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With an office overlooking the busy streets of Fifth Avenue in New York, N.Y., Rebecca (Lewis) Caruso, a 1979 alumna, has traveled a long way from her days as an English major at Waynesburg College. Her experience at Waynesburg has led to a highly successful public relations career and her position as the Executive Vice President for Corporate Communications at L'Oreal USA.

 

The Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter invited Caruso to speak to students as part of the Chapter's third annual PR Week. Caruso happily accepted the invitation to speak about her career, her passion and her role as a vice president for a large company.

 

In her current role, Caruso oversees all external communications efforts, including media relations, government relations, sustainable development, philanthropy and crisis communications for L'Oreal USA. She also manages two L'Oreal programs that recognize women researchers in the field of science and advocate career opportunities in science to young women.

 

“Our programs recognize and help advance women and girls in science,” Caruso said. “As the mother of two daughters, I certainly appreciate the importance of the roles that women play in science but science is also a strong part of L'Oreal's DNA. We're all about science and over half of our scientists are women. We really walk the talk.”

 

After graduating from Waynesburg College with a bachelor's degree in English, Caruso went on to receive her graduate degree in corporate communications in 1984. Caruso started her first job as the assistant director of public relations for a Pittsburgh college. It was in this position that Caruso discovered her passion for working with the media.

 

This new found passion led Caruso to a variety of positions in the Mid-West. She worked for a number of companies in communication roles, including Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate; the world's largest public relations firm, Edelman; American Motors; Chrysler; and McDonald's. She moved back to the East Coast after joining Toys “R” Us as Vice President of Corporate Communications for six years where she built the company's first corporate communications department before ultimately accepting her current position with L'Oreal.

 

“One of the things I have liked best about my career is that I moved around a bit and have had lots of opportunities that were completely out of my comfort zone,” Caruso said. “It's been a wonderful experience.”

 

Looking back, Caruso acknowledges that her involvement and studies at Waynesburg helped prepare her to take the path to where she is today.

 

“I always think back fondly on my Waynesburg experience,” she said. “The education I received has served me well for as far as I've come.”


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One of Waynesburg University's academic trailblazers will spend the summer honing his research skills alongside seven other students selected from across the nation.

 

To say that Friday, Feb. 22, was a good day for Waynesburg University sophomore men's tennis player Isaiah Cochran may be an understatement. The Akron, Ohio, native opened the 2013 spring season by going 2-0 in the Yellow Jackets' 7-2 win at Pitt-Greensburg. However, he had even better news waiting for him in his e-mail inbox.

 

The day after his wins against UPG, Cochran was finally able to make his usual check of his electronic messages, but what he found was far from usual. The standout student-athlete, who is a pre-med major at Waynesburg, learned that he was offered a place in the Sackler/NSF REU: Integrated Research at the Frontiers of the Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences at Yale University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for the summer of 2013.

 

The Waynesburg sophomore will spend 10 weeks in New Haven, Conn., taking part in a program that will help prepare him for his desired career as a neurologist. Cochran's once-in-a-lifetime experience begins May 26.

 

The Sackler/NSF REU program provides research training for eight students for 10 weeks at Yale's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute where students have the opportunity to train under the mentorship of faculty members through research. In accordance with the program leadership team, students selected for the program choose a research project from three areas: mechanics of cellular processes, protein function and misfolding, or technology and method development for integrated research.

 

During the Sackler/NSF REU program, Cochran will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars ranging from laboratory methods to applying to graduate school. He will also present his work at a research symposium, which will be held in conjunction with Yale's SURF program and the CEMRI CRISP REU program at Yale.

 

“Medicine is not about self-glory; it is about doctoring, whether you have ‘Dr.' in front of your name or not,” said Cochran. “There is a revolution coming in medicine and it is geared towards patient equality.”

 

Devoted to making a difference in the medical world, Cochran traveled to Washington, D.C., this spring to attend the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) convention, where he had the chance to meet a number of pre-medical, medical, physical-therapy and pre-physician assistant students from across the country.

 

On the first night of the convention, Cochran gave a speech in front of 1,500 people for the pre-medical region one director position for AMSA, a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. Cochran spoke of his drive for change and the steps he would take to help others reach their goals in the field. Two days later, he was informed of his victory in the election. He is now one of only five students in the country holding a regional director position.

 

Now, Cochran has the ability to assist and inform students in 12 states from Pennsylvania to Maine, including approximately 105 universities possessing AMSA chapters in the region.

 

As he continues his journey at Waynesburg, Cochran hopes to see more pre-professional students from the University reach their aspirations in the health care field. Starting the AMSA chapter at Waynesburg and participating in the Sackler/NSF REU program are only the beginning steps towards his determination to make a difference for future students.

