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Julie Tischer, 2013

Microbiology Ph.D. student and research associate at the University of Georgia

Julie Tischer, a 2013 Waynesburg University alumna, was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal as part of a research group at the University of Georgia. 

Her article, "Proteomic Analysis of the Acidocalcisome, an Organelle Conserved from Bacteria to Human Cells," was published in PLOS Pathogens, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published monthly by PLOS, a nonprofit organization. Tischer and the additional authors studied the proteins that are on the surface of an organelle in order to determine how it functions in the cells.

The journal addressed questions such as: 

•What proteins are associated with this organelle called the acidocalcisome? 

•What are the individual functions of these identified proteins?

•Are these proteins essential for the survival of the cell?

•How are these proteins contributing to the overall activity of the acidocalcisome?

Tischer, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology, is currently a microbiology Ph.D. student and research associate at the University of Georgia. At the university, she works in the Terns lab studying the CRISPR-Cas adaptive immune system found in bacteria and archaea. 

“During my first semester, I worked diligently on the acidocalcisome project to generate data for the journal,” said Tischer. “My results during that six-week rotation went into producing a few of the figures in the paper, making me an author.”

Tischer adds that the classes and staff at Waynesburg University helped prepare her for the research program as well as her published journal article. 

“Waynesburg University set me up for success in the field of biology research by providing me with an exceptional foundation in biology education and encouraging me to pursue research opportunities beyond Waynesburg,” said Tischer. “In addition, the professional and passionate professors really inspired me to pursue a career in research and teaching.”

 

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Jamie Piotrowski, 2014

Refugee services caseworker at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Jamie Piotrowski has always strived to live a life of purpose.  It was through Waynesburg University that Piotrowski learned to focus her career goals on the purpose of serving others.

“I pursued my degree for the purpose of helping other people,” said Piotrowski. “Now at my job, I work with a purpose of helping those who enter our country with almost nothing but the clothes on their back. I have learned, and I am still learning, to live a purposeful life of Christ.”

A 2014 graduate of Waynesburg University with a degree in sociology (family studies), Piotrowski is a refugee services caseworker at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. While on the job, Piotrowski resettles refugees in the Pittsburgh area and helps them assimilate to the culture and lifestyle of a United States citizen. Her goal is to guide them on the path of self-sufficiency. 

Piotrowski believes Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, serving and learning guided her to be the best possible worker in her chosen career. 

“Waynesburg University has allowed me to recognize and strengthen my relationship with Christ through academics, friendships and service,” said Piotrowski. “I have had many different kinds of opportunities presented to me in my life, but I never would have had them if I did not grow mentally, emotionally or spiritually throughout my time at Waynesburg.” 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Rearick.JPGCorey Rearick, 2013

Medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh, Pa.

After graduating from Waynesburg University with a degree in biology (pre-med) and a minor in chemistry, Corey Rearick spent the next few months studying for the Medical College Admission Test in order to be accepted into medical school. While working a shift as a pharmacy technician at a local pharmacy, Rearick learned he had been accepted into the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he recently started graduate classes in August.

While a student at Waynesburg, Rearick was selected from more than 1,000 students to be part of the Mayo Clinic’s student research fellowship program. The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group that was recently voted the third best hospital in the United States. 

After his experiences at both the Mayo Clinic and Waynesburg, Rearick is confident he wants to do something with scientific research as a career one day. Rearick attributes Waynesburg University for leading him down the correct path to become a successful researcher. 

“I think the biggest opportunity Waynesburg afforded me was in research,” said Rearick. “It was during my research at Waynesburg that I fell in love with discovery. It started as something I was doing for my résumé and turned into something I want to do for the rest of my life.”

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Brett-Gage.jpgBrett Gage, 2011

Physician assistant (PA-C) internist at Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown, W. Va.

After spending five weeks at Monongalia General Hospital doing surgery rotations, Brett Gage worked up the courage to ask the physician if the hospital was hiring physician assistants. Gage received the answer he was hoping to hear.

Gage, a 2011 Waynesburg University graduate with a degree in forensic science, soon transitioned from observing and assisting in surgery rotations to becoming a physician assistant (PA-C) internist at Monongalia General. As an internist, Gage examines patients, diagnoses injuries and provides treatment for illnesses and infections.

“There is just something so magical about being able to help someone by removing a sick gallbladder or a piece of colon that is stricken by cancer,” said Gage. “Surgery is not just about cutting someone open and fixing them. You have to be able to manage them postoperatively through the use of medicine. That is why I have chosen to be in this field.”

Gage, who recently graduated with a Master of Science degree in physician assistant studies from Marietta College, credits Waynesburg University for preparing him for graduate school as well as the real-life experiences he encounters in the hospital.

 

“I believe a combination of both my classes and professors that I encountered during my time at Waynesburg contributed to my success in graduate school and the work force,” said Gage. “I have to give credit to my professors for encouraging and helping me realize my potential to succeed and figure out how to learn on my own through research and reading.”

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Kelly-Brady.jpgKelly Brady, 2011 Forensic Science 

Forensic technician at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office in Philadelphia, Pa.

Working a full-time job while earning a master’s degree may be difficult for some, but for Kelly Brady, juggling both came easily.

A 2011 graduate of Waynesburg University, the former forensic science major currently works as a forensic technician at the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, where she performs autopsies, extracts fluids and organs from decedents for toxicology, takes photographs of decedents and releases them to funeral homes. Just recently, she earned her master’s degree in forensic medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Reflecting on her time at Waynesburg University, the former vice president of Waynesburg’s Gamma Sigma Epsilon, a chemistry honorary society, chapter credits her alma mater for preparing her for life after college.

“Waynesburg University gave me countless opportunities to network with people in my field and to gain as much knowledge as possible,” said Brady. “I feel that all of the coursework and extracurricular activities at Waynesburg were beneficial and prepared me for the workforce because I was able to see what my field was really like.” 

 

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