YSU Creates 5 Centers of Excellence, New Degrees

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Five centers of excellence focusing on topics ranging from sports medicine to international business will be established at Youngstown State University.

The centers were among several actions taken today by the YSU Board of Trustees to enhance the university’s academic offerings. The trustees also approved a new master’s degree in nurse practitioner and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood Intervention.

“All of these actions are further evidence of YSU’s continued efforts to respond to the needs of our students and community and to further expand our growing research and scholarship capabilities on campus,” said Martin Abraham, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

The centers of excellence, which will receive a combined $500,000 in university funding, are designed to provide focus and distinction through instruction and inquiry into specific academic areas. The centers were selected through a process led by the Office of Research, the University Research Council and the Dean’s Council. Nine proposals were submitted, and the following five were selected:

Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering. The program, comprised of 22 faculty and staff from six departments in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is devoted to the preparation, advancement and development of a variety of materials for basic research, educational experiences and practical applications.

Advanced Manufacturing Research Center. The center will lead YSU efforts in the development and practice of advanced manufacturing technologies, including additive manufacturing, robotics, reverse engineering, digital metrology and hybrid manufacturing.

Williamson College of Business Administration Center of Excellence in International Business. The center capitalizes on and integrates the strong and varied WCBA international business activities already in place, including the Williamson Center for International Business and the Ohio Small Business Development Center/Export Assistance Network.

Center for Sports Medicine and Applied Biomechanics. Biomedical science and technology has grown dramatically over the last two decades and has become a major academic and industry research area. This center, along with a new minor program in Biomechanics and joint master’s program in Biomedical Science, will serve to address these growing needs. Faculty in the College of STEM and in the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services have collaborated to build a state-of-the-art laboratory for medical science and biotechnological research.

Centofanti Center for Health and Welfare for Vulnerable Populations. The center is committed to serving the needs of vulnerable individuals impacted by debilitating illness, poverty, disability and/or discrimination throughout the Youngstown community. The center currently provides health and human service trainings to faculty, staff and community members. It will continue collaboration through the establishment of student-driven programs that improve the health and well-being of patients attending the Midlothian Free Health Clinic.

In addition to the centers, trustees approved an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner option in the master’s in nursing program. The option will prepare registered nurses with the acute-care experience necessary to provide direct patient management in acute and complex care settings.

Nancy Wagner, chair of nursing, said Mercy Health has been requesting that YSU establish such a program. “There is a definite need,” she said.

The board also approved a bachelor’s degree for early childhood intervention specialist. The degree is in response to the growing need for teacher candidates to be prepared for the fact that every classroom will have students with special needs, said Marcia Matanin, chair of teacher education.

“We talked with many schools in the area about starting this program, and their response was – ‘how fast can you graduate these students,’” she said.

SOURCE: YSU News Center.

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