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National Assembly resized 600

Excited to make a 1,700 mile journey across the country to benefit Waynesburg University's Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, two students packed their bags and set out for Albuquerque, N.M., this spring.

 

Molly Winters, a sophomore public relations major from Beaver Falls, Pa., and Brittany Semco, a sophomore public relations and design major from Jamestown, R.I., attended the 2013 PRSSA National Assembly Thursday, April 4, through Sunday, April 7, hoping to bring valuable skills back to Waynesburg's Chapter.

 

The PRSSA National Assembly gathers every year to make influential, long-term decisions about the future of the Society. During this three-day conference, a new National Committee is elected, bylaws of the Society are reviewed and attendees are given the chance to participate in leadership training and networking.

 

Seeing their involvement with the National Assembly as a valuable resource for the Waynesburg Chapter, both Winters and Semco were eager to travel to the conference and experience everything the National Assembly had to offer.

 

“I was very honored to be able to represent Waynesburg University at a national event,” Winters said. “The opportunity left me with valuable ideas that I can share with our Chapter to better it and continue its growth. I made a lot of new friends in Chapters across the country that I can continue to share ideas with throughout the semester.”

 

Winters and Semco currently hold the positions of President and Public Relations Director, respectively, in the Waynesburg PRSSA Chapter, which was designed to enhance the education of public relations students.

 

“We are currently in only our third year as a Chapter, and we have become recognized by the PRSA Pittsburgh Chapter as one of the more aggressive and active Chapters in the region,” said Richard Krause Jr., chair of the department of communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg University's PRSSA.

 




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rp primary wiley resized 600

John F. Wiley, the former Waynesburg University football coach who holds the highest career winning percentage in Waynesburg history, was a fundamental member of the Waynesburg community. In 1995, the late Yellow Jacket coach was forever immortalized on Waynesburg's campus when his moniker was used in the naming of John F. Wiley Stadium.

 

The beloved friend of the University passed away Monday, March 25, at the age of 92, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to inspire.

 

“He was one of the most important people in the development of Waynesburg University over the last century,” said Timothy R. Thyreen. “Without John Wiley, Waynesburg University would not be where it is today.”

 

Wiley grew up on a Greene County farm just along the West Virginia border. He attended Waynesburg University, where he played, and would eventually coach, football. During his time on the Yellow Jacket football team, Wiley played in the first-ever televised football game against Fordham University in 1939. That same season, he earned Little All-American Football honors.

 

In that first televised game, which took place at the New York World's Fair, Wiley kick-started his career with the NHL. Though noticed by a New York team, the talented young football player's plans to join the national league were interrupted by World War II.

 

After returning home from the Army, Wiley played tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1946 to 1950 and served as a scout for the team for a year. He traded his black and gold jersey for a black and orange one in 1951 by returning to Waynesburg University as the tenth football coach in program history.

 

As Waynesburg's head coach, Wiley instilled in his players the same values by which he lived his life. He coached with a smile and with an enthusiastic appreciation for the sport, but never let the game derail his sportsmanship or sense of perspective.

 

“He was more interested in the kids' development in academics,” said Thyreen. “All of his thoughts were on doing what was right; he had a profound sense of rightness.”

 

Thyreen remembers Wiley as a “Waynesburg man,” and said Wiley was the type of man that the University's 1849 founders envisioned students becoming upon graduation.

 

“There was no compromise in his integrity,” said Thyreen. “He was just a rock and steady, and yet he was a gracious gentleman. He would do what was right regardless of the consequences.”

 

Wiley compiled a 22-9-1 record in four seasons as head coach and his .710 winning percentage is the best in University history. He was also the first Waynesburg coach to defeat nearby rival Washington & Jefferson and is still one of only three coaches to accomplish that feat.

 

After his success at Waynesburg, Wiley took an opportunity to coach at another regional university, but his departure wasn't the end of his Waynesburg story: he served on the University Board of Trustees and as the Alumni Association president. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University in 1989.

 

Thyreen, whose leadership has transformed Waynesburg University over the last two decades, said that without Wiley, Waynesburg's return to its original mission of 1849 would not have been possible.

