Waynesburg’s Wilson receives PennACE JoAnne Day Student of the Year award

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Waynesburg University senior chemistry major Kristen Wilson, from Washington, Pennsylvania, was recently selected as the recipient of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers (PennACE) 2016 JoAnne Day Student of the Year award in the Technical Category.

Wilson earned the award based upon her participation in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this past summer at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota, where she conducted chemistry education research. She studied under the direction of Dr. James Nyachwaya, assistant professor of chemistry education.

“I worked on analyzing how well students can make connections between different contexts by using their content-specific knowledge,” said Wilson.

Additionally, she had to submit a current resume, a paper describing how she and her university have benefited from the REU and letters of recommendation.

Wilson considers winning the award as “extremely unique.” It will provide for her another way to stick out from the crowd and be more competitive as she applies for jobs.

PennACE annually recognizes undergraduate students enrolled in member institutions who have completed an internship or co-op assignment. Students enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program select one of the three categories that best represents their field: Technical Award, Liberal Arts Award or Business Award.

Wilson will receive a plaque and $250 in the spring. She will also be recognized at PennACE’s 2017 Annual Conference at Pennsylvania State University in April 2017 and be featured on their website.

She credits her success to the entire Chemistry Department at Waynesburg University.

“All of the chemistry professors had been encouraging me to apply for REUs and they helped me through the entire process,” said Wilson. “Dr. Baldauff has been a very large credit to my success as she has been so encouraging and helpful to my success.”

Wilson will graduate from Waynesburg in the spring. She has yet to decide whether she will apply for a high school chemistry teacher position or pursue graduate school for chemistry education research.

“I had never considered graduate school until after the research this summer, but I loved it so much I may want to continue with my education,” said Wilson.

Read more about Wilson’s internship experience by visiting our website: http://www.waynesburg.edu/blog/internship-spotlight-kristen-wilson.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu