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b2ap3_thumbnail_StoverLogo_WU.jpgWaynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership will present “Steeling and Dealing: President Truman’s Seizure of the Steel Mills,” Thursday, Sept. 15, at noon in the University’s Goodwin Performing Arts Center. The admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Written by Stover Scholars Andrew J. Stanko, Olivia Schultz-Falandes and Tyler McCoy, “Steeling and Dealing” dramatizes the landmark 1952 Supreme Court case, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer.

The production portrays President Truman’s decision to seize the nation’s steel mills during the Korean Conflict and the political and legal drama that ensued, leading up to the U.S. Supreme Court’s six to three ruling that Truman overstepped constitutional limits on executive power.

The play re-enacts the Supreme Court justices’ reactions to Truman’s actions and demonstrates how the case has shaped legal discourse relating to executive authority in times of both war and peace ever since.

“I am excited that the Stover Scholars conceived this drama of President Truman’s seizure of the Steel Mills during the Korean Conflict and the Supreme Courts’ decision to stop him,” said Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, director of the Stover Center and assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law. “The Steel Seizure Case is the constitutional touchstone to address the limits on presidential power.”

Dr. Stratton also noted that the production is relevant in today’s political climate.

“The Stover Scholars portray this story in a compelling manner, which will resonate with students of all ages,” added Dr. Stratton. “The play underscores the importance of the separation of powers to preserve our liberties.”

Edward L. Powers, professor of theater at Waynesburg University, will direct the production. The performance is sponsored by the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

The cast list includes:

  • Aide – Christine Dawson, a sophomore nursing major from Wexford, PA
  • Top Advisor – Joanna Scott, a junior nursing major from Greencastle, PA
  • President Truman – John Wicker a senior, marketing major from Waynesburg, PA
  • Philip Perlman – Daniel Kephart, a sophomore history and English literature major from Washington, PA
  • Reporter – Olivia Schultz-Falandes, a sophomore political science and history major from North Adams, MA
  • Clarence Randall – Brandon VanTine a senior political science major from New Kensington, PA
  • Mrs. Henry – Elizabeth Trump a sophomore biology (pre-med) major from Fairchance, PA
  • Mr. Henry – Timothy DeNofrio, a freshman sociology (pre-law) major from Altoona, PA
  • Judge Pine – Vincent Morrow a junior biology (pre-med) major from Waynesburg, PA
  • Mr. Bromley – Harrison Scott a freshman biochemistry major from Greencastle, PA
  • Mr. Kiendl – Ryan Schwertfeger a senior communication major from Oakland, NJ
  • Mr. Baldridge – Andrew Stanko a senior sports broadcasting/sports information major from Lewisburg, PA
  • John Davis – Tyler McCoy a sophomore history major from Jamestown, OH
  • Justice Burton – Katherine McGonigal a freshman finance major from Wheeling, WV
  • Justice Jackson – Nicholas Cordova a junior political science major from Youngstown, OH
  • Chief Justice Vinson – Brendan Keany a senior communication major from East Aurora, NY
  • Justice Black – Micah Stanko a sophomore political science major from Clarksville, PA
  • Justice Clark – Fridolin Firsching, a Stover Intern from Munich, Germany

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or

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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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Recent biology graduate Andrya Durr knew that she wanted to pursue a career in biology from the time she was in seventh grade.

With a passion for medicine, Durr wants to dedicate her life to helping people with their health issues because of what she has experienced in her own life.

“My mother has a combination of Addison’s disease and Fibromyalgia,” she said. “My long-term goal is to find an effective, steroid-free treatment for Addison’s patients.”

Accepted into the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program at West Virginia University for the fall of 2016, she will be conducting research in four-week lab rotations that will expose her to different types of experiments, ultimately selecting a specific lab and research project for her program.

As a student at Waynesburg, Durr said she was prepared with the knowledge that she needed to further her education in biology. Durr credits the research requirement for allowing her to prepare and run her own experiments. She also recognizes her professors for helping her decide what she wanted to pursue after completing her undergraduate degree.

Dr. Chad Sethman was Durr’s mentor throughout her four years at Waynesburg and was always available to answer questions and provide assistance. Durr’s research mentor was Dr. Wayne Rossiter, whom she speaks very highly of as well.

“When I started my research project, I was preparing for medical school, but once I completed my first semester with [Dr. Rossiter], I cancelled my Medical College Admission Test, signed up for the Graduate Record Examinations and applied to the research program at West Virginia University,” said Durr.

