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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kristen-Wilson.jpgPreparing for a successful future is a major priority for senior chemistry (secondary education) major Kristen Wilson. This summer, she is devoting her time to chemistry education research, which she knows will ultimately benefit her decision to become a high school chemistry teacher. 

Wilson is spending 10 weeks as an undergraduate researcher in chemistry education at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota. She is conducting research on data collected by Dr. James Nyachwaya, assistant professor of chemistry education at NDSU and Wilson’s advisor.

In addition to conducting research and analyzing data, Wilson will be attending seminars on education based research and professional development. At the completion of her internship, Wilson will present her final research at a poster session, which she will bring back to Waynesburg.

“The poster will come back to Waynesburg, and if it is exceptional research, I can get additional funding to present the research at national conferences,” said Wilson.

Aside from Wilson’s work, she is taking advantage of networking opportunities with the NDSU faculty. These relationships may have the ability to provide her future career opportunities upon graduating from Waynesburg.

“Opportunities that internships and research open include strengthening research abilities, but this experience is showing me a field of research that I may have never seen,” said Wilson. “It is a very unique type of research that I will be bringing back to Waynesburg when I return in the fall.”

Wilson credits her participation in various Waynesburg activities for helping her have a stronger ability to work closely with others. She is a member of the Commuter Club, Relay for Life and the American Chemical Society (ACS). Wilson has also been inducted into the education honorary society, Kappa Delta Pi, and the chemistry honorary society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon.

“All of these involvements at Waynesburg have helped me become more comfortable with working with others and being a leader,” said Wilson. “They have provided me an opportunity to work closely with other professors and students, which has helped in this internship.”

In particular, Waynesburg’s ACS student chapter has been a great benefit to Wilson’s education. Being involved in the student chapter has introduced her to a lot of chemistry education research.

“Had I not been involved in ACS, I may not have taken an interest or even known this field existed, which, in turn, would not have made me search for opportunities like this one,” said Wilson.

Wilson will serve as the president of the University’s student chapter during the upcoming academic year.

Most of all, Wilson’s chemistry classes at Waynesburg have best prepared her for the work she is doing at NDSU.

“The chemistry classes at Waynesburg have helped me develop the skills needed to find, read and analyze research articles,” said Wilson. “The dedication to research and development of a research project that I had done at Waynesburg helped to prepare me for the expectations that Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs, such as this one here at NDSU, expect.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_7-12Top-Counseling-Schools-Best-Value-2016.jpgWaynesburg University’s Graduate Programs in Counseling have been ranked a top value in Pennsylvania based on data that was provided in part by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Programs (CACREP). 

“This recognition represents the dedication of the entire Waynesburg University community including our faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Dr. Taunya Tinsley, director of Graduate Programs in Counseling and associate professor of counseling. “Our team works together to offer curriculums that are rigorous, challenging and rewarding as we seek to inspire students to a life of leadership and purpose.”

Compiled by Top Counseling Schools (TCS), the ranking primarily examined program completion rates, job placement rates and licensing exam pass rates, as well as accreditation length, research productivity, and tuition and fees.

The ranking cited the University’s accredited programs in addiction counseling and mental health counseling, in addition to single-digit class sizes, National Counselor Exam (NCE) pass rates just under 90 percent, and job placement rates of virtually 100 percent shortly after graduation.

The University’s Addictions Counseling Program is the only CACREP-accredited program in Pennsylvania and one of seven in the United States.

Top Counseling Schools’ purpose is to contribute to the academic mission of higher learning institutions by providing pertinent and objective information that counseling students and professionals find relevant to the field of counseling.

For more information on Waynesburg’s Graduate Programs in Counseling, visit For more information on the ranking, visit 

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or

Tagged in: counseling news
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b2ap3_thumbnail_JK.jpgThree Waynesburg University students attended the American Chemical Society (ACS) Central Eastern Regional Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, in May 2016. Two students, Jelena Kyle and Brandon Bosley, presented research at the conference.

Kyle, a forensic science alumna, presented her poster, “The classification of key odorants in coffee using solid phase microextraction and gas chromatography mass spectrometry.” The goal of her research was to determine what chemically changes in coffee beans over time.

“I not only gained experience from presenting my poster to a large group of professionals, but I also gained a few contacts, as well as some helpful tips as I travel onto graduate school and continue to do research,” said Kyle.

Even though Kyle graduated prior to attending the meeting, she still wanted to go and present her research so that she could continue to support Waynesburg University.

“I have realized now that no matter what, you may leave Waynesburg, but Waynesburg never really leaves you,” said Kyle.

Bosley, a senior forensic science major, presented his research that examined how heat affects the presumptive and confirmatory forensic analysis of human blood. His poster was titled “Does temperature effect confirmatory analysis of blood, red blood cell morphology and DNA degradation.”

“For me, the meeting was important for the biological and medical lectures and how chemistry was involved,” said Bosley. “I am excited to get into my biochemistry and upperclassman biology classes to see how I can tie in the information that I learned at the conference.”

Bosley credits his classes at Waynesburg with enabling him to relate and process the material presented at the conference.

“My upperclassman science classes gave me the background and ability to understand some complex material that the professionals were rattling off like it was everyday language,” said Bosley.

Kristen Wilson, a senior chemistry (secondary education) major, also attended the conference and had the opportunity to network with professionals in the field, learn about the process of conducting research and discover possible graduate school opportunities.

