YSU Grant Activity Hits 12-Year High

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Youngstown State University earned nearly $11 million in research and service grants this past fiscal year, the most in more than a decade.

“The level of grant activity across campus this past fiscal year was extraordinary and is testament to the talent and hard work of dozens of faculty, staff and others throughout the university,” said Sev Van slambrouck, YSU director of Research.

YSU faculty and staff were awarded 96 grants totaling $10.95 million in fiscal year 2021. That’s nearly double the amount from last fiscal year and the most since the university received $11.7 million in fiscal year 2009.

“Getting this kind of funding is not easy – it’s competitive, and it takes a lot of work, imagination and determination,” YSU Provost Brien Smith said. “Most importantly, the impact that these funds have on our region and our students is significant and widespread.”

The total includes grants from a wide variety of agencies, including NASA, the Berkeley National Laboratory, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Mathematical Association of America, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Among the awards is $1 million from the National Science Foundation to Cory Brozina, assistant professor and director of First-Year Engineering in the YSU Rayen School of Engineering. The grant is the largest YSU has ever received from the NSF and will be used for a project aimed at increasing the enrollment and graduation of high-achieving undergraduate engineering commuter students. 

The grant was among two that Brozina received from the NSF in fiscal year 2021. He also was awarded $300,000 for a research project focused on increasing the number of nontraditional college students in Engineering.

Among the largest single awards for the year was $3.5 million in funding that was part of General Motor’s repayment of tax incentives after the closing of its assembly plant in Lordstown. The funds will be used for community workforce development such as regional recruitment, curriculum development, training and related activities, said Jennifer Oddo, executive director of Workforce Education and Innovation at YSU.

Also among the largest awards was $2.2 million from the Air Force Research Lab to Pedro Cortes, associate professor of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering. The grant, part of the Air Force’s Microelectronics Workforce Development Program, focuses on increasing the number of digital design engineers with expertise in microelectronics, a need which the Air Force says current academic programs across the nation are not meeting.


Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.