b2ap3_thumbnail_Brittany-Nimal-resized.jpgSince the fall of 2010, Brittany Nimal, a senior forensic accounting major at Waynesburg University, has served as a student worker in the University’s business office. There, she completes the bank reconciliations each month and maintains and updates spreadsheets pertaining to different accounts in the office.

“Brittany has proven herself over the past three years as a very dependable and highly driven person,” said Laura Cross, a senior accountant at Waynesburg University and a member of the University’s business office. “She is someone we can always count on. She has always utilized her time in the office to take a genuine interest in learning as much as she can to help prepare for her future.”

During her hours in the business office, Nimal accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience, making her search for a summer 2013 internship that much easier. When she came across a recruitment table in the campus student union in the spring of 2013, Nimal knew her experience would stand out.

She spoke with a representative from the Bureau of Prisons, who, impressed with Nimal’s hands-on experience, encouraged her to contact the Business Office Supervisor at the Morgantown, W.Va., Institute. Nimal scheduled an interview and shared her highly developed skill set with her soon-to-be supervisor at the Federal Bureau of Prisons Federal Correctional Institute Morgantown.

“Brittany was our first student from Waynesburg University; we were impressed with her skill and knowledge base,” said Pam Miller, Nimal’s internship supervisor at FCI Morgantown. “She is obviously very intelligent, but her professionalism is her most outstanding quality. Everyone who met and worked with her was impressed with her kind attitude, genuine willingness to learn and professional etiquette.”

At the correctional institute, Nimal completed audit reviews, verifying questions about different areas and operations within the organization.

“I wanted experience in a different area of my field to help me decide which path I may want to pursue later,” Nimal said.

According to Miller, Nimal’s greatest accomplishment was handling the components of a new sector of accounting with grace and competence.

“Brittany was exposed to different components of accounting; thus, giving her a broader perspective of opportunities available within the government,” Miller said. “Hopefully, this introduction to the diverse accounting modules will help her make sound career choices and aid her in discovering areas that are most interesting to her.”  

Though she was initially nervous about working in an unfamiliar division of finance, Nimal said that her studies helped prepare her for experiences and situations she could encounter in a correctional environment.

“Waynesburg has helped me to appreciate the experience and take advantage of all the opportunities I received,” Nimal said.  “I made great connections by being at FCI Morgantown, and I now have federal connections that can help me get a job or lend advice later down the road.”

 

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If you’re driving through Waynesburg or enjoying life on campus, you might switch on Waynesburg University’s campus radio station and hear a booming voice with a slight accent hosting a specialty show or broadcasting an event. That voice belongs to Alfonso Ferrari, a Tucson, Arizona, native and a junior communication (sports broadcasting/sports information) major at Waynesburg University.

In the summer of 2013, Ferrari returned to his home state – but not for a summer relaxing on his parents’ couch. He committed to a challenging internship with one of the best radio stations in Arizona, Arizona Sports 620 KTAR.

“There is no better place for radio in the state of Arizona, and the station is highly regarded at the national level as well,” Ferrari said. “My favorite part was interacting with the hosts; I grew up listening to them. I really enjoyed learning how things are done there.”

Ferrari’s responsibilities included editing sound used for promos and previews as well as highlights from Arizona Diamondback radio broadcasts, editing and uploading podcasts and interviews to the station website, documenting every show and finding newsworthy stories.

He felt challenged by having to multi-task his many roles at the station, but said that working for Waynesburg’s radio station helped him to learn more than just on-air duties.

“I learned how to edit and upload sound, and the programs we use at Waynesburg are similar, if not the same, as what is really being used in the profession,” Ferrari said. “Working for Waynesburg’s station as well as all of my communication courses, most notably radio station management, prepared me very well.”

Lanny Frattare, assistant professor of communication at Waynesburg University and past voice of the Pittsburgh Pirates for 33 years, has mentored Ferrari through his radio courses and has watched him progress into a “top notch” broadcaster. Frattare remembers when Ferrari visited campus as a high school junior for the University’s annual Sports Announcing Camp.

“From the moment Alfonso arrived on campus, I knew he was an individual with a promising future,” Frattare said. “The fact that he wanted to travel to Pennsylvania from Arizona to investigate sports announcing convinced me that he was dedicated.  I was elated when he told me that he would be enrolling at Waynesburg University.”

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As an information technology intern for the summer of 2013, one could reasonably expect Alexander Tenenbaum to sit behind a computer all day, troubleshooting issues and programming for clients. But the junior information technology major, known for his resourcefulness, faithfulness and perseverance, strategically secured an internship that perfectly blended not one, but two of his greatest passions.

Looking for an experience that would advance him both professionally and spiritually, Tenenbaum signed on with the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry in Boston, Mass. There, he completed information technology work and evangelized to college campuses including MIT, University of Massachusetts Boston and Northeastern University.

“Including me, there were eight interns from all across the country. On the Crusade team, we each had a ‘day job’ as well as a special assignment. Mine was spiritual development,” Tenenbaum said. “I helped to prepare and host bible studies for the interns.”

Through the many challenges of living with strangers, away from home and in a new city, Tenenbaum persevered so that he could learn more about his career field and spread God’s word in the process.

“It is so important to be Christ-like to people,” Tenenbaum said. “Visible actions like fixing houses and feeding the homeless are important but temporary. The houses will eventually need fixed again and the homeless will need fed again. Meanwhile, our spiritual interactions with them impacts eternity.” 

Tenenbaum said he felt prepared to host such interactions thanks to his participation in a prayer group at Waynesburg University and through his public speaking experiences and sociology classes. Working at the University’s Help Desk in information technology between classes made him stand out when applying to the internship program.

“My sociology classes have really helped me to understand why people of different religions and cultures believe the things that they do,” Tenenbaum said. “Waynesburg University has taught me to be more confident in my beliefs and to trust the Lord above all else.”

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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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