Sherry Linkon is a professor of English and American Studies at Youngstown State University (YSU). She is the co-author with John Russo of Steeltown USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown (
John Russo is the coordinator of the Labor Studies Program in the Williamson College of Business Administration at YSU. He received his doctorate from University of Massachusetts/Amherst, where he also served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Labor Relations and Research Center. John has written widely of labor and social issues and is recognized as a national expert on labor unions and working-class issues. His current research interests involve two book length projects, Who Will Protect Worker Rights?: Unions and the Use of Codes/CSR, Capital Strategies, Framework Agreements and Strategic Campaigns and a new "open access" book, Forty-Hour Week: Reading Work in American Culture. John co-authored with Sherry Linkon, Steeltown, USA: Work and Memory in Youngstown (2002), and together they co-edited New Working-Class Studies (Cornell, 2005). For his many activities, John is one of the few professors at YSU to have ever received Distinguished Professorship Awards in each of four areas: research and scholarship, teaching, university, and public service.
Corey Andrews is an associate professor of English at YSU. He specializes in 18th-century British literature, particularly the writing of Scottish working-class poets. He has written and presented on such working-class figures as Robert Burns, Stephen Duck, Mary Collier, and Robert Dodsley. His book Literary Nationalism in 18th-Century Scottish Club Poetry was published in 2004.
Kevin Ball is an associate professor of English at YSU. He received his PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his MA and BA from Truman State University in northeast Missouri. He is a composition and rhetoric specialist. His teaching and research interests include service learning, critical pedagogy, and community inquiry within the composition classroom. Kevin integrates readings, discussions, and writing projects investigating working-class issues in his freshman composition courses.
L. Diane Barnes is an associate professor of history at YSU and an associate editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers. She is author of Artisan Workers in the Upper South: Petersburg, Virginia, 1820-1865 (2008) and is editor-in-chief of Ohio History. Along with Paul Finkelman, Barnes co-edits a series on Law, Politics and Society in the Midwest for Ohio University Press. A first generation college student, and the daughter and granddaughter of West Virginia glassworkers and coal miners, Barnes earned her PhD from West Virginia University.
Leslie A. Brothers received her Masters in Art History and Contemporary Criticism from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In addition, she received an honors degree in Women's Studies. Leslie is a museum professional who has worked in a number of large municipal museums. Her area of expertise is Contemporary Art and Culture and her research is based in rethinking the University Art Museum as a kind of research center for understanding consciousness and human experience through the arts. Leslie is the Director of the McDonough Museum of Art at YSU. She is also an adjunct professor in YSU's Department of Art and teaches courses in Contemporary Art and Theory.
Rosemary D'Apolito is a professor of sociology at YSU and has played a central role in our diversity course development project at the university. She has given presentations on diversity and racism in the classroom.
Donna DeBlasio is a professor of history and director of the Center for Applied History at YSU. She received her BA and MA in History from YSU and a PhD from Kent State University. From 1985 to 1998, she worked as a curator and historian for the Ohio Historical Society and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, including 10 years as site manager of the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. Her recent publications include: "'A Splendid Place to Live': Housing and the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company," The International Journal of Regional and Local Studies, 2007, "The Immigrant and the Trolley Park in Youngstown, Ohio, 1899-1945," Rethinking History, 2001, Youngstown State University: From YoCo to YSU (co-author with Martha I. Pallante), (Arcadia, 2007), "Youngstown's Idora Park: Creating a Fantasy Land in the Industrial Built Environment," Ohio History, 2010, and Catching Stories: A Practical Guide to Oral History (co-author), (Swallow Press, 2009).
Timothy Francisco is an assistant professor of English at YSU.
Paul Gordiejew is an associate professor of anthropology at YSU. His current ethnographic project, “Crossing Midlothian,” examines how and why intersections of race, class, and religion around and across the physical and symbolic boundary of
Patricia Hauschildt is an associate professor of English Education at YSU. She teaches freshman composition and literature courses in the English Department as well as courses specifically for English education majors. Every course involves discussions about social class whenever it relates to one's writing audience, one's self as a writer, one's perspective on reading of literature, one's view of life and/or one's intersection with teaching. In one reading/writing course, she uses Patrick Finn's Literacy with an Attitude as a text to explore working-class issues more in depth with prospective teachers. Recent research data (that awaits writing) investigates the struggle of one white, working-class teacher to effectively teach both white and African-American eighth grade students in a low-income, city middle school. Patricia is currently planning a research project with several working-class teachers in a low-income city middle school in another city.
