By Samantha Smith
Youngstown State University’s Sokolov Honors College has been recognized by the National Collegiate Honors Council for its Transcribe-a-thon, partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington, in February 2022.
The Transcribing Club was formed to transcribe older documents and preserve their original grammar and language. It also acts to review transcribed documents and make sure they are correct while preserving historical documents for future viewing or research.
Mollie Hartup, director of the Sokolov Honors College, said she heard during a previous NCHC conference, another college was also working with transcribing and discussed working together to create a joint Transcribe-a-thon held last year.
“Our students and other students across the country got together on a WebEx [meeting] to transcribe. Julie [Centofanti] really coordinated all of that, worked with the professional staff there, got their students up to speed in addition to ours, many of which have never transcribed before, and all of that was a result of the connections made and the support provided from NCHC,” Hartup said.
Julie Centofanti, founder of the Transcribing Club, said what the recognition means for both the university and the honors college.
“Just to be honored at that level is just so amazing for the honors college because we’ve done so many wonderful things here. I don’t think [the Transcribing Club] could’ve done it without the support of the honors college. Just being recognized at the level that Youngstown State has these opportunities and we have these kind of things here at YSU,” Centofanti said.
With the NCHC recognition, the honors college is also making efforts for the university to be recognized by the Carnegie Foundation Designation.
For a university to achieve this title, it must submit an application showing its contribution toward community engagement. Amy Cossentino, associate provost and dean of the Sokolov Honors College, said this is a goal the college has recently been working toward and said what efforts the college is making to achieve this.
“The first phase was the on-boarding of Penguin Pulse,” Cossentino said. “Through Penguin Pulse, that’s one of the strategies. If you look through our strategic plan, you look at the goal and strategies underneath, one of the things is that we need to inventory all of the ways we are engaged in the community.”
Cossentino said these strategies and steps will lead the college to be able to submit the application. She said there has been a community engagement council to help with the process.
“The Carnegie application is a very lengthy process and we decided the best way that we could tackle it was to create a community engagement council,” Cossentino said. “They are using the 2024 Carnegie application as the guide to do the self study. We are right now in the process of gathering all the data to inform that self study.”
Cossentino said the university will be applying for the 2026 cycle and will let the Carnegie Foundation know it is applying in 2024. She said if the university receives this recognition, it will give it an element of distinction from other universities.