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Dear WU,

I recently registered for my last semester with you, and I can’t help but feel upset about this end to an important ritual of my college career. Somehow, I can’t picture myself anywhere but where I am now.

As you know, when I began looking at schools as a high school senior, you were on the list with two other Christian universities. I toured those other two schools, liking much of what I saw and even applied to them, thinking of how my future would be if I were to attend one of them.

I toured you last and there was an immediate change. Although I had my heart set on an equestrian school, I didn’t get the same feeling with those other schools because you were the one that made me feel as though I belonged.

There has been a lot of push and pull in our relationship throughout the years: classes I didn’t want to take, but ended up liking; class assignments that nearly pushed me over the edge, but I overcame; and exams that kept me up nights worrying over, but the end result always turned out better than I imagined.

I am now able to see that you only challenged me because you knew I could do it, no matter how many times I said I couldn’t, and I want to apologize for being so stubborn.

I have not always liked you, especially on the days where I received nothing but papers scribbled over in red ink—slashes and lines through my creative thoughts like a connect-the-dot activity sheet. I cried over those days more times than I feel comfortable confessing to you. What I couldn’t see at the time, however, was how much all of those scribbles would allow me to grow into a much better writer.

So much has happened over these past four years, some of which has been life-altering. It’s difficult to think of where my life would be if I would not have chosen you. You helped to peel back the layers of my insecurities as a person, writer and Christian, giving me chances to grow beyond the expectations I had originally placed for myself. My whole self-concept has changed, thanks to you.

Do you remember when I went for my interview with the Admissions Department as a freshman for a Student Ambassador position? I walked into that interview like a typical freshman: naïve and irrational. I remember adamantly saying the words “I will do anything you need, but I will never give a tour” to the admissions counselor, fully knowing that was in the job description. She and you had a good laugh, I’m sure.

The first time I gave a tour, I was so nervous I couldn’t remember anything I had rehearsed, but I made it through. To my surprise, families even began to tell me they couldn’t believe I had ever been shy. I give you the credit for those statements. Had it not been for you, I would have quit and crawled back into my comfortable shell of invisibility.

Through you, I went from being an insecure introvert to a confident, somewhat more sociable young woman who is no longer afraid of people looking at her because she knows she is important.

They say coming to college is part of a transitional phase of life which helps set the foundations for our future goals and careers, but to me it has been so much more than that. Finding my way to you has been a type of reawakening in my life.

During these past four years, I’ve repeatedly lost and regained confidence in my abilities; I’ve had my heart broken and restored again (like so many my age); I’ve lost high school friendships and gained stronger, less selfish ones; I’ve lost sight of my faith only to find a stronger, more cognizant version; and most importantly, I’ve learned who I am as a person and who I want to become as I continue to grow.

My final registration signifies this chapter in my life is about to end and as I sit here writing this letter to you, I hate to think this journey is almost over. Like a friend, you have become close to my heart and I know, even once I’m gone, that is where you will remain.

Thank you for all you have done for me, both good and bad, for they have made me who I am today.

Sincerely,
Kayla Longstreth

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kenya4194-handing-over-2.jpgSeveral hundred people in Kenya have access to clean water because of Alex Tenenbaum and his drive to positively affect those dying due to a lack of basic needs.

The junior information technology major at Waynesburg University led the EcoStewards Club in raising several thousand dollars for The Water Project in an effort to provide clean water to a primary school in Bukhaywa, located in western Kenya. With a population of 760 students, 18 teachers and three sub-ordinate staff, the school had previously gotten water from a stream.

Water collected from the stream was not clean, and it was two kilometers away.

The project involved the repair of a hand-dug well, which served the community and school from 1994 to 2006, when it was contaminated and later vandalized.

Co-sponsored by the EcoStewards Club, Tenenbaum and other members of the organization raised $5,050 within three months, and within three months from reaching their monetary goal, they had confirmation of project completion in pictures.

“The whole project was a challenge,” Tenenbaum said, “but I just kept in mind my goal. It was all about the kids there – not about me and the struggles I went through to make this happen. When I saw the pictures, the smiling faces of all those people over there, it really hit home.”

With one of those pictures now adorning the wall of his dorm room, Tenenbaum needs only to look at it for motivation for his new project – another well in another part of Africa. As he manages his busy schedule of classes, preparing to study abroad in Italy next semester, working ten hours a week and attending EcoStewards Club meetings, Tenebaum continues to reserve time for his passion, in hopes of funding the repair of another well by the end of this semester.

“When people ask me, ‘Who are you impacting?’ My first thought is the world.” Tenebaum said. “It might sound crazy, but we really did. We made a difference.”

Tenenbaum has hopes it will be easier for him this time around – he is enrolled in fundraising and environmental biology courses with the goal of learning more about how to reach his goal and of the effects his project could have.

“Plus, I can tell people, I did this before. I already raised $5,050 once. I can do it again,” he said.

One of Tenebaum’s life goals is to use his God given talents and the knowledge he gains at Waynesburg University through his information technology major and sociology minor to help the disadvantaged.

“I want to use technology to make a difference,” Tenebaum said. “I’m not sure how I’m going to do that yet, but I’m confident I’ll figure it out.”

Some would say he already has.

For more information, contact Tenebaum at ten6901@student.waynesburg.edu.

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As the college search continues for many high school students, the question of whether to attend a secular or Christian institution
may come to the forefront of the discussion. This can be a difficult topic, as students try to discern where God is leading them in the midst of such b2ap3_thumbnail_Waynesburg-University-Chapel.pngtransition and change. While individuals searching for their true calling and direction in life can certainly follow God’s will at secular schools, there are advantages to attending a Christian college or university. Here are the top three…

3. Academic instruction.  In many cases, choosing a Christian institution means choosing a smaller setting. According to collegestats.org, 817 of the country’s religiously affiliated schools have less than 5,000 students. And nearly 400 of those have less than 1,000. So what’s that mean for your academics? It means smaller class sizes, more hands-on learning opportunities and much more individualized attention from faculty. Also, often times, those professors will share the Christian perspective on the subject matters they teach (after laying out all of the facts, of course), allowing students to explore and discover in an informed manner.

2. Service opportunities.  Matthew 20:28 reads, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”  Thus, it’s no surprise that the types of institutions that bear Christ’s name provide boundless opportunities for their students to serve the world around them. Whether it’s serving locally at Habitat for Humanity or traveling halfway across the globe to work with impoverished youth, these experiences prove life altering for so many. And the best schools will seek not only to provide these outlets at their respective institutions, but also to equip their students for a lifetime of servitude for the glory of God.

1. Students’ holistic development.  To many (including myself!), the No. 1 reason to consider a Christian college or university is the opportunity to develop holistically as a person. From top to bottom, the faculty and staff at these institutions care about so much more than just what letter goes down in the grade book. They pour their heart, soul and precious time into students to ensure that they’re not only better job prospects, but that they’re also better men and women of God. And at a time when fiscal responsibility is on the top of everyone’s priority list, that type of college experience is a value that’s worth every single penny. 

Dave Floyd is an Admissions Counselor at Waynesburg University, whose travel territory includes Westmoreland County, Eastern Pennsylvania and the Northeast states. He is also a 2012 Waynesburg alumnus.

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With so many colleges and universities out there to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where all to apply. After filling out a few, you may look at the next school on your list and think to yourself, “Why should I apply here?” Well, if you’re asking that about Waynesburg University, this list is your answer! Here’s the top five reasons to apply to Waynesburg:

5. It’s free! Not much to explain here. If you apply online, it won’t cost you a penny!

4. Fun. College isn’t all about books, and Waynesburg knows that. Whether you’re off to practice, enjoying Bingo night, taking a trip to Pittsburgh or just hanging with friends in the residence halls, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do. Oh, and traditions that students enjoy? We’ve got a bunch of those, too. The President’s Breakfast and Pumpkin Bowling are but a couple.

3. Achievement Awards. Depending on where you’re at with your cumulative high school GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you could be in line for anywhere from $20,000 to $60,000 (four-year totals) in Achievement Awards. If you apply and are accepted, you’ll find out right on your acceptance letter how much, if any, you may qualify for. This, along with other Financial Aid, could help defray the total cost of attending Waynesburg, which is already about $8,500 less than other private, four-year institutions!

2. Hands-on learning. Hands-on learning is a staple here, and in almost every major, that starts freshman year. Whether you’re assessing injuries on the football field, analyzing blood spatter in the Forensic Science Lab or broadcasting events from the University’s remote TV truck, you won’t just be sitting in a classroom. When you are, though, it’ll only be with about 24 others. As a result, your professors will know you and invest themselves in your learning.

1. People. Cliché? Maybe. But to so many here, the best part of Waynesburg truly is its people. Those faculty members we just mentioned, Residence Life, Campus Ministry Assistants, coaches, and the list could go on – all here committed to our mission of Christian faith, scholarship and service, and to your holistic development as a person.

As you can see, no matter what your criteria, Waynesburg has something for you. Don’t wait; apply today! (Remember, it’s free!)

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There are thousands, if not millions, of things I have learned as a student at Waynesburg, all of which have helped to shape me into the person I have and am becoming today.

Academically, I have learned about acrylic painting and drawing; American, British and World literature; human biology and environmental biology; fiction, nonfiction and poetry; photography and design; psychology and sociology; and much more.

Spiritually, I have learned what it means to listen to the Word and reflect on God’s promises—to trust in Him and, through Him, make a difference.

Yet, through all of these things I have learned, there is always something a professor says that resonates beyond everyday learning. These special sayings make us think without asking any questions. Sometimes unaware, the professor continues on with the lecture as you sit in silence pondering that small, profound thought—that pertinent piece of wisdom.

I experienced this feeling a couple of weeks ago as I was sitting in my intermediate poetry class. We were discussing the power of language and art, and how difficult it is to stop thinking about reason and focus on the experience as it stands before you. A tree is a tree, a sparrow is a sparrow, and these things are better described as what they are. They do not need to be decorated with adjectives and metaphors to stand on their own.

It is easy to state what something is, but to describe it in its natural form as is with no formula or reasoning was something completely unnatural for me. In high school, I was taught there is one single interpretation to every piece of writing, but coming to college, I have come to realize this is not exactly true. A true poem, as well as any piece of creative writing, needs no interpretation or thought provoking message. There is no formula—it is what it is.

As I was trying to wrap my head around this new concept, I heard these words from my professor as she continued on.

“You can prepare yourself for math and science, but it doesn’t prepare you for being human.”

Then it hit me.

We can spend our time trying to create the best new thing known to man, but even that does not change what we are: human. Whether it is writing the next acclaimed novel or creating a cure for cancer, we are all the same. We all hurt, we all fail and we all have weaknesses, but that is the beautiful part of being human.

To some degree, we all paint our lives with certain characteristics, dreams, goals and titles to make us stand out, but in the end we all are human. Just as a tree is a tree and a sparrow is a sparrow. We do not always have to separate ourselves from the rest of world. Sometimes just being is enough to enjoy the true beauty of living.

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