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Seven students from the Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication will spend part of their Christmas breaking working with Trans World Radio (TWR), an international broadcast ministry on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. The students will spend Friday, Jan. 2, through Sunday, Jan. 11, assisting TWR in creating production schedules, radio lines, videos and promotional materials. 

Beth Merry, instructor of communication at the University; Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication; Jacquelyn Core, University provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Karen Younger, assistant professor of history, will lead the team of students.

The purpose of our trip is to help carry out the mission of the University by giving our students a chance to serve God and TWR, while using the skills that that they have learned at Waynesburg,” Merry said. “They will have a chance to do international broadcasting, film and edit videos, help the missionaries with their prayer letters, write scripts, take photographs and a variety of other projects that enable them to use their specialized skills.” 

Students participating in the trip include:

•April Bellizio, junior journalism major from Monmouth, N.J. (South Brunswick High School)

•Taylor Bombalski, senior public relations major from Freeport, Pa. (Freeport Area Senior High School)

•Anthony Conn, junior electronic media major from West Sunbury, Pa. (Moniteau Junior-Senior High School)

•Kyle Dawson, sophomore sports broadcasting/sports information major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Plum Senior High School)

•Stephen Haynes, senior electronic media from Smithton, Pa. (Yough Senior High School)

•Ronald Leisie, sophomore sports broadcasting/sports information major from Ellwood City, Pa. (Lincoln High School)

•Anne McGlaughlin, sophomore public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Brentwood Middle-High School)

•Jordan Mitrik, junior public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (North Catholic High School)

•Abby Pittinaro, junior public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Carlynton Junior-Senior High School)

•Mitchell Ross, sophomore sports broadcasting/sports information from Blairsville, Pa. (Bible Baptist Christian School)

•Chelsey Withers, sophomore public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (North Hills High School)

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

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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

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11-12-megan-bayles.jpgWaynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter president Megan Bayles recently received first place in a national public relations scholarship competition. 

Bayles, a junior public relations major from Carmichaels, Pa., is the first student from Southwestern Pennsylvania to have received the Betsy Plank PRSSA Scholarship. The award is granted annually to three public relations students who demonstrate dedication to the field, practical experience, academic excellence and proven leadership. 

“This scholarship award is one of the most distinguished student awards given by PRSSA,” said Richard Krause, chair of the Department of Communication, assistant professor of communication and faculty adviser to the PRSSA Chapter. “This award affirms all that Megan has accomplished in our chapter in a very short period of time.” 

Winners were recently announced at the PRSSA National Conference in Washington, D.C. For first place, Bayles received a $5,000 award.

“The entire event felt surreal. I was happy, excited, proud and honored, all at the same time,” Bayles said. “Since discovering all of the PRSSA scholarship opportunities and joining Waynesburg's Chapter, it has been my goal to apply for and win one of these prestigious awards.” 

Betsy Plank was the first woman to lead the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) President in 1973. She was chair of the U.S. Section of International Public Relations Association and co-chaired the 1987 commission to develop guidelines for the undergraduate public relations curriculum in U.S. colleges and universities.

“Betsy Plank is an inspiration to all aspiring public relations professionals, especially women,” Bayles said. “To have been awarded the opportunity to help carry on her amazing legacy is such a blessing.”   

Upon graduation from Waynesburg University, Bayles hopes to work in corporate public relations and obtain a Master’s degree in a communication-related field.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-10-23-at-10.44.40-AM.pngWaynesburg 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 for the second consecutive year.

“It is especially gratifying to achieve this accomplishment in consecutive years given we have just begun our fifth year as a chapter,” said Richard Krause, chair of the Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA. “We are well ahead of the long-term goals and objectives that we established for the public relations major and the PRSSA chapter when we first started the process.”

