Sixteen Waynesburg University Nursing students will travel to Nassau, Bahamas, to assist with operations of a health clinic for Haitian refugees during the University’s Christmas break. The students will spend Sunday, Jan. 5, through Friday, Jan.10, at the Victory Chapel Church of the Nazarene in Nassau, where they will work with Mission Academy Ministries, an organization dedicated to serving Bahamian and Haitian communities. 

Dr. Terri Small, professor of nursing at the University, will lead the trip, along with her husband, Steve, a pharmacist, and Wendy Edgar, a nurse practitioner and lecturer  in the University’s nursing department. The team will work with Dr. Antoine St. Louis, pastor of Victory Chapel Church of the Nazarene, and Mike Shinn, director of Mission Academy Ministries. 

“We look forward to assisting Mission Academy Ministries as they provide much needed services to communities who would otherwise have no access to health care,” Small said. 

This will be the University’s fourth partnership with Mission Academy Ministries and seventh nursing mission trip. On average, University students and faculty care for 100 patients per day during the three-day clinic. Patients are provided medications and education for chronic health conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, as well as receive treatment and care for immediate health issues such as bronchitis, colds and coughs, ear infections and pneumonia. 

Students attending the trip include:

  • Taylor Basinger, a junior nursing major from Confluence, Pa. (Turkeyfoot Valley Area High School)
  • Katelyn Blaich, a senior nursing major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Bishop Canevin High School)
  • Melissa Brown, a junior nursing major from Perryopolis, Pa. (Frazier High School)
  • Myriah Cox, a senior nursing major from Mount Morris, Pa. (Waynesburg Central High School)
  • Maggie Getaz, a senior nursing major from Winchester, Va. (John Handley High School)
  • Rachel Handley, a senior nursing major from Dillsburg, Pa. (Christian Liberty Academy)
  • Kiersha Keller, a senior nursing major from Palmyra, Pa. (Northern Lebanon High School)
  • Kathryn Kish, a junior nursing major from Liberty Boro, Pa. (South Allegheny High School)
  • Katy Jo Kramer, a senior nursing major from North Versailles, Pa. (East Allegheny High School)
  • Alexis Lapinsky, a nursing major from Windber, Pa. (Windber Area High School)
  • Jessica Loftus, a senior nursing major from Charleroi, Pa. (Wilson Christian Academy)
  • Shayla Mitrik, a senior nursing major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (North Catholic High School)
  • Melissa Paul, a senior nursing major from Garrett, Pa. (Berlin Brothers Valley High School)
  • Lily Smith, a second degree nursing major from Lake View, N.Y. (Frontier Senior High School)
  • Maria Wisniewski, a junior nursing major from Irwin, Pa. (Penn-Trafford High School)
  • Danielle Zeiler, a junior nursing major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Brashear High School)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

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Twenty Waynesburg University students will spend Thursday, Jan. 2, to Saturday, Jan. 11, serving at a nutritional center in Patzun, Guatemala. Pat Bristor, associate dean of students at the University, and Heidi Szuminsky, director of donor and alumni relations at Waynesburg, will lead the team. While at the center, students will spend time with the residents, as well as assist with the replacement of a driveway at the facility. 

Five Waynesburg University students who have participated in the trip in past years chose to book flights for Friday, Dec. 13, so they would have extra time with the children. That group will spend their entire Christmas break in Guatemala. 

Kyle Digiandomenico, a junior psychology major from Martins Ferry, Ohio (Bridgeport High School); Gracious Shavers, a junior human services major from Ginowan City, Japan (Zion Christian Academy); Ryan Smith, a junior international culture major from Bridgeport, Ohio (Bridgeport High School); Rachel Snavely, a sophomore biblical ministries studies major from Manheim, Pa. (Manheim Central High School); and Julie Wise, a junior criminal justice administration major from Fowler, Ohio (Mathews High School) will travel to Guatemala early. 

“They’ve been there before and are very passionate about ministry,” Bristor said. “They’ve decided to go down early on their own. Heidi and I will bring the rest of the 15 in January.”  

According to Bristor, out of the 20 students who are attending, nine are returning for the second or even third time.

“Waynesburg students are very passionate about the Guatemala trip and the people of Guatemala,” she said. “Our main goal at this point is to finish the driveway but also to provide love and spread the word of God.”

Additional students participating in the trip include:

  • Kimber Blair, a senior public relations major from New Castle, Pa. (Laurel Junior-Senior High School)
  • Northe Campbell-Escalante, a junior public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Woodland Hills High School)
  • Heidi Dains, a freshman business management major from Clarksville, Pa. (Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Joshua Dains, a junior business management major from Clarksville, Pa. (Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Chelsea Dicks, a junior journalism major from Jerfferson, Pa. (Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Sara Faiad, a junior psychology major from South Fork, Pa. (Forest Hills High School)
  • Alana Fiano, a senior education major from Connellsville, Pa. (Connellsville Area Senior High School)
  • Amelia Graves, a freshman international business major from West Falls, NY (Orchard Park High School)
  • Sarah Kirk, a sophomore nursing major from Valencia, Pa. (Plum Senior High School)
  • Nina Manderick, a junior biblical and ministry studies major from South Connellsville, Pa. (Connellsville Area Senior High School)
  • Jennifer Miller, a sophomore biology major from New Brighton, Pa. (New Brighton Area Senior High School)
  • Emily Nowakowski, a freshman nursing major from Bridgeport, Ohio (Bridgeport High School)
  • Cherylynn Shird, a senior sociology major from Washington, D.C. (Kamit Institute for Magnificent Achievers Public Charter School)
  • Steven Snow, a senior criminal justice major from Butler, Pa. (Knoch Senior High School)
  • Erika Stafford, a senior psychology major from Orrvile, Ohio (Orrville High School)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist




