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b2ap3_thumbnail_Tyler-Dapson-photo-for-SAC-blog.jpgBeing a broadcaster takes diligence, preparation and a lot of practicing; you can’t make it in the business if you don’t know the games.

The Waynesburg University broadcasting camp, run by Lanny Frattare, is a wonderfully delightful and easy way to start your career. The camp shows you basics of the business and the basics of how to announce different sports. This experience is an excellent building block.

I know from my experience that I gained a new aspect on how this business works, how much more I can know, and how much preparation is put into each and every single program, whether it is radio play-by-play for the majors or something like a high school football game. No matter what you do, make it look and sound professional, for that portrays a good image of yourself and gives you practice and experience under your belt.

On the topic of being prepared, I began sweating profusely knowing that I had to do baseball play-by-play at the camp, for I knew I didn't know baseball that well, but I knew the basics. I calmed down after I found out that we weren’t going live, that we had a partner, and that, no matter what, the Waynesburg University broadcasting team and my newly made friends had my back.

Speaking of newly made friends, I came to the camp and instantly couldn’t help thinking, “This is going to be super awkward. I won’t get to know many of these people, and I will probably be a loner, or I will be behind in what I know.” That wasn’t the case. The group I went with was great. We all understood that some of us were new, that some people didn’t watch all sports 24/7 and that we would be friends.

Once I got in my room after stepping out of my parents car, I saw that my roommate wasn’t there. At first, I got a little excited because I thought I would have no roommate, but my roommate showed. Hs name was Tanner Widomski, and Tanner and I ended up spending a lot of time hanging out and talking. He was in the same case as I was—he was new in the broadcasting world. So some nights Tanner and I would look over pages and practice together. I honestly couldn’t ask for a better roommate. He and I were just like brothers.

All of us created a relationship with one another. We all talked sports, we all had our favorites, we all had rivals/ teams we hated, yet we all got along. Sometimes there would be heated discussions, yet we all were friends. My favorite thing about this camp was that I can honestly see these guys and girls going out and being broadcasters and announcers. I bet in as little as 10 years one of these kids will be doing the dream, making it happen.

I'd like to thank Lanny Frattare so much for this experience. Thanks, Lanny, for being a great and wonderful role model. Thank you to all the students, staff and professors who joined Lanny.

That’s the Waynesburg experience. It was unbelievable.

-Tyler Dapson
Munnsville, NY

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-05-12-at-4.27.16-PM.pngAt a time when higher education is under the microscope, studies abound concerning which schools place the highest percentage of students in graduate schools and jobs, which lead to the highest annual income, and the list could continue. Instead of focusing on the names of institutions, however, what about looking into what students actually do during their four years?

A recent Gallup Poll did just that, finding students who “forged meaningful connections with professors or mentors” are the same people “who feel happy and engaged in their jobs [and] are the most productive” as a result.

At Waynesburg University, 93 percent of first-year students and 91 percent of seniors rated their overall experience as “excellent” or “good,” according to the University’s 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results. Additionally, NSSE reported that Waynesburg students talked about career plans with a faculty member 28 percent more than students at other Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) schools.

What exactly does that look like? Mike Cipoletti, Director of the Forensic Science program, said he knows every student in the program, from the freshmen to the seniors—a direct result of the University’s 14:1 student/faculty ratio. Cipoletti said the seniors spend plenty of time in his office, especially close to graduation.

"That’s why most of us are here,” he said. “We come to a small institution like this, so we can have more face time and interaction with the students. It’s not even just on the academic side of things—it’s the personal interactions, too. It’s trying to help these students figure out how to become leaders, how to become service-oriented people, how to give back to their communities, and you know, that’s the best part about it.”

Provost Dr. Jacquelyn Core agrees, citing the University’s commitment to service as another way students and faculty forge close ties with one another.

“When a student is serving right alongside a faculty member, it adds more depth to the relationship, and it’s all about that ability to form relationships,” Core said. “I also think it goes both ways because it helps faculty members to feel more invested in the students, too.”

