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Posted by on in Alumni

Communication

Writer for the “Willis Report” at Fox Business Network

New York, N.Y.

Additional Info:

  • Internship with “Cavuto” on the FOX Business Network, 2010
  • Production Assistant at Fox Business Network
  • Bachelor of Arts, Waynesburg University, 2011

“Students interested in a career in television have countless avenues from which to choose, and Waynesburg University offers classes and experiences in all of those avenues and allows students to use the facilities in their free time to practice. As a student, I had the opportunity to work my way up from crewing newscasts and remotes to producing, anchoring and eventually managing the station. You can’t have better preparation than that.”

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Posted by on in News

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. 

“The SPJ awards are the top of the line for student journalism contests, and this category is akin to a best in show award that judges the entire publication, so we are quite excited,” said Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication at Waynesburg University and faculty adviser to the Yellow Jacket. 

Nick Farrell, a senior communication (sports broadcasting/sports information) major and the executive editor of the Yellow Jacket, took home two regional awards for General News Reporting. The awards recognize his article on past Waynesburg University president A.B. Miller’s diary returning to campus and his series on the University’s student senate changes. 

“Having the piece on Miller's diary recognized was a gratifying experience for me, especially since I found out about the award a few weeks before President Lee's inauguration and at a time when the campus community is greatly in touch with its history,” Farrell said. 

Farrell enjoyed the opportunity to tell Lee about the Yellow Jacket award in person, in Lee’s office where the diary is kept. 

“The Yellow Jacket's role is to serve the campus community, and we have a history of exceeding that call to service that dates back to the early 1900s,” Farrell said. “To be recognized individually for my work is quite an honor, but I'm most pleased by the fact the entire staff has been recognized for its outstanding commitment to the weekly execution of reporting news factually and effectively.”

While the Yellow Jacket typically wins at least one award from SPJ each year, this is the first time it has won an SPJ Best All-Around award in nearly a decade. The Yellow Jacket won SPJ All-Around awards in both 2004 and 2005, a time when Szuminsky, then a student at Waynesburg University, was editor of the paper.

In April, the Yellow Jacket will learn how it placed in region four. First place winners move on to the national SPJ competition. Farrell, too, will learn how he placed among other young journalists from across the region. 

“No matter how the placing works out, we know that the preeminent journalism organization thinks the Jacket is one of the top three papers in this region,” said Szuminsky.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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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_Oland_Kyle_5.JPGWhen he accepted a prestigious media relations internship with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kyle Oland thought he had put the finishing touch on his summer plans. The senior public relations major from Westminster, Md., planned to commute from Waynesburg to the city for every home game and looked forward to spending the summer doing what he loved, while also supplementing his income with a job in fast food. 

But in the spring 2013 semester, when Oland opened an email from a professor at Waynesburg University and found a link to an application for a part-time internship at the Smith Brothers Agency, Oland figured that applying to the agency position couldn't hurt. The Agency, an acclaimed full service integrated advertising and digital agency in Pittsburgh, Pa., focuses on consumer packaged goods. 

“I talked to the Pirates’ vice president of communication and he said that having both sports and agency background makes you more marketable,” Oland said. “I always like a challenge, but I didn’t think I would actually get it.”

Two weeks later, God revealed a more exciting summer plan for Oland than he could have hoped. He notified his food-industry job that he wouldn’t be able to work that summer, because he now had two big-name internships competing for his time. 

“I am glad I opted to do two internships in two very different spectrums of public relations,” Oland said. “I discovered what I excel at and what I dislike, which has made me realize what I want to do upon graduation.”

Throughout his Pirates’ internship, Oland compiled media and press kits, wrote for MLB.com and the Pirates website and interviewed players and coaches. He distributed news publications to members of the media, broadcasters, TV crews, camera crews, the executive offices, players and coaches before each game. 

“During the game, I sat in the press box and communicated via Google Chat with the Pirates' announcers,” Oland said. “Following the game, I compiled box scores and stat packs and then distributed these packets to the visiting clubhouse and the media.”

During games in which he worked for Major League Baseball, Oland served as a real-time correspondent. In this role, he provided in-game coverage of the night's game by finding unique stories via pictures or video interviews. He worked hand-in-hand with the Pirates' social media manager and the visiting public relations manager and even had the opportunity to eat dinner with the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Frank Coonely, and other team executives. 

