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 “Why faith?” I heard some of my classmates ask towards the end of class. “Why not focus more on learning instead?”

I sat quietly in the corner of the room listening to the conversation between my classmates, and realized I had never really thought much about it before. Waynesburg University and faith had always gone hand-in-hand for me. It’s one of the many reasons I chose this school. But what is it that makes faith such an important element to a Christian campus like Waynesburg? That’s what my classmates wanted to know, and that was the question that kept drumming through my head for the rest of the day.

As my classmates began packing their things, quickly transitioning into various other conversations, I remained silent, thinking. Even as I exited the room, my thumbs hooked through the straps of my book bag, the question kept presenting itself to me. Why faith?

When I reflect back on my college career I remember weekly Chapel services, Sunday night student-led worship services, heart-to-hearts with professors—all things that have influenced my experience at Waynesburg. Everything I have learned throughout my four years here has somehow referenced back to my faith, causing me to grow in ways I never imagined I could.

So, why is faith so important? In my own words, this is what I came up with:

  • Faith is the foundation, not only to Waynesburg University, but also in many of our lives—it’s where things began. When we look back at our history, not only as a University, but also as a country, faith was the driving force that got us on our feet, something we proudly fought for and defended. With that foundation, even when the walls shake and crumble, there is always hope for restoration.
  • Faith is a source of joy, hope and love. I know how hard it is not to fall into the selfish, materialistic ways of society. What’s in it for me seems to be the mantra of the world today. Through my experience, this constant push to be perfect only leads to self-destruction, but when we focus our lives on faith instead, we realize just how perfect we are in God’s eyes. It’s not about what we wear, what we look like or how much money we have; it’s about finding ourselves lost in the beautiful, boundless love of Christ. Through faith, we can experience a joyful, hopeful, loving way of life, free of charge.
  • Faith pushes our boundaries. One of the things I have loved and hated most about my faith is that it challenges me to think beyond my reasoning and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Faith is not about being comfortable and it’s certainly not easy, but when we find ourselves wrapped up in it, the end result is nothing short of rewarding. When I find myself questioning anything, including my faith, I find myself learning. This is what makes the pairing of faith and learning together so endearing to me. A well-developed faith often comes through trial and error, much like learning a skill in the classroom. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t, but just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean the answer isn’t out there. Often times it takes patience and a willingness to accept things through a fresh set of eyes.
  • Faith gives us something to look forward to both today and in the future to come. When everything else seems to fall apart, faith is the crutch we are given to help us stand. God wants us to come to Him with our problems. He wants us to know that through Him all things are possible. With Him, nothing can tear us a part. Through our faith, we know God has promised us a future, even as we step into the unknown. This gives me the strength to get out of bed each morning despite my racing anxieties of what the future holds. For, I am a child of God.

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Ansley-02929288-C10_20140421-195835_1.jpgWaynesburg University has chosen Ansley Thomas of Westerville, Ohio, as the recipient of the Jeffrey and Regina Taussig Ohio Honors Scholarship. The prestigious award is given to one Ohio high school student interested in a career in mathematics or one of the sciences, and pays the complete tuition, room and board for the student’s four years at Waynesburg University. Through this scholarship, more than $120,000 is awarded to each recipient over the course of his or her four years at Waynesburg.

In addition to being an Ohio resident, recipients must display extraordinary academic, service and leadership skills. The recipient must also major in one of the areas of math or science.

“This scholarship means the world to me,” Thomas said. “It takes a load off of my shoulders that I never knew could be lifted and will make graduate school possible for me. I'm going to work that much harder at Waynesburg to be sure that I've earned it.”

A senior at Westerville Central High School, Thomas maintains a high-ranking position in her graduating class. She is a member of the National Honor Society and plays the flute in her school’s Symphonic Band. Thomas is also largely involved in her church’s youth group, children ministries and an annual mission trip project called REACH, a national organization that helps to rebuild or improve homes of those in need.

Thomas is the daughter of Stuart and Kay Thomas. She plans to pursue a degree in biology and is open to where God may lead her in her future career.

“At the moment, I'm open to any career that connects to biology,” Thomas said. “I am confident that once I have learned more about the field of biology, I'll find where I belong. My one clear goal is to find a career that I can feel passionate about and do some good for the world through it.”

The high school senior is looking forward to making new friends and building a stronger relationship with Christ at Waynesburg, but she’s also excited to learn more about the person she is and is meant to become.

“I hope to learn, not just about biology, but about myself,” Thomas said. “I want to learn where it is that God is leading me.”

# # #

Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Cochran.jpgIsaiah Cochran, a Waynesburg University junior from Akron, Ohio, was recently elected the pre-medical trustee for the 2014-2015 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Board of Trustees. The election was held in New Orleans in March, and the biology (pre-med) major will assume his position May 1.

