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Posted by on in Internships

b2ap3_thumbnail_Kimmi-Baston.JPGOn the fifty-seventh floor of the US Steel Tower in Pittsburgh, Pa., soon-to-be senior Kimmi Baston is working as a summer intern for the largest employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC.

Baston, a journalism major with minors in marketing and public relations, is serving as a summer associate in the Marketing and Communications Department for Clinical Marketing at UPMC.

Baston is creating promotional materials for clinical services and works specifically with emergency/trauma medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and urgent care. She also interviews former patients about their treatment at UPMC. Among a list of other tasks, she will be planning several marketing initiatives.

The biggest challenge thus far has been familiarizing herself with the medical lingo she has to incorporate into her writing.

“I have to research and learn about every condition, treatment, policy, hospital, doctor and service before I can even have a prayer of writing about it,” said Baston. “It’s awesome – I love getting to learn so much about medicine in addition to what I’m learning about my field.”

More than 5,000 applicants applied for the Summer Associate Program, while only 94 were selected.

“That’s such a small percentage of people to be hired, so I’m so honored and in awe that I am one of them.”

Baston credits Waynesburg for helping to prepare her for this opportunity. As the executive editor of the student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a leading scholar, among other accolades, her experience at the University is what set her apart from the competition.

“I have to be professional, take initiative, work well on a team and communicate effectively,” she said. “I’ve developed all of those skills through all of my WU activities. It’s possible I could be in an elevator with one of our four chief officers at any time, but thanks to WU, I’m not nervous about it.”

Baston talked about how Waynesburg further prepared her for her internship at the healthcare company that is highly involved with the surrounding region.

“The fact that I possess the skills to do my work is a total tribute to being so involved in journalism and having such great instruction at Waynesburg,” said Baston.

Baston’s favorite experience thus far was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ victory parade after winning the Stanley Cup. She and her fellow interns were recruited to pass out posters to fans to promote the “Thank You Pens” initiative.

“Pittsburgh pride is infectious, and I am honored to be a part of an organization that, despite its enormous size and many responsibilities, continuously cares so much for the community and its people,” said Baston.

Along with her daily tasks, Baston also has the opportunity to attend networking events. Working along fellow interns, she is experiencing life in a corporate world and is putting into action what she has learned at Waynesburg.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_ConferenceLogoJPEG.jpgWaynesburg University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) will host a regional conference Friday, April 8, through Saturday, April 9, 2016. The event, which will take place on Waynesburg’s campus, will afford attendees the opportunity to network with public relations professionals and expand their knowledge of the field.

“Caffeinate Your Career,” the slogan defining Waynesburg PRSSA’s regional conference, symbolizes stimulating your career to ensure success in the professional world.

“It [the theme] is intended to play off of the running joke in PR: that we all run on coffee due to the demands of our positions,” said Samantha Peer, senior public relations major and co-director of the regional conference. “Within the event, we plan to incorporate coffee-themed speakers and favors, as well as a community outreach initiative centered around coffee.”

PRSSA chooses approximately 10 of its chapters to host regional conferences each year. Chapters interested in hosting a regional conference must submit a bid form to PRSSA Headquarters outlining the conference’s budget, logistics, promotion plan, schedule and theme. Bid forms are reviewed and chapters are chosen by PRSSA Headquarters, as well as its national president and vice president of regional conferences.

“The process of bidding for the regional conference was challenging and nerve wracking, but exciting at the same time,” said Peer. “Basically, when bidding, you are planning everything, start to finish, so that your Chapter presents itself as though it is prepared to take on this large responsibility.”

Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA, expresses his excitement to host a regional conference, as it will recognize the hard work and dedication of the institution’s public relations students.

“Hosting a regional conference has been one of our Chapter’s goals since its inception, and now, just five short years later, we are fulfilling that objective,” said Krause. “This is a large feat, especially since we are the smallest university that was chosen to host a conference. However, I have confidence in our students and their abilities to execute a well-planned, professional event.”

For more information about Waynesburg University PRSSA’s regional conference, “Caffeinate Your Career,” please visit info.waynesburg.edu/caffeinateyourcareer.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in Alumni

Amy Mina, a 2011 Waynesburg University alumna, has recently been promoted from writer to associate producer for “The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan” on the Fox Business Network in New York City.

In her new position with the daily afternoon television program, Mina’s responsibilities include writing spontaneous scripts, designing graphics for air, providing in-depth research for the on-air talent, producing segments and packages in the field as well as working closely with the producer of the show.

Landing a job as a production assistant for Fox News’ sister network immediately after graduation, Mina cited her perseverance to become successful in a field she was passionate about. She maximized her networking abilities and knowledge of the field to climb the ranks in the media industry – both of which she acquired from her education at Waynesburg University.

“Not only did the Department of Communication at Waynesburg fully prepare me for the workforce, it gave me a necessary edge over the competition,” said Mina, who has a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in business. “With a limited number of openings, networks really want to see college candidates with a working knowledge of TV production, script writing, current events, and more importantly, a willingness to learn.”

Reflecting on her Waynesburg experience and the numerous hands-on opportunities the Department of Communication afforded to her, Mina provides current students with some advice:

“Find your passion and pursue it relentlessly! Know your field, network constantly, outwork your peers and always go above and beyond in the workplace.”

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Posted by on in Alumni

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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