By Henry Shorr
Youngstown State University’s first-year engineering program has moved to the Excellence Training Center, providing a dedicated space for new engineering students to learn the broader aspects of what it means to be an engineer.
Cory Brozina, head of the first-year engineering program, is thrilled about the new space.
“Ever since I’ve been here — and this is my sixth year — I’ve been trying to get a space, a dynamic space for the first year engineering program so we can work on design projects and things like that,” Brozina said.
An incoming engineering student at YSU does not simply pick an engineering major — they need to take the first-year engineering program to get a baseline knowledge.
Brozina has run the program out of the computer lab in Moser Hall in the past. He remarked that the computer lab was a good space for certain aspects of the program, but very lacking in other aspects, namely the design portions. Now that they are in the ETC, he believes things will only improve from here.
“We’ve got a classroom that we use over there for the computing side, data analysis side. And then we’ve got our own dedicated space right outside this classroom space that is our first-year engineering project space,” Brozina said.
He said he is excited for the opportunities this provides to both current and prospective students. Current students have their own space where they will be able to learn and showcase their work.
“The students love it so far. It’s the brand-new space, it’s nice and professional. It’s just a great opportunity for students to have ownership of a space, especially in their first year,” Brozina said.
He sees the space as a big pull for new students as well. The new space is large and innovative enough to get students curious about engineering.
“High school students that visit YSU — that’s going to be one of the places that they are going to go to and they’re going to say, ‘Well, okay, wow, this is pretty cool, this is a nice building, they’re doing neat things over there,’” Brozina said.
Ultimately, Brozina said he is happy that the students have their own space on campus dedicated to teaching them the wider science of engineering.
“It will give the students an opportunity to realize what engineering actually is. Typically, students just think it’s math and science, but it’s not. It’s a lot of this engineering design,” he said. “Having this place gives us more opportunities to showcase that aspect and for students to participate in these design projects in the first year.”