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This May, 51 Waynesburg University students will spend a portion of their summer break serving at domestic and international sites. University faculty and staff will lead five service trips covering a variety of academic and professional interests.

Students will travel to Mustard Seed Communities in Montego Bay, Jamaica; Rome, Italy; Camp Caribe in Salinas, Puerto Rico; Christ’s College in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Tuba City Boarding school in Tuba City, Ariz.

Mustard Seed Communities – Montego Bay, Jamaica

Fifteen University students will serve with Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Monday, May 4, to Saturday, May 9. MSC works to provide a caring, dignified living environment for disadvantaged citizens such as disabled persons and abandoned children. Students will work with the organization to complete physical labor tasks and provide companionship for residents of one MSC village.

Russell Schneider, resident director, and Mary Cummings, vice president for Student Services, will lead the trip. Schneider, who has visited the village before, hopes that serving in a culture different than Waynesburg will broaden students’ appreciation for service.

Rome, Italy

From Monday, May 18, to Wednesday, May 27, a group of 11 students will travel to Italy, touring historic and modern sites each day of the trip. They will gather photographs and create other artistic works that capture the essence of Italy. Upon returning to Waynesburg, the students will create an exhibit of their work to share with local elementary and/or high school students.

The exhibit will be displayed from Friday, September 4, through Friday, September 18, at the Artbeat Gallery in downtown Waynesburg.

Andrew Heisey, assistant professor of art, and Dr. Jacquelyn Core, University provost and vice president for academic affairs, will lead the students on the trip.

Camp Caribe – Salinas, Puerto Rico

In the town of Salinas, Puerto Rico, mission-oriented Camp Caribe awaits the arrival of nine Waynesburg University students who will serve there from Monday, May 4, to Monday, May 11. The camp is focused on helping children form a relationship with God. The University students will serve by laying cement and completing other physical tasks at the camp and in the surrounding community, and they will also interact with the camp coordinators and campers.

Dr. James Bush, professor of mathematics, and Maria Shepas, head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, will lead the trip. Bush believes the trip will lead to a heightened appreciation for service for the students participating.

Christ’s College – Taipei, Taiwan

Five Waynesburg University students will serve this summer in Taipei, Taiwan, at Christ’s College from Monday, May 4, to Thursday, May 21. Led by Richard Blake, a librarian and professor at the University, and Sandy Chen-Blake, translator, the group will minister to the Taiwanese at various sites associated with the College in Taipei.

Christ’s College is connected to a home for disabled and disadvantaged children and adults, and the University students plan to serve those persons by sharing faith stories and mission-oriented testimonials. Blake believes exposure to Christians in a foreign country will help the participating students to begin understanding religion in different cultures.

Tuba City Boarding School – Tuba City, Ariz.

Eleven students will travel to Tuba City, Ariz., to serve at the Tuba City Boarding School from Monday, May 4, to Sunday, May 10. The group will tutor Navajo and Hopi children at the school and assist in any housekeeping or administrative tasks needed by the school.

The trip will be led by Frank Pazzynski, associate professor of education, and Adrienne Tharp, coordinator of the Bonner Scholar Program. Pazzynski feels the University students and Native American children will be equally affected by the trip, as students grow in their faith and maturity and the children served will have an opportunity to learn about a culture outside of their own.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Ten Waynesburg University students will serve The Pittsburgh Project (TPP) for a weekend work camp Friday, Nov. 14, through Sunday, Nov. 16. Laurie Steere, resident director at Waynesburg University, will serve as trip leader.

Located on the north side of Pittsburgh, TPP is a Christian community development organization that serves vulnerable homeowners in neighborhoods throughout the city by providing home repairs. TPP is committed to meeting the needs of the Pittsburgh community and providing inner-city housing ministries. For several years, Waynesburg University has partnered with TPP to give homeowners a chance to save their homes as well as prevent possible citation or eviction.

Students participating will assist with general home repairs and focus on building relationships with homeowners. 

Students participating in The Pittsburgh Project service trip include:

  • Rachel Brown, senior sociology major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (South Park High School)
  • Kassi Kelly, senior criminal justice administration major from Lawrence, Pa. (Canon-McMillan High School)
  • Derrion May, junior marine biology major from Belleville, Ill. (Belleville High School East)
  • Zachary Payne, sophomore accounting major from Irwin, Pa. (Norwin High School)
  • Brenna Ross, sophomore forensic accounting major from Eighty Four, Pa. (Bentworth Senior High School)
  • Carrie Sneller, senior nursing major from Waynesburg, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Emily Sorton, senior pre-med major from McKeesport, Pa. (Elizabeth Forward High School)
  • Lindsey Thomas, senior accounting major from Beaver Falls, Pa. (Blackhawk High School)
  • Whitney Thomas, junior criminal justice administration major from Meyersdale, Pa. (Meyersdale Area High School)
  • Mollie Yandrick, senior psychology major from Latrobe, Pa. (Greater Latrobe High School)

For more information, contact Kelley Hardie at 724-852-3461.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Seven Waynesburg University students will serve The Pittsburgh Project (TPP) Saturday, Oct. 11. Laurie Steere, resident director at Waynesburg University, will serve as trip leader.

Located on the north side of Pittsburgh, TPP is a Christian Community Development organization that serves vulnerable homeowners in neighborhoods throughout the city by providing home repairs. TPP is committed to meeting the needs of the Pittsburgh community and providing inner-city housing ministries. For several years, Waynesburg University has partnered with TPP to give homeowners a chance to save their homes as well as prevent possible citation or eviction.

