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Dedicated and committed, Chelsea Cummins and Samantha Scribner have made the most of their undergraduate education in the Department of Communication at Waynesburg University. Taking advantage of every opportunity and seeking additional opportunities on their own has been the norm for the dynamic duo, even as early as their freshman year. As a result, both Samantha and Chelsea have embraced their jam-packed schedules and ever-evolving “to-do” lists, because the two know that those translate into valuable experiences and success.


As sophomores, the two senior public relations majors were involved in the process of establishing Waynesburg University's Public Relations Society Student Association Chapter, supporting their upperclassmen officers through the process. Since the chapter's inception, the women have continued to act as leaders, offering networking opportunities and hands-on experiences to chapter members.


Expanding on the establishment of the chapter, the dynamic duo saw the benefit of the creation of Waynesburg University's Public Relation Week, which includes activities that feature well-known speakers and distinguished public relations practitioners.


“We have invested countless hours and worked diligently because we know that the hands-on experiences and connections that come from networking will set us apart in the field,” Samantha said.


Skills learned in class and their experiences from their positions with the Office of University Relations, Advancement and the Alumni Office have helped them to tailor their career aspirations through the exploration of a variety of media.


“The beautiful thing about the public relations major, like many things in life, is that opportunities are afforded to every student, and whether or not you excel is on you,” Chelsea said.


This summer, Chelsea served as a project coordinator at Judith Kelly + Associates, a marketing communications firm in downtown Pittsburgh, where she assisted clients with media relations, writing, event planning and social media. After a month of interning, she was added as a paid employee and will continue to work there after graduation.


“It was interesting to apply concepts I've studied, as well as learn a different side of public relations. My supervisor trusted me with many important projects, including being the point person in planning an annual event for our biggest client. Overall the experience was and continues to be an amazing opportunity, especially for an entry level position,” she said.


Likewise, Samantha had the opportunity to put her skills in motion through an internship with Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation in Pittsburgh. She served as the external affairs intern, utilizing multiple public relations skills. She also planned an industry-wide event for more than 7,000 people and was responsible for creating and maintaining a content schedule for the corporation's social media presence.


“My internship helped to solidify my passion for public relations. In no other profession can you reach such a large audience to educate, inform and persuade people about a cause you truly believe in,” she said. “To be confident in your skills and to have people trust and believe in you is a great feeling.”


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Waynesburg University Prayer Chapel

In Chapel on Tuesday, our Christ and Culture guest, Jamie Smith, preached on Colossians 3:12-17. Jamie highlighted Paul's exhortation to the Colossian Christians that they “put on Jesus Christ.” Jamie's exposition of Paul's exhortation included the suggestion that to “put on Jesus Christ,” that is to be “clothed” with Christ, takes practice, repetition, rhythms of an embodied worship whereby we inculcate a faithfully directed love for God and desire for the Kingdom. This metaphor of putting off the old – associated with the misguided rhythms of a life apart from the Spirit of Christ – and putting on the new - moving in step with the Spirit – weaves its way throughout Paul's writings. Let the sampling of this metaphor, found in this week's readings, encourage you to “practice” putting on Christ and thereby focus your love for the sake of the Kingdom and the world in which we live. We do so with full confidence that we will indeed, one day, be fully clothed, sharing in Christ's glory.



Peace, Tom


    • Romans 13:8-14


    • Galatians 3:23-29


    • Colossians 3:1-17


    • Ephesians 4:17-32


    • Ephesians 6:10-20 2


    • Corinthians 5:1-10 1


    • Corinthians 15:35-58


Tom Ribar is the Waynesburg University Chaplain. He received his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.


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Waynesburg University's Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science was recently selected to host the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS) Educators Conference, which commenced August 7 through August 9.

To be selected to host the conference, an institution must meet AAFS's criteria as a “major institution of higher education, preferably one with a forensic science program in place and under the direction of an AAFS fellow/member.”

“People on a national level must be noticing the undergraduate, graduate and service work we are accomplishing as a University,” said Mike Cipoletti, associate member of AAFS, assistant professor of forensic science and director of the University's forensic science program.

According to Cipoletti, the success and reputation of quality associated with the University's Crime Scene Investigation Camp for high school students may have been an important factor in being selected to host the conference.

