2020-2021 President's Report

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Photo courtesy of Ben McMillen




Recent grants and gifts enhance University programs Explore how Waynesburg University has prioritized pursuing support for equipment and program enhancements through state, federal and private grants and gifts during the coronavirus pandemic. Page 20
with students Our students bring life to our mission! Learn more about students across various academic programs in this featured Q&A section. Page 34
roll of donors This list includes the generous individuals and organizations who make a profound impact on our students. Page 74 3

Dear Friends,

As I reflect on the challenges of the past two years, I am overcome with both gratitude and pride for how far we have come.

Led by our mission of educating students to make connections between faith, learning and serving so that they might faithfully transform their communities and the world, our Waynesburg University Community has banded together in extraordinary ways to create new and exciting opportunities for our students and the larger community in the midst of the hardships faced by us all.

This edition of “The Lamp” reflects the progress through the fiscal year ending June 2021. Its publication is slightly delayed given the constraints of the pandemic. However, that has not slowed our continued progress.

In this new academic year, we have already received grants for an additional counseling program, creation of a Center for Criminal and Forensic Investigation, an Esports Arena, and other significant gifts that total approximately $3.5 million dollars. We are also launching a campaign for the “eHive,” which will house a completely new center for entrepreneurial leadership. Please look for additional information about these new initiatives in the coming year.

Behind all of this progress stand the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends who believe in the mission of this University. Without each of them, none of this is possible. Mrs. Lee and I wish to give all of you our sincerest gratitude and thanks for being part of this community that we are blessed to know and work for.

WAYNESBURG UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION President Douglas G. Lee Chancellor Timothy R. Thyreen Provost Dr. Dana Cook Baer Chief Financial Officer Laura Coss Vice President for Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer William Dumire Vice President for Institutional Advancement and University Relations Stacey Brodak Vice President for Enrollment Dr. Shari Payne This publication is published by the Office of University Relations at Waynesburg University, 51 West College Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370. Waynesburg University is a Christian University offering more than 70 programs of study at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Editor Ashley Wise Contributing Writers Robert Fox Rachel Pellegrino Matthew Stultz Ashley Wise Art Direction and Design Carrie McAfee Photography James DePriest Paul Hicks Ben McMillen Becky Viglione Gary Yon Alumni Services fdolfi@waynesburg.edu Phone: 724.852.3300 Correspondence mwhite@waynesburg.edu Phone: 724.852.3293 © 2022. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication of publication or material is strictly prohibited without express written consent of the copyright holder. WAYNESBURG.EDU 6
WAYNESBURG UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2020-2021 James R. Lowe Jr. Chair Cheryl L. Allen Vice Chair Mark A. Harner Vice Chair Gregory J. Halvatzis Secretary Mary Ann Meloy Treasurer EX-OFFICIO Douglas G. Lee President EMERITUS TRUSTEES Charles R. Baily Sr. H. Mathilda Horst Martha D. Smith BOARD SECRETARY EMERITUS Barbara H. Duffield HONORARY TRUSTEE John W. Knox II Cheryl A. Allen Frederick D. DePalma Laura E. Ellsworth Mark E. Fox Patrick A. Gallagher John H. Goodish Gary L. Guerrieri Gregory J. Halvatzis Mark A. Harner John K. Hinds J. William Hook James R. Lowe Jr. Mary Ann Meloy J. W. Montgomery III Carroll K. Morrison Terrence H. Murphy Gabriel Pellathy Heidi J. Szuminsky Marilyn H. West Donald P. Wilson 7
Waynesburg hosts annual criminal justice job/ internship fair Women’s cross country earns sixth-straight PAC title Waynesburg University Players present fall play ‘And Then There Were None’ Nursing Program receives funding for White Coat Ceremony What’s happening at Waynesburg University? NEWS 8
Students raise funds for local food bank and University food pantry WCTV nominated for six Student Emmys Gordon, Morar named Homecoming King and Queen Stover Scholars share internship experiences Discover more at waynesburg.edu/news and waynesburgsports.com 9


Consistently ranked as a best value school, Waynesburg University has built a reputation for value, high-quality education and outcomes, and this past year has been no different. The University has received more than 25 specialized rankings and recognition that highlight the institution’s overall value and quality, especially among top majors such as nursing and criminal justice.

Top Ten Value

Ranked No. 8 on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Value Regional Universities North list, Waynesburg University qualified as a 2022 Best Value School in recognition of its high-quality academic programs combined with low costs. The University has been recognized as a top 10 best value by U.S. News & World Report for the past four years.

Waynesburg was also included on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Regional Universities – North” list, on which it has climbed more than 20 spots over the past four years, as well as the “Top Performers on Social Mobility” list for the Northern Region.

“Waynesburg University’s history of recognition for value continues with U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 rankings. This ranking highlights our dedication to ensuring that high-quality, Christian education is accessible to all qualified prospective students.”
-Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee

A “College of Distinction”

Waynesburg University has been recognized as a 2021-2022 College of Distinction for its continued commitment to engaged, hands-on education, for the sixth consecutive year.

The University was also named a Pennsylvania College of Distinction and a Christian College of Distinction. The designations highlight schools that foster a dynamic learning community through a specialized focus of student-centered education.

“Best of the Best” School

Waynesburg University was named one of Pennsylvania’s “Best of the Best” by the Pennsylvania National Guard Association (PNGAS). The University was one of 38 colleges, trade schools and universities recognized.

The University is committed to serving the needs of the veteran and active-duty military student population and was awarded PNGAS Guard-Friendly School Designation in May 2021.

“While we have 18,000 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, it takes many thousands more to fulfill our state and national mission. The Guard Awards provide a way to say thank you and inspire us all to work together for the common good.”

“It’s inspiring to see Waynesburg University commit to the learning styles and community involvement that will best allow their students to succeed in and beyond their college years.”
-Wes Creel, founder of Colleges of Distinction
2021- 2022
-PNGAS Chairman of the Board Chad Rettew
For more information, visit waynesburg.edu/value 11



Waynesburg University academic programs continue to


excellence in the state and nationally.

BUSINESS College of Distinction

Waynesburg University has been recognized as a 2021-2022 College of Distinction and has received specialized recognition for its business field of study


Top Master’s Program Waynesburg University’s Addictions Counseling Program was recently recognized as a 2021 Top 50 Master’s Counseling Program for Addiction Counseling by Addiction Counselor, ranked No. 4 in the country.


Best Online Master’s Waynesburg University’s Master of Arts in Criminal Investigation (MACI) Program was ranked a “Best Online Master’s in Crime Scene Investigation” by Intelligent.com for the second consecutive year.


Waynesburg University has been recognized as a 2021-2022 College of Distinction and has received specialized recognition for its education field of study.


Most Affordable Program Waynesburg University was ranked among the Top 100 “Most Affordable Forensic Science Programs” in the country by UniversityHQ.

NURSING No. 1 Program in PA Waynesburg University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program was recently ranked No. 1 in the state of Pennsylvania by Nursing Schools Almanac.

Top-Ranked School

Waynesburg’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program was recognized as a top-five program in the state of Pennsylvania by ReigsteredNursing.org, marking the program’s fifth consecutive ranking.

College of Distinction Waynesburg University has been recognized as a 20212022 College of Distinction and has received specialized recognition for its nursing field of study.

Various Program Areas

Recognized Nationally







be recognized for
for “HighValue Education” by Study.com
- No. 44
Science - No. 5
Services - No. 37
- No. 20
Enforcement - No. 22
Science - No. 22 13



Waynesburg University’s on-campus Chick-fil-A opened in May 2021. Open to the public, the location for the restaurant was selected strategically, near the edge of campus and close to downtown, in order to be easily accessible to the local community.



