YSU, YCS, ATT unveil STEM Outreach Initiative

Stephen Kristan of AT&T presents a check of $20,000 to Youngstown State University's Martin Abraham and Connie Hathorn of Youngstown City Schools to fund part of the STEM Outreach Initiative.

Stephen Kristan, left, director of external affairs for AT&T presents a check for $20,000 to Connie Hathorn, center, superintendent of the Youngstown City Schools, and Martin Abraham, dean of the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The money will help fund the STEM Outreach Initiative.

YSU is teaming with the city schools and AT&T to encourage high school students to pursue college degrees and careers in STEM fields.

The STEM Outreach Initiative is funded by a $20,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation.

“This initiative will inspire high school students to pursue STEM careers by nurturing and mentoring past and current YSU STEM students and by providing them with career experiences that give them a deep understanding of the opportunities of STEM education,” said Martin Abraham dean of YSU’s STEM College.

“Not only are STEM disciplines integral to communications technology and at the heart of our business, they are increasingly important to every business and the growth of our local economy,” said Stephen Kristan, director of external affairs for AT&T.

The fundamental objective of the initiative is to connect students at Chaney STEM High School with area STEM-related businesses as a means of encouraging them to pursue education and careers in STEM fields.

Abraham said the decision to work specifically with the Youngstown City Schools is intended to address populations that are nationally underrepresented in STEM disciplines.

The centerpiece of the initiative is an internship program starting summer 2012 for Chaney STEM students to attain hands-on, real-world experience in STEM-related fields.

“Such experiences help students to better understand the importance and relevance of academic coursework, giving them a better understanding of the academic rigor and requirements of a STEM education,” he said. “Moreover, these experiences make students more desirable for potential employers during their college programs and after graduation, giving them a head start on a fulfilling lifetime career.”

In addition to internships, the initiative will include tutoring and mentorship activities that engage YSU STEM students and recent STEM College graduates to assist high school STEM students.

The initiative also will provide scholarships to students who graduate from the Chaney STEM High School, successfully complete the internship program, and enroll in the YSU STEM College.

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.