Skip to content

2 Youngstown State students receive top honors

Fitch graduate Emily Henline will be part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

YOUNGSTOWN — Two Youngstown State University students have earned top academic recognition.

Emily Henline of Austintown, a YSU senior, was named a scholar in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, considered to be one of the most widely recognized and prestigious scholarships in the world. 

Junior Alexandra Ballow of Deshler was selected for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, a premiere national award for undergraduate students in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering. 

A graduate of Austintown Fitch High School, Henline enrolled at YSU in 2015 and is double-majoring in English and Education, with a minor in Linguistics and a TESOL Endorsement.

“I am so honored to receive this award and to represent YSU on the international stage,” Henline said. “I could not have done it without the amazing support of so many people at YSU.”

She will use the Fulbright award to study for a master’s degree in Korean Studies at Yonsei University in South Korea beginning this fall. Henline could defer her studies until Spring 2021, depending on the status of the coronavirus pandemic.

It will be a return trip to South Korea for Henline. She spent the 2017-18 academic year studying abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul as a Gilman Scholar, focusing on Korean history, cultures and language. Her Fulbright study will focus on linguistic imperialism and Korean language identity.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, started in 1946, offers research, study and teaching opportunities in more than 140 countries to recent graduates and graduate students. Fewer than 2,000 awards are presented annually.

Ballow, a mathematics and physics double major at YSU, is among only 396 college students nationwide to receive the Goldwater Scholarship this year, from a field of 1,343 mathematics, science and engineering students from 461 colleges and universities. In total, 16 Ohio residents were selected. Ballow will receive a $7,500 one-year award. 

Ballow completed research at the Berkeley National Labs for the past two summers under the advisement of Alina Lazar, professor of Computer Science, and has worked on research problems under the advisement of Alicia Prieto, associate professor of Mathematics, since her first semester at YSU, and more recently Physics faculty members, Donald Priour and Michael Crescimanno. 

“Research with faculty has defined my YSU experience," Ballow said. "I have been doing research on campus since my first week here. I will never be able to thank all of these mentors, especially those who took a risk on my abilities. I would never have even applied for this award without them.” 

Ballow plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics after graduating YSU. Her career goals include teaching at the university level and conducting research in how abstract algebra relates to quantum mechanics. 

She is the eighth YSU student to receive the Goldwater Scholarship since 1997. Four students have also received honorable mentions. All 12 have also been members of the YSU Honors College. 

Established in 1986, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program is named in honor of the former U.S. senator who served for 30 years in the Senate. The goal of the program is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers.