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b2ap3_thumbnail_4-12-Tenenbaum.jpgWaynesburg University information technology alumnus Alexander Tenenbaum was recently notified that his research paper, “The Role of Technology in Missions,” has been selected for presentation this summer at the 2016 International Conference on Computing and Mission (ICCM) at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Tenenbaum’s research paper was the result of his senior project at Waynesburg, in which he studied how technologies impact missionaries. He surveyed various missionaries from across the world to investigate how technology aids in their mission work.

“My goal for this project was to learn more about how technology impacts the daily lives of missionaries from across the world,” said Tenenbaum. “Ultimately, technology is never an end in itself, but a means to help proclaim the Gospel across the world.”

Tenenbaum’s research included information from missionaries in developing countries such as Papua New Guinea, Italy, the Netherlands and Kenya. He spent time learning about each mission, their culture and how technology is integrated with their ministry. His paper highlighted newer technologies that help with missions, such as language translation and medicine.

“Alex carefully analyzed the survey responses and came up with many good findings,” said Dr. Elizabeth Wang, associate professor of computer science at Waynesburg University. “I found his topic very interesting and thought it was a great idea to connect computer technologies with missions.”

Wang assisted Tenebaum with his Institutional Review Board application for Waynesburg University and guided him in producing the project into a publishable paper.

“Alexander graduated with departmental honor and is a good student and strong Christian,” said Wang. “I am proud that he will use the computer science knowledge that he learned at Waynesburg to serve people and glorify God in mission fields.”

Wang will present the paper on Tenenbaum’s behalf because he will be on an overseas trip during the conference.

Tenenbaum graduated from Waynesburg University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in information technology.  He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in missiology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The ICCM is an annual gathering of scholars who are interested in both computers and missions. The conference aims to promote effective use of technologies in mission fields.

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

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b2ap3_thumbnail_WUSC15_027.jpgA combined concert presented by the Waynesburg University Lamplighter Concert Choir and Symphonic Band will be held in Roberts Chapel Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

The choir’s portion of the concert, to be directed by Melanie Catana, director of choral music, is centered around Randall Thompson’s “Frostiana,” featuring poetry-based works by American composers such as Leonard Bernstein and Martin Shaw. The Symphonic Band, led by Dr. Ronda DePriest, associate professor of instrumental music, will focus on American hymn tunes and include works by composers William Schuman, Jack Stamp and more. The two groups will perform John Rutter’s “Look at the World” as a combined number.

Both groups are comprised of students from all degree areas at the University, and the Symphonic Band also includes community members. According to DePriest, the groups provide an opportunity for students to continue their music education, and she believes the experience gained is valuable.

“I think the students would tell you that it kind of feeds their spirits a little bit, and we hope sharing that with others will do the same for the audience,” said DePriest.

After the concert, a reception will be held for musicians and audience members in the Marsh Center in the lower level of the Chapel.

For more information, contact the Benedum Fine Arts Center at 724-852-7638.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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Waynesburg University’s small musical ensembles will showcase their work at Chamber Works II Thursday, April 21, at noon in the Marsh Center. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Dr. Ronda DePriest, associate professor of instrumental music, anticipates that the University’s woodwind quintet, brass ensemble, jazz ensemble and the James Randolph Kiltie Band will be among the groups contributing to the concert. The student-comprised ensembles are led by part-time faculty members of the University.

Not included in this semester’s Chamber Works concert is the chamber orchestra group, who will be holding their own concert Saturday, April 23. This is the group’s first isolated performance and will be entitled “Around the World in 80 Days.”

“This is the first time they’ve done a concert all on their own, which shows some growth in the program,” said DePriest. “We’re hoping it becomes a unit that can stand alone.”

Now in its eighth year, the Chamber Works program offers students in small ensembles a chance to focus on individual musical skills and develop leadership skills within their ensemble. Chamber Works concerts are offered twice each semester for the campus and local communities.

For more information, contact the Benedum Fine Arts Center at 724-852-7638.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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Waynesburg University’s annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, May 1, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The celebration will honor approximately 520 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. 

The Rev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser will serve as the Baccalaureate speaker, and D. Raja will address the Class of 2016 as the Commencement speaker. 

Baccalaureate services will be held in Roberts Chapel at 11 a.m., and Commencement will be held on the front lawn of Miller Hall at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the Commencement ceremony will be held in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse. 

Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the Commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony. 

Both Raja and Visser will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, for the ways in which their lives and personal missions relate to the mission of Waynesburg University.

b2ap3_thumbnail_4-6-Visser.JPGRev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser

Visser was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Massachusetts in 1962.

