Ashley Wise

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b2ap3_thumbnail_5-14-Mindy-Walls.jpgMindy Walls, West Virginia University’s Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, will be joining Waynesburg University as the W. Robert Stover Chair for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the fall.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Walls join the University,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “Her experience in strategic management and university-level teaching, as well as her diverse background in entrepreneurship, law, public affairs and the development of academic programs, perfectly aligns with our vision for this position.”

In her role as West Virginia University’s Assistant Vice President for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Walls designed a nationally recognized entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem to connect the work of WVU’s individual colleges and centers across campus.

“I look forward to being a part of Waynesburg University’s unique and profound mission,” Walls said. “In joining the University’s faculty, I believe that my skills and experience will allow me to make a meaningful contribution to the entire campus community, further enhancing the University’s outstanding reputation.”

Walls was integral in securing $1.4 million in federal funding for the development of WVU’s Women’s Business Center, which opened in February 2017 and provides training and counseling to community-based businesses, as well as WVU’s LaunchLab Network, which is an applied innovation center for students.

At WVU, she also served as a Visiting Associate Professor and the Interim Director of the EQuad Program for the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and the Entrepreneurship Center Director for the College of Business and Economics.

Walls also served as the Senior Director of Corporate Development at Chesapeake Energy and has five years of experience practicing energy-related law.

Active in her community, Walls currently serves as board chair of the WVU Women’s Business Center Advisory Board; Vice President of Programs and Events for the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a national organization for entrepreneurship educators; a member of the BBT Monongalia – Preston Advisory Board; and a member of the Finance Council at Saint Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Morgantown.

Walls holds a juris doctorate and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University.

Waynesburg University’s W. Robert Stover Chair for Entrepreneurial Leadership, a faculty position, was endowed through a recent $2 million gift from the Stover Foundation, which was the lead gift in the University’s O.A.K.S. (Opportunity And Knowledge Strengthened) Campaign. The O.A.K.S. Campaign is a comprehensive fundraising initiative for the future of the University.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or

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Waynesburg University honored its baccalaureate and commencement speakers during its 166th Commencement Exercises Sunday, May 6.

David Barensfeld, president and CEO of Ellwood Group Inc., was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, and the Rev. Dr. Stuart Broberg, senior pastor of The Church of the Covenant in Washington, Pennsylvania, was presented the Timothy & Carolyn Thyreen Service Leadership Award for his church’s exemplary and transformational servant leadership.

The following citations were read:

b2ap3_thumbnail_5-6-Barensfeld.jpgDavid Barensfeld

David Barensfeld, for your hardworking and entrepreneurial spirit, as evidenced by a successful career as the leader of Ellwood Group Incorporated, Waynesburg University honors you.

For nearly four decades, you have led Ellwood Group Incorporated to new and continued growth. Overcoming obstacles with vision, commitment and strategic risk, you have risen to the challenges of a changing world market.

Your efforts in supporting a robust American manufacturing sector and your vision for the sustainability of tomorrow have set you apart, reflecting your passion for your work and the future of our country.

As you strive to influence positive change in today’s society through civic engagement, you are an inspiration to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Similarly, your attention to the stewardship of God’s creation is exemplary.

Your ambition, influential career, and moral and business philosophies serve as examples to Waynesburg University students as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. For that, we are pleased to recognize you.

In gratitude and respect for your achievements and for the ways in which you parallel Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving, it is with great honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

b2ap3_thumbnail_5-6-Broberg-Award.jpgThe Church of the Covenant

This Award celebrates Timothy and Carolyn Thyreen’s legacy of serving others and is presented to those who exemplify servant leadership in their daily lives, resulting in a transformational effect on their area of focus. For decades, the Church of the Covenant has actively and enthusiastically participated in Christ’s ministry, with an impact reaching both nearby neighbors and communities in the far reaches of the world.

The Church of the Covenant has foreseen the challenges and opportunities of transformational service, and its parishioners have seized the opportunity to help others through active, hands-on service locally and in Haiti, New Mexico and West Virginia.

As the congregation unites to provide volunteers and financial support with the goal of meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of others, their thoughtful and strategic service has tangible results that make a difference in the lives of many.

Beyond those tangible results are those which are immeasurable; as the church’s mission teams and volunteers meet despair with hope and suffering with strength, they bring light and love into the hearts of those they serve.

In honor of the servant leadership exemplified by former Waynesburg University President Timothy Thyreen and former First Lady Carolyn Thyreen, and in recognition of its embodiment of the highest principles of this institution, Waynesburg University honors the Church of the Covenant.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or

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b2ap3_thumbnail_5-6-Valedictorians.jpgWaynesburg University held its 166th Commencement exercises Sunday, May 6, honoring more than 400 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from the Waynesburg campus as well as the University’s additional sites in Cranberry, Penn Center East and Southpointe.

Mr. David Barensfeld, president and CEO of Ellwood Group Inc., delivered the Commencement Address, “Let’s Make Something of It.”

Barensfeld’s vision and leadership of Ellwood Group have led to economic power as well as prosperity and security in small towns across the United States. Described by Barensfeld as the “village blacksmith to the world,” Ellwood Group makes steel forgings that are assembled into high tech equipment for shipment around the world.

