b2ap3_thumbnail_Cochran-resized.jpgWhen he respectfully declined a full ride to a large Ohio state school, many of Isaiah Cochran’s high school friends thought he was crazy. But the aspiring neurosurgeon knew that God had something better in store for him – a life changing experience at Waynesburg University. After hearing of his acceptance into Waynesburg, a school he admired for rigorous academics and faithful service, and after receiving the supreme financial security offered by the Ohio Honors Scholarship, Cochran couldn’t decline the opportunity.  

“When I was notified that I received the Ohio Honors Scholarship, I was in my high school eighth period Spanish Class. I remember crying when I heard the news,” Cochran said. “All I know is the scholarship has allowed me to do things that most college students could only dream of; it has brought me one step closer to achieving my ultimate dream of making a difference in this world. God has blessed me in way that I cannot comprehend.”

One of those blessings resulted in an esteemed internship with a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, an initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The junior pre-med student and star Waynesburg University tennis player from Akron, Ohio, was selected from a pool of thousands nationwide to participate in the Sackler/NSF REU: Integrated Research at the Frontiers of the Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at Yale University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute.

The Sackler/NSF REU program provides research training to students for 10 weeks under the mentorship of faculty members through research. In accordance with the program leadership team, students selected for the program choose a research project from three areas: mechanics of cellular processes, protein function and misfolding, or technology and method development for integrated research.

Cochran had the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars ranging from laboratory methods to applying to graduate school. He also presented his work at a research symposium, which was held in conjunction with Yale's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program and the Center of Excellence for Materials Research and Innovation (CEMRI) Center for Research on Interface Structure & Phenomena (CRISP) REU program at Yale.

“I think Isaiah made great strides, both intellectually and technically. Intellectually, I think that putting together his presentation and then getting up and presenting in front of a crowd was a great accomplishment,” Cochran’s Yale internship supervisor, Dr. Megan King, said. “In the lab, I think he gained tremendous progress in working independently and competently at the bench.”

Challenged by the meticulous work and demanding time constraints at Yale, Cochran reminded himself of the many people rooting for him and of the invaluable research experience that he would gain. Though he was surrounded by new faces in an unfamiliar lab, Cochran felt right at home thanks to his laboratory and classroom training at Waynesburg University.

“It was very challenging. Some weeks I was in the lab for 60 hours a week trying to induce a double strand break into the yeast genome,” Cochran said. “I knew it would take a lot of hard work; what I did not expect was to be so well prepared for it. I can only thank the professors at Waynesburg for my strong science background.”

During the internship, Cochran worked in a lab focusing on DNA repair pathways. His summer project included inducing the double strand so that two distinct proteins could potentially ligate the DNA back together. As DNA repair becomes more successful, Cochran said it could usurp medicine as a way to cure diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

“My favorite internship experience was learning and building a great foundation that I hope I can use as a clinician in neurology as well as a researcher in neurology,” Cochran said. “I also made some amazing connections. I think they will remember that a student from Waynesburg did a good job.”

With a passion for enhancing the medical world, Cochran initiated an American Medical Student Association (AMSA) chapter as a freshman at Waynesburg, but he didn’t stop there. Now a junior, he serves as a national Pre-Medical Region 1 Director for the AMSA, with responsibilities to oversee more than 105 university and college AMSA Chapters across 12 states.

“Medicine is not about self-glory; it is about doctoring, whether you have ‘Dr.’ in front of your name or not,” said Cochran. “There is a revolution coming in medicine and it is geared towards patient equality.”

He has relished the hands-on learning opportunities afforded to him at Waynesburg and has cited professors, coaches and even the President of Waynesburg University for personal help and support along the way.

“I have learned so much at Waynesburg. The professors give us a support system. They know you and they know what will make you successful,” Cochran said. “I have had this fire in me to change the world since I was in 8th grade. With the opportunities that I have been given, I know that it is just a matter of time before I do.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_LeCain_Elizabeth_7.JPGWaynesburg University compels many students to step outside of their comfort zones when applying to internship positions. But for Elizabeth LeCain, a senior forensic science major from Andover, Mass., a cross-country road trip to her research internship in Golden, Colo., didn’t scare her at all.

