.m. This is an excellent opportunity to see what our students have been doing this year. We’ll have the concrete canoe on display, and we’ll also have a large number of the electrical engineering capstone design projects, many of the Choose Ohio First poster presentations, displays from our freshmen students’ work with Hynes Industries, highlights of physics, chemistry, and biology research projects, and much more.

I very much enjoy seeing all of the activities that our faculty and student organize, and I am extremely pleased to know that the STEM College is a vibrant hub of activity. It’s busy, and it keeps me hopping, but its good fun. I’m extremely proud to be able to be the Dean for such a great group of faculty and students. Thanks to all of them, and to all of you for also being a part of the effort.


STEM Showcase is coming!

STEM Showcase will be holding its annual event on Sunday, April 21st, 2013 from 2-4:30 pm. STEM Showcase is a celebration of student accomplishments. Primarily, students will be showing off their design projects to their parents, friends, teachers, and the community. Some students will be showing their research along with their advising faulty. There will be displays of projects and informal presentations.

STEM Showcase started a little over ten years ago for mechanical engineering students and later all engineering students. Now open to all STEM students, the STEM College is looking forward to showing off its students and their accomplishments. Last year there were approximately 30 projects and had a record number in attendance.

The STEM Showcase will be held in Moser Hall or, if weather permits, outside Moser Hall. There will also be 15-20 minute tours of the STEM College laboratories.


STEM Showcase

In Moser Hall, engineering projects such as the concrete canoe, steel bridge, and moon rover, competed for space with posters including one which described research that developed a mathematical modeling of fracking, for example, as approximately  30 student projects were on display at the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Showcase held on Sunday, April 22. The three-hour event provided an opportunity for STEM students to present their projects to peers, faculty, and the community.

In addition, Dr. Nathan Ritchey, chair of the Mathematics department, welcomed roughly 40 outstanding high school seniors into the STEM Leadership Society (SLS). These incoming fall 2012 students, among the best graduates from their high schools, were selected based on their written application and in-person interview. These outstanding student leaders will have the chance to be engaged in community service, research, and internships through their four year program as STEM majors at YSU.

Upcoming member Matt Pelch, senior at Howland High school will be majoring in computer engineering, and said that computer courses and interest in video games lead to his decision to enroll at YSU. Pelch added that he looks forward to be a part of SLS and YSU.

STEM students spent months, or longer on projects, typically in teams. A part of NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race, Mike Uhaus and his team were on hand to show their moonbuggy rover, which was a part of a national competition. The event is held in Huntsville Alabama, and high school and college students may participate. Two riders, one male and one female, face away from each other to pedal this human-powered vehicle. Uhaus noted that “last year the team experienced a suspension failure” so for this year’s competition the team focused primarily on suspension design.

Senior mechanical engineering student Chris Fenstermaker and his team worked with Canfield, Ohio, Linde Hydraulics, on the hydraulic system for wind turbine. The team, found, researched, and purchased a small- scale wind turbine then “designed a hydraulic system to fit the turbine size that we purchased.”

Junior Mechanical Engineering student Ken Minteer worked with art student Chris Kamykowski on a Collaborative Learning (CoLab) project. CoLab is an effort from the College of Fine and Performing Arts and STEM to bring art and engineering together.

Minteer described how Kamykowski wanted to make a barrel of monkeys cast out of bronze. With Kamykowski’s design, Minteer made templates on SolidWorks, a 3D program. “From there” Minteer said “we printed them out on our thermal jet printer.” In Bliss Hall, Kamykowski was able to finish the process by baking the molds and pouring the bronze from the two-coil induction furnace located in the art department.

The 2012 Showcase marked a hike in attendance. STEM students were able to present their hard work to families, media, and the community, who were able to see first-hand the capabilities of STEM College students. Also, high school students from area schools were in attendance to learn more about the YSU STEM program, and opportunities for research and project activities.

STEM Showcase

On April 22, Moser Hall was the location for the annual College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Showcase. The three hour event serves as a way for undergraduate STEM students to present their research projects to the campus community, as well as have high school students see, first hand, the opportunities available at the College and YSU.

About 30 projects were on display, such as the concrete canoe and moon rover. STEM faculty was also present to guide tours through research laboratories and answer questions.

In addition, Dr. Nathan Ritchey, chair of the Mathematics & Statistics Department, welcomed incoming Fall 2012 YSU students who will be inducted into the STEM Leadership Society (SLS).  Through an application process, SLS accepts exceptional high schools students majoring in any STEM discipline.  The students will be involved in community service, internships, and various research initiatives.

STEM Students and Faculty on TV

Several students along with faculty members, Dr. Jeff Dick and Dr. Daniel Suchora, were interviewed by Greta Mittereder, WFMJ and WYTV, Morning Live Reporter/Video journalist for their recent accomplishments which were on display at the 2012 STEM Showcase, Sunday, April 22, 2020 held in Moser Hall from 2-5 PM.  To watch the videos that aired Wednesday, April 18th, please click on the following links:

Greta on the Go: Part One
Greta on the Go: Part Two