YSU earns nearly $16 million in grants

By Shianna Gibbons

Youngstown State University was awarded $15.8 million in grants for the fiscal year of 2022, surpassing the $14.4 million earned last year and setting a new record.

The grants are a combination of agreements between YSU and governmental bodies or businesses for research purposes, to fund equipment or previous agreements.

Sev Slambrouck, director of Research Services, said the recent increase can be attributed to the faculty and staff submitting more proposals. 

“The great faculty and staff that we have [at YSU] are submitting proposals or engaging with a local government [or] smaller companies into agreements. It’s our amount of submissions. We have also seen an increase in awards and award amounts over the past two years,” Slambrouck said.

Slambrouck said the largest grant proposals awarded on campus were the STEM focuses and the workforce development programs. These grants have also benefited YSU students.

“We have a lot of our faculty and staff that specifically submit proposal applications or engage in grant agreements to support their students by paying their students to be part of the project,” Slambrouck said.

Project Pass is one grant agreement that involves YSU students from the Beeghly College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Education, with Youngstown City Schools. This allows education majors to earn teaching experience and tutor younger children attending Youngstown City Schools. 

Charles Howell, dean of BCLASSE, said this project began in 2015, and students have enjoyed their time and gained valuable experience.

“The kids [at] Youngstown City Schools look forward to [YSU students’] visits and enjoy their company,” Howell said. “Our students learn a lot about how to teach reading, especially in a community like Younsgtown, where there are a lot of very impoverished families.”

Howell said this has also provided job opportunities for YSU Students.

“Some of our teacher candidates enjoy their experience so much that they go back and they’re hired to work at the schools,” Howell said.

Other grants awarded provide assistantships to graduate students, involve students in research or provide paid positions to students. Jackie Ruller, director of the Excellence Training Center, has received multiple grants that provided opportunities to YSU and high school students.

“One [awarded] is $100,000 that we got [from the Ohio Department of Education] to help high school students earn points towards graduation. The state of Ohio created this 12-point program for students at risk of not graduating from high school where they can come and take classes in person here at the ETC,” Ruller said.

Another grant Ruller received is sponsored by the Defense Logistics Agency — worth $3.3 million — the largest awarded for this fiscal year. This grant is meant to provide advanced technology to growing businesses in the area. 

The DLA grant has also provided assistantships to YSU students. Allison Rae, a graduate mechanical engineering student, said this has helped her gain industry experience. 

“I went from doing my undergrad [at YSU] straight into my master’s, so I don’t have any industry experience. The experience here will definitely help me get jobs in the future. Generally, employers are always asking, ‘Do you have a year or two of experience?’ Well, when you’re straight out of college, a lot of the time, you don’t have that,” Rae said

For information on how to get involved with research-based grants, go to YSU’s Research Service website.