By Jordan Unger
Youngstown State University student Taylor Demyan was awarded a national scholarship for leadership and academic achievement in her field of study, human resources.
The Libby Sartain Undergraduate Scholarship was awarded through the Society of Human Resource Management, honoring Sartain’s 30-year career in HR. Demyan said she was amongst 11 recipients of the $2,500 scholarship in the nation.
Demyan is the secretary of the YSU SHRM chapter. She completed a management internship with Family Video last year and worked with the Youngstown Business Incubator to determine markets for proposed products.
Scholarship requirements included academic excellence, financial need and leadership experience. Katina Landgraff, SHRM president at YSU, said Demyan deserved to win the award.
“Taylor is undoubtedly one of the most hard-working students that I’ve ever had the pleasure of leading alongside,” Landgraff said. “Not only has she been able to represent herself so well on the national stage, but she has also brought recognition to [our chapter] as a whole.”
Rebecca Badawy, academic advisor of SHRM, said the organization promotes opportunities in human resources to students through speakers and job shadowing.
“Their main objective is to connect students with the profession,” Badawy said. “They target students even from the freshman level and students who aren’t really sure what they’re going to do … They give them an opportunity to have exposure to what it would mean to have an HR major.”
The SHRM secretary is responsible with bringing in lecture speakers and helping organize meetings and recruitment. The organization has gained 78 members since its officer administration stepped in last fall, an increase that Badawy is very proud to see.
“It’s been pretty rewarding watching the [organization] grow,” Badawy said. “The officers this year are extremely dedicated, very ambitious.”
Involvement in organizations such as this helps prepare for the real world, Demyan said.
“It definitely helps me get my name out there,” Demyan said. “Our group actually does student spotlights and we’re always talking to speakers that come to our events, so that’s definitely helping with networking.”
Students should get involved in career-focused organizations as soon as possible, Badawy said.
“The things that you learn in class are important, but the opportunity to apply them in real life scenarios is … the other side of the coin,” Badawy said.
Recipients of the scholarship were required to explain steps they’ve taken to reach this point in their lives. This allowed Demyan to share her story, which she said is very important to her.
“A lot of my family was involved with drug abuse,” Demyan said. “It was happening as I was being raised and throughout high school, so I had to deal with a lot of things that most people didn’t have to think about.”
Demyan said her challenges have benefitted her in the long run.
“It was definitely hard but I think just putting in that extra work has helped me continue to do that throughout my college career and I’m sure my professional career,” Demyan said. “Anyone going through all of that should not give up hope.”