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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0063-2.jpgMegan Bayles, senior public relations major from Carmichaels, recently earned the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Gold Key Award.

The National Gold Key Award is the highest individual honor bestowed upon members of PRSSA, and is given annually to seniors that excel in their academic study of public relations, have pursued ambitious professional development opportunities and are leaders in their PRSSA Chapter.

“I feel extremely honored to be a recipient of the National Gold Key Award,” said Bayles. “As one of PRSSA's highest honors, I feel as though all of my hard work is being rewarded; however, the notoriety and prestige of this award not only celebrates my hard work, but it also represents the amazing public relations program Waynesburg University has to offer.”

To be eligible, applicants must have held a PRSSA leadership position, completed at least one public relations internship, have a GPA of at least 3.4 in their major and intend to become a PRSA Associate Member within one year of graduating.

Bayles, Waynesburg University’s first recipient of this award, met all of the requirements for this award. She serves as Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter President and has interned at the Intermediate Unit 1, a regional educational agency located in Coal Center, as well as at Elias/Savion, a marketing and public relations agency, located in Pittsburgh.

“Megan is very deserving of this recognition,” said Richard Krause, chairperson of the Department of Communication and faculty adviser to the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter. “She is a very effective leader who invests so much time in the Chapter.”

This is not the first time Bayles has received national attention for her work as a public relations student. Last fall, Bayles received first place in the Betsy Plank PRSSA Scholarship competition, an award granted annually to students that demonstrate dedication to the field, practical experience, academic excellence and proven leadership.

Bayles’ award is indicative of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter’s continued success amongst other chapters.

“Megan's receipt of this award is another acknowledgement of the rapid development of the chapter from a local entity to one that now receives national recognition,” said Krause. “It indicates that we are certainly competitive with other larger, successful national chapters, and it should encourage other members of the Chapter to pursue their dreams and aspirations with renewed vigor.”

Bayles received a plaque in recognition of her award and was honored at the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta November 7.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Chad-Sherman.jpgThe Newspaper Research Journal (NRJ), the official academic publication published by the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), has recently accepted the works of Waynesburg University Department of Communication professors Dr. Chad Sherman, Ph.D., and Brandon Szuminsky.

Sherman, assistant professor of communication, and Szuminsky, instructor of communication, co-authored a study, “Variation in the Media Agenda: How Newspapers in Different States Covered the ‘Obamacare’ Ruling.” The literary work investigates the substantive differences in the media agenda of the 2012 Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, as represented by newspaper front page coverage, with emphasis on differences in coverage between “red” and “blue” states.

“The NRJ is a well-regarded journal in the journalism research field and being published in it is quite an honor,” said Szuminsky.

AEJMC is a nonprofit organization of more than 3,700 educators, students and practitioners from around the globe. It is the oldest and largest alliance of journalism and mass communication educators and administrators at the college level.

Sherman noted the publication of this study helps further establish Waynesburg University as an institution conducting valuable research.

In addition to their literary news, both professors were elected to the Newspaper and Online News Division (NOND) of AEJMC.

As web editor, Sherman will maintain NOND’s website as well as work with fellow executive board members to help promote AEJMC and NOND. He will also help manage the Association’s social media channels and its overall visual brand.

As co-chair of professional freedom and responsibility, Szuminsky will work to improve the way professionals do their job through training sessions, presentations and research. 

Sherman holds a bachelor’s degree in communications media, a master’s degree in adult education and communication technology, and a Ph.D. in communications media and instructional technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s degree in organizational leadership from Waynesburg University, Szuminsky is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he is studying communications media and instructional technology. b2ap3_thumbnail_Brandon-Szuminsky.jpg

AEJMC’s mission is to promote the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education, to cultivate the widest possible range of communication research, to encourage the implementation of a multi-cultural society in the classroom and curriculum, and to defend and maintain freedom of communication in an effort to achieve better professional practice and a better informed public.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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The Brookings Institution recently scored institutions of higher education based on the value the colleges added to student outcomes, ranking Waynesburg University higher than 92 percent of 1,666 four-year colleges analyzed nationwide.

The nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions measured the value colleges add to student outcomes, irrespective of student characteristics, based on the earnings of alumni. As Brookings describes on their website, value-added measures provide a more equal way to compare colleges and attempt to isolate the contribution of a college to student outcomes.

“We take pride in yet another national distinction that highlights the value of a Waynesburg University education,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “Our students are being challenged on a daily basis, gaining skills that they are successfully employing in the workforce.”

The research builds upon the Obama administration’s new College Scorecard database that produced value-added rankings for 3,173 colleges (1,507 two-year colleges and 1,666 four-year colleges). According to Brookings, the College Scorecard database “represents a substantial improvement in data quality and transparency in higher education.”

Brookings analyzed criteria including curriculum value, STEM orientation and completion rates.

This recognition follows Waynesburg’s recent ranking in the top 100 of a national Social Mobility Index (SMI) by CollegeNET, which rates schools based on how well they help students improve their economic status. Ranked at No. 66, Waynesburg University was the only school in Pennsylvania to break the top 100 on the national list.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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b2ap3_thumbnail_WUSC15_092.jpgThe Waynesburg University Music Program will offer its second Chamber Works concert of the semester Thursday, Nov. 19, at noon in the Marsh Center in Roberts Chapel. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

The lunchtime concert includes performances by the Beauty and Barber Shop Ensembles, Brass Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, James D. Randolph Kiltie Band, Jazz Ensembles, Percussion Ensemble and Woodwind Ensemble.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch. For more information, contact Ronda DePriest at or 724-852-3420.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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Waynesburg University has expanded its relationship with Chatham University through the establishment of a third articulation agreement. This most recent agreement with Chatham’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program will guarantee admission interviews to qualified Waynesburg applicants. 

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Chatham to include an option for students who have vocational aspirations to be a Physician’s Assistant,” said Dr. Jacquelyn Core, Waynesburg University provost. “These programs provide great introductions for our students to established and successful programs and provide Chatham with the opportunity to interview our best students.  Both institutions benefit, but in the end it’s the students who win as a result of these agreements.”

Successful candidates must maintain a specified GPA, receive satisfactory GRE scores and meet all other established admission requirements for the program.

Waynesburg students who declare intent to enroll in Chatham’s MPAS program will benefit from advisement from faculty at both Waynesburg and Chatham during their undergraduate studies at Waynesburg. 

The MPAS program provides academic and clinical training that prepares its graduates to be certified and licensed to practice as extenders to the practicing physician, especially the primary care physician. Students complete two didactic semesters at the Chatham Eastside facility before beginning their clinical rotations at various sites in the greater Pittsburgh area, other parts of the U.S. and around the globe. 

Graduates of the program have achieved a 93 percent average first-time pass rate over the past five years on the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) and are known as outstanding clinicians in the community and leaders in the profession. 

Waynesburg also has established agreements with Chatham’s Master of Occupational Therapy Program (MOT) and Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT), which guarantee interviews to qualified Waynesburg University students for consideration into the MOT or DPT programs. 

For more information, visit or contact Dr. Bryan Hamilton, professor of biology at Waynesburg University, at or 724-852-3379. 

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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