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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_2001.JPGIt was a mini Yellow Jacket reunion at West Virginia University (WVU) on Monday, Oct. 6,  as four current and former Waynesburg Army ROTC participants witnessed the enlistment and contracting of Waynesburg sophomore Matthew Rinaudo. Rinaudo, a criminal justice major, signed his three-year scholarship offer with the Mountaineer Battalion. 

Waynesburg University is an ROTC partner with WVU, the host institution. Joining Rinaudo were (pictured left to right) junior Charles Cook, junior Aaron Palmer, Rinaudo and 2nd Lt. Sam Lombardo, a 2014 criminal justice administration alumnus. Lombardo, who was commissioned through WVU in May, is working as a Gold Bar Recruiter at WVU until he reports for Military Police Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in late November. Cook, a biology major from Cheswick, Pa., is a two-year scholarship recipient while Palmer, a junior sports management major from Leesburg, Va., is a four-year ROTC scholarship recipient and a member of the Yellow Jacket football team.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_Molly-Winters.jpgMy journey with the Pittsburgh CLO began in May as I picked out my best work attire and paired it with all things pink, because after all, a girl oozes confidence in pink. Before I knew it, I was standing on the sixth floor of the Benedum Center and was staring at dark red walls, show posters and theater-esque lighting. I was impressed. I took a deep breath, reminded myself how much Waynesburg University had prepared me for this moment and hopped off the elevator. I was soon greeted by a smiling Aja Jones, public relations and marketing manager at Pittsburgh CLO and my new boss.

This summer was a wonderful whirlwind. Pittsburgh CLO’s Summer Season offered six shows, and I saw each one about three times each (cue the relentless show tune singing). Working as the public relations and marketing intern, I gained a profound respect for theater, and I am grateful for that eye opening opportunity. My office hours were Monday through Friday 9 to 5, but I also worked many nights during the week as well as some weekends. The theater world is hard to categorize as “typical,” so I was constantly learning many new aspects of public relations and theater.

Some of my favorite assignments were:

  • Attending every dress rehearsal and taking notes for the executive producer
  • Attending Pittsburgh Today Live interviews at KDKA
  • Pitching story ideas to Pittsburgh newspapers
  • Planning the Opening Night Cast Party for each show
  • Taking pictures at the social media display during shows
  • Writing press releases and web stories for the shows

Waynesburg University prepared me with all of the essential tools and the proper mindset that I needed to succeed in my internship. Many of my courses, such as Public Relations Writing and Production, Special Event Planning, Creativity Theory and Introduction to Theater, among others, helped me immensely. My professors always urge my classmates and I to get out of our comfort zone and try something new. I am forever indebted to this University for everything it has instilled in me and for forming me into the professional I’ve aimed to be.

I learned a lot about myself this summer, as a person and a professional. I learned that my integrity is a lot stronger than I thought, and I don’t give myself as much credit as I should. I realized that it is so easy to be consumed by doubt, but I must learn to have faith in myself and my work because, at the end of the day, I will always find a solution.

Thank you, Pittsburgh CLO, for the summer of a lifetime and thank you, Waynesburg University, for enabling me to pursue my dreams.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_SS-Group.jpgEight Waynesburg University students accompanied Faith Musko, instructor of forensic science and adviser to the West Coast Swing (WCS) Club on campus known as “Sting Swing,” to Dearborn, Mich., in June for the annual Michigan Classic West Coast Swing Dance Competition. 

Three passes ($300 value) to the Michigan Classic were donated to Sting Swing from a WCS dancer in Pittsburgh (Dr. Randolph Peters) and were raffled off to Sting Swing members.  Brandi Kukler, Jake Restanio and Samantha Bardy were the lucky winners of these passes.

Students competed in the Jack n’ Jill in either the Newcomer or Novice Divisions. A Jack n’ Jill consists of dancing to randomly pre-selected music with a randomly drawn partner. Competitors advance in these divisions by making finals and placing in the top five for that division. Each placement is a designated point amount and when a competitor reaches a specified point value they advance to the next division.  The Newcomer division is for those individuals that are beginners or new competitors and/or have earned no points in a WCS competition. Angel Berkey, Jake Restanio, Brandi Kukler, Lexi Boudreau, Samantha Barky, Josh Garrison and Kristen Stone all competed in this division. Kristen Stone, a senior forensic ecience major, advanced to finals in this division and took sixth place.

Robert Cronkhite, a junior exercise science major and president of Sting Swing, competed in the Novice Division, which is the biggest division in the WCS circuit consisting of more than 50 leaders, and took first place with his partner. The Michigan Classic also has the coveted “Top Gun” competition. The Top Gun takes the top four placements from each division (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and All-Star) and pairs them, high-low.  Robert was paired with the lowest seeded All-Star follow from Clearwater, Fla., (Agnieszka Maslanka) and went head-to-head with 15 other couples, and won! He and his partner won a $500 cash prize, free passes to Michigan Classic 2015, a “Top Gun” jacket, names on the traveling trophy and an opportunity to teach a WCS workshop at next year’s Michigan Classic.

