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b2ap3_thumbnail_Ryan-Devlin-Head-Shot-Resized.jpgRyan Devlin, a 2007 Waynesburg University English education alumnus and Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year,” received an even greater honor today when he was named one of the four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. 

Today, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that educators from Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia are finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year spends a year representing educators across the country and advocating on behalf of the teaching profession. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett congratulated Devlin on representing the Commonwealth. 

“On behalf of all Pennsylvania citizens, I congratulate Ryan for being chosen to represent Pennsylvania at the national level,” Corbett said.  “Ryan’s commitment to his students is a shining example of the thousands of Pennsylvania educators who are dedicated to ensuring that students are prepared for a bright and successful future.”

This marks the first time that an educator from Pennsylvania has made it to the final four. Devlin will enter rounds of interviews during the month of March and the winner will be announced in April. Still actively involved with his alma mater through mission trips and personal contacts, Devlin credits Waynesburg University as an integral part of his success. 

“The hallmark of a good education is one that enables students’ talents to find purpose, and that is one of the many reasons why Waynesburg University is such a special place,” Devlin said.  “During my time there, I was exposed to numerous educational opportunities that extended beyond the classroom and helped mold me into the man I am today.”

Devlin is an eleventh grade English and ninth through twelfth grade technology teacher at Brockway Area Junior/Senior High School in Brockway, Pa., where he has taught for seven years and serves as head of the English department. 

He also serves as the school's head cross country coach and the senior high gifted education advisor. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association and the Brockway Area Education Association.  Outside of school, he frequently speaks at state conferences and college campuses and is a cooperating teacher for Clarion University's student teaching program. 

Devlin also helped write Pennsylvania's new Core Standards English Language Arts curriculum and over the years has won multiple grants for his innovative use of technology in the classroom.  

"Today's children will indeed become tomorrow's leaders, so we must teach ways to find creative solutions to complex problems through collaborating with others and making the best use of technology," Devlin said. 

His teaching methods include extensive use of technology in the classroom, for which he received the Keystone Technology Integrator Award in 2009. Devlin facilitates technology workshops for student teachers at regional universities and teaches summer courses at Riverview Intermediate Unit Six that highlight the newest digital resources available on the Internet.

Current and recently retired faculty members at Waynesburg University are not only proud of Ryan’s awards, but also his continued commitment to the mission of Waynesburg University and the mission of the University’s Department of Education. 

“The mission of the Department of Education is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Debra Clarke, assistant professor of education and chair of the Department of Education at Waynesburg University. “We are so proud of Ryan’s commitment to this mission and his dedication to his students.”

 

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). 

In 2013, Devlin became the youngest nominee and recipient of the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award. Devlin said he has known since the age of eight what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“I spent a lot my childhood and adolescent years daydreaming about the type of teacher I wanted to become,” he said.  “Teaching seemed like the perfect outlet for my creativity, and I wanted to do something that would enable me to make a difference in the world.”

An active member in his local community, Devlin is a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, teaches vacation Bible school and is involved in several after-school programs and activities.

The National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

 

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Posted by on in Achievements

b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgDr. Chad Sethman, assistant professor of biology at Waynesburg University, recently contributed to a report stating that SARM, one of five innate immunity adaptors, stabilizes cell proteins and protects the nucleus from self-destructing during stress brought on by inflammation in response to various types of infections. Sethman and his research partner’s report, published in August of 2013 in PLOS ONE, began with the cloning of the gene into various forms.

In the spring of 2013, Waynesburg University alumna Stacey Pavlik (’09, science/biology) became a Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellow. She is one of only 77 Fellows chosen from approximately 2,000 applicants to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgDr. Jenny Jellison, assistant professor of psychology at Waynesburg University, presented a seminar titled “Educating While Entertaining – Remembering Why You Love It and Getting Them To Do the Same” at the 4th Annual International Conference on Teaching Psychology in Vancouver, Canada, during the summer of 2013. Jellison executed her presentation in collaboration with a former student, Dr. Kristel Gallagher, assistant professor of psychology at Keystone College in La Plume, Pa.

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Posted by on in Blog

b2ap3_thumbnail_1426734_644433955608244_957885172_n.jpgLast week, my husband and I, both proud 2012 alumni, jumped at the chance to attend a Young Alumni Event with Waynesburg University. For the first time, we experienced the magical atmosphere of Dave and Busters and the camaraderie of being surrounded by other young Waynesburg graduates. 

My experience was slightly unique in that I attended the event as both a representative of Waynesburg (I work as a graduate assistant in University Relations at my alma mater) and as a giddy participant. As I helped to register the more than 70 alumni in attendance, I tried to remember what classes I shared with some of them and how others left a memorable impact on the University even before I began as a freshman in 2009. In that moment, like many other moments before it, I felt so thankful for the small atmosphere of Waynesburg University, which allowed me to remember these names and faces and connect in a memorable way. 

After a delicious meal provided by the University, people departed, in groups of three, four and sometimes many more, for the arcade. 

My husband, roommate, Vikki and I set out for the games that would spill the most tickets. We played skee-ball and failed miserably next to a very accomplished 8-year-old boy, whose tickets quadrupled ours. 

At the end of the evening, we decided to go all out on a racing simulation game – each of us picking a different drivers’ seat and steering wheel. As we sped through checkered flags and rounded impossible turns, I thought about how nice it felt to goof off with my best friends, surrounded by a greater network of alumni who were enjoying themselves equally. 

After we all crossed the virtual finish line, we glanced down to collect our tickets hoping for enough to make a dent in the impressive arcade store gallery. None appeared. We somehow managed to choose the only arcade game that didn't reward its players – but the experience was enough. 

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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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