b2ap3_thumbnail_McCracken.jpgDr. Helen McCracken joined Waynesburg University as the director of Graduate Programs in Education Monday, Nov.10, 2014. McCracken will coordinate aspects of the Graduate Education Programs including oversight of all degree, certification, endorsement and advanced studies programs, as well as student recruitment, retention and advising.

“We are privileged to make Dr. McCracken a part of our team,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Core, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost of Waynesburg University. “She brings with her a wealth of experience, allowing us to take our graduate education program to new levels.”

McCracken brings to Waynesburg University an impressive background as well as an enthusiasm for Christian higher education. She has extensive experience in secondary K-12 education, serving a number of years in the Canon-McMillan school district, most recently as the superintendent.  

She has also worked as an assistant professor at California University of Pennsylvania in its Department of Secondary Education and Administrative Leadership, both instructing and developing programs.  

She holds a doctorate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and master’s degrees from both Robert Morris University (MBA) and California University of Pennsylvania (M.Ed.). 

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_imagerrrr.jpgWaynesburg University’s Criminal Justice Club participated in the Pittsburgh Polar Bear Plunge at Heinz Field Saturday, Dec. 6, to raise money for Special Olympics. 

Approximately 20 students joined Waynesburg University instructor of criminal justice James Tanda in the plunge. The Criminal Justice Club raised more than $1,500 leading up to the event. This was the second year that the club participated. In two years, the club has raised more than $2,500. 

The Pittsburgh Polar Bear Plunge Weekend is Special Olympics Pennsylvania’s largest fundraiser, grossing more than 1 million dollars during the first four years. Individuals and teams, alongside Special Olympics athletes, take the plunge into the Ohio River on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. 

Student representatives from freshmen to seniors gave up their Saturday to join more than 1,800 other plungers in the freezing rain for the cause. This year, the air temperature was 39 degrees and the water temperature was 38 degrees at the time of the plunge.

“Our goal was to follow the University's mission of service to this very needy cause while also connecting our criminal justice and forensic science students to a network of law enforcement, attorneys, federal agencies and others in the profession,” said Tanda.   “This year's donation will be used to help further the mission of Special Olympics Pennsylvania and help support the more than 20,000 athletes served in the commonwealth.”

According to Tanda, half of the money raised by Waynesburg’s Criminal Justice Club will go directly to Greene County's Special Olympics program, which Waynesburg's Criminal Justice Club resurrected last year.

Tanda has plunged every year since the event’s inception - both as an agent with his former federal agency - and now leading Waynesburg's involvement in the service project.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgThe Waynesburg University American Chemical Society chapter (ACS) was instrumental in planning undergraduate programming at the recent ACS Central Eastern Regional Meeting (CERM) held Wednesday, Oct. 29, through Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Doubletree Hotel in Greentree, Pa.

“Planning all of the undergraduate programming for CERM 2014 was a great opportunity for our ACS chapter,” said Evonne Baldauff, chairperson for the chemistry and forensic science department and associate professor of chemistry at Waynesburg University. “Our students were instrumental in designing, organizing and implementing all of the undergraduate events during this meeting.”  

Prior to the event, the ACS chapter wrote a grant and was awarded $2,800 from the ACS undergraduate office. The monetary award was used to plan and fund the meeting.

Five sessions were offered for students during Friday’s event including an undergraduate research poster session, a networking and resume luncheon, a workshop on how to be a successful student chapter, a keynote speaker and a social event for the students. 

“This proved to be a significant amount of work, yet the results were worth the effort,” Baldauff said. “The activities were successful and well-attended by undergraduates from a wide representation of colleges and universities in the region.  We are very pleased with the overall experience.”

