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Featured Faculty

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Dr. Lucy Kerns joined the YSU Math Department as an assistant professor at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester. Before that, she was a part time professor at the university for seven years.

Dr. Kerns came from China to pursue her graduate degrees in statistics. Originally, she was an accounting major, but found more success in securing an assistantship as a stats major.

Dr. Kerns met her husband, Dr. Jay Kerns, while in graduate school. After he got his job at YSU, she soon followed. She said that the faculty and staff at YSU are very friendly, and the students are very hardworking.

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Dr. Lucy Kerns joined the YSU Math Department as an assistant professor at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester. Before that, she was a part time professor at the university for seven years.

Dr. Kerns came from China to pursue her graduate degrees in statistics. Originally, she was an accounting major, but found more success in securing an assistantship as a stats major.

Dr. Kerns met her husband, Dr. Jay Kerns, while in graduate school. After he got his job at YSU, she soon followed. She said that the faculty and staff at YSU are very friendly, and the students are very hardworking.

“Teaching is a rewarding experience. When students come to me and say that something finally makes sense to them and that they can use what I taught them, it’s very rewarding to me,” Dr. Kerns said. ”

In Spring 2015, Dr. Kerns launched a new service to the university, the Mathematical and Statistical Consulting Center, along with Dr. Tom Wakefield. This service is for faculty and students working on research projects, and is the first of its kind for YSU. In the short time since its launch, Dr. Kerns has already helped many people who have said they wished this service was available a long time ago.

Dr. Kerns’ research focuses on areas such as confidence bands, logistic regression, drug stability studies, and range regression. She has already published some papers and has submitted a few more which are under review.

Outside of YSU, Dr. Kerns volunteers her time teaching Chinese at a Methodist church in Poland.

Featured Alumni

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William Hurst is a YSU STEM alum who gets to work at a truly magical place: a chocolate

Hurst started his career at the Hershey’s Company in 1976, a year after he finished his Master of Science in Chemistry at YSU. Soon afterward, in 1984, he received his doctorate from Columbia Pacific University. company.

He now works as a principle scientist for the Hershey’s Company.

“I’ve spent a number of years looking at analytical methods on food safety and nutrition I now provide technical assistance to our regulatory affairs group,” he said.

Hurst described coming to YSU as “serendipitous.”

“I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to go. YSU looked intriguing,” Hurst said. “I enjoyed my time at YSU, and my family enjoyed the time in Youngstown. … I was married when I went there and had two children, so I didn’t get immersed, as you will, as some may have. I ended up with a teaching assistantship so I taught in the Chemistry department.”

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William Hurst is a YSU STEM alum who gets to work at a truly magical place: a chocolate company.

Hurst started his career at the Hershey’s Company in 1976, a year after he finished his Master of Science in Chemistry at YSU. Soon afterward, in 1984, he received his doctorate from Columbia Pacific University.

He now works as a principle scientist for the Hershey’s Company.

“I’ve spent a number of years looking at analytical methods on food safety and nutrition I now provide technical assistance to our regulatory affairs group,” he said.

Hurst described coming to YSU as “serendipitous.”

“I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to go. YSU looked intriguing,” Hurst said. “I enjoyed my time at YSU, and my family enjoyed the time in Youngstown. … I was married when I went there and had two children, so I didn’t get immersed, as you will, as some may have. I ended up with a teaching assistantship so I taught in the Chemistry department.”

He said that he was very fortunate that he had a job out of graduate school.

“Hershey’s was very supportive and I’ve done a lot here. I’m finishing up my 8th book. Between presentations and publications, I’ve got between 350 and 400. “

One thing that Hurst stressed was the importance of the STEM program.

“I think that there is a need for people in the program. We need people in the STEM program who are interested in the sciences,” he said. “I have two daughters that are young ladies, and I know the issues that are around women going into the sciences and the engineering, and we need to do what we can to support women in these fields.”

Hurst and his wife have started a diversity center at one of his local colleges.

“I think that we need diversity and we need to support young people going into the STEM area,” he said.

If you’re considering a degree in Chemistry, visit the YSU Department of Chemistry website.

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