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b2ap3_thumbnail_Alfonso-Ferrari.jpgA deep-rooted love of America’s favorite pastime, two legendary voices and an unwavering desire to answer God’s call have led Alfonso Ferrari to his current profession.

Ferrari, a 2015 sports broadcasting/sports information graduate, was recently named the official radio voice of the Pennsylvania Rebellion. The Rebellion, a member of the National Pro Fastpitch Softball League, is located in Washington, Pennsylvania, and holds a nearly 50-game schedule, allowing Ferrari to share his love of sports announcing with a national audience.

From the time he was 5 years old, Ferrari said he could recall feeling as if he were meant to work in some aspect of baseball, a sport he calls his “first love.” Validating his aspirations, Ferrari, a native of Tucson, Arizona, grew up listening to Greg Schulte, announcer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who would become one of the two legendary voices responsible for further fueling his passion for the industry.

“As I got older I knew that I wanted to be an announcer,” he said. “I knew that is where God had designed my steps to go.”

Ferrari is responsible for traveling with The Rebellion, announcing both home and away games, and daily preparing information related to The Rebellion and the opposing team, a vital role of an effective broadcaster.

Ferrari credits his Waynesburg University education for his ability to land and accept his current position.

“The education I received taught me what the broadcasting field is like, and taught me the skills that are necessary to be successful,” he said.

Ferrari specifically credits Lanny Frattare, assistant professor of communication at Waynesburg University and play-by-play announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 33 years (1976-2008), for his choice to attend Waynesburg University.

“I knew I would be learning from a man who had been where I wanted to go,” he said.

That choice, and Frattare’s involvement in it, would prove to be a wise one as Ferrari’s undergraduate years unfolded.

“He inspired me and taught me what I needed to do to be successful,” he said. “His taking the time to meet with me to go over my work and tell me what I needed to work on and improve was instrumental.”

Determined to follow in the footsteps of the man he had grown up listening to, Ferrari dreams of the day that he, too, will be a recognized voice for D-Back fans around the world.

“[My] current position is the beginning of the journey that will lead to my dream,” he said.

As he puts his time in to advance in a competitive industry, Ferrari hopes that he will someday be the same light and example that his role models have been for him.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_6-10-bush.jpgDr. James Bush, professor of mathematics at Waynesburg University, is serving as an educational consultant and assisting in the efforts of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), whose goal is "transforming education, [and] changing the lives of tens of thousands of students in the process."

NMSI, a Dallas-based nonprofit that has been working to improve access to and quality of performance on the Advanced Placement examinations in a growing number of schools across the country, is committed to making a difference by "improving how STEM subjects are taught, fostering student interest in math and science and building a college-ready culture." 

In 2013, The Heinz Endowment joined NMSI and provided a three-year, $930,637 grant to Pittsburgh Brashear High School and Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy (Sci-Tech), expecting an increase of 292 percent over the life of the grant on qualifying scores for the two schools in AP mathematics, science and English.

Proving its worth, the grant has led both schools to tremendous success, scoring among the top schools in the state and holding the largest percentages of improvement as a result of the grant and the extra help afforded by NMSI.

According to a September 2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, at Brashear, the number of AP exams in mathematics, science and English earning a qualifying score doubled, from 33 in 2013 to 66 in 2014. At Sci-Tech, the number earning qualifying scores on the same tests tripled, from nine in 2013 to 32 in 2014.

The outcome is a result of the grant money that is used to provide extra help from the National Math and Science Initiative utilizing the expertise and passion of consultants like Dr. Bush. Specifically, Bush conducted several six-hour Saturday sessions throughout the school year during which he reviewed advanced statistical concepts and test-taking strategies with student participants. In addition, Bush will also lead a NMSI Summer Institute for AP Statistics teachers in August. During the week-long workshop, Bush will cover the entire AP curriculum.   

"My goal is to first review the course content for the AP Statistics Curriculum, and second to work with the teachers in developing fun and innovative ways to enhance students' understanding of statistics," he said.

NMSI has trained more than 50,000 teachers, and has a goal to produce another 25,000 new math and science teachers by 2025, equipping teachers with the best tools and techniques to inspire and engage students in math and science instruction. Bush is excited to be a part of this mission.

"Statistics is a very difficult course to teach. Few teachers have had formal training in statistics beyond one or two college courses," he said. "Also, statistics educators are often isolated, being the sole teacher of the subject in their school or district. I am honored to have the opportunity to share my love and passion for statistics with a new generation of teachers and to facilitate the exchange of ideas."

In addition to his work with the Initiative, Bush recently presented a breakout session titled “Motivating Topics in Statistics” using film and television clips at the United States Council on Teaching Statistics (USCOTS) at Penn State in May. 

From June 11-17, Bush will assist in the annual AP Statistics Reading which includes more than 800 statistics teachers (high school and college) from across the country. These educators will work together to score approximately 209,000 AP Statistics examinations, each with six open-ended questions. Bush will help to score the international exams, exams given to students in American schools in different countries.

