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Click the video below this story to see an interview with Dr. Martin Abraham and Eric Planey from the Regional Chamber about what the Siemens grant means for the university.
Youngstown State University administrators said they plan to have that huge donation of new software made by Siemens fully installed and operating by the start of classes this fall.
Once it is in place, officials plan to use the technology to recruit more students. The $440 million in-kind donation from Siemens is easily the largest ever received at YSU, but the head of the University’s STEM College is hoping that as word continues to spread, there may be others willing to contribute as well.
The head of the engineering and technology giant, Eric Spiegel, grew up in this area and graduated from Poland High School. He was on hand to make the presentation on Thursday.
Spiegel said the grant will help shore up the training gap for students to work in the 3-D printing field.
Dr. Martin Abraham, dean of Youngstown State University’s STEM College, said by having this state-of-the-art software in place as a teaching and research tool, it could mean a significant advantage for students who choose YSU to continue their education.
Abraham said in order for that to happen, guidance counselors and teachers from area school districts need to get the word out to potential students.
“We’re training our students on that. Or we’re educating our students on that. They’re first in line when it comes to career options. We hope that that translates into continuing to be able to recruit the very best and the brightest,” Abraham said.
Abraham said the University is working to better market its image, which is something it has not done well in the past.
“We need to do a better job of getting them to understand that the quality of education they’re going to receive here at YSU is every bit as good as other quality of education they would receive at any other university anywhere in the world. We’re working towards that,” Abraham said.
Austintown Fitch guidance counselor Maribeth McGlynn said YSU is something the school always has promoted to parents and students, and Thursday’s donation and its potential impact just reaffirms what local guidance counselors have always known.
One of the ways students in the region can see for themselves what YSU has to offer is through the University’s advanced placement program, where high school students can take college level classes.
“We are one of the leaders in the area in dual enrollment, the college and high school program, and we’ve been very fortunate to be involved in that since its inception,” McGlynn said.
And while Abraham said he would like the University to broaden its marketing appeal to high schools in the region, he said YSU already has seen a 25 percent increase in new enrollment for engineering students over last year, thinking some of the best recruiters may be former students.
“And so when you look at our graduates who are successful, I think they become our next sellers, our next message, of the quality of the education that we provide at YSU,” Abraham said.
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