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b2ap3_thumbnail_Headshot.jpgWaynesburg University held its annual commencement exercises honoring approximately 600 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students Sunday, May 18. Laura E. Ellsworth, a partner at Jones Day and vice chair of the board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, delivered the commencement address.

Kaitlyn Grace Berkebile, an early childhood education major from Friedens, Pa., was named one of five valedictorians of her class. She is the daughter of Scott and Susan Berkebile of Friedens, Pa.

“I am incredibly grateful for the amazing people who have helped me to achieve this honor,” Berkebile said. “It is a blessing and truly shows how commitment and dedication pay off.”

During her studies at Waynesburg, Berkebile was vice president of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and a member of the University’s Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) student group. She was a member of DRUS Honorary Society for women and served on the University’s Student Activities Board. 

Active in service, Berkebile attended two University service trips to Urban Promise Ministries in Camden, N.J., and participated in local service initiatives. She was a recipient of the A.B. Miller Scholarship, the Class Scholarship Award and the Outstanding Academic Excellence Award. 

“I have grown both mentally and spiritually during my time at the University,” she said. “Waynesburg has helped me to establish a solid foundation and a variety of skills that will help me to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Berkebile hopes to continue to grow professionally and ignite curiosity and a love for learning in young children. 

The 2014 Valedictorians include:

•Kaitlyn Grace Berkebile, an early childhood education major from Friedens, Pa.

•Alyssa Brooke Crile, an early childhood education major from Washington, Pa.

•Daniel Vincent Czajkowski, a criminal justice administration major from Frederick, Md.

•Corin Rae Schipani, a digital design major from Duquesne, Pa.

•Hannah Michelle Szymanik, an early childhood education major from Mount Holly Springs, Pa.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0565jw.jpgRyan Devlin, a 2007 Waynesburg University secondary English education alumnus, is one of 100 educators selected for the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program. Devlin teaches 11th grade English and technology at Brockway Area High School in Brockway, Pa.

The PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program rewards tech-savvy K-12 educators from across the country who incorporate digital media in the classroom to promote student engagement and achievement.

“Great schools and great teachers constantly evolve and adapt,” said Devlin, whose classroom is 100 percent paperless. “Technology is going to continue to play an increased role in both life and the work place. If we don’t teach students relevant 21st century skills, we are failing to prepare them for their future.”

The 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will receive year-long professional development opportunities that include virtual trainings, access to premium, exclusive resources and invitations to special events.

The top 16 applicants, including Devlin, will serve as leads of the program and will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., to take part in a two-day digital education summit. There, they will participate in hands-on learning, collaborate with peers and hear from leaders in digital technology. 

Devlin, who has taught at Brockway Area High School for seven years, was named the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year in 2013. He was also named one of four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year award. 

Devlin received his bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from Waynesburg University, where he became familiar with technology in the classroom and gained hands-on experience with modern instructional technology. Devlin also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership. He also holds teaching certificates in English (grades 7-12), business/computers (grades K-12) and library science (grades K-12).

The full list of the 2014 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators is available at http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/digitalinnovators.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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The Department of Education at Waynesburg University will host the Intermediate Unit One Camp Tech Monday, Aug. 4, through Friday, Aug. 8, on the campus of Waynesburg University.

Camp Tech is a summer camp for students entering grades three through eight in the fall of 2014. Campers will work with new and upcoming technology while gaining 21st century skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning.

“Waynesburg University is pleased to once again host the Intermediate Unit One summer Camp Tech. We think that the new, full day format will provide camp participants with several expanded and innovative educational activities,” said Debra Clarke, chair of the Department of Education and assistant professor of education at Waynesburg University. “We are excited about the opportunities that Camp Tech will bring to our Greene County area elementary and middle school students.”

Students will rotate through four sessions each day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. Sessions include Lego Mind Storm NXT Robotics, Adventures in Programming, Build my World with Minecraft and Discovering Rocketry with the Space Agency Program.

In the sessions, students will work together in teams to solve various challenges in programming, robotics, cross-circular environments and the science of space. 

Registration begins Monday, March 24 and ends Friday, June 6, and space is limited to 48 participants at each site. To register, visit www.iu1.org/services/innovation-and-design

Students must attend all day. The registration fee is $120 for the week, which includes all sessions and daily snacks. Lunch will not be provided; students are encouraged to bring a bagged lunch. 

Other Camp Tech sites include California University, June 23 through 27; Washington and Jefferson College, July 21 through 25; and Connellsville Junior High School, July 28 through August 1. 

STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real world lessons. Students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work and global enterprise.

For more information about Camp Tech at any location, contact Sarah D’Urzo, at sarah.durzo@iu1.org or 724.938.3241 x282. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Vira-Heinz-2014.jpgThrough the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership, Waynesburg University has selected six young women to study abroad this summer. Waynesburg is one of only 15 higher education institutions across Pennsylvania to participate in the Program and was granted six scholarships rather than the traditional three. 

Collectively, the women received more than $37,600 in scholarship money through the Vira I. Heinz Program.

