Chemistry Chair Retires

Daryl Mincey (middle) poses after winning the Penguin of the Year Award in 2013. Mincey had work for the FDA since October 2004 and has been a professor at YSU since 1991.
Daryl Mincey (middle) poses after winning the Penguin of the Year Award in 2013. Mincey had work for the FDA since October 2004 and has been a professor at YSU since 1991.

After 19 years, Daryl W. Mincey has decided to retire from his position as chairman of the chemistry department at Youngstown State University.

“Being a chairman at YSU is a very interesting situation. You are elected by the faculty every five years, but you serve at the discretion of the president,” Mincey said.

Mincey won his first election 9-8 in 1995 and served three more terms since 2000. He decided to retire from his rank as chairman on June 30.

“You get to a point where you’ve accomplished what you wanted to accomplish,” he said. “It was time.”

Mincey started his journey at YSU in 1978.

“When I started, YSU was a very different place, very inward looking, non-research active,” he said. “Grantsmanship was not as intensively valued as it is today.”

Mincey has acquired many titles while at YSU. He was a chemistry instructor in 1979 after coming in for the previous chairman who was on sabbatical leave. He continued to climb the rope of success to the chair of the department. Along with being chairman, he has been a professor since 1991, science adviser for the Food and Drug Administration since October 2004 and Penguin of the Year in 2013.

As chairman, Mincey has had many responsibilities, such as meeting with students to discuss questions, making decisions with the faculty about how to continue to improve the department and purchasing new equipment for the labs — thanks to the grant money given from various organizations and institutions.

“The chair adds more capability to chart the direction of the department,” he said.

Many grants and equipment have been given to the department. The Youngstown State University Research Council gave amounts ranging from $1,700 to $4,000 and the National Science Foundation awarded $25,000 for an investigative science laboratory.

The chemistry department has had appearances from Governor Strickland, who cut the ribbon for the electron microscopy instrument, and a representative from the National Science Foundation, who came to celebrate for the other equipment the department attained over the years.

“We’re like the Goldilocks of institutions,” Mincey said.

The department now holds over $15 million worth of research equipment. These machines allow undergraduate and graduate students to get hands-on experience that enables them to go out in the world and work.

Tim Wagner, professor and associate chair, has been working with Mincey since he came to YSU and has been a witness to the impact that the chairman has made in the 19 years he’s been involved.

“He has been an excellent facilitator, helping people to do the things they want to do, while the people in the department moving to trajectory of more of a research active department,” Wagner said.

Wagner said when comparing YSU to other universities, the chemistry department is second to none for a non-doctorate program.

The number of students with master’s degrees grew from six students to an astounding 30 in a matter of a few years. This is thanks to Mincey’s supportive attitude and determination to make things work.

“He deserves a lot of credit for the buildup of the department,” Wagner said.

After Mincey retires, he still plans on coming back next semester to teach an introductory chemistry class to students who have not taken chemistry in high school. He stated that when students don’t have any background on the subject, it can be interesting and challenging.

“It’s like teaching them a foreign language,” Mincey said.

He will also volunteer his hours to the athletic department — where he was a photographer from 1998-1999 — and research with the FDA on counterfeit drugs.

Wagner, Brian Leskiw and Sherri Lovelace-Cameron were the three nominations on the ballot for chairman. Votes were counted Wednesday Jan. 29, with Wagner receiving the majority vote. The date at which Wagner will take his place as chairman is yet to be discussed.

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