 

“I am a trailblazer and don't care about my own glory,” said Cochran. “I want to see students come to Waynesburg because of what we have to offer in science. I want students with drive and a passion for our mission statement to come here and I want them to have the chance to reach their ultimate potential in healthcare.”


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Students are taking their education outside of the Greene County limits and sharing their academic achievements in other parts of the country. Waynesburg University students not only receive a sound education on campus, but many opportunities to excel beyond these grounds. Anthony Cooper, a senior pre-law major and Stover Scholar, has taken full advantage of the opportunities before him. Cooper will attend a national conference at the University of Wisconsin, La-Crosse, to present a paper he wrote. The conference is a national program to encourage intensive academic research by undergraduates.

 

The title of the paper is "An Invisible Theorist: Revitalizing the Philosophy of Adam Smith," and looks at the moral and economic philosophy of Smith. Smith wrote two books, one on morality, Theory of Moral Sentiments, and one on capitalism, Wealth of Nations.

 

“His book on morality tends to be written off or forgotten,” Cooper said. The main goal of the paper is to reintroduce his moral philosophy and prove that there can be an ethical model of capitalism.”

 

Cooper has worked closely alongside Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law and director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

 

“Mr. Cooper's profound paper strengthens public discourse by elaborating upon capitalism's basis in morality and ethics,” Stratton said. “His research assessed Smith's position in juxtaposition with social theorists Karl Marx, John Rawls and Robert Nozick, among others.”

 

Through the Stover Scholars Program, students have an outstanding chance to understand the U.S. Constitution, to witness the workings of government, to prepare for the responsibilities of leadership and to benefit from a generous scholarship. Although the program focuses on issues related to history, government, politics, and policy, it is open to students in every major and can provide a strong preparation for virtually any professional calling.

 

“Mr. Cooper is an intellectual leader of the Waynesburg University community among his peers and especially in the Stover Scholar program,” Stratton said.

 

Cooper defines being a Stover Scholar as being paramount to his development both as a scholar and an individual.

 

“It has provided me with countless opportunities to grow mentally and spiritually, and I cannot thank everyone involved with the program enough.”

 

Upon graduation, Cooper plans to attend graduate school and achieve a master's degree in philosophy. He hopes to one day teach at the collegiate level as well as earn a Ph.D.

 

“Because Anthony Cooper's paper is a thoroughgoing model of public discourse which critically examines capitalism from across the ideological spectrum, it was no surprise that his research stood out,” Stratton said.


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Many people enjoy watching professional wrestling on television for the entertainment value, but few realize that the men and women who commit their lives to the sport obtain real injuries in the process of entertaining. Larry Heck, a 1992 Waynesburg University graduate, addresses those injuries off camera.

 

For 12 years, he has traveled everywhere from Amsterdam to Afghanistan with the team of entertainers and has bandaged, stretched and rehabilitated hundreds of professional athletes. His work has built friendships with television superstars and has positioned Heck for a prosperous, fulfilling life doing what he loves.

 

“It's true what they say, ‘Find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life,'” Heck said. “If that is the case I haven't gone to work in 12 years.”

 

When Heck visited his alma mater to speak to an athletic training class in March, he explained to students that his success has come as a result of hard work, humility and an attitude of continuous learning.

 

“I was in the very first class of athletic training at Waynesburg,” Heck said. “We were expected to come in and get our hands dirty from the very beginning.”

 

After graduating, Heck continued to “get his hands dirty” by taking every opportunity to learn from athletic trainers across the nation. He moved to Texas to take his athletic training licensure exam and volunteered at a local health sciences facility during the process so that he could continue networking and gaining experience. Connections from his volunteer work led him to accept a position within minor league baseball, then, minor league hockey.

 

Heck returned to the United States a few years later to coordinate outreach efforts about athletic training and health management for Health South, one of the nation's largest healthcare providers specializing in rehabilitation.

 

Twelve years ago, he received a call from the WWE and accepted a position training some of the world's best known entertainment athletes.

 

Now a veteran athletic trainer, Heck still remembers sitting in classes at Waynesburg University and wondering how he could build a successful career. When speaking to current students, he says that he wouldn't be where he is today without networking and continuously building his skill set.

 

Heck said he graduated with an amount of athletic training knowledge and skills that undergraduates at other Universities may never experience.

 

“One of the benefits of Waynesburg is the fact that it's not a large University; my biggest class was 24 students,” Heck said. “The athletic training program really helped me because I was able to start working immediately. In any field of athletic training, the more clinical knowledge and skills you have, the better it will help you to prepare for the future.”


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The Waynesburg University women's golf team finally opened the 2013 spring season Saturday, April 6, when it competed in the Thiel College Women's Spring Golf Invitational. This year's Yellow Jacket squad made team history, just by showing up in the team standings. For the first time since the spring of 2008, the Yellow Jackets competed as a full team and wound up placing fifth in the five-team field.

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