“I gained a lot of knowledge about the chemistry education research that is taking place right now, which helps me understand how the field is growing,” said Wilson. “It also made me more prepared and excited for my Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this summer at North Dakota State University.”b2ap3_thumbnail_BB_20160711-145956_1.jpg

Wilson insists that her Waynesburg experience has helped her grow as a professional, while building her resume and understanding the value of research, all of which she is excited to bring back to campus.

“I am able to bring back to my classes at Waynesburg an excitement and interest in research that conferences, such as this one, instill in me,” said Wilson.

ACS regional meetings provide a smaller venue than the national meeting and reflect the diverse professional interests of their geographic regions. These meetings feature technical programs on a variety of topics, poster sessions and expositions.

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, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or


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Posted by on in Internships

b2ap3_thumbnail_Robert-Leon.jpgProfessional experience is important in building a healthy resume, which is exactly why finance major Robert Leon began exploring internship opportunities for the summer. Approaching his junior year of college, he wanted the opportunity to intern at a small firm to gain some practical experience since his resume was somewhat bleak in the financial sector.

Leon’s search process led him to an amazing opportunity with financial giant JPMorgan Chase (JPMC). The worst thing, he thought, was that they would just say no. Not having high hopes, Leon was surprised to receive an email notifying him that his application had passed the first round of screening and he was selected as a candidate.

The next step was to write two essays, one that explained why he would like to intern with JPMC and one that shared his interest in the financial sector. Two weeks after submitting his essays, Leon received another email that said he was chosen for an interview. Leon describes the whole interview process as a surreal experience.

The interview was a two-day event in Dallas, Texas, which consisted of various meetings, seminars and a face-to-face interview. During the interview process, JPMC also offered advice on how to transition from the classroom to corporate America, information that will be extremely helpful entering the workforce.

Leon’s professors at Waynesburg spent a few weeks prepping him with mock interviews to better prepare him with possible questions and build his confidence.

“It was quite intimidating coming from a small school, but from sitting down and talking with the other students, I felt strongly about my preparation and the coursework that Waynesburg University has provided me,” said Leon. “I could go toe-to-toe with any of those students and I credit a lot of that to the diligence and constant challenges that Dr. Ola has given me.”

Leon competed against 19 other candidates from many high profile national schools. He was offered the position about a week after the Dallas interview event.

Leon’s acceptance led him to JPMC’s corporate offices in Columbus, Ohio, to serve as a two-month summer intern in the Chase Leadership Development Program, serving on the Consumer Bank Risk Management Quality Assurance team.

Much of his work included checking controls and running tests in different proprietary applications to ensure that fraud alerts are triggered in different transactions, which was a completely new area for Leon and presented him with some challenges along the way.

“Just within the first two weeks, I learned far more than I would have expected,” said Leon. “It wasn’t a job of making copies and getting coffee; I was [quickly] doing practical work to help add value to the team.”

In addition to learning the job responsibilities and managing his schedule, Leon was challenged by the international scope of his team, half of which was located in Mumabi, India. This presented Leon with a time zone and language barrier that he didn’t expect going into the internship.

“We have conference calls or telepresence meetings to get everyone together, but you can’t just walk down the hall to ask a question,” said Leon. “Patience and understanding were the only ways to describe how to handle those situations.”

Fortunately, Leon describes, everyone was very helpful with whatever questions he had. He shared that questions were encouraged because it shows that you are engaged in your work.

Overall, the experience was everything Leon had hoped for and more.

“The internship has shown me what corporate culture is like and what is expected on a daily basis,” said Leon. “You have to use a creative mindset along with a strong analytical framework to figure out the problem and a way to deliver what is expected.”

Waynesburg has helped Leon in learning this mindset for approaching problems and handling a professional workload. He has a new level of appreciation for the liberal arts education he is receiving at the University and realized it has allowed him to appreciate the views and ideas of others more easily.

Even through his participation on Waynesburg sports teams, he has built professional skills that are important in the work force, such as time-management and prioritization.

“In the professional world, the to-do list never ends; there is always work to do, but you have to set your priorities for each day,” said Leon. “My experience in managing school work and sports has been a great asset to rely on in the workplace and helped me to show a willingness to take on multiple projects at one time.”

Being able to have this experience at such an early age has been a blessing for Leon. The opportunities, both educationally and professionally, can be endless moving forward.

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Waynesburg University’s Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science recently received a $6,000 grant from the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh (SSP) for the purchase of a new spectrometer.

According to the SSP, a record number of applications were received but only 11 institutions were chosen. Waynesburg will be purchasing a new Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer with the funds.

“Grants like this are important because they help us to acquire modern instrumentation that we can use to educate our students and prepare them to work as chemists,” said Dr. Evonne Balduff, associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science. “It greatly enables us to make purchases that we would otherwise not be able to achieve without significant planning and saving.”

The spectrometer will be used in a number of chemistry labs to help students develop skills in acquiring and deciphering infrared spectra. Waynesburg’s forensic science courses will also have the opportunity to use the instrument.

“Learning infrared is an important skill for our students to gain, whether they hope to go to graduate school or work in the chemistry industry,” said Baldauff.

The SSP is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering science education in the Western Pennsylvania region through the support of member education programs, teacher and student awards, a wide variety of educational programs and grant programs for high schools, colleges and beginning university professors.

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, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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