Across the street as a digital strategies intern for Smith Brothers, he monitored clients’ and competitors’ social media accounts, compiled weekly reports and researched trends in the field. Oland’s research was used by the firm’s public relations team to better plan and execute social media strategies. Additionally, he assisted in the planning and writing of various posts for the social media platforms of brands including Nestle Drumstick, Skinny Cow, Frosty Paws and Dolce Gusto. 

“Kyle worked on a Twitter strategy for one of our clients. He provided a very thorough analysis with great recommendations,” said Kaitlyn Kline, social media coordinator/acting analytics coordinator at Smith Brothers Agency. “He always handled his workload very well and was eager to learn all the nuances of agency life – even if they weren't strictly related to social media and public relations. His drive is really something to note.”

With major brands and one of the season’s best baseball teams to represent, Oland faced a full schedule of events each day. Each morning, he drove into the city to work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Smith Brothers, and then walked across the street to PNC Park. From there, depending on the game, he might not get home until around midnight or later. 

“Working two internships was definitely a challenge,” Oland said. “While the days were long, it didn’t bother me because I understood that many would love to be in the position I was. I counted myself lucky.”

Approaching the summer, Oland’s biggest concern was balancing the two internships, but said that his days were quite comparable to his fast-paced, comprehensive days as a student in the Department of Communication at Waynesburg University. 

“The Department of Communication teaches you to get involved and to manage your time well. It was no different than a day at Waynesburg where I could go from working in the Sports Information Office, to writing a Yellow Jacket article, to attending a PRSSA networking event, to covering an athletic game and of course classwork,” Oland said. “In so many ways, Waynesburg University prepared me for both internships. Waynesburg helped me gain the ability to juggle a variety of tasks and perform those tasks at a high level.” 

After a strenuous but rewarding summer immersed in the world of public relations, Oland felt more motivated than ever to pursue his ultimate goal. Since freshman year, he has dreamed of returning to beloved Maryland to work for the Baltimore Ravens. 

“The summer of 2013 has not only been a reward for the hard work I have put in the last three years, but also as a reassurance that I am on the right path to achieve my goal.”

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Bombalski_Riverhounds-web.jpgWith her ponytail tightened, bright athletic clothes donned and an infectious smile displayed, Taylor Bombalski entered class to pursue the only thing she loves as much as soccer: her major at Waynesburg University. In class, the junior public relations student learned about internship requirements for the Department of Communication at Waynesburg University. She listened intently, taking notes and racking her brain for a way to unite her two passions. 

Later that evening, she saw a television commercial for The Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the city’s premier United Soccer League’s Pro Division team, and its inaugural season at Highmark Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh. Something clicked. She logged on to the team’s website and inquired about a public relations internship for the summer of 2013. 

“I love soccer. I have been playing since I was four. I just looked up the Riverhounds and saw they had interns for the summer and felt this was the perfect opportunity to learn the ropes,” Bombalski said. 

Bombalski, who feels at home on the field, with the turf gliding under her cleats and the crowd roaring above her, said she experienced complete comfort at her internship location. After securing the job and learning about her public relations, sports marketing, sales, media relations and event management responsibilities, she decided she wouldn’t be intimidated by those either. 

“My public relations writing and production class helped me with writing tips, and advanced PR strategies helped me to plan and implement an event,” said Bombalski. “As a member of the Waynesburg women’s soccer team, I understand the lingo and tactics of the semi-professional soccer team.”

With a combination of athletic experience and public relations knowledge, Bombalski created overviews for game day programs, tracked statistics, wrote articles and planned a special “Latino Heritage Night” event for the team.

“The internship was a little bit of everything so that I could figure out exactly what I love to do,” Bombalski said. “My favorite part was planning my event.  I got to meet with key spokespeople and network; it was a challenge but I learned so much.”

Her internship supervisor, John Rotz, assistant coach and member of team operations for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, wholeheartedly agreed that Bombalski grew as a young public relations professional during the summer. 

“Taylor was a quick learner, which enabled her to be trusted with many new facets of the day-to-day operations of the club, which in turn accelerated her exposure and enhanced her experience,” Rotz said. “If I knew that Taylor was handling a responsibility, I was at ease due to her professionalism on all fronts.”

 

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