YSU presents prestigious Heritage Award to Joe Edwards, K.J. Satrum

The late Joseph Edwards, an accomplished musician, long-time director of the Dana School of Music and former dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts, and K.J. Satrum, retired executive director of Student Services and a champion for students for more than three decades, receive the Youngstown State University Heritage Award in separate recognition dinners this spring.

The university presents Edwards’ award at the annual Faculty Awards Dinner Wednesday, April 19, in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center. Satrum will accept her honor at the annual Staff Awards Dinner Wednesday, May 10, also in the Chestnut Room. For more information on both events and to make reservations ($20 per person), contact Mollie Hartup at mahartup@ysu.edu or 330-941-3086. Reservation deadline for the faculty dinner is April 12; deadline for the staff dinner is May 3.

“Joe and KJ spent decades in service to YSU students and the community,” President Jim Tressel said. “Their positive influence will be felt for decades. The campus community is proud to honor them.”

The Heritage Award, now in its 35th year, is the most prestigious award that the university bestows on former employees who have made major contributions to the campus during their years of service. A 16-person committee reviews nominees and chooses recipients. Click here for a full list of past recipients. The names of all Heritage Award recipients will be engraved into a wall at Heritage Park on campus. The dedication of the new park is scheduled for May 10.

Joseph Edwards
Joseph Edwards
Joseph Edwards, born and raised on the north side of Youngstown, was a 1960 graduate of Ursuline High School, where he was later inducted into their Arts Hall of Fame. He continued his education at YSU and received a master of Music Performance as a woodwind specialist at Michigan State University. He also studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in the Doctor of Musical Arts program.

While he began his teaching career at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, Edwards joined the faculty of the YSU Dana School of Music in 1969. He was responsible for creating a saxophone degree program; teaching clarinet; conducting the concert, symphonic and marching bands; along with serving as the director of the Dana School of Music. He later served as interim dean of the Beeghly College of Education; acting chair of the Department of Education, Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership; and dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Edwards appeared as a guest soloist and clinician with high school and college ensembles at state and national music conferences. He also performed with the American Wind Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Warren Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Concert Band, Blossom Festival Band, Cleveland Symphonic Winds, the Dana Faculty Wind Quintet and the Temptations. He recorded with numerous groups from Ohio, Michigan and Iowa. 

Edwards was a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the National Leadership Honor Society of Omicron Delta Kappa. He received several awards at YSU, including the Distinguished Professor of Music Award and the Watson Award. In 2000, Edwards was honored with a Chairperson's Leadership Award and was the first recipient of the College of Fine and Performing Arts Alumni Award. Most recently, in 2012, he received the Beeghly College of Education's Dean's Appreciation Award. 

He was a member and president of council at St. John Lutheran Church in Youngstown, served as president of the Struthers Board of Education and represented YSU on Opera Western Reserve's Board for more than a decade. He passed away in April 2016 at the age of 73.

KJ (Karol Jan) Satrum 
KJ (Karol Jan) Satrum 
KJ (Karol Jan) Satrum began her 33-year career at YSU in 1973, first as assistant director of Operations for Kilcawley Center before becoming associate director of Student Activities and Auxiliary Services. She was ultimately promoted to executive director of Student Services and Ombudsperson. 

Satrum earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from the Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., in 1971 and master’s degree in Educational Administration from New York University in 1973. 

During her time at YSU, Satrum was a champion for students. She instituted the original Arby’s Leadership Scholarship in partnership with the longtime campus food service vendor. The scholarship is now called the Hirsch-Satrum Leadership Scholarship, named after Satrum and fellow Heritage Award recipient Philip Hirsch for their involvement in founding Kilcawley Center and expanding student services and activities.

Satrum channeled much of her energy into growing Kilcawley Center, the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, University Housing and the University Bookstore into functional, enhanced spaces, leaving a positive impression on students, parents, visitors and friends. In the early 1980s, she oversaw the expansion of Kilcawley Center, coordinating building contractors and Kilcawley staff to maintain student services during construction. 

Satrum also worked to expand the way technology is used on campus through her role on the YES Advisory Committee (Banner implementation), Website Advisory Committee and Master Technology Planning Advisory Committee. She also worked with computer center staff to design a computerized events scheduling system for Kilcawley Center.

She served on a number of university committees and advised several student organizations, including the YSU Penguin Ski Club, Panhellenic Council, SURFS UP, and the Neon. She received the Distinguished Service Award in 1989, 1991 and 1997. She also received the Gillespie-Painter Award for outstanding service to students in 1989. Upon retirement in 2006, she was conferred the title Administrator Emeritus.