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8-25-freshmen-service-project.jpgWaynesburg University’s incoming freshman class participated in a service project at Ryerson Station State Park Saturday, Aug. 23. CONSOL Energy sponsored the event, providing the necessary tools as well as long sleeved t-shirts for volunteers. Sherwin-Williams and the Salvation Army also provided tools and materials for the volunteers’ use.

The nearly 500 volunteers included upperclassmen Bonner Scholars and orientation leaders as well as University faculty and staff who served alongside the freshman class. The Bonner Scholars also honed their leadership skills by leading the freshmen groups.

Labeled with “Coming together to make a change,” the t-shirts donated by CONSOL illustrated the combined efforts of CONSOL, Waynesburg University and Ryerson Station State Park. The t-shirts were designed by Michelle Dunseath, a Waynesburg University digital design student from Donora, Pa.

Representatives from both CONSOL and Waynesburg are hopeful that this will be the first of many collaborative projects at Ryerson.

“We are proud to partner with two very important community organizations in Waynesburg for what we hope will become an annual event,” said Jessica Kearns, external relations specialist at CONSOL. “As a natural resource company, we recognize the importance of environmental management, and we practice responsible use of the land, water and air in our operational areas. This project provided us the opportunity to work together with local students to encourage civic engagement and community development.”

With the goal of raising the level of recreational experiences for people visiting Ryerson, volunteers served at various locations in the park on projects such as removing invasive plant species, staining benches and guardrails at the campground and removing litter along roads in the park.

Before heading to the park, CONSOL representatives and the president of the Waynesburg University Student Senate, Joshuah Dains of Clarksville, gave motivational talks on the importance of community engagement to the student audience.

The day ended with Park Ranger Alan Johnson thanking the students for doing a year’s worth of work in one day.

In alignment with the University’s mission of connecting faith, learning and serving, also often referred to as connecting the heart, head and hands, the first two days of Freshmen Orientation Weekend were devoted to faith and learning, with the third focusing on service through the project at Ryerson.

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

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As the semester draws to a close, 26 Waynesburg University students will travel to different states and countries to serve others before heading home for the summer. University faculty and staff will lead three mission service trips covering a variety of academic and professional interests.

The projects include partnerships with the John Perkins Foundation in Jackson, Miss., Urban Promise in Camden, N.J. and Barnabas Ministries in Sebis, Romania.

John Perkins Foundation – Jackson, Miss.

Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication at the University, will lead nine Waynesburg University students to Jackson, Miss., from Saturday, May 10, to Saturday, May 17, to partner with the John M. Perkins Foundation for a week of service at the Spencer Perkins Center. The center’s mission is to train and equip a new generation of indigenous leaders who are driven by the love of God to pass on the torch of reconciliation, community and youth development in West Jackson.

The group will work on various building projects in one of the poorest cities in the United States. Students will study racial reconciliation and community development issues with Dr. John M. Perkins about an area that has a history of racial segregation and large-scale poverty.

Urban Promise – Camden, N.J.

Dave Calvario, director of the Center for Service Leadership at the University, will lead eight Waynesburg University students to Camden, N.J., from Saturday, May 10, to Saturday, May 17, to serve with Urban Promise, a faith-based after school and summer camp program that aims to equip children and teens with skills for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth and leadership.

Service will consist of working with children in Urban Promise’s kindergarten through 12th grade school as well as its after school program. Waynesburg students will assist with homework, spiritual development, arts and crafts, and athletic games.

Remaining time will be spent on labor projects in Urban Promise’s school and other ministries. Students will learn about the city of Camden and the poverty and social justice issues that exist there.

Barnabas Ministries – Sebis, Romania

Ezekiel Olagoke, assistant professor of sociology at the University, and Victoria Kapp, junior psychology major, will lead eight University students to Sebis, Romania, from Tuesday, May 20, to Tuesday, June 3, to serve with Barnabas Ministries, a legal non-profit ministry who helps meet the physical and spiritual needs of orphans, the elderly and poor families in Romania.

Service will include working with children in the community, reaching out to impoverished gypsy families and manual labor. Specific service will be dependent on interests of the group and needs of the ministry.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Ezekiel Olagoke, assistant professor of sociology at Waynesburg University, and Victoria Kapp, junior psychology major, will lead eight University students to Sebis, Romania, from Tuesday, May 20, to Tuesday, June 3, to serve with Barnabas Ministries, a non-profit ministry that helps meet the physical and spiritual needs of orphans, the elderly and poor families in Romania.

“I went to Romania the summer after my freshman year and fell in love with it,” said Kapp. “I want our team to fall in love with the people and the culture just as I did. But most importantly, I want God to completely wreck their hearts and change their lives. The service we will be doing is important, but I really want our focus to be on God and His heart for us in our time there.”

