YSU celebrates 20th class of University Scholars

The University Scholars Program at Youngstown State University celebrates its 20th year with a new logo.Youngstown State University reached a milestone today when members of the 20th class of Leslie H. Cochran University Scholars were introduced at a special ceremony in Kilcawley Center on the YSU campus.

The University Scholars program, started in 1993 under the leadership of then YSU President Leslie H. Cochran, is a full-tuition, room-and-board scholarship awarded annually to 40 of the best and brightest high school graduates throughout the nation.

“I can’t think of any other single program at the university that has had the impact that the University Scholars has had over the past two decades,” said Nate Ritchey, chair of the YSU Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the first director of the program.

Funded by the YSU Foundation, the Scholars program boasts nearly 650 alumni and is widely recognized for producing some of YSU’s most successful graduates. In all, the program has attracted students from 19 states and six foreign countries. More than 300 of them were at the top of their high school classes when they came to YSU. Nearly 90 Scholar graduates have either completed or are in the process of completing a terminal degree.

“It’s staggering what the University Scholars have gone on to do – where they’re living, where they’re working,” said Marianne Lloyd, Scholar class of 2000 who is now an assistant professor of psychology at Seton Hall University. “It makes me very proud to come from that tradition.”

The new class of Scholars features 40 students from as far away as Washington State. The Scholars, and their parents, were on campus today to register for classes, learn about various university programs and meet graduates of the Scholars program. Included in this year’s class are 18 high school valedictorians.

The welcoming day is a first in a variety of events planned to mark the milestone year of the program, including a Scholars Day of Service in August, Scholars Tailgate Party in September and a Scholar Alumni Reunion in November.

One of the hallmarks of the University Scholars from the start has been community service. Over 20 years, Scholars have volunteered an estimated 190,000 hours to hundreds of nonprofit agencies and community service projects. The program has been recognized nationally for its commitment to community engagement.

Scholars live in Cafaro House residence hall, built in 1995 specifically to house Scholars and other honors students. Over the years, the program has spun off more than 30 Scholar couples that are either married or engaged.

Ron Shaklee, professor, Geography, has been the director of the Scholars program since 2000. Amy Cossentino is assistant director.

For more information on the University Scholars program, call 330-941-2772 or visit http://www.ysu.edu/honors/.

Here is the 20th class of University Scholars, hometown, high school and major:

Ciara Andrews, Salem OH, Salem High School, Computer Science.

Camron Bagheri, Youngstown OH, Ursuline High School, Mechanical Engineering/Pre-Law.

Caitlin Beckett, Youngstown OH, Austintown Fitch High School, Music Performance.

Mallory Bower, Mineral Ridge OH, Mineral Ridge High School, Biology.

Jena Bushong, Mt Blanchard OH, Riverdale High School, Undetermined.

Jayne Catlos, Poland OH, Poland Seminary High School, Undetermined.

Dominic DeLaurentis, Poland OH, Boardman High School, Music Education.

Erik DelBene, Girard OH, Girard High School, Chemistry Pre-Optometry.

Jordan A. Edgell, Turtlepoint, PA, Port Allegany High School, Forensic Science.

Victoria Ferry, Cortland OH, Liberty High School, Biology-PT Track.

Claudia Gage, Poland OH, Poland High School, Communication Studies and Theater.

Alyssa Grimm, Lisbon OH, David Anderson Jr/Sr High School, Biology.

Erin Kelligher, Warren OH, Lakeview High School, Undetermined.

Natalie Kelly, Renton WA, Kentridge High School, Exercise Science – PT Track.

Jude Koury, Boardman OH, Boardman High School, Exercise Science-PT Track.

Alana Lesnansky, Youngstown OH, Boardman High School, Biology and Dance.

Tyler Luonuansuu, Newton Falls OH, John F. Kennedy, Biology.

Gina Mancini, Boardman OH, Canfield High School, Industrial Engineering.

Zara Markman, Amherst WI, Amherst High School, Theater.

Celeste Marshall, Cortland OH, Lakeview High School, Individualized Curriculum/Pre-Law.

Hanna Martin, Jeffersonville IN, Jeffersonville High School, Biology-PT Track.

Alexandra McFarland, Cedar Rapids IA, George Washington High School, Undetermined.

Cory Merlo, Columbiana OH, Columbiana High School, Chemical Engineering.

Brandon O’Neill, Lordstown OH, McDonald High School, Mechanical Engineering.

Paul Oder, Youngstown OH, Liberty High School, Chemistry.

Ashley Orr, Columbiana, OH, Columbiana High School, Mathematics.

Lauren Penman, Poland OH, Poland Seminary High School, Nursing.

Tiffani Pike, Eastlake OH, North High School, Chemical Engineering.

Katherine Pitcairn, Berlin Center OH, Western Reserve High School, Chemical Engineering.

Jonathan Pohl, Farmersville OH, Valley View High School, Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Music Performance.

Christopher Poullas, Hubbard OH, Hubbard High School, Electrical Engineering.

Michael Radetic, Youngstown OH, Austintown Fitch High School, Chemical Engineering.

Samuel Rakocy, North Canton OH, Hoover High School, Mathematics.

Bryan Schiraldi, Lowellville OH, Lowellville High School, Accounting & Finance.

Jacob Schriner-Briggs, Youngstown OH, Liberty High School, English.

Kyle Shehadi, McDonald OH, McDonald High School, Chemical Engineering.

James Tancabel, Boardman OH, Boardman High School, Mechanical Engineering.

Rebecka Weber, Parma OH, Valley Forge High School, Anthropology.

Stephanie Wood, Salem OH, Salem High School, Business.

Kayla Zitello, Boardman OH, Boardman High School, Undetermined.

About Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University is a comprehensive emerging urban research university that offers over 14,000 students more than 135 undergraduate and graduate programs backed by a strong tradition of teaching, scholarship and public service. As a major educational and economic development resource in the region, YSU is known for its focus on academic research and creative programs that transform its students into successful professionals, scholars and leaders. Located in the heart of the Tech Belt between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, YSU provides opportunities for students to actively participate with accomplished faculty, often in one-on-one settings, on advanced research and creative collaborations. The beautiful 145-acre campus includes high-tech classrooms, state-of-the-art labs and performance facilities, a variety of on-campus housing options and recreational facilities among the best in the nation.