Honors College Introduces Inspiration-Centered Events

(From left to right) Panelists Marianne Lloyd, JR Jackson and Johnny Ware invite all YSU students to attend the first session of the ““Friends, Family, and Faculty — Navigating Relationships During COVID-19” series. Photos courtesy of YSU Honors College

By Kelcey Norris 

The Youngstown State University Honors College encourages students to excel in the YSU community through service work, engagement and fellowship. Honors college alumni are determined to help current students through difficult times. 

This semester, the Honors College is hosting a series of lectures and discussions surrounding personal growth and interpersonal relationships. 

Mollie Hartup, coordinator of student development and retention in the Honors College, described the first series, titled “Failing Forward.” 

“We’ve had a lot of conversations in Honors [College] about how the pandemic has really made it even more clear that our students struggle with failure, and how we want students to see failure as a learning opportunity,” Hartup said. “What is a better way to do that than by learning through other stories and hearing through others’ experiences?”

The first speaker, YSU alumna Jamie Marich, will talk with students about her journey overcoming obstacles and learning from failure at 6:00 p.m. Feb. 4 through Webex.

Marich is a recovery advocate and clinician who founded The Institute for Creative Mindfulness. She has been featured in The New York Times for her work in expressive arts therapy.  

“We were actually suitemates, so she’s from my era, back in the day in Cafaro,” Hartup said. “She’s taken struggles in her life and transformed them into opportunities to grow. She has made it her life’s work to help other people going through similar things that she has struggled with in the past. So we’re really excited that she’s willing to share some of that with us and to help students.”

Lexi Rager, coordinator of student recruitment and engagement, proposed the idea for the “Failing Forward” series after seeing the success of another Honors special series called “Supporting a Stronger You.” 

“We wanted to create these spaces on Webex that allow students to learn some valuable things but then also interact a little bit with each other,” Hartup said. 

The “Supporting a Stronger You” series will continue through the semester, with sessions focusing on goal-setting, self-care and effective study habits. 

Johnny Ware recently joined the Honors College team as a coordinator of student enrichment and diversity. On his first day Jan. 19, he took to the initiative and developed the third series hosted by the college, titled “Friends, Family and Faculty — Navigating Relationships During COVID-19.”

“Back in the day, before, you could go out and go someplace and do things together. But now you [have to] be creative. And actually, I think this is better because now you actually have to get to know the other person in a new way,” Ware said. 

In addition to navigating the dating world during the pandemic, the panelists will also talk about interacting with peers in virtual classrooms and professors whom students might only talk to through email. 

Ware will be one of three panelists speaking at 6:00 p.m. Feb. 11 during the first session of “Friends, Family and Faculty — Navigating Relationships During COVID-19,” touching on his experience working with special needs students and athletes. 

Joining him will be 2007 YSU graduate JR Jackson, who’s working with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on COVID-19 treatments. He’ll share his professional and personal experience with the virus, which affected family members close to him. 

The third panelist, psychologist Marianne Llyod, graduated from YSU in 2000 and will share expert advice on developing strong relationships. Although the event is hosted by the Honors College, all students and faculty are welcomed to tune in. 

“Students might have some curious questions about what’s going on in their lives and you might be able to open up and talk about some of those issues,” Ware said. “If I were a student, I would definitely join this and see what’s going on because there may be something I’m not experiencing right now, but maybe later on it might be something I need help help with.” 

All of the virtual lectures are hosted on Webex. For more information, contact Mollie Hartup at (330) 610-8932 or at mahartup@ysu.edu