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Waynesburg University alumnus and current FBI Special Agent Glenn Booth recently visited the University to offer a lecture to students. The lecture, which took place on Friday, March 24, was given to an audience which included students from a variety of criminal justice courses at the University.

During the lecture, Booth shared his experiences as an FBI agent working in New York City on September 11, 2001. He explained how the FBI responded to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, detailing their minute-by-minute response plan following the first plane crash. He also discussed the FBI’s response to the attacks in the months and years afterward and the FBI’s continued work to identify victims of the attacks.

Glenn Booth

Booth graduated from Waynesburg College in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in history and a certification in secondary education. After earning a master’s degree in history from the University of Maine, he taught and worked in administration at the University of Arkansas. In 1998, Booth joined the FBI in New York City, then transferred to Reno, Nevada, where he worked on a variety of crimes from kidnappings to prison assaults. Today, he is assigned to the Philadelphia office and focuses on violent crimes against children.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-05-12-at-4.27.16-PM.pngAt a time when higher education is under the microscope, studies abound concerning which schools place the highest percentage of students in graduate schools and jobs, which lead to the highest annual income, and the list could continue. Instead of focusing on the names of institutions, however, what about looking into what students actually do during their four years?

A recent Gallup Poll did just that, finding students who “forged meaningful connections with professors or mentors” are the same people “who feel happy and engaged in their jobs [and] are the most productive” as a result.

At Waynesburg University, 93 percent of first-year students and 91 percent of seniors rated their overall experience as “excellent” or “good,” according to the University’s 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results. Additionally, NSSE reported that Waynesburg students talked about career plans with a faculty member 28 percent more than students at other Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) schools.

What exactly does that look like? Mike Cipoletti, Director of the Forensic Science program, said he knows every student in the program, from the freshmen to the seniors—a direct result of the University’s 14:1 student/faculty ratio. Cipoletti said the seniors spend plenty of time in his office, especially close to graduation.

"That’s why most of us are here,” he said. “We come to a small institution like this, so we can have more face time and interaction with the students. It’s not even just on the academic side of things—it’s the personal interactions, too. It’s trying to help these students figure out how to become leaders, how to become service-oriented people, how to give back to their communities, and you know, that’s the best part about it.”

Provost Dr. Jacquelyn Core agrees, citing the University’s commitment to service as another way students and faculty forge close ties with one another.

“When a student is serving right alongside a faculty member, it adds more depth to the relationship, and it’s all about that ability to form relationships,” Core said. “I also think it goes both ways because it helps faculty members to feel more invested in the students, too.”

As the survey undertaken by Gallup—which polled 30,000 graduates of all ages in all 50 states—proved, Waynesburg’s mentor-like approach to teaching, academic advising and career counseling works. And the institution’s 96 percent career path rate (for those still wondering about those buzzwords) further illustrates that point.

Students are not only furthering their education in graduate schools and obtaining jobs in their respective fields, they are excelling in whatever path they choose.

Take Ryan Devlin, for example. A 2007 Waynesburg alumnus, Devlin received the honor of Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year” and also became a finalist for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. He, too, cites the holistic approach to a Waynesburg education as a major factor in his success.

“[Waynesburg is] just a great place where everyone is a mentor to you, and it’s not just about having a great college professor—it’s about everyone here,” Devlin said. “One of the things that’s really unique about Waynesburg University is that it really educates the entire student.”

Part of how the University “educates the entire student,” as Devlin put it, is through the school’s liberal arts philosophy. Core, in her role as Provost, is of the opinion that this approach to education is simply invaluable.

“I truly believe that you cannot put a price tag on the type of well-rounded person you can become through a liberal arts education,” Core said. “It’s really easy outside of a liberal arts background to get pigeon-holed in your field of study. You may become an expert in that field but not get the background needed to become a good citizen in all parts of society, whether that is servant leadership, environmental stewardship or whatever that might be. I think there’s a level of knowledge with a liberal arts education that makes you more conversant in a wider range of societal issues.”

For those still interested in a few of those buzzwords and rankings mentioned above, check out http://www.waynesburg.edu/ranking to learn more about Waynesburg’s recent distinctions.

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0565jw.jpgRyan Devlin, a 2007 Waynesburg University secondary English education alumnus, is one of 100 educators selected for the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program. Devlin teaches 11th grade English and technology at Brockway Area High School in Brockway, Pa.

The PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program rewards tech-savvy K-12 educators from across the country who incorporate digital media in the classroom to promote student engagement and achievement.

“Great schools and great teachers constantly evolve and adapt,” said Devlin, whose classroom is 100 percent paperless. “Technology is going to continue to play an increased role in both life and the work place. If we don’t teach students relevant 21st century skills, we are failing to prepare them for their future.”

The 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will receive year-long professional development opportunities that include virtual trainings, access to premium, exclusive resources and invitations to special events.

The top 16 applicants, including Devlin, will serve as leads of the program and will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to take part in a two-day digital education summit. There, they will participate in hands-on learning, collaborate with peers and hear from leaders in digital technology. 

Devlin, who has taught at Brockway Area High School for seven years, was named the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year in 2013. He was also named one of four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year award. 

Devlin received his bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from Waynesburg University, where he became familiar with technology in the classroom and gained hands-on experience with modern instructional technology. Devlin also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership. He also holds teaching certificates in English (grades 7-12), business/computers (grades K-12) and library science (grades K-12).

The full list of the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators is available at http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/digitalinnovators.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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