Pat Bristor, associate dean of students and the Waynesburg University coordinator of the Vira I. Heinz Program for almost 20 years, said that the young women represent the best of Waynesburg University. 

“We are pleased to have such bright young women at Waynesburg University who are interested in the world around them,” said Bristor. “To have six women chosen speaks to the quality of our academics, faith integration and service opportunities.”

The Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow's global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development and community service. Typically, three women from each institution are admitted into the one-year program and receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 to put toward the cost of an international experience of their choosing.

Juniors Ellen Limback, Rebecca Shindelar and Allyson Wernert and sophomores Caley Blankenbuehler, Cassandra Gates and Madison Perretta are the 2014 Waynesburg University recipients of scholarships from the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. The scholarships will afford these women the opportunity to travel and study overseas through various study abroad programs.

Limback, an early childhood education (special education) major from Mars, Pa., will study in Cuzco, Peru, through Projects Abroad, one of the world’s leading international volunteer organizations.

While there, she will work in a small village school helping to teach children English. She looks forward to experiencing a different culture, improving her Spanish language skills and developing her teaching experience. 

Shindelar, a junior human services (social science) major from Bemidji, Minn., will travel to Brasov, Romania, also through Projects Abroad. She will volunteer at an orphanage and take two online summer courses. 

“Through my courses in the humanities, I have been equipped with knowledge about the need to interact with and explore the depth of culture and different styles of living in other places around the world,” Shindelar said. 

Allyson Wernert, a junior international studies (international culture) and political science major from Finleyville, Pa., will take her talents to Tokyo, Japan, this summer through Sophia University. She will take classes in Japanese language and culture. Wernert hopes to meet and make friends from all over the world.

Blankenbuehler, a mathematics (secondary education) major from West Newton, Pa., will spend her summer in Southern India through Projects Abroad. There, she will teach English and mathematics to students. 

“At Waynesburg I’ve learned a lot about what it's like to be a Christian and I have developed a relationship with God, so I know that He will be there with me through my whole trip,” Blankenbuehler said. 

Gates, a chemistry (biochemistry) major from Penn Hills, Pa., will travel to Costa Rica through International Studies Abroad (ISA). She will study the Spanish language and environmental studies and participate in volunteer work projects such as species monitoring and trail cleaning.

“I am most looking forward to the experiences and growth that will come with the scholarship,” Gates said. “I have the chance to meet other women who value becoming global leaders. Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to do this.”

Perretta, a sophomore sociology major from Beaver Falls, Pa., will study through IES Abroad’s Summer Psychology Program in Vienna, Austria. She will learn about different methods of communicating with and treating individuals with mental illnesses.

“As a student at Waynesburg University, I've been given incredible opportunities to push myself academically and as a leader on campus,” Perretta said. “This has led me to become prepared to be a leader on campus and, in the future, a leader abroad.”  

Scholarship recipients were required to complete an application, submit academic and personal letters of reference and a proposal for their intended plans. The proposal included a budget for the trip including the cost of airfare, classes, housing and meals, among other items. Applicants were also required to explain how the trip related to their academic areas of study and future plans.

Upon receiving the application and proposals, interviews were held in front of a committee. The students were selected based on their proposal, their leadership on campus, and how well the committee felt they would represent Waynesburg University and the United States abroad. 

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion. 

The Program has three principal components: the international experience, the Community Engagement Experience and two weekend-long, intensive leadership development retreats. During the spring semester prior to and the fall semester following their international experiences, the awardees meet in Pittsburgh. These trainings provide the awardees with a foundation of skills necessary to maximize cultural learnings while abroad and to engage their leadership skills in their own communities upon their return.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University will offer a free, online professional development series for teachers, librarians and professors presented by the University’s Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. The Librarians as Leaders workshop will be held Wednesday evenings from Feb. 26 to April 2, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Designed by and facilitated by librarian and TPS educational consultant Jennifer Hanson, the six-week workshop includes synchronous chat sessions supplemented by independent reading, peer discussions and project development outside of class. Participants can earn up to 28 PDE Act 48 activity hours over the course of the online series. 

School librarians will develop the skills and knowledge needed to bring Library of Congress TPS to colleagues. Participants will have a unique opportunity to advance their own learning and become a TPS coach in their school. 

Graduates of TPS Level 1 are welcome to apply; others are asked to complete six online modules before attending. To locate the modules, visit http://www.loc.gov/teachers/professionaldevelopment/selfdirected/. Those who submit certificates of completion will receive six additional PA Act 48 activity hours. 

Space is limited. To register, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LibrariansAsLeaders . For more information, contact Sue Wise at 724-852-3377 or swise@waynesburg.edu.

TPS is funded through the Library of Congress and is administered through Waynesburg University. The Library of Congress TPS program was initiated at Waynesburg University in 2004 as a pilot and was officially launched by the Library of Congress in 2006. 

Waynesburg University TPS continues to serve educators throughout southwestern Pennsylvania and is a professional development provider for in-service and pre-service educators. The TPS program works with schools, universities, libraries and foundations to help teachers use the Library’s vast collection of digitized primary sources to enrich their classroom instruction.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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