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Dr. Julie Bausman, assistant professor of education at Waynesburg University, will lead a group of five University students to Nassau, Bahamas, for a mission service trip during winter break. From Sunday, Jan. 5, to Friday, Jan. 10, the team will work in conjunction with Mission Academy Ministries to teach first and second grade reading and math lessons. They will also spend time with the children during recess and lunch and can observe in the classrooms. 

Mission Academy Ministries is a non-profit organization with a passionate commitment to helping students grow closer to Christ through life-changing mission trips, day events and retreats.  

“Our desire is to share our abilities and talents with the children in the school,” Bausman said. “We are excited about the opportunity to learn about education in another country as well. This trip will further our goal of learning to be leaders who transform their world for the glory of God.”

Students participating in the trip include:

•Robi Arbogast, a sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Waynesburg, Pa. (Waynesburg Central High School) 

•Jenny Hage, a senior early childhood education (special education) major from New Brighton, Pa. (New Brighton Area Senior High School) 

•Shakila Kienholz, a sophomore early childhood education (special education) major from Erie, Pa. (Fort Le Boeuf High School)

•Rebecca Lane, a junior early childhood education (special education) major from Ellwood City, Pa. (Laurel Junior-Senior High School) 

•Brianna Watt, a junior early childhood education (special education) major from Waynesburg, Pa. (Waynesburg Central High School)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist


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b2ap3_thumbnail_1426734_644433955608244_957885172_n.jpgLast week, my husband and I, both proud 2012 alumni, jumped at the chance to attend a Young Alumni Event with Waynesburg University. For the first time, we experienced the magical atmosphere of Dave and Busters and the camaraderie of being surrounded by other young Waynesburg graduates. 

My experience was slightly unique in that I attended the event as both a representative of Waynesburg (I work as a graduate assistant in University Relations at my alma mater) and as a giddy participant. As I helped to register the more than 70 alumni in attendance, I tried to remember what classes I shared with some of them and how others left a memorable impact on the University even before I began as a freshman in 2009. In that moment, like many other moments before it, I felt so thankful for the small atmosphere of Waynesburg University, which allowed me to remember these names and faces and connect in a memorable way. 

After a delicious meal provided by the University, people departed, in groups of three, four and sometimes many more, for the arcade. 

My husband, roommate, Vikki and I set out for the games that would spill the most tickets. We played skee-ball and failed miserably next to a very accomplished 8-year-old boy, whose tickets quadrupled ours. 

At the end of the evening, we decided to go all out on a racing simulation game – each of us picking a different drivers’ seat and steering wheel. As we sped through checkered flags and rounded impossible turns, I thought about how nice it felt to goof off with my best friends, surrounded by a greater network of alumni who were enjoying themselves equally. 

After we all crossed the virtual finish line, we glanced down to collect our tickets hoping for enough to make a dent in the impressive arcade store gallery. None appeared. We somehow managed to choose the only arcade game that didn't reward its players – but the experience was enough. 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Machesky-Resized.jpgb2ap3_thumbnail_Danielle-McGinnis-Resized.pngAmanda Machesky and Danielle McGinnis, both instructors of nursing at Waynesburg University, recently attended a Robert Wood Johnson conference and won first place for their poster presentation. 

They presented their poster, “Integrating the Movie ‘Wit’ to Depict Therapeutic and Non-Therapeutic Communication into a First Semester Nursing Course for Second Degree Nursing Students,” at the New Careers in Nursing Sixth Annual Summit. 

McGinnis, who serves as the co-faculty adviser for the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania Waynesburg University chapter alongside Machesky, said that the pair won the Innovative Program Design for Accelerated Students Award because their poster “truly depicted what it means to be innovative.” 

For the conference, which took place in Washington, D.C., the pair created an abstract, submitted work online and developed a poster, which they also submitted online. 

“We worked on the abstract for several months and once this opportunity presented itself, we tied up loose ends and tailored the abstract to conference requirements,” McGinnis said.

In addition to presenting their poster at the conference, Machesky and McGinnis attended breakout sessions, networking events, panels, the keynote address and workshops.

“There are many different roles you take on and responsibilities that many are not aware that are required of you as a nurse educator; this award has helped to validate what I do,” Machesky said.  “It gives merit to my teaching strategies and methods. Having earned this award as a peer-voted award helps me to recognize that things I am doing are highly valued and respected by notable nurse educators from across the country.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) program is a national program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The program is designed to help alleviate the national nursing shortage, increase the diversity of nursing professionals, expand capacity in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs and enhance the pipeline of potential nurse faculty.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist


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