People

Jackie A. Ruller, Director, ETC

Jackie Ruller has worked in research, industry outreach, project management, intellectual property and higher education. Over the past nine years, she has participated in several aspects of higher ed from cultivating industry relationships, working with faculty and students, securing grant funding and sponsorships, serving on committees, managing events, developing curricular programs, scheduling courses, directing career services, supporting accreditation efforts, marketing, directing projects and creating workforce development programs. Her passion for preparing the advanced manufacturing workforce for industry 4.0 led her to this position. She is the principal investigator on the Industry 4.0 Adoption in the SME Defense Supply Chain for Metal Castings research project for YSU. Ms. Ruller has several technical publications including a patent, is a registered patent agent, received the 2018 NEO LaunchNet University Partner award and is a Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) alumnae. 

Ms. Ruller received a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s of Science from Alfred University in Ceramic Engineering and Glass Science, respectively.

Larry Pawlik, Technical Director

Larry Pawlik returns to YSU with a broad technical background in process and quality engineering as well as program and project management from multiple manufacturing industries. He also proudly serves his country as a Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force Reserves out of the 911th Airlift Wing at Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station. 

He will successfully apply his manufacturing mindset and detail-oriented approach to lead and execute the vision needed for research projects and workforce development classes at the Excellence Training Center. His passion in engaging teams and bringing them together to address challenging activities and to accomplish business milestones and goals. 

Mr. Pawlik holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from Youngstown State University as well as a wide range of professional military education courses in leadership and management. 

Scott Craig, Program Manager Workforce Training-Robotics and Automation

Scott returns to YSU with many years of experience programming and maintaining robots in the automotive industry. He most recently worked as a Controls Engineer overseeing the installation of Factory Automation equipment at the newly constructed Ultium Cells facility. His formal education started at YSU with an associate degree in Computer Technology. His industry-related training began with an Electrician apprenticeship with General Motors. During his career at General Motors he worked with many different types of robotic systems including welding, material handling, and paint applications. Scott also taught as a Substitute instructor at the MCCTC for a year and has a passion to pass along his knowledge of Robotics and Automation to others in the field at the Excellence Training Center. 

Scott has a Bachelor of Science degree from Geneva College and has completed numerous industry-related courses in Robotics and Automation. 

Robert Philpot, Program Manager, Workforce Training – Industrial Electrical

Bob Philpot has an extensive background in the electrical and maintenance fields and brings a wealth of knowledge to the Excellence Training Center (ETC) and those he is teaching. He recently retired from Ford Motor Company with 30 years of experience as a journeyman industrial electrician. Bob also has over ten years of experience working as an electronics technician for Ford Aerospace and Communications at their research and development laboratories in San Jose, California and at Rockwell Automation in Cleveland, Ohio. Bob also worked as an adjunct professor for Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering for five years prior to joining our team. He is currently leading the industrial electrical workforce training program developed for a company for western Pennsylvania. 

Bob received his Master of Technology from Kent State University. 

Jay J. Wargacki, Operations Manager

Jay Wargacki's experience lies heavily within various manufacturing methods including plastic injection molding, metal stamping, rubber compression and plastic extrusion tooling. He started his career as a Tool and Die apprentice and later worked his way up to a Tool Engineer at Delphi before coming to YSU. He also held positions as a CNC programmer, technical trainer and business development manager for additive parts for a product development firm. With an interest in prototyping, additive manufacturing processes have always held his interest and he considers them a unique set of tools within the much larger toolbox of manufacturing.

Jay received his Bachelor of Arts in General Studies with a double minor in Psychology and Studio Art along with his Associate of Technical Studies in Industrial Trades Technology from Kent State University. Having completed a four-year apprenticeship through the state of Ohio and Delphi, he is also a certified Tool and Die Maker.

Cynthia C. Manofsky, Business Administrator

Cynthia Manofsky comes to YSU with a deep knowledge and career background in the aerospace and fire/emergency services manufacturing industry. Her ability to establish relationships with key industry leaders has resulted in growth and retention within organizations.  

She will adapt her keen skills in strategic thinking and resource planning, as well as her acquired knowledge of government contract management, project administration and business development to support the activities of the Excellence Training Center at YSU. 

Cynthia holds a Bachelor of Science and Master's of Business Administration from Liberty University.

John R. Carballo, CNC Programmer

John Carballo taught adult education at Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. He has also served as a machining instructor at New Castle School of Trades. Mr. Carballo has extensive experience in CAD/CAM and CNC programming, mahining, RTV mold making and casting. He started at Youngstwon State University's new Excellence Training Center in January 2022 to work exclusiely on the Mazak hybrid project. The Mazak system provides a hybrid printing technology that combines the simulataneous benefits of additive manufacturing with the advantages of subtractive manufacturing. 

John has a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Youngstown State University and an Associate degree in Machinist Technology from NCST. 

Andrew J. Prokop, Project Technician

Andrew Prokop has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science from Youngstown State University and currently working on his master’s degree. Mr. Prokop is currently working as a project technician on two research projects at YSU; the Industry 4.0 Adoption in the SME Defense Supply Chain for Metal Castings project funded by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the Mazak hybrid project. 

Andrew previously worked on the  “Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low Cost Sustainment” (MAMLS)  project  as an undergraduate at YSU where he helped design aluminum castings and molds for legacy military vehicles. He is founder of the YSU American Foundry Society student chapter.  Andrew has worked for a plastic rotational and injection mold company designing new products and programming an automation cell.  Andy also previously worked at a diecasting foundry where he developed the process parameters for a family of molds to be used in permanent mold casting section of the company. 

Allison N. Rea, Project Technician

Allison Rea has a Bachelor Degree in Manufacturing Engineering and has recently defended her thesis for her MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at Youngstown State University. She is working as a project technician at the Excellence Training Center for the Industry 4.0 Adoption in the SME Defense Supply Chain for Metal Castings project funded by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

Allison has experience working in the medical manufacturing industry as well as on research projects such as the “Maturation of Advanced Manufacturing for Low Cost Sustainment” (MAMLS). She has extensive knowledge in additive manufacturing, especially polymer printing, CT Scanning and Robotics. Ms. Rea has spent time working with students of all ages, teaching them about additive manufacturing and robotics with the hope to inspire them to go into STEM

Kaari Wentz, Office Administrator

Kaari Wentz has an extensive background working in office administration, communications, and customer service. She has worked in material handling/purchasing at GM Lordstown, her own entrepreneurial e-commerce business, administrative secretarial work with Mahoning County Board of Development Disabilities, and as the Communications Administrator for a large local church. She will use her diverse work experience and strong organizational skills to provide excellent customer service and support to the Excellence Training Center.

Kaari has an Associate’s degree of Arts & Sciences from Kent State University.