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At the start of the new year, 10 Waynesburg University students will travel to Montego Bay, Jamaica, to serve with Mustard Seed Communities. Led by Anthony Jarrell, a resident director at the University, and Pat Bristor, associate dean of students, the group will serve from Saturday, Dec. 31, through Saturday, Jan. 7.

While in Jamaica, the group will be assisting Mustard Seed Communities by engaging in treatment and activities with children who have disabilities and have been abandoned. The students may also do maintenance work for the facilities there. Jarrell said he is looking forward to helping the organization and also to showing students the value of service.

“My hope for our students is that this trip, as with every University experience, is eye-opening,” said Jarrell. “My hope is that the mission of faith, learning and service comes to life in a way that our students can internalize these commitments to their own lives.”

Students participating in the trip include:

  • Marian Chearney, junior nursing major from Normalville (Connellsville Area Senior High)
  • Ruth Costanza, senior nursing major from Cranberry Township (Home School)
  • Hanna Filapose, junior nursing major from Irwin (Yough Senior High School)
  • Rachel Friend, freshman psychology major from Markleysburg (Uniontown Area Senior High School)
  • Katelyn Hunsicker, senior psychology major from Reading (Muhlenberg High School)
  • Abigail Kingston, junior sociology major from Fombell (Riverside High School)
  • Kirsten Lykens sophomore nursing major from Duncansville (Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School)
  • Kelsey Prough, sophomore sociology major from Altoona (Altoona Area Senior High School)
  • Nicole Romero, senior biology major from Cudahy, Calif. (King Drew Magnet High School)
  • Amy Smith, senior biology secondary education major from Fairlawn, Ohio (Copley High School)

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

 

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Nine Waynesburg University students will travel to the island of Bonaire in the Netherland Antilles from Saturday, Dec. 31, to Saturday, Jan. 7, to serve with Trans World Radio (TWR). The students, led by Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Chad Sherman and Melinda Rush, a secretary at the University, will assist TWR with their mission of spreading the Word of God to as many people as possible through mass media.

Spending part of their Winter Break in Bonaire, the students will be focused on helping TWR assess their audience for their local FM station so they can learn more about who is listening to their content. The group, which includes several communication majors, will help record content for TWR’s FM station and coordinate social media posts for the year 2017. TWR is also in need of maintenance work around their facilities, which students will also address during the trip.

“[TWR] is very short-staffed and in desperate need of extra hands to complete the smaller tasks that can get in the way of developing a great radio station,” said Sherman. “I hope our help will allow the TWR-Bonaire staff to dedicate more time to their AM broadcast, which is sent out thousands of miles to millions of potential listeners.”

Sherman said he hopes the trip will help students learn more about Christian media ministry and understand the challenges TWR faces due to their location on an island in the Caribbean. Additionally, he believes the service trip is an opportunity for students to learn practical skills they can apply elsewhere.

“That’s the unique thing about this specific trip; it’s very vocational,” said Sherman. “Students get to practice what they’re being taught in the classroom.”

As the participating students live out Waynesburg’s mission of faith, learning and service, Sherman hopes they develop a passion for service and grow in their relationship with God.

Students participating in the trip include:

  • Kimberly Baston, senior communication (journalism) major from North Huntingdon (Norwin Senior High School)
  • Alexis Boudreau, senior digital design major from Milton, Vt. (Milton Junior-Senior High School)
  • Zachary Imbrogno, sophomore with an undeclared major from Pittsburgh (Central Catholic High School)
  • Kathryn Kondrick, junior history major from Cheswick (Fox Chapel Area High School)
  • Nicholas Lies, junior English (creative writing) major from Pittsburgh (Mount Lebanon High School)
  • Brennen McCall, junior communication (electronic media) major from Cabot (Evangel Heights Christian Academy)
  • Shon Meade, junior communication (electronic media) major from Ellwood City (Riverside Junior-Senior High School)
  • Stephanie Rogers, sophomore biblical and ministry studies major from Toms River, N.J. (Toms River High School North)
  • Elaina Spahmer, freshman communication (electronic media) major from Greenville, N.Y. (Greenville High School)

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

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During Waynesburg University’s Winter Break, 11 University students will travel to Nassau, Bahamas and serve at The Nazareth Chapel and Victory Chapel Church of the Nazarene. Led by Dr. Julia Bausman, assistant professor of education, and Kerry Purnell, assistant registrar, the students will serve from Sunday, Jan. 1, to Sunday, Jan. 8.

In previous years, Waynesburg students taught at an inner-city school in Nassau, but the school calendar was altered after a hurricane in the Bahamas in October. Now, University students will work with children at The Nazareth Center and the Victory Chapel teaching reading and writing, math, science, music, art and outdoor games.

Bausman said the goal of the service trip to help local students who struggle academically to get excited about learning and to share with them the love of Christ. The group’s efforts will also serve as outreach to the local community that was affected by the hurricane by illustrating that the Victory Chapel can be a help to the community.

Bausman said she looks forward to watching her students experience a new teaching environment and put to use the skills they’ve gathered at Waynesburg.

