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b2ap3_thumbnail_PRSSA.jpgSeven members of the Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter traveled to the PNC Park Hall of Fame Club in Pittsburgh, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 28, to work the 2014 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards. 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 180 public relations practitioners from the Pittsburgh area. Members were also responsible for handing out the awards to the winners. 

“Having the opportunity to help plan and execute the Renaissance Awards with our parent Chapter is invaluable,” said Molly Winters, junior public relations major and the president of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter. “It shows the professionals we look up to that we are extremely dedicated and are willing to go the extra mile to get that knowledgeable experience.”

This is the second consecutive year the Waynesburg Chapter sent members to work the event after establishing a professional relationship with Dan Ayer, president of PRSA Pittsburgh and co-chair of the 2014 Renaissance Awards, in the fall of 2012. 

“Multiple members of PRSA Pittsburgh have had the opportunity to work with Waynesburg University students in the past,” said Ayer. “When it came time to look for help with our biggest and most high profile event, it was a no-brainer to ask Waynesburg.”

Because of the great impression the students made on Ayer at last year’s event, he contacted Richard Krause, chairman of the Department of Communication and faculty adviser to the Waynesburg University PRSSA, in the fall of 2013 to not only ask if his students could help work the event again, but also for an intern to take control of the call for entries and online entry submission process for the award categories. 

Jordan Mitrik, a sophomore public relations major and historian of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter, worked alongside Ayer and his team prior to the ceremony. Mitrik managed the entry process, confirmed with the Pittsburgh agencies of their entries as well as categorized them into the appropriate award sections. Once completed, the work done by Mitrik was sent to PRSA Los Angeles to judge the entries and select the winners of the 2014 PRSA Renaissance Awards. 

“The students from Waynesburg University were essential to the success of the Renaissance Awards,” said Ayer. “By knowing that we had such a dedicated and capable group to help, the board was able to focus on making the event even stronger this year.”

Not only did the students work the event, but they also had the opportunity to network with working professionals in the public relations field. Winters said getting the chance to extend the Chapter’s skills and interact with Waynesburg PRSSA’s parent Chapter at the Renaissance Awards was very beneficial. 

“Working with our parent Chapter is extremely important to us, because the work we are doing as students is going to reflect how we act as professionals one day,” said Winters. “We strive to be like our parent Chapter professionals, so working alongside them is very beneficial to us.”

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.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_PRSSA-Resized.jpgWaynesburg University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was awarded the Star Chapter Award for meeting specific chapter and professional development goals. The chapter was one of 27 from around the country honored with the prestigious award.

“This is a huge step for us at Waynesburg PRSSA,” said Molly Winters, a junior public relations major and the president of Waynesburg’s chapter of PRSSA. “We are up to par with some of the best chapters around the country.”

A chapter must meet eight of the 10 Star Chapter requirements to earn the national award.   

“The stars or requirements range from participating in Ethics Month, applying for national scholarships and holding an annual event,” said Winters. “We actually completed all 10 stars.”

In just its fourth year of existence, Waynesburg’s chapter of PRSSA is one of 328 other schools from around the country nationally associated with PRSSA, the student counterpart to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).  

“To do it in three years and to do it in a chapter with approximately 25 dues-paying members, I think is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said Richard Krause, the adviser for Waynesburg’s chapter of PRSSA and assistant professor and chair of the Department of Communication. “It speaks volumes to the dedication of our students.” 

Krause said that while earning Star Chapter was an objective for he and his students, it was looked at as a long-term goal because of how new Waynesburg’s chapter is.

“To achieve that in year four accelerates the plan,” said Krause. “The goal is always to get better and this program has the potential to be outstanding, given our unique mission and our talented students.” 

Moving forward, Waynesburg’s chapter of PRSSA is hoping to gain national accreditation for its student-run PR firm, Red Brick Communications. 

“There is so much potential with this chapter to do some amazing things, and we just now have to work very hard to achieve those goals,” said Krause.  

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University’s student-run radio station, WCYJ-FM, hosted its annual Pumpkin Bowling event in conjunction with Harvest Fest put on by the University’s Student Senate Thursday, Oct. 31.

According to junior sports broadcasting student Brandon Rainelli, the general manager of WCYJ-FM, it was the 21st time the radio station hosted one of the campus’s favorite events.

“Pumpkin Bowling has been a Waynesburg tradition for some time now,” said Rainelli. “It is the biggest event [WCYJ-FM] puts on each year.”

While normal bowling consists of a bowling ball, Pumpkin Bowling substitutes the ball for a pumpkin. Participants bowl just as they do in normal bowling, except it’s outside and with a five-pound, orange sphere.

Rainelli said the money raised goes towards the radio station’s annual fundraising efforts for Relay for Life which takes place each year in the spring.

“[Pumpkin Bowling] is our second biggest fundraiser behind the 24-hour broadcast we do,” said Rainelli. “Last year our goal for the year was $2,500. The cause overall is great and we are increasing our goal this year.”

Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee, who bowled against students, said the event is a great showing of the University’s spirit of service.

“[Waynesburg] has extraordinary students,” said Lee. “These students have a real heart for service and caring for other people.”

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_oland.jpgOver the course of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ improbable regular season that has seen the Pirates reach the postseason, a number of Waynesburg University students had the opportunity to work for or with the baseball team that has shocked the nation.

While Lanny Frattare, an assistant professor for the Department of Communication, is known for his 33 years as the voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a number of other members of Waynesburg University’s community have spent time at PNC Park this season.

On Thursday, Aug. 1, four Waynesburg students all worked the Pittsburgh Pirates’ game against the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Senior Kyle Oland, a media relations intern for the Pirates, senior Brandon Reed, a production intern for Root Sports, sophomore Creg Milko, a freelancer with MLB Network and junior Nick Farrell, an intern for SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan, worked in different areas of the communications field.

“It screams volumes that four of our students are working with a major league team,” said Frattare. “All four are making Waynesburg University proud, but more important, all four are making themselves proud.”

Farrell, who spent much of his summer reporting on the various Pittsburgh professional sports teams as an intern for SportsRadio 93.7, said he ran into a number of current and former Waynesburg students during his internship.

During these moments, Farrell said he took great pride in knowing his University was producing such talented individuals in the Pittsburgh media market. The Pirates’ game in August stood out in Farrell’s mind as the greatest of those moments.

“I was sitting in the Pirates’ Press Box at PNC Park before the game, and I got a text message from Creg Milko asking if I was at the game,” said Farrell. “I had already known Kyle [Oland] and Brandon [Reed] were working the game, and it was one of those moments where you realize how well everyone from your school is doing.”

Throughout the summer, the four students were able to experience different aspects of working in professional sports while applying skills learned at Waynesburg University.

“To have just one student working for a major company would be impressive for any university,” said Milko, “but to have four students, all working for different media outlets shows why [Waynesburg’s Department of Communication] is one of the most well-rounded programs out there.”

Oland, who received a full-season internship with the Pirates, is still serving as a media relations intern within Pittsburgh’s front office.

The public relations student worked to promote the players and coaches through traditional and social media tactics, while providing members of the local and national media with information about the team on a daily basis. Oland said that his time with the Pirates has been the best experience of his life.

“I can honestly say that had I not attended Waynesburg University, I would not be in the position I am today,” said Oland. “During my four years at Waynesburg, not only have I learned how to be a professional, but I have developed as a leader and a positive representation of what the University hopes its students become.”

Reed, an electronic media major, is currently interning with Roots Sports at its North Shore studios, cutting voice-overs and highlights for the pre-game, post-game and game-break segments of Pirates’ television broadcasts.

Farrell, a sports broadcasting student, gathered pregame and postgame sound bites in the Pirates’ locker room for use on the Pirates Pregame Show and later use on 20/20 Sports Updates.

Milko, a sports broadcasting student, worked as a runner for MLB Network. The sophomore answered to the Operations Producer for that night’s broadcast and was responsible for assisting that night’s announcers with any requests they needed.

“Nick, Kyle, Creg and Brandon have displayed the commitment necessary to be successful,” said Frattare. “I am convinced, after spending four-plus years on the Waynesburg University campus, that a significant number of our students are devoted to working hard and developing their skills.  Practice, perseverance and patience are critical for the advancement of a novice communicator and the elevation of said communicator to the ranks of a seasoned professional.”

All four students agreed that for the Department of Communication to have four of its students all working the same game shows the quality of students at Waynesburg.

“From my experiences, it seems like those professionals are beginning to recognize Waynesburg as having one of the best programs around,” said Farrell. “I think that it’s a reflection of the Department’s dedication to providing students opportunities to learn and grow outside the classroom.”

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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During Waynesburg University’s Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 5, the Department of Communication will hold a program for its alumni.

According to Richard Krause, professor and chair of the Department of Communication, the event will be hosted on the fourth floor of Buhl Hall, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity to reconnect with our alumni,” said Krause. “I think all [academic] departments and many of the faculty here at Waynesburg take seriously the relationships they have with their students.”

While Krause did not want to disclose all events planned for the day, he did say that the day would celebrate the Department of Communication’s past.

“We want to have an opportunity to have conversations with our former students,” he said. “Celebrate what they achieved when they were here. Celebrate what we are achieving now and talk about what we can do to make the future even better.”

Krause said that all the Department of Communication’s staff will be in attendance, along with some current students.

“We want our alumni to be able to connect with our current students,” Krause said. “I want our alumni to be a part of this. I want them to be part of the [Department of Communication’s] growth and the goals we have.”

Anyone planning on attending can RSVP or direct any questions to Krause at 724-852-3240 or rkrause@waynesburg.edu.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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