 

“When people would want to put the brakes on [Waynesburg's] transformation, he simply said no. He would say, 'This is who we are and what we are – we are going back to 1849.'”

 

Much has transformed at Waynesburg since Wiley was a student and a coach – the stadium, for one, didn't bear his name back then – but he continued feeling a connection to the Waynesburg University community for his entire life.

 

“The college sure has grown, and it's getting bigger than ever – better than ever, too. I'm just so proud,” Wiley said in a 2009 interview. “My whole family went to Waynesburg; we all think of Waynesburg as home.”


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Stover Scholars resized 600

Waynesburg University's Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership develops leaders to positively impact America's political and social institutions. The Stover Scholars traveled to Washington, D.C. in November 2012 and met six leaders who have had an impact on American society.

 

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Richard L. Thornburgh, Roman Catholic Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Supreme Court litigators Michael Carvin and Gregory Katsas, and economist Richard Rahn provided insights about leadership, law, economics and ethics to the scholars.

 

Commenting on the D.C. trip, Stover Scholar J.R. Kautz said, "I can honestly say this trip has been one of the most influential and notable experiences of my life. I am proud to be a Stover Scholar."

 

During their meeting with former U.S. Justice Department Officials Gregory Katsas and Michael Carvin at the Washington, D.C. office of the Jones Day Law Firm, the largest law firm in the world, both attorneys described their experience and strategy litigating the National Federation of Independent Business's constitutional challenge to Obamacare.

 

The group then visited Cardinal Donald Wuerl at St. Matthew's Cathedral, where Wuerl expressed hope that the Stover Scholars would be leaders of change in the future and urged them to stay connected to America's traditional values and moral foundations.

 

Later, the Scholars met retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice O'Connor told the Stover Scholars that she "worked hard to set a good precedent as the first woman Justice, not a bad one."

 

The Stover Scholars then visited former Chamber of Commerce economist Dr. Richard Rahn, Chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, at the Cato Institute, where he listed the requirements for a prosperous economy.

 

At the National Archives, the Stover Scholars viewed the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

 

The Stover Scholars ended their D.C. trip by meeting former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh at the Metropolitan Club. Thornburgh's remarks about ethics and law drew upon Micah 6:8: "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God."


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Adam Roberge resized 600

Students from a variety of different departments and academic disciplines apply their coursework to individualized research projects, yielding outstanding results and notable opportunities for professional development.

 

Research opportunities abound at Waynesburg University, where students partner with faculty mentors to perform and present intensive research projects at local, regional and national conferences and workshops.

 

Waynesburg University encourages students to present their work by hosting its own Undergraduate Research Symposium each spring, in which Waynesburg undergraduates actively involved with research projects are eligible to showcase their work by displaying a poster or by giving an oral presentation.

 

“Research is a valuable aspect of scholarship, and communication of research is fundamental to the advancement of knowledge,” said Dr. Chad Sethman, the University's coordinator of undergraduate research and an assistant professor of biology.

 

At each stage of their academic careers, Waynesburg students engage in research opportunities that not only develop their expanding portfolios, but also allow them to identify and hone specific research interests. Along the way, many students take an active role in the University's nationally recognized American Chemical Society (ACS) “Outstanding” Chapter and manage monthly labs for homeschooled students and the Cosmetic Chemistry Program offered to local Girl Scout members, among many others community science initiatives.

 

Many students, such as Adam Roberge, a junior chemical engineering major from Elizabethtown, Pa., dive deeper into their academic passions through prestigious internship placements at companies such as Bayer Corporation, the Mayo Clinic, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and most recently, Roberge's work with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN).

 

In the summer 0f 2012, Roberge became one of 80 chosen out of a pool of 800 undergraduate student applicants to conduct research with NNIN, which, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation (NSF), organizes one of the largest and most successful Research for Undergraduate Programs (REU) in nanotechnology. The NNIN REU program affords the opportunity for undergraduate student applicants to perform and gain research experience at one of fourteen nanotechnology facilities across the country each year.

 

With the help of Dr. Evonne Baldauff, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Robert LaCount, professor of chemistry, Roberge claims he was well prepared for the work he conducted in the REU program.

 

“A lot of the chemistry I performed was based on basic principles that Waynesburg's chemistry classes had,” Roberge said.

 

Each student in the program interacted daily with faculty members, graduate assistants and facility staff about his or her individual research project. Roberge's assigned project was to explore the formation of Quantum Dots, or “nanometer sized semiconductors that absorb and emit very specific wavelengths of light,” during a process called aerosol formation.

 

During aerosol formation, a solution is mixed into an atomizer which then sprays the solution into a tube furnace where the quantum dots grow.

 

“My job was twofold: to try and create Quantum Dots of various sizes by altering the temperature of the furnace, and to try and see what would happen to the quantum dots if the ratio of the reactants was altered,” Roberge said.

 

During his time in the REU program, Roberge spent nine weeks at his research site in St. Louis and one week in Washington D.C. for the end of program Research Convocation, where all of the research conducted by interns from the various sites is presented.

 

After graduating from Waynesburg, Roberge plans to attend Washington University of St. Louis to finish his engineering degree. The invaluable opportunity he received in working alongside scientists in their respective fields, he believes, will help him to excel in the completion of his undergraduate degree as well as his future endeavors in graduate school. Ultimately, he hopes to pursue a job where he will have the opportunity to perform corporate research.


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Waynesburg University's students are accustomed to applying classroom concepts to real-world situations and taking learning outside of the classroom. Last month, the University's public relations students took that learning all the way to the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., for the annual Renaissance Awards.

 

The Awards, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Pittsburgh Chapter, showcased top regional public relations talent and awarded practitioners who excelled in the field in 2012. Waynesburg University students worked closely with the chair of the Renaissance Awards to prepare for the notable event.

 

After meeting Dan Ayer, chair of the Renaissance Awards Committee and senior account executive at Gatesman + Dave, at a November 2012 Chapter speaking engagement, Richard Krause, chair of the Department of Communication and Faculty Adviser to the Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) offered the skills of the Chapter.

 

“I told him that we have great students who aspire to work in public relations and take advantage of any opportunities that come their way,” Krause said. “He quickly took advantage of the offer and now our students have this wonderful opportunity.”

 

Ayer coordinated with the students via email and meetings to delegate tasks and track progress. He is grateful for their “outstanding help” and applauds Waynesburg students for their volunteerism and eagerness to learn.

 

“I've had the opportunity to speak at a number of local colleges and universities across the area, but I have yet to come across a group of students positioning themselves for successful careers better than the students who make up the PRSSA Chapter at Waynesburg University,” Ayer said. “The students jump at every opportunity to learn and have exceeded my expectations every time I have interacted with them.”

 

Students arrived at the venue early to set tables with programs and favors, assemble the registration table and assist Ayer and his team with any public relations activities necessary. Mitch Graham, a senior public relations major from Meadville, Pa., worked closely with Ayer to keep a running spreadsheet of registered event guests during the holidays and managed the registration table at the event.

 

“From learning how to conduct myself in a highly professional manner to being able to talk the jargon of the industry effectively, my education and experience at Waynesburg University fully prepared me for the experience,” Graham said.

 

The Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter, a pre-professional organization possessing national membership, recently entered its third chartered year and has approximately 20 dues-paying members. Krause is confident that the Chapter will continue to grow and flourish as it continues to volunteer for events such as the Renaissance Awards.

 

Brittany Semco, a junior public relations and interactive design major from Newport, R.I., served as the event photographer's assistant throughout the evening. She helped pose people for photographs and made introductions for the photographer. She communicated her interest in photography to Ayer and received the personalized responsibility as a result.

 

“I immediately volunteered because I knew it would be an invaluable opportunity to meet public relations professionals and strengthen my skills,” Semco said. “I got to network with so many people there.”

 

Students returned from the event with business cards and contact information from respected public relations professionals, and many were encouraged to apply for summer internships by company representatives they met.

 

“Volunteering at the PRSA Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards is an excellent opportunity for students to get an inside look into the world of event planning and public relations,” Ayer said. “My hope is that each student received a positive experience and was inspired to develop the campaigns and work that will be honored at future PRSA award shows.”

 

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