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Posted by on in Internships

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ansley-Thomas.JPGThis summer, Ansley Thomas is preparing for a future as a college professor by immersing herself in college education research. Thomas, a senior biology major, is participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the University of Georgia.

“My favorite experience is being here surrounded by people who are passionate about teaching undergraduates and who demonstrate how invested and proactive they are about their teaching,” said Thomas.

Thomas is working side-by-side with Dr. Tessa Andrews, assistant professor of genetics at the University of Georgia, and Kelly Lane, a graduate student at the University of Georgia, on investigating the professional identities of graduate students.

“Specifically, we are interested in how they [graduate students] develop and what they look like when they do,” said Thomas. “I help mainly with data collection by finalizing the transcripts from our interviews and assisting with qualitative analysis coding.”

One of the most challenging aspects of Thomas’ work has been gaining familiarity and comfort with the qualitative data, which she shared, and is different from typical bench work in the way that it is handled, collected, analyzed and written. Fortunately, her coursework at Waynesburg has been helpful in providing her with a solid starting point.

“All of the biology courses I have taken give critical background knowledge for this kind of research,” said Thomas.

Thomas is thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by the biology education researchers at the University of Georgia. The type of education research they are conducting is different than any work she has experienced in the past.

“Having research experience opens you up to the community of research as a whole and to the process of research,” said Thomas. “Acquiring that skill or knowledge is useful regardless of your future plans.”

Being that this experience has related so well to Thomas’ career goals, she feels confident that she is in a strong position to make them a reality.

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Posted by on in Alumni

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mary-Hoffman.jpgEnglish (secondary education, creative writing) alumna, Mary Hoffman, is headed to Dayton, Ohio, to pursue her passion for teaching and learning. Hoffman was accepted to the University of Dayton’s Lalanne Program, a two-year graduate program with a tuition-free master’s degree, accompanied with two years of teaching in an urban Catholic school.

Over the next two years, Hoffman will teach sixth and seventh-grade students and engage in research.

“I am excited to continue my passion for research by conducting a two-part action research for my graduate degree,” said Hoffman, whose research will examine the effects of daily writing on seventh-grade classroom reading levels. “The research will be part of my teaching experience, so I can apply what I am learning in my courses directly toward my career.”

The support that Hoffman received from the faculty in Waynesburg’s Department of English and Foreign Languages and Department of Education encouraged her career choice in education and research.

“My professors were encouraging and supportive at Waynesburg and always had my best interest at heart,” she said. “I’m confident that Waynesburg has fully prepared me for both my first year of teaching and the coursework at University of Dayton.”

Additionally, Hoffman worked at the Writing Center and helped both undergraduate and graduate students with their papers; this where she learned the best practices to teach writing to others. Jill Moyer Sunday, director of the Writing Center, helped further Hoffman’s interest in research by encouraging her to present at the International Writing Centers Association Conference.

Stepping out of her comfort zone, Hoffman was a copy editor for the student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, for one year, which exposed her to a different style of writing. She was also a member of the orientation board as an orientation leader, the senior class gift committee and the Student Activities Board.

Waynesburg’s mission of faith, learning and serving had a profound impact on Hoffman during her time at the University.

“Waynesburg’s mission shaped my classroom experience, therefore, shaping my career, even as a graduate student,” she said. “The professors at Waynesburg incorporated faith, learning and serving into their everyday lives, something I hope to do for my students, as well."

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Waynesburg University’s American Chemical Society (ACS) student chapter was recently awarded a $500 grant, and chapter advisor, Dr. Evonne Baldauff, has been accepted to publish in an upcoming Symposium Series eBook by ACS Publications.

The $500 grant from the ACS National Undergraduate Programs Office is to be used in developing a new outreach activity designed to engage with local high school chemistry students.

“Our chapter is well-versed in outreach,” said Baldauff, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science. “Having that experience and being able to show how successful we have been in the past is something that the reviewers want to see.”

Kristen Wilson, senior chemistry (secondary education) major and president of Waynesburg’s ACS student chapter, prepared the grant application that consisted of a project justification, budget and timeline. 