The Market

The Market celebrated its grand opening at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester. Located in Stover Campus Center and open 24/7, The Market offers food options around the clock. Also located on the second floor of Stover Campus Center is the newly renovated Starbucks and Beehive, which offers made-to-go food options through a state-of-the-art kiosk and mobile ordering system.


Baseball/ Softball Field

This past May, the Waynesburg University Department of Athletics announced and completed a major renovation to its baseball field that not only benefited the school’s baseball program, but also their counterparts in the softball program.

Thanks to the Department’s efforts, the facility is now home to both teams and received a new playing surface, as well as several other impressive upgrades.

One of the most noticeable changes was transitioning the pitcher’s mound and batter’s box areas from dirt to an artificial surface. The permanent mound was taken out and replaced by a removable mound by Sportsfield Specialties that can be carted off the infield for home softball games.

The infield turf was extended from the green infield “grass” area and base lines to the front of the dugouts and backstop.

Moving beyond the field of play, improvements regarding fan safety are scheduled to be implemented at the facility. Not only will the preexisting netting be extended, but additional netting is expected to be added in front of the bleachers on the first base side. The addition is similar to measures taken by several Major League Baseball teams.

Another necessary addition to the field to facilitate the Jacket softball squad is a removable outfield fence by Grand Slam Safety Fencing.

“The baseball-softball field project has been a collaborative effort between the University Administration, Facilities Department and Athletic Department,” said Waynesburg University Director of Athletics Adam Jack. “The upgrades to the baseball field will enhance the experience for the studentathletes on both teams, while also providing safety upgrades for all those in attendance.”

Construction began this summer and was completed before the fall of 2021. Possible future additions to the facility include lights to allow for the playing of night games.


The Nest

An assortment of all-new Waynesburg University merchandise is now available at The Nest, WU’s official on-campus apparel store. The Nest renovations were made possible through a generous donation from a 1974 alumnus, Dennis Ellis. Ellis established his gift as a way to honor Rudy Marisa for his guidance, mentorship and coaching, both on and off the court. Read more on page 30.



Waynesburg University faculty and staff are known for making a difference in the lives of students on campus, but many share their unique skills and expertise with their own communities away from the University campus as well.

Throughout a range of participation in various community, educational, governmental and religious organizations, Waynesburg employees volunteer their time away from work to serve on boards and committees where they make a difference in the lives of their neighbors and community members.

“I continue to be impressed by our service-minded students, faculty and staff each day as they live out the pillars of our important mission,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “I am proud that so many local organizations can benefit from our purpose-driven people.”

Their work in various servicerelated roles allow them to expand the impact of the Waynesburg University mission of faith, learning and service, which positions them to be exceptional models to our students in faithfully transforming communities and the world.

Waynesburg students participate in local service projects on an average of six out of seven days per week. During winter and spring breaks, many students elect to participate in international service trips all throughout the world.

Waynesburg University students, faculty and staff contribute more than 50,000 hours of service learning and community, civic engagement each year. Inspired service has been a pillar of the Waynesburg University mission and curriculum since its founding.

-Douglas G. Lee

Waynesburg University President

Employee List of Organizations*:

20th Century Club

Bethlehem Haven Women’s Shelter Blueprints

California Area Elementary PTA Calvary Chapel Brownsville

Calvary Chapel Christian School

Cranberry Township Baseball Organization

Elks Lodge, Cranberry Township

Eva K. Bowlby Library

First Presbyterian Church of Waynesburg

Fluffyjean Fund for Felines

Girl Scouts of Western PA

Greene County Emergency Response Fund

Greene County Food Pantry

Greene County Historical Society

Greene County Planning Commission

Greene County Special Olympics (Special Olympics of Pennsylvania)  Greene County United Way

Imani Christian Academy

Life Changing Service Dogs for Veterans

Operation Christmas Child

Overlook Homeowners Association

Peters Township Girls Softball Association

Peters Township School District Pittsburgh Concert Chorale

Rhododendron Girls State Rotary Club of Waynesburg

Servant Song Ministry

Southpointe CEO Association

St. James Parish

St. Matthias Parish

Washington County Animal Relief Fund

Washington County Chamber of Commerce

Washington Presbytery

Washington Symphony Orchestra

Waynesburg Borough

Waynesburg Borough Zoning Hearing Board

Waynesburg Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Company

West Virginia Botanic Garden World Series Tournaments, Inc.

