b2ap3_thumbnail_Deborah-Lewis-resized.jpgDr. Deborah Lewis, director of the RN to BSN Program at Waynesburg University, was selected to present at the 6th Annual Best Practice in Nursing Education Conference March 21, 2014 at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Her abstract, “You want me to do what?  Practice Experience in an RN to BSN program,” outlines the ways in which Waynesburg University’s RN to BSN Program provides practice experience and “allows theory to inform students’ practice and their practice to inform theory with the use of adult learning principles in the classroom.”  

Lewis submitted her abstract to share with other local educators and nurses the process of practice experience in Waynesburg's RN to BSN Program. 

“The students have a required one credit of service learning,” she said. “I think this, along with their other experiences such as the Intro to the New Testament course, gives students the background for looking at their professional and personal life in a different way.”

Sponsored by the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing, UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing and Pennsylvania League for Nursing Area VI, the conference aims to bring together nursing educators from across the region to discuss best practices.

Lewis’s presentation will include the learning objectives, method of instruction and content covered in her poster.

Waynesburg University's RN to BSN Program is designed specifically to meet the needs of working RNs who are motivated to meet personal educational goals and want to enhance their career options. The Program is structured in a user-friendly format that allows adult students to balance work and family responsibilities with school-related efforts.

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Ryan-Devlin-Head-Shot-Resized.jpgRyan Devlin, a 2007 Waynesburg University English education alumnus and Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Teacher of the Year,” received an even greater honor today when he was named one of the four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year Award. 

Today, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) announced that educators from Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia are finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year. The National Teacher of the Year spends a year representing educators across the country and advocating on behalf of the teaching profession. 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett congratulated Devlin on representing the Commonwealth. 

“On behalf of all Pennsylvania citizens, I congratulate Ryan for being chosen to represent Pennsylvania at the national level,” Corbett said.  “Ryan’s commitment to his students is a shining example of the thousands of Pennsylvania educators who are dedicated to ensuring that students are prepared for a bright and successful future.”

This marks the first time that an educator from Pennsylvania has made it to the final four. Devlin will enter rounds of interviews during the month of March and the winner will be announced in April. Still actively involved with his alma mater through mission trips and personal contacts, Devlin credits Waynesburg University as an integral part of his success. 

“The hallmark of a good education is one that enables students’ talents to find purpose, and that is one of the many reasons why Waynesburg University is such a special place,” Devlin said.  “During my time there, I was exposed to numerous educational opportunities that extended beyond the classroom and helped mold me into the man I am today.”

Devlin is an eleventh grade English and ninth through twelfth grade technology teacher at Brockway Area Junior/Senior High School in Brockway, Pa., where he has taught for seven years and serves as head of the English department. 

He also serves as the school's head cross country coach and the senior high gifted education advisor. He is an active member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, National Education Association and the Brockway Area Education Association.  Outside of school, he frequently speaks at state conferences and college campuses and is a cooperating teacher for Clarion University's student teaching program. 

Devlin also helped write Pennsylvania's new Core Standards English Language Arts curriculum and over the years has won multiple grants for his innovative use of technology in the classroom.  

"Today's children will indeed become tomorrow's leaders, so we must teach ways to find creative solutions to complex problems through collaborating with others and making the best use of technology," Devlin said. 

His teaching methods include extensive use of technology in the classroom, for which he received the Keystone Technology Integrator Award in 2009. Devlin facilitates technology workshops for student teachers at regional universities and teaches summer courses at Riverview Intermediate Unit Six that highlight the newest digital resources available on the Internet.

Current and recently retired faculty members at Waynesburg University are not only proud of Ryan’s awards, but also his continued commitment to the mission of Waynesburg University and the mission of the University’s Department of Education. 

“The mission of the Department of Education is to prepare teachers who embrace learning and dedicate themselves to service and leadership in the profession,” said Debra Clarke, assistant professor of education and chair of the Department of Education at Waynesburg University. “We are so proud of Ryan’s commitment to this mission and his dedication to his students.”

 

Devlin received his bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from Waynesburg University, where he became familiar with technology in the classroom and gained hands-on experience with modern instructional technology. Devlin also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership. He also holds teaching certificates in English (grades 7-12), business/computers (grades K-12) and library science (grades K-12). 

In 2013, Devlin became the youngest nominee and recipient of the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year award. Devlin said he has known since the age of eight what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

“I spent a lot my childhood and adolescent years daydreaming about the type of teacher I wanted to become,” he said.  “Teaching seemed like the perfect outlet for my creativity, and I wanted to do something that would enable me to make a difference in the world.”

An active member in his local community, Devlin is a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, teaches vacation Bible school and is involved in several after-school programs and activities.

The National Teacher of the Year (NTOY) Program began in 1952 and continues as the oldest, most prestigious national honors program that focuses public attention on excellence in teaching.

 

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_McEntyre.jpgWaynesburg University’s b.f. maiz Lecture will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall and will feature Marilyn Chandler McEntyre. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre is a poet and strong advocate of the well-being of language. She has a profound interest in the relationship between words and painting and is a spokesperson for the idea of medicine and poetry.