Wilson worked directly with Matt Brandstetter, chemistry teacher at Waynesburg Central High School (WCHS), to determine the type of program that would best meet the needs of his students.

The program, named “College-Chemistry Connection,” will allow Waynesburg University students to host monthly instrument sessions with the students in Brandstetter’s AP Chemistry class. The high school students will receive a lesson from University students on how to use a particular instrument followed by hands-on time. 

Because of the overall success of Waynesburg’s ACS student chapter, Baldauff was invited to write a chapter for publishing by the ACS on best methods in working with ACS student chapters. Her chapter was recently accepted and will be published in a Symposium Series volume tentatively titled “Building and Maintaining Award-Winning ACS Student Members.”

“The chapter was written based on my experiences while serving as the chapter advisor by using student opinion and perspective to guide the content,” said Baldauff. “It is a great way to be recognized for the efforts we annually undertake and also serves as a way for us to assist other ACS student chapters.”

Baldauff’s chapter offers practical advice by encouraging other chapters to get more faculty involved, work to create community within the group and host quality, worthwhile events that will generate pride among the membership.

Earlier this year, Waynesburg’s ACS student chapter received the ACS’s “Outstanding Award” for the fifth consecutive year.

ACS is a congressionally independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree level in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University will present “The Curious Savage," a lighthearted comedy by John Patrick, Friday, Aug. 5, and Saturday, Aug. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center on the Waynesburg University campus. Admission is $5 per person, and the public is cordially invited to attend. 

The story revolves around Mrs. Ethel Savage, a wealthy widow, who wants to use her fortune to help others. However, her grown stepchildren are determined to keep the fortune for themselves, so they have “mom” committed to a sanitarium. While there, Mrs. Savage meets several of the residents. These emotionally scarred and delicate people are brought to believe in themselves a bit more as she interacts with them, and they, in turn, give Mrs. Savage a new outlook on life. 

"This is an old play that I remember seeing at a community theater in my hometown in the 1970’s, but I still think it has something to say to us in 2016," said Edward L. Powers, director of the theater program and professor of theater at Waynesburg University. “That's one of the treasures of theater; we can still be entertained and enlightened by the old stories.”

Since 2002, Waynesburg University has presented a community theater show each summer. Directed by Powers, the production features Waynesburg University students and several members of the local community. 

The cast includes Brittany Blair-Martin, Alaina Camps, Kevin Conley, Tome J. Custer, Michelle Frye, Laura Gonnella, Emily Haywood, Jordan Thompson, Ellen M. Weekly, Christian Wilson, Ben Zyra, and a special appearance by Bryn Lahew. 

To purchase tickets in advance, visit www.waynesburg.ticketleap.com/savage. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For more information, contact Powers at 724-852-3226.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_photo-1.jpgWaynesburg University has been named to MONEY Magazine’s 2016 “Best Colleges” list, a ranking system that examined three primary factors: educational quality, affordability and alumni success. 

Included on the list are 705 four-year U.S. colleges and universities that, according to MONEY’s website, “deliver the most value – that is, a great education at an affordable price that prepares students for rewarding careers.” 

MONEY measured comparative value by assessing how well students at each school did verses what’s expected for students with similar economic and academic backgrounds, as well as the college’s mix of majors.

“This ranking is another reminder of the value of a Waynesburg University education,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “We offer a distinctive educational experience at an affordable cost, preparing our graduates for successful careers and lives of purpose.”  

In recent months, Waynesburg University has also been ranked nationally as a top school for educational value by The Economist, the Brookings Institution, CollegeNet and Christian Universities Online. These ranking systems examined data such as outcomes, value and job placement.

Waynesburg graduates consistently achieve high placement rates. Ninety-five percent of 2014 graduates and 97 percent of 2013 graduates reported working or studying in their chosen field within one year of graduation.

Additionally, the University’s tuition, room and board is more than $11,500 below the national average for private, non-profit, four-year colleges, according to College Board. 

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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