STEM dinner honors alumni and others
Youngstown State University honors seven individuals at the annual College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Awards Dinner 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23 on campus.
Reservations for the event are no longer being accepted.
At the event, STEM Dean Martin Abraham will announce the following award winners: Harry Bircher, Outstanding Alumnus/Service; Peyman Givi, Outstanding Alumnus; Mary Pat Salomone, Outstanding Alumna; Matt Ragan, Outstanding Young Alumnus; Connie Hathorn, Outstanding Education Leader; Roger and Gloria Jones, Outstanding Community Partners.
Harry Bircher earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from YSU in 1988. He also has a master’s in geology from Wright State University and a master’s in engineering from YSU. Bircher is a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio and has been a co-owner of Buckeye Civil Design LLC in North Lima for seven years. He has taught various geology and environmental studies classes at YSU on a part time basis for more than 10 years. He resides in Columbiana, Ohio, with his wife Lisa, who is also a YSU alumna.
Peyman Givi earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from YSU and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. He is internationally recognized for his research in the fields of computational fluid dynamics, turbulence, combustion and propulsion. He has authored more than 200 publications and has presented more than 200 public seminars all over the world. Currently, Givi is the James T. MacLeod Professor of Mechanical Engineering and also Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously he held the position of University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor.
Connie Hathorn is superintendent of the Youngstown City School District. Prior to coming to Youngstown, Hathorn was executive director of Student Support for the Akron City School District. He earned a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. Hathorn said at a community forum prior to becoming superintendent that the Youngstown district made history by being the first in Ohio to fall under state control and that he wants to make history by helping it get out.
Roger and Gloria Jones are the founders of Fireline Inc. Roger earned a degree in ceramic engineering from Alfred University. After serving in the Korean War as a lieutenant, he performed research at Refractory Insulation Corp., Electro Refractories and finally came to the Youngstown area to head research and development for Dixon Crucible. Gloria Jones holds a bachelor’s degree from Elmira College in biology and chemistry, a master’s in Physiological Chemistry from the University of Buffalo and an master’s in English from YSU. She did medical research at Eaton Laboratories and at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, and she taught at University of Buffalo Medical School. She also taught at YSU and at University of Nis in Serbia on a Fulbright Scholarship. She joined Fireline as bookkeeper and became vice president in 1995. The Jones are major contributors to the Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology in downtown Youngstown.
Matt Ragan is Senior Controls Engineer at Lockheed Martin in Akron. A 2000 graduate of Liberty High School, Ragan attended YSU while working as a research assistant in the Laser/Optics Lab in the Physics department. He graduated from YSU in 2005, earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. At Lockheed he is the Engineer Lead/Integrated Product Team Lead for two major Defense Department projects and has one patent application in process.
Mary Pat Salomone is Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at The Babcock & Wilcox Co., responsible for the company’s government and commercial contracts, health and safety, process improvement and day-to-day operations. Her oversight includes approximately 12,700 employees and 10,400 joint venture employees worldwide, and more than $2.5 billion in fiscal responsibility. Salomone graduated from YSU in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. She earned a master’s degree in business administration from Baldwin Wallace College. She has served in various engineering, project management and leadership positions within all levels of B&W since joining the company in 1982.
The STEM Awards Dinner is sponsored by Advanced Methods in Innovation, Babcock and Wilcox Company, Cedarwood Development, CMI Industry Amercias Inc, Drake Manufacturing Services Co., Fireline Inc., Johnson Controls, NanoSynopsis, Oh WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology, RTI International Metals Inc., Taylor-Winfield Technologies and V&M Star.