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b2ap3_thumbnail_yellow_jacket_logo2.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-produced newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, recently earned nine awards from two prestigious journalism organizations, the highest number of awards the newspaper has accrued in a single year.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), a national organization of journalists, named the Waynesburg newspaper as a finalist in four different categories for a total of five awards, and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) announced three first place awards and an honorable mention for the newspaper staff.

The SPJ Mark of Excellence competition divides entrants into small schools (1-9,999 students) and large schools (10,000+ students) for some categories. For the year 2015, members of the Yellow Jacket staff are finalists in the following categories: Jacob Meyer in Feature Writing (Small), Sports Writing (Small), and General News (Small); Tim Neral in Non-Fiction Magazine Writing; and Nika Anschuetz in General News (Small).

“Being named a finalist for the SPJ awards tells us that the students took no worse than what is essentially third place in our four-state region, which is a huge honor,” said Brandon Szuminsky, faculty adviser for The Yellow Jacket.

The finalists for these 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 in April to the SPJ Region 4 and 5 Spring Conference in Cincinnati to learn how the newspaper placed. First-place winners in each category will move on to the national SPJ competition.

“We’ve never been selected for five Mark of Excellence awards before, and I’m honored to lead the staff that accomplished it,” said Kimmi Baston, executive editor of The Yellow Jacket. “The Mark of Excellence Awards are prestigious accolades, so I’m thrilled that Waynesburg is represented so heavily among the winners.”

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.

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

In the Ongoing News Coverage category, The Yellow Jacket won first place for a series entitled “University bans off-campus living,” by Rebecca Burcham, Rob Longo and Jacob Meyer, and received an honorable mention for “Mather Mine: The forgotten tragedy,” by Chelsea Dicks. The series “University bans off-campus living” also won first place for Public Service/Enterprise Package. In the Sports Story category, Meyer won first place for his feature article “The hardest thing imaginable.”

“To bring in three first place awards after being compared to schools across the state is truly a testament to the incredible amount of work our writers put into each and every piece,” said Baston. “I was proud of each of these stories when we published them in 2015, and I’m incredibly proud and excited that the PNA recognized the exceptional work of the students who wrote them.”

The Student Keystone Press Awards contest recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers.
“While The Yellow Jacket staff has a long list of awards, this is the most awards we’ve ever won in a single academic year. Last year we were pretty happy to win five awards between SPJ and PNA, so to win nine this year has us ecstatic,” said Szuminsky. “These awards are confirmation that students are doing great work and are getting a high-quality journalism education at Waynesburg that will prepare them for their future careers.”

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-21-WCCC-nursing-agreement.JPGOfficials of Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) and Waynesburg University recently signed an agreement to ensure that students who completed the nursing associate degree program at WCCC will transfer to a parallel baccalaureate degree program at the university.

The agreement, which applies to the university’s RN to BSN program, was signed by Dana Cook Baer, interim provost at Waynesburg University, and WCCC President Tuesday Stanley.

“This articulation agreement with Waynesburg University will provide WCCC nursing students with a seamless pathway to a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which is a professional and personal goal for many,” said Stanley.

To be eligible, WCCC students must complete the associate degree nursing program, be in good standing with no history of academic probation and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. 

“We are pleased to partner with WCCC to provide an opportunity for students who want to obtain education and training in quality nursing programs at a time when the country and the region need well-trained and compassionate health care professionals,” said Baer.

“The agreement aligns with the Institute of Medicine’s proposed nursing education initiative to increase the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing from 50 to 80 percent by 2020,” said Rebecca Gediminsksas, interim dean of health professions/ natural sciences. 

In Pennsylvania, only 27 percent of nurses have attained a bachelor’s degree in nursing. 

“Intrinsic to nursing education is instilling that learning is lifelong and further education is imperative,” said Gediminsksas.

At WCCC, 484 students are currently enrolled in the college’s associate degree nursing programs conducted at the Youngwood campus and WCCC centers in Greene and Indiana counties.  

“Our curriculum at Waynesburg University builds on what students have learned in their associate degree nursing program and is not a repeat of courses,” said Dr. Kimberly Whiteman, co-director of the University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-18-Vira-Heinz.jpgSix Waynesburg University students have been selected to receive scholarships through the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership.

The Vira I. Heinz Program, part of Heinz Endowments, is intended to empower young women to address global issues by offering opportunities for international education, leadership development and community service. Typically, each participating college or university in Pennsylvania is granted three spots for female sophomores or juniors. This year, as has been the case at Waynesburg in previous years, Waynesburg was granted six spots.

