- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

Ryan to grads: Change yourself, change the world

Published: Sun, May 16, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.




In challenging a graduating class from Youngstown State University for the last time, President Dr. David Sweet took a page from one of his favorite novels, “Don Quixote,” and urged 1,000 students to reach for their dreams, even if they seem impossible.

Dr. Sweet, who will retire June 30 after 10 years as YSU president, said he keeps a framed picture of Don Quixote on the wall in his office as inspiration. Because it was the last time he will preside over a graduation, he had requested that “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of LaMancha” be performed during Saturday’s spring commencement ceremony in YSU’s packed Beeghly Center.

During his remarks to the morning commencement for undergraduate students, Sweet said he has had a wide range of experiences during his 40-plus years in public service. But one constant, he said, “Is people making the seemingly impossible come true. They dedicate themselves, work hard, and overcome barriers.”

Throughout his tenure at YSU, Sweet said he has seen people come to the university from all walks of life, looking for ways to improve their situations, and go on to flourish in successful careers.

“YSU offered hope to them all, and through persistence they now offer hope to others,” Sweet said. “For our graduates today, keep on dreaming the impossible dream.”

That theme fit perfectly for Jennifer Edwards, a graduating senior who had been selected to give the traditional student remarks during graduation. Edwards, a married mother of four , had worked as a waitress for more than 20 years to help supplement her family’s income before she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.

Devastated at first by the diagnosis, Edwards said she decided to “seize the day,” and pursue her life’s goal of becoming a social worker. She maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and graduated Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

“I live my life with ‘seize the day’ as my creed because I am a cancer survivor,” Edwards said.

Sherri Ramsey, also a wife and mother of four, graduated Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in political science. The 33-year-old Warren woman said she next intends to enroll in law school, something she has always wanted to pursue.

“That was my plan a long time ago,” she said, explaining that her dream of a law degree was put on hold after she got married and had a family. She has worked the past 11 years in the banking industry for 7/17 Credit Union, and hopes to someday use her law degree in the finance industry.

“This was a struggle, but I did it,” Ramsey said of pursuing her degree while working and raising a family.

Joe Kent Jr., 32, of Youngstown’s West Side, said he plans to return to New York City, where he once worked as manager of Legacy Recording Studios in Manhattan. Kent graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general studies, with emphasis on music and psychology. He came back to Youngstown about three years ago and enrolled at YSU, but said he’ll probably go back to the Big Apple in the fall and look for work again somehow connected to the recording industry.

While Kent is headed east, Kassandra Shaffer of Hubbard is going the opposite direction. The 24-year-old, who received a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, said she will relocate to San Diego, Calif., to look for a job.

“I think there’s more opportunity for growth out there, in that profession,” said Shaffer, who said she wants to someday either own or manage a West Coast resort or hotel.

Brianne Ciccone, 22, of Struthers, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, and said she will return to YSU in the fall to begin working toward a master’s degree in industrial engineering.

Ciccone said she currently works for Summer Garden Food Manufacturing in Boardman, and will continue working there during the summer. She was not sure what the future will hold after she obtains her graduate degree.

“I’m just going to play it by ear and see,” she said. “I like the food industry, and pharmaceuticals is an option. There are a lot of [career] opportunities around here or in areas not too far from here.”

Darnell Holmes said he drove back and forth to YSU from his home in Canton while pursuing his education. He graduated Saturday with an associate degree in general studies, which he hopes to somehow use in working with kids, possibly as a counselor.

“It’s hard coming up out there these days,” said Holmes, 43, who once lived in Hubbard, “Things are rough.”

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-17th of Niles, who was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.

During his remarkss, Ryan urged the graduates to seek happiness, but to be sure that they base their pursuit of happiness only on things that truly bring them inner joy, and not on what marketing and other external sources try to sell as happiness.

“Don’t try to base your happiness on what someone else tells you should make you happy,” Ryan said. “That’s their story, not yours. You have your own story.”

He also challenged the class of 2010 to begin changing the world by first checking their own attitudes and actions.

“If you want to change the world, you need to change yourself,” Ryan said. “If you want the world to be a happier place, you be happier. If you want the world to be a kinder place, you be kinder.”


