Two respected, long-time faculty members will receive the Heritage Award at Youngstown State University’s annual Faculty and Staff Awards Banquet on Friday, May 2, in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center.
The recipients are Al Bright, an internationally renowned artist, trail-blazing African American educator and founder of the Black Studies (Africana Studies) Program at YSU, and the late John White, a professor and chair emeritus of anthropology and a prolific writer and researcher whose local archeological digs spanned from Mill Creek Park in Youngstown to Israel. White died in 2009.
Also at the banquet, the following YSU employees will receive Distinguished Service Awards:
Professional/Administrative Exempt Service Awards
Ron Cole, Office of the President
David Ewing, Grounds
Therese Kightlinger, Student Field Experiences
Jackie LeViseur, Alumni and Events Management
Professional/Administrative Service Awards
Carrie Anderson, Student Activities
Maria Barefoot, Maag Library
Joseph Conroy, Campus Recreation
Anne Lally, Counseling Center
Angela Messenger, Writing Center
Claudette Womack, Financial Aid and Scholarships
Classified Exempt Service Awards
Jodi Clowes, Office of the Provost
Classified Service Awards
Dawn Amolsch, Biological Sciences
Wayne Anderson, Delivery Services
Cindy Blevins, Human Resources
Diane Crowe, Educational Foundations, Research, Technology, and Leadership
Nick Durse, Facilities Maintenance
Lori Hinebaugh, Computer Services
Barry Jenkins, Parking
Rita Kennehan, University Development
Sheila Maldonado, English
Marko Marinkovich, Campus Recreation and Intramural Sports
Judy Pavalko, Student Health Clinic
Roslyn Pozega, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Donna Sarich, Sociology, Anthropology and Gerontology
Cindy Sarnowski, Counseling, Special Education, and School Psychology
Megan Shargo, YSU Police
Paul Trimacco, Facilities Maintenance
Barbara Widomski, Social Work
Bonnie Winters, Health Professions
The Heritage Award, started in 1981, recognizes former YSU faculty and professional/administrative staff who have made major contributions to the university during their years of service. Nominees are reviewed by a 16-person Heritage Award Committee comprised of representatives from each college, the administration, alumni and the YSU Retirees Association. Award recipients are honored with plaques mounted on the wall of the concourse of Maag Library.
ALFRED BRIGHT, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, is an internationally renowned artist and educator. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art education from Youngstown University in 1964 and his master’s degree in painting from Kent State University in 1965.
Bright was a pioneer at YSU. He was the first African American full service faculty member at Youngstown University in 1965. He was the founding director of the Black Studies (Africana Studies) Program at YSU from 1970-1987. Bright developed an interdisciplinary program of study and coursework that brought curricular diversity to the university and the greater Youngstown area.
For over 40 years, Bright has influenced the artistic careers of many artists with his teaching, knowledge of and passion for art, moral support and nurturing. Bright has had more than 100 solo exhibits, including shows at the Butler Institute of American Art, Stanford University, Amherst University, Kent State University and the Canton Art Institute. His work also appears in permanent collections, including those at the Butler Institute of American Art, Kent State University Gallery, Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, Northeastern University, Savannah State University, the Harmon and Harriet Kelly Collection of African-American Art and the Canton Museum of Art. A 2012 performance on Super Bowl Sunday at the Akron Art Museum, in which Professor Bright painted “Portals In Time” to live music by the Jesse Dandy Jazz Trio, drew the largest audience the museum has ever seen in its 90-year history.
Bright’s awards/honors/listings include: Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in Black America, three Youngstown State University Distinguished Professorship Awards, Phi Kappa Phi National Artist Award Nominee, and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Outstanding Educators of America Award (1973), Youngstown State University Diversity Leadership Award (2011), and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Diversity Award (2011) for Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership and Service to the Youngstown, Ohio community. Professor Bright served a five-year term on the Ohio Arts Council, is on the Junior Achievement Foundation Board of Directors, and is a member of the Cleveland Museum of Art African American Advisory Committee.
JOHN R. WHITE joined the YSU in 1971 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor and professor before serving as chair for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. After high school and serving in the US Navy, he obtained his AA from the City College of San Francisco, a BA from San Francisco State College, and an MA and PhD from the University of Oregon.
His honors include serving as national lecturer for Sigma Xi, receiving four YSU Distinguished Professor Awards, the YSU Outstanding Professor Award, an Honors Professor Award, Research Professor on six occasions, and the Ed Press Distinguished National Achievement Award. He was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Eastern States Archaeological Federation, Society of American Archaeology, Society of Historical Archaeology, Ohio Archaeological Council, Sigma Xi, College of National Lecturers and Central States Anthropological Society.
He was chair of several symposia. He was a member and chairman of the Youngstown Environmental Review Committee. He was appointed by the governor to serve on the Ohio State Historic Preservation Advisory Board, including the Executive Committee and the Nominations Committee. He was a member of the Editorial Advisory Board-Academic Press and associate editor of Historical Archaeology, Journal of the Society of Historical Archaeology. He received grants annually (1975-1999). He had field and research experience (1962-2004). And he authored more than 80 articles, several books, a series of book-length site reports, and cultural research management reports.
Community contributions include the archaeological excavation of the Struthers Eaton Hopewell Furnace in 1975, which was the earliest blast furnace west of the Allegheny Mountains. He also worked on the Austintown Log Cabin, the Springfield Furnace, the Barnhisal House, Loghurst and Lanterman’s Mill. During summers he expanded YSU’s reach into larger regions throughout the state, which led to his discovery of the Sun Serpent Effigy in southern Ohio (now on the National Registry of Historic Places). Teachers across the country use his book, Hands-On Archaeology: Real Life Activities for Kids. He established a first-of-its-kind archaeology camp for youth at the YMCA Camp Kern in southern Ohio, volunteered for Ohio’s summer program of the Governor’s Institute for Gifted Children and also spent four summers as co-director of the Fresh Air Camp that brought underprivileged children to Youngstown’s Mill Creek Park.
Upon his retirement in 2005, the title Faculty Emeritus was conferred upon White by the YSU Board of Trustees in recognition of his 34 years of service.