Guest has not set their biography yet

The Yellow Jacket newspaper, a student-run news publication at Waynesburg University, recently earned a record number of awards from two prestigious journalism organizations. For the year 2016, The Yellow Jacket has accrued 16 awards, breaking the previous year’s record of nine awards. 

Between staff, group and individual awards, the newspaper was named as a finalist for 11 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), a national organization of journalism professionals. The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) awarded the Yellow Jacket a total of five awards, announcing one first place award, one second place award, and three honorable mentions for Waynesburg.

The SPJ Mark of Excellence competition assesses college newspapers by dividing entrants into small schools (1-9,999 students) and large schools (10,000+ students) for some categories. Seven Yellow Jacket staff members were named finalists among small schools in categories including General News, In-Depth Reporting, Sports Writing, Feature Writing and others for a total of 10 awards.

The Yellow Jacket was also named a finalist for the Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper award, which assesses all non-daily newspapers regardless of school size.

“Any time a student wins an award from SPJ, it’s a reminder that the curriculum and program we have for journalism students at Waynesburg is really preparing students for the real world,” said Dr. Brandon Szuminsky, faculty advisor for the Yellow Jacket and instructor of communication. “To win such prestigious awards only further reinforces that students are getting a great education and still enjoying all the benefits of a small-school setting.”

The finalists for these Mark of Excellence awards were selected from among entrants across SPJ Region 4, which includes Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. A group of students will travel to the SPJ Region 4 Spring Conference in Detroit, Michigan, at the end of March to learn how the newspaper placed. First-place winners in each category will move on to the national SPJ competition.

“We set a record last year with five SPJ awards, two of them being first place,” said Kimmi Baston, executive editor of the Yellow Jacket. “Even before finding out our placement, to have surpassed our record by so much is such an amazing accomplishment for the entire Yellow Jacket staff.”

SPJ presents the Mark of Excellence Awards annually, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism. Waynesburg University’s previous record number of Mark of Excellence Awards was five.

In addition to collecting 11 awards from SPJ, the Yellow Jacket received five Student Keystone Press awards from the PNA in Division II, which includes four-year colleges and universities with enrollment under 10,000.

In the General News category, senior Jacob Meyer earned second place for his story “Thomas More women’s basketball stripped of 2014-15 title.” Senior Kyle Dawson earned first place in the Sports Story category for his story “From fringe to spotlight.”

The Yellow Jacket earned honorable mentions in General News (“Dreams will live on” by senior Kimmi Baston), Ongoing News Coverage (“Community addresses ongoing drug use and overdose problem” by senior Kimmi Baston, sophomores Teghan Simoton and Mattie Winowitch and 2016 graduate Anthony Conn) and Sports Story (“NCAA sanctions baseball team for practice violations” by Kimmi Baston). 

“We’re being compared to schools with great journalism programs all across the state, and we’re more than measuring up,” said Baston. “I’m incredibly proud of the individuals whose hard work and countless hours earned them this recognition.”

The Student Keystone Press Awards contest recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers.

“Winning awards like these is great for resumes and bragging rights, but more importantly they’re a testament to the high quality education that students can get in the Department of Communication,” said Szuminsky. “We believe we’re doing what we say we will when it comes to providing students with real benefits, and this is outside validation and support for that idea.” 

# # #

Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

Tagged in: communication news
Hits: 535

b2ap3_thumbnail_CSI-Camp-2016-172.jpgWaynesburg University will offer its 11th annual Crime Scene Investigation Camp for current high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. The camp will run from Sunday, June 18, through Friday, June 23.

Participants will learn from certified experts in the University’s Department of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences and be offered hands-on experience in related fields. Professors from the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science and the Biology Program will also present their expertise.

Each day of the camp is filled with hands-on activities and engaging sessions about criminal justice and investigation that will show students what to expect from a major and/or career in those fields. Professors at the University who have spent years working in their respective fields, which include law enforcement, criminal investigation and forensics, will share their expertise and demonstrate essential skills.

“We want [attendees] to learn more about law enforcement and forensics to help them make informed decisions about what they might want to study in college or pursue as a career, and we want them to find out what it’s like to be a student at WU,” said Mike Cipoletti, camp director and assistant professor of forensic science.

The deadline for camp registration is May 5, and the fee is $500, which includes meals, housing and materials for the week. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and a $100 deposit is required. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis for participants who register and place their deposit before April 17. Participants can attain the scholarship application upon registering.

To register, visit or call 800-225-7393.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or

Hits: 785

b2ap3_thumbnail_3-8-Sports-Announcing-Camp_20170308-163558_1.jpgThe Waynesburg University Department of Communication is offering a Sports Announcing and Sports Journalism Camp this summer from Monday, June 12, through Friday, June 16. 

