Cory Brozina is at it again: YSU prof gets second big NSF grant

Cory Brozina is at it again.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded $300,000 to Brozina, assistant professor in the Rayen School of Engineering at Youngstown State University, for a research project focused on increasing the number of nontraditional college students in Engineering.

It’s Brozina’s second large NSF grant in the last five months, following the announcement of a $1 million award last Fall.

The $1 million award, the largest YSU has ever received from the NSF, focuses on increasing the enrollment and graduation of high-achieving undergraduate Engineering commuter students with demonstrated financial need. The most recent grant focuses on increasing the success of nontraditional students in undergraduate Engineering programs. 

Brozina, who also is director of First-Year Engineering at YSU, said the three-year project will contribute to an under-studied area of research: understanding the needs and experiences of nontraditional students in Engineering. 

The study, he said, will generate guidelines for improving persistence and success of nontraditional Engineering students in engineering. The research will examine three questions: What is the holistic experience of current nontraditional students in Engineering?; how do nontraditional students in Engineering engage with co-curricular supports as they progress through their degree program?; and what impact do nontraditional student characteristics have on student integration and student success?

Brozina joined the YSU faculty in 2016 after earning bachelor’s, master’s and a PhD from Virginia Tech. It is Brozina’s third NSF grant since coming to YSU. He also received $65,930 from the foundation in Fall 2019 to researching innovative approaches to collecting, analyzing and archiving empirical data related to engineering practice.