"Be Well in Wellsville" - Students present findings to revitalize Village

Wellsville, Ohio

Three students in Youngstown State University’s capstone course in Geography present this week the findings of their study on ways to revitalize the Village of Wellsville in Columbiana County.

The students - Katharine Donnachie, Heather Davis and David Thompson – meet with Wellsville Mayor Bob Boley, Wellsville City Council members and interested residents at 1 p.m. Dec. 17 to discuss the results of their 16-week study called “Be Well in Wellsville: A Community Revitalization Plan.”

The presentation, which is open to the public, is hosted by the Wellsville Community Foundation in Wellsville City Hall Council Chambers.

Students conducted the study as part of their senior capstone project under the direction of Dawna Cerney, YSU professor of Geography.

“I am proud of the work and product these students have executed,” Cerney said.  “They are great examples of the intellect and skills of professional geographers.”

The project culminated as a complete community resiliency plan for Wellsville, which sits along the Ohio River across from West Virginia. Included in the plan are policy actions, green infrastructure recommendations and methods for long-term climate change adaptation and mitigation, said Donnachie, a YSU senior who plans to graduate in Spring 2022 with bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Science and Geography.

“I am exceptionally proud to have been part of this fantastic research team,” said Donnachie, who also currently is a sustainability and product stewardship analyst intern at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.

Thompson, a senior who graduates in Spring 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Geographic Information Science and Cartography, is working as an intern at the Economic Action Group in Youngstown. Davis is a senior graduating this month with a bachelor’s degree in  in Geographic Information Systems and a minor in Spanish. She currently works as a GIS analyst for New Era Technology Inc. in Boardman.

In the study, students determined the principles that guide community revitalization projects in Wellsville, identified elements required to successfully revitalize the Village, and studied the motivations needed to support and participate in forging a new direction for the Village, among other findings.

The study recommends several infrastructure design elements that center on healthy lifestyles and also recommends planning approaches that capitalize on Wellsville’s unique history and environmental attributes.
Cerney said past clients for senior capstone projects include the Village of Leetonia, the Mahoning County Landbank and Western Reserve Land Conservancy/Ducks Unlimited.