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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-18-Vira-Heinz.jpgSix Waynesburg University students have been selected to receive scholarships through the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership.

The Vira I. Heinz Program, part of Heinz Endowments, is intended to empower young women to address global issues by offering opportunities for international education, leadership development and community service. Typically, each participating college or university in Pennsylvania is granted three spots for female sophomores or juniors. This year, as has been the case at Waynesburg in previous years, Waynesburg was granted six spots.

The program provides scholarships of at least $5,000 for women who have never been out of the United States to study abroad for the summer, and Waynesburg is one of only 13 higher education institutions to participate in the program. Collectively, the Waynesburg recipients will receive more than $40,000 for their trips, scheduled to take place during the summer of 2016. 

“It’s an honor,” said Pat Bristor, associate dean of students and coordinator of the University’s Vira I. Heinz Program. “It’s the quality of our students. We have outstanding students, and we have exceptional female students who apply for the scholarship and really present themselves well.”

The six students were selected after an application process that included creating a proposal for their intended travel plans and interviews in front of a committee. They will participate in a year-long program which includes spring and fall retreats at the University of Pittsburgh, a summer of travel, an experience report and a community engagement experience. 

Waynesburg scholarship recipients this year include sophomores Melanie Byler, Moesha Godwin and Alexis Prettiman and juniors Summer Fiori, Anna Narehood and Maranda Valentino.

Byler, an athletic training and exercise science major from Salisbury, Pennsylvania, plans to travel through International Studies Abroad to India. She will be completing a healthcare service learning program and hopes to learn the Hindi language as well as expand her knowledge of Eastern medicine. 

Fiori, a psychology major from Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, will travel to Northern Thailand to study at Chiang Mai University through the Center for International Studies. She will study the Buddhist religion, learn to speak Thai and serve as a volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park. She also plans to spend time touring the country and experiencing the culture.

Godwin, a psychology major from Bronx, New York, will spend the summer in Adelaide, Australia, studying international health and indigenous cultures, particularly the Aboriginal culture. She is traveling through International Studies Abroad and is most looking forward to interacting with new people.

Narehood, a forensic chemistry major from Frenchville, Pennsylvania, will spend the summer in Luneburg, Germany, and is traveling through the University Study Abroad Consortium. Thrilled to be fulfilling her dream of traveling abroad, Narehood plans to study German culture, language, government and politics.

Prettiman, a criminal justice and international cultures double major from North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, will be travelling to Rabat, Morocco, through the Council on International Educational Exchange. While there, she will study the Arabic language and seek to better understand the religion and traditions of Morocco, experiences for which she feels the University has helped prepare her.

Valentino, a history secondary education major from Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, plans to spend the summer in Saint Petersburg, Russia, learning the Russian language and studying sociology and history at Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University. Through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Study Abroad Program, she will also travel to a number of places throughout Russia, such as Moscow and Norovgrod, to study the culture.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Vira_Heinz_2_of_2.jpgSophomores Addie Pazzynski and Paige Carter were selected as the 2015 Waynesburg University recipients of scholarships from the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. Waynesburg is one of only 15 higher education institutions across Pennsylvania to participate in the Program.

The Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow’s global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development and community service.

Collectively, the women received more than $15,000 in scholarship money through the Vira I. Heinz Program. The scholarships will afford these women the opportunity to travel and study overseas through various study abroad programs.

Pazzynski, a sophomore biblical ministry studies major and English minor from Waynesburg, Pa., will study in Amman, Jordan, with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) Middle Eastern Studies program.

She will study the Arabic language as well as concentrate on other Jordanian studies such as Islam, Jordanian archaeology, Jordanian history and Middle Eastern politics. Pazzynski believes studying through the CIEE program will allow her to better understand the Arabic language and the people who speak it.

“As a student of religious studies, I am deeply interested in Islam, its relationship with the Christian West and its diverse people groups and sects,” said Pazzynski. “Through learning Arabic, I believe that I can better empathize with Muslims and further seek ways in which to connect with them from my own Christian perspective.”

Paige Carter, a sophomore pre-law major from Coraopolis, Pa., will spend her summer in Cape Town, South Africa, completing courses through the Council for International Educational Exchange.

Carter will learn about the challenges and realities of post-apartheid South Africa through innovative courses and an integrated community service study abroad project.

“I am excited to immerse myself into an unfamiliar culture and abandon preconceived ideas and notions,” said Carter. “I am anticipating that gaining an understanding of the nature of apartheid history will empower me to see through the wrongfulness of African Law that is tangled working the African Law System.”

Scholarship recipients were required to complete an application, submit academic and personal letters of reference and a proposal for their intended plans. The proposal included a budget for the trip including the cost of airfare, classes, housing and meals, among other items. Applicants were also required to explain how the trip related to their academic areas of study and future plans.

Upon receiving the application and proposals, interviews were held in front of a committee. The students were selected based on their proposal, their leadership on campus, and how well the committee felt they would represent Waynesburg University and the United States abroad.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

The Program has three principal components: the international experience, the Community Engagement Experience and two weekend-long, intensive leadership development retreats. During the spring semester prior to and the fall semester following their international experiences, the awardees meet in Pittsburgh. These trainings provide the awardees with a foundation of skills necessary to maximize cultural learnings while abroad and to engage their leadership skills in their own communities upon their return.

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Rebecca Lane, a senior early childhood education (special education) major from Ellwood City, Pa., recently received one of only eight Good Citizen Scholarships distributed throughout the Commonwealth. 

Eight Good Citizen scholarships were awarded this year for $1,500 each.

“The Education Department's mission is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Debra Clarke, chair of the Education Department at Waynesburg University. “Rebecca eagerly aligned herself with the mission as a freshman. It has been uplifting to watch her develop her service agenda and her leadership skills over the past three years.”

The Good Citizen Scholarship is made possible by two endowments established at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP).  These scholarships are reserved for students who have shown an extraordinary commitment to community service and who have demonstrated creativity in shaping their volunteer activities. 

Lane, a Bonner Scholar at Waynesburg University and a Vira I. Heinz Women in Global Leadership Scholar, was selected for her commitment to both local and global service leadership. 

She regularly volunteers with Open Arms Drop in Center and Eldercare in Waynesburg, Pa. She also facilitates crafts for young people at the Open Door in Pittsburgh, Pa., each week and is a YoungLife Leader at West Greene High School. She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the Waynesburg University education honorary society. 

As a student at Waynesburg, Lane has participated in several service trips such as repairing a house with The Pittsburgh Project, feeding the homeless with the Center for Student Missions in Nashville, Tenn., and teaching students who are deaf in Nassau, Bahamas. Last summer, she spent two months in Kingston, Jamaica, assisting a child with walking abilities and adapting activities to allow for more inclusion.

“My volunteerism in college has prepared me beyond measure to meet the needs of any community,” Lane said. “Each volunteer site, each mission trip and each leadership role has taught, shaped and molded me into an effective teacher who not only teaches students, but deeply cares for them as well as serving the community in which they live.”

Each college and university belonging to AICUP is asked to select one application to submit for the competition. Lane was selected due to her personal growth as a student at Waynesburg University and her continuous integration of faith and service into learning. 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Vira-Heinz-2014.jpgThrough the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership, Waynesburg University has selected six young women to study abroad this summer. Waynesburg is one of only 15 higher education institutions across Pennsylvania to participate in the Program and was granted six scholarships rather than the traditional three. 

Collectively, the women received more than $37,600 in scholarship money through the Vira I. Heinz Program.

Pat Bristor, associate dean of students and the Waynesburg University coordinator of the Vira I. Heinz Program for almost 20 years, said that the young women represent the best of Waynesburg University. 

“We are pleased to have such bright young women at Waynesburg University who are interested in the world around them,” said Bristor. “To have six women chosen speaks to the quality of our academics, faith integration and service opportunities.”

The Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership prepares women for tomorrow's global challenges by offering a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development and community service. Typically, three women from each institution are admitted into the one-year program and receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 to put toward the cost of an international experience of their choosing.

Juniors Ellen Limback, Rebecca Shindelar and Allyson Wernert and sophomores Caley Blankenbuehler, Cassandra Gates and Madison Perretta are the 2014 Waynesburg University recipients of scholarships from the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership. The scholarships will afford these women the opportunity to travel and study overseas through various study abroad programs.

Limback, an early childhood education (special education) major from Mars, Pa., will study in Cuzco, Peru, through Projects Abroad, one of the world’s leading international volunteer organizations.

While there, she will work in a small village school helping to teach children English. She looks forward to experiencing a different culture, improving her Spanish language skills and developing her teaching experience. 

Shindelar, a junior human services (social science) major from Bemidji, Minn., will travel to Brasov, Romania, also through Projects Abroad. She will volunteer at an orphanage and take two online summer courses. 

“Through my courses in the humanities, I have been equipped with knowledge about the need to interact with and explore the depth of culture and different styles of living in other places around the world,” Shindelar said. 

Allyson Wernert, a junior international studies (international culture) and political science major from Finleyville, Pa., will take her talents to Tokyo, Japan, this summer through Sophia University. She will take classes in Japanese language and culture. Wernert hopes to meet and make friends from all over the world.

Blankenbuehler, a mathematics (secondary education) major from West Newton, Pa., will spend her summer in Southern India through Projects Abroad. There, she will teach English and mathematics to students. 

“At Waynesburg I’ve learned a lot about what it's like to be a Christian and I have developed a relationship with God, so I know that He will be there with me through my whole trip,” Blankenbuehler said. 

Gates, a chemistry (biochemistry) major from Penn Hills, Pa., will travel to Costa Rica through International Studies Abroad (ISA). She will study the Spanish language and environmental studies and participate in volunteer work projects such as species monitoring and trail cleaning.

“I am most looking forward to the experiences and growth that will come with the scholarship,” Gates said. “I have the chance to meet other women who value becoming global leaders. Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to do this.”

Perretta, a sophomore sociology major from Beaver Falls, Pa., will study through IES Abroad’s Summer Psychology Program in Vienna, Austria. She will learn about different methods of communicating with and treating individuals with mental illnesses.

“As a student at Waynesburg University, I've been given incredible opportunities to push myself academically and as a leader on campus,” Perretta said. “This has led me to become prepared to be a leader on campus and, in the future, a leader abroad.”  

Scholarship recipients were required to complete an application, submit academic and personal letters of reference and a proposal for their intended plans. The proposal included a budget for the trip including the cost of airfare, classes, housing and meals, among other items. Applicants were also required to explain how the trip related to their academic areas of study and future plans.

Upon receiving the application and proposals, interviews were held in front of a committee. The students were selected based on their proposal, their leadership on campus, and how well the committee felt they would represent Waynesburg University and the United States abroad. 

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion. 

The Program has three principal components: the international experience, the Community Engagement Experience and two weekend-long, intensive leadership development retreats. During the spring semester prior to and the fall semester following their international experiences, the awardees meet in Pittsburgh. These trainings provide the awardees with a foundation of skills necessary to maximize cultural learnings while abroad and to engage their leadership skills in their own communities upon their return.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Vira Heinz

The Vira I. Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership has awarded four Waynesburg University women the opportunity to fulfill dreams of learning and serving abroad.

In 2012, four women will dedicate their summers to continuing Waynesburg University's mission of faith, serving and learning in faraway cultures: one as an intern, two as young teachers and all as students of new experiences and cultural differences.

Waynesburg University has been awarded four scholarships which will afford the women the opportunity to experience a journey unlike any other. The scholarships offer the recipients a combined total of $24,000 in scholarship money.

Overseen by The Heinz Endowments and administered through the University of Pittsburgh's Center for International Studies, the Vira I. Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership started as one $1,000 check given each fall to a junior woman at an area university. Today the Vira I. Heinz Foundation offers several $5,000 scholarships to women at 16 local and regional colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

The four recipients of the 2012 Vira I. Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership include Jenna Griffith, Angele Hagy, T'Erika Perry and Hannah Szymanik. Through the scholarship, these women will travel and study overseas through three study abroad programs.

Griffith, a junior nursing major from Cambridge, Ohio, will spend her summer in San Ignacio, Belize. From June 2 to June 30, she will serve as an intern in the San Ignacio Hospital to further the nursing skills she has acquired at Waynesburg University.

“Although Belize has many natural beauties, the country still struggles against poverty, inequality and a lack of opportunity,” Griffith said. “This scholarship will enable me to serve and learn in a country where medical assistance is needed and will help shape my life as a nurse.”

Both Hagy, a sophomore early childhood and special education major from Pittsburgh, Pa., and Szymanik, a sophomore early childhood and special education major from Mount Holly Springs, Pa., will spend the summer in Cape Coast, Ghana, through ProWorld, an international study program. The women will volunteer as teaching assistants at an elementary school for five weeks during the months of May and June.

Through Seattle Central Community College, both Hagy and Szymanik will take courses in international education. For Szymanik, the Vira I. Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership means a jump start to her future.

“A long term goal of mine is to live in Africa as a missionary, and this scholarship allows me to begin that journey,” Szymanik said. “I am excited to start showing love to underprivileged children in a part of the world that has captured my heart.

Perry, a sophomore international studies major from Baltimore, Md., will study in Barcelona, Spain, May 29 to July 27. She will forever refer to this experience as a cotillion of sorts due to an unfulfilled family tradition.
“In my family we have a tradition of holding a cotillion for the women in the family as they come of age,” Perry said. “During the senior year of high school, the women are acknowledged as adults and given the opportunity to travel to surrounding states.” 

Because her mother passed away during her junior year of high school, Perry never received her cotillion celebration.

“Vira I. Heinz is like a cotillion for me,” Perry said. “It is my opportunity to forge a bond as an adult with the women in my family; this program is giving me a chance to get an experience I thought I missed out on.”
The four women were required to submit an application, academic and personal letters of reference and a proposal for their intended plans. Applicants were also required to explain how the trip related to their academic areas of study and future plans.

Each recipient is required to attend two weekend retreats, one before traveling and one upon return, as well as a community engagement experience with an international focus after traveling. These requirements encourage the women to think deeply about their study abroad experience and apply the world lessons to life at Waynesburg University.


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