The camp, which is open to current sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school, is hosted by Lanny Frattare, former voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates and current assistant professor of communication at the University. The deadline to register for the camp is April 28, or until all spaces are filled.

“The primary purpose of the camp is to give aspiring broadcasters and journalists a more in-depth look at those fields,” said Dave Floyd, senior associate director of admissions. “It serves as an opportunity for these students to understand what it takes to succeed, so they can better decide whether or not to pursue those fields as a major in college and/or as a career path. We hope campers are able to accomplish this throughout the week, and we also hope they are able to have a whole lot of fun in the process.”

Now in its eighth year, the annual camp offers high school students interested in sports broadcasting or writing the chance to get hands-on experience in the field and to learn from seasoned professionals. In addition to Frattare, participants will hear from Pittsburgh sports announcers and journalists including Bill Hillgrove, voice of the Steelers and the University of Pittsburgh; Mark Kaboly, reporter for; John Steigerwald, former WTAE and KDKA sports anchor; and Paul Steigerwald, voice of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Attendees will spend the week on Waynesburg’s campus participating in informational and practical sessions about a variety of sports broadcasting and journalism skills. Then, they’ll travel to a local baseball game to try their hand at journalistic and play-by-play game coverage. Camp leaders will also offer athletic activities and other games each day.

Campers are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The fee for the week is $500, which includes housing, meals and camp materials. A $100 deposit is due by April 28 to reserve a spot. To register, visit or call 724-852-3373.  

# # #


Tagged in: communication news
Hits: 509

Posted by on in Achievements

Bob Randolph (English) had a chapbook of poetry accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. Dr. Randolph was also once again nominated for a Pushcart Award.

Xela Batchelder (Fine Arts) had a paper accepted for presentation at the upcoming 2017 Association of Arts Administrator Educators (AAAE) Conference May 31 through June 2, at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Kathy Stolfer (Nursing) had her abstract accepted for paper presentation at the 13th Annual Faculty Development Workshop at the University of Kentucky. Her abstract is titled “Active Student Learning in the Psych Clinical Setting: The Nursing Education Group.”

Jill Sunday’s (English) essay, “Essential Truths, or the Sermon in the Suicide” is the runner-up for the Donald Murray Prize in Creative Nonfiction. It will be published in the March issue of “Writing on the Edge,” a journal published by the University of California, Davis.

Jill Sunday also participated as a panelist during the fourth-annual WU Go Girl event at Waynesburg University. This event was aimed at mentoring and empowering women, and Sunday discussed a range of topics, including inequality, inspiration, social media and more.

Ronda DePriest (Fine Arts) performed with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra for a concert on February 20 at the Carnegie Library Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Andrew Heisey (Fine Arts) took three art majors to the Scholastic Art and Writing Adjudication for the South Western Region of PA, held at California University of Pennsylvania. Heisey administered the digital adjudication of over 300 works of art from students in grades 7 through 12.  

Andrew Heisey was also asked to be the guest speaker for the Elementary Chapel at Trinity Christian School in Morgantown. West Virginia. He played bagpipes for the students, taught them what bagpipes are and where they originated.  His message inspired them to look for their God-given talents and then use them to honor him.



Hits: 145

Waynesburg University’s Criminal Justice Administration Program invites high school juniors and seniors to participate in a free Mock Crime Scene workshop Saturday, March 18. Students interested in careers in criminal justice or crime scene forensics are encouraged to participate. Lunch is provided, and students will receive a free t-shirt and a certificate of attendance

The event will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. in Stover Campus Center. During the morning session, participants will experience three presentations regarding investigations of various criminal acts. They will also attend a presentation about the Laser Shot firearms simulator in the University’s Crime Scene Investigation House.

Following a provided lunch, participating students will rotate through live, table-top demonstrations of crime scene evidence investigation related to the criminal acts they learned about during the morning. University criminal justice and forensic science students will accompany participants throughout the day to share their experiences at Waynesburg and answer any questions about their major programs or the University in general.

Parents of participants are invited to stay on campus throughout the event. During the morning, parents can attend information sessions about the Criminal Justice Administration and Forensic Science programs, followed by demonstrative sessions about collecting fingerprints and the use of ultraviolet light in investigations. In the afternoon, the Waynesburg University Office of Admissions will offer guided campus tours to parents. Students may also receive guided campus tours.

In addition to providing information about the University and its programs, the Mock Crime Scene event offers high school students the chance to get hands-on experience and learn about the professional world of criminal justice and crime scene investigation.

Interested students can contact the Office of Admissions or Bob Barnhart, admissions counselor, at 724-852-3346 for more information or to reserve a spot for the event. Space is limited.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

# # #


Hits: 1026