Ways Students Can Advance Over Summer

By Alyssa Weston

While enjoying time off from the semester, students at Youngstown State University have an assortment of opportunities to advance in their area of study over the summer break.

One way Nathan Rein, a junior business finance major, decided to get ahead was by taking a summer class for the first time.

“I took managerial accounting. I decided to take it because it was the last core class I needed to take,” he said.

Rein said the only downfall of taking the summer course was students don’t have the opportunity to learn as much within a short time period, but that being able to get the credit in a short amount of time is an overall benefit to earning his degree in a timely manner.

“If you have the money to do it, definitely do it,” he said.

Tiffany Menci, a senior kinesiology and sports science major, is interning at MetroHealth in Cleveland at the Pediatric Outpatient Wellness Center to gain on-the-job experience before she graduates.

Menci said going into her major she knew she wanted to help people learn the importance of health through diet and exercise because it is her passion. After realizing how many avenues she could take with a kinesiology and sports science degree, Menci said she recently gained an interest on the clinical side.

At Pediatric Outpatient Wellness Center, her responsibilities include leading physical games and workouts that get kids enthusiastic about exercise while teaching them the importance of a balanced diet.

“I’m hoping to impact the lives of the younger generations because the obesity rate in children is at its all time high,” she said.

Emily Fromel, a junior biochemistry major, is helping Douglas Genna, assistant professor of chemistry, with research involving metal organic frameworks (MOFs).

Fromel said she found out about the research through her organic chemistry lab teaching assistant who recommended she reach out to Genna.

She said the best way to get involved in university research is to simply ask.

“Ask your peers, graduate students and professors. That’s what they’re there for. They have so much wisdom to share and can really assist you in furthering your knowledge or working towards a specific goal,” Fromel said.

Genna said he is researching how MOFs form in solution prior to their precipitation.

“Understanding this is expected to lead to advances in large-scale synthesis which has been a challenge for these materials to be brought to market,” he said.

Genna said the benefit to students working in a lab is astronomical and by conducting research, students get to practice what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real scientific inquiry.

“They get the skills needed to enter into graduate programs, and they also get to test out if a career in science is right for them,” he said.

Although students gain experience, Genna said working with students helps professors too.

“Students run the experiments that, due to time constraints, can’t run myself, so the scientific vision of my research lab continues on. But more importantly, I love working with students and helping them catch the research bug,” he said.

Genna said he enjoys watching the direction students take projects and the scientific and personal achievements they reach.

“Often, students have taken projects in directions I didn’t consider that have led to very fruitful and important scientific discoveries,” he said.

Fromel said she hopes to continue helping Genna with his research in the fall.