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b2ap3_thumbnail_5-16-Yellow-Jacket-ASPA.jpgThe American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) recently awarded Waynesburg University’s student-produced newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, the First Place with Special Merit Award and the Most Outstanding University Newspaper Award.

The First Place with Special Merit Award was awarded to 36 winners nationwide based upon outstanding design and content, and the Most Outstanding University Newspaper Award was presented to only three of those school newspapers. This was Waynesburg’s first time earning the “most outstanding” award, earning 955 of the possible 1,000 points.

“The Yellow Jacket has a long history of being recognized by regional and statewide organizations, but to get an award like this against national competition is obviously very special,” said Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication and co-advisor of The Yellow Jacket. “To win this award is really a testament to both the quality of our students and the opportunities they have in the Department of Communication.”

The ASPA annual contest recognizes school yearbooks, magazines and newspapers that excel in overall design and content. According to ASPA, the contest also provides applicants with advice on advertising placement, cover design, graphics, headlining, photography, page design and story layout, among other items.

Earlier in the year, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), a national organization of journalists, named the newspaper as a finalist in four different categories for a total of five awards, and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) announced three first place awards and an honorable mention for the newspaper staff.

“The wide variety of recognition the staff received this year shows that they are excelling across the board,” said Szuminsky. “I am glad that ASPA and these other organizations are seeing what we see every day: that Waynesburg University has a stellar group of young journalists.”

In total, The Yellow Jacket collected 11 awards during the 2015-16 academic year, the first time in the paper’s history the number of awards reached double digits.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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Junior public relations major Kyle Oland is taking his Waynesburg University education to the big leagues, literally. This summer, Oland will work with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park as a media relations intern.


Throughout his internship, Oland will compile media and press kits, write for and the Pirates website and interview players and coaches.


“The opportunities I have been offered in my classes have helped me develop professionally,” Oland said. “My classes at Waynesburg gave me the skills to stand out as a young professional.”


As a freshman, Oland took advantage of Waynesburg's opportunities to grow academically and professionally by writing for The Yellow Jacket, the campus newspaper, as a freshman, where he now serves as Sports Editor and joining the campus public relations Chapter. It was this commitment and dedication to professional development that made him stand out from among the 133 other students who applied for the internship with the Pirates.


In addition to his active participation within the Department of Communication at the University, Oland also serves as a student assistant within the Waynesburg Sports Information Office; an experience he knows will aid him as he works with the MLB this summer. He continues to build his resume through networking– a strategy he calls invaluable.


“Networking is so important,” Oland said. “It's critical to keep in contact with everyone you meet, because they may be able help you in your career and offer opportunities for you to grow professionally and build your resume.”


During his time with the Pirates, Oland hopes to gain more experience in sports journalism and public relations, while also continuing to network within the field. During his internship, Oland says he will emulate the professionalism he has learned from his professors at Waynesburg.


“I feel that through my involvement within the Department of Communication at Waynesburg, and my outside experiences, I am setting myself up to stand out in life,” said Oland.

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