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Posted by on in News

Waynesburg University’s third annual Merit Badge University, planned for Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, will provide Boy Scouts with the opportunity to earn merit badges while being exposed to a wide spectrum of academic disciplines by qualified faculty and staff at Waynesburg University.

The one-day event will take place on the campus of Waynesburg University from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will offer 31 merit badges, including Aviation, Cycling, Engineering, Environmental Science, Indian Lore and Scouting Heritage. For a complete list of merit badges or to register, visit http://www.waynesburg.edu/merit-badge-university. 

Cost for the day is $10 and includes lunch, a Class B shirt, a patch and instruction by Waynesburg University faculty. Space will not be held for Scouts until payment is made. All spaces are first come, first served. Walk-in registrants will be accepted as space allows, but shirts and patches are not guaranteed. Registration is limited to 300 scouts.

Adult participants who plan to attend merit badge sessions must be in Class A/Field Uniform and must present evidence of their BSA registration and current Youth Protection Training. Alternate activities will be provided for adult participants who do not wish to accompany scouts to badge sessions or who are not appropriately registered with the BSA.  

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and develops personal fitness.

For more information, visit the website above or contact 724-852-7660.

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Posted by on in Alumni

Guided and influenced by more than seven years of experiences on the campus of Waynesburg University, Alison Chasko has achieved her goal of being a part of something bigger and more meaningful than a successful business.

Chasko currently serves as a Mission Support Analyst for the FBI, reporting directly to the Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Division (the territory covering all of Colorado and Wyoming). Responsible for improving the overall function of the organization, Chasko works to identify, analyze and resolve issues related to the operations of the FBI field offices. Her research and study of inefficiencies ultimately lead to recommendations that result in solutions and measurable improvements within the organization as a whole.

“It’s not about making money for a company, but having a greater purpose,” she said. “The people and the mission of the FBI motivate me to be a better employee. By seeing them risk their lives and devote so much time to doing what they do, I want to be better so I can alleviate administrative burdens to agents and so that I can demonstrate their needs through quantitative evidence and reports back to headquarters.”

For Chasko, teaching science was a possibility, working for a federal agency was a goal, but the opportunity to work specifically for the FBI became her dream.

Living her dream, Chasko, a 2007 forensic science alumna and a 2009 graduate of the University’s Master of Education Program, is grateful to be a part of the reputation and mission of the FBI.

Chasko’s position is one of only six in the Bureau, and is part of a pilot program initiated this spring. Eventually, one mission support analyst will be found in each of the 56 field offices across the nation.
Ironically, her daily responsibilities perfectly mirror some of the most meaningful lessons learned throughout her undergraduate and graduate education at Waynesburg University.

“Both educational experiences provided me with professors and mentors who had high expectations of me. They provided enough guidance, but pushed for me to think critically and analyze a topic, which in the long run, built up my confidence [in my abilities],” she said.

In addition to the confidence and knowledge gained at Waynesburg University, Chasko credits her mentors and criminal justice faculty members for preparing her for the transition to the professional world.

“The Criminal Justice Department’s faculty consisted of some of the best mentors a young adult could ask for,” she said. “Dr. Baer, Detective Jack and Mr. McIlwain truly knew how to inspire and help develop strong work ethic with attention to detail. Each of them had their own teaching style with high standards, but as a student you knew that they cared about your learning. They took the time to make sure you understood the material, helped guide you through your career goals, and really prepared you to transition from college to the workforce.”

Even more important than life lessons including time management, articulating ideas to various audiences and recognizing that everyone doesn’t learn or understand information in the same manner; Chasko said her college experiences such as participating in mission trips and being empowered to be the change in the world by teachers and mentors, truly shaped her as a person.

“As much as college is meant for earning the degree, I think the person I have become is very much related to the experiences I received at Waynesburg University. I could have attended numerous universities and received the same degree, but I would not have received the experiences or mentors that Waynesburg offered.”

Writers Note - Faculty members mentioned above are as follows:

Dr. Dana Baer, professor of criminal justice
Adam Jack, assistant professor of criminal justice and chair, criminal justice and social science
John  McIlwain, retired professor of criminal justice 

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As a senior at Waynesburg University, family and friends often ask me if I like attending Waynesburg. My answer is typically a resounding yes. Not only have I enjoyed my time at Waynesburg, I would also recommend Waynesburg to high school students beginning their college search. Here are 5 reasons why. 

  1. You will build meaningful relationships with your professors and just about anyone else on campus. This is the number one reason I love Waynesburg. My professors don’t just know my name; they know my strengths and interests. They truly care about my success and demonstrate their concern by investing time in me. My professors have assisted me with resume building, academic planning and career counseling; however, professors aren’t the only faculty members that offer students support. I’m often given hugs from cafeteria workers, comedic relief from security guards and smiles from administrative staff. Waynesburg is a relationship-centered institution, and that is proven each day from the actions of faculty and staff. 
  2. You can’t skip class. Of course you are allotted three unexcused absences before your grade is affected, but class attendance is arguably more than highly encouraged, it is mandatory. While some people may think I am crazy for viewing this as a pro, I view attendance checks as a positive aspect of attending a small school. Because my absence is recognizable, I am encouraged to take full advantage of my education by attending each class.
  3. Class engagement is encouraged. At Waynesburg, you will never sit in a large auditorium being lectured for an hour. You will have small classes in which you will be encouraged to participate. My classmates and I often ‘interrupt’ class to ask a question or share our opinion on the topic we are discussing; however, our interjections are never frowned upon, they are welcomed. I enjoy participating in a learning environment in which my input is valuable and my questions and concerns are always met with suggestions and solutions. 
  4. Everything is within walking distance. This may be true of other small colleges, but I believe it is especially true of Waynesburg. My commute to class from my dorm is never longer than five minutes. The same goes for my trips to my club meetings, work-study job, the gym, library or cafeteria. This means that even if I am running late (which is often), it is easy to get to where I need to be on time, and if I forget something in my dorm, it is never a pain to simply return to my dorm between classes to retrieve the forgotten item. I love the gorgeous campus landscape that allows for easy walkability, despite all the hills! 
  5. You will be positioned to succeed in your courses. With extremely accessible professors, free tutoring and writing services, you will have multiple resources to help you succeed in your courses. While transitioning from high school to college is difficult, attending a school like Waynesburg eased my transition. My class size in high school was similar to that of my class size at Waynesburg, eliminating the overwhelming aspect of adapting to a new learning environment. In fact, in my time at Waynesburg, I have improved my GPA since high school, which is something not many people can say. This is due in part to the individualized attention that I receive from my professors. If I am ever struggling, I know I can turn to my professors to offer guidance and support. 
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Posted by on in Internships

