b2ap3_thumbnail_RA_Logo_2016_20170719-184439_1.jpgAs Pittsburgh continues to develop into a major national tech hub with a demand for qualified technology professionals, the need for an academic program focused on coding and testing has emerged. 

Waynesburg University and Rivers Agile, a quality assurance and software development firm, have developed an accelerated training opportunity, the Professional Software Development Program, which will prepare participants to enter the rapidly growing tech field in under a year. 

Unique to the Pittsburgh region, this partnership enables students to benefit from a traditional higher education institution as well as a cutting-edge technology company. Participants will learn directly from senior-level experts on real-world projects while building their résumés and engaging in the classroom. 

“Inspired by our involvement with the Allegheny Conference and wanting to help with the projected regional needs identified in their Inflection Point study, we are excited to partner with Rivers Agile to mesh their technology expertise with our leadership and business context expertise to create a pool of software development professionals ready to fill the demand,” said Mary Cummings, senior vice president of graduate programs at Waynesburg University.

Open Houses will be held for interested individuals Wednesday, July 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursday, August 3, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Waynesburg University’s Southpointe center, located at 6000 Town Center Boulevard in Canonsburg. The Open Houses will provide the opportunity for interested applicants to meet the instructors and learn more about the program.

“Rivers Agile has been proud to provide an alternative path to education in the technology field across the Pittsburgh area through our Code School,” said Ben Wilson, Founder and CEO at Rivers Agile. “We’re excited to expand our offering through this partnership with Waynesburg University, since Pittsburgh continues to face a large gap in qualified web developers and quality assurance professionals to meet the thriving local demand. This program will arm students with the skills necessary for entry-level roles.”

The Professional Software Development Program’s curriculum has three areas of concentration, including quality assurance, web development and organizational leadership. Students who complete the two-semester coursework will be able to quickly transition from the classroom into the workforce to fill entry-level positions such as software engineer or quality assurance analyst.

Designed to immerse students into an intense curriculum through an accelerated evening format, classes will meet at Waynesburg’s Southpointe location on Monday and Wednesday evenings, beginning this fall. The program will take approximately nine months to complete, split into four 8-week sessions with a break over the Christmas holiday.

For more information or to apply, visit www.waynesburg.edu/psdp.

About Rivers Agile

Launched in 2008 as a quality assurance and software testing consulting firm, Rivers Agile has grown into a regional leader in software innovation that provides QA and UX professional services as well as custom software solutions. The firm develops B2B and B2C software products for many industries including energy, higher education, healthcare and predictive analytics. The collaborative team is passionate about delivering innovative products focused on engineering excellence and intuitive user interfaces. Rivers Agile's process ensures that a balance between business and user needs is maintained throughout the software development lifecycle.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University has been named to MONEY Magazine’s 2017-2018 “Best Colleges For Your Money” list, ranking in the top 7 percent of all colleges and universities considered nationwide. 

Out of the 2,400 colleges considered, 711 met the minimum requirements to be included in the ranking, which examined three primary factors: quality of education, affordability and outcomes. Waynesburg ranked No. 170.

“Ninety-eight percent of our 2015 graduates are working or studying in their chosen field within a year of graduation, and 70 percent of them choose to remain in the region, creating a consistent and positive impact on region’s economy,” said Stacey Brodak, vice president for institutional advancement and university relations at Waynesburg University.

In compiling this ranking, MONEY utilized research and advice from dozens of the nation’s top experts on education quality, financing and value, according to their website, “to develop a new, uniquely practical analysis of more than 700 of the nation’s best-performing colleges.”

Twenty-seven data points were examined, including quality of education, graduates’ earnings, estimated market value of alumni’s average job skills, affordability and outcomes.

“This ranking recognizes the amazing commitment of our faculty, staff and university community to the mission of this university,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “Through their consistent devotion, we are achieving these types of results in a time filled with challenges in higher education.”

As stated on MONEY’s website, “MONEY’s Best Colleges for Your Money rankings are the first to combine the most accurate pricing estimates available with all reliable indicators of alumni financial success, along with a unique analysis of how much ‘value’ a college adds when compared to other schools that take in similar students.”