Alyssa Lenhoff is the director of the Journalism Program at YSU. She is a former investigative reporter and has won some of the top prizes in journalism, including two Scripps Howard national reporting awards. Alyssa earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She also holds a Master's degree in English from YSU and a doctorate degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a concentration in journalism education from Union Institute and University. She is one of the founders of TheNewsOutlet.org, an exciting new venture in media collaboration that has received significant national attention and support.
Hunter Morrison is the Director of YSU’s Office of Campus Planning and Community Partnerships. After working for more than 20 years as Director of the Cleveland City Planning Department, he came to Youngstown to manage YSU’s participation in the development and implementation of a new city plan for the city, Youngstown 2010. He has a special interest in how industrial heritage communities like Youngstown develop economically, geographically, and socially.
Denise Narcisse is an assistant professor of sociology at YSU. She holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from
Jeanne Bryner is a retired registered nurse at Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, Ohio. Her poems have appeared in several literary magazines, including the Hiram Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Sun, and she has published several volumes of poems, including Breathless (Wick Poetry Chapbook Series, 1995), Blind Horse (Bottom Dog Press, 1999), and Tenderly Lift Me (Kent State University Press, 2004) which is a compilation of oral histories she collected on the nursing profession.
Brian Corbin is the executive director of Catholic Charities Services and Catholic Health Affairs of the Diocese of Youngstown, and is a member of numerous local nonprofit housing corporations working in low income neighborhoods. He is completing his PhD in political economy at MIT. His areas of research includes labor studies and religion and contemporary issues regarding working-class housing.
Jim Courim is a steelworker at WCI Steel in Warren, Ohio. He has been active in the development of the Institute of Career Development Program for Local 1375, and he helped establish the partnership between CWCS and the Local. He has held several leadership positions within the local including Grievance Chair, Insurance and Benefits Representative, and Pension Representative. Jim has an Associate in Labor Studies from YSU and is currently working towards a baccalaureate degree in Education also from YSU. As well as working in the steel mill, he travels around the state of Ohio training other steelworkers in union activities.
Marc Dann is a lawyer and former Ohio Attorney General. Marc is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He practices law representing working- and middle-class consumers and trade unionist.
Diane Gilliam Fisher is the author of three collections of poetry: Kettle Bottom, One of Everything, and A Recipe for Blackberry Cake. Kettle Bottom won the Ohioana Library Association Book of the Year Award in poetry (2005), a Pushcart Prize, and was used as a Freshmen Reader at Smith College (2005). Diane lives and works in Northeast Ohio and specializes in Appalachian poetry, life, and culture.
Beth (Mann) Hepfner is the director of finance for Homes for Kids of Ohio, Inc., a non-profit agency that places foster children and provides mental health services to children in the community. She graduated from YSU in 1991 with a BS in Business Administration with a major in accounting and in 1998 with an Associate in Labor Studies. She is active with the Boy Scouts of America.
Carmen John Leone, taught English at Cardinal Mooney High School, Struthers High School, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and YSU before retiring in 2008. Deeply interested in his Italian heritage, Carmen wrote Rose Street: A Family Story, which was presented by him and his cousin Robert Calcagni (the writer of the epilogue), as a gift to their family at Christmas in 1996, then published in the spring of 1997. The book is now in its second edition. Two other books, Rose Street Revisited and Remembering Our Rose Streets (the latter co-authored with Calcagni) have also been published, and Carmen is now working on a continuation of the family story, to be called Garland Days. He has also authored numerous poems, short stories, and articles.
Bill Mullane has been an educator and arts administrator for 25 years and currently serves as supervisor of School Improvement and Community Relations for the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center in Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kent State University and Masters in Educational Administration from YSU. Bill has a long history of involvement in the region's arts community. His curatorial efforts include numerous exhibitions at a local art gallery. Bill has served as writing team lead on educational grants totaling over $600,000. As an educator, Bill is particularly focused on high school transformation, believing that in order for secondary education to be relevant in the 21st century the structure of the American high school needs to change.
Kirk Noden is a veteran community organizer who has successfully built community organizations in Chicago, Birmingham England, and Ohio. Kirk currently co-directs the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, a broad based multi-issue organization with a staff of 12 in Northeast Ohio that he started in 2007. Kirk serves as Executive Director of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, a statewide alliance of 10 labor, community, and faith groups across the state. He also serves on the board of Policy Matters Ohio, one of the state's premier progressive think tanks. In his 14 years as an organizer, he's led campaigns on living wage, vacant properties, education reform, immigrant rights, and health equity.
Bryn Zellers is a local artist, whose work incorporates images and materials from the steel mills and local history. He has exhibited in Youngstown, Cleveland, and New York, and has designed many of the CWCS conference posters. Bryn currently runs Slaghammer Productions, a graphics and video production studio.