b2ap3_thumbnail_Aaron-Schuster.jpgWhile some students struggle to select their major in college, for recent graduate, Aaron Schuster, computer security and forensics was an easy selection; it fit his interests perfectly.

“I was always into technology. Computers just clicked with me,” Schuster said. “On top of that, forensics intrigued me. I would watch crime shows and try to solve the case as it went along."

It was his interest in computer security and forensics that led him to his internship at the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Digital Forensics Unit last summer.

Though guided by his interest, Schuster was prepared for this opportunity through his education at Waynesburg University.

“My education gave me the tools I needed to hit the ground running with my internship,” he said. “There was very little need for any kind of training when I started and my coworkers benefited from that. I understood the terminology and work I needed to do right away, which made my experience much more enjoyable, as well.”

While at ICAC, Schuster helped to create case files, document evidence, image evidence items, ensure equipment worked properly and drill holes in old drives for security purposes.

Through his experience at ICAC, Schuster gained first-hand experience related to the daily operations of a forensic unit.

“The labs in the movies and TV shows are made to grab your attention and look really cool, but they’re impractical and misleading,” he said. “Interning at ICAC showed me what it’s truly like to be in that field.”

Part of learning about the field included being exposed to the reality of the dark and immoral offenses that occur in our world.

“The job is to catch those people,” Schuster said.

Schuster takes his interest in the field very seriously, and for that reason hopes to one day make the world a safer place.

“[Whatever path I choose], my job will be to keep the world safe and secure,” he said. “I like the feeling that there will be people living their normal daily lives because I helped take one more criminal off the streets, or stopped one more hacker from accessing sensitive information.”

Schuster credits his time at Waynesburg in helping to shape his future goals and aspirations.

“Waynesburg has had a positive impact on who I am,” he said. “From the faculty to the students, it feels like one big community. Being here for four years hasn’t just made me a better person, but also a better Christian.”

Schuster recently accepted a job in the IT department of a company that manufactures defense equipment; an opportunity that he explained is a great starting point.

“Some of the employees in the digital forensics unit of the company began working in IT initially, which ultimately led them to landing their dream position in forensics,” he said. “This job will give me the exposure I need to begin working in forensics or security.”

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Posted by on in Internships

b2ap3_thumbnail_Rachel-N_20150806-182248_1.jpgUpon her arrival at her internship in an unfamiliar jungle located in a foreign country, Rachel Narasimhan, as one might expect, felt a bit homesick. However, she received comfort from an unlikely source, in the form a baby howler monkey named Stevie. After that moment, she never looked back.

This summer, the Waynesburg University senior biology major spent a month as an intern at Aloutta Sanctuary, a rehabilitation and research center located on the Chiriqui Peninsula of Panama, observing and working with monkeys like Stevie. During her time at the sanctuary, she was able to work with many different types of monkeys, including two capuchins, two Geoffrey’s Tamarins and two baby howlers.

While there, Narasimhan was provided with many opportunities to interact with and observe these monkeys, taking on responsibilities such as providing enrichment for them and watching and recording any behaviors they might exhibit that are typical to monkeys in captivity. Each day, she spent nearly an hour documenting howler behavior in order to compile an ethogram, an inventory of every behavior exhibited by the howlers during the period of time in question. It was through observations such as these that she learned how to read and interpret their facial expressions and body language, so as to improve her interactions with the monkeys.

“It is one thing to see them in photographs and to learn about their behavior in a textbook, but nothing compares to seeing it in person,” Narasimhan said.

She was also able to bond with these animals through activities such as grooming sessions and cuddling with the babies. To prevent the monkeys from becoming bored, the interns often rearranged the branches in their enclosure or hid food in interesting places for them to find, tasks fun for both the monkeys and the staff.

In addition to working with the monkeys, Narasimhan spent time studying the effects of teak harvesting in a local teak plantation on the animals that live there. Despite being profitable, teak plantations are often devastating to local mammal populations. However, she found that through collecting the teak in a way that leaves the understory rather than completely removing it, the plantation will be more sustainable.

“Conservation and sustainability are the reason for all of our work at Aloutta, and I [enjoyed] learning about how to make the world a better place, one step at a time,” Narasimhan said.

Narasimhan feels as though she was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to spend part of her summer at the Aloutta Sanctuary. The experience has showed her how much she enjoys working with animals. Upon graduation from Waynesburg University with a major in biology and a minor in psychology, she hopes to be able to continue doing the type of work she experienced during her time in Panama.

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