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b2ap3_thumbnail_Lori-Uretsky.jpgLori Uretsky’s life is made up of goals. She sets a goal, works hard and achieves it nearly every time. Then, she sets a new one and begins again.

Today, her goal is to get the USA Women’s National Field Hockey Team to and through the 2016 Olympics. Keeping her team healthy during the most important competition of their lives will the ultimate reward for Uretsky as an athletic trainer.

“I think it’s important to have short-term goals and long-term ideas,” she said. “Right now, I am focused on doing whatever it is I can to keep the Women’s National Team healthy and training as we prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games.”

When she entered Waynesburg University in 1994 as a sports medicine major and a biology minor, Uretsky’s hope was to become a successful student athlete. She played softball for Waynesburg for four years, graduating with 18 school records. She was also named the President’s Athletic Conference (PAC) Freshman of the Year in 1995, All-Conference all four years, PAC Player of the Week twice and softball team captain her senior year.

Uretsky’s career goals were clear to her during the entire course of her Waynesburg education. She worked as a student athletic trainer for the school, and she knew that when she graduated she wanted to work as an athletic trainer at the NCAA Division I level – a trainer for a college or university whose name everyone knew. It was this goal she identified when one of her professors told a group of students to write a letter to themselves in five years.

“My goals throughout my time at Waynesburg never changed,” said Uretsky. “I remember speaking to [my professor] several times about how to reach that goal, how much it meant to me and if I believed it was possible. Five years after I graduated, I received my letter from [her], and upon opening it, I had achieved all that I wanted.”

Uretsky graduated from Waynesburg in 1998 and became a Board-Certified Athletic Trainer in 1999. She then landed her dream job, fulfilling her NCAA Division I goal, as an athletic trainer for several sports teams at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and worked there for 10 years.

Uretsky largely credits Waynesburg for her success both at Bucknell University and in her current position.

“Waynesburg is with me every day,” she said. “The education I had is still utilized every time I step foot into the athletic training room or onto the field hockey pitch. Waynesburg helped me learn how to return an athlete back to playing following an injury, how to discuss injuries with coaches and how important trust is with the people you work with. As a student athletic trainer and a student athlete, I learned first-hand just how important the relationship between an athletic trainer and an athlete can be.” 

Now, as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Women’s National Field Hockey Team, Uretsky ensures the care, prevention, evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries and illnesses. She is responsible for covering practices and games, which includes travelling around the world with the team. She coordinates athletic trainer coverage for Junior National Field Hockey teams and liaises with the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency to ensure the team complies, and she works with the United States Olympic Committee.

“I am very fortunate to travel the globe with an amazing group of staff and athletes,” Uretsky said. “I enjoy the interaction of meeting new people and bringing fans to [field hockey] and meeting other medical professionals from the various countries we play.”

After the Olympics, Uretsky hopes to take vacation time to travel to countries she hasn’t seen, and then she plans to return to USA Field Hockey.

Today, while Uretsky can say she has met or exceeded many of the goals she set years ago, she knows the future is uncertain. She is preparing for the coming years with the attitude that she can still achieve success by taking one day at a time.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Giuliani.jpgWaynesburg University alumna Hayden Giuliani is an athlete at heart. She maintained her passion for sports by playing basketball throughout her career at Waynesburg. After four years with dedicated mentors, however, Giuliani determined that she does not just want to play sports – she wants to help make life better for other athletes.

Giuliani began her college journey as an athletic training major and eventually added an exercise science major during her junior year as she discovered more about her calling. She is now enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), pursuing a graduate degree in exercise physiology.

“I’m excited, especially because I think Waynesburg provided me with a strong physiology background and the confidence to succeed at the next level,” said Giuliani.

Giuliani names Dr. Bryan Hamilton, a professor of biology at the University, as one of her primary positive influencers. Along with other coaches and professors, Hamilton encouraged Giuliani to aim high, which Giuliani said has worked out quite well.

Giuliani loves her chosen field because of the opportunities to serve others as an athletic trainer.

“I think this field helps people tremendously,” she said. “We have the opportunity to meet people where they are in their lives, hear what their goals are and help them through every step of the process. I know how it feels to be on both sides of this relationship, and being the helper brings more joy than anything else.”

With options including athletic training, coaching, teaching and more open to her, Giuliani has not nailed down which specific career path she will choose.  She plans to use her experiences at UNC to slim down the list of possibilities.

“I am hoping my time at UNC will narrow my interests and open doors of opportunity that will ultimately guide my path after graduation,” she said. “But I see myself as a teacher or basketball coach, while also working with strength training and exercise.”

Giuliani feels her Waynesburg education pushed her to take risks and introspectively determine the best path to success for herself.

“I’ve learned to step outside my comfort box and take the extra step,” said Giuliani. “In that way, as a person, I am stronger, more open to ideas and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed.”

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Amy Mina, a 2011 Waynesburg University alumna, has recently been promoted from writer to associate producer for “The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan” on the Fox Business Network in New York City.

In her new position with the daily afternoon television program, Mina’s responsibilities include writing spontaneous scripts, designing graphics for air, providing in-depth research for the on-air talent, producing segments and packages in the field as well as working closely with the producer of the show.

Landing a job as a production assistant for Fox News’ sister network immediately after graduation, Mina cited her perseverance to become successful in a field she was passionate about. She maximized her networking abilities and knowledge of the field to climb the ranks in the media industry – both of which she acquired from her education at Waynesburg University.

“Not only did the Department of Communication at Waynesburg fully prepare me for the workforce, it gave me a necessary edge over the competition,” said Mina, who has a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in business. “With a limited number of openings, networks really want to see college candidates with a working knowledge of TV production, script writing, current events, and more importantly, a willingness to learn.”

