The race is nearly over. With the finish line in sight, her body says it can’t take another step. She ignores the overwhelming urge to collapse and, instead, pushes herself even harder, determined to complete what she had started.
She knows she can’t give up — she’d not only be letting down herself but her fellow athletes, who she considers family.
Though home is over 9 hours away, Elaina Spahmer has always felt as though she belonged while at the university.
“I’ve always felt connected to Waynesburg — like I had a family here,” Spahmer, senior digital design major, said.
These relationships have been built through years of various involvement both within the Department of Communication as well as competing in athletics. Spahmer, an avid runner, has been involved with cross country for six years. During her time involved with cross country, she has endured intense workouts and crammed homework in small time frames in order to meet deadlines and make practice.
I’ve always felt connected to Waynesburg — like I had a family here.
Using running as her emotional and spiritual outlet during her years of involvement have only made her more dedicated to the sport.
In this time, she has grown close with her fellow athletes, tightly bonded through emotional races and pushing their bodies and minds to their absolute limits.
“It’s constant vulnerability with each other,” she said.
Within the Department, she acts as the vice president for Waynesburg University’s design club, as well as the graphic designer for The Yellow Jacket.
As a freshman, Spahmer participated in various extracurriculars through the Department, and, by doing so, was able to network with fellow students and grow fundamental skills in her field.
“I am so glad that I dove in from the start,” Spahmer said.
She first discovered her interest in design during an introductory communications class, where she was exposed to the world of digital design.
“You’re able to be creative and express yourself,” Spahmer said. “It was a field I could see myself being passionate about.”
This summer, she turned her skillset to the Albany-based public relations firm Relentless Awareness, where she was able to gain experience in press release writing and design.
The internship acted as an opportunity where Spahmer was able to apply her education to real clients within a business setting. She was able to learn how to maintain poise professionally and the importance of being humble about work.
Through her various roles of involvement both within and outside of the Department of Communication, Spahmer said she was able to become a professional ready to enter the job market.
“While we’re here in our four short years I think it is important to not only pour yourself into the Department but pour yourself outside of it too,” Spahmer said.