Blog posts tagged in mission trip news

A team of 31 Waynesburg University students will serve for the Center for Student Missions in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, March 8, through Sunday, March 16. Pat Bristor, associate dean of students; Frank Pazzynski, associate professor of education; and Carolyn Poteet, director of faith and mission, will serve as trip leaders.

The large number of students attending this year enables the team to split into three groups, spreading their outreach to several different organizations in the Nashville area. Projects include assisting the Feed the Children ministry, cooking and serving at soup kitchens, interacting with the homeless, tutoring children and working at senior citizens centers.

“When most people think of Nashville, they think of country music, a booming industry; yet there are many people who find it difficult to make ends meet,” Bristor said. “Our hope is to gain a better understanding of the issues of hunger and homelessness. We will participate in a program called the Urban Exposure. During this event, we will be out with those on the streets, listening to their stories and lending a helping hand.”

Students participating in the Nashville mission trip include:

  • Theresa Butler, a junior accounting major from Uniontown, Pa.
  • Sara Carpenter, a freshman forensic science major from Erie, Pa.
  • Kenny Cline, a junior accounting major from Bloomingdale, Ohio
  • Julie Collins, a senior mathematics major from West Newton, Pa.
  • Ryan Condello, a senior business management major from McMurray, Pa.
  • Joy Engle-Young, a junior education major from Holbrook, Pa.
  • John Flanigan, a senior computer forensics major from Frostburg, Md.
  • Tiffany Franck, a senior sociology major from Ephrata, Pa.
  • Kaelee Franko, a junior psychology major from Butler, Pa.
  • Emily Hoffman, a junior education major from Salisbury, Md.
  • Mindy Hooven, a sophomore nursing major from Fayetteville, Pa.
  • Rebecca Lane, a junior special education major from Ellwood City, Pa.
  • Rachel Lovely, a junior pre-med major from Windber, Pa.
  • Derrion May, a sophomore marine biology major from Belleville, Ill.
  • Kristen McClure, a sophomore nursing major from Reading, Pa.
  • Nick Merlino, a sophomore nursing major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Emily Priester, a senior biology major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Chelsea Ritter, a senior international business major from New Tripoli, Pa.
  • Kim Ryan, a junior criminal justice major from Masontown, Pa.
  • DeRon Scott, a sophomore creative writing major from San Diego, Calif.
  • Karl Shaley, a senior biblical ministry major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Gracious Shaver, a junior education major from Ginowan City, Japan
  • Katie Shultz, a junior education major from Venetia, Pa.
  • Ryan Smith, a junior international culture major from Bridgeport, Ohio
  • Rachel Snavely, a sophomore biblical ministry major from Manheim, Pa.
  • Emily Wiedner, a freshman arts administration major from Somerset, Pa.
  • Tori Whitty, a sophomore pre-med major from New Wilmington, Pa.
  • Lori Williams, a sophomore education major from Mount Clare, W.Va.
  • Kristen Wilson, a freshman education major from Washington, Pa.
  • Julie Wise, a junior criminal justice major from Fowler, Ohio
  • Kaitlyn Wood, a sophomore sociology major from Honey Brook, Pa.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Twelve Waynesburg University students will serve in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic, from Saturday, March 8, through Saturday, March 15. Dave Calvario, director of the Center for Service Leadership, and Julio Quintero, assistant professor of Spanish, will serve as trip leaders.

For the trip, Waynesburg University is partnering with the Whitefields Foundation, an organization based in Pittsburgh, Pa., with a mission focused on building new bridges of reconciliation through cross-cultural relationships in the transformational power of the Gospel. Students will serve in Haitian villages, participating in construction and repair work, hair ministry, Vacation Bible School, medical and dental work (with second-year medical students from Penn State), prayer walks and spending time with the children.

“Our service will be in the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic, or the Bateyes as they are known there,” Calvario said. “Some of the Bateyes do not have electric or running water. The Haitians who work in the sugar cane fields work long days and do not receive a livable wage.”

Students participating in the Dominican Republic mission trip include:

  • Elaine Burns, a freshman special education major from Ocean Springs, Miss.
  • Northe Campbell-Escalante, a senior exercise science major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Kyle Digiandomenico, a junior psychology major from Martins Ferry, Ohio
  • Cassy Dowler, a senior biblical ministry major from Latrobe, Pa.
  • Dan Garcia, a junior mathematics major from South Gate, Calif.
  • Danielle Goreczny, a senior business management major from Aspinwall, Pa.
  • Mary Hoffman, a sophomore education major from Butler, Pa.
  • Brandi Kukler, a sophomore with an undeclared major from Belle Vernon, Pa.
  • Jessica Marabello, a sophomore education major from Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Cherylynn Shird, a senior sociology major from Washington, D.C.
  • Mary Spencer, a junior English major from Allison Park, Pa.
  • Bonnie Strang, a sophomore education major from McMurray, Pa.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Posted by on in News

For the duration of their spring break, 25 Waynesburg University students will travel to Concord, N.C., from Saturday, March 8, through Sunday, March 16. Chad Sherman, assistant professor of communication, and Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication, will serve as trip leaders.

