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b2ap3_thumbnail_Science_Day_2015_6_of_11.jpgEvonne Baldauff
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Forensic Science

What started as a split appointment between Waynesburg University and a local tech company, Evonne can hardly believe how the time has flown 9 years later. You can often find her in the glass hallway on the 5th floor of the recently-renovated Stewart Science Center, enjoying the opportunity to hang out with students and talk chemistry.

What's your favorite spot on campus?

We have a lab in Stewart Hall on the 5th floor with huge windows that has a fantastic view of Greene County. It is particularly beautiful on dark, stormy days!

Tell us something we may not know about your job at WU.

I research coffee! We have been collaborating with a local roaster in Pittsburgh to try to help develop a set of metrics that will allow a barista to know if their beans are good for brewing. Specifically, what is happening chemically to the beans once they have been roasted that will yield a really great cup of coffee vs. a mediocre flavor? Using our instrumentation, we have been working to identify what is happening in the beans compared with the flavor of the produced coffee. My students presented some of this information at a recent conference. It's a great project because we can potentially make a real impact and we get to drink a lot of coffee!

What's your favorite annual event?

The Haunted Lab, which is hosted by our ACS Student Chapter [of which Evonne is the advisor]. It is a service event open to campus and community that aims to get people interested in chemistry. It is a ton of work to set up, but a lot of fun. As my son has gotten older he has really begun to enjoy it more, which I absolutely love.

What's your most memorable WU moment?

For Christmas last year, my department members surprised me with a group picture. They posed as a Christmas tree complete with tinsel, Santa hats and reindeer noses in front of a Periodic Table. I can't help but laugh whenever I look at it. I think they had a lot of fun taking it too!

How has WU changed in the time you have worked here?

The renovation of Stewart Hall has been a huge change, as that is where I predominantly spend my days! The new labs are beautiful and provide a fantastic teaching environment!

BONUS: What does Homecoming at WU mean to you?

Because I am SO bad at keeping up with social media, Homecoming provides a hopeful opportunity for me to reconnect with former students and to learn what they are doing with their degrees!

To learn more about Evonne and the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science, click here!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_carrie.pngCarrie McAfee
Senior Designer for University Relations

Since 2013, Carrie has been responsible for designing all marketing and publications for Waynesburg University, including the Annual Report, The Lamp and Unscripted. She can be found on the second floor of Miller Hall in the Office of University Relations.

How did you end up at Waynesburg University?

I have always wanted to combine my love for design with my faith - to love what I do everyday while serving God. I believe He opened a pathway for me to do so and pointed me in WU's direction.

What's your favorite spot on campus?

I would have to say Johnson Commons - it's peaceful but full of energy at the same time!

What's your favorite fun fact about WU?

I love the fingerprints in the bricks of Miller Hall and the story behind them. The fact that the students were so devoted to the school that they hand-crafted bricks inspires me. The building is our students' work of art.

Tell us something we may not know about your job at WU.

A lot of design work relies on problem solving and psychology. A lot of thought is put into the layout, photography, color usage and messaging. In that respect, I am very fortunate to design for a University that has a rich history, beautiful campus and an impressive student body.

What's your favorite part of a new academic year?

I always enjoy getting new student workers who bring fresh ideas for projects with them!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_szuminsky.pngBrandon Szuminsky (’05, '09)
Instructor of Communication and Advisor of The Yellow Jacket student newspaper

Brandon is the faculty lead for the journalism program in the Department of Communication, where he also teaches media studies and research courses. He works with students to produce the award-winning student newspaper and advises the campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He can usually be found in his office at 413 Buhl Hall or the newspaper office.

How did you end up at Waynesburg University?

I came to campus as a Communication major in fall of 2001 because I was blown away by the quality of the COM programs. While I was here I fell in love with journalism and led the student newspaper for a few years. I also met the woman of my dreams (in a COM class no less!). After graduation, I spent several years working for local newspapers before returning in 2008 when I had a chance to try out a night class in the English Department. Teaching was never something I had intended on doing but I immediately fell in love. Shortly thereafter, I started working on my PhD and was lucky enough to be hired full-time in the Department of Communication, giving me a chance to again be a part of the programs that helped shape my life.