He has been the minister for several churches in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine, serving at the First Baptist Church in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in 2003.

Since then, Visser has been in co-ministry with his wife, Rev. Carol Edwards Visser, at various churches in Pennsylvania and Maine. He is currently the resource minister, along with Carol, for the York Baptist Association and a member of the council of the American Baptist Churches of Maine (ABCOM) Institute for Ministry.

His esteemed career has led him to receive numerous awards, including the Excellence in Ministry Award from the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware (ABCOPAD). Together, he and Carol were recipients of the Alderson Broaddus College Apollo Award, Gordon College Jack Good Community Service Award, Brunswick (Maine) Downtown Association Volunteers of the Year award and Greater Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Community Service Award.

Visser was involved with the ABCOPAD for fourteen years, as a board member and board president, in addition to being a local ministerial president and association moderator. He also served on board for the Washington Health System Greene (then Greene County Memorial Hospital), the Greene County Department of Human Services, the American Red Cross and the Community Foundation of Greene County.

Visser made a lasting impact in Greene County through his involvement with the American Baptist Church Leadership Institute (CLI) of Western Pennsylvania, of which he was the co-founder and chairmen for ten years. 

He completed two degrees at Gordon College, along with two master’s degrees at Gordon Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary.

b2ap3_thumbnail_4-6-Raja.jpgD. Raja

In 1992, Raja launched his own consulting and project management practice, a venture that was to become Computer Enterprises, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based computer software company. He currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. 

Raja is past president of the Mt. Lebanon Commission, past president of TiE Pittsburgh's business mentoring roundtable, founding chair of the University of Pittsburgh Computer Science Industry Board, judge for Carnegie Science Awards for Entrepreneur categories and judge for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. 

In addition to his entrepreneurial efforts in Pittsburgh, Raja is a constant presence in Pittsburgh politics and communication. He hosts a business- and finance-focused radio show, “The Raja Show,” on KDKA.

For his commitment to the profession and socially responsible corporate leadership, Raja was the recipient of the 2007 Smart Business Pacesetters Award for Chief Executive Officer Excellence. Raja was also recognized as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Carnegie Science Center in 2009. He also received the Diamond Award for the Region’s Leading CEOs and Presidents for large business in 2008 from Pittsburgh Business Times.

Raja holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Anna University, India.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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While at the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) 2016 National Assembly in Austin, Texas, Jordan Mitrik, senior public relations major and Chapter vice president of Waynesburg University PRSSA, participated in and was awarded first place at the “Day-of Competition.” 

“I was in complete shock that we won,” said Mitrik. “I was confident in our presentation and knew my team had some really innovative ideas, but I knew all the Day-of partici-pants were really strong and we had some pretty big competition. I was extremely excited and it was a great start to a fantastic National Assembly!”

The “Day-of Competition” is an annual contest that takes place at the PRSSA National Assembly. Those who register are placed in groups with students from other colleges and universities. Each group, based on the prompt given, must work together to develop a public relations campaign for the competition’s client. 

At the end of one hour, each team presents its campaign to a panel of judges, composed of current public relations professionals. After deliberation, a winning team is chosen to receive certificates, as well as a monetary prize. Winners are announced and presented their prizes at the National Assembly’s opening ceremony.

“Participating in the Day-of Competition exposes PRSSA members to a competitive en-vironment and allows them to work with fellow public relations practitioners with whom they are not familiar with,” said Mitrik, who is also firm director of Red Brick Communi-cations, the University’s Nationally Affiliated student-run public relations firm. “It really aids in strengthening your problem-solving skills and your ability to work with a team under pressure. As future professionals, these are all invaluable skills to possess.”

This year, participants were responsible for creating a year-long promotional plan for the United States Tennis Association that would advertise tennis as a sport for all ages. This promotional plan was to include all communication and advertising efforts, as well as demonstrate adherence to a $2,500 budget.

Fellow Waynesburg University PRSSA chapter members Megan Bayles and Maura Fenske also participated in the Day-of Competition. 

This year’s Day-of Competition winning team consisted of seven students: 

  • Brooke Tait, Brigham Young University 
  • Emily Cristales, California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • Krista Watson, Loyola University Chicago
  • Mariana Roldán Carlos, Universidad de Medellín
  • Erica Everett, University of South Florida
  • Elizabeth Frattarole, West Virginia University
  • Jordan Mitrik, Waynesburg University

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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