A group of YSU women graduates are being recognized during Women’s History Month.

Youngstown State University has a long history of women taking classes and graduating from the university. 

Rachel Minto is serving in the Army, but at YSU she was the drum major in the Marching Pride and just the second person in her family to graduate from college. 

Her grandmother did not get past the 8th grade.

“Women’s education is important to recognize, that it’s actually something that’s not always been the case,” Minto said. 

Seven accomplished women graduates are being recognized as Penguin Women on the Move, an award for doing great things on the campus and beyond.

The honorees include 2014-graduate Minto, 2008-graduate Janet Gbur, 2012-graduate Kelly Mehalco, 2013-graduate Kaitlin Rohrs-Cordes, 1980-graduate Dina Ruden, 1992-graduate Stephanie Shaw and 2005-graduate Carmella Williams

Mehalco, who grew up in Hubbard, now she oversees the museum store at the 9-11 Memorial in New York.

“Every single person, they never let ‘no’ get them down. They never stopped. They were always persistent and always had a goal in mind and pursued that, and I felt like that was a common thread,” Mehalco said.

Dina Ruden grew up in Campbell, worked on The Jambar at YSU while also being on the gymnastics team. She later got a master’s degree in Hawaii.

Ruden is now a senior vice president for America’s largest retail travel company.

“For future YSU women, one of the most important things is to pursue your passion. Remember your Youngstown roots and your work ethic,” Ruden said.

Each of the women talked about a grit YSU students seem to develop and how it helps them after leaving campus. It is one key to success and they were willing to share with others. 

“Also having that drive. Beyond that college education, you need to understand that it’s important that you get out there, make yourself known and also to give back. That’s really important as well,” said Stephanie Shaw.

WKBN is Celebrating Women’s History Month. We are airing a special program throughout this weekend.It will highlight women who had made a difference here at home, and throughout the country. You can watch Saturday at 10:30 p.m. and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Youngstown.