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Simerlink family enhances athletic scholarship endowment for YSU students

October 3, 2018
The Town Crier

Youngstown State University's athletic scholarship endowment program just grew with the recent addition of a new scholarship thanks to the support of Robert and Patricia Simerlink. The YSU Foundation offers over 160 endowed scholarships to student athletes, offering financial assistance to support their pursuit of a quality education while continuing to showcase their athletic talents. The Simerlinks are the latest YSU supporters to help with University's scholarship efforts.

This new annual scholarship will alternate annually between a member of the YSU football team who is a kicker, punter or long snapper, and a member of the YSU women's basketball team. Like the Simerlinks, the student athlete must be from Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana County, and be studying for a degree in Respiratory Therapy. The scholarship is renewable based on both the initial selection process and an ability to maintain eligibility requirements and standards.

The 2018-19 recipient of the scholarship endowment is women's basketball student-athlete McKenah Peters. Peters is a sophomore from LaGrange, Ohio, who is majoring in Exercise Science. As a freshman in 2017-18, she played in 32 games for the Penguins and scored 164 points while grabbing 79 rebounds.

"As longtime supporters of YSU, we know the importance the University has on fostering growth of students in the area, providing them with a first-class educational experience that rivals schools many are looking to attend out of our area," said Robert Simerlink. "In order to do that, it is imperative that individuals within our community do more and give more to fulfill the mission of lifting YSU into the upper echelon of schools for athletes to excel at on the field and in the classroom. Our commitment to the YSU Foundation in the creation of this scholarship is a way for us to give back to a University that has not only give us so much, but to support a local athlete by giving him or her an opportunity to stay to experience the rewards YSU has to offer his or her educational and athletic experiences in college through a tribute to our families who gave us the same opportunity.

"YSU has always held a special place in my heart," said Patty Simerlink. "As a student, a fan and, now, as an endowment supporter, this University has provided us with an opportunity to make a difference in our community. We are honored to have our family name be a part of the tradition and legacy the YSU Foundation is making for student athletes for years to come."

For the University, this latest addition to the YSU Foundation's endowed scholarships is part of their overall plan to assist student athletes in their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence. Paul McFadden, President of the YSU Foundation, said the Simerlinks know the full-time commitment it takes to be a successful student-athlete.

"We are thrilled to have Patty and Bob Simerlink endow a scholarship here at YSU," McFadden said. "They know the importance of education and the time commitment it takes to be a student-athlete."

Robert and Patty (Halko) Simerlink have been married since 1991 and are both life-long residents of the Mahoning Valley, graduating in 1985 from Poland Seminary High School and Austintown Fitch High School, respectively, as student athletes. Patty has earned two undergraduate degrees in Applied Science (1988) and General Studies (2009) with honors from YSU. She currently works with the Mercy Hospital system locally as a Respiratory Therapist. Bob, co-owner of Steel City Anesthesia, one of the fastest growing anesthesia management service organizations in the Midwest, is a local businessman who has been recognized as a national leader in the healthcare-consulting field for over two decades. In addition to his professional achievements, Bob serves on several boards throughout the Mahoning Valley including the Children's Health Foundation and Mercy Hospital Foundation Board. The two have a son, Steffen, and currently reside in Poland, Ohio.



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