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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_9485.jpgWaynesburg University held its annual commencement exercises honoring approximately 600 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students Sunday, May 18. Laura E. Ellsworth, a partner at Jones Day and vice chair of the board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, delivered the commencement address.

Daniel Czajkowski, a criminal justice administration major from Frederick, Md., was named one of five valedictorians and delivered the valedictory to the University. He is the son of Vincent and Diana Czajkowski of Frederick, Md.

During his valedictory, he urged graduates to remember that, because Waynesburg is a unique institution, the Class of 2014 is comprised of unique graduates.

“Remember that achievement is not measured by money earned or items owned, but by lives touched and institutions transformed,” he said. “Remember that success is not derived from the title behind your name, but from the title of Him in whose name you go forth.”

As a scholar of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, Czajkowski had many opportunities during his time at Waynesburg University to meet with cultural, political and religious leaders across the nation. He is an alumnus of the American Studies Program and spent summers interning for U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and U.S. Congressman Keith Rothfus.

As a senior, he served as Waynesburg’s Student Senate president and Criminal Justice Club president. He was a member of Peer Education and the International Justice Mission, and was a recipient of the Criminal Justice Administration Program Scholarship and the James D. South Memorial Prize.

“Waynesburg University has not only inspired me to think critically about faith and calling, it has taught me to use my abilities, education and talents in such a way that they benefit others,” he said. “Waynesburg University produces servant leaders, and I am proud to be one of them.”

Currently pursuing a variety of career opportunities, Czajkowski said that whether he chooses to serve in the military, in law enforcement or on Capitol Hill, he intends to dedicate his life to public service.

The 2014 Valedictorians include:

  • Kaitlyn Grace Berkebile, an early childhood education major from Friedens, Pa.
  • Alyssa Brooke Crile, an early childhood education major from Washington, Pa.
  • Daniel Vincent Czajkowski, a criminal justice administration major from Frederick, Md.
  • Corin Rae Schipani, a digital design major from Duquesne, Pa.
  • Hannah Michelle Szymanik, an early childhood education major from Mount Holly Springs, Pa.

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

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_9475.jpgWaynesburg University held its annual commencement exercises honoring approximately 600 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students Sunday, May 18. Laura E. Ellsworth, a partner at Jones Day and vice chair of the board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, delivered the commencement address.

Alyssa Brooke Crile, an early childhood education major from Washington, Pa., was named one of five valedictorians of her class. She is the daughter of Scott Crile of Waynesburg and Lisa Hegedus and stepfather Gary Hegedus of Washington.

“Serving as one of the valedictorians of Waynesburg University's Class of 2014 is a great honor,” Crile said. “Waynesburg has prepared me for a life as an educator. All of the skills and strategies that I have gained from Waynesburg will help me to pursue my career. I will always be learning something new as I continue in my profession, but Waynesburg helped me to grow and continued to foster my passion for education.”

As a student, Crile was a member and treasurer of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education. As a member of this honor society, she traveled to the National Conference in Dallas, Texas, in the fall of 2013.  She also tutored at Kids' Cafe in West Waynesburg and was a member of DRUS Womens' Honorary Society.

Crile is actively seeking an elementary teaching position in a district that encourages growth, teamwork and a passion for helping students to succeed. In the meantime, she will be substituting in Allegheny, Greene and Washington counties.

The 2014 Valedictorians include:

  • Kaitlyn Grace Berkebile, an early childhood education major from Friedens, Pa.
  • Alyssa Brooke Crile, an early childhood education major from Washington, Pa.
  • Daniel Vincent Czajkowski, a criminal justice administration major from Frederick, Md.
  • Corin Rae Schipani, a digital design major from Duquesne, Pa.
  • Hannah Michelle Szymanik, an early childhood education major from Mount Holly Springs, Pa.

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

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b2ap3_thumbnail_lacount.jpgOne Waynesburg University faculty member was honored with the title of professor emeritus and three others received the University’s 2014 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Awards during the University’s Chapel Service in Roberts Chapel Tuesday, April 29.

On behalf of the University, President Douglas G. Lee conferred upon Dr. Robert LaCount, professor of chemistry, the title of professor emeritus. LaCount retired from his full-time position in August 2013. He joined the University in 1965, and during his 49 years of service to the University, he eagerly incorporated the education of Waynesburg University students into his groundbreaking research.

The Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Awards are awarded annually. One recognizes a faculty member with a history of teaching excellence. A second award recognizes a faculty member with a relatively recent history of teaching excellence, and the third award is given to a non-full-time faculty member at any Waynesburg University site.

Dr. Gordon McClung, professor of marketing and chair of the University’s Department of Business Administration, received the 2014 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a faculty member with a history of teaching excellence.

A colleague stated, “Although a tough professor, the students have nothing but respect for Dr. McClung. He understands all aspects of business and incorporates real-life scenarios into class room learnings whenever possible.” Additionally, the nomination stated, “Dr. McClung empowers his faculty members. He wants each of us to be successful and will take whatever means necessary to help us be successful.”

Another nomination noted that Gordon has “dedicated an inordinate amount of time to both the University and his students.”

McClung, who joined the University in 2007, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a bachelor of science in business administration and a master of business administration from West Virginia University.

Dr. Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication, received the 2014 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a faculty member with a relatively recent history of teaching excellence.

A student nomination stated, “In class, he has great patience with his students, teaches the material in a relatable manner and maintains a fun learning environment. When not in class, I have seen numerous occasions when he stays later than scheduled to help a student with a photography or design concept.”

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hathaway.jpgAnother nomination said, “Let us not forget how Dr. Sherman stays consistent with the school’s passion for service, going on multiple mission trips with the school. He has a passion for everything he does and exhibits the character of Christ.”

Sherman also serves as the advisor of Lambda Pi Eta, an honor society for communication students.

He joined the University in 2011 and holds a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a Ph. D. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Carol Guthrie received the 2014 Lucas-Hathaway Teaching Excellence Award for a non-full-time faculty member. Guthrie is a lecturer of mathematics.

“Carol has consistently shown a genuine love and dedication to teaching,” a colleague stated. “She always has current and former students in her office being tutored.”

A student nomination noted, “She doesn’t just teach the book, the mundane lessons and the repetitive formulas, she engages her students and pushes them to better understand math.” 

The nomination continued, “She has made a difference in the teaching climate of Waynesburg by simply showing her passion for what she does. You can clearly see the love she has not only for math, but for her students each and every day she teaches.”

Guthrie joined the University in 2009 and holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master of education in mathematics and computer science from California University of Pennsylvania.

The Lucas-Hathaway Charitable Trust has established an endowed fund that provides two annual teaching excellence awards for full-time faculty members and one award for a part-time faculty member. Faculty members were nominated by students, faculty or alumni. Each recipient of the Lucas-Hathaway Award for Teaching Excellence received a commemorative plaque and a $1,200 award. The Trust is funded by J. Richard Lucas and C. Joan Hathaway Lucas, members of the class of 1950.

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

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Waynesburg University’s annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, May 18, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The celebration will honor approximately 600 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. 

The Rev. Thomas M. Hall II, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, will present his message, “Where Have All the Heroes Gone?” at the Baccalaureate service. Laura E. Ellsworth, partner at Jones Day, an elite international law firm, will address the Class of 2014 as the Commencement speaker.

Baccalaureate services will be held in Roberts Chapel at 11 a.m., and Commencement will be held on the front lawn of Miller Hall at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the Commencement Ceremony will be held in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.

Graduates will have the opportunity to reflect on their personal and academic journeys as they experience the day’s momentous events. The Baccalaureate and Commencement speakers will offer inspirational guidance as each member of the Class of 2014 begins a new chapter in his or her life. Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the Commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Both Ellsworth and Hall will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, for the ways in which their lives and personal missions relate to the mission of Waynesburg University.

The Rev. Thomas M. Hall II

b2ap3_thumbnail_Rev-Tom-Hall-Feb-2014_20140423-200816_1.jpgHall is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.  Since being called to the church in 2009, Hall’s passion for the heart of Pittsburgh has advanced the region in spirituality and sustainability.

He is president of the Pittsburgh Downtown Ministerium and is on the board of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Hall also serves on the Bethlehem Haven Board and the Council of the Metro-Urban Institute at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh.

A retired Air Force colonel, Hall began his military career in 1974 after graduating from the United States Air Force Academy. In the military, he served as an intelligence analyst and as a headquarters staff officer. His international experience includes chairing the 15-nation NATO Electronic Warfare Advisory Committee and commanding the 11th Operations Group. Rev. Hall’s military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal. In 2004 he completed a 30-year career in the Air Force as a full colonel. 

The esteemed leader earned a Master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a master of divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Laura E. Ellsworth

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ellsworth-Photo.jpgNamed one of Pennsylvania’s “Best 50 Women in Business,” Laura Ellsworth practices as a partner at Jones Day, an elite international law firm.

She serves as the vice chair of the board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and on the boards of Imani Christian Academy, Governor Tom Corbett’s appointed Council on Privatization and Innovation, and the Allegheny Conference on Economic Development.

Ellsworth is partner-in-charge of the Jones Day Pittsburgh office. She has been involved extensively in electronic discovery and currently serves on the Jones Days’ e-Discovery Committee. Since joining Jones Day in 1992, she has practiced a wide range of complex commercial litigation including high-profile, multi-jurisdictional product liability and bankruptcy cases.

She has been named one of the best lawyers in America for commercial litigation and was recognized as a "leader in her field" by Chambers USA in 2009. Ellsworth was recognized as a "leader in the law" by the Legal Intelligencer and as one of the top female litigators in Pennsylvania by Pennsylvania Law Weekly.

Ellsworth received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1980, then graduated magna cum laude with her Juris doctorate in 1983 from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her bar admissions in the state of Pennsylvania.

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

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Unknown.jpgJohn Olon has joined Waynesburg University as chief financial officer, the University announced today. Olon will provide executive level direction and management oversight for financial planning, budgeting and budget analysis. 

“Mr. Olon will certainly be an asset to Waynesburg University,” said University President Douglas G. Lee. “With his experience, educational background and strong analytical mind, he will serve the Business Office and University well.”

Olon will also direct and coordinate the institution's debt financing and debt service payments, risk management and insurance and purchasing and contract services, as well as accounting and business operations, finance controls and reporting and investment oversight.

“I am happy to have been asked to join the Waynesburg family,” he said. “There is a lot of excitement here, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Olon brings to Waynesburg University an impressive background as well as an enthusiasm for Christian higher education.

With a blend of experience in both the higher education and corporate industries, Olon most recently served as the vice president of financial planning and analysis at Dick’s Sporting Goods, where he directed short- and long-term forecasting, analysis, store performance tracking, supply chain costing and competitor comparisons to promote strategic decision making and to develop earnings guidance.

Previously, he served in a variety of roles at the Education Management Corporation, most recently as vice president/assistant controller. In this role, he directed enterprise accounting operations including general ledger, revenue, fixed assets and financial reporting.

Olon has additional corporate experience as the manager of corporate financial planning and analysis of ALCOA, Inc., the world’s leading producer of aluminum, miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina.

A certified public accountant, Olon holds a master’s of science degree in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Pennsylvania State University.

He is an active member of Saints John and Paul Parish and is involved in community fundraising committees, including active involvement in support of the Anna Seethaler Hospital (TASH) in Oaxaca, Mexico.

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

Tagged in: University news
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