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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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Ryan-Devlin-Head-Shot-Resized.jpgRyan Devlin, a 2007 Waynesburg University English education alumnus and Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year,” received an even greater honor today when he was named one of the four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. 

Today, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that educators from Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia are finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year spends a year representing educators across the country and advocating on behalf of the teaching profession. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett congratulated Devlin on representing the Commonwealth. 

“On behalf of all Pennsylvania citizens, I congratulate Ryan for being chosen to represent Pennsylvania at the national level,” Corbett said.  “Ryan’s commitment to his students is a shining example of the thousands of Pennsylvania educators who are dedicated to ensuring that students are prepared for a bright and successful future.”

This marks the first time that an educator from Pennsylvania has made it to the final four. Devlin will enter rounds of interviews during the month of March and the winner will be announced in April. Still actively involved with his alma mater through mission trips and personal contacts, Devlin credits Waynesburg University as an integral part of his success. 

“The hallmark of a good education is one that enables students’ talents to find purpose, and that is one of the many reasons why Waynesburg University is such a special place,” Devlin said.  “During my time there, I was exposed to numerous educational opportunities that extended beyond the classroom and helped mold me into the man I am today.”

Devlin is an eleventh grade English and ninth through twelfth grade technology teacher at Brockway Area Junior/Senior High School in Brockway, Pa., where he has taught for seven years and serves as head of the English department. 

He also serves as the school's head cross country coach and the senior high gifted education advisor. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association and the Brockway Area Education Association.  Outside of school, he frequently speaks at state conferences and college campuses and is a cooperating teacher for Clarion University's student teaching program. 

Devlin also helped write Pennsylvania's new Core Standards English Language Arts curriculum and over the years has won multiple grants for his innovative use of technology in the classroom.  

"Today's children will indeed become tomorrow's leaders, so we must teach ways to find creative solutions to complex problems through collaborating with others and making the best use of technology," Devlin said. 

His teaching methods include extensive use of technology in the classroom, for which he received the Keystone Technology Integrator Award in 2009. Devlin facilitates technology workshops for student teachers at regional universities and teaches summer courses at Riverview Intermediate Unit Six that highlight the newest digital resources available on the Internet.

Current and recently retired faculty members at Waynesburg University are not only proud of Ryan’s awards, but also his continued commitment to the mission of Waynesburg University and the mission of the University’s Department of Education. 

“The mission of the Department of Education is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Debra Clarke, assistant professor of education and chair of the Department of Education at Waynesburg University. “We are so proud of Ryan’s commitment to this mission and his dedication to his students.”

 

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). 

In 2013, Devlin became the youngest nominee and recipient of the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award. Devlin said he has known since the age of eight what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“I spent a lot my childhood and adolescent years daydreaming about the type of teacher I wanted to become,” he said.  “Teaching seemed like the perfect outlet for my creativity, and I wanted to do something that would enable me to make a difference in the world.”

An active member in his local community, Devlin is a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, teaches vacation Bible school and is involved in several after-school programs and activities.

The National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Fourteen Waynesburg University early childhood education majors who are members of the University’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), an international honor society in education, will travel to Dallas, Texas, Thursday, Oct. 24 through Saturday, Oct. 26 to attend the 49th Biennial Convocation of KDP.

Educators and teacher candidates from across the United States and around the world will attend the conference’s professional development activities.

The conference will offer more than 150 educational sessions aimed for professional development and will include workshops on leadership or policy, research or action research and practice or instructional strategies.

Debra Clarke, chair of the Department of Education and assistant professor of education, and Yvonne Weaver, education department field placement coordinator and certification officer at the University, will accompany the students.

Clarke will present a workshop, “Capes aren’t just for super heroes: Using the teacher CAPE to support all learners.”
 
“During the workshop, I will introduce the participants to CAPE, a strategy that gives 21st century teachers the super powers to effectively plan instruction that supports the needs of all learners in the inclusive classroom,” Clarke said.

Students attending the conference include:

  • Jena Blissman, Chapter President a senior from Greensburg, Pa. (Greater Latrobe)
  • Morgan Brumbaugh, Chapter Vice President, a senior from Williamsburg, Pa. (Central High School)
  • Makalah Beazell, Chapter Secretary, a senior from Waynesburg, Pa. (West Greene High School)
  • Lauren Boscaljon, Chapter Treasurer, a senior from Waynesburg, Pa. (home school)
  • Kaitlyn Berkebile, Chapter Fundraising Co-Chair, a senior from Friedens, Pa. (Somerset Area Senior High School)
  • Shannon Falleroni, Chapter Fundraising Co-Chair, a senior from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Tanya Aul, a senior from Kane, Pa. (Kane Area High School)
  • Alyssa Crile, a senior from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Angele Hagy, a senior from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Mount Lebanon High School)
  • Ali Hulsey, a senior from Bakersfield, Calif. (Garces Memorial High School)
  • Stephanie Sapic, a senior from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Stephanie Stancliffe, a senior from Lower Burrell, Pa. (Burrell High School)
  • Hannah Szymanik, a senior from Mount Holly Springs, Pa. (Boiling Springs High School)
  • Chelsea Watson, a senior from Jeannette, Pa. (Jeannette High School)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Pittsburgh Project's purpose to develop servant leaders and uphold the dignity of vulnerable homeowners has much in common with Waynesburg University's mission of educating students through faith, learning and serving.

For several years, Waynesburg University has worked to build a partnership with The Pittsburgh Project, a nonprofit community development organization committed to meeting the needs of the Pittsburgh community. Each semester, Waynesburg students are given the opportunity to serve extensively with The Project in programs such as tutoring, work camps and community garden.

“The Pittsburgh Project is striving to provide for its community through education and home improvements for the elderly, widows and those with disabilities who fall 150 percent below the poverty level,” said Sarah Brandstetter, coordinator of Waynesburg University's Bonner Scholar Program.

This year, five Waynesburg students and a recent alumnus are dedicating their summers to the cause, serving as worksite liaisons from the beginning of June to mid-August.

Those working with The Project include: Kimber Blair, a junior interactive design major from New Castle, Pa; Darartu Boyer, a senior early childhood education major from Columbia, Pa; Ethan Hacker, a junior biblical ministry studies (children and youth) major from Butler, Pa; Blake McCarty, a sophomore business management major from Frisco, Tx; Esteban Saldi a 2012 human services alumnus from La Paz, Bolivia and Steven Snow, a sophomore criminal justice administration major from Butler, Pa.

“I decided to serve at the Pittsburgh Project this summer so that I could minister to people in my home city,” Hacker said. “I like working hands on and doing labor. I am excited to work with the homeowners and other groups to make the city a little bit better every day.”

Dave Calvario, Director of the Center for Service Leadership, and Brandstetter have worked alongside students within The Project throughout the years and regularly encourage students to take the next step when it comes to serving others.

“Sarah Brandstetter and Dave Calvario have always been supportive and influential in my life, and they are the ones who helped me decide to work with The Project my first summer,” Blair said.

Proud to be part of an organization that has genuine interest in the people of Pittsburgh, Blair reflected on how God has opened her eyes to the need in the area.

“There's a need to care for vulnerable, sometimes neglected, homeowners who are unable to continue the upkeep on their own homes,” she said. “There is a need for positive influences in the lives of the youth. There is a need for reconciliation between gangs and other groups.”

With all of the need in the Pittsburgh area, and around the world, there is an even bigger need for individuals like these Waynesburg students and alumnus who have given their summers in order to serve God and make a difference for those around them.


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