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Waynesburg University CSI students resized 600

Have you ever watched CSI and thought: “I could do that”?


Have you ever sat in your recliner with a bag of chips, watching the characters uncovering the crime scene, and tried to solve the investigation before the show reveals the ending?
If you answered yes to these questions, then Waynesburg University may be the place to test your abilities.


Earlier this week, four Waynesburg forensic science students accepted the challenge to live out their own CSI moments when they were called by the Maltase Fire Investigation to help investigate the source of a local house fire.


Seniors Stephanie Yocca, Jennifer Miller, Cory Briendel and junior Drew Heinle dug through layers of ashy debris in search of any electrical appliances that could have potentially ignited the flames.


Like the actors in CSI, minus the Hollywood theatricals and glamour, the students sifted through the scene, locating and documenting every appliance they found. Every suspected culprit was then handed off to an electrical engineer for x-rays who will determine whether there were any faulty parts present.


Waynesburg University CSI Students


While the students await the news of whether it was a lamp, toaster, computer or an unidentified device that set the house ablaze, Professor Michael Cipoletti, Assistant Professor and Program Director of Forensic Sciences, claims the real-life experience was invaluable.


“Although the University is good at providing realistic mock scenes on campus with our Crime Scene Investigation Center, we aren't going to set it on fire,” said Cipoletti. “Here the students got to experience an actual scene under difficult, real conditions, and learn from a professional investigator first-hand.”


So next time you find yourself trying to solve the latest crime scene mystery from your couch, think about your future and what you could be doing with your own investigation skills.


Are you up for the challenge?


Tagged in: Forensic Science
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Sarah Markwardt resized 600

With grace and love in her heart, Sarah Markwardt has traveled to Hekima Place, a sanctuary for orphaned girls in Kenya, for one month of every year since 2008. In that time, the girls who call Hekima Place home have grown to cherish their time with the woman who always promises to return.


Since graduating from Waynesburg University in May, the Biblical and Ministry Studies (BMS) alumna from Ohio Pyle, Pa., has taken on a new, full-time role within Hekima Place. Dedicating her entire mind, heart and spirit to their mission, Sarah conducts a training program for new volunteers to prepare them for cross-cultural exchange and completes various financial and fundraising tasks in a job created specifically for her.


“International service has the potential to be extremely fulfilling to all who participate,” Sarah said. “My goal is to prepare new volunteers to work and travel with open minds, ears and hearts while keeping them informed about politics and other cultural realities in Kenya.”


The mission of Hekima Place, to serve the needs of Kenyan girls who are orphaned, primarily by HIV/AIDS, by providing a safe, faith-based, loving home that supports excellence in education and empowerment for their futures, is a mission Sarah has wholeheartedly supported since the moment she met the girls who wanted to love and be loved.


Working from her U.S. home to keep her Kenyan home running smoothly, Sarah serves Hekima Place through PULSE, the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience. PULSE, committed to cultivating a community of young servant leaders to transform Pittsburgh, mentors a new generation of urban leaders who understand and appreciate the importance of the city for the world's future. Sarah lives with a cohort of other PULSE participants working to make positive change in Pittsburgh and beyond.


“My first trip, I didn't know what to expect,” she said. “Of course, half way across the world, there were plenty of things that were different. But I was struck more by how much was the same. Giggling girls who wanted to be loved, moms working hard, men trying to decide what it means to be a man. Kenyan culture is very different from our own, but people are somehow the same, no matter where they are. So I loved them.”

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After posting the top overall record in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) at 9-1 and winning a share of the 2012 PAC title, the Waynesburg University football team took up 17 slots on the 2012 PAC All-Conference Teams. The Yellow Jackets, who finished 7-1 in conference play, boasted a league-high eight first-team honorees, including three on offense, three on defense and two of the three special team spots. Leading the offensive trio was three-time first-team All-PAC honoree Adam Moses at tight end. Joining Moses as first-team offensive picks were junior offensive lineman Rob Kingerski and junior running back Bertrand Ngampa. Waynesburg's threesome of first-team defensive selections featured three-time first-team safety Bryan Gary, a junior. Defensive linemen Matt Krause, a senior, and Brandon Fedorka, a junior, were also lauded as first-team picks. The Jackets nearly swept the three first-team special teams selections as senior punter Zack Rogers and senior kick returner Christian Jackson were given the nod at their respective positions.


Along with Waynesburg's eight first-team nods, three Yellow Jackets were named second-team picks. Those laurels went to senior offensive lineman Conor Brinkhoff, senior linebacker Jordan Helmick and junior kicker Alex Henry.


Six honorable mention selections – Jackson, this time at wide receiver, senior running back Dominic Moore, junior linebacker Ronnie Skinner, sophomore linebacker John Skiora, senior defensive back LaVance Turnage, Jr. and junior defensive back Logan McAnany – completed Waynesburg's awards haul.


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Gracious Shavers

When Waynesburg University sophomore Gracious Shavers was a high school student at Zion Christian Academy in Okinawa, Japan, she often recited a Bible verse at night.


“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”— Matthew 5:14-16
This verse, central to her goals of being a servant to others and bringing glory to the Lord's kingdom, inspired Gracious to act as a light to those in need.


“I will go wherever God calls me,” Gracious said. “I want to love those who aren't loved, care for those who others ignore and bring hope to people who need it the most.”
Gracious, a human services (education) major and international studies minor, dedicated her summer to volunteering with the United Services Organization (USO) in Okinawa, Japan, where she was born and raised.


USO's mission and Gracious' mission were one and the same: to provide a home away from home for U.S. troops and to keep them connected to the families they left behind. The USO's work to support U.S. troops is close to Gracious' heart, as she can recall stopping by the USO's Kadena base with her own family when her father was in the Air Force.
Gracious' personal experience living in Okinawa enabled her to share the island's culture with U.S. troops, having the unique perspective of both a local resident and a past beneficiary of the organization. She worked at the USO's front desk, assisted at social events and put together care packages for deployed soldiers.


As a Bonner Scholar at Waynesburg University, Gracious completes 140 hours of service each semester. She has volunteered with various organizations, including the Eva K. Bowlby Public Library, the Discovery Club, Laughlin Chapel, Produce to People, St. Ann Catholic Church, The Pittsburgh Project, World Vision and Youth in Action.


“The Bonner Program has given me the opportunity to serve in many ways that I would have never had the chance to experience back home in Okinawa,” she said, reflecting on her desire to be a servant to others.


The decision to embark on a new journey at Waynesburg University, separated from her family and everything else she knew, came to Gracious one day before she received her official acceptance into the Bonner Program.


The adjustment to life on another continent has left Gracious stronger in her faith, and her experiences at Waynesburg University have left her more sure of her goals than ever before.


“Out of faith, I picked Waynesburg,” Gracious said. “I had no idea what the school looked like, but somehow I felt as if God wanted me there.”

Tagged in: Japan Student
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Waynesburg University By the Numbers

To get more information about Waynesburg Unversity download our Campus Profile Packet.

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