b2ap3_thumbnail_Digiandomenico_Kyle_6.JPGFor his passion for service, Waynesburg University awarded Kyle Digiandomenico the prestigious Bonner Scholarship as an incoming freshman. Now three years later, the junior psychology major credits the scholarship for not only allowing him to become a better servant leader, but also for helping to earn him a summer 2013 internship at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic.  

“I used many techniques I learned in my psychology classes,” Digiandomenico said. “But without experience from many of the sites I serve at through the Bonner Scholar Program, I would not have been equipped to pursue the internship.”

Waynesburg is one of only 23 higher education institutions in the nation to award the Bonner Scholarship, which offers scholarships to approximately 15 incoming scholars each year. The scholarship requires awardees to perform eight to 10 hours of community service each week, as well as two summers dedicated to serving. 

For Digiandomenico, a summer at the Clinic counted toward the Bonner Scholar Program’s summer service requirement, while also fitting within his academic pursuits. According to Evan Kephart, the Interim Coordinator of the Bonner Scholar Program, Digiandomenico embodies what Waynesburg University means by “service learning.” 

“There is a huge difference between service and service learning,” Kephart, a former Waynesburg University Bonner Scholar himself, said. “When a student is able to serve within their selected field of study, they are able to take the knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom and bring them to bear in solving social or environmental issues. That is what makes Kyle's situation so significant; he was able to use his classroom learning to serve kids at a higher level, which is exactly what the Bonner Program is about.”

Digiandomenico said that working with children and understanding the concepts from his psychology courses prepared him for work as an undergraduate group counselor at the Clinic. He worked with Cleveland Clinic’s Summer Treatment Program for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to help modify behaviors, develop problem solving skills and enable them to take control of their behavior.  

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. The Summer Treatment Program (STP) is a seven-week behavior modification program that helps children, adolescents and their families learn to manage ADHD. 

“I was assigned two specific children from our group of 10,” Digiandomenico said. “I created individual goals, requirements and plans for them. I was responsible for labeling the negative behaviors, documenting them on a chart and creating goals that we tailored to the specific frequency of negative behaviors.” 

As a part-time basketball coach for the Clinic, he worked to develop positive social interactions between the children in the classroom, a typical setting and an athletic setting. He also hosted daily therapy sessions for the children during which they could discuss anything they wanted. 

“My favorite part was getting to know the children on a deeper level,” Digiandomenico said. “It was a great experience to understand what the children were struggling with at that point in their lives and it was so exciting to work with them one on one to come up with skills to solve those problems.”

Digiandomenico relied on his faith, developed in the heart and nurtured at Waynesburg University, to step outside of his comfort zone and apply for an internship with young people experiencing ADHD. 

“It was very challenging to work with attention deficient children, but I gained a new understanding of patience and problem solving skills,” he said. “I had learned the techniques in class, I had served several populations and I was discovering God’s will for me. Serving at the Clinic was an opportunity for me to tie all three aspects of my life together in real practice.” 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Melissa-Yoder-resized.jpgAs a student worker in the Career Services Office at Waynesburg University, Melissa Yoder saw plenty of internship postings land on her desk. She posted them, promoted them, filed them and, for one in particular, applied. In the spring of 2013, the senior finance major noticed an open position at Jacobs Petroleum Products, Inc. in Waynesburg, Pa., and pursued the internship. 

From her first interview with the company, Yoder was impressed. She knew that she could learn quite a bit about business from the local start-up specializing in on-site delivery to drilling sites in the tri-state area. They, too, were so impressed with her interview and resume that they hired her for the summer and fall of 2013. 

Yoder, who serves as the secretary for both the Student Investment Club and EnActUS, the Waynesburg University business club, enjoyed the family-owned atmosphere and learning from her supervisors in a meeting setting. 

“As a finance major, sitting in on the credit meetings gave me a better look at some finance-related issues that will help me in my future,” Yoder said. “I also was able to sit in on a few management meetings which gave me a better insight on how a small family owned business is run.” 

She felt most challenged by the jargon and lingo related to the oil industry, but learned how to communicate about the company and its operations. 

“Fuel isn’t known as just fuel in this business,” Yoder said. “Since I was entering billing information, I had to learn the different types of fuel and what they can be referred to, the numbers that corresponded with them, all of the numbers for the trucks owned by Jacobs and the account numbers for all of the businesses and individuals we provide with fuel.”