WWJD West Sides Youth Group

“I continue to be impressed by our service-minded students, faculty and staff each day as they live out the pillars of our important mission. I am proud that so many local organizations can benefit from our purpose-driven people.”

Student List of Organizations:

2nd Sam P

Bowlby Library


Catholic Charities

Community Foundation of Greene County

Corner Cupboard Foodbank

Crisis Pregnancy Center

Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA

First Baptist Church: Coffeehouse

First Presbyterian Church: Crossroad Youth Ministry

Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department

Gateway Senior Housing Greene ARC

Greene County Girl Scouts

Greene County Historical Society

Greene County United Way

GWCO Afterschool Program

Habitat for Humanity

Humane Society

Morrisville Head Start

On Eagle’s Wings

Rainbow’s End Learning Center

Rolling Meadows Nursing Home

Ronald McDonald House

Rolling Meadows Nursing Home

Salvation Army of Greene County Social Rehab

St. Ann’s Good Neighbor Dinner Program

The Book Buzz

The Open Door

Washington Trolley Museum

Waynesburg Community Senior Center

WVU Medicine

Remote Organizations / Projects

Congressional Hunger Center: Zero Hunger Academy & End Hunger in 30

Cards for Hospitalized Kids

7 Cups of Tea

Smithsonian Institute

Toys for the Humane Society

Adopt a Grandparent

Missing Maps

Project Linus Operation Gratitude

*NOTE: These lists include the organizations provided to University Relations at the time of publishing and do not represent a complete catalogue of every organization that employees are involved with in a service capacity.


Recent grants and gifts enhance University programs


Waynesburg University has prioritized pursuing support for equipment and program enhancements through state, federal and private grants and gifts during the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, many of these initiatives have come to fruition.

Through initiatives led in-part by faculty, this recent series of grants and gifts benefits existing programs as well as enables the establishment of new programs and opportunities for students.

Existing programs bolstered include the University’s nationally ranked Graduate and Professional Studies Counseling Program and the Achievement Academy, a dual enrollment program that provides a pathway for qualified high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits, while new initiatives include an esports program, XR learning experiences, a new campus store with a student-focused experience, and additional scholarship and research opportunities.

“During the pandemic, our faculty and staff have seized the opportunity to pursue growth and progress,” said Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee. “Driven by our mission, our University community remains strong in our dedication to providing the best possible student experience. It is exciting to see the hard work of our faculty and staff come to life on campus.”

The administration of these new initiatives will occur on varying timelines, depending on the specific grant, with some already available to students while others require time for planning and implementation.

“We are so very thankful for our donors and grantors who have made these initiatives possible,” said Stacey Brodak, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and University Relations. “Our faculty have played a vital role in seeking opportunities to strengthen their programs, which benefits our current students as well as helps the University stand out to prospective students.”

More details  21

$2.5M EON Reality grant to fund XR learning experiences

Waynesburg University was recently awarded a $2.5M grant from EON Reality, Inc., to fund implementation of virtual and augmented reality (XR) experiences through EON-XR, the company’s flagship solution. The EON Reality grant will provide faculty with the tools necessary to build XR learning experiences for students across a host of disciplines, at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. Read more on page 24.

