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John Thompsonb2ap3_thumbnail_thompson.png
Systems Librarian and Theological Cataloger, Eberly Library

John Thompson has worked at Waynesburg University for 16 years in the beautiful Eberly Library, where he maintains the library computer system (used for ordering, cataloging and checking out books), and personally selects books on religion and theology to be added to the library’s collection. John can be found on the library’s main floor, facing the Guesman Reading and Reflection Room.

How did you end up at Waynesburg University?

I grew up in Waynesburg and graduated from high school here. But I went to college near Chicago and went to library school at the University of Chicago. I had different library jobs in Chicago for about 20 years, but soon after I got married this job opened up and I decided it was a good idea to move back to Waynesburg.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

The “Skylight Conference Room” on the top floor of the library. From there I can see the street that I live on.

What’s your most memorable WU moment?

Working with my Fiat Lux class to clear a remote cemetery in 2015. When we went there the place was completely overgrown, and there were so many students that it was quite chaotic. But everyone got involved in their own tasks and by the time we were done, the fence was painted, the brush was cleared away, some of the tombstones had been restored, and we had a lot to be proud of!

How has WU changed in the time you have worked here?

The biggest change seems to be the fact that the university is able to attract students who are more engaged, more willing to serve, and more serious about their Christian faith.

What do you consider the most special or unique part of your job?

I am honored to be able to help students to grow in their Christian faith while they are in college. First, I try to select the most helpful books to buy for our library’s theology collection. Second, I am the faculty sponsor for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. In this, I try to bring both Orthodox and non-Orthodox students to a deeper appreciation of the Orthodox faith through prayer, discussion, and attendance at Orthodox services. Third, I teach Biblical & Ministry Studies classes as an adjunct professor. I have taught Introduction to the New Testament in the past; right now I am teaching Readings in New Testament Greek. This is an excellent way to learn more about the origins of the Christian faith.

For more information on Eberly Library and the work John and his team do, click here!

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Laura Cossb2ap3_thumbnail_coss_20170223-151948_1.png
Assistant Controller

As a Waynesburg University graduate, Laura Coss ('05, '12) was ecstatic for the opportunity to return to her alma mater to continue her career. Eight years later, Laura is now the Assistant Controller and is involved with many finance-related matters at WU. You can find Laura in the Business Office on the second floor of Miller Hall.

Tell us something we may not know about your job at WU.

Have I mentioned lately how much fun accounting is? I know I've found the best fit in a career for me because it's super exciting when things balance!

What's your most memorable WU moment?

Accepting my MBA degree, with my seven-month-old daughter looking on is my most memorable moment. That day allowed me to truly understand and reflect on where the value of my education and experiences at WU had taken me. It's always important to take in those moments and give thanks.

What makes WU a special place to work?

WU is different from other companies I've worked for because there is something very special about the sense of community that is so important to the working environment here at WU. I've worked with many people through the years here that have shown me the importance of helping each other and working toward a common goal.

How has WU changed in the time you have worked here?

I see multiple programs developing and new hands-on experiences so crucial to students' learning (like the Trading Room [in Hanna Hall]). I've watched Roberts Chapel being constructed each day outside of our windows and the renovation of Stewart Science Hall. It's very exciting to see the transformation of our institution and how much it is positively impacting the advancement of our students.

What do you consider the most special or unique part of your job?

I find it interesting to be able to apply the knowledge developed as a WU student to my career now as a staff member of WU. (Shout out to Professor Bocchini for the straight-forward accounting basis!)

Interested in Laura's line of work? Learn more about our undergraduate business programs here!

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As her plane touched down again in her home state of New York, Emily Mielcarek watched the clouds and tiny houses whoosh past her plane window. When her feet finally touched American soil, instead of feeling overwhelmed with joy and peace, she immediately felt an empty space in her heart. A desire to turn back around and hop on the next plane flooded her thoughts.

Unfortunately, Mielcarek was forced to leave the airport because her senior year of college was about to begin. Soon after, exams and deadlines would be whooshing by—just like the clouds and tiny houses.

For a moment, she closes her eyes and wants to feel alive again—alive in the sense that she is somewhere else, learning and living in a brand new culture. 

This is a familiar feeling for Mielcarek as an International Studies major at Waynesburg University with minors in both Sociology and Theatre. The feeling of “wanderlust,” or the strong desire to travel, is like a sixth sense to her, which is part of the reason why she chose her specific major—and university.

“I actually chose my major around studying abroad because I do love to travel,” Mielcarek said. “When I chose Waynesburg as my university, I made sure that the International Studies major had a study abroad department. It ended up being required for my degree, so I knew I was destined for Waynesburg.”

Prior to returning to the United States, Mielcarek lived in Northern Ireland for five months, studying and falling head-over-heels in love with the culture during the spring and summer of 2016. During her stay, she got to experience the boisterous and short-tempered civilians, the clamor of the pubs and breweries and the crisp cliffs and Scottish architecture.