With so many numbers to track, calculate and record, Yoder employed the knowledge gained in her classes at Waynesburg University. She also managed her time well due to experience in extra-curricular activities on campus. 

“Having a business computer class is probably what helped me the most,” Yoder said. “I was able to put anything they wanted into a spreadsheet on excel or quickly format a letter to fit on letterhead.  Being the president of Habitat and involvement in other clubs helped me to manage many different tasks and responsibilities.” 

She also took time to remind herself daily of “not only the University she was representing, but also God” and His wishes for her. 

“It was important for me to keep my testimony and try to show my coworkers what a student from a Christian University should act like,” Yoder said. “I can definitely say I know how to handle myself in a work environment now. I have seen myself grow to be a more independent person.”

 

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Hoping to maximize her internship experience, Kaitlin Oliver, a senior nursing major at Waynesburg University, thoughtfully considered where she might develop the most expertise during the summer of 2013. At her interview for a prestigious student nurse intern position at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Oliver was asked to choose two departments in which she wanted to work. 

“At the time, I had no idea which to select, so I asked the supervisor on which floors she thought I would learn the most,” Oliver said. “The majority of students select the intensive care units. However, I was skeptical because those patients are extremely ill; so I did not think I would get the opportunity to do much for the patients as a student.”

Impressed by Oliver’s commitment to absorbing the most out of the experience, the supervisor suggested that she work on the transplant or the neurosurgery, trauma and orthopedic unit, both of which are internationally recognized. Shortly after she jotted those down and left the interview, Oliver was offered the position. 

“The internship gave me the opportunity to work 12-hour shifts, which is what is expected in the real world,” Oliver said. “Working 12 hours allowed me to see everything that a nurse does in a typical day including receiving reports, making initial assessments, administering morning medications, acknowledging orders, providing patient education, providing discharge instructions, completing documentation and much more.”

At the internship, Oliver worked alongside a registered nurse to which she was assigned the first day of orientation. 

“I got the opportunity to do all of the tasks and skills that the registered nurse did, with a one-on-one relationship,” Oliver said. “I felt as though the nurse valued me and made me feel more like a nurse than I ever have before.”  

The nurse trusted Oliver to perform many tasks independently due to the student’s excellent preparation and advanced bedside manner. During the summer, Oliver cared diligently for a small boy who couldn’t breathe on his own. Given the tasks of suctioning, flushing his IV, providing his feedings through his gastrostomy tube, and much more for the child, Oliver said her heart ached for him. Her love for God’s children shone through her care, compassion and expertise.

“The Waynesburg University Nursing Department teaches the importance of providing holistic care, which sets it apart from other nursing schools,” Oliver said. “While caring for my patients, I realized that I wanted to care for my patients beyond their physiological needs; I wanted to care for them emotionally, spiritually and socially. My goal was to serve my patients as if it were one of my loved ones lying in that hospital bed.”

That experience, and many others throughout the summer, reminded her of why she wanted to be a nurse. Many people, including Christina Miser, an instructor of nursing at Waynesburg University and Oliver’s clinical adviser, believe that the profession fits her perfectly. 

“Kaitlin is always enthusiastic and is eager to learn, absorb new information and apply it to future experiences,” Miser said. “Her achievements thus far reflect her hard work; I believe she has placed herself in a position to be successful in whatever avenue of nursing she chooses.” 

Though that avenue is still undetermined, Oliver knows that she has both the skills and the confidence to excel in her chosen profession. 

 “At the internship, I was proud to be representing Waynesburg University. I had a lot of nurses ask me where I go to school because they were impressed with what I knew,” Oliver said. “Being a student nurse intern exposed me to situations that caused me to critically think and problem solve.  It reassured me that I chose the right career path, and I cannot wait to do something that I love for the rest of my days.” 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Hershelman.jpgWesley Hershelman, a senior accounting major with a minor in business management, came to Waynesburg University because his father and sister had done so before him. He didn’t realize that by fulfilling a family tradition, he would open doors to a competitive summer internship with Mylan Inc., one of the world’s leading generics and specialty pharmaceutical companies.

In May of 2013, Hershelman began his internal audit internship with Mylan at the company’s corporate headquarters in Southpointe, Pa., just a mere 35 minutes from Waynesburg University. His work included preparing audit work papers, recording accounting transactions and documenting understanding through narratives and flow charts. He spent time analyzing and manipulating data as well as verifying EPS models.  