$1M HRSA grant for behavioral health workforce education and training program for professionals

The Graduate and Professional Studies Counseling Program at Waynesburg University was recently awarded a four-year grant totaling more than $1 million from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to support the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals. The BHWET program provides eligible students with a $10,000 stipend while completing their clinical field experience in the grant’s focus area. This program also increases the capacity for Waynesburg University’s Counseling Program to engage in training and outreach in southwestern Pennsylvania. Read more on page 26.

$400K in-kind gift for esports development

Waynesburg University received a $400,000 in-kind gift from an anonymous donor to support the development of an esports program within the Department of Athletics. The program will launch during the fall 2022 semester, with potential for a soft launch in spring 2022. Construction on the arena in Buhl Hall and a nationwide search for a full-time esports director/coach are underway, and the University is in the process of working with the donor to acquire state-of-the-art equipment for the facility. Read more online www.waynesburg. edu/esports

$225K National Science Foundation Grant to fund undergraduate research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded assistant professor of chemistry Dr. Takashi Suyama a $225,000 grant for his work involving undergraduate students at Waynesburg. The federal research grant not only funds research supplies and equipment, but also provides funding to hire a staff scientist to mentor students as well as a student researcher to assist with the NSF project. Read more on page 28.

Generous gift for new campus store renovations

Dennis Ellis, a 1974 alumnus, gave a generous gift to the University to honor his former coach, Rudy Marisa, for his guidance, mentorship and coaching, both on and off the court. The donation facilitated the complete renovation of an existing campus building, transforming it into a new on-campus merchandise store, The Nest. The Nest also provides ample space for student activities, both indoors and out. Read more on page 30.


In-kind gift to support Keep Waynesburg Well efforts

Waynesburg University received numerous in-kind gifts valued at more than $60K to support Keep Waynesburg Well efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic. Donors provided air purifiers, personal protective equipment and other materials to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Read more about the KWW Plan online

$25K Staunton Farms grant to support the Graduate and Professional Studies Counseling Program

Waynesburg University’s Graduate Counseling Program was awarded a $25,000 grant from the Staunton Farm Foundation. The purpose of the grant, “Cultivating Substance Use Disorder Counselors of Tomorrow,” is to address the needs of communities by strengthening the substance use disorder workforce with qualified professionals. Funds from the grant will also support the development of Waynesburg’s very own overdose task force and allow for the distribution of overdose prevention kits in the local community. Read more online

$20K EQT grant to support Achievement Academy

Waynesburg University was the recipient of a $20,000 grant from the EQT Foundation in support of the University’s Achievement Academy, a dual enrollment program that provides a pathway for qualified Waynesburg Central High School juniors and seniors to earn college credit. Support from the EQT Foundation will enable the University to extend its reach to other Greene County school districts. Read more on page 32.


Waynesburg U. awarded $2.5M grant to fund XR learning experiences

Waynesburg University was recently awarded a $2.5M grant from EON Reality, Inc., to fund implementation of virtual and augmented reality (XR) experiences through EON-XR, the company’s flagship solution.

“Students [will be able to] pull their cell phones out of their pockets, put on simple three-dimensional glasses, and become immersed in experiential lessons. They can visit locations around the world, manipulate objects in three dimensions, and take apart and rebuild complex models,” said Dr. James Rieker, instructional designer at Waynesburg University. “In effect, students will learn by doing, making, and exploring in ways that were not possible before.”

The EON Reality grant will provide faculty with the tools necessary to build XR learning experiences for students across a host of disciplines, at both the undergraduate and the graduate level.

“We have many faculty members already excited about including both virtual and augmented reality components into classes that they teach,” said Dr. Evonne Baldauff, Assistant Provost for Online Learning & Curriculum Development and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Forensic Science. “I believe that this initiative will place the University at the ground level of early adopters of XR technologies.”

Dr. Janet Paladino, professor of biology, was instrumental in identifying and pursuing this grant opportunity. Motivated to tackle challenges presented to higher education by the pandemic, Paladino spent time over the summer exploring new ways to utilize technology to enhance learning opportunities.