Waynesburg University students involved in planning CERM 2014: 

•Andrew Heinle, a senior forensic science major from Brackenridge (Highlands High School)

•Cassie Gates, a junior chemistry major from Penn Hills (Penn Hills Senior High School)

•Chrissy Kaste, a senior forensic science major from Waynesburg (Phoenixville Area High School)

•Corey Rugh, a senior biology major from Smithfield (Albert Gallatin Area Senior High School)

•Dylan Matt, a junior forensic science major from Springfield, Ohio (Home schooled)

•Grant Strouse, a junior chemistry major from Millersburg, Ohio (West Holmes High School)

•Mackenzie Hammer, a junior chemistry major from McKees Rocks (Montour High School)

•Marlana Pratt, a junior biology major from Mapleville, R.I. (Burrillville High School)

•Nicolas Frazee, a senior mathematics major from New Kensington (Saint Joseph High School)

•Tara Faggioli, a senior chemistry major from Jefferson Hills (Thomas Jefferson High School)

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgThe first annual John C. Knox Writing Contest was held Sat., Nov. 1 at 9:30 a.m. on the campus of Waynesburg University under the director of Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of Communication at Waynesburg University. The contest was free and open to high school students in grades 10 to 12 within the tri-state area interested in writing or journalism. The Observer Publishing Company sponsored this event. Cash prizes were awarded to the winners.

Following registration, students were welcomed and given instructions, followed by an hour-long news conference with Lanny Frattare, former Pittsburgh Pirates announcer and assistant professor of communication at Waynesburg University. The students then had a two-hour session to write a feature article based on that information. 

The students’ articles were judged by local newspaper journalists and editors from the Observer-Reporter as well as members of Waynesburg University's Department of Communication and the University's student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

The winners are as follows:

•First-place winner: Joseph Wilkinson of Pittsburgh, senior at Mt. Lebanon High School

•Second-place winner: Alex McCann of Freedom, senior at Eden Christian Academy

•Third-place winner: Katie Siple of Spring Grove, senior at York Catholic High School

The winners showed praiseworthy examples of a journalistic feature article. The first-place winner received $500 and his article will be published in the award-winning Waynesburg University student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket. Second-place received $300 and third-place, $200. All participants were awarded a t-shirt.

“It was a very tough task to choose the winners,” said Szuminsky. “The quality of work these students produced is very impressive. It was encouraging to see so many young people committed to journalism and quality writing. We hope all the participants continue this commitment throughout their high school career and into college and beyond.”

Next year’s John C. Knox Writing Contest will be held in Fall 2015. 

For more information, contact Brandon Szuminsky at 724-852-3427 or email bszumins@waynesburg.edu.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgWaynesburg University’s American Chemical Society (ACS) student chapter was recently selected to receive the “Outstanding Chapter Award” from the American Chemical Society for the fifth consecutive year. The award is a result of the chapter’s activities conducted during the 2012-13 academic year. 

More than 400 student chapter annual activity reports were reviewed by the Society Committee on Education (SOCED). As a result of the reports, 280 awards were given, including 44 “Outstanding,” 85 “Commendable,” and 151 “Honorable Mention” awards. Waynesburg University was one of only 44 chapters selected to receive the “Outstanding Award.”

Under the direction of Dr. Robert LaCount, professor emeritus of chemistry at Waynesburg University, and Dr. Evonne Baldauff, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry at Waynesburg University, the ACS student chapter was highly involved in campus and community outreach activities throughout the year such as monthly labs for homeschooled students, a Haunted Lab open to the campus and local community and the Food Chemistry and Green Chemistry programs offered to local Girl Scout members, among many others. 

Student chapter members also provide service to the department, work to foster community within the group through social events offered throughout the academic year, and participate in National Chemistry Week including volunteering at ChemFest at the Carnegie Science Center and hosting the Periodic Table of Cupcakes on campus. 

The congratulatory letter from ACS President Tom Barton read as follows: “Professors Evonne Baldauff and Robert LaCount, faculty advisors of the chapter, deserve special commendation. Few faculty members are willing to make the great commitment of time and energy that a successful chapter requires. Professor Baldauff and Professor LaCount’s efforts certainly represent the best in undergraduate science education and mentoring around the country. We extend our warmest congratulations to the students and Professors Baldauff and LaCount for setting such a fine example for other chapters and being exemplary chemistry ambassadors!”

For more information, contact Baldauff at 724-852-3617.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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