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Recent biology graduate Andrya Durr knew that she wanted to pursue a career in biology from the time she was in seventh grade.

With a passion for medicine, Durr wants to dedicate her life to helping people with their health issues because of what she has experienced in her own life.

“My mother has a combination of Addison’s disease and Fibromyalgia,” she said. “My long-term goal is to find an effective, steroid-free treatment for Addison’s patients.”

Accepted into the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program at West Virginia University for the fall of 2016, she will be conducting research in four-week lab rotations that will expose her to different types of experiments, ultimately selecting a specific lab and research project for her program.

As a student at Waynesburg, Durr said she was prepared with the knowledge that she needed to further her education in biology. Durr credits the research requirement for allowing her to prepare and run her own experiments. She also recognizes her professors for helping her decide what she wanted to pursue after completing her undergraduate degree.

Dr. Chad Sethman was Durr’s mentor throughout her four years at Waynesburg and was always available to answer questions and provide assistance. Durr’s research mentor was Dr. Wayne Rossiter, whom she speaks very highly of as well.

“When I started my research project, I was preparing for medical school, but once I completed my first semester with [Dr. Rossiter], I cancelled my Medical College Admission Test, signed up for the Graduate Record Examinations and applied to the research program at West Virginia University,” said Durr.

In the research field, it is of utmost importance to work with integrity, which Durr said she learned at Waynesburg.

“My education at Waynesburg has made me more honest and humble as a person,” said Durr. “It has always been difficult for people to combine faith and science, but Waynesburg helped me to do it perfectly.”

Durr said that she has wanted to create positive change for people her entire life, and through the biomedical sciences program, she is going to have a career she is proud of, but most importantly, she will be doing work that serves others.

“Waynesburg shaped me as a person by encouraging me to explore and to never be afraid of taking chances,” said Durr. “If you always do what makes you comfortable, you’ll never see your full potential.”

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Posted by on in Alumni

Recent graduate Hanna Megna’s next step is to further her education in the nation’s capital.

On Aug. 29, 2016, Megna will begin earning her Master of Arts degree in contemporary English literature at George Washington University in Washington District of Columbia.

Excited and ready for her next level of study, Megna is looking forward to examining literature on a theoretical level with her professors. As she reflects back on her time at Waynesburg, Megna praises the value of the education she received at the university.

“The classes Dr. Jamie Dessart offers on theory have given me a really great base of knowledge,” said Megna. “I will be able to go into my graduate level classes with a working knowledge of concepts that my peers will only just be starting to acknowledge.”

Dr. Dessart encouraged Megna to submit a research paper to the National Pop Culture and American Culture Association’s annual conference. Megna said that the research for the paper was “both exhausting and exhilarating.” After submitting the paper, Megna was accepted to present her work in Seattle, which gave her the confirmation that this was part of God’s plan for her life. Additionally, she knew that pursuing her master’s degree was the next step in His plan.

During her time at Waynesburg, Megna said that she was able to grow because of the people that surrounded her. She was able to be independent in an environment that cared about her well-being.

“I was living on my own, but the faculty around me cared about me as a person and were always there when I needed advice,” said Megna. “I was making my own choices, but I had the input of those who had years of wisdom and knowledge.”

Megna worked at the Writing Center on campus with Jill Sunday and had independent study courses with Dr. Dessart that helped her not only gain knowledge, but also an understanding of how to apply her knowledge to both her class texts and everyday life. Megna said that she would not be where she is in her life without those two extraordinary women.

Megna furthered her knowledge outside of the classroom by being the treasurer and the president of Sigma Tau Delta during her time at Waynesburg. She credits the honor society as a great chance to be around like-minded individuals and be able to plan events that incorporated the entire department.

Looking into the future, Megna’s goal is to teach creative writing and contemporary literature at the collegiate level.

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Posted by on in Internships

b2ap3_thumbnail_Austin-Anderson-2.jpgAs the crowds roar loudly, you will find Austin Anderson providing the play-by-play for the games of the Chicago Bandits professional softball team. This summer, the sports broadcasting/sports information major is working as an announcer and sales intern for the Chicago Bandits.

A portion of his internship includes making sales calls to local businesses, selling tickets and taking on other office operation duties. Austin said this part of his day was the most challenging.

“Making cold sales calls is challenging; it’s the first time I’ve done that,” he said. “But that’s a good thing because many of the entry level broadcasting jobs include sales work.”

The latter half of his work day is where Austin shines. With each play of the game, he announces the live broadcast of the Chicago Bandits’ games. Anderson rotates between the roles of associate announcer, interviewer and play-by-play announcer.

“Being able to call games for a team on a consistent basis is great; I haven’t had that experience before,” Anderson said.