“After conducting a great deal of research, I discovered that there is a whole world out there, a virtual one, with the potential to revolutionize teaching and learning,” shared Paladino.

Paladino plans to utilize EON Reality’s XR solution to create 360° virtual field trips and lesson plans to educate students about international environmental issues and hopes to develop international collaborative efforts using EON-XR.

She is also interested in using the technology to develop virtual worlds in the biological sciences where students can travel inside a cell to study photosynthesis, or experience pollination of plants from the perspective of a honey bee.

“The possibilities for creating virtual worlds in STEM education are infinite!” Paladino said.

The implementation plan includes training a cohort of faculty on the platform beginning this fall, with several projects being piloted during the first year. The early focus will be on developing the supporting structures on campus and utilizing the University’s instructional design team’s expertise to pilot lessons.

Over the course of five years, the technology will be implemented in academic programs across campus, likely providing every student at Waynesburg the opportunity to experience XR in a class at some point.

“Seeing a university like Waynesburg that is so eager and excited to bring EON-XR to their students and faculty is always thrilling for me, as it furthers my belief that we are truly making a difference in transforming education,” said Dan Lejerskar, EON Reality Founder and Chairman.

“As we have seen over the last 18 months, providing students with hands-on and immersive experiences can be crucial for a proper classroom setting, and I can’t wait to see how Waynesburg University is able to utilize EON-XR to create, publish, and experience more XR content,” Lejerskar added. “Creating partnerships like this, both across America and around the world, is what EON Reality, our global network, and the knowledge metaverse are all about."

EON-XR integrates into the University’s existing learning management system, Canvas.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the University,” Rieker said. “Our goal is to become leaders in educating our students with innovative and immersive learning technologies. We hope to partner with other institutions across the country to build collaborations that make the most of these emerging technologies as we develop best practices for their use.”

EON Reality is the world leader in Augmented and Virtual Reality academic and industry training solutions. The company believes that knowledge is a human right and should be available and affordable for every human on the planet.

To carry this out, EON Reality has spent the last 20 years developing the de-facto standard for XR education and industry solutions that support devices from mobile phones to head-mounted displays to large-scale screens and facilities. With more than 20 locations worldwide, EON Reality has created the largest XR training library with over 8,000 applications and 40 million users around the world.

Learn more at eonreality.com.

Waynesburg U. Graduate Counseling receives HRSA Grant for behavioral health workforce education and training program for professionals

The Graduate and Professional Studies Counseling Program at Waynesburg University was recently awarded a four-year grant totaling more than $1 million from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to support the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals.

The BHWET program is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1,069,240 over a four-year period from 2021 to 2025 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The award for the first year is $198,485.

The BHWET program provides eligible students with a $10,000 stipend while completing their clinical field experience in the grant’s focus area. This program will also increase the capacity for Waynesburg University’s Counseling Program to engage in training and outreach in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The purpose of the BHWET Program for Professionals is to develop and expand experiential training opportunities, such as field placements and internships, to improve the distribution and supply of the behavioral health workforce.

The BHWET Program for Professionals emphasizes relationships with communitybased partners to increase access to

quality behavioral health services for populations across the lifespan in high-need, high-demand and medically underserved areas. A special focus is vulnerable populations, such as children, adolescents and transitionalaged youth who are at risk for behavioral health disorders as well as individuals with substance use disorders.

Waynesburg University’s Master of Arts in Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

The Master of Arts in Counseling has two unique areas of concentration: Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Addictions Counseling. Waynesburg University’s Addiction Counseling Program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) and is CACREP accredited.

The University also offers a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Addictions Counseling. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the Certificate in Addiction Counseling program is offered 100% online.

The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.


National Science Foundation Grant funds undergraduate research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded Dr. Takashi Suyama a $225,000 grant for his work involving undergraduate students at Waynesburg.