11970mach1(1005 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Nice. YSU doesn't offer a law degree, so it gives an honorary one to Tim Ryan, who already has a law degree but hasn't passed the bar. But he does prove anything is possible in America: spit on cops, never hold a real job, get political appointment, and go to Congress! He fits right in.

Suggest removal:

2EliotNess_DC(86 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Traficant (a former sheriff) has always pointed his flamethrower at ABUSIVE cops and FBI Agents, and at CORRUPT judges and DOJ officials -- with special attention to Cleveland.

Maybe Tim Ryan was spitting at some ABUSIVE cops?

Suggest removal:

3Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

The future is uncertain because lawmakers in DC are still trying for more of your earnings . A federal sales tax is looming (VAT-VALUE ADDED TAX )and energy development should not be limited to any form of energy . The marketplace should be left to determine our path into the future .

Suggest removal:

4TB(1167 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Right....the marketplace did a great job before the global economic meltdown. Credit Default swaps and the like were a great example of the market determining our course for the future. Good point Stan.

Suggest removal:

5CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Back to the story, guys. Congrats to the YSU grads....may you find much success in your future! Tim Ryan's speech was inspirational, as was Jennifer Edwards'. It was a very moving ceremony, with lots of cheers and tears. Best wishes to all....

Suggest removal:

6comeandtakeit(10 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I was st this ceremony, they said nothing about the grads. I felt like I was at a Ryan rally, it made me sick to my stomach. They are brainwashing all the people at that school.

Suggest removal:

7havinmysay(155 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

“Don’t try to base your happiness on what someone else tells you should make you happy,” Ryan said. “That’s their story, not yours. You have your own story.”

Very true. I'll add to that and say never, ever be afraid to go for it. Don't be afraid to fail.

Good luck grads!

Suggest removal:

8300(573 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry, restoring Delphi pensions sounds like Socialism to me. You might not value freedom, but I do!

Congrats YSU grads, good luck in finding another city to live in, since most of you won't be staying local.

Suggest removal:

9300(573 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


Suggest removal:

10cambridge(4149 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

FairandEqual....The way I understand it the GM and Delphi employees made a choice of what group to work with and what conditions to work under.

You chose the one you chose. If it were the union employees that chose the conditions that cost them part of their pension and not yours would you still be making the same post over and over again?

Suggest removal:

11YSUALUMNI04(6 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I dont know about anybody else, but me personally, I'm happy as hell to see that piece of sh*t Sweet out of there!

Suggest removal:

12Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"During his remarkss, Ryan urged the graduates to seek happiness, but to be sure that they base their pursuit of happiness only on things that truly bring them inner joy, and not on what marketing and other external sources try to sell as happiness."

Well Mr. Ryan your idea of happiness is government being happy with most of your money . Money in the hands of the private sector provides jobs by developing products and manufacturing them . Neither a poor man nor government has ever provided me with employment .

Suggest removal:

13WarrenRicheyKid(169 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Best wishes to YSU grads and to Rep. Ryan!

Suggest removal:

14SkyKing310B(315 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Congratulations and best wishes to all the YSU grads from an Alumni
81, 85 who decided to stay here. Hope some of you do the same.

Suggest removal:

15CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I was there. There was ABSOLUTELY NO BOOING of Tim Ryan from any of the graduating students or audience members. I don't know why anyone would want to say otherwise.

Suggest removal:

16peacelover(839 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Candy, maybe someone burped and they thought it was a boo.

Suggest removal:

17CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Very well could have been. I asked around this morning and no one who attended the undergraduate ceremony on Saturday heard any booing. I question why someone would lie. This was not a political pep rally, it was a day to celebrate the achievements and graduation of some very fine YSU students. Again, my best wishes to the graduates and their families.

Suggest removal:

18ysuPT2010(1 comment)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

As a 2010 YSU graduate, thank you to the few who focused on the reason why this article was published in the first place. It's a milestone and I'm proud to say I've finally graduated from YSU.

I was somewhat disappointed in the selection of our keynote speaker and his speech was mediocre, but he made some good points. As we [the graduates] begin the next chapter in our lives, we should focus on our pursuit of happiness. I'm concerned for those who claim to have heard the same speech...I heard no rally OR booing (maybe some dozing off as it was random/boring). He did leave before any graduate received a diploma but I cannot judge as I do not know why. As for the "Brainwashing all the people at that school" comment...I fail to see congressman Tim Ryan that charismatic or my fellow classmates that impressionable--but that just be my educated opinion.