To address substandard housing issues in North Carolina, students will serve with the Lake Norman, N.C., Habitat for Humanity affiliate to assist in building homes for residents. All participating students have previously served with Habitat for Humanity.

"I'm excited to work with Cabarrus County Habitat for Humanity for the third straight year,” Sherman said. “It's a great opportunity to spread the Word and see a tangible result so immediately."

Students participating in the Habitat work camp mission trip include:

  • Jessica Arthur, a freshman nursing major from Jamestown, Ohio
  • Taylor Augustine, a senior pre-med major from Waynesburg, Pa.
  • Jennifer Brown, a sophomore biblical ministry major from Latrobe, Pa.
  • Eric Burnett, a sophomore sports broadcasting major from Carmichaels, Pa.
  • Derrick Conner, a senior nursing major from Smithfield, Pa.
  • Joshuah Dains, a junior business management major from Clarksville, Pa.
  • Sarah Danchik, a freshman with an undeclared major from Washington, Pa.
  • Sara Faiad, a junior psychology major from South Fork, Pa.
  • Dana Della Loggia, a senior accounting major from Hershey, Pa.
  • Cody Hillberry, a junior sociology major from Sycamore, Pa.
  • Amanda Hooker, a sophomore psychology major from Bedford, Pa.
  • Erin Kern, a junior psychology major from Friedens, Pa.
  • Sarah Kirk, a sophomore nursing major from Valencia, Pa.
  • Jimmy Law, a junior biblical ministry major from Erie, Pa.
  • Philip Littlejohn, a junior athletic training major from Union Springs, N.Y.
  • Kaitlyn Marteney, a junior forensic accounting major from Berlin, Pa.
  • Amber Martin, a freshman biblical ministry major from Brook Park, Ohio
  • Samantha Peer, a sophomore with an undeclared major from Belle Vernon, Pa.
  • Torre Remish, a freshman psychology major from Charleroi, Pa.
  • Travis Sumner, a freshman forensic accounting major from Eighty Four, Pa.
  • Pedro Torrez, a sophomore with an undeclared major from Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Brianna Watt, a junior special education major from Waynesburg, Pa.
  • Abby Wernert, a junior public relations major from Finleyville, Pa.
  • Melissa Yoder, a senior finance major from Hollsopple, Pa.
  • Dylan Zeigler, a junior biblical ministry major from Knox, Pa.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Karla-1.jpgPat Bristor, the associate dean of students at Waynesburg University, has watched Karla Lucilia Pet Diaz grow from a child into a young adult. She has learned, played, worshipped and laughed alongside her and has recently helped to facilitate a dream for both of them. 

After months of praying and planning, Karla visited the United States for the first time at the beginning of December 2013. While growing up in Patzun, Guatemala, at the Centro Nutricional y Hogar de Ninos, Karla looked forward to the Waynesburg University mission trips to the center each year. Since she was 14 years old, Karla has enjoyed Pat’s warm smile and looked forward to seeing her year after year. 

This year, Karla finished her studies and applied for a Visa to travel to the United States and visit Waynesburg – the place where so many familiar faces waited to see her. Waynesburg University faculty, staff and students paid for Karla’s plane tickets through the Guatemala project fund, an account bolstered by the fundraising of any student who has traveled to Patzun throughout the University’s 14 mission trips to the Center. 

“This is the first opportunity that one of the children from the center has been able to visit Waynesburg University. The opportunity is one of what we hope will be many,” Bristor said. “I know that she was meant to come here. We ran into many issues but it worked out.” 

From her arrival Tuesday, Dec. 3, to the beginning of the University’s Christmas break Saturday, Dec. 14, Karla spent as much time as possible with Waynesburg University students who have participated in the Guatemala mission in the past.  

With them, she practiced her English, attended the Waynesburg Christmas parade, participated in sled riding, watched movies, viewed the Oglebay Festival of Lights and completed community service at St. Ann’s soup kitchen. With great joy, Waynesburg students took her to campus events, introduced her to their friends and professors and invited her to attend game nights and dinners at the University.  

“The focus at the beginning of December was on the students she’s come to know and love. She wanted to spend time with them, and they with her, before many of them left campus for Christmas break,” Bristor said. “The remaining time was spent serving the community, meeting with alumni and participating in regional customs.” 

