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b2ap3_thumbnail_Nick-Farrell.jpgFrom the time he was 5 years old, Nick Farrell could be found enthusiastically recreating the action he witnessed during Steeler football games on his homemade football field mat using plastic football helmets. His colossal imagination and his love of being in front of the home video camera combined to create a confident response to the all-too-familiar question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

More than 15 years later, Farrell, a 2015 communication and sports broadcasting/sports information alumnus, is a Monongalia and Preston County reporter at WBOY in Clarksburg, West Virginia, which comes as no surprise to those who know him best.

Farrell, a self-proclaimed one-man band, shoots video, conducts interviews, edits packages and writes scripts for anchors for three to four stories per day. In addition to possessing the array of skills necessary to tackle the aforementioned, Farrell takes note of how his own college experiences prepared him for his career.

“At Waynesburg, I was able to grow both as a writer and as a broadcaster. Being well-rounded in that regard makes me more confident in my approach at WBOY,” he said.

For Farrell, his time spent on the staff of the Yellow Jacket, Waynesburg University’s student-run newspaper, helped to prepare him for the fast-paced environment at a pro newsroom.

“I learned how to schedule my time, juggle heavy workloads and adjust to last-second changes at the Jacket. All of those skills are necessary — only now, it's on a daily basis,” he said.

Passionate about his field and the opportunities it presents, Farrell looks forward to using it as a vehicle to make a difference in the world.

“What journalism is, to me, is reporting the facts and answering questions. It's about telling the stories that will impact lives. It's about doing your homework, gathering information and presenting it in a way that makes the viewer ponder the information they just ingested,” he said. “If a story I write moves a viewer, informs a viewer or causes a viewer to think critically about a subject, then I've done my job. I take pride in that responsibility, knowing that viewers in our region rely on our newsroom to provide them with the information they desire.”

Farrell credits his Waynesburg education and accomplished faculty for his current position, and recognizes that his personal growth is just as valuable as the academic degree he received.

“Waynesburg is the place that confirmed my passion and helped me begin to realize the dream I first dreamt as a 5 year old,” he said. “At Waynesburg, I discovered how truly blessed I am to have a family that loves me, friends that support me and instructors who invested time in me.”

Although being a play-by-play announcer is his ultimate career goal, Farrell said he’s happy with where he is right now and grateful for the journey that has led him to this point.

“I'll never know what my life would look like if I had chosen to attend another college,” Farrell said. “Somehow, though, I have a feeling that my life wouldn't be as fulfilling as it is.”

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Posted by on in Alumni

b2ap3_thumbnail_Alfonso-Ferrari.jpgA deep-rooted love of America’s favorite pastime, two legendary voices and an unwavering desire to answer God’s call have led Alfonso Ferrari to his current profession.

Ferrari, a 2015 sports broadcasting/sports information graduate, was recently named the official radio voice of the Pennsylvania Rebellion. The Rebellion, a member of the National Pro Fastpitch Softball League, is located in Washington, Pennsylvania, and holds a nearly 50-game schedule, allowing Ferrari to share his love of sports announcing with a national audience.

From the time he was 5 years old, Ferrari said he could recall feeling as if he were meant to work in some aspect of baseball, a sport he calls his “first love.” Validating his aspirations, Ferrari, a native of Tucson, Arizona, grew up listening to Greg Schulte, announcer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who would become one of the two legendary voices responsible for further fueling his passion for the industry.

“As I got older I knew that I wanted to be an announcer,” he said. “I knew that is where God had designed my steps to go.”

Ferrari is responsible for traveling with The Rebellion, announcing both home and away games, and daily preparing information related to The Rebellion and the opposing team, a vital role of an effective broadcaster.

Ferrari credits his Waynesburg University education for his ability to land and accept his current position.

“The education I received taught me what the broadcasting field is like, and taught me the skills that are necessary to be successful,” he said.

Ferrari specifically credits Lanny Frattare, assistant professor of communication at Waynesburg University and play-by-play announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 33 years (1976-2008), for his choice to attend Waynesburg University.

“I knew I would be learning from a man who had been where I wanted to go,” he said.

That choice, and Frattare’s involvement in it, would prove to be a wise one as Ferrari’s undergraduate years unfolded.

“He inspired me and taught me what I needed to do to be successful,” he said. “His taking the time to meet with me to go over my work and tell me what I needed to work on and improve was instrumental.”

Determined to follow in the footsteps of the man he had grown up listening to, Ferrari dreams of the day that he, too, will be a recognized voice for D-Back fans around the world.

“[My] current position is the beginning of the journey that will lead to my dream,” he said.

As he puts his time in to advance in a competitive industry, Ferrari hopes that he will someday be the same light and example that his role models have been for him.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_communication.jpgThe Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter will host its fifth annual Public Relations Week from April 13 to 17. The week will consist of 12 programs, all of which will be held on the main campus of Waynesburg University.

Public Relations Week includes a series of professional development events and workshops intended for students pursuing communication-related fields. Prominent industry professionals will address audience members about the ever-changing field of public relations.