“Being able to drive across the country was great,” LeCain said. “I managed to see half of the states and many of the National Parks, which was just incredible.”

LeCain spent the summer of 2013 as an Undergraduate Research Associate with the Colorado School of Mines as a part of a national Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). She synthesized one of several different monomers to create a polymer, working toward the overall goal of improving solar cell efficiency.

The senior, who is actively involved in University student chapters and activities including the American Chemical Society Student Affiliates, Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honorary Society, Kamma Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honorary Society and serves as a lab assistant in the department of chemistry, believes that her extra-curricular studies helped secure the internship.

“Most of my time at the internship was spent trying to purify different products so that they would be of high enough quality to use in a future reaction,” LeCain said. “My favorite part was when we finally formed the polymer and were able to see it precipitate, indicating that the polymer had in fact formed.”

The process of forming the polymer required much trial and error, as well as patience, practical application and laboratory experience. Mostly, LeCain said that her classes at Waynesburg University aided immensely in her internship success.

“I learned several laboratory techniques in my labs at Waynesburg that I was able to utilize in Colorado,” LeCain said. “Also, the skills I have acquired in keeping a lab notebook and writing lab reports at Waynesburg were helpful in doing those same tasks at my internship.”

Though she expected to work in the Colorado School of Mines’ laboratories most of the summer, LeCain said she didn’t anticipate to be granted such autonomy in her research.

“I wasn't expecting to be on my own as much as I was, but that forced me to solve a lot of problems,” she said. “This reminded me that there is a reason for everything and helped me to keep an open mind toward all the changes I had to make. I was there to learn, and I was able to do that. There was a lot of new information I had to absorb and it was a challenge, but Waynesburg University prepared me for that.”

 

 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Champlin_Elizabeth_3.JPGElizabeth Champlin wanted a unique, hands-on internship during the summer of 2013 that would test her theatrical knowledge, production skills and physical and mental stamina. The senior arts administration major with a concentration in music expected to apply her Waynesburg University education and experience to a theatrical troupe – preferably in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area.

She didn’t expect to hop in a truck and travel everywhere from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Raleigh, N.C., with Squonk Opera, an award-winning, highly acclaimed and internationally touring theater group founded in Pittsburgh. According to Champlin, Squonk’s roadshow is on a truck, and everything, including the stage, folds out of the truck. She enjoyed being a part of the “interesting and innovative show” and won the praise of her internship supervisor along the way.

“Elizabeth accomplished a lot when she helped Squonk tour to North Carolina,” said Steve O’Hearn, artistic director at Squonk and Champlin’s summer supervisor. “She was helpful during a busy time for Squonk Opera, was pleasant to chat with, did tough jobs and even brought cookies!”

Not only did Champlin assist with theater production and management, but she also aided in the promotion of the opera. Citing her Waynesburg University public relations for the arts course as a helpful tool, Champlin sent newsletters, mailed postcards and helped her supervisor book shows.

“I realized that 100 people may not even open my email, but when I saw the 30 that did, it helped me to narrow my viewpoint and find the exact audience we were looking for,” Champlin said.

Her public relations and marketing efforts helped to secure bookings and bring people to the shows, while her active involvement with Waynesburg's Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Lamplighters Concert Choir and Yellow Jacket Pep Band familiarized her with Squonk’s musical offerings. Experience assisting with the production of campus events allowed Champlin to keep calm under internship pressure. 

“I wanted to help out with a theater group or company, and I wanted to see if I could handle being a part of a production team,” Champlin said. “I got to be active and use my hands and not just sit at a desk. It helped keep my attention and get me involved in a totally different way than other internships for which I might have applied. Squonk is a close-knit family, much like Waynesburg University. Everyone knew my name, and I liked that.”

 

 

 

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Internship supervisors across the country consistently rate Waynesburg University students highly and share how impressed they are with the students’ professionalism and knowledge. Dominic Zappa’s supervisor is no different.

“Waynesburg has done a great job making Dom a very well rounded individual,” said Michael C. Corcetti, Zappa’s supervisor at Northwestern Mutual.  “He was versed in all areas, not just finance.”

Zappa, a senior accounting major at Waynesburg University, spent the summer of 2013 calling potential patrons, setting up meetings, speaking with and creating illustrations and personal plans for clients at Northwestern Mutual’s Monroeville, Pa., office.

