A journey that began in 1991, has spanned 25 states, numerous miles, countless relationships and priceless memories has worked out pretty well for the Minceys and Youngstown State.
Tonight the Mincey Family – Daryl, Vicki (Bobovnyik) and Maribeth - is being honored as the Penguins of the Year. They have always been a major part of the Penguins athletics family. Daryl has witnessed nearly 250 consecutive football games the past 20-plus years. He and Vicki have attended countless men's and women's basketball games while the three of them traveled all over the country when Maribeth was younger. Maribeth's fiancé, Mike, is now part of the close-knit clan of die-hard Penguins fans.
The family has been to all six National Championship Games and has always been able to have some fun on the trips. Visits to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, New Orleans, Cape Canaveral Space Center (witnessed John Glenn's Space Shuttle launch), the Alamo, Johnson Space Center, Plymouth Rock, Statue of Liberty, Hearst Castle, Disney World have all been part of YSU football excursions.
One of the crazier trips was a cross-country jaunt in 2000 to travel from the game at Cal Poly to the post-season contest at Richmond. After spending the week with family in California, which was also Thanksgiving, Daryl and Maribeth flew back home on the red-eye out of California on Friday morning before driving to Richmond later that day. Daryl even flew from Springfield, Mo., to Europe in the middle of the season to attend a conference and made sure to return before the next game.
Being a part of the program has always been important to the Minceys. Whenever help was needed, they jumped in. They spent many a night helping to tear tickets before the season and for playoff games. Daryl and Vicki both have held headset cables for coaches on the sidelines. Daryl has loaded the equipment and baggage on charter flights and then helped unload it. Sometimes, he helped the equipment staff run the wire from the coaches' booth in the press box down to the field. He now serves as an unofficial sidelines photographer at both home and road games.
The relationships they have built are another important part of their Penguins' support. Daryl admits that Maribeth, while growing up, may have thought that Coach Jim Tressel, David Deibel and Jim Morrison were her uncles and Dan O'Connell seemed like a slightly older brother. He said Vicki was the voice of reason and saved the group many times. One year the family went without a Christmas tree, but she never said a word, Daryl said.
Daryl was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received his PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. In 1978, Mincey came to YSU as a sabbatical replacement for the academic year in the Department of Chemistry. After spending the next year at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa, he returned to YSU in 1979 and has never left. At YSU, Dr. Mincey is the Chemistry Chairperson (since 1995) and a Professor in the College of STEM.
His duties at YSU have included teaching graduate courses in analytical and clinical environmental chemistry and undergraduate courses in analytical, biological and environmental chemistry. In a collaborative effort with L. Schroeder and S. Martin, he developed the Environmental Studies program at the University. A major area of interest is the elemental determination of metals in environmental samples. The directing of undergraduate and graduate research has been a significant responsibility. More than 30 students have received a master's degree from the University under his direction. In addition, he has directed numerous undergraduate research projects and was an atomic spectroscopy resource for many more.
During 2003-04, he was on sabbatical performing research at the Forensic Chemistry Center of the Food and Drug Administration. A noted accomplishment of the effort was the development of a confirmatory LC/MS test for Ricin in foods, for which he received a Director's Award and a permanent position as an FDA Science Advisor.
He has helped the University procure many grants that have not only had an impact on the Chemistry Department, but the entire community. Notably he worked with the YSU Technology Development Corporation on a $372,000 Ohio Department of Development Grant titled "The Mahoning River Corridor Redevelopment Project".
Daryl is also a long-time member of the Penguin Club Board of Trustees.
Vicki is a Youngstown native who comes from a large family with six brothers and sisters. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology/Chemistry from Marietta College and worked as a registered Medical Technologist at both St. Elizabeth's and Northside Medical Centers. She received her Master's in Business Administration from YSU. Currently, she is the Office Manager for Dr. Denise Bobovnyik in Canfield, Oh. When not cheering on YSU athletes, she is also a volunteer with the Junior Group of Goodwill, an organization tasked with fundraising for the many programs offered by Goodwill.
Maribeth received her BA and MA in Middle East History from the University of Cincinnati. She also graduated from the University of Cincinnati, College of Law where she was an Urban Morgan Human Rights Fellow. This enabled her to work one summer at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, The Netherlands and another summer at the International Civilian Office in Kosovo. Maribeth was admitted to the Ohio State Bar Association in November 2012. She is teaching history courses at the University of Cincinnati and is an Associate Attorney for The Stuhlbarg Law Practice, LLC.
Her fiancé, Michael Eckstein, also hails from Cincinnati. When not enjoying Penguin football games, he is an engineer working in IT at GE Aviation in Cincinnati.