Student participating will assist with general home repairs and focus on building relationships with homeowners.

Students participating in The Pittsburgh Project service trip include:

  • Rachael Brown, senior sociology major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (South Park High School)
  • James Glisan, junior biblical and ministry studies major from West Newton, Pa. (Yough Senior High School)
  • Kassi Kelley, senior criminal justice administration major from Lawrence, Pa. (Canon-McMillan High School)
  • Brenna Ross, sophomore forensic accounting major from Eighty Four, Pa. (Bentworth Senior High School)
  • Emily Sorton, senior pre-med major from McKeesport, Pa. (Elizabeth Forward High School)
  • Whitney Thomas, junior criminal justice administration major from Meyersdale, Pa. (Meyersdale Area High School)
  • Mollie Yandrick, senior psychology major from Latrobe, Pa. (Greater Latrobe)

For more information, contact Kelley Hardie at 724-852-3461.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Seven Waynesburg University students, led by Kelley Hardie, assistant dean of Student Services at Waynesburg University, and Chris Hardie, assistant dean of Student Services, head men’s and women’s cross country coach and assistant track coach at the University, will serve Greene County during their fall break. The Greene County Immersion service trip will run from Sunday, Oct. 12, through Saturday, Oct. 18.

The week will provide students with the opportunity to participate in an assortment of service activities in rural Greene County and will enhance the service relationships between the students and the local community. Students will serve a variety of Greene County non-profit organizations such as the Bowlby Library, Cornerstone Bible Ministry Camp, the Greene County Historical Society, Habitat for Humanity, St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen and WWJD Center.

Students participating in the mission trip include:

  • Caley Blankenbuehler, junior secondary mathematics education major from West Newton, Pa. (Yough Senior High School)
  • Theresa Butler, senior accounting major from Uniontown, Pa. (Laurel Highlands Senior High School)
  • Kara Evans, freshman computer security and forensics major from Concord, Calif. (Berean Christian High School)
  • James Glisan, junior biblical and ministry studies major from West Newton, Pa. (Yough Senior High School)
  • Rachel Moore, senior forensic accounting major from Waynesburg, Pa. (Waynesburg Central High School)
  • DeRon Scott, junior creative writing major from San Diego, Calif. (Julian Charter School)
  • Rebecca Shindelar, senior human services major from Bemidji, Minn. (Bemidji High School)

For more information, contact Kelley Hardie at 724-852-3461.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-05-12-at-4.27.16-PM.pngAt a time when higher education is under the microscope, studies abound concerning which schools place the highest percentage of students in graduate schools and jobs, which lead to the highest annual income, and the list could continue. Instead of focusing on the names of institutions, however, what about looking into what students actually do during their four years?

A recent Gallup Poll did just that, finding students who “forged meaningful connections with professors or mentors” are the same people “who feel happy and engaged in their jobs [and] are the most productive” as a result.

At Waynesburg University, 93 percent of first-year students and 91 percent of seniors rated their overall experience as “excellent” or “good,” according to the University’s 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results. Additionally, NSSE reported that Waynesburg students talked about career plans with a faculty member 28 percent more than students at other Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) schools.

What exactly does that look like? Mike Cipoletti, Director of the Forensic Science program, said he knows every student in the program, from the freshmen to the seniors—a direct result of the University’s 14:1 student/faculty ratio. Cipoletti said the seniors spend plenty of time in his office, especially close to graduation.

"That’s why most of us are here,” he said. “We come to a small institution like this, so we can have more face time and interaction with the students. It’s not even just on the academic side of things—it’s the personal interactions, too. It’s trying to help these students figure out how to become leaders, how to become service-oriented people, how to give back to their communities, and you know, that’s the best part about it.”

Provost Dr. Jacquelyn Core agrees, citing the University’s commitment to service as another way students and faculty forge close ties with one another.

“When a student is serving right alongside a faculty member, it adds more depth to the relationship, and it’s all about that ability to form relationships,” Core said. “I also think it goes both ways because it helps faculty members to feel more invested in the students, too.”

As the survey undertaken by Gallup—which polled 30,000 graduates of all ages in all 50 states—proved, Waynesburg’s mentor-like approach to teaching, academic advising and career counseling works. And the institution’s 96 percent career path rate (for those still wondering about those buzzwords) further illustrates that point.

Students are not only furthering their education in graduate schools and obtaining jobs in their respective fields, they are excelling in whatever path they choose.

Take Ryan Devlin, for example. A 2007 Waynesburg alumnus, Devlin received the honor of Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year” and also became a finalist for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. He, too, cites the holistic approach to a Waynesburg education as a major factor in his success.

“[Waynesburg is] just a great place where everyone is a mentor to you, and it’s not just about having a great college professor—it’s about everyone here,” Devlin said. “One of the things that’s really unique about Waynesburg University is that it really educates the entire student.”

Part of how the University “educates the entire student,” as Devlin put it, is through the school’s liberal arts philosophy. Core, in her role as Provost, is of the opinion that this approach to education is simply invaluable.

“I truly believe that you cannot put a price tag on the type of well-rounded person you can become through a liberal arts education,” Core said. “It’s really easy outside of a liberal arts background to get pigeon-holed in your field of study. You may become an expert in that field but not get the background needed to become a good citizen in all parts of society, whether that is servant leadership, environmental stewardship or whatever that might be. I think there’s a level of knowledge with a liberal arts education that makes you more conversant in a wider range of societal issues.”

For those still interested in a few of those buzzwords and rankings mentioned above, check out http://www.waynesburg.edu/ranking to learn more about Waynesburg’s recent distinctions.

 

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