As the survey undertaken by Gallup—which polled 30,000 graduates of all ages in all 50 states—proved, Waynesburg’s mentor-like approach to teaching, academic advising and career counseling works. And the institution’s 96 percent career path rate (for those still wondering about those buzzwords) further illustrates that point.

Students are not only furthering their education in graduate schools and obtaining jobs in their respective fields, they are excelling in whatever path they choose.

Take Ryan Devlin, for example. A 2007 Waynesburg alumnus, Devlin received the honor of Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year” and also became a finalist for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. He, too, cites the holistic approach to a Waynesburg education as a major factor in his success.

“[Waynesburg is] just a great place where everyone is a mentor to you, and it’s not just about having a great college professor—it’s about everyone here,” Devlin said. “One of the things that’s really unique about Waynesburg University is that it really educates the entire student.”

Part of how the University “educates the entire student,” as Devlin put it, is through the school’s liberal arts philosophy. Core, in her role as Provost, is of the opinion that this approach to education is simply invaluable.

“I truly believe that you cannot put a price tag on the type of well-rounded person you can become through a liberal arts education,” Core said. “It’s really easy outside of a liberal arts background to get pigeon-holed in your field of study. You may become an expert in that field but not get the background needed to become a good citizen in all parts of society, whether that is servant leadership, environmental stewardship or whatever that might be. I think there’s a level of knowledge with a liberal arts education that makes you more conversant in a wider range of societal issues.”

For those still interested in a few of those buzzwords and rankings mentioned above, check out http://www.waynesburg.edu/ranking to learn more about Waynesburg’s recent distinctions.

 

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Dear fellow parent,

As we jot down these rambling thoughts, the calendar has turned to May 1. In many parts of the world, it is a day of celebration. We celebrate the rule of law in our beloved country, while others celebrate military might, but in America it has another unique meaning if you are the parent of a high school senior. It is Deposit Day! A day your son or daughter commits their enthusiasm, intellect, and more than a little of the family bank account to an institution of higher learning. 

As we initial that check, we parents reflect on the joys and tribulations that preceded this day…from trying to get the volcano just right for the elementary school science fair, to chaperoning the junior high dance, to faithfully making another batch of cupcakes—usually at the last minute—for today’s PTA bake sale. We also spent a lot of time waiting. We waited patiently for soccer and marching band practice to end, we waited outside the SAT center on a chilly Saturday morning, we waited to hear footsteps a little late on a Saturday night, and we waited for the letter in the big envelope that joyously announced that one period of waiting was over and that the Waynesburg University family would be welcoming a new addition to its campus come September. We hug our sons and daughters, call for the extra-large pizza, phone Grandma, wipe away a tear, offer a prayer of thanksgiving and of course, order the sweatshirt!

Once the euphoria passes, which it does all too quickly, the adult in us begins to hear the voices, the ones with all the questions. Did we make the right choice in Waynesburg? Can we afford it? Will our children be as cherished far from home as they have been in the confines of our home, congregation and high school?

Take it from us; the answer is a resounding YES! Yes, you did make the right choice spiritually, academically and financially. Our son is days away from finishing his freshman year. He has grown physically (when did he get taller than his father?), and he has been nurtured through challenging times by caring professors, coaches, mentors and a community of other young people who embraced him, cried with him, prayed with him and refused to let him falter. He has challenged his faith and found it worthy. He has learned that he has a lot more to learn both in and out of the classroom. He has grown from a wide-eyed, nervous freshman who found himself seven hours from home into a more self-confident young man of integrity and hope. His mother and I do continue to wait, to see what God has in store for him next year.

Congratulations, parents. Celebrate your children, and celebrate the learning, loving and caring community that is Waynesburg University.

Go, Jackets!

Jim and MaryAnn Simmons

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 “Why faith?” I heard some of my classmates ask towards the end of class. “Why not focus more on learning instead?”

I sat quietly in the corner of the room listening to the conversation between my classmates, and realized I had never really thought much about it before. Waynesburg University and faith had always gone hand-in-hand for me. It’s one of the many reasons I chose this school. But what is it that makes faith such an important element to a Christian campus like Waynesburg? That’s what my classmates wanted to know, and that was the question that kept drumming through my head for the rest of the day.