Additionally, the faculty of the University's forensic science program has made a concerted effort to establish connections with working professionals and agencies to provide students with cutting-edge forensic science knowledge. Because of this, the University was able to coordinate expert speakers for the conference, including Detective Tim Sethman (Westmoreland County), Peter Alex (FBI Criminal Justice Information Services), Sara Bittner (Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office), Trooper Rich Hunter (Pennsylvania State Police) and Allison Murtha (RJ Lee Group).

“All of the presenters are experienced trainers and/or educators, so they were able to share ideas and tips that the teachers may be able to use in their own classrooms and labs,” Cipoletti said.

University faculty members, including Cipoletti; Adam Jack, assistant professor of forensic science and chair of criminal justice and social science; and Marietta Wright, assistant professor of biology, led a majority of the sessions including General Crime Scene Processing, DNA Analysis and Interpretation, Latent Print Development and Drug Identification.

Among the conference attendees were educators from all over the country, including Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Virginia and Washington.

“I have gained the tools, skills and confidence necessary to teach forensics for the first time,” said Maggie Chambers, a biology and forensics high school teacher from Redmond, Wash. “This opportunity to network and share ideas with experts and other teachers has been invaluable.”

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The American Volleyball Coaches Association recently awarded the Waynesburg University volleyball team as a recipient of the 2011-12 AVCA Team Academic Award. The award recognizes teams that have both a dedication to the sport of volleyball and to excellence in the classroom.

Established in the 1992-93 academic year, the award was set up to honor collegiate and high school volleyball teams that display excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

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Selecting 100 out of 1,100 students for their student research fellowship program from top schools around the country, the Mayo Clinic became the source of real-life moments that will forever change the perceptions of one Waynesburg University student.

After hearing about his classmates' experiences in their internships the previous summer, Corey Rearick, a senior biology pre-med major from New Castle, Pa., decided it was time to experience his studies hands-on. Hoping for the best, he applied to 20 different internships, including the Mayo Clinic.

The Mayo Clinic, a community consisting of several hospitals, clinics, research facilities and medical schools, houses several of the world's best surgeons and specialists and was voted the third best hospital in the United States.

“I applied to the Mayo Clinic thinking it would be way too prestigious for me,” said Rearick. “However, they got back to me in the first week of February. I immediately accepted.”

Though he represented one of the smaller schools at his internship, Rearick never felt at a disadvantage, claiming the only difference between his experience and those from Ivy League schools was his need to explain where Waynesburg was located to everyone he met.

“My Waynesburg education stacked up pound for pound with that of my colleagues from Berkley and Yale,” said Rearick, jokingly adding, “Thankfully the kidney functions the same at Yale and Duke as it does at Waynesburg.”

During his time at the Mayo Clinic, Rearick focused on the Nephrology and Hypertension Division, which was rated number one in nephrology in the United States. During his research, Rearick characterized and quantified an anatomical aspect of the kidney.

“I counted tubules then used statistics to relate the number of tubules to kidney diseases,” said Rearick.

For the core of his research, he counted 1,200 kidney biopsies. His mentor, one of the nation's top nephrologists, did not expect the biopsies to be completed before the end of the summer, but Rearick refused to settle with “incomplete.” With the true determination of a Waynesburg student, he concluded the biopsies two weeks before his departure.

Rearick believes the knowledge he gained through his research with the American Chemical Society (ACS) at the ACS 2012 convention in San Diego, Calif., helped prepare him for his internship. With the guidance of professors like Dr. Heidi Fletcher, assistant professor of chemistry at Waynesburg University, he was easily able to apply his studies at Waynesburg to actual research.

“Corey is a very competent student that not only remembers the material from his previous courses but can apply that knowledge in a laboratory setting,” said Fletcher. “As his research advisor, I have seen many examples of his talents, and have been impressed by his work ethic and his ability to learn new concepts.”

Through the course of his internship, Rearick not only learned a lot academically, but he also learned more about the medical field and his personal aspirations. After shadowing a few doctors and getting a glimpse of his future, he began to see the beauty in the intimate moments between patient and doctor, and patient and family—the moments where hope, trust and prayer become the strongest entities available.

“I walked away from those moments knowing that I wanted to spend the rest of my life in them,” said Rearick. “I know now that I want to be the ‘great hands' that people fall into when their situation is helpless.”

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