“PR Week is designed to provide our current students with knowledge of the public relations industry,” said Richard Krause, adviser for Waynesburg's PRSSA chapter and assistant professor and chair of the Department of Communication. “We scheduled a very diverse list of speakers in order to give students insight into as many fields of public relations as possible.”

This year’s programs feature speakers such as Elizabeth Bacheson, senior public relations and social media specialist at Elias/Savion Advertising, and Brian Price, assistant account executive at Edelman.

Public Relations Week will also include an alumni panel, a sports information panel presentation and an induction ceremony for new Chapter members.

The Chapter cordially invites all Waynesburg University students, faculty and staff interested in the fields of public relations, advertising, business or marketing. The event is also open to the general public interested in the field or networking with professionals.

Public Relations Week is sponsored by Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter. PRSSA is an international, professional organization for students in communication-related fields. The organization strives to serve students, to enhance their educations, broaden their networks and launch their careers.

Most recently, the University’s PRSSA Chapter was awarded Star Chapter status for the second consecutive year. Out of PRSSA’s 350 plus chapters, 31 received Star Chapter status for the 2014 academic school year. This recognition is given to only the most prestigious of Chapters, categorizing them as the organization's top performers.

For more information, contact Megan Bayles at bay2547@student.waynesburg.edu.

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_headshot.jpgJordan Mitrik, a junior public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa., recently won the Bob O’Gara Student Scholarship from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He accepted the award at the 2015 PRSA Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards Thursday, Jan. 29. 

This is the first time that a Waynesburg student has received the award, which is given annually to one outstanding public relations student in the Pittsburgh region. Mitrik met all of the scholarship requirements including high standards of achievement in academics, involvement in extracurricular activities, evidence of personal character, leadership and citizenship and demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the profession and practice of public relations. 

“I am truly honored to represent western Pennsylvania and the participating PRSSA Chapters as the scholarship recipient,” Mitrik said. “When people mention big names in the Pittsburgh public relations market, Bob O'Gara's name is always in the mix. He is a true advocate for students and a leader in the industry. He is a role model to me and I could not be more humbled to receive this type of recognition.”

Mitrik serves as the vice president of Waynesburg’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter and as the director of Waynesburg University’s public relations student-run firm, Red Brick Communications. He works in the Office of University Relations as a student writer and as a recruiter for the University’s Department of Communication. 

In addition to his public relations responsibilities, Mitrik is president and captain of Waynesburg University's Men's Club Volleyball team, is a Leadership Scholar and is a member of Lambda Pi Eta,Waynesburg’s communication honor society. 

During his acceptance speech, Mitrik thanked God, his family, the Renaissance Awards Committee and Waynesburg University for his success. 

“It took determination, motivation and lots of coffee to bring me here today,” said Mitrik. “During moments of doubt, God was always involved. He placed me at Waynesburg University to experience these things and to bring me to this moment.” 

Eight members of the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter traveled to the event to volunteer and network. The annual ceremony celebrates the brightest stars and best work in Pittsburgh’s public relations community. 

The students arrived before the event began and assisted with set up, schedule review and prep work. During the ceremony, students managed the registration table, communicating with more than 150 public relations practitioners from the Pittsburgh area. Members were also responsible for handing out the awards to the winners. 

This is the third consecutive year the Waynesburg Chapter sent members to work the event after establishing a close connection with its parent Chapter, PRSA Pittsburgh.  

Chartered in 2010, the award-winning Waynesburg University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America strives to prepare members for their future profession through experience, opportunity and achievement.

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgThe first annual John C. Knox Writing Contest was held Sat., Nov. 1 at 9:30 a.m. on the campus of Waynesburg University under the director of Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of Communication at Waynesburg University. The contest was free and open to high school students in grades 10 to 12 within the tri-state area interested in writing or journalism. The Observer Publishing Company sponsored this event. Cash prizes were awarded to the winners.

Following registration, students were welcomed and given instructions, followed by an hour-long news conference with Lanny Frattare, former Pittsburgh Pirates announcer and assistant professor of communication at Waynesburg University. The students then had a two-hour session to write a feature article based on that information. 

The students’ articles were judged by local newspaper journalists and editors from the Observer-Reporter as well as members of Waynesburg University's Department of Communication and the University's student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

The winners are as follows:

•First-place winner: Joseph Wilkinson of Pittsburgh, senior at Mt. Lebanon High School

•Second-place winner: Alex McCann of Freedom, senior at Eden Christian Academy

•Third-place winner: Katie Siple of Spring Grove, senior at York Catholic High School

The winners showed praiseworthy examples of a journalistic feature article. The first-place winner received $500 and his article will be published in the award-winning Waynesburg University student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket. Second-place received $300 and third-place, $200. All participants were awarded a t-shirt.

“It was a very tough task to choose the winners,” said Szuminsky. “The quality of work these students produced is very impressive. It was encouraging to see so many young people committed to journalism and quality writing. We hope all the participants continue this commitment throughout their high school career and into college and beyond.”

Next year’s John C. Knox Writing Contest will be held in Fall 2015. 

For more information, contact Brandon Szuminsky at 724-852-3427 or email bszumins@waynesburg.edu.

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