The Public Relations Student Society of America National Committee evaluates the performance of PRSSA chapters and awards the recognition to chapters that meet at least eight of the following 10 requirements:

  • Conduct a high school outreach session and/or promote Affiliate membership to a nearby community college
  • Confirm attendance by at least one Chapter member at National Conference, National Assembly, a Regional Conference or Leadership Rally
  • Confirm that at least 10 percent of graduating seniors applied for PRSA Associate Membership
  • Confirm that at least one Chapter member applies for an individual National PRSSA scholarship or award
  • Confirm that the Chapter applied for at least one national PRSSA award
  • Extend an invitation to students/faculty from other disciplines to attend at least one Chapter meeting
  • Gain positive attention for the Chapter in at least one campus or community publication or other media
  • Give attention to ethics in at least one chapter meeting
  • Initiate and complete at least one community service project
  • Strengthen the Chapter’s relationship with its Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) sponsor chapter

In just its fifth year of existence, Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA is one of 328 schools nationally associated with PRSSA, the student counterpart of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Waynesburg’s Chapter was one of 31 from around the country honored with Star Chapter status.

“This recognition means that our Chapter is one of the best in the nation,” said Megan Bayles, junior public relations major and the president of Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA. “This award shows that we are doing things right, and we are offering our members all of the opportunities needed to succeed in the fast-paced world of public relations.”

Bayles added that receiving the Star Chapter Award reflects the hard work and dedication of the Chapter’s members and executive board.

“Gaining the honor of Star Chapter is not an easy feat to accomplish,” said Bayles. “It takes motivated members with innovative ideas and strong work ethics as well as strong and active leadership from advisers and our executive board. I feel so blessed to be part of a chapter with such great potential and such amazing members.”

The Chapter’s next goals are to apply for the Dr. F.H. Teahan Chapter Awards sponsored by PRSSA as well as to obtain National Affiliation for the Chapter’s student-run firm, Red Brick Communications.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or

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

Seven 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. 

Sándor Mécs, a senior communication (journalism) major at Waynesburg University, traveled to the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., to present at the 28th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Thursday, April 3 through Saturday, April 5, 2014. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native presented his paper titled, “Burnham's Managerial Revolution: The Unexamined Reality of Contemporary Class Conflict.” 

Waynesburg University’s student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket, was recently named a regional winner in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) annual awards contest for the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper category. 

Waynesburg University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) held its fourth annual PR Week celebration Monday, April 7, through Friday, April 11, 2014. This week-long event recognizes the hard work and dedication public relations majors show within the field of public relations throughout the academic year. 

Dr. Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication, received the 2014 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a faculty member with a relatively recent history of teaching excellence.

WCTV, the Waynesburg University student television station, recently earned a bronze award from the 35th annual Telly Awards for its piece titled “The Buzz: November 11, 2013.” Waynesburg’s piece stood out among nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries.  

From Friday, Oct. 25, through Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, members of Waynesburg University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) traveled to Philadelphia to participate in the 2013 PRSSA National Conference: Foundation for Innovation, hosted by Drexel University.

Brandon Szuminsky was named Instructor of Communication at Waynesburg University in August of 2013. He received his B.A. and M.B.A. from Waynesburg University. In the summer of 2013, he waspublished within an edited anthology marking the 75th anniversary of the iconic “War of the Worlds” broadcast. Szuminsky co-authored “Mediating Misinformation: Hoaxes and the Digital Turn,” one of the chapters within “War of the Worlds to Social Media: Mediated Communication in Times of Crisis.”

Kyle Oland, a senior public relations major from Westminster, Md., and Nick Farrell, a senior sports broadcasting major from Lower Burrell, Pa., took home the second and third place prizes, respectively, at the annual Gertrude Gordon Contest conducted by the Women's Press Club of Pittsburgh.

Waynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter celebrated the public relations field with a week long event Monday, April 15 through Thursday, April 18, 2013. PR week celebrates the study of public relations by offering professional presentations, networking opportunities and activities relevant to the communication field.

The Waynesburg University Yellow Jacket won a Region One Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for its in-depth reporting of the University’s announcement of Mr. Doug Lee as president elect. Six members of the Yellow Jacket staff attended the Region 1 Spring Conference Friday, April 12 through Saturday, April 13, 2013 to accept the award.

Molly Winters, a junior public relations major, and Brittany Semco, a junior public relations and design major, traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., to represent Waynesburg University at the 2013 Public Relations Student Society of America National Assembly Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7, 2013. 

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