Suggest removal:

19CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Tim Ryan was NOT booed. YSU graduates have more class than that!

Suggest removal:

20Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I was there as my kid graduated from YSU. Tim Ryan was booed and he was frustrated by it. I talked to someone close to him who said he was so botherd by it he left before anyone at YSU walked accross the stage.

It wasn't just YSU grads who booed but parents, family and friends. It was a good to hear!

Suggest removal:

21CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Ummm, don't think so. I was there. There was no booing. Tim and his mother did leave. It was obvious that Tim did not want to leave, but was called away by his aide. And...even if you don't like Tim's politics, why would you ever encourage such boorish, rude behavior? I'm both amazed and amused that some continue to lie about this. Just because you'd like to personally humiliate Tim Ryan doesn't make it a fact. It was a great day for the graduates and all behaved appropriately with dignity for the occasion.

Suggest removal:

22YSUguins(19 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Timmy Pelosi is a joke!!!!!!!!!!

Suggest removal:

23Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


I'm not sure where exactly you were sitting, but it was clear that Tim was booed.

"And...even if you don't like Tim's politics, why would you ever encourage such boorish, rude behavior?"

Well Tim Ryans mother and the voters of this valley ecnourage rude behavior by electing/putting up with Tim. After the womenizing, drinking, spitting on cops and rude behavior since day 1 towards the United States President we have to respect Tim?

He's never respected one Republican since being elected. But he wants respect from us?

I'm very glad the YSU students booed, and thankful he left because of it!

Suggest removal:

24Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Lol Timmy... I mean PenguinBird.

Let's see I base the "allegations" on divorce papers, police reports and a failed record in Washington D.C. Hard to debate that.

But this moron, PenguinBird, doesn't understand it's about the students at YSU.

Obviously they didn't want Tim there. He was booed, was given not standing O, and Timmy left before they received their degree. It's a shame YSU did this to my kid and his friends.

Guess what I'll say when they call and ask for another donation.

Suggest removal:

25CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I was there, as well. I work at the University and can assure you there was no booing of anyone. It matters not to me what Ryan's political beliefs are in this particular situation. The graduates and the audience were very respectful of all the speakers. I resent that some on this board are trying to hijack what was a wonderful day for the students and their families, and turn it into some kind of anti-Tim Ryan rally. There was no booing and anyone who says differently is simply lying for reasons of political motivation.

Suggest removal:

26cambridge(4149 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

PenguinBird.....Is Youngstown1969 really the USEless1?

Henry, is that really you pretending to be someone else?

Suggest removal:

27Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


For what ? Did he do something outstanding ? I must have missed it .

Suggest removal:

28AXLE69(181 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

usa0 pro-teabagger,you didn`t change your username AGAIN did you? lol You can whine on here until November and Ryan will still win in a landslide.
Who is going to beat him? Are you supporting Jim Graham? You know he is related to your former UAW president right? Being the hypocritical former union autoworker that you are,I find it hard to believe you would support anyone that has any ties to the UAW.
You bash the unions 24-7 even though you were a member from the early 80`s to 2006 and were the recipient of generous wages and benefits thanks to the UAW.
Ryan will win, because the rational people in the district, as opposed to your wingnut teabagger cabal believe he deserves to.

Suggest removal:

29publicenemy(19 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

You clowns don't get it. The story HEADLINE starts with RYAN. So he is fair game. The truth is that he IS qualified to discuss joy, happiness, and one's "path". He is not however, qualified to speak about much else. Never had a real job, never managed people, no fiscal management, etc... everyone knows he jumped into politics right out of school. OK so maybe that's not so bad, but the guy is too "yellow" to have a public meeting. Instead he opts for conference calls where the questions are screened and feedback is easily controlled the way he and his posse see fit. We the people who elected this guy deserve better. I sent him an email and weeks later I got a "form letter" back that made it clear my opinion was not important. That letter was simply a wast of ink, paper and taxpayer money. Try the reply button (its free) even if it's an aide just saying "thanks for your input..." This guy is a tool. Good for him - a little pep talk to the grads.... I some of them can learn from him that some people are talkers and others are DOers. Tim needs to start doing on behalf of his constituents. He also should update his resume....