In the research field, it is of utmost importance to work with integrity, which Durr said she learned at Waynesburg.

“My education at Waynesburg has made me more honest and humble as a person,” said Durr. “It has always been difficult for people to combine faith and science, but Waynesburg helped me to do it perfectly.”

Durr said that she has wanted to create positive change for people her entire life, and through the biomedical sciences program, she is going to have a career she is proud of, but most importantly, she will be doing work that serves others.

“Waynesburg shaped me as a person by encouraging me to explore and to never be afraid of taking chances,” said Durr. “If you always do what makes you comfortable, you’ll never see your full potential.”

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Recent graduate Hanna Megna’s next step is to further her education in the nation’s capital.

On Aug. 29, 2016, Megna will begin earning her Master of Arts degree in contemporary English literature at George Washington University in Washington District of Columbia.

Excited and ready for her next level of study, Megna is looking forward to examining literature on a theoretical level with her professors. As she reflects back on her time at Waynesburg, Megna praises the value of the education she received at the university.

“The classes Dr. Jamie Dessart offers on theory have given me a really great base of knowledge,” said Megna. “I will be able to go into my graduate level classes with a working knowledge of concepts that my peers will only just be starting to acknowledge.”

Dr. Dessart encouraged Megna to submit a research paper to the National Pop Culture and American Culture Association’s annual conference. Megna said that the research for the paper was “both exhausting and exhilarating.” After submitting the paper, Megna was accepted to present her work in Seattle, which gave her the confirmation that this was part of God’s plan for her life. Additionally, she knew that pursuing her master’s degree was the next step in His plan.

During her time at Waynesburg, Megna said that she was able to grow because of the people that surrounded her. She was able to be independent in an environment that cared about her well-being.

“I was living on my own, but the faculty around me cared about me as a person and were always there when I needed advice,” said Megna. “I was making my own choices, but I had the input of those who had years of wisdom and knowledge.”

Megna worked at the Writing Center on campus with Jill Sunday and had independent study courses with Dr. Dessart that helped her not only gain knowledge, but also an understanding of how to apply her knowledge to both her class texts and everyday life. Megna said that she would not be where she is in her life without those two extraordinary women.

Megna furthered her knowledge outside of the classroom by being the treasurer and the president of Sigma Tau Delta during her time at Waynesburg. She credits the honor society as a great chance to be around like-minded individuals and be able to plan events that incorporated the entire department.

Looking into the future, Megna’s goal is to teach creative writing and contemporary literature at the collegiate level.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Austin-Anderson-2.jpgAs the crowds roar loudly, you will find Austin Anderson providing the play-by-play for the games of the Chicago Bandits professional softball team. This summer, the sports broadcasting/sports information major is working as an announcer and sales intern for the Chicago Bandits.

A portion of his internship includes making sales calls to local businesses, selling tickets and taking on other office operation duties. Austin said this part of his day was the most challenging.

“Making cold sales calls is challenging; it’s the first time I’ve done that,” he said. “But that’s a good thing because many of the entry level broadcasting jobs include sales work.”

The latter half of his work day is where Austin shines. With each play of the game, he announces the live broadcast of the Chicago Bandits’ games. Anderson rotates between the roles of associate announcer, interviewer and play-by-play announcer.

“Being able to call games for a team on a consistent basis is great; I haven’t had that experience before,” Anderson said.

Anderson credits his classes at Waynesburg with preparing him for his internship. Sports Announcing I and II gave him the experience he needed and Sports Information and Management helped him see how a franchise operates.

“For this internship, WCTV, WCYJ, WUSN and have been the most beneficial,” he said.

Anderson said the Department of Communication taught him about what it means to be a broadcaster. He also noted that professionalism and preparation are the two most important skills he has learned from his professors at Waynesburg.

Over the past few years, Anderson said that he has been a sponge while learning from Lanny Frattare, who has had a very successful career in the sports broadcasting industry. Additionally, Richard Krause, assistant professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, has taught him about professionalism and what is expected of him in the field.

In July, Anderson was the lead play-by-play announcer.

“This was a huge opportunity for me, as I was the main announcer for 10 of the 14 innings during two games,” he said. “I was in charge of running the pre-game show and the [games]. Those were the two most important games of the summer for me.”

Anderson is taking the skills he has been taught at Waynesburg into the field of announcing, where he is applying what he knows while continually adapting to his surroundings.

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