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 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 Organization Spotlight: STEM Leadership Society

SLS LogoSTEM Leadership Society is an organization for all majors within STEM who want to become more involved with volunteer work and professional networking.

Every year, invitations are sent out to local area high school seniors who plan to attend YSU as a STEM student. Those students, who are in good academic standing, will have a chance to be interviewed to join SLS.

To be accepted, students must display academic success as well as leadership skills. Because of this, many SLS members are also involved in other student organizations.

In addition to the group’s monthly meetings, members volunteer to help with many STEM-related events around campus and in the local community. SLS organized Meet the Employers and a recent STEM jacket sale, and they helped out with the STEM Open House and Silly Science Sunday. Officers in SLS are hoping to schedule a Habitat for Humanity build day in the near future.

SLS Members

Incoming freshmen are encouraged to join, but current YSU students can also apply here online.

Joining an organization like STEM Leadership Society is beneficial for multiple reasons: students get more involved in the community and the college, it provides great networking opportunities, and it looks great on a resume!

Student Organization Spotlight: Theme Park Engineering Group

TPEG LogoYSU’s Theme Park Engineering Group might not be what you expect. Most of its members are indeed engineering students, but the group is very flexible and can plan to accommodate almost any major. That’s because the group (TPEG) is not solely focused on the engineering that goes into theme parks but rather the park experience in general.

“We’re a group of mainly STEM students,” said TPEG president and mechanical engineering senior Jacob Janoso, “but we’ve had other majors in the past. We are interested in the technical aspects of the amusement industry.”

Amusement parks deal with so many types of careers, from engineering to communications to graphic design, and TPEG kind of encompasses all of those things by attending conferences and working with larger organizations like the Themed Entertainment Association.

students at IAAPA“It’s a great way for us to gain knowledge in the industry through professionals and it’s a great way to expand our networking as well,” said Jacob.

The most recent conference attended by TPEG members was hosted by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the largest organization of its kind in the world.

The NextGen Initiative of the Themed Entertainment Association is an important affiliate of TPEG, providing resources for students and recent graduates. Conferences, webinars, internships, and jobs are all offered by NextGen for groups like this to help them develop professionally.

Any students interested in getting involved in theme parks should definitely check out TPEG. By joining, new resources will be available regardless of major. Officer contact information is available on their website and useful information is posted on their Facebook page.


Student Organization Spotlight: Tau Beta Pi

Did you know that there is an honor society specifically for engineering students? Did you know that Youngstown State University has a student chapter of this honor society? Tau Beta Pi the only engineering honor society that covers all disciplines of engineering, and we have a chapter at YSU!

Eligible students are invited each year from the top 1/8 of the junior class and the top 1/5 of the senior class and graduate students. Tau Beta Pi is a very selective society and is very prestigious because of it.

Since this is an honor society, great importance is placed on students’ academics as well as their involvement in extracurricular activities. This means that many members are also involved in other STEM student organizations at YSU.

“Pretty much everyone in Tau Beta Pi [at YSU] is involved in either STEM Leadership Society (SLS) or their unique American society, like the American Society of Mechanical Engineers or the American Society of Chemical Engineers,” said president Libby Rogenski. “We also have a few members involved in the Society of Women Engineers.”

Besides being an impressive note on a resume, Tau Beta Pi students receive a lifetime membership and the benefits associated with that.

“There are a lot of alumni chapters, so they still get together and go to conventions,” said Libby, “and you get a subscription to the Tau Beta Pi magazine, Bent. And what’s cool is a lot of employers are Tau Bates themselves.”

Something that the YSU community is pretty familiar with is Engineers Week during spring semester, which is of course brought to you by Tau Beta Pi. Engineers Week is a whole week of different disciplines of engineering competing against one another in egg drops, fundraisers, and taping people to a wall.

Libby explained that Tau Beta Pi headquarters pays for the president of each chapter to attend the national conference each year, so she and the vice president were able to attend the conference in San Diego this year.

“It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot about the organization on a national scale,” said Libby. “We also got to know some of the other Ohio chapter leaders pretty well.”Tau Beta Pi initiates

Students who receive an invitation to join Tau Beta Pi should seriously consider joining for the benefits. Notable Tau Bates include astronaut Buzz Aldrin, founder Jeff Bezos, and supercomputer pioneer Seymour Cray.

Student Organization Spotlight: The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers

IISE groupThe Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, formerly the Institute of Industrial Engineers, is a student organization at YSU welcoming all industrial engineering majors and minors.

“We’re kind of changing our presence on campus,” said Zach Thompson, president of YSU’s IISE and junior IE major. ”We’re going to try to do some more fundraisers and get involved and get our name out there as a group.”

IISE has both student and professional sections in the area. Zach explains that there are many benefits to connecting with these groups.

“We can connect with professionals and get our names out there and network, and they provide a bunch of services for us,” said Zach.

As a YSU IISE member, the students can receive discounts on various certifications for engineers.

The IISE members also attend conferences in the Great Lakes region where they have the option of submitting papers. One conference that they are attending this academic year is being hosted by Ohio University in February.

“We didn’t have any last year, but this year we’re planning on having some professionals from out in the field come in and talk to us, even some local businesses,” said Zach. “It’ll be nice because they can talk to us about what it’s actually like in our area.”

IISE is offering Lean Green Belt training and certification this November and Six Sigma Green Belt training and certification in February, both at a discounted rate. All majors are welcome and encouraged to get these certifications.

Any students interested in joining YSU’s IISE or for more information, contact Zach at or visit their Facebook page.

Student Organization Spotlight: Association for Computing Machinery

Each month, we try to highlight a student organization in STEM to show everyone what they do and why they’re an important part of STEM. This month, the Association for Computing Machinery is our featured organization.

ACM logo

The ACM is actually a much larger organization that is composed of many professional and university chapters. Here at YSU, all CSIS majors are welcome to join and to attend meetings and presentations.

The new student president of YSU’s chapter, Ricky Elrod, explains that students and faculty alike have given presentations on a wide range of topics.

“We’ve had presentations on bitcoin, on Linux-related stuff, on functional programming, robotics—all sorts of computer-science-related subfields,” said Ricky.

Students are also given opportunities to collaborate with others that share their interests in “hack” sessions. Similar to a hackathon, students bring computers and small projects that they work on with other students who attend.

One major goal of YSU’s ACM is to get students interacting with one another (and with faculty) and learning from one another.

Ricky says that another goal for the future of the group is to try to work more with the local professional chapter in Northeast Ohio. He says that networking is a strong asset within the organization.

Students interested in joining or learning more about the ACM can check out their Facebook page or e-mail student president Ricky Elrod.