During his commencement address, Barensfeld shared the philosophy that has led his company to success, including strategic risk, hard work and “ownership as stewardship.”

“For me, the word steward means you don’t feel that you are the sole owner of your business, with arbitrary freedom to sell it or shut it down on your own whim,” Barensfeld said. “Instead, you owe an on-going duty to your stakeholders—your customers, your employees and your shareholders—to do your best to try and carry on in good times and in bad, and to try and do better tomorrow than you did today.”

Barensfeld also explored the effects of real charity and the importance of successful entrepreneurs serving humanitarian needs, reminding those in attendance that while we are our brother’s keeper, we should also remember that he is our equal.

The following graduates were named valedictorians: Tara Barnard, an early childhood/special education graduate from Millerstown, Pennsylvania; Rachel Eng, an accounting graduate from Elon, North Carolina; Sydney Flick, a criminal justice administration graduate from Ebensburg, Pennsylvania; and R.J. Leon, a finance graduate from Brookfield, Ohio.

Leon delivered the valedictory to the University. Dr. Thomas DeGeorge, who received a Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision, represented the graduate and professional studies students.

Prior to the commencement ceremony, the Rev. Dr. Stuart Broberg, senior pastor of The Church of the Covenant in Washington, Pennsylvania, and longtime Waynesburg University Trustee, delivered the Baccalaureate Address, “The Not Too Hidden Secret,” during which he referenced Colossians 1:21-29 and shared some background on the University’s return to its Christian roots, a vision which began more than 25 years ago.

“We dreamed – it could be a place where service and learning were brought together in the best and brightest of students. It could be a place where faith was central to everything else that went on here,” said Broberg, who also expressed his joy at the University’s successful transformation.

Broberg concluded by issuing a challenge to graduates.

“Don’t just settle for moving a little molehill,” he said. “Only settle on moving a mountain in the power of God. It is no secret what God can do.”

The University awarded the following degrees to graduates: Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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Ashley Wise, Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or

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The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will host its annual Miller Summer Youth Institute at Waynesburg University Sunday, June 24, through Saturday, June 30. The week-long program is open to rising high school seniors from across the United States and abroad.

In partnership with the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Waynesburg University will serve as the site host and offer participants one college credit. Campers will work with Waynesburg and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary faculty, room in the University dorms, have meals provided on campus and spend a day in Pittsburgh at the Seminary.

The cost of the camp is $450 and spots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. A $100 deposit is due at the time of registration. To register, visit

The Miller Summer Youth Institute is designed to form an intentional Christian community where young people can be challenged to move beyond their comfort zones in order to grow in faith, engage in academic theological study and explore ministry.

Since 1997, The Rev. Dr. Roy F. Miller, Ph.D., and Mrs. Florence Lantz Miller Summer Youth Institute has helped young people consider the questions of who God is calling them to be and what God is calling them to do. Students, from the United States to Puerto Rico and everyone in between, represent all walks of life and theological perspectives.

For more information, contact Rev. James Tinnemeyer, dean of students, vice president for Student Services and University chaplain at Waynesburg, at or 724-852-3271.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_4-9-Cyber-Financial-Crime-Conf-SBrady.jpgWaynesburg University will offer a Cyber and Financial Crime Conference Tuesday, May 8.

The conference will have three tracks, including CPA & Forensic Accounting, Law Enforcement and Cyber Security. Professionals in each of the three areas are invited to attend the conference. The cost is $35. To register, visit

The conference will address timely topics in the fields of cyber security and financial crimes. Presentations will be made on the following topics: Internet Crime, Digital Currencies, The Dark Net, Digital Evidence Recovery, Cyber Security Breaches, Email and Computer Disruptions and Compromises, Money Laundering and Employment Tax.

A welcome will be offered by U.S. Attorney Scott Brady, and the keynote address will be given by Robert Cessar, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, on the subject of health care fraud and the opioid crisis.

Scott Brady

Brady is the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He was appointed by President Donald Trump on September 18, 2017, and confirmed by the United States Senate on December 14, 2017. As United States Attorney, Scott oversees the prosecution of all federal crimes and the litigation of civil matters in which the federal government has an interest throughout the twenty-five counties in Western Pennsylvania.

Robert Cessar

Cessar joined the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1990 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to the White Collar Crimes Unit. In 2002, he was appointed the First Assistant United States Attorney. In 2009, he was appointed Acting United States Attorney. In 2011, he joined the Fraud and Public Corruption Section and in 2017, he was appointed the head of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Other speakers include:

  • Kurt Petro, Cyber Crime Scene Specialist at the National White Collar Crime Center
  • Cathy Hill, Carolyn Ross and Caroline Adams, Management and Program Analysts with the FBI, currently detailed to Internet Crime Compliant Center
  • Michael McKeown, FBI Supervisory Special Agent at the Pittsburgh Field Office Cyber Division
  • Justin A. Sarvey, FBI IT Forensic Examiner
  • Robert Kickbush, Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Cybercrimes and Identity Theft Coordinator for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Robert Leuenberger, Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation
  • Janet Isman, Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Employment Tax Coordinator for the Western District of Pennsylvania

For more information, contact Sarah Bell at 724-852-7790.

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