As my classmates began packing their things, quickly transitioning into various other conversations, I remained silent, thinking. Even as I exited the room, my thumbs hooked through the straps of my book bag, the question kept presenting itself to me. Why faith?

When I reflect back on my college career I remember weekly Chapel services, Sunday night student-led worship services, heart-to-hearts with professors—all things that have influenced my experience at Waynesburg. Everything I have learned throughout my four years here has somehow referenced back to my faith, causing me to grow in ways I never imagined I could.

So, why is faith so important? In my own words, this is what I came up with:

  • Faith is the foundation, not only to Waynesburg University, but also in many of our lives—it’s where things began. When we look back at our history, not only as a University, but also as a country, faith was the driving force that got us on our feet, something we proudly fought for and defended. With that foundation, even when the walls shake and crumble, there is always hope for restoration.
  • Faith is a source of joy, hope and love. I know how hard it is not to fall into the selfish, materialistic ways of society. What’s in it for me seems to be the mantra of the world today. Through my experience, this constant push to be perfect only leads to self-destruction, but when we focus our lives on faith instead, we realize just how perfect we are in God’s eyes. It’s not about what we wear, what we look like or how much money we have; it’s about finding ourselves lost in the beautiful, boundless love of Christ. Through faith, we can experience a joyful, hopeful, loving way of life, free of charge.
  • Faith pushes our boundaries. One of the things I have loved and hated most about my faith is that it challenges me to think beyond my reasoning and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Faith is not about being comfortable and it’s certainly not easy, but when we find ourselves wrapped up in it, the end result is nothing short of rewarding. When I find myself questioning anything, including my faith, I find myself learning. This is what makes the pairing of faith and learning together so endearing to me. A well-developed faith often comes through trial and error, much like learning a skill in the classroom. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t, but just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean the answer isn’t out there. Often times it takes patience and a willingness to accept things through a fresh set of eyes.
  • Faith gives us something to look forward to both today and in the future to come. When everything else seems to fall apart, faith is the crutch we are given to help us stand. God wants us to come to Him with our problems. He wants us to know that through Him all things are possible. With Him, nothing can tear us a part. Through our faith, we know God has promised us a future, even as we step into the unknown. This gives me the strength to get out of bed each morning despite my racing anxieties of what the future holds. For, I am a child of God.

 

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Just as March quickly faded into April like the swatches on a color wheel, graduation has become less of a dream and more of a reality. Going to Waynesburg and earning my undergraduate degree has been my life for the last four years—a life I have looked forward to and a life that has shown me I can handle more than I thought. Change is on the horizon and the more I think about it, the more nervous I become.

“What’s next?” people ask.

“I’m not sure,” I respond in honesty. 

It’s no secret to those who know me that I am not someone who embraces change easily. I have the same morning routine no matter the day of the week; I’ve gone to the same church my entire life and lived in the same town; I’ve always done what’s comfortable.

I hear my classmates talk about their plans to go on to graduate school and then get their doctorates. I’m proud of them. Their plans sound so crisp and attractive, but are those same plans for me? 

I’ve sat in my classes trying to absorb everything I can, grasping at each and every word as if they are the last remnants of some sort of ancient colony. I’ve collected those words, organized them and placed them inside a clear glass case in hopes that, one day, I can help future generations learn from and admire them as I did. Even as I go back through everything I have stored in my memory bank, my mind wildly races: am I really ready for this?

Of course you are, God answers. Have I not gotten you this far?

My faith is a constant reminder to me of what’s in store for my future, even when I have no idea where my life is going. There is no question I’m entering a time of change. My life is going to be flipped inside out, washed, pressed and hung to dry, but one thing will always remain the same: the love my Savior has for me.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.." Jeremiah 29: 11

This very verse has gotten me through my entire undergraduate career and is sure to get me through even more as I enter the new stages of my life. Even when the prospects of college, jobs, marriage, kids and a mortgage seemed like distant fairytales, God was preparing my heart for them, watching me transform into the person He wants me to be.

I know this journey is far from over, but with the things I have learned as a student at Waynesburg and in prayer, I also know I have the ability to harness my nerves so God can lead me to the place I’m meant to be.

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