“I grew leaps and bounds as a student and person,” Hershelman said. “I gained a new appreciation toward the education I have received at Waynesburg. I now have more confidence, am more aware of my weaknesses and am not intimidated to engage in professional conversations with superiors.”

Hershelman believes that Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, serving and learning guided him to be the best possible worker during his internship. 

“Colossians 3:23 says, ‘And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.’ I always tried to keep this verse in the back of my mind,” Hershelman said. “It provided me with motivation to do what was right, not necessarily what was easy.”

Not surprised by Hershelman’s adherence to a strong moral and spiritual code, Joshua Chicarelli, assistant professor of business administration at Waynesburg University, said Hershelman will continue to find success wherever he goes. 

“I expect that Wes will be extremely successful in his future endeavors. He will serve as a great asset to any company for which he works and will represent himself and the Waynesburg University community very well,” Chicarelli said. 

As he prepared to leave his desk at Mylan to return to Waynesburg University in August, Hershelman realized that he could push the experience even further. He approached his Mylan supervisor with his fall class schedule and asked if he could continue at the pharmaceutical company 20 hours each week. 

“I was the one who initiated the conversation with my mentor,” Hershelman said. “He then presented that to the team in a weekly staff meeting. I was formally asked by my manager during my exit interview if I would like to continue on during the fall.”

Hershelman happily accepted the challenge, eager to continue working and improving his auditing skills at the innovative company. He’s hopeful for a full-time job with the company after graduation, but doesn’t feel pressure because God is guiding his path in the world of business. 

“As an emerging business professional, I see the demand for Christians in the business world and Waynesburg has given me opportunities to grow in my faith while studying to become an effective leader in business for Christ.”

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Wockley-2.jpgAs the city’s premier arena football league, the Pittsburgh Power, took the field, Ryan Wockley, a senior athletic training major at Waynesburg University, smiled with satisfaction and wished the players luck. More than a fan, the Pittsburgh Power athletic training intern watched as his hard work bandaging injuries, treating conditions and wrapping ankles resulted in points on the board. 

“My favorite part was game days,” Wockley said. “There’s nothing better than seeing all the work you’ve done with the players pay off.  When they can perform at their best because of the work you did with them, that makes it worth it.”  

According to Michele Kabay, assistant professor of athletic training and clinical coordinator for Waynesburg University’s athletic training program, Wockley began inquiring about possible athletic training internships in his sophomore year. 

“Ryan is a very hands-on learner, and although the athletic training curriculum includes clinical education requirements, Ryan took the initiative to begin networking with athletic training professionals, which helped lead to the unique experience of an internship with the Pittsburgh Power,” Kabay said.

Wockley, who serves as president of the Waynesburg Athletic Training Student Association (WUATSA), couldn’t imagine spending an entire summer not practicing his athletic training skills, so he applied for an internship with the well-known athletic team. 

“I enjoy the clinical work, and I didn’t want to go a whole summer without doing something related to athletic training, so when I heard about the Power internship I jumped at the opportunity,” Wockley said. “I saw myself become more confident in my abilities and my knowledge. This internship showed me that I have the confidence and the tools needed to succeed as an athletic trainer.”

He worked with the Power’s professional athletic training staff to tape, brace and treat the players before and after practices and games. Wockley and his fellow trainers were responsible for conducting rehabilitation programs for athletes both on the active roster and also on injured reserve to help them progress, maintain or return to play.

Without exceptional teaching from Waynesburg University and the structure of its programs, Wockley said he would not have made such an impact or had such a great experience.

“One thing that sets Waynesburg apart is that students are accepted into the advanced program and begin core classes and clinical rotations sophomore year, as opposed to other schools where that doesn’t happen until the start of junior year,” Wockley said. “Having that extra year of clinical experience really helped because I was able to call on past experiences other interns may not have had.”

Though he initially struggled with the autonomy granted to him in the internship, Wockley said he quickly learned to trust his knowledge. 

“The Power trusted us to work with the athletes and allowed us to treat their injuries as we saw fit,” Wockley said. “It was a challenge at first to trust in what I had learned and what I knew. Once I got into the first few weeks, I became very confident in what I was doing because I realized just how much I had learned at Waynesburg.”

 

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