The federal research grant will not only fund research supplies and equipment, but it will also provide funding to hire a staff scientist to mentor students as well as a student researcher to assist with the NSF project.

The project, “Directed Evolution of Cytochrome P450 for Synthesis of Pyrrole Marine Natural Products,” aims to synthesize medicinally important compounds from marine natural products.

“Many promising drug leads from the ocean remain unstudied because our synthetic technologies today are not good enough to synthesize them rapidly or easily,” said Dr. Suyama, assistant professor of chemistry. “To provide a remedy for this challenge, we are taking a marine bacterial enzyme called cytochrome P450 and modifying it to do the chemical reactions that are not feasible with the pre-existing synthetic technologies.”

For each year of the project, undergraduate students can apply to be the Research Initiatives in Biomedical Sciences Scholar (RIBS). The position, which is available during the academic year and the summer, comes with a stipend as well as opportunities to present research locally and nationally.

The Fall 2021 RIBS Scholar is Andrew Gordon, a senior biochemistry major and Jeffrey and Regina Taussig Ohio Honors Scholarship Awardee.

“The RIBS scholarship allows me to focus more on scientific research while financially enabling me to attend conferences, present my

research and network within the scientific community,” Gordon said. “The fact that this scholarship provides me with opportunities to grow is an understatement. In just the past few weeks, I have cultivated skills like time management, creative thinking and problem-solving as a student researcher.”

The undergraduate research project supplements traditional coursework with novel and authentic research experiences that will prepare students for successful careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Waynesburg University aims to continuously provide students with opportunities like this to grow in their fields of study.

“Research experience is the single most important thing in the undergraduate career for those who want to advance to graduate schools in science,” Dr. Suyama said. “It is one thing to do research, but to do research that is funded by NSF is a whole different level because of the prestige and the credibility that comes with working on an NSF project.”

Similarly to Dr. Suyama, Gordon believes that innovative undergraduate research–such as this project–has the ability to differentiate students in their fields of study.

“This undergraduate research opportunity benefits me primarily by opening doors to research opportunities and advancing my scope of knowledge in preparation for medical school,” Gordon said. “I am sincerely grateful for this opportunity because not many undergraduates are compensated for research.”


Ellis ‘74 honors former coach Rudy Marisa

Dennis Ellis, a 1974 alumnus, gave a generous gift to the University to honor his former coach, Rudy Marisa, for his guidance, mentorship and coaching, both on and off the court.

The donation facilitated the complete renovation of an existing campus building, transforming it into a new on-campus merchandise store, The Nest. In addition to the new store, Ellis’s gift also funded new window graphics at the Marisa Fieldhouse and a pop-up shop to make Waynesburg University branded items available off campus.

“I have been wanting to honor Rudy to show my gratitude for his support of myself and the others he has mentored over the years. This project has done that,” Ellis shared. “He is a leader in so many ways, not only as a coach and teacher, but also as a father, living a life of strength, perseverance and responsibility.”

The Nest is under the management of Direct Results, which has a natural tie to the University through its owner, Pam Marisa, and her husband, Kent.

Kent Marisa’s father is former Waynesburg men’s basketball coach and director of athletics Rudy Marisa, who spent 34 years as the head of the Yellow Jackets program, making it a national powerhouse in the 1980’s.

“This partnership with Waynesburg University is a special one for us, given my father’s history,” Kent Marisa said. “We are excited to help execute a vision that builds pride in the University’s brand, creates a fun gathering space for students and honors Rudy Marisa. We are also fortunate that one of his former students was so moved that he helped to make this happen for all.”

An assortment of all-new Waynesburg University merchandise is available for purchase on the first floor of The Nest. The store also sells handmade items to help raise funds for various causes, such as bracelets made by women in the Dominican Republic as a part of the University’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, or bowls and pens made from recycled plastic through the Fine Arts Program.

“We are so very fortunate to have the support and leadership from both