Anderson credits his classes at Waynesburg with preparing him for his internship. Sports Announcing I and II gave him the experience he needed and Sports Information and Management helped him see how a franchise operates.

“For this internship, WCTV, WCYJ, WUSN and GreeneSports.net have been the most beneficial,” he said.

Anderson said the Department of Communication taught him about what it means to be a broadcaster. He also noted that professionalism and preparation are the two most important skills he has learned from his professors at Waynesburg.

Over the past few years, Anderson said that he has been a sponge while learning from Lanny Frattare, who has had a very successful career in the sports broadcasting industry. Additionally, Richard Krause, assistant professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, has taught him about professionalism and what is expected of him in the field.

In July, Anderson was the lead play-by-play announcer.

“This was a huge opportunity for me, as I was the main announcer for 10 of the 14 innings during two games,” he said. “I was in charge of running the pre-game show and the [games]. Those were the two most important games of the summer for me.”

Anderson is taking the skills he has been taught at Waynesburg into the field of announcing, where he is applying what he knows while continually adapting to his surroundings.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kimmi-Baston.JPGOn the fifty-seventh floor of the US Steel Tower in Pittsburgh, Pa., soon-to-be senior Kimmi Baston is working as a summer intern for the largest employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC.

Baston, a journalism major with minors in marketing and public relations, is serving as a summer associate in the Marketing and Communications Department for Clinical Marketing at UPMC.

Baston is creating promotional materials for clinical services and works specifically with emergency/trauma medicine, neurology, neurosurgery, plastic surgery and urgent care. She also interviews former patients about their treatment at UPMC. Among a list of other tasks, she will be planning several marketing initiatives.

The biggest challenge thus far has been familiarizing herself with the medical lingo she has to incorporate into her writing.

“I have to research and learn about every condition, treatment, policy, hospital, doctor and service before I can even have a prayer of writing about it,” said Baston. “It’s awesome – I love getting to learn so much about medicine in addition to what I’m learning about my field.”

More than 5,000 applicants applied for the Summer Associate Program, while only 94 were selected.

“That’s such a small percentage of people to be hired, so I’m so honored and in awe that I am one of them.”

Baston credits Waynesburg for helping to prepare her for this opportunity. As the executive editor of the student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a leading scholar, among other accolades, her experience at the University is what set her apart from the competition.

“I have to be professional, take initiative, work well on a team and communicate effectively,” she said. “I’ve developed all of those skills through all of my WU activities. It’s possible I could be in an elevator with one of our four chief officers at any time, but thanks to WU, I’m not nervous about it.”

Baston talked about how Waynesburg further prepared her for her internship at the healthcare company that is highly involved with the surrounding region.

“The fact that I possess the skills to do my work is a total tribute to being so involved in journalism and having such great instruction at Waynesburg,” said Baston.

Baston’s favorite experience thus far was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ victory parade after winning the Stanley Cup. She and her fellow interns were recruited to pass out posters to fans to promote the “Thank You Pens” initiative.

“Pittsburgh pride is infectious, and I am honored to be a part of an organization that, despite its enormous size and many responsibilities, continuously cares so much for the community and its people,” said Baston.

Along with her daily tasks, Baston also has the opportunity to attend networking events. Working along fellow interns, she is experiencing life in a corporate world and is putting into action what she has learned at Waynesburg.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_8-29-Nursing-Ranking-Logo.pngWaynesburg University was recently named a top nursing school nationwide in the inaugural ranking by Nursing Schools Almanac.

Waynesburg ranked among the top 1.5 percent of the more than 3,200 schools that were considered. Ten percent of those schools made the final list, with Waynesburg being ranked No. 49 in the nation.

“This ranking is a reflection of the dedication and commitment to excellence displayed by the faculty, students and graduates of the Waynesburg University Department of Nursing,” said Dr. Nancy Mosser, chair and director of the Department of Nursing and professor of nursing. “It is quite an honor to be ranked among the top 1.5 percent of schools nationwide.”

The ranking primarily examined schools on their academic prestige and perceived value, the breadth and depth of nursing programs offered and overall student success, particularly on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

The mission of the Nursing Schools Almanac is to provide aspiring nurses a detailed, comprehensive and analytical resource for selecting their future nursing school.

Waynesburg was also recognized as No. 27 among private nursing schools and No. 12 overall in the Mid-Atlantic region, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Waynesburg’s nursing program has established itself as a premier nursing program throughout the region, and with the recent addition of the modern, state-of-the-art simulation lab, students in the program receive unmatched learning opportunities.

For more information on the undergraduate nursing program, visit www.waynesburg.edu/undergraduate/undergraduate-majors/nursing. For more information on the graduate nursing programs, visit www.waynesburg.edu/graduate/graduate-majors/nursing.

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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