YSU Fishbowl lounge named for late engineering prof

Jack Bakos dedication

Patsy Bakos unveils a plaque to dedicate the Dr. Jack Bakos Jr. Student Collaborative Lounge, also known as the “Fishbowl,” in Moser Hall on the YSU campus. To the right are YSU President Randy J. Dunn and Martin Abraham, STEM college dean. Joining Mrs. Bakos are her son, Jason, and her granddaughter.

The student lounge known as the “Fishbowl” at Youngstown State University was dedicated today in honor of the late Jack Bakos Jr., a distinguished member of the university’s engineering faculty for nearly four decades.

Bakos’ widow, Patsy, provided a gift of $75,000 to renovate the lounge on the first floor of YSU’s Moser Hall, in addition to a $75,000 donation to establish the Dr. Jack Bakos Jr. Memorial Scholarship Endowment.

“It is appropriate that this lounge, where for years engineering students have gathered to study and visit, be named after someone whose career and life was so dedicated to his discipline, to his university and to his students,” YSU President Randy J. Dunn said. “I want to thank Mrs. Bakos for her generosity in memorializing her husband’s contributions to YSU.”

Lounge renovations included new doors, ceiling, lights, flooring, as well as a new showcase and collaboration tables.

Bakos, who passed away a year ago at the age of 71, served YSU for nearly 36 years as professor, advisor to the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter, and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor my husband’s memory than to continue the legacy he created at YSU,” said Patsy. “He inspired his students and was inspired by them.”

Bakos was the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award at YSU for Teaching and Scholarship in 1976 and the Watson Merit Award at YSU for Administrative Service in 1983. In 1994, YSU Student Government selected Bakos as the first recipient of the Smith-Murphy Award for outstanding service to students. Students also honored him as Engineering Professor of the Year five times during his teaching career.

In addition, Bakos received the award for Outstanding Service from the National Office of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Ralph R. Teeter Outstanding Educator Award by the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Outstanding Civil Engineer Award presented by the Youngstown Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Bakos earned a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Akron in 1963 and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering and PhD from West Virginia University in 1965 and 1967, respectively. He also attended the U.S. Army Engineering School at Fort Belvoir, Va., and Vanderbilt University. He was a project engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Waterways Experiment Station, Nuclear Weapons Effects Division in Vicksburg, Miss., at a rank of captain, and was awarded a U.S. Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service in 1969.