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Featured Faculty

Panel Content

Dr. Tony Vercellino, assistant professor of Civil Engineering, didn’t originally want to teach.

“Ten years ago if you asked me if I would be teaching at a university, I would have said you’re out of your mind,” he said.

But luckily for us STEMians, he changed his mind.

“I [thought I] was just going to be an engineer working with construction, and then I did the consulting stuff, found out it wasn’t my cup of tea, went back to school, got the opportunity to teach and found out I really liked it,” Vercellino said. “I guess you could say I kind of fell into it. I like being able to teach and being able to interact with the students and watch the ideas click whenever you explain something well in the classroom.”

More Panel Content

Dr. Tony Vercellino, assistant professor of Civil Engineering, didn’t originally want to teach.

“Ten years ago if you asked me if I would be teaching at a university, I would have said you’re out of your mind,” he said.

But luckily for us STEMians, he changed his mind.

“I [thought I] was just going to be an engineer working with construction, and then I did the consulting stuff, found out it wasn’t my cup of tea, went back to school, got the opportunity to teach and found out I really liked it,” Vercellino said. “I guess you could say I kind of fell into it. I like being able to teach and being able to interact with the students and watch the ideas click whenever you explain something well in the classroom.”

He said he likes the small-school feel of the university, and that’s what made YSU appealing to him.

“I came from a big research university and that atmosphere was too research focused compared to what I want to do. It’s easy to lose touch with students at such a big university,” Vercellino said.

One of his main goals is to build a successful research program and further the name of the university. He said he wants to help build the program to be well-rounded so the students that do want to come here can get a broad environmental background as a part of their civil engineering degree.

He hasn’t started research yet, but Vercellino said he is looking to get into oil and gas research as well as broaden his research background in water and wastewater treatment. He is currently putting together a research article about the uptake of micropollutants in agriculture due to wastewater reuse, and will be serving as a professional mentor to the YSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

When he’s not in the classroom, you can find him refereeing ice hockey in his spare time or rooting for his favorite teams, the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues.

Featured Alumni

Panel Content

There are some students who leave their college right after graduation, happy to never have to take another exam again or even have to walk on campus again. And then you have the alumni that keep the university going, and who wear their Penguin pride for all to see. Pete Walsh is one of those alumni.

Pete came to YSU in the fall of 1966, when YSU was referred to as Youngstown University, and only two years after the first Penguin mascot started showing up at football games.

He was an industrial engineering major with a math minor, and said that he always thought he was in the right field.

More Panel Content

There are some students who leave their college right after graduation, happy to never have to take another exam again or even have to walk on campus again. And then you have the alumni that keep the university going, and who wear their Penguin pride for all to see. Pete Walsh is one of those alumni.

Pete came to YSU in the fall of 1966, when YSU was referred to as Youngstown University, and only two years after the first Penguin mascot started showing up at football games.

He was an industrial engineering major with a math minor, and said that he always thought he was in the right field.

“The year I graduated, the economy was bad, but then I started at Sharon Steel where I started a management program where they put us in many stages of the operations, and I learned there that all this industrial engineering background that I had fit everywhere,” he said.

Even though Sharon Steel changed owners and names, Pete remained at the same company his entire career. He retired in April.

“I worked for four different companies at the same facility, and it started out with a small locally-owned Sharon Steel that had been there for 90 or 100 years. It eventually became associated with a British company, and then with a Swiss trading company that had world-wide interests in all sorts of places, and then to a big Russian steelmaking company that is one of the largest in the world, if not the largest in the world.”

Since his retirement, Pete said he played a lot of golf, but recently joined Pete’s Pride to help out the university. He’s taken part in a majors fair, as well as a letter writing campaign, where he penned person letters to students admitted to the university.

Pete said that he hopes through Pete’s Pride that he’s able to help new students. He said his biggest piece of advice would be to take different classes before declaring a major.

“Don’t try to, in your first year, say, ‘I’m going to be an electrical engineer.’ You might have to take an electrical engineering course; see what that is,” he said. “Talk to some people. Go out and find some people to talk to, because you never know for sure what an electrical engineer or an industrial engineer does on a daily basis. You got to get a broad base and then look for some places to get some experience.”

Pete also said that it’s important to have a well-rounded background, and credited the diverse classes he had to take — much like general education courses now — as a main key to his success, but still maintained that being in the sciences was the best choice.

“There is no question that there is a revolution in manufacturing in this country, and not downgrading anything else that goes on at YSU, but that engineering and science and all of that, that’s where the action is.”

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