As pre-medical trustee, Cochran will work directly with the national president of AMSA. In his position, he will also work with the five pre-medical region directors as a liaison between the national and local levels of the organization.

“I honestly think initiating the chapter at Waynesburg University was key [to the election],” Cochran said. “In my speech, they could hear how much I enjoy this organization and how I want to make a difference. I truly hope this position helps me to help others in the pre-medical track across the country reach their goals.”

Previously, Cochran served as president of the Waynesburg Chapter of AMSA, which he initiated as a freshman. As a sophomore, Cochran was elected one of five national pre-medical region directors for AMSA, with the responsibility to oversee more than 105 university and college AMSA chapters across 12 states. During his tenure in that position, AMSA recruited more than 3,000 new members in all five regions.

Within his new position, Cochran hopes to build membership and to continue talking about advocacy on a larger scale as he has done with the Global Health Fund in recent years. The Global Health Fund is a non-profit organization that focuses on fighting AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.  

In addition to his newly appointed title within AMSA, Cochran has also been selected for a fellowship at Harvard Medical School in neuroscience and translational methods for the summer of 2014. Last summer, Cochran was selected from a pool of thousands nationwide to participate in the Sackler/National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program: Integrated Research at the Frontiers of the Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at Yale University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute.

With a half-century history of medical student activism, AMSA is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. Today, AMSA is a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. AMSA members are medical students, premedical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians. Founded in 1950, AMSA continues its commitment to improving medical training and the nation's health.

# # #

Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) will hold its fourth annual PR Week celebration Monday, April 7, through Friday, April 11. This week-long event recognizes the hard work and dedication public relations majors show within the field of public relations throughout the academic year.

PR Week is comprised of high-profile guests who travel to Waynesburg University to speak about their personal wealth of experiences in public relations. Students also receive the opportunity to network and gain further insight into the industry.

The week will include an alumni and sports panel, a Mini Bateman Competition and a Communication Carnival. In addition to those events, four speakers will discuss PRSA National Board, blogging, healthcare public relations and marketing communications.

Geri Evans, MA, APR, PRSA Board Member
Evans is an experienced public relations professional, public speaker, presentation coach, writer, consultant, educator and business owner. As the president of the Evans PR Group, she has counseled clients extensively in the areas of message development, media training and presentation skills, among others. 

Cooper Munroe, Co-Founder of the Motherhood.com
The Motherhood is an award-winning web network. Munroe was recently named one of the top 10 “Power Moms” on the web by Parents Magazine. The Motherhood campaigns are known for being smart, original and creating huge impact on moms across the country.

Jaime Dray, Marketing and Communication Specialist for ARDEX Americas
Dray is an experienced and innovative public relations professional and an enthusiastic social and digital media specialist. With more than seven years of experience, she has worked for regional marketing agencies as well as national nonprofits and corporations. ARDEX is the world’s foremost manufacturer and distributor of premium floor installation products. 

Joy Eggleston, Senior Public Affairs Officer at Southwest Regional Medical Center
Eggleston serves as the Public Affairs Officer in the healthcare sector of public relations. She will bring a dynamic view to PR Week through speaking on behalf of healthcare in public relations.

Under the supervision of Richard Krause, chair of the Department of Communication and Chapter advisor, PR Week was founded and developed extensively to reward students for their year-long work ethic and to provide essential learning opportunities outside of the classroom setting. Krause originally designed the week with the help of students and now relies on them to assist in contacting and introducing speakers, coordinating facilities and performing evaluation measures.

“The programs are designed to give our current students knowledge of the public relations industry,” Krause said. “We have a very strong list of speakers and the range is intentionally diverse. The speakers will provide students with insight about agency, healthcare, corporate and energy fields of public relations.”

PRSSA would like to invite any Waynesburg University student, particularly those studying advertising, marketing and business, to participate in the week’s events. PR Week focuses on informing those who are interested in learning more about the field and networking with various professionals.

Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter enhances the education of public relations students by advocating rigorous academic standards, creating valuable networking opportunities and enriching professional development within the field. As an affiliation with its parent chapter Public Relations Society of American (PRSA), the PRSSA chapter of Waynesburg University gains tools to support advocacy from the society and encourage individual leaders to adopt their own initiatives to support their communities.

For more information, contact Richard Krause at 724-852-3240 or by e-mail at rkrause@waynesburg.edu.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in Alumni

Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering

Engineer at Stanley Black & Decker

Baltimore, MD

Additional Info:

  • Exhibits Intern at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Bachelor of Science, Waynesburg University, 2012
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Maryland, 2013

“The diversity at Waynesburg University was the biggest benefit to me in my career; the music that I was able to do at WU really set me apart from others in my major. Being involved in symphonic band, choir, private lessons and jazz ensembles while completing a math degree... that's just not something I could have done anywhere else.”

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