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I should say the newspaper office, or my classrooms… but I’ll be sappy and say the classroom Buhl 316, because that’s where, during freshman year, I first met my future wife.

What’s your favorite fun fact about WU?

The student newspaper was called The Yellow Jacket before many of the sports teams had the moniker.  When Prexie Stewart became president the college paper was renamed The Yellow Jacket (from The Collegian) and then the name was adopted by all the teams.

What’s your most memorable WU moment?

Helping lead the Guatemala service trip for the first time. It was my first experience with international service and it profoundly changed my worldview. 

What’s your favorite annual event?

Nothing beats Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s just so enjoyable to see so much of the campus community in one place and get a chance to flip the roles a bit and serve the students. Plus, turkey and stuffing!

BONUS: What’s your biggest challenge?

Trying to get freshmen to spell my last name correctly!

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Ferd Dolfi ('84)
Data Processor for Institutional Advancement

Ferd has been employed by Waynesburg University going on 33 years, as he was hired as a WU senior on April 23, 1984. You can find him on the second floor of Miller Hall (Room 201) in the Office of Institutional Advancement, where he maintains the database for all alumni, friends and donors of WU while reporting data for events and gatherings.

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What’s your favorite spot on campus? 

I love the aerial view from the 3rd floor balcony in Stover [Campus Center] and the way you can overlook the entire campus.

What’s your favorite annual WU event?

Homecoming! Everybody comes back and I get to see people I haven’t seen in a long time – it’s such a fun day!

What’s your most memorable WU moment?

When I was asked to play the piano at the Robert’s Chapel Dedication – it was such an honor!

What makes WU a special place to work?

All the different mixes of people and different cultures coming together at the University in such a small town is so interesting to me. 

What do you consider the most special or unique part of your job? 

I really enjoy researching old alumni information and the history of the University. I remember when they found the time capsule when Stewart Science Hall was being renovated – I could really relate to some of the things they found because I knew the history behind them.

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In April 2015, Mackenna Drazich, a sophomore public relations major, attended a health fair at Waynesburg University, not knowing that it would forever change both her life and someone else’s.

At the fair, which was held in conjunction with the football team’s annual “Be the Match” event, Drazich signed up for the National Bone Marrow Registry. The hope is to find a match for patients that are in need of a bone marrow transplant.

Several months after joining the registry, Drazich received a phone call saying she was a potential match. After receiving the news, Drazich went through further testing, and was soon notified that she was indeed a match.

“I had mixed feelings about having some pain and having surgery for the first time in my life, but it was still the easiest decision of my life,” Drazich said. “I was going to save this person’s life.”

Drazich went through a number of tests to ensure that she was the best match for the recipient. The bone marrow was extracted from the hipbones through the lower back.

“The surgery went great,” said Drazich. “I walked around very slowly for the next couple of days and got tired easily.”

In a month’s time, Drazich’s bone marrow will regenerate, and she said she felt about 75 percent of her normal self at ten-days post surgery.

“I am forever changed and humbled to be chosen to do such a thing,” added Drazich. “I give credit to my mom for instilling me with a love to do God’s work in serving others.”

The recipient is a woman with Leukemia, and after she receives the bone marrow, she and Drazich will essentially have identical immune systems. The recipient will undergo intense chemotherapy, in hopes that her body will accept Drazich’s bone marrow.

This was the second annual Be the Match drive hosted by Waynesburg University football team. Be the Match On Campus is a national program that encourages college- age students to have recruitment drives for the National Marrow Donor Program. The event educates students on Be the Match’s mission to help patients get the transplant they need to save their life.

The football team’s event successfully registered 163 students.

Visit bethematch.org for more information or to sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program.

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