Faith in a political setting
The opportunity to be a part of a program founded upon the principles that embody who he is has restored Dan Czajkowski's hope in the world.
Ironically, more than five years ago when the program was established, Waynesburg alumnus Dr. W. Robert Stover (1942), the man for whom the program is named, approached Waynesburg University President Timothy R. Thyreen with concerns about the direction in which the United States was heading. From that conversation, Waynesburg University's Stover Scholar Program for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership was developed with the purpose of finding young women and men exactly like Dan Czajkowski.
“Centered on the first principles of our nation and ethical Christian leadership, the Stover Scholar Program seeks to bring Christianity into the public sphere,” Czajkowski said. “The Program is consistent with the University's mission to integrate faith, serving and learning, and encourages its scholars to be faithful servants to the public good.”
Through his involvement in the Program, Czajkowski, a junior criminal justice administration major, has found assurance that there are others, like him, “who desire to make a difference by walking in integrity and committing themselves to lives of public service.”
“Our world needs men and women who will stand with moral fortitude against popular culture, and I am fortunate to be in a program that supports my desire to do that,” Czajkowski said.
Czajkowski's testimony is validation that the Stover Scholar Program is achieving precisely what it was intended to achieve.
“Waynesburg University's Stover Scholar Program is committed to developing leaders who embrace the constitutional principles that guided the Founding Fathers in an effort to positively impact the direction of American politics and law,” said University President Timothy R. Thyreen.
Appropriately, from an early age, Dan Czajkowski was captivated by the notions of law and justice which inherently led him on a path to find a career within the criminal justice system.
“I am passionate about righting wrongs, and I desire to find the career where I would be most capable of bringing justice to the world around me,” Czajkowski said.
Regardless of what his next step might be, there is no doubt in the minds of those who know him best that Czajkowski will be effectively prepared to fill a significant role.
“Daniel Czajkowski is a well-respected leader at Waynesburg University with a gentle and friendly disposition which makes his strong analytical insights very persuasive among his peers and professors,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.
Stratton reflected upon Czajkowski's role in a play put on last September during Waynesburg University's Constitution Day celebration in which the Stover Scholars reenacted the debates surrounding the 1787 Constitutional Convention and ratification. Stratton said Czajkowski fittingly played the role of future President James Monroe, which led him to his next thought.
“It is not hard to imagine Daniel Czajkowski occupying the Oval Office himself one day,” Stratton said.
His courses and the opportunities afforded by Waynesburg University have served as deliberate steps toward his future goals, whether that is working in law enforcement or a government career.
“Waynesburg is very effective at producing career-ready graduates. What sets Waynesburg apart in preparing its graduates for life after college is the emphasis it places on how a graduate uses the skill set that he or she developed while at Waynesburg,” he said.
Czajkowski is certain that the Criminal Justice Administration Program, specifically its curriculum and opportunities for experiential learning, has effectively prepared him for the challenges ahead.
“My time working seasonally for a police department speaks especially to the quality of our Criminal Justice program, as I felt head and shoulders above my peers in the amount of understanding I had of my field compared to students from other colleges,” he said.
Similarly, Waynesburg's social science curriculum, according to Czajkowski, has complemented his education by enhancing his knowledge and understanding of both government and governance.
Czajkowski plans to pursue a master's degree in Public Administration following his graduation from Waynesburg University. Although he has theories of what his future will hold, ultimately he said his plans will rely on God's plan for his life.
“I will continue to dedicate my talents to God and seek to use them for His glory and honor,” he said. “Although I am currently pursuing a path in law enforcement, I am open to God's leading in my life and am anxious to see where He will guide me.”
In the spring of 2013, Czajkowski will spend his semester in Washington, D.C., studying through the Best Semester's American Studies Program. The Program is one of 12 off-campus study abroad programs offered through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.