For more information on the methodology behind the 2017 rankings, visit http://time.com/money/4846386/how-money-ranks-best-colleges-2017/.  

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 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, Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_7-3-brodak.jpgStacey Brodak will be joining Waynesburg University as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and University Relations, the University announced today.

“With her diverse professional background, Mrs. Brodak will make a great addition to Waynesburg University,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “We are pleased to welcome her to our team.”

Experienced in government and corporate affairs, Brodak has a broad background in communications, donor stewardship, government and community relations, corporate social responsibility, leadership and management for both the private and public sectors.

“I am grateful and excited to join the Waynesburg University family,” said Brodak. “I am hopeful that my varied professional experiences will allow me to help contribute to the success of the both the University and the region.”

Since 2012, Brodak has served as the senior advisor for government, community and media relations for Noble Energy, where she managed all aspects of communications and government relations for the company’s Business Unit.

In her role, she also implemented corporate social responsibility programs, led legislative engagement on relevant issues and worked with trade groups on planning and executing broad programs to support the organization.

Active in the community, Brodak has served as the president of Washington County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and currently serves on the boards of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the ARC Human Services Foundation.

Previously, Brodak served as the senior director of corporate development for Chesapeake Energy; senior director of donor relations for the West Virginia University Foundation; and the executive director of the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Brodak holds a Master of Business Administration from Waynesburg University, a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia University and a Certificate in Corporate Citizenship Management from Boston College.

A lifelong resident of southwestern Pennsylvania, Brodak was born and raised in Carmichaels. She now resides with her husband and son in Washington, Pa.

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 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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Dr. Xela Batchelder, assistant professor of arts administration and chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Waynesburg University, presented at the recent Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) Annual Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Batchelder’s presentation was titled “Festivals Crossing Borders: Influence of the Edinburgh Fringe on North American Fringe Festivals.” Her research encompassed nearly 20 years of field work in Edinburgh which included various interviews and archival recordings of Edinburgh Fringe venue managers and directors, in addition to numerous Edinburgh Fringe Society board meetings.

“Since the conference was in the home of the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, my talk focused on how the first-ever Fringe festival has influenced other Fringe festivals that have sprung up around the world,” said Batchelder.

Batchelder also participated in a panel discussion titled “City to City: How the Arts Transform and Connect Communities.”

Waynesburg University recently became a member of the AAAE, the only professional academic organization specifically devoted to educators who teach arts administration courses at the collegiate level.

As a member, Waynesburg fine arts faculty and staff are able to collaborate with and learn from arts administration professionals from around the globe. Information gained from conferences and events will be incorporated into the arts administration curriculum at the University.

“I expect my international work and academic experience at the conferences and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe will help bring students in our program both knowledge and experiences they otherwise could not have,” said Batchelder.

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 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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b2ap3_thumbnail_6-13-YJ-national-award.jpgWaynesburg University’s student-run newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, recently won the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) 2016 Mark of Excellence Award for In-Depth Reporting, Small School Division. The award represents the newspaper’s first national-level win.

“Winning a national award for this series, which was the work of four students over the course of an entire calendar year, not only is incredible for these students and is validation of their incredible talent, but is also a reminder to the rest of The Yellow Jacket and other students in the department that hard work really does pay off,” said Dr. Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication and faculty advisor for The Yellow Jacket.

Waynesburg University was only one of two Pennsylvania universities to earn a national award in any of the newspaper categories.

The entry was a five-story series on the heroin epidemic written by Kimmi Baston, Anthony Conn, Teghan Simonton and Mattie Winowitch, and it was one of four first-place region awards received by The Yellow Jack in April, all of which were sent on to be judged nationally against the 11 other SPJ regions.

“Any time our students’ work is recognized is exciting, but to be judged the very best in the entire country is phenomenal,” said Szuminsky. “It’s hard to put too fine a point on this, but these four students wrote a series of articles that beat out every student journalist at every college and university with 10,000 students or fewer.”

All national winners and finalists will be recognized at the SPJ’s 2017 Excellence in Journalism Conference in Anaheim, California, in September.

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 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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