McEntyre teaches at the University of California Berkeley and the University of California at San Francisco Joint Medical Program. She has won numerous teaching awards, including an Outstanding Teaching Award from Princeton University, a Phi Beta Kappa of Northern California Outstanding Teaching Award and a Whiting Fellowship.

She has published numerous chapters in books and is contributing editor of Literature and Medicine from Johns Hopkins University. She holds a doctorate in comparative literature from Princeton University, a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from Pamona College.

The b. f. maiz Center, named after the late poet b. f. maiz, exists to continue and to amplify his lifelong concerns with poetry, peace and poetic justice. This speaker is invited to campus as part of the b.f. maiz Center’s activities.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kathy-Stolfer-Resized.jpgDr. Kathy Stolfer, associate professor of nursing at Waynesburg University, recently presented at the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Baccalaureate Nursing Education Conference in New Orleans, La.

Her presentation, “RN-BSN Courses: The Clinical Piece,” focused on the creation of required clinical components for RN-BSN courses according to what AACN mandates.

“I was very honored to be accepted, based on the fact that 339 abstract submissions were received and only 35 percent were accepted, which included podium and poster presentations,” Stolfer said. “My podium presentation was well-received, and I had a packed room!”

The annual conference presented issues of vital importance to baccalaureate and pre-licensure nursing education. AACN works to establish quality standards for nursing education; assist deans and directors to implement those standards; influence the nursing profession to improve health care; and promote public support for professional nursing education, research and practice.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

724.852.7675or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Karla-1.jpgPat Bristor, the associate dean of students at Waynesburg University, has watched Karla Lucilia Pet Diaz grow from a child into a young adult. She has learned, played, worshipped and laughed alongside her and has recently helped to facilitate a dream for both of them. 

After months of praying and planning, Karla visited the United States for the first time at the beginning of December 2013. While growing up in Patzun, Guatemala, at the Centro Nutricional y Hogar de Ninos, Karla looked forward to the Waynesburg University mission trips to the center each year. Since she was 14 years old, Karla has enjoyed Pat’s warm smile and looked forward to seeing her year after year. 

This year, Karla finished her studies and applied for a Visa to travel to the United States and visit Waynesburg – the place where so many familiar faces waited to see her. Waynesburg University faculty, staff and students paid for Karla’s plane tickets through the Guatemala project fund, an account bolstered by the fundraising of any student who has traveled to Patzun throughout the University’s 14 mission trips to the Center. 

“This is the first opportunity that one of the children from the center has been able to visit Waynesburg University. The opportunity is one of what we hope will be many,” Bristor said. “I know that she was meant to come here. We ran into many issues but it worked out.” 

From her arrival Tuesday, Dec. 3, to the beginning of the University’s Christmas break Saturday, Dec. 14, Karla spent as much time as possible with Waynesburg University students who have participated in the Guatemala mission in the past.  

With them, she practiced her English, attended the Waynesburg Christmas parade, participated in sled riding, watched movies, viewed the Oglebay Festival of Lights and completed community service at St. Ann’s soup kitchen. With great joy, Waynesburg students took her to campus events, introduced her to their friends and professors and invited her to attend game nights and dinners at the University.  

“The focus at the beginning of December was on the students she’s come to know and love. She wanted to spend time with them, and they with her, before many of them left campus for Christmas break,” Bristor said. “The remaining time was spent serving the community, meeting with alumni and participating in regional customs.” 

Pat arranged for Karla to either telephone or meet with a number of Waynesburg University alumni who visited Guatemala through the years. Karla also spent time with Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication at Waynesburg and his wife, Heidi Szuminsky, director of donor and alumni relations at the University, both of whom have led mission trips to Patzun multiple times. 

Tearing up, Pat explained that her passion for the Guatemala mission has been very evident, but that though her husband supported her, he didn’t always understand why she returned home each year with a heavy heart – missing the people of Patzun. 

“My husband didn’t understand that passion until he met Karla,” she said. “Now he understands why I love her and the mission so much. He is even interested in coming with us in the future. It’s been a wonderful experience for us to share our home. Having a child in our home who I have come to love has been a dream come true. The laughter fills the house.””

Indeed, as Pat and Karla spoke to each other using a translation app, gestures and slowed-speech, they generated quite a bit of infectious laughter. They both said that the language barrier has been an enjoyable and even helpful issue. 

“I don’t know much Spanish. She’s very good at English even though sometimes she’s too shy to admit it,” Bristor said. “But I think the barrier has been a blessing; if she were in a home that spoke fluent Spanish, Karla wouldn’t be as challenged to speak and learn English. It also forces me to learn Spanish, which I’ve wanted to do for years.”

In January, Pat will return to Patzun for the seventh time alongside a team of Waynesburg University students, staff, and, of course, Karla. Though the journey will be bittersweet, Pat knows that the new bridge of communication built at Waynesburg University will help them to communicate for a lifetime.  

 

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