Suggest removal:

30Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

You people are fools. I logged on to find pictures of the event since my son graduated. And to prove you morons wrong who said he wasn't booed!

Timmy was booed and PenguinBird who most likely works in Timmys office doesn't like it.

Suggest removal:

31CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

ysuwin, If you really graduated on Saturday, I congratulate you on your hard work. That being said, I feel sorry for you if you feel that having Tim Ryan speak at graduation ruined your day. With all due respect, you missed the point of graduation. I hope you found inspiration in the other speaker. She is a fine person and a true inspiration. I hope you listened and learned from her. FYI, I'm not a union member. And don't presume what or whom I value. That doesn't make you appear very educated, my friend. Assumptions aren't valid arguments. Best wishes for your future success. A word of advice: You might want to lighten up on your attitude. In today's competitive job market, being well-mannered and having a positive, upbeat attitude can make all the difference in a job interview. And...from where I was sitting (to support all our students and their families [including you and yours] on their special day), I heard no booing.

Suggest removal:

32cambridge(4149 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Youngstown1969......USEless1 is that you or not? It's a simple question. Are you really using yet another name to post on this board?

Suggest removal:

33CandyfromCanfield(172 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

ysuwin: I am genuinely sorry you felt as if your graduation was ruined. But please know that not everyone felt the same way. When you look back on the day, I hope you and your parents/family/friends remember only the pride they felt in your accomplishment. That's what the ceremony is supposed to be about. And best of luck to you and the entire graduating class.

Suggest removal:

34Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

You fools are losers. I have no clue why you say I am someone else. I posted here because someone asked if Tim was booed. I answerd yes he was booed because my son graduated and I was there.

I agree with YSUWIN about Ryans speech. The Mexican story seemed not only anti YSU, since he mentioned a Harvard Grad, but anti-American and anti-Mexican, saying we only care about making money, and Mexicans aren't as smart as us. Very poor choice by Tim,

Suggest removal:

35Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"I graduated with a PHD"


Suggest removal:

36YSUguins(19 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey PenguinBird! Is that you Timmy?

Suggest removal:

37Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

The "doctor" wake up at 3am to write his next prize winning comment.

Notice how he has never one refuted the claim he has no college degree or PHD. People like PenguinBird are the reason why Ytown is in the mess it's in.

PenguinBird is right YSUWIN, you are nothing like him.

You're actually educated and can form an oppinion. My best advice to you on graduation, leave this area full of mental cases like PenguinBird.

Suggest removal:

38Youngstown1969(11 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

WTF are you talking about dude. You have serious mental problems to A.) say you're a doctor and B.) say I made things up about him not getting re-elected. Moms basement damp today because of the heat???

Suggest removal:

39ysugrad10(4 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

I agree with a poster that made the comment about being at a Ryan rally then a YSU commencement. I was one of the graduates at the ceremony, and while I suppose it was nice to have tim ryan in attendance( im not much into politics), I did feel it was all about him and not about us. Were the one that accomplished something to celebrate on that day, not him. I was quite bored with everyone talking about tim ryan. especially the one professor that had an accent, it seemed like he was obsessed with tim. kinda ruined my moment to shine as a graduate!

Suggest removal:

40GurglesBrew(15 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago


Sovereignty is freedom from external control. If one is to talk about external vs. internal, it is implicit that one is speaking of at least two different entities.

Separate means existing as an independent entity. You can't have sovereignty without having separatism.

One very important part of a nation being separate from other nations is its physical borders. Obama stated that "we are defined not by our borders". An important part of protecting those physical borders between nations is controlling immigration across those borders. Obama has recently dispatched 1200 troops to our southern border and has clearly stated that these troops are not to stop illegal immigration.

Obama is obviously not concerned about securing America's borders, nor concerned about our sovereignty, nor about protecting American industry with his cap and tax agenda (euphemistically, 'green jobs' and 'green energy').

The reason for this is because Obama is a globalist who pushes external agendas of the U.N., the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, etc.; none of which have any power over the United States under our Constitution.

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes