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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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As servants for God, we are called to continually give to others. In 1 Peter 4:10, the Bible states “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.” At Waynesburg University, students are taught to provide assistance using their specific gifts and talents. Each semester, Community Impact Grants are awarded during Who's Your Neighbor Week to students who want to make a difference in the community. Since the fall of 2009, students have been able to see a need within the local community and apply for a grant to aid their choice of project.

This year, three organizations received a total of $3,000. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Freshman Bonner Scholars and the 2011 Vira Heinz recipients were selected by a committee consisting of university faculty, staff and administration based on the project's value to the community, the project's fundamental short- and long-term impact and its planning and implementation process.

Sarah Brandstetter, Bonner Scholar coordinator and a member of the selection committee, believes that these grants are a blessing to the community and the students through the application of Waynesburg University foundations.

“It is so exciting to see students connect faith, service and learning through civic engagement,” Brandstetter said. “All three organizations have researched our local community to find its needs and have come up with exciting ways to educate and excite the community about these issues.”

Individuals were able to apply for a $500 grant; classes, groups or organizations could apply for a $1,000 grant. Grant recipients are required to complete their project within the current semester and are eligible for one award per school year. Candidates were required to fill out an application that included a budget and a recommendation from a non-family member.

After being reactivated last fall, the Council for Exceptional Children sought to build relationships and a sense of community between local families with students with special needs and University students. The $1,000 grant received will support Activity Day on campus planned for April 21.

Shannon Bartley, junior elementary education major and CEC president, is grateful for the additional funds that will make this day a success.

“We hope this day we have planned not only provides a fun day for the children, but also shows others that people with disabilities are just like everyone else and deserve to be included,” Bartley said.

The University's freshman Bonner class received $1,000 for its Distractions While Driving project. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about the risks of distracted driving through the “Arrive Alive Tour.” The Arrive Alive Tour enables community members to climb into a vehicle and virtually experience distracted driving through a simulator.

Freshman Bonner Scholar and psychology major Kyle Digiandomenico anticipates the positive effects of the simulation.

“We believe if we can save one life by providing individuals with the experiences and information which enables them to rethink their choices, our mission was accomplished,” Digiandomenico said.

The 2011 Vira Heinz recipients received $1,000 for their Mondo Giusto and Garden: Ethical Consumerism and Sustainable Living project. Mondo Giusto will educate the community and campus about practices of fair trade, buying locally and living sustainably. In addition, the Vira Heinz recipients will hold a dedication ceremony for a garden which will serve as a beautiful and sustainable connection between the campus and community.

Megan Peebles, a 2011 recipient and junior interactive design major, hopes their event will showcase the importance of buying locally and cause community members to consider fair trade.


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