b2ap3_thumbnail_3-23-Southpointe-CEO-Award.jpgWaynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee has been selected as a co-recipient of the Southpointe CEO Association’s World Class CEO Award for 2016.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Southpointe CEO Association in this way,” said Lee. “This award reflects the dedication of the entire Waynesburg University community. Together, we bring life to our mission of inspiring and challenging our students to pursue lives of leadership and purpose.”

Lee, along with co-recipient Charles Keller, senior counsel at the law firm of Peacock Keller, will be honored Thursday, June 16, at a dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe. 

“President Lee provides the leadership of Waynesburg University through his commitment to our mission,” said Heidi Szuminsky, vice president for institutional advancement and university relations. “His passion for our students is extraordinary. He truly embodies our mission, and the numerous accolades received by the University during his tenure are a result of his leadership.”

Lee joined Waynesburg University as executive vice president in October 2009. He was unanimously elected president of the University by the Board of Trustees in September 2012 and took office July 1, 2013. Prior to Waynesburg, Lee was a partner in the Law firm of Steptoe and Johnson, PLLC, where he worked for nearly 20 years. He also established and sold a multi-line insurance business after college graduation.

Under Lee’s leadership, Waynesburg University has received national attention for the economic outcomes of its graduates. The University is a Pittsburgh Business Times “Best Place to Work for 2015” and recognized internationally as one of the most beautiful Christian college campuses in the world by Christian Universities Online. 

In March 2015, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaccredited Waynesburg University for a 10-year period. Currently, Lee is leading the $23 million revitalization of the Paul R. Stewart Science Hall, which is creating a state-of-the-art academic facility for the sciences.

Lee was named to The Pennsylvania Business Central's Top 100 People list of 2013 and has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®. He is an elder at the Presbyterian Church, has served on the Greene County Planning Commission and is a graduate of Leadership West Virginia and the FBI Citizens Academy. 

He is an Eagle Scout, has served on the Executive Board for the Mountaineer Area Council Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the Fort Jackson Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. He has also served on the Boards of the Union Rescue Mission in Fairmont, W.Va., the Harrison County Bar Association, the Westminster Foundation of West Virginia and Howe Cemetery. He was a volunteer fireman, serving as line officer and executive officer.

An endurance athlete, Lee is a finisher of three Ironman Triathlons and six marathons, including the Marine Corps Marathon and Death Valley Marathon.

Located south of Pittsburgh, the Southpointe CEO Association is supported and directed by CEOs in the Southpointe business park. In keeping with the public-private partnership that gave birth to Southpointe, the association brings local, national and international leaders together for informative events and works with government officials on all levels to build upon and expand the region's business success.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-22-Charter-Day---Gilchrist.jpgWaynesburg University celebrated the 166th anniversary of its charter by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 22. The celebration was held in the University’s Roberts Chapel.

Introduced by Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee, the Rev. Dr. James Gilchrist, senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, served as the Charter Day speaker. 

In his convocation address, “The Deep Logic,” Gilchrist said that every -ology, whether it be biology, meteorology or psychology, reflects something of the Word of God.

“A well-educated Christian finds connections in the deeper logic of things,” Gilchrist said as he shared examples of early modern scientists who were also devout Christians, citing great minds like Isaac Newton, who wrote almost as much about the Bible as physics, and Galileo Galilei, who was a devout Catholic.  

Gilchrist also urged the upcoming generation of leaders to do a better job than those before them.

“The world desperately needs the kinds of qualities that are cultivated at a truly Christian university,” he said. “I hope that you find those qualities here, and I hope that you go out and share them with the world.” 

During the convocation, Lee presented Gilchrist with the University’s A.B. Miller Leadership Award in recognition of Gilchrist’s exemplary spiritual and social leadership.

“In honor of the public spirit exemplified by former Waynesburg University President Alfred Brashear Miller and in recognition of your embodiment of the highest principles of this institution, Waynesburg University honors you,” said Lee.

b2ap3_thumbnail_3-22-Charter-Day---Beiter.jpgThe award cited the ways in which Gilchrist has foreseen the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century. 

