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RJ_20141105-144921_1.jpgIn support of RJ Tonks, a senior sports management major and marketing minor at Waynesburg University, business students held Rise Up for RJ Saturday, Nov. 1, during half time of the football game. President Douglas G. Lee, as well as members of the Waynesburg University Business Club, presented Tonks with a check for $8,000 at the game.

After the check was created, donations continued to pour in, totaling $8,322 at last count for Tonks’ treatments at the Carrick Brain Centers in Marietta, Ga. This far surpassed the club’s original goal of $6,000.

Ashley Clark, a senior marketing major and accounting minor from McDonald, Pa.; Joshua Dains, a senior business management major from Clarksville, Pa.; and Kaitlyn Marteney, a senior forensic accounting and criminal justice major from Berlin, Pa., spearheaded the fundraiser to help Tonks defray the costs of treatment.

The students integrated service with learning by using skills gained in their business classes.

“We designed, ordered, sold and distributed the shirts, as well as everything in between,” said Dains. “Our professors were great people to bounce ideas off of, and they proved to be an awesome support system.”

The funds raised will go toward treatment and travel costs for Tonks. When he was eight, Tonks developed a virus that left a scar on his brain. For many years, the scar impaired Tonks’ hand eye coordination, mobility, speech, balance and fine motor skills. As a freshman, Tonks became dependent on a wheelchair for mobility.

“We are all really good friends with RJ,” said Clark. “We had heard that he may not be able to go down for treatment this semester because it is very expensive. We know that RJ's goal is to walk unassisted at graduation this May, and we understand how important that is to him.”

The senior Business Club majors designed a shirt to sell to staff, faculty, students and community members. The front of the shirt read "Rise Up for RJ," while the back contains Tonks’ personal motto, the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11. 

In total, the club sold more than 600 shirts during the six-week fundraiser.

“It's an incredible feeling to know I have support from the entire Waynesburg University community,” said Tonks. “I was amazed at how much money was raised from the sale of the shirts. I am so thankful for my classmates in the Business Club that organized the fundraiser and everyone that bought or sold a shirt.”

The students held a “black out” at the November 1 Waynesburg versus Thomas Moore football game to sell shirts as the final fundraising push. Members of the crowd purchased and wore the black shirts in a show of support.

“We have all been greatly impacted by RJ's enthusiasm, motivation and humbling personality; we wanted to do something special for him.” Clark said. “His treatment costs $5,500 for one week. This amount does not include travel expenses like food, lodging, gas, etc. We are so happy to have surpassed our goal.”

For more information, contact cla7773@student.waynesburg.edu.

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Matt.JPGDylan Matt, senior forensic science major 

Academic extern, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation in London, Ohio 

Dylan Matt spent the summer of 2014 answering questions such as “can a person transfer DNA to another person by grabbing his or her wrist?” and “can DNA be transferred during the laundry process?” The senior forensic science major invested many hours in the trace lab of the Ohio Bureau of Criminial Investigation. 

He practiced identifying hairs and fibers using a comparison microscope and was trained to process cases of fracture matches in the way of professional forensic scientists. He helped to search and code a shoe tread database and learned how to collect oral and skin swabbings. Matt also performed a number of extractions and analyses of DNA, including the transfer by laundry and skin. He and a fellow extern co-authored papers outlining the results of the study. 

While at Waynesburg University, Matt has the opportunity to utilize professional instrumentation through experimentations and mock scenarios in his laboratory classes. These state-of-the-art instrumentation and tools include high and low power comparison microscopes, polarized light microscope and scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive spectroscopy, among others. Matt credits his experiences in his Waynesburg classes for preparing him for his internship. 

“I definitely learned a lot at Waynesburg University before going into this internship, and I also learned so much from this internship that will better prepare me for my future career,” Matt said. “I gained valuable knowledge and experience working in the field of forensic science. I also developed friendships and professional colleagues and experience working in a professional environment.”

 

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Kelly-Brady.jpgKelly Brady, 2011 Forensic Science 

Forensic technician at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia, Pa.

Working a full-time job while earning a master’s degree may be difficult for some, but for Kelly Brady, juggling both came easily.

A 2011 graduate of Waynesburg University, the former forensic science major currently works as a forensic technician at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, where she performs autopsies, extracts fluids and organs from decedents for toxicology, takes photographs of decedents and releases them to funeral homes. Just recently, she earned her master’s degree in forensic medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Reflecting on her time at Waynesburg University, the former vice president of Waynesburg’s Gamma Sigma Epsilon, a chemistry honorary society, chapter credits her alma mater for preparing her for life after college.

“Waynesburg University gave me countless opportunities to network with people in my field and to gain as much knowledge as possible,” said Brady. “I feel that all of the coursework and extracurricular activities at Waynesburg were beneficial and prepared me for the workforce because I was able to see what my field was really like.” 

 

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Michael Campbell, 2014 Nursing 

Registered Nurse, St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa. – Intermediate Care Unit

Michael Campbell spends his 12-hour work shifts constantly moving and staying active. Working in the intermediate care unit at St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh Pa., Campbell is very busy dealing with multiple patients with varying degrees of illnesses. 

As a registered nurse, he records patient medical histories and symptoms, provides patient care and interprets cardiac rhythms. 

Securing a job just one month after graduation, Campbell earned his bachelor of science in nursing at Waynesburg University in May at 31 years old. 

Although wearing the many hats of student, husband and father seemed challending at times, Campbell said Waynesburg’s Nursing Program prepared him to enter the workforce with confidence. He adds that the Program provided him with the foundation he needed to become a nurse. 

“Waynesburg gave me the challenge I was looking for while providing me the skills and knowledge I needed to start a career as a nurse,” said Campbell. “I was able to have clinical at multiple hospitals, which allowed me to decide what hospital was the right fit for me once I graduated.”

 

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Wharrey.jpgShawn Wharrey, 2013 Biology (Pre-Vet) 

Student at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

When Shawn Wharrey stepped onto Waynesburg University’s campus during his senior year of high school, he knew Waynesburg was the right fit. With small class sizes and a beautiful campus as its backdrop, he could see himself earning a degree at Waynesburg. 

Five years later, the Waynesburg University alumnus finds himself beginning his second year of veterinary school at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. At veterinary school, Wharrey has sparked an interest in one day helping small animals and exotic animals such as birds, reptiles and rabbits. In addition, he is interested in working in the field of aquatic medicine and aquaculture. 

Although the transition from a university of 1,400 students to a university of more than 60,000 students seemed a bit overwhelming for Wharrey, the former Student Senate President and active biology club member adjusted quite nicely. He is currently one of two delegates for the Ohio State University’s Student American Veterinary Medical Association Chapter, where he attends delegate meetings to discuss current issues and concerns of university students. 

“Waynesburg offered me the opportunity to truly get a great education as well as grow in my faith and service,” said the former biology/pre-med major. “Being involved in many different organizations, I learned a lot about leadership and being a voice for others. Waynesburg helped me realize how important it is to serve others and to stand up for things you believe in.” 

 

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