The program provides scholarships of at least $5,000 for women who have never been out of the United States to study abroad for the summer, and Waynesburg is one of only 13 higher education institutions to participate in the program. Collectively, the Waynesburg recipients will receive more than $40,000 for their trips, scheduled to take place during the summer of 2016. 

“It’s an honor,” said Pat Bristor, associate dean of students and coordinator of the University’s Vira I. Heinz Program. “It’s the quality of our students. We have outstanding students, and we have exceptional female students who apply for the scholarship and really present themselves well.”

The six students were selected after an application process that included creating a proposal for their intended travel plans and interviews in front of a committee. They will participate in a year-long program which includes spring and fall retreats at the University of Pittsburgh, a summer of travel, an experience report and a community engagement experience. 

Waynesburg scholarship recipients this year include sophomores Melanie Byler, Moesha Godwin and Alexis Prettiman and juniors Summer Fiori, Anna Narehood and Maranda Valentino.

Byler, an athletic training and exercise science major from Salisbury, Pennsylvania, plans to travel through International Studies Abroad to India. She will be completing a healthcare service learning program and hopes to learn the Hindi language as well as expand her knowledge of Eastern medicine. 

Fiori, a psychology major from Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, will travel to Northern Thailand to study at Chiang Mai University through the Center for International Studies. She will study the Buddhist religion, learn to speak Thai and serve as a volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park. She also plans to spend time touring the country and experiencing the culture.

Godwin, a psychology major from Bronx, New York, will spend the summer in Adelaide, Australia, studying international health and indigenous cultures, particularly the Aboriginal culture. She is traveling through International Studies Abroad and is most looking forward to interacting with new people.

Narehood, a forensic chemistry major from Frenchville, Pennsylvania, will spend the summer in Luneburg, Germany, and is traveling through the University Study Abroad Consortium. Thrilled to be fulfilling her dream of traveling abroad, Narehood plans to study German culture, language, government and politics.

Prettiman, a criminal justice and international cultures double major from North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, will be travelling to Rabat, Morocco, through the Council on International Educational Exchange. While there, she will study the Arabic language and seek to better understand the religion and traditions of Morocco, experiences for which she feels the University has helped prepare her.

Valentino, a history secondary education major from Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, plans to spend the summer in Saint Petersburg, Russia, learning the Russian language and studying sociology and history at Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University. Through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Study Abroad Program, she will also travel to a number of places throughout Russia, such as Moscow and Norovgrod, to study the culture.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: Vira I Heinz News
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The Waynesburg University Players will present their Spring Musical, “The Little Mermaid,” Wednesday, March 30, through Saturday, April 2, in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. each evening. There will also be a matinee performance April 2 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, and the public is cordially invited to attend. 

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“The Little Mermaid” is based on the classic Disney film and tells the story of a mermaid who makes a bargain with an evil sea witch so she can seek love on land, outside of the ocean.

The show has never been performed at Waynesburg before, and Edward L. Powers, director of the theater program and professor of theater at the University, believes that participating in the show greatly benefits students.

“Theatre teaches creativity, responsibility, dedication, teamwork and physical dexterity,” said Powers. “Theatre also teaches the actors and audience about the human spirit and human condition.”

Reservations for general admission are suggested, and tickets can be purchased at www.waynesburg.ticketleap.com/mermaid or by calling 724-852-3226.

In conjunction with the show, the University will host its annual Alumni and Friends Dinner Theatre Saturday, April 2. Alumni are invited for dinner in Benedum Dining Hall at 5:30 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. performance of the Spring Musical.

Tickets are $35 per adult ticket and $12.50 per child ticket, the proceeds from which benefit the University’s Theatre Program. Alumni should register by March 25, 2016, online at www.waynesburgunited.com/dinnertheatre16. Theatre seats are limited and reserved on a date-received basis.

For more information, contact Ferd Dolfi in the Office of Institutional Advancement at 724-852-3300 or fdolfi@waynesburg.edu.

