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Twelve Waynesburg University students will serve in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic, from Saturday, March 8, through Saturday, March 15. Dave Calvario, director of the Center for Service Leadership, and Julio Quintero, assistant professor of Spanish, will serve as trip leaders.

For the trip, Waynesburg University is partnering with the Whitefields Foundation, an organization based in Pittsburgh, Pa., with a mission focused on building new bridges of reconciliation through cross-cultural relationships in the transformational power of the Gospel. Students will serve in Haitian villages, participating in construction and repair work, hair ministry, Vacation Bible School, medical and dental work (with second-year medical students from Penn State), prayer walks and spending time with the children.

“Our service will be in the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic, or the Bateyes as they are known there,” Calvario said. “Some of the Bateyes do not have electric or running water. The Haitians who work in the sugar cane fields work long days and do not receive a livable wage.”

Students participating in the Dominican Republic mission trip include:

  • Elaine Burns, a freshman special education major from Ocean Springs, Miss.
  • Northe Campbell-Escalante, a senior exercise science major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Kyle Digiandomenico, a junior psychology major from Martins Ferry, Ohio
  • Cassy Dowler, a senior biblical ministry major from Latrobe, Pa.
  • Dan Garcia, a junior mathematics major from South Gate, Calif.
  • Danielle Goreczny, a senior business management major from Aspinwall, Pa.
  • Mary Hoffman, a sophomore education major from Butler, Pa.
  • Brandi Kukler, a sophomore with an undeclared major from Belle Vernon, Pa.
  • Jessica Marabello, a sophomore education major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Cherylynn Shird, a senior sociology major from Washington, D.C.
  • Mary Spencer, a junior English major from Allison Park, Pa.
  • Bonnie Strang, a sophomore education major from McMurray, Pa.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or

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For the duration of their spring break, 25 Waynesburg University students will travel to Concord, N.C., from Saturday, March 8, through Sunday, March 16. Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication, and Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication, will serve as trip leaders.

To address substandard housing issues in North Carolina, students will serve with the Lake Norman, N.C., Habitat for Humanity affiliate to assist in building homes for residents. All participating students have previously served with Habitat for Humanity.

"I'm excited to work with Cabarrus County Habitat for Humanity for the third straight year,” Sherman said. “It's a great opportunity to spread the Word and see a tangible result so immediately."

Students participating in the Habitat work camp mission trip include:

  • Jessica Arthur, a freshman nursing major from Jamestown, Ohio
  • Taylor Augustine, a senior pre-med major from Waynesburg, Pa.
  • Jennifer Brown, a sophomore biblical ministry major from Latrobe, Pa.
  • Eric Burnett, a sophomore sports broadcasting major from Carmichaels, Pa.
  • Derrick Conner, a senior nursing major from Smithfield, Pa.
  • Joshuah Dains, a junior business management major from Clarksville, Pa.
  • Sarah Danchik, a freshman with an undeclared major from Washington, Pa.
  • Sara Faiad, a junior psychology major from South Fork, Pa.
  • Dana Della Loggia, a senior accounting major from Hershey, Pa.
  • Cody Hillberry, a junior sociology major from Sycamore, Pa.
  • Amanda Hooker, a sophomore psychology major from Bedford, Pa.
  • Erin Kern, a junior psychology major from Friedens, Pa.
  • Sarah Kirk, a sophomore nursing major from Valencia, Pa.
  • Jimmy Law, a junior biblical ministry major from Erie, Pa.
  • Philip Littlejohn, a junior athletic training major from Union Springs, N.Y.
  • Kaitlyn Marteney, a junior forensic accounting major from Berlin, Pa.
  • Amber Martin, a freshman biblical ministry major from Brook Park, Ohio
  • Samantha Peer, a sophomore with an undeclared major from Belle Vernon, Pa.
  • Torre Remish, a freshman psychology major from Charleroi, Pa.
  • Travis Sumner, a freshman forensic accounting major from Eighty Four, Pa.
  • Pedro Torrez, a sophomore with an undeclared major from Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Brianna Watt, a junior special education major from Waynesburg, Pa.
  • Abby Wernert, a junior public relations major from Finleyville, Pa.
  • Melissa Yoder, a senior finance major from Hollsopple, Pa.
  • Dylan Zeigler, a junior biblical ministry major from Knox, Pa.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or

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b2ap3_thumbnail_DrGaryCuccia.jpgThe Waynesburg University Bonner Scholars will host a teen dating violence awareness program at Waynesburg Central High School auditorium Thursday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m., and all community members are welcome to attend. Admission is free and light refreshments will be provided. 

University Bonner Scholars designed the program "Love Is Not..." to raise awareness about the signs of teen dating abuse and ways to address abusive relationships. The program will explain types of dating abuse through skits depicting dating scenarios. 

"Love Is Not..." will also include guest speaker Dr. Gary Cuccia, creator of the Demi Brae Cuccia Awareness Organization. Cuccia will share his personal experiences as a parent of a daughter who was involved in an abusive dating relationship.  

