FIRST Robotics Team

FIRST Team #379 is in its 18th year of competition.  They are one of the first two teams in the area and have since worked to start up 9 additional area teams and numerous FIRST LEGO League teams.  They have won over 60 awards as well as four regional competitions and most recently were Curie Division Champions at the World Championship in St. Louis and the Ohio State Champions in 2016.

Mary Buchenic & Jennifer Gasser
Solar Sisters

Mary Buchenic is a YSU graduate and science teacher for 30 years in the Niles City School District.  She discovered solar cooking in 1996 while trying to find an interesting way to teach solar energy.  She is the co-founder of Solar Sisters: a solar cooking collaborative to promote awareness and interest in solar cooking.  Jennifer Gasser is a local business woman and youth supporter through employment mentorship, education and community service.

Diana Kindler
Master Chocolatier

Diana has had a love for chocolate for over 40 years as a Master Chocolatier.  She has over 500 personal recipes, thousands of corporate gift molds, 3 store fronts, and ten years of teaching the history of chocolates.

Jay Mager, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Jay is in his 12th year as an Associate professor of Biological and Allied Health Sciences at Ohio Northern University.  His research interests are in the behavioral ecology and its application to conservation and management of threatened/endangered birds.

Dr. Heather Lorimer
Associate Professor

Dr. Lorimer earned her Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Chicago, then her doctorate at Columbia University where she studied DNA tumor viruses.  She then post-doc’d at the University of Washington in Seattle in the department of Genetics.  She has been at Youngstown State University since 1996, teaching Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Virology and doing research in genome replication and recombination.

Michael Jerryson
Associate Professor

Michael is associate professor of Religious Studies at YSU.  His research interests pertain to religion and identity, particularly with regard to gender, race, and class.  He has recently published 4 different books.

Tom Siegfried
Managing Editor

Tom is the managing editor of Science News Magazine.  He earned an undergraduate degree from Texas Christian University with majors in journalism, chemistry, and history, and has a master of arts with a major in journalism and a minor in physics from the University of Texas at Austin.  He is the author of three books.

Jim Tressel
YSU President

James P. Tressel became the ninth president of Youngstown State University in July 2014 and has been busy moving the campus forward on many fronts ever since.  Prior to becoming YSU president, Tressel was executive vice president for Student Success at the University of Akron.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1975 and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Akron in 1977.

Stephen Chalmers
YSU- Associate Professor

Chalmers has taught many workshops in alternative photographic processes and digital imaging, and been a visiting artist at numerous colleges and universities.  He has also been a contributor to give books, and has been in group and solo exhibitions throughout the US and the world.  He earned his MFA in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University.

Vince Lisi

Vince has Master degrees in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America (Washington D.C.) and in Theology from the Athenaeum of Ohio (Cincinnati, Ohio). He is presently on the faculties of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Youngstown State University and Penn State University (Shenango Campus). He also serves one day a week as a chaplain in the spiritual care department of St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Center in Youngstown, Ohio.

Carol Huncik
Yoga Instructor

Carol’s background as a professional dancer, choreographer and teacher imparts a rich blend of experience to her students.  She holds a MFA from Smith College and has been practicing yoga and meditation for over 20 years.  Carol is certified in three well-known yoga methods.

Joy Decker Borland
Retired Professor

Joy has worked as an actress and teacher for over 60 years.  She began by performing in her parents’ musical variety shows as a child, and has made entertainment her life-long passion.  She recently retired from Cuyahoga Community College as a professor of film, theater, and dance, and is enjoying a post-retirement career as a lecturer/teacher.  She particularly enjoys teaching the history and music of Broadway and Hollywood.

Agnes Martinko
Religious Scholar

Dr. Agnes Martinko was a counselor at the American Embassy School in Germany 9 years, did policy planning and Research for the PA Sate Department of Education for 16 years, and taught psychological classes at YSU for 6 years.  She writes articles on religion for the Vindicator since 1996.

Ellen Speicher
Plant Curator

After graduating from YSU with a degree in Biology, Ellen worked at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh as Director of Horticulture before coming to Mill Creek MetroParks in 2004.  She served as the Assistant Horticulture Director at Fellows Riverside Gardens for ten years and is now Plant Curator.

Dr. Louis Zona
Director of The Butler Institute

Dr. Louis A. Zona has been associated with Youngstown State University since 1962 when he began his baccalaureate studies, graduating in 1966. Following his earning a master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969, Dr. Zona joined the YSU Art Department faculty. In 1973, Dr. Zona earned his doctoral degree from Carnegie Mellon University and that same year introduced classes in museum studies and twentieth century art at YSU.


Felicia Zavarella Stadelman
Art Enthusiast

Through the Eyes of the Artist is an artist biography lecture series created by Felicia Zavarella Stadelman.  Inspired by her own enthusiasm for art, coupled with her education and background in art history, this program has been designed to provide a richer insight through the artist’s personal perspective.  For the past 15 years, Felicia has trained over 400 Art Docents and delivered art history lectures in schools and communities in the Cleveland, Rhode Island and Massachusetts area.

Dr. Gregory Ferro

Dr. Ferro earned his doctorate degree at Pennsylvania State University. He is a renowned history teacher and lecturer. He has been interviewed numerous times and was a host of his own radio show “Straight Talk with Dr. Ferro.” Currently, Dr. Ferro teaches courses at the Chautauqua Institute.