The cast and crew of “The Little Mermaid” include:

  • Ariel: Kayla Coughlin, a freshman early childhood education major from Buena Park, California (Home School Clearing House) (cast one) and Mandi Pascarella, a freshman biblical and ministry studies major from Greensburg, Pennsylvania (Hempfield Area High School) (cast two)
  • Pilot/Fish/Footman: Christian Wilson, a freshman with an undeclared major from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (Jefferson-Morgan High School)
  • Sailor/Fish/Guest: Keyur Patel, a sophomore finance major from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (Waynesburg Central High School)
  • Sailor/Fish: Joshua Sneeringer, a freshman business management major from New Oxford, Pennsylvania (Delone Catholic High School)
  • Sailor/Fish: Mason Morgan, a freshman marketing major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Chartiers Valley High School)
  • Prince Eric: Zachary Zeigler, a junior communication major from West Mifflin, Pennsylvania (West Mifflin High School)
  • Grimsby: Ronnie Loebker, a sophomore engineering major from Ripley, Ohio (Home School Clearing House)
  • Flounder/Chef Ensemble: Emily Haywood, a senior criminal justice major from Claysville, Pennsylvania (McGuffey High School)
  • Scuttle: Brittany Stowe, a senior arts administration major from Millville, New Jersey (Millville High School)
  • Windward/Chef Ensemble: Joanna Peters, a freshman marine biology major from Frederick, Maryland (Covenant Community School)
  • Leeward/Maid Ensemble: Cassie Gates, a senior biochemistry major from Penn Hills, Pennsylvania (Penn Hills High School)
  • Fish Ensemble/Stage Manager: Briana Ryan, a freshman music ministry major from Monongahela, Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School)
  • King Triton: Matt Colaluca, a sophomore forensic science major from Monaca, Pennsylvania (Central Valley High School)
  • Sebastian: Josh Stewart, a freshman early childhood education major from Preston, Maryland (Colonel Richardson High School)
  • Aquata/Princess: Renee Watts, a senior early childhood education major from Clairton, Pennsylvania (Wilson Christian Academy)
  • Andrina/Princess: Kelsey Prough, a freshman forensic science major from Altoona, Pennsylvania (Altoona Area High School)
  • Atina/Princess: Tessa Masula, a freshman English secondary education major from Grand Rapids, Michigan (Wellspring Preparatory High School)
  • Adella/Princess: Megan Cook, a freshman digital design major from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania (Montour High School)
  • Allana/Princess: Michelle Frye, a sophomore advertising major from Carmichaels, Pennsylvania (Carmichaels High School)
  • Flotsam/Maid Ensemble: Katie Kondrick, a sophomore history major from Cheswick, Pennsylvania (Fox Chapel High School)
  • Jetsam/Chef Ensemble: Hannah Bloir, a freshman environmental science major from Mansfield, Ohio (Clear Fork High School)
  • Ursula: Jamie Denniston, a junior early childhood education major from Sewickley, Pennsylvania (Moon Area High School) (cast one) and Stephanie Tress, a senior forensic science major from McMurray, Pennsylvania (Canon-McMillan High School) (cast two)
  • Gull/Maid Ensemble: Elisabeth Gray, a sophomore art major from Morgantown, West Virginia (Morgantown High School)
  • Chef Louise: Maggie Denniston, a junior art major from Sewickley, Pennsylvania (Moon Area High School)
  • Sea Guppies: Bryn Lahew, Loren Schroyer, Dani Stockdale
  • Director: Edward L. Powers
  • Music Director: Dr. Ronda DePriest, director of the music program
  • Vocal Coach: Melanie Catana, director of choral music
  • Producer: Dr. Xela Batchelder, assistant professor of arts administration
  • Choreographer: Denise Branthoover, a sophomore nursing major from Murrysville, Pennsylvania (Franklin Regional High School)
  • Stage Manager: Kayla Goncalves, a sophomore music ministry major from Boca Raton, Florida (Olympic Heights Community High School)

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.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-17-CUPRAP-Award.jpgWaynesburg University has received two 2016 CUPPIE Awards from College and University Public Relations and Associated Professionals (CUPRAP), one gold and one bronze, for its in-house production of the Annual Report and the admissions newsletter. 

The University was awarded a Gold CUPPIE for its 2013-2014 Annual Report, and Bronze for the December 2014 issue of its admissions newsletter, “Unscripted.” 

“We are thrilled that our University Relations team was honored with this award,” said Heidi Szuminsky, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and University Relations. “Their commitment to excellence shines through in every publication they produce, but the recognition of this award is a testament to the hard work and dedication the team puts into every single aspect of their craft. We are proud of the job they’ve done and continue to do.”

The awards were presented at an awards dinner Thursday, March 10, at Hotel Hershey, in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

This year, CUPRAP received 380 entries for the CUPPIE awards.

CUPRAP is a voluntary organization of communications professionals from colleges, universities and independent schools dedicated to advancing the understanding of higher education and enhancing the professional development of its members. Members come from private and public colleges and universities, junior colleges, community colleges, independent schools, as well as other organizations involved in higher education.

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.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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