“On some levels, the internship was what I expected from a basis of sales,” Zappa said. “But on the other hand, it was more of a client building business, and I was able to make more of an impact than I first thought I could.”

As a Financial Representative Intern, Zappa sometimes worked a full 40 hours each week in an effort to get ahead and show his supervisors that he was committed to learning the field. He even paid his own way to the company’s annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wis.

“I got to see about 12,000 of the company’s best together at one time, network, learn more about the company and listen to and learn from the CEO, president and the top tier of representatives,” said Zappa. “It gave me a clearer picture of what it takes to be successful in our industry.”

He enjoyed the internship so much that he chose to stay with the company throughout his senior year at Waynesburg University.

“I choose to keep my intern contract open so that I can still work during the school year and even through my Master's education next year,” Zappa said.

Zappa plans to continue his education at Waynesburg University and pursue a Master’s of Business Administration degree immediately following his 2014 graduation. He speaks highly of the University and puts his full faith in the quality of classes, professors and, primarily, the mission that the school embodies.

“Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, service and learning guides me in the internship because the company stresses making the right decisions for clients and finding the best way to help them,” Zappa said. “My classes at Waynesburg have really helped because they teach the importance of finances and planning.”

Between excelling in his classes, participating in the University’s Enactus Business Club and Investment Club, completing regular community service and playing both Waynesburg football and Men’s Club Volleyball, Zappa shows professionals such as his internship supervisor what it’s like to be a Waynesburg University student.

“I see something very special in Dom and know he possesses the skills and persistence to be successful not only in this business but also in life,” Corcetti said. “Dom would be a great asset to any company. Waynesburg should be lucky to have a kid like Dom representing their University in a very positive way.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Della-Loggia.jpgSurrounded by the sounds of happy families and the smell of America’s most popular milk chocolate, Dana Della Loggia, a senior accounting major at Waynesburg University, settled in to the first day of her internship with Hershey Entertainment and Resorts in Hershey, Pa.

During the summer of 2013, the Hershey native completed her second internship with the famous chocolatier as a revenue intern. She assisted in reporting daily revenue, analyzing and entering data, administering revenue audits for entertainment groups, reconciling gift and credit card payments between system totals and much more.

The previous summer, Della Loggia interned with Hershey in the Resort Group Reconciliations department. Her supervisors gladly welcomed her back for a second summer and have extended her intern opportunities to Christmas break as well.

“This year she focused on the Entertainment Group; making that transition is not always easy due to the various revenue streams and how different they are,” said Michael Holt, daily revenue supervisor at Hershey. “Her experience from last year was very helpful in making sure we met our daily, weekly and monthly reporting deadlines.”

Della Loggia said that accounting classes with Anthony Bocchini, professor of business administration at Waynesburg University, helped her to develop accountability in her studies, which translated to success at her internship.

“Mr. Bocchini's accounting classes prepared me because of their academic difficulty,” Della Loggia said. “They helped to develop a self-learning attitude, which is very important in accounting. If you don't know an answer, you must find it.”

Bocchini places his full confidence in Della Loggia’s future. 

“Dana was an outstanding student,” Bocchini said. “She has an exceptional academic record, and due to her professional attitude and personality, she was very successful at her internships.”

She believes that her high grade point average helped her to secure the initial position, but that her drive, professionalism and Waynesburg University education enabled supervisors to envision her with the company for an additional summer.

“I have always been a very motivated person, so striving for good grades was never a problem for me,” Della Loggia said. “I think what makes a GPA even better is that all my business professors at Waynesburg University know me. I want to excel in their classes because I feel like they actually care and notice when I do.”

She also impressed with a wide range of extracurricular leadership and membership experience including the Waynesburg University Student Activities Board (SAB), Habitat for Humanity, touring and concert choir, the Waynesburg University golf team, intramural volleyball, Fiat Lux mentorship and more.

“I love that Waynesburg University is small so that I can be a part of multiple organizations,” Della Loggia said. “Organization, leadership and planning abilities are what companies look for. Being able to talk about these skills in an interview and show that you have them is irreplaceable.”

 

 

 



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