Pat arranged for Karla to either telephone or meet with a number of Waynesburg University alumni who visited Guatemala through the years. Karla also spent time with Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of communication at Waynesburg and his wife, Heidi Szuminsky, director of donor and alumni relations at the University, both of whom have led mission trips to Patzun multiple times. 

Tearing up, Pat explained that her passion for the Guatemala mission has been very evident, but that though her husband supported her, he didn’t always understand why she returned home each year with a heavy heart – missing the people of Patzun. 

“My husband didn’t understand that passion until he met Karla,” she said. “Now he understands why I love her and the mission so much. He is even interested in coming with us in the future. It’s been a wonderful experience for us to share our home. Having a child in our home who I have come to love has been a dream come true. The laughter fills the house.””

Indeed, as Pat and Karla spoke to each other using a translation app, gestures and slowed-speech, they generated quite a bit of infectious laughter. They both said that the language barrier has been an enjoyable and even helpful issue. 

“I don’t know much Spanish. She’s very good at English even though sometimes she’s too shy to admit it,” Bristor said. “But I think the barrier has been a blessing; if she were in a home that spoke fluent Spanish, Karla wouldn’t be as challenged to speak and learn English. It also forces me to learn Spanish, which I’ve wanted to do for years.”

In January, Pat will return to Patzun for the seventh time alongside a team of Waynesburg University students, staff, and, of course, Karla. Though the journey will be bittersweet, Pat knows that the new bridge of communication built at Waynesburg University will help them to communicate for a lifetime.  

 

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Twenty Waynesburg University students will spend Thursday, Jan. 2, to Saturday, Jan. 11, serving at a nutritional center in Patzun, Guatemala. Pat Bristor, associate dean of students at the University, and Heidi Szuminsky, director of donor and alumni relations at Waynesburg, will lead the team. While at the center, students will spend time with the residents, as well as assist with the replacement of a driveway at the facility. 

Five Waynesburg University students who have participated in the trip in past years chose to book flights for Friday, Dec. 13, so they would have extra time with the children. That group will spend their entire Christmas break in Guatemala. 

Kyle Digiandomenico, a junior psychology major from Martins Ferry, Ohio (Bridgeport High School); Gracious Shavers, a junior human services major from Ginowan City, Japan (Zion Christian Academy); Ryan Smith, a junior international culture major from Bridgeport, Ohio (Bridgeport High School); Rachel Snavely, a sophomore biblical ministries studies major from Manheim, Pa. (Manheim Central High School); and Julie Wise, a junior criminal justice administration major from Fowler, Ohio (Mathews High School) will travel to Guatemala early. 

“They’ve been there before and are very passionate about ministry,” Bristor said. “They’ve decided to go down early on their own. Heidi and I will bring the rest of the 15 in January.”  

According to Bristor, out of the 20 students who are attending, nine are returning for the second or even third time.

“Waynesburg students are very passionate about the Guatemala trip and the people of Guatemala,” she said. “Our main goal at this point is to finish the driveway but also to provide love and spread the word of God.”

Additional students participating in the trip include:

  • Kimber Blair, a senior public relations major from New Castle, Pa. (Laurel Junior-Senior High School)
  • Northe Campbell-Escalante, a junior public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa. (Woodland Hills High School)
  • Heidi Dains, a freshman business management major from Clarksville, Pa. (Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Joshua Dains, a junior business management major from Clarksville, Pa. (Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Chelsea Dicks, a junior journalism major from Jerfferson, Pa. (Jefferson Morgan High School)
  • Sara Faiad, a junior psychology major from South Fork, Pa. (Forest Hills High School)
  • Alana Fiano, a senior education major from Connellsville, Pa. (Connellsville Area Senior High School)
  • Amelia Graves, a freshman international business major from West Falls, NY (Orchard Park High School)
  • Sarah Kirk, a sophomore nursing major from Valencia, Pa. (Plum Senior High School)
  • Nina Manderick, a junior biblical and ministry studies major from South Connellsville, Pa. (Connellsville Area Senior High School)
  • Jennifer Miller, a sophomore biology major from New Brighton, Pa. (New Brighton Area Senior High School)
  • Emily Nowakowski, a freshman nursing major from Bridgeport, Ohio (Bridgeport High School)
  • Cherylynn Shird, a senior sociology major from Washington, D.C. (Kamit Institute for Magnificent Achievers Public Charter School)
  • Steven Snow, a senior criminal justice major from Butler, Pa. (Knoch Senior High School)
  • Erika Stafford, a senior psychology major from Orrvile, Ohio (Orrville High School)

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist

 

724.852.7675or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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