“The students have spent many hours planning lessons and activities, and yet know that we will also have to be flexible because things will change as we go into new situations,” said Bausman. “I am hoping that the students will see the importance of service and how their expertise is beneficial in serving others.”

Students participating in the trip include:

  • Melissa Bachorski, senior early childhood education (special education) major from Canonsburg (Canon-McMillan School District)
  • Tori Bailey, junior criminal justice administration major from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Arlington High School)
  • Michaela Callander, sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Parker (Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School)
  • Allie Christopher, sophomore biology secondary education major from Carmichaels (Carmichaels Area School District)
  • Caroline Frye, sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Waynesburg (Home School)
  • Carolena Gasbarro, senior early childhood education (special education) major from Hickory (Fort Cherry High School)
  • Shana Helsley, sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Altoona (Bellwood-Antis School District)
  • Hannah McPeek, freshman middle level education major from McMurray (Peters Township High School)
  • McKenzie Shaffer, sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Pittsburgh (Upper Saint Clair High School)
  • Elizabeth Sible, sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Coraopolis (West Allegheny Senior High School)
  • Joshua Stewart, freshman music ministry major from Waynesburg (Colonel Richardson High School)

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

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During the final week of Winter Break, 30 Waynesburg University students will participate in three international Faith, Learning and Service Immersion trips. Groups will travel to Nassau, Bahamas, the island of Bonaire and Montego Bay, Jamaica, led by University faculty and staff members.

The Nazareth Chapel and Victory Chapel – Nassau, Bahamas

Eleven students, led by Dr. Julia Bausman, assistant professor of education, and Kerry Purnell, assistant registrar, will work with local children in Nassau from Sunday, Jan. 1 through Sunday, Jan. 8. Between the two chapels, the group will be spending their week helping students who struggle academically get excited about learning and sharing the love of Christ.

Trans World Radio – Bonaire

From Saturday, Dec. 31, through Saturday, Jan. 7, nine students will travel to the island of Bonaire to work with Trans World Radio. The organization, which is understaffed, works to spread the Word of God to as many parts of the world as possible, and needs help with social media, recording radio content and facility maintenance. The group of university students will be led by Dr. Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication, and Melinda Rush, secretary at the University.

Mustard Seed Communities – Montego Bay, Jamaica

Anthony Jarrell, resident director, and Pat Bristor, associate dean of students, will lead 10 students on a service trip to Jamaica from Saturday, Dec. 31, through Saturday, Jan. 7. While serving with Mustard Seed Communities, the group will engage in treatment and activities with children who have disabilities and may also help with maintenance.

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

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As her plane touched down again in her home state of New York, Emily Mielcarek watched the clouds and tiny houses whoosh past her plane window. When her feet finally touched American soil, instead of feeling overwhelmed with joy and peace, she immediately felt an empty space in her heart. A desire to turn back around and hop on the next plane flooded her thoughts.

Unfortunately, Mielcarek was forced to leave the airport because her senior year of college was about to begin. Soon after, exams and deadlines would be whooshing by—just like the clouds and tiny houses.

For a moment, she closes her eyes and wants to feel alive again—alive in the sense that she is somewhere else, learning and living in a brand new culture. 

This is a familiar feeling for Mielcarek as an International Studies major at Waynesburg University with minors in both Sociology and Theatre. The feeling of “wanderlust,” or the strong desire to travel, is like a sixth sense to her, which is part of the reason why she chose her specific major—and university.

“I actually chose my major around studying abroad because I do love to travel,” Mielcarek said. “When I chose Waynesburg as my university, I made sure that the International Studies major had a study abroad department. It ended up being required for my degree, so I knew I was destined for Waynesburg.”

Prior to returning to the United States, Mielcarek lived in Northern Ireland for five months, studying and falling head-over-heels in love with the culture during the spring and summer of 2016. During her stay, she got to experience the boisterous and short-tempered civilians, the clamor of the pubs and breweries and the crisp cliffs and Scottish architecture.

While in the UK, Mielcarek also had the opportunity to backpack in Belgium, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and the Netherlands.

Although Mielcarek is technically required to travel for academic purposes, she is a firm believer in everyone getting a chance to see the world for themselves.

“As an International Studies major, I feel it's important to go and experience other cultures, live in the countries and truly immerse yourself,” Mielcarek said. “Full immersion is surrendering yourself to another culture, not comparing it to your own.”

Mielcarek is unique at Waynesburg in that she is currently the only International Studies student. Although this created a few bumps in the road when it came to planning for her study abroad program, she said the faith aspect that Waynesburg University offers has helped her to stay calm amongst the storm.

“If it weren’t for the strong faith foundation at Waynesburg, I don’t know where I’d be,” Mielcarek said. “Through the stress of traveling and planning my trip, it was Waynesburg University that kept me grounded.”

After graduation, Mielcarek intends to get her master’s degree and pursue a career in teaching English as a second language. She also hopes to work with refugees, specifically from Burma and southeast Asia. But hopefully before then, Mielcarek will get another chance to lean her head against the headrest of her seat with her plane ticket in hand—just to watch those clouds and tiny houses whoosh by.

Written by: Mattie Winowitch, sophomore communications (journalism) major

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