By Alyssa Pawluk
Sudershan Garg, former chair of the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees, will be retiring from the Board in late April to early May of the spring semester.
Garg has served with the board for 10 years, beginning in 2005 after Larry Esterly, a former Board of Trustees member, passed away. He was then appointed to a full term in 2006.
“The normal Board term is nine years, but I got an extra year because Larry Esterly, who was on the Board at that time, unexpectedly expired, and it was then they appointed me for that position. I had applied to be on the Board like six or seven months earlier,” Garg said.
Garg, originally from the Punjab region in India, moved to the United States on Jan. 3, 1967. He became a resident of Youngstown in late April of 1975.
Before coming to Youngstown, Garg studied medicine at New York University as well as the University of Cincinnati.
“I had residency training in Cincinnati, Boston and at New York University. Subsequently, I was an assistant professor of medicine at Harmon in Philadelphia, and since April 28, 1975, it was five years that I have been in this town at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Medical Center,” Garg said.
Currently, he is the director of hematology and oncology at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and Medical Center in Youngstown and Boardman. He explained that St. Elizabeth’s reached out to him while he was an assistant professor at Harmon.
“I think the hospital had a search firm and was trying to recruit an oncologist and the search firm contacted me when I was at Harmon. I had visited Youngstown several times in the past when I had lived in Cincinnati,” Garg said. “A couple of my friends did the residency at the Trumbull Memorial Hospital in the Warren area so I was aware of this area, and this area 30 years ago was a good area. I thought I should relocate to that place rather than stay in a big city.”
Garg said he is motivated to serve the community of Youngstown.
“I have always liked to serve the community where I have made my living for so long. I have lived half of my life in this area. I wanted to do what I can,” Garg said.
Garg said that his tenure as chair of the Board proved a challenge, and he shared a memorable experience during his time.
“I think it was a challenge and I have always liked challenges because challenges always give you opportunities,” Garg said. “I would say the most memorable experience is when we hired Randy Dunn, and I was very happy that he was selected at that time. He seemed to be the best candidate to replace Cindy Anderson, and I did my best to go out of the way to make him feel at home. I had a party for him and I invited all the Board members, community members and YSU faculty. I invited him two to four weeks before he said he was leaving, and that was very heartbreaking for me. … He has to move forward and we are lucky that the board elected Jim Tressel. I think that he is a very good choice for the university.”
Garg said, even in challenging times, he has always approached his work on the Board with a positive attitude.
“And I am of the kind where I never show my frustration or anger in public, even if it is in my own heart. I may feel bad about it, but I always try to keep a charm and positive attitude that any time there is a bad situation in front of you, you have to turn it into something good. I always look at the positive that could come out of that bad situation,” Garg said.
Carole Weimer, the current chair of the Board of the Trustees, started her term at the beginning of last semester. Garg commented positively on her performance for the year.
“I think Carole is doing a very good job. One thing that is good is that she has a lot of free time. Carole is not working, and I did not have that much free time. She is involved,” he said.
Garg said he will work in his office full time at St. Elizabeth’s.
“I might look at some other opportunities if given. If not, I will spend some time with my family. I probably should have done more, but I have four grandsons,” Garg said. “Four of them live in England and two are in Columbus. At home, it’s only my wife and I. Sometimes we travel when we can, and maybe we will try to go to England a little bit more often than we have done in the past.”