Gilchrist’s outreach through mission work has led him to travel throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Recently, he traveled with members of Westminster to Malawi and India. Gilchrist is a regular participant in the Council on Foreign Relations Workshop on Religion and International Affairs.

He teaches in the Doctor of Ministry program at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and previously taught at Carnegie Mellon University and Dickinson College.

Also during the ceremony, Lee conferred upon Charles Beiter the title of professor emeritus of English. Beiter, who joined the University in 1966, retired from his full-time position in May 2015.

“For nearly 50 years, you have devoted yourself through a number of roles and service on countless committees, leading and inspiring students, colleagues, administration and the Waynesburg University community as a whole,” Lee said of Beiter. “Today, we recognize you as a highly respected educator and acknowledge all the ways that you have challenged and encouraged your students to lead lives of purpose.”

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_yellow_jacket_logo2.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-produced newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, recently earned nine awards from two prestigious journalism organizations, the highest number of awards the newspaper has accrued in a single year.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), a national organization of journalists, named the Waynesburg newspaper as a finalist in four different categories for a total of five awards, and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA) announced three first place awards and an honorable mention for the newspaper staff.

The SPJ Mark of Excellence competition divides entrants into small schools (1-9,999 students) and large schools (10,000+ students) for some categories. For the year 2015, members of the Yellow Jacket staff are finalists in the following categories: Jacob Meyer in Feature Writing (Small), Sports Writing (Small), and General News (Small); Tim Neral in Non-Fiction Magazine Writing; and Nika Anschuetz in General News (Small).

“Being named a finalist for the SPJ awards tells us that the students took no worse than what is essentially third place in our four-state region, which is a huge honor,” said Brandon Szuminsky, faculty adviser for The Yellow Jacket.

The finalists for these awards were selected from among entrants across SPJ Region 4, which includes Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. A group of students will travel in April to the SPJ Region 4 and 5 Spring Conference in Cincinnati to learn how the newspaper placed. First-place winners in each category will move on to the national SPJ competition.

“We’ve never been selected for five Mark of Excellence awards before, and I’m honored to lead the staff that accomplished it,” said Kimmi Baston, executive editor of The Yellow Jacket. “The Mark of Excellence Awards are prestigious accolades, so I’m thrilled that Waynesburg is represented so heavily among the winners.”

SPJ presents the Mark of Excellence Awards annually, honoring the best in student journalism. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism.

In addition to collecting five Mark of Excellence Awards, The Yellow Jacket received four Student Keystone Press awards from the PNA in Division II, which includes four-year colleges and universities with enrollment under 10,000.

In the Ongoing News Coverage category, The Yellow Jacket won first place for a series entitled “University bans off-campus living,” by Rebecca Burcham, Rob Longo and Jacob Meyer, and received an honorable mention for “Mather Mine: The forgotten tragedy,” by Chelsea Dicks. The series “University bans off-campus living” also won first place for Public Service/Enterprise Package. In the Sports Story category, Meyer won first place for his feature article “The hardest thing imaginable.”

“To bring in three first place awards after being compared to schools across the state is truly a testament to the incredible amount of work our writers put into each and every piece,” said Baston. “I was proud of each of these stories when we published them in 2015, and I’m incredibly proud and excited that the PNA recognized the exceptional work of the students who wrote them.”

The Student Keystone Press Awards contest recognizes high school and college journalism that provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers.
“While The Yellow Jacket staff has a long list of awards, this is the most awards we’ve ever won in a single academic year. Last year we were pretty happy to win five awards between SPJ and PNA, so to win nine this year has us ecstatic,” said Szuminsky. “These awards are confirmation that students are doing great work and are getting a high-quality journalism education at Waynesburg that will prepare them for their future careers.”

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-21-WCCC-nursing-agreement.JPGOfficials of Westmoreland County Community College (WCCC) and Waynesburg University recently signed an agreement to ensure that students who completed the nursing associate degree program at WCCC will transfer to a parallel baccalaureate degree program at the university.

The agreement, which applies to the university’s RN to BSN program, was signed by Dana Cook Baer, interim provost at Waynesburg University, and WCCC President Tuesday Stanley.

