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If you ask senior Luisa Singletary what the greatest thing is about Waynesburg University, she is likely to tell you it’s the school’s ability to turn passions into careers and futures.

When she began her education at Waynesburg University, Singletary was unsure about the direction of her career path. But after a short period of time, during which she utilized the skillsets and connections of her classes and professors, she was certain she wanted to become a writer. Her passion for writing overflowed into her every educational and professional pursuit, leading her to a major in English and professional writing.

Now, she believes the skills and lessons she has learned throughout her spectrum of writing courses have set her up for possible jobs in any number of fields.

After three semesters at the University, Singletary chose to add a Communication minor. The Department of Communication was unfamiliar territory for her, but in a good way – she soon learned that her class work in her communication courses was often used for real-world journalistic or public relations pursuits.

Through multiple internships and a varied course load, Singletary has enough professional experience to require a tiny font size on her résumé. She has completed tasks like developing grant templates, offering public relations work to businesses, becoming a published writer and copy editor and experiencing multiple roles related to TV production.

“Between the preparation I’ve gotten from my English major and the professional opportunities I’ve received through my Communication minor, I truly feel prepared for whatever line of work I choose,” she said.

While Singletary’s undergraduate success is unmistakably a result of her own passion and ambition, she is also quick to mention the things that led her to Waynesburg and how they have played a part in her achievements. She cites dedicated professors, generous financial aid and a Christian community as having benefited her both in college and in the long run.

Just a half-semester away from graduating, Singletary is grateful to discover she’ll leave college with far more than a degree. She has, in fact, acquired nearly every tool, skill and quality necessary for success in the future, because Waynesburg University has helped her to direct her love for writing toward what is sure to be a successful life.

Singletary’s Waynesburg experience has led her to this advice for her fellow students: “Pray. Breathe. Trust. God has a plan for all of us.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Monogram Small.jpgThe first annual John C. Knox Writing Contest was held Sat., Nov. 1 at 9:30 a.m. on the campus of Waynesburg University under the director of Brandon Szuminsky, instructor of Communication at Waynesburg University. The contest was free and open to high school students in grades 10 to 12 within the tri-state area interested in writing or journalism. The Observer Publishing Company sponsored this event. Cash prizes were awarded to the winners.

Following registration, students were welcomed and given instructions, followed by an hour-long news conference with Lanny Frattare, former Pittsburgh Pirates announcer and assistant professor of communication at Waynesburg University. The students then had a two-hour session to write a feature article based on that information. 

The students’ articles were judged by local newspaper journalists and editors from the Observer-Reporter as well as members of Waynesburg University's Department of Communication and the University's student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

The winners are as follows:

•First-place winner: Joseph Wilkinson of Pittsburgh, senior at Mt. Lebanon High School

•Second-place winner: Alex McCann of Freedom, senior at Eden Christian Academy

•Third-place winner: Katie Siple of Spring Grove, senior at York Catholic High School

The winners showed praiseworthy examples of a journalistic feature article. The first-place winner received $500 and his article will be published in the award-winning Waynesburg University student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket. Second-place received $300 and third-place, $200. All participants were awarded a t-shirt.

“It was a very tough task to choose the winners,” said Szuminsky. “The quality of work these students produced is very impressive. It was encouraging to see so many young people committed to journalism and quality writing. We hope all the participants continue this commitment throughout their high school career and into college and beyond.”

Next year’s John C. Knox Writing Contest will be held in Fall 2015. 

For more information, contact Brandon Szuminsky at 724-852-3427 or email bszumins@waynesburg.edu.

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