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Recent graduate Hanna Megna’s next step is to further her education in the nation’s capital.

On Aug. 29, 2016, Megna will begin earning her Master of Arts degree in contemporary English literature at George Washington University in Washington District of Columbia.

Excited and ready for her next level of study, Megna is looking forward to examining literature on a theoretical level with her professors. As she reflects back on her time at Waynesburg, Megna praises the value of the education she received at the university.

“The classes Dr. Jamie Dessart offers on theory have given me a really great base of knowledge,” said Megna. “I will be able to go into my graduate level classes with a working knowledge of concepts that my peers will only just be starting to acknowledge.”

Dr. Dessart encouraged Megna to submit a research paper to the National Pop Culture and American Culture Association’s annual conference. Megna said that the research for the paper was “both exhausting and exhilarating.” After submitting the paper, Megna was accepted to present her work in Seattle, which gave her the confirmation that this was part of God’s plan for her life. Additionally, she knew that pursuing her master’s degree was the next step in His plan.

During her time at Waynesburg, Megna said that she was able to grow because of the people that surrounded her. She was able to be independent in an environment that cared about her well-being.

“I was living on my own, but the faculty around me cared about me as a person and were always there when I needed advice,” said Megna. “I was making my own choices, but I had the input of those who had years of wisdom and knowledge.”

Megna worked at the Writing Center on campus with Jill Sunday and had independent study courses with Dr. Dessart that helped her not only gain knowledge, but also an understanding of how to apply her knowledge to both her class texts and everyday life. Megna said that she would not be where she is in her life without those two extraordinary women.

Megna furthered her knowledge outside of the classroom by being the treasurer and the president of Sigma Tau Delta during her time at Waynesburg. She credits the honor society as a great chance to be around like-minded individuals and be able to plan events that incorporated the entire department.

Looking into the future, Megna’s goal is to teach creative writing and contemporary literature at the collegiate level.

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Posted by on in Alumni

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mary-Hoffman.jpgEnglish (secondary education, creative writing) alumna, Mary Hoffman, is headed to Dayton, Ohio, to pursue her passion for teaching and learning. Hoffman was accepted to the University of Dayton’s Lalanne Program, a two-year graduate program with a tuition-free master’s degree, accompanied with two years of teaching in an urban Catholic school.

Over the next two years, Hoffman will teach sixth and seventh-grade students and engage in research.

“I am excited to continue my passion for research by conducting a two-part action research for my graduate degree,” said Hoffman, whose research will examine the effects of daily writing on seventh-grade classroom reading levels. “The research will be part of my teaching experience, so I can apply what I am learning in my courses directly toward my career.”

The support that Hoffman received from the faculty in Waynesburg’s Department of English and Foreign Languages and Department of Education encouraged her career choice in education and research.

“My professors were encouraging and supportive at Waynesburg and always had my best interest at heart,” she said. “I’m confident that Waynesburg has fully prepared me for both my first year of teaching and the coursework at University of Dayton.”

Additionally, Hoffman worked at the Writing Center and helped both undergraduate and graduate students with their papers; this where she learned the best practices to teach writing to others. Jill Moyer Sunday, director of the Writing Center, helped further Hoffman’s interest in research by encouraging her to present at the International Writing Centers Association Conference.

Stepping out of her comfort zone, Hoffman was a copy editor for the student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, for one year, which exposed her to a different style of writing. She was also a member of the orientation board as an orientation leader, the senior class gift committee and the Student Activities Board.

Waynesburg’s mission of faith, learning and serving had a profound impact on Hoffman during her time at the University.

“Waynesburg’s mission shaped my classroom experience, therefore, shaping my career, even as a graduate student,” she said. “The professors at Waynesburg incorporated faith, learning and serving into their everyday lives, something I hope to do for my students, as well."

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Posted by on in News

The Department of English and Foreign Languages at Waynesburg University will hold a Creative Writing Workshop for high school students in grades nine through twelve Friday, Nov. 13, at 10 a.m. with check-in at 9:30 a.m. The deadline for registration is Friday, Oct. 9.

The event will feature Julia Paganelli, a poet and Waynesburg University alumna who is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Arkansas.

The goal of the Creative Writing Workshop is to give high school students the opportunity to engage their imaginations and strengthen their writing skills through writing exercises provided by workshop facilitators.

Activities will include two workshops facilitated by Department of English and Foreign Languages faculty and students. During the student workshops, teachers will attend a workshop facilitated by Paganelli. Following the workshops, there will be a luncheon and student reading. The cost per student is $5. 

Paganelli is the author of a poetry chapbook, Blush Less, which focuses on the lives of young women in Appalachia. Other recent publications include poetry in Hobart, The Madison Review, BOAAT, Connotation Press and The Chautauqua Literary Journal.

Her work with the Bonner Program at Waynesburg greatly influenced her writing about Appalachia, as did her work with the Greene County Food Security Partnership.

Paganelli holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Waynesburg University.

For more information, contact Amy Randolph at 724-852-3430 or by email at arandolp@waynesburg.edu.

# # #

Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in Alumni

English

Executive Vice President for Corporate Communications at L’Oreal USA

New York, N.Y.

Additional Info:

  • L’Oreal USA Fellowships For Women In Science and For Girls In Science
  • Assistant Director of Public Relations for Carlow College; Vice President of Corporate Communications at Toys “R” Us
  • Bachelor of Arts, Waynesburg University, 1979
  • Master of Arts, Boston University, 1984

“I always think back fondly on my Waynesburg experience. The education I received has served me well for as far as I’ve come.”

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