For more information, visit www.nms.org.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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WAYNESBURG, PA—Waynesburg University will hold auditions for its summer theatre production in the Goodwin Performing Arts Center on the University’s campus Saturday, June 6, and Sunday, June 7, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. both days. 

Auditions are open to the public, and no previous experience is needed. Individuals interested in helping with the technical aspects of the production are also encouraged to attend.

Performance dates are Friday, July 31, and Saturday, Aug. 1.

“We will be presenting some short, humorous plays centering on the foibles of dating and marriage,” said Edward Powers, director of the theatre program and professor of theatre at Waynesburg University. “The evening of plays will be called ‘Relationships.’ By presenting an evening of shorter plays, the audience can see a variety of stories, as well as a number of people on stage from the community.” 

“Shorter plays will allow for a shorter rehearsal time,” he said. 

Powers hopes to have a number of high school students involved both on stage and back stage. 

“The majority of our summer shows have included community adults and some grade school students,” he said. “This summer I hope to include more from our local schools.”

For years, Waynesburg University has presented a summer theatre show for the community. Past summer productions include “The Sound of Music,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Harvey” and “Cotton Patch Gospel,” as well as last summer's “The Mousetrap.” 

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

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in Blog

b2ap3_thumbnail_5-28-Narasimhan.jpgBack at the sanctuary, things are getting busy. Everyday, tons of data is being collected, whether it be behavioral data from our baby howlers or population estimates from transects. When we perform transects, we are walking along set pathways through the jungle and recording every mammal that we see, and precisely where we see them. 

The pathways are through two different ecosystems: the primary forest corridor and then through the teak plantation. The corridors connect fragmented forests and allow animals to move between them, preventing isolation. The teak areas are being harvested and have been cut in a way that can sometimes prevent animals from using them.

Using this data, we can see what animals are using the two different environments and how often. Because teak plantations can be devastating to local populations, this teak plantation was cut in a way that left the understory, and it can still be used by animals. In addition to simply comparing the two environments, we are also using this data to compare to other teak plantations where the understory has been completely removed.

The hypothesis is that the plantation where we are collecting data will demonstrate more biodiversity and will prove to be more sustainable than other teak plantations. Conservation and sustainability are the reason for all of our work at Aloutta, and I’m enjoying learning about how to make the world a better place, one step at a time.

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Waynesburg University will offer two camps for Boy Scouts this summer, Life to Eagle Camp and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) for Scouts Camp. Both camps will offer scouts the opportunity to earn specialized merit badges taught by Waynesburg University professors.

Life to Eagle and STEM for Scouts camps will offer small camp classes with individualized instruction. Waynesburg University professors who are experienced in their badge topic and are registered with the Laurel Highlands Council as Merit Badge Counselors will teach all of the badge sessions.

Registration for both camps is limited to the first 36 scouts. Scouts can provide a roommate preference to room with a friend when registering. 

Life to Eagle Camp

Waynesburg University will host Life to Eagle Camp Friday, July 17, through Sunday, July 19. The Life to Eagle Camp will offer Scouts with Life or Star Rank the opportunity to earn up to three merit badges in one weekend.

Available badges include citizenship in the community, citizenship in the nation, citizenship in the world, communications, emergency prep, environmental science, family life, first aid, personal fitness and sustainability. All of the badges offered are required for obtaining Eagle Rank.

Assistance with Eagle Project planning and portfolios will also be provided, and Scouts will be offered the opportunity to work on their Eagle Project portfolio in Waynesburg University’s state-of-the-art Mac lab in lieu of a third merit badge.

The total cost for the camp is $200, and includes badge instruction, meals and lodging. 

To register, visit http://www.waynesburg.edu/lifetoeaglecamp.

STEM for Scouts Camp

Waynesburg University’s STEM for Scouts Camp will be held Monday, July 20, through Friday, July 24. Boy Scouts entering sixth grade through current high school seniors are invited to attend.

Scouts will have the opportunity to earn up to five science, technology, engineering and math related merit badges. Waynesburg University will offer 15 different badges including astronomy, aviation, bird study, chemistry, digital technology, environmental science, electronics, engineering, geocaching, photography and oceanography, among others. Scouts may choose their five badges when registering.

The total cost for the camp is $350, which includes lodging in air-conditioned dorms, three meals a day in the dining facilities of the University, five merit badges, a t-shirt, a patch and all activities. 

Activities include evening campfires and fun, hands-on STEM activities. Scouts will work on Boy Scouts of America (BSA) NOVA science awards during camp. The Boy Scouts of America's NOVA Awards program incorporates learning with fun activities and exposure to STEM-related fields.

To register, visit http://info.waynesburg.edu/STEMcamp.

The Boy Scouts of America 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, contact scouting@waynesburg.edu.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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