Reflecting on her Waynesburg experience and the numerous hands-on opportunities the Department of Communication afforded to her, Mina provides current students with some advice:

“Find your passion and pursue it relentlessly! Know your field, network constantly, outwork your peers and always go above and beyond in the workplace.”

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Guided and influenced by more than seven years of experiences on the campus of Waynesburg University, Alison Chasko has achieved her goal of being a part of something bigger and more meaningful than a successful business.

Chasko currently serves as a Mission Support Analyst for the FBI, reporting directly to the Special Agent in Charge of the Denver Division (the territory covering all of Colorado and Wyoming). Responsible for improving the overall function of the organization, Chasko works to identify, analyze and resolve issues related to the operations of the FBI field offices. Her research and study of inefficiencies ultimately lead to recommendations that result in solutions and measurable improvements within the organization as a whole.

“It’s not about making money for a company, but having a greater purpose,” she said. “The people and the mission of the FBI motivate me to be a better employee. By seeing them risk their lives and devote so much time to doing what they do, I want to be better so I can alleviate administrative burdens to agents and so that I can demonstrate their needs through quantitative evidence and reports back to headquarters.”

For Chasko, teaching science was a possibility, working for a federal agency was a goal, but the opportunity to work specifically for the FBI became her dream.

Living her dream, Chasko, a 2007 forensic science alumna and a 2009 graduate of the University’s Master of Education Program, is grateful to be a part of the reputation and mission of the FBI.

Chasko’s position is one of only six in the Bureau, and is part of a pilot program initiated this spring. Eventually, one mission support analyst will be found in each of the 56 field offices across the nation.
Ironically, her daily responsibilities perfectly mirror some of the most meaningful lessons learned throughout her undergraduate and graduate education at Waynesburg University.

“Both educational experiences provided me with professors and mentors who had high expectations of me. They provided enough guidance, but pushed for me to think critically and analyze a topic, which in the long run, built up my confidence [in my abilities],” she said.

In addition to the confidence and knowledge gained at Waynesburg University, Chasko credits her mentors and criminal justice faculty members for preparing her for the transition to the professional world.

“The Criminal Justice Department’s faculty consisted of some of the best mentors a young adult could ask for,” she said. “Dr. Baer, Detective Jack and Mr. McIlwain truly knew how to inspire and help develop strong work ethic with attention to detail. Each of them had their own teaching style with high standards, but as a student you knew that they cared about your learning. They took the time to make sure you understood the material, helped guide you through your career goals, and really prepared you to transition from college to the workforce.”

Even more important than life lessons including time management, articulating ideas to various audiences and recognizing that everyone doesn’t learn or understand information in the same manner; Chasko said her college experiences such as participating in mission trips and being empowered to be the change in the world by teachers and mentors, truly shaped her as a person.

“As much as college is meant for earning the degree, I think the person I have become is very much related to the experiences I received at Waynesburg University. I could have attended numerous universities and received the same degree, but I would not have received the experiences or mentors that Waynesburg offered.”

Writers Note - Faculty members mentioned above are as follows:

Dr. Dana Baer, professor of criminal justice
Adam Jack, assistant professor of criminal justice and chair, criminal justice and social science
John  McIlwain, retired professor of criminal justice 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Mary-Pust_20150728-170155_1.jpgA love of athletics, a desire for being a part of a career based around community and an interest in wellness and the medical field have blended to create an ideal vocation for Mary (Sallach) Pust, a 2013 Waynesburg University athletic training alumna.

Pust currently serves as a licensed athletic trainer for a North Carolina hospital where she does outreach work at a local 1A high school/middle school. Her daily responsibilities include working at the school, being part of committees at the hospital, as well as being a part of educational seminars in the hospital and around the community. Far from the stereotype of an individual responsible for taping ankles and keeping athletes hydrated, Pust is always on her toes, daily utilizing some aspect of her Waynesburg University education.

Prepared both in the classroom and through a “vast array of clinical settings,” Pust’s multitude of hands-on experiences has not only led to the development of the critical skills necessary for a fast-paced field, but is also to credit for her confidence in her abilities.

“In this profession, the more experience you have, the better off you will be,” she said. “I am working in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains with no one around me. I learned not only how to be a great athletic trainer, but how to be self-sufficient, have confidence and know when to ask for outside help.”

Pust acknowledges that her own experiences with injury as an athlete have also played a part in her journey. Requiring her to spend more time in the training room, Pust’s injuries also became blessings in disguise as she developed lasting relationships with her high school athletic trainer and sports medicine physician.

Ironically, those relationships inspired Pust to want to become the same type of mentor she was fortunate enough to have. Working with kids in grades 7-12, Pust has the opportunity to make a difference in countless ways.

“My biggest goal every day when I go in to work is to be a positive role model for the kids I work with,” she said.

Pust also puts a special emphasis on education and prioritizes teaching parents, coaches and the community about topics including emergency action plans, concussions, nutrition, health insurance, strength and conditioning, among many others.

“My profession has the rare opportunity to work with individuals every day. I see their highs, their lows, get to know families, and become part of a community,” she said.

Pust said many Waynesburg professors influenced her path, challenging her to relate her textbooks to real life and pushing her to “know more than [she] thought [she] needed at the time.”

Pust said she not only left Waynesburg feeling professionally prepared, but also had the opportunity to experience spiritual growth.

“Waynesburg helped me find myself as a Christian in this modern world. I explored different denominations and was introduced to many ideas, concepts and beliefs. It was being able to share one main goal of serving and praising God with others that really gave me a connection to the school,” she said.

As a result, Pust said she found her light and “will continue to let [it] shine."

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