Service will include working with children in the community, reaching out to impoverished gypsy families and manual labor. Specific service will be dependent on interests of the group and needs of the ministry.

Students participating in this mission trip include:

  • Devin Coughlin, a junior international culture and political science major from Belvidere, N.J. (Belvidere High School)
  • Dakota Dawson, a junior psychology major from Charleroi, Pa. (Charleroi Area High School)
  • Jessie Kiner, a sophomore nursing major from Millerstown, Pa. (Greenwood High School)
  • James Law, a junior youth ministry major from Erie, Pa. (McDowell High School)
  • David O'Donoghue, a freshman undeclared major from Waynesburg, Pa. (Waynesburg Central High School)
  • Casey Riker, a freshman psychology major, from Gibsonia, Pa. (Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School)
  • Alex Sherman, a junior exercise science major from New Milford, CT (New Milford High School)
  • Jordan Smallwood, a sophomore psychology major from New Salem, Pa. (Albert Gallatin Area Senior High School

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication at Waynesburg University, will lead nine University students to Jackson, Miss., from Saturday, May 10, to Saturday, May 17, to partner with the John M. Perkins Foundation for a week of service at the Spencer Perkins Center. The center’s mission is to train and equip a new generation of indigenous leaders who are driven by the love of God to pass on the torch of reconciliation, community and youth development in West Jackson.

“I hope the students have the opportunity to spread the Christian mission of Waynesburg University while helping a great organization,” Sherman said. “I also hope they learn about Christian community development – something that Dr. John Perkins will provide a lot of valuable insights about. Hopefully, they’ll take back a better understanding of how they can help spread the teachings of Christ to their local communities.”

The group will work on various building projects in one of the poorest cities in the United States. Students will study racial reconciliation and community development issues with Dr. John M. Perkins about an area that has a history of racial segregation and large scale poverty.

Students participating in the mission trip include:

  • Charles Cook, a sophomore pre-med major from Cheswick, Pa.( Twentynine Palms High School)
  • Joshuah Dains, a junior business management major from Clarksville, Pa.(Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Kristen Sniezek, a sophomore nursing major from Moon Township, Pa. (Moon Area High School)
  • Mary Hoffman, a sophomore secondary education major from Butler, Pa. (Butler Area Senior High School)
  • Rachel Wilson, a sophomore undeclared major from Lower Burrell, Pa. (Burrell High School)
  • Shonah Russell, a junior education major from Sabattus, Maine (Northern High School)
  • SiReno Mattie, a senior creative writing major from Rices Landing, Pa. (Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Stephanie Tress, a sophomore forensic science major from McMurray, Pa. (Canon-McMillan High School)
  • Victoria Berggren, a sophomore nursing major from Lower Burrell, Pa. (Burrell High School

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Dave Calvario, director of the Center for Service Leadership at Waynesburg University, will lead eight University students to Camden, N.J., from Saturday, May 10, to Saturday, May 17, to serve with Urban Promise, a faith-based after school and summer camp program that aims to equip children and teens with skills for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth and leadership.

“Urban Promise fits with the mission of Waynesburg University – faith learning and serving,” said Calvario. “An outcome from this trip is for us to see first-hand and learn about the challenges that are facing our urban centers throughout America as well as begin to understand the employment, housing, socioeconomic, educational system and challenges people face in the community.”

Service will consist of working with children in Urban Promise’s kindergarten through 12th grade school as well as its after school program. Waynesburg students will assist with homework, spiritual development, arts and crafts, and athletic games.

Remaining time will be spent on labor projects in Urban Promise’s school and other ministries. Students will learn about the city of Camden and the poverty and social justice issues that exist there.

Students participating in this mission trip include:

  • Makalah Beazell, a senior early childhood and special education major from Waynesburg, Pa. (West Greene High School)
  • Kaitlyn Berkebile, a senior early childhood and special education major from Friedens, Pa. (Somerset Area Senior High School)
  • Morgan Brumbaugh, a senior early childhood education major from Williamsburg, Pa. (Central High School)
  • Jamie Dolan, a freshman psychology major from Washington, Pa. (Trinity High School)
  • Jacob Fleegle, a junior secondary education and political science double major from Jennerstown, Pa. (North Star High School)
  • Bret Hoffman, a junior forensic accounting major from Washington, Pa. (Washington High School)
  • Zachary Morgan, a senior sports management major from Greencastle, Pa. (Grace Academy)
  • Katharine Shultz, a senior human services major from Venetia, Pa. (Peters Township High School)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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