“This articulation agreement with Waynesburg University will provide WCCC nursing students with a seamless pathway to a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which is a professional and personal goal for many,” said Stanley.

To be eligible, WCCC students must complete the associate degree nursing program, be in good standing with no history of academic probation and have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. 

“We are pleased to partner with WCCC to provide an opportunity for students who want to obtain education and training in quality nursing programs at a time when the country and the region need well-trained and compassionate health care professionals,” said Baer.

“The agreement aligns with the Institute of Medicine’s proposed nursing education initiative to increase the proportion of nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing from 50 to 80 percent by 2020,” said Rebecca Gediminsksas, interim dean of health professions/ natural sciences. 

In Pennsylvania, only 27 percent of nurses have attained a bachelor’s degree in nursing. 

“Intrinsic to nursing education is instilling that learning is lifelong and further education is imperative,” said Gediminsksas.

At WCCC, 484 students are currently enrolled in the college’s associate degree nursing programs conducted at the Youngwood campus and WCCC centers in Greene and Indiana counties.  

“Our curriculum at Waynesburg University builds on what students have learned in their associate degree nursing program and is not a repeat of courses,” said Dr. Kimberly Whiteman, co-director of the University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice Program.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-18-Vira-Heinz.jpgSix Waynesburg University students have been selected to receive scholarships through the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership.

The Vira I. Heinz Program, part of Heinz Endowments, is intended to empower young women to address global issues by offering opportunities for international education, leadership development and community service. Typically, each participating college or university in Pennsylvania is granted three spots for female sophomores or juniors. This year, as has been the case at Waynesburg in previous years, Waynesburg was granted six spots.

The program provides scholarships of at least $5,000 for women who have never been out of the United States to study abroad for the summer, and Waynesburg is one of only 13 higher education institutions to participate in the program. Collectively, the Waynesburg recipients will receive more than $40,000 for their trips, scheduled to take place during the summer of 2016. 

“It’s an honor,” said Pat Bristor, associate dean of students and coordinator of the University’s Vira I. Heinz Program. “It’s the quality of our students. We have outstanding students, and we have exceptional female students who apply for the scholarship and really present themselves well.”

The six students were selected after an application process that included creating a proposal for their intended travel plans and interviews in front of a committee. They will participate in a year-long program which includes spring and fall retreats at the University of Pittsburgh, a summer of travel, an experience report and a community engagement experience. 

Waynesburg scholarship recipients this year include sophomores Melanie Byler, Moesha Godwin and Alexis Prettiman and juniors Summer Fiori, Anna Narehood and Maranda Valentino.

Byler, an athletic training and exercise science major from Salisbury, Pennsylvania, plans to travel through International Studies Abroad to India. She will be completing a healthcare service learning program and hopes to learn the Hindi language as well as expand her knowledge of Eastern medicine. 

Fiori, a psychology major from Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, will travel to Northern Thailand to study at Chiang Mai University through the Center for International Studies. She will study the Buddhist religion, learn to speak Thai and serve as a volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park. She also plans to spend time touring the country and experiencing the culture.

Godwin, a psychology major from Bronx, New York, will spend the summer in Adelaide, Australia, studying international health and indigenous cultures, particularly the Aboriginal culture. She is traveling through International Studies Abroad and is most looking forward to interacting with new people.

Narehood, a forensic chemistry major from Frenchville, Pennsylvania, will spend the summer in Luneburg, Germany, and is traveling through the University Study Abroad Consortium. Thrilled to be fulfilling her dream of traveling abroad, Narehood plans to study German culture, language, government and politics.

Prettiman, a criminal justice and international cultures double major from North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, will be travelling to Rabat, Morocco, through the Council on International Educational Exchange. While there, she will study the Arabic language and seek to better understand the religion and traditions of Morocco, experiences for which she feels the University has helped prepare her.

Valentino, a history secondary education major from Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, plans to spend the summer in Saint Petersburg, Russia, learning the Russian language and studying sociology and history at Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University. Through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) Study Abroad Program, she will also travel to a number of places throughout Russia, such as Moscow and Norovgrod, to study the culture.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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