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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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Posted by on in News

b2ap3_thumbnail_Jenny-Schouppe.jpgJennifer Schouppe, a junior communication major with a focus in journalism and electronic media from Beaver, Pa., was recently named the winner of the 2015 Teresa Spatara Memorial Scholarship. 

The Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association (PWPA) offers the Teresa Spatara Memorial Scholarship to current junior, senior and graduate students pursuing a career in print journalism. The scholarship is named in honor of Teresa Spatara, a career journalist with The Herald in Sharon, Pa., who passed away in 2013. 

“I’m very honored to receive this scholarship,” said Schouppe. “I’m thankful for my professors who bring their real-world experiences from the field into the classroom. Their teachings and advice definitely had a part in helping me to achieve this accomplishment.” 

Schouppe, Waynesburg University’s first recipient of the scholarship, met all of the scholarship requirements including proven journalistic ability, dedication to a newspaper career and general merit. 

Schouppe recently received the position as the chief photographer for Waynesburg University’s award-winning student news publication, the Yellow Jacket. She is the programming director for Waynesburg University’s Society of Professional Journalists student chapter and an intern at McMillen Photography. 

“Winning the PWPA scholarship is a wonderful recognition of Jenny’s hard work both in her journalism classes and with the student newspaper,” said Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication and co-advisor for the Yellow Jacket. “As she heads into her senior year, we feel strongly that Jenny is going to be an integral part of the Yellow Jacket next year, and it’s good to see the PWPA shares our high opinion of her.”

Schouppe’s scholarship will wrap up an award-filled semester for Waynesburg University’s journalism program.

“Jenny’s scholarship is a wonderful capper to a great semester for the journalism program at Waynesburg University that saw the newspaper staff win six state and regional awards,” said Szuminsky. “It’s a great confirmation that a student can have both the myriad of benefits of a small-school education and still have great opportunities to grow as young journalists.” 

Schouppe was awarded $1,500. She will attend the PWPA luncheon on May 30 in Gettysburg to give a brief acceptance speech.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

Tagged in: communication news
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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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Posted by on in News

b2ap3_thumbnail_monogram.jpgWaynesburg University’s student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket, was recently recognized with five awards from two preeminent professional journalism organizations.

The student-run paper was named a finalist for two top regional awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and was awarded three statewide awards for individual excellence in reporting from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA).

Selected as a finalist for the Region 4 Mark of Excellence Award for Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper by SPJ for the second consecutive year, the Yellow Jacket will learn how it placed in its region later in March at a conference at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. First place regional winners will move on to the national SPJ competition.

"These two consecutive awards show great progress not just at the paper, but in our own development as journalists," said Nick Farrell, senior communication major and executive editor of the Yellow Jacket. "I have no doubt that those staff members who choose to continue careers in journalism after college will continue the success we started here."

Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication and co-advisor for the Yellow Jacket at Waynesburg University, said that the Best All-Around category "is basically a best-in-show award that takes into account the entire paper and is judged regardless of school."

"Last year's winner, for example, has an enrollment of 28,000, and we were right there behind them with only 1,500," Szuminsky said. "For us to be one of the three finalists for this award means we've got one of the three best non-daily student newspapers in a four-state region for back-to-back years – that's pretty impressive for a small school such as this."

SPJ also named the Yellow Jacket a finalist in the Best In-Depth Reporting (Small School) category for the coverage of Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee’s inauguration last spring.

SPJ presents the Mark of Excellence Awards annually, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

Additionally, PNA recognized the Yellow Jacket with three Student Keystone Press Awards in Division II, the category for four-year colleges and universities with enrollment under 10,000 students within the commonwealth.

The Yellow Jacket’s PNA awards include first place in the category "Ongoing News Coverage" for the series "Administration overhauls academic calendar" by Farrell, John Lydic, Jacob Meyer and Kimmi Baston; first place in the "Feature Story" category for "Nursing a life of stress" by Rebecca Burcham; and an honorable mention for sports story "Jacket football writes history with a tale of two kicks" by Farrell.

"It's hard to overstate how proud I am of these student journalists," Szuminsky said. "To win two first place awards and an honorable mention in such diverse categories speaks to the depth and breadth of the coverage of the Yellow Jacket that the students put out each and every week. They pour so much of their time and talent into the newspaper that it's incredibly gratifying to see them recognized for their work at a state-wide level."

The Student Keystone Press Awards contest recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers.

"As editor, few things have been more gratifying than these awards," Farrell said. "They're a reminder of how important good journalism is in our society and how much my classmates and I have grown through our instruction at Waynesburg. I hope that future writers at the Yellow Jacket continue to evolve with the paper, not for the sake of awards, but for the betterment of our campus community."

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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