While in the UK, Mielcarek also had the opportunity to backpack in Belgium, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Netherlands.

Although Mielcarek is technically required to travel for academic purposes, she is a firm believer in everyone getting a chance to see the world for themselves.

“As an International Studies major, I feel it's important to go and experience other cultures, live in the countries and truly immerse yourself,” Mielcarek said. “Full immersion is surrendering yourself to another culture, not comparing it to your own.”

Mielcarek is unique at Waynesburg in that she is currently the only International Studies student. Although this created a few bumps in the road when it came to planning for her study abroad program, she said the faith aspect that Waynesburg University offers has helped her to stay calm amongst the storm.

“If it weren’t for the strong faith foundation at Waynesburg, I don’t know where I’d be,” Mielcarek said. “Through the stress of traveling and planning my trip, it was Waynesburg University that kept me grounded.”

After graduation, Mielcarek intends to get her master’s degree and pursue a career in teaching English as a second language. She also hopes to work with refugees, specifically from Burma and southeast Asia. But hopefully before then, Mielcarek will get another chance to lean her head against the headrest of her seat with her plane ticket in hand—just to watch those clouds and tiny houses whoosh by.

Written by: Mattie Winowitch, sophomore communications (journalism) major

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b2ap3_thumbnail_floyd.pngDave Floyd
Assistant Director of Admissions

Dave has kept himself very busy over his 4+ years in Waynesburg University Admissions and has accrued various responsibilities that include traveling to college fairs, visiting high schools and community colleges, hosting personal visits and organizing educational events for high school students. When he's not out on the road, Dave can be found in Miller Hall, room 102-A.

How did you end up at Waynesburg University?

When I was looking for colleges, I wanted a small school that had my major and where I could play soccer. WU fit those criteria, and its Department of Communication set it apart. I worked in Admissions as a student ambassador for three years, and when a full-time position opened up near the end of my senior year, it seemed like the perfect fit for me. I started a few weeks after graduation, so you could say I came here in August of 2008 and haven't left!

What's your favorite spot on campus?

As a student-athlete, I spent a lot of time on both the fourth floor of Buhl Hall and at Wiley Stadium, so those two places definitely hold a lot of memories for me, but I also love the sidewalk behind Miller Hall that runs parallel to the building. With the trees hanging over it, it's a pretty awesome spot, especially in the fall or spring.

What's your favorite fun fact about WU?

As a former Communication student and student-athlete, I always think it's pretty cool that WU's football team played in the first-ever televised college game and that we're 2-0 against Penn State.

Tell us something we may not know about your job at WU.

In Admissions, our staff spends a fair amount of time on the road, particularly in the fall. In the past four years, I've had the opportunity to travel to 12 different states to share information about WU with students and families, including two trips to Texas. I have a more local travel territory now, but our four other counselors - Renee, Bob, Matt and Kyle - are out there right now, and I certainly appreciate all the long hours they're logging away from home this fall!

Editor's note: you can follow Matt McNeil's travels this week on Snapchat! (Username waynesburgu)

What's your favorite annual event?

Freshman move-in day is always a rewarding event for us in the Admissions Office. We spend a lot of time communication with prospective students and families, so to see them all on campus at the start of their four years at WU is great. And of course, as a WU alumnus, I always enjoy seeing friends and former classmates every year at Homecoming!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_dessart.pngJamie Dessart
Professor of English

Jamie is in the midst of her 16th year at Waynesburg University, where she teaches composition and literature while also advising students. Her office is located on the 3rd floor of Buhl Hall.

How did you end up at Waynesburg University?

Funny story: I never actually applied for the job at WU. Dr. Marilyn Roberts, who at the time was chair of the English department, got my CV through her husband (who worked at another school in the area that shall remain nameless), and he passed my credentials on to her. So, it was a surprise to get the call. The second I drove up between Stewart Hall and the gym for my campus interview, I fell in love with the place and the rest is history!

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I’ve always loved the top floor of Eberly Library with its quiet spaces, great views from the windows and hidden rooms. It’s a great place to sit and read.

Tell us something we may not know about your job at WU.

Along with teaching and advising students, I serve on the Curriculum Committee as well as the Assessment Committee. I actually like doing the work of organizing curriculum proposals and keeping up with changing ideas about how to assess our goals.

What’s your most memorable WU moment?

I’m going to cheat and say the moment at every graduation day when the faculty process through the lines of graduating seniors. Seeing those smiling faces, some I’ve seen every day, some I’ve had only once in class, truly reminds me of how God works on our campus.

What do you consider the most special or unique part of your job?

Sharing things I love and watching students get excited about it. A student just said he’d never enjoyed a writing class until he was in mine. That’s the special part of the job.

To learn more about English and Foreign Languages at Waynesburg University, click here!

 

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