5 Students Awarded YSU Alumni Legacy Scholarships

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University’s Office of Alumni Engagement has awarded five students with the YSU Alumni Legacy Scholarship for the 2024-25 school year.

The YSU Alumni Legacy Scholarship awards $1,000 to each recipient in recognition of their academic achievements and their decision to follow in the footsteps of YSU alumni parents.

Gabriella Howe, an honors student majoring in biology, plans to attend medical school after her time at YSU. She comes from a legacy of both parents, Kimberly Palazzo Howe and Jeffery Howe, who are alumni of YSU. Howe, who attends the university with her two siblings, is involved in many student organizations and is active in Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.

Samantha Joki, a psychology major, follows in the footsteps of her late father, Joshua Joki, who died when she was 10. Through her involvement with Greek life on campus, she maintains a connection with her father’s alma mater and creates her own memories during her time at YSU.

Gianna Pinciaro is a nursing student and is following the legacy of her parents, Marlana Rafoth Pinciaro and Joseph Pinciaro Jr., who both graduated from YSU. Pinciaro is involved in numerous activities through the Sokolov Honors College at YSU and volunteers both on campus and in the community. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a doctorate in nursing anesthesia.

Gina Ricciardi is studying to become a physical therapist and was recently accepted into YSU’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Her parents, Judy and Mario Ricciardi, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all graduated from YSU.

Emily Wilaj is in her second year at YSU and is pursuing a degree in sports journalism. Her love for YSU comes from her mother, Jody Wilaj, who inspired her to continue her education. She plans to pursue a career in marketing and public relations after graduation.

To be eligible for the YSU Alumni Legacy Scholarship, students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average, be or plan to be enrolled full-time at YSU and have a parent or guardian who graduated from YSU.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.