Retired YSU Dean Creates Scholarship for Black YCSD Grads

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Barbara Brothers, a former dean at Youngstown State University, has created a new scholarship at the university for Black graduates of Youngstown City Schools.

“Our students need teachers who look like them and come from the same circumstances to foster belief in their own possibilities to succeed and thus help to build a better Youngstown for us all,” she said in a statement. “We cannot restore our city until we restore faith in the Youngstown City Schools.  Educating talented and committed young people to return to lead us forward is essential not just to Youngstown but to the Mahoning Valley.”

The Dr. Barbara Brothers Scholarship in Education will support undergraduate students majoring in education, wit the expectation that the students will return to the school district as teachers.

“I recall Dr. Brothers’ tenure at YSU as someone who was a dedicated advocate for students and higher education,” said YSU President Jim Tressel. “We are grateful to Dr. Brothers for her service at the university and continuing to be committed to YSU students through her generosity.”

Brothers earned her baccalaureate in English from Youngstown University in 1958, her master’s from Western Reserve University in 1962 and her doctorate from Kent State University in 1973. 

She began her career at YSU as an adjunct instructor in 1960 and was promoted to professor in 1983. From 1974 to 1992, she was chairwoman of the Department of English and played a key role in creating several programs, including what is now the professional and technical writing program, women’ studies, American studies, and peace and conflict studies.

Brothers was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences – now the Beeghly College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Education – in 1993, a positioned she held until her retirement in 2001. In 2015, she received Youngstown State’s Heritage Award.

Today, she remains active in civic causes, serving on the boards of the YWCA of Mahoning Valley, Youngstown Rotary, League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown, WYSU, Garden Club of Youngstown, Lit Youngstown and American Association of University women. 

Brothers’ gift was matched by the YSU Foundation, which does so for scholarship donations that aid underrepresented populations. Since the program was started in 1996, the foundation has matched $1.4 million in contributions for 56 scholarships.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.