In August, sophomore Cortnie Devore competed at her first WCS competition (Swing Fling) in Leesburg, Va. Like her peers, she competed in the Newcomer division and made finals.

Besides competitions, students had the opportunity to take workshops and private lessons with top professionals, as well as social dance with dancers of all levels, educations, occupations and nationalities. Dancers were present from France, Spain, Argentina, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Russia and many others.

Sting Swing meets at 8:30 p.m., in the Old Gym on Wednesday evenings. Students, Faculty and Staff are welcome to attend.

The Michigan Classic is sanctioned by the World Swing Dance Council, which was organized in 1993, and is the key service organization designed to further communication and to provide informational services and record keeping for those in the Swing Dance Community.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_Photo1.JPGThese past few weeks I have had the opportunity to work with brands such as Monopoly and finish up the signage designs for the Hasbro building I work in. It’s because of this project that I know what’s entailed in a long-term project requiring research, such as the standard sign dimensions, ADA requirements and the like. With just two weeks of my internship left, I can say that the project is in good shape. I will now begin the proofing process with my supervisor and the printing process after that. A few posts back, I detailed the research process as figuring out how many signs I needed and where to place them to the most readable type of arrow. This accomplished one of my goals of learning how to research a project before randomly designing. This helped tremendously in how smoothly the project went.

Some other projects I’ve been involved in are poster/flyer/banner designs for the Community Relations Department at Hasbro. These are usually fun designs aimed at promoting Hasbro or partnership events. I have been blessed to get to know coworkers in other departments, especially Community Relations. I have a special interest in Community Relations because of my education and participation in non-profit public relations at Waynesburg University. It has been wonderful seeing what they and other departments do because I have been able to narrow down my field of interest within graphic design and public relations.

One of many positive experiences that has enforced my worldview of service has been to dedicate everything to the job I am working on. It is extremely rewarding when you put your all into something great and successful. It comes naturally to me to put my time into getting something done right and near perfect. Hasbro also recognizes that as valuable in its employees, and I witnessed personally their “thanking” initiative.

Another awesome experience was being invited to sit with and help the technology operatives at Hasbro’s quarterly State of the Company meeting. I was in charge of running the backup presentations should the main computers fail. I also got to meet the CEO Brian Goldner and listen to the incredibly smart brains behind the entire Hasbro operation, as it were. It was a unique experience that I will never forget. After that, I was also invited to attend the Corporate Communications and Human Resources team luncheon where I met the head of communications at Hasbro. At the luncheon my team and myself were personally thanked for our efforts in a 126-page book about Hasbro that was sent to Fortune 500’s Great Places to Work spot. Hopefully, with the help of the excellent senior designers that I had the privilege of working under, Hasbro will be on the 2014 list of Great Places to Work.

All in all, these last three weeks have been stocked full with incredible experiences that I will remember and reflect on for many years to come. The lessons and simple technical skills have drastically changed the way I now approach designing, and I am fortunate to have learned them here. I will be writing two more posts and then my summer internship at Hasbro will come to an end. However, I will carry the lessons and memories with me into a career after school.

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Last year at this time I was disembarking the Semester at Sea M.V. Explorer in Antalya, Turkey. The next three days were spent soaking up the sun on Turkey’s absolutely gorgeous beaches with an iced mint tea in hand. Fast forward one year, and I’m sitting at my Hasbro desk working with a team leader on what could possibly be one of the biggest portfolio pieces of my career thus far.

It’s not Turkey, but I’d say its better.

Due to the confidential nature of the piece, I cannot disclose exactly what it is. However, I can tell you that it is extremely important to promoting the company’s incredibly positive public image. This is what I love about my majors.

I can promote the company’s mission and positive public relations using graphic design. While the writing in a design is the meat of the message, the artwork is the first impression. You know what they say - “first impressions last.” It’s my job as a graphic designer to make that first impression a good one. From there, the reader/viewer can delve into the writing with the exact mindset and message that we want them to have.

This week also brought the development of another important project. I am now in charge of rethinking and redesigning the main Hasbro building’s internal directional signage. The building itself is the size of a standard city square block.

On account of the size, getting around is difficult without prior directional knowledge. I started my inventory of what signs we already have and where there is a lack of directional signage. I will be working on every aspect of this project from planning to working with the printer to make sure every sign comes out exactly the way I want it. 

Now, seven weeks in to my internship, I have made many friends with coworkers and become very comfortable with the company culture. Spontaneous inner-cubicle Nerf gun wars helped with that (Hasbro and Nerf are Franchise/Partner Brands).  

I look forward to continuing my projects next week and enjoying the holiday weekend, even though I’ll be spending it in Rhode Island and not somewhere off in the Mediterranean.

See you next week.

Brittany Semco is a senior design and public relations major at Waynesburg University.

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