The Demi Brae Organization seeks “to educate our youth, parents, communities and educational system about the dangers of teen dating violence.” For more information about the organization, visit

Waynesburg Central High School is located at 30 Zimmerman Drive, Waynesburg, Pa. For more information, contact Kimber Blair at or by phone at 724-614-0530.

The Bonner Scholarship prepares students for lives of service by requiring its scholars to perform 140 hours of community service each semester at a local service site of their choice, as well as two summers of service at a non-profit or community-based organization. 


Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or

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b2ap3_thumbnail_bob-randolph.jpgThe Department of English at Waynesburg University will host “Pass the Biscuits” at the First Presbyterian Church of Waynesburg Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., to raise money for the Corner Cupboard Food Bank in Waynesburg. 

"Pass the Biscuits" is a response by Dr. Bob Randolph, writer in residence at Waynesburg University, and the Department of English at Waynesburg University to the Day of Service planned in honor of Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee and his upcoming inauguration.

The event, held a few days before the Day of Service, will showcase the strengths of the Department of English as faculty members will read poetry and essays.  Rev. Carolyn Poteet, director of faith and mission at Waynesburg University, will pray at the event and students will perform music.

Attendance is encouraged for students, faculty, staff and members of the Waynesburg community. Admission is free and a collection will be taken to support the Corner Cupboard’s work.  The Waynesburg Giant Eagle will match the amount raised at the benefit up to $500.

"It is wonderful to me that people are willing to share their strengths, in this case writing, music and prayer, to come together and help others who need it,” Randolph said. “That's a joyful thing; it has been, and still remains, the spirit of Waynesburg University.  It should be a great night."

The First Presbyterian Church of Waynesburg is located in walking distance of campus at 169 W. College St., Waynesburg, Pa.

For more information, contact Dr. Bob Randolph at, or by phone at 724-852-3473.


Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Karla-1.jpgPat Bristor, the associate dean of students at Waynesburg University, has watched Karla Lucilia Pet Diaz grow from a child into a young adult. She has learned, played, worshipped and laughed alongside her and has recently helped to facilitate a dream for both of them. 

After months of praying and planning, Karla visited the United States for the first time at the beginning of December 2013. While growing up in Patzun, Guatemala, at the Centro Nutricional y Hogar de Ninos, Karla looked forward to the Waynesburg University mission trips to the center each year. Since she was 14 years old, Karla has enjoyed Pat’s warm smile and looked forward to seeing her year after year. 

This year, Karla finished her studies and applied for a Visa to travel to the United States and visit Waynesburg – the place where so many familiar faces waited to see her. Waynesburg University faculty, staff and students paid for Karla’s plane tickets through the Guatemala project fund, an account bolstered by the fundraising of any student who has traveled to Patzun throughout the University’s 14 mission trips to the Center. 

“This is the first opportunity that one of the children from the center has been able to visit Waynesburg University. The opportunity is one of what we hope will be many,” Bristor said. “I know that she was meant to come here. We ran into many issues but it worked out.” 

From her arrival Tuesday, Dec. 3, to the beginning of the University’s Christmas break Saturday, Dec. 14, Karla spent as much time as possible with Waynesburg University students who have participated in the Guatemala mission in the past.  

With them, she practiced her English, attended the Waynesburg Christmas parade, participated in sled riding, watched movies, viewed the Oglebay Festival of Lights and completed community service at St. Ann’s soup kitchen. With great joy, Waynesburg students took her to campus events, introduced her to their friends and professors and invited her to attend game nights and dinners at the University.  

“The focus at the beginning of December was on the students she’s come to know and love. She wanted to spend time with them, and they with her, before many of them left campus for Christmas break,” Bristor said. “The remaining time was spent serving the community, meeting with alumni and participating in regional customs.” 

Pat arranged for Karla to either telephone or meet with a number of Waynesburg University alumni who visited Guatemala through the years. Karla also spent time with Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication at Waynesburg and his wife, Heidi Szuminsky, director of donor and alumni relations at the University, both of whom have led mission trips to Patzun multiple times. 

Tearing up, Pat explained that her passion for the Guatemala mission has been very evident, but that though her husband supported her, he didn’t always understand why she returned home each year with a heavy heart – missing the people of Patzun. 

“My husband didn’t understand that passion until he met Karla,” she said. “Now he understands why I love her and the mission so much. He is even interested in coming with us in the future. It’s been a wonderful experience for us to share our home. Having a child in our home who I have come to love has been a dream come true. The laughter fills the house.””

Indeed, as Pat and Karla spoke to each other using a translation app, gestures and slowed-speech, they generated quite a bit of infectious laughter. They both said that the language barrier has been an enjoyable and even helpful issue. 

“I don’t know much Spanish. She’s very good at English even though sometimes she’s too shy to admit it,” Bristor said. “But I think the barrier has been a blessing; if she were in a home that spoke fluent Spanish, Karla wouldn’t be as challenged to speak and learn English. It also forces me to learn Spanish, which I’ve wanted to do for years.”

In January, Pat will return to Patzun for the seventh time alongside a team of Waynesburg University students, staff, and, of course, Karla. Though the journey will be bittersweet, Pat knows that the new bridge of communication built at Waynesburg University will help them to communicate for a lifetime.  


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