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If you ask senior Luisa Singletary what the greatest thing is about Waynesburg University, she is likely to tell you it’s the school’s ability to turn passions into careers and futures.

When she began her education at Waynesburg University, Singletary was unsure about the direction of her career path. But after a short period of time, during which she utilized the skillsets and connections of her classes and professors, she was certain she wanted to become a writer. Her passion for writing overflowed into her every educational and professional pursuit, leading her to a major in English and professional writing.

Now, she believes the skills and lessons she has learned throughout her spectrum of writing courses have set her up for possible jobs in any number of fields.

After three semesters at the University, Singletary chose to add a Communication minor. The Department of Communication was unfamiliar territory for her, but in a good way – she soon learned that her class work in her communication courses was often used for real-world journalistic or public relations pursuits.

Through multiple internships and a varied course load, Singletary has enough professional experience to require a tiny font size on her résumé. She has completed tasks like developing grant templates, offering public relations work to businesses, becoming a published writer and copy editor and experiencing multiple roles related to TV production.

“Between the preparation I’ve gotten from my English major and the professional opportunities I’ve received through my Communication minor, I truly feel prepared for whatever line of work I choose,” she said.

While Singletary’s undergraduate success is unmistakably a result of her own passion and ambition, she is also quick to mention the things that led her to Waynesburg and how they have played a part in her achievements. She cites dedicated professors, generous financial aid and a Christian community as having benefited her both in college and in the long run.

Just a half-semester away from graduating, Singletary is grateful to discover she’ll leave college with far more than a degree. She has, in fact, acquired nearly every tool, skill and quality necessary for success in the future, because Waynesburg University has helped her to direct her love for writing toward what is sure to be a successful life.

Singletary’s Waynesburg experience has led her to this advice for her fellow students: “Pray. Breathe. Trust. God has a plan for all of us.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_9-15-Kimmie.jpgThe Yellow Jacket: an award-winning student newspaper since 1924, and the place where communication students come to prosper.

As a freshman journalism student at Waynesburg, I knew I’d get involved with the Yellow Jacket. But for that first semester, I was extremely hesitant to devote myself to it. I’m just a freshman – how valuable can I really be? What if my work isn’t good enough? What if I don’t find my niche? How will I get my other work done? How will I have time to sleep?

Two years later, as a junior, I’m the Executive Editor for the Yellow Jacket. Some of these questions still eat at me – I don’t pretend to have all the answers. Regardless, I know this is where I’m meant to be. A lot of my work for the newspaper is behind the scenes, but I’m making my mark. And at the same time, the Yellow Jacket is making its mark on me. Here are three of the most important lessons I’m learning as Executive Editor, each of which has given me insight into my field, myself and my future.

  1. There CAN be enough time. The Yellow Jacket is issued weekly. I spend every Monday and Tuesday night with my staff, working far past midnight to create all 16 pages of the newspaper. Then, we spend the day on Wednesday (in between classes) with our advisor, finalizing everything and sending it off to print. I use Thursday and Friday to interview sources and write articles for the paper, and then I spend the weekend attending to all of my other schoolwork and seeing family and friends. Come Monday, I begin again, with classes and a job added into the mix. It used to seem impossible – and terrifying. Now, it’s doable. So far, I’ve found time for everything – though it sometimes means I sacrifice a full night’s sleep. The point is, effective time management is a reachable goal and an essential skill for college and beyond. The Yellow Jacket has shown me my strengths and my limits, and together, we’ve struck a balance.
  2. Flying solo isn’t an option.  When I was named as the next Executive Editor, the most popular piece of advice I got was, “You need someone on your side.” I’m lucky enough to have a whole support team, without whom I’d be floundering. I have a staff at the Yellow Jacket who works with me every day to help make the newspaper a success and my life easier. I have two best friends who listen to all of my dilemmas, support all of my endeavors and drag me away from my work to relax with them at least once a week. I have an advisor who takes a genuine interest in my life, future and well-being, in addition to guiding my every Yellow Jacket step. I’m an independent person, but the Yellow Jacket has taught me that the best results arrive when you rely on others. 
  3. The real world is coming - get ready.  The real world doesn’t allow sleeping in until 10 on weekdays. The real world brings constant pressure from superiors to perform well. The real world means being professional, becoming a leader and establishing who you are. More than any experience I’ve had, the Yellow Jacket is getting me ready for that world. I can’t complain about getting up early – I know it’ll only get earlier when I graduate. I can’t crack under the pressure of responsibility – I have to learn to be at my best when there are people counting on me. I can’t be afraid to come into my own and be a leader – that’s what will lead to success in the future. I’m in training every day for how to interact professionally with my peers and my superiors, and I know I’ll be thanking the Yellow Jacket when I leave school and those skills really count. 

From being a scared, shy, intimidated freshman to becoming Executive Editor, the Yellow Jacket is, more than anything else, responsible for showing me the way. I don’t know where I’m headed after May 2017, but I know this: the Yellow Jacket has changed me – for good.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0675_20150717-154747_1.JPGLike most 18-year-olds trying to decide what it was that I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I was confused, lost and arguably disoriented. As I heard classmates speak of their future plans, neatly organized into a college major and future profession, I felt the panic start to sink in. 

Though I had already committed to Waynesburg University for the fall of 2012 and had declared my major as accounting, I was far from certain that I would spend the rest of my life crunching numbers. Nonetheless, in August of 2012, I embarked on my journey at Waynesburg University. 

In my first semester as a business major, I did exceedingly well, earning a 4.0 and ending the semester with good rapport with my professors whom ensured me that I held promise in my pursuit of a career in accounting. I regarded my successes as a good sign, and thought that maybe I wasn’t as lost as I had thought.

I continued on in the program, taking another accounting class in which I continued to excel, but deep down, I knew that I was lacking a passion for my studies. At times, it took a great deal of effort to bring myself to study my business textbooks. 

On the other hand, the College Composition course that I enrolled in during my second semester commanded my attention. I loved that it allowed me to write persuasively and develop compelling, fact-based arguments about hard issues facing our society. In other words, I was hooked and wanted to know where this new- found passion could lead.  

I decided to email my professor, Mrs. Nofsinger, and ask to meet with her to discuss my fascination with her course and my desire to learn more about career options. As a freshman, I was not yet aware of the relationship-centered culture of Waynesburg University, but I was about to discover what the university that I enrolled in was all about. 

My professor invited me to join her for lunch to discuss what was on my mind. We talked for an hour and she suggested I take a journalism course, promised me books for further exploration and recommended that I visit the counseling center for more vocational guidance. She also informed me that if I ever needed anything, to just let her know.

I was blown away by her kindness, but after meeting with several other professors and faculty members to discuss my options and smooth out the details of changing majors, I quickly discovered that this kindness was simply the Waynesburg way. Flash-forward to my senior year as a student in the Department of Communication, and I now know that my professors are not just teachers; they are mentors and personal resources there to encourage and offer advice to students when possible. 

Though unsure of the path I had chosen upon graduating high school, I could not be happier with my decision to come to Waynesburg University. While initially lost, I found my way in the loving atmosphere that is Waynesburg University. 


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b2ap3_thumbnail_5-25-Narasimhan.JPGEverything is going very well here at the sanctuary. We had a couple of visitors this week, all Panamanian businessmen and their families. They were very interested to hear about the work we are doing here with the monkeys and our research. All of their businesses are devoted to sustainability and conservation, and they are not alone. Throughout Central America, these ideas are beginning to trend in areas such as agriculture and the building of infrastructure. It was extremely interesting to learn about all the things their businesses are doing and the possibilities of a more sustainable world. It would really be amazing if more and more businesses adopted these policies. 

I wrote about some of the research we are doing on different types of teak plantations and which are the most sustainable. Hopefully, when our research is done, it will be used to make more responsible decisions about how teak plantations are made. This is just one example of the type of work that is being done, and all around the world it is really making an impact. I love learning about the different ways we can help make our home a better place for us right now and for future generations.


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Today we visited the indigenous village of Ngöbe and the people there. To get there, we took a two-hour truck ride up the mountain. We got to tour an organic coffee farm run by the local people. Sustainability is beginning to trend in businesses all throughout Panama, even in the remotest of villages. 

The members of this village live a simple life, but it is far from boring. The women wear a beautifully colored traditional dress called the Ngwä. For lunch, we ate a traditional meal of a salad with a homemade dressing, rice and plantains. It was delicious. While we ate, there were several children playing and chattering in the local language nearby. 

We asked to play soccer with them, but they were extremely shy. It seemed they don’t receive many visitors from outside the village, and didn’t know how to respond. All the same, the people were very welcoming and smiled patiently when we spoke our broken Spanish. I loved learning about and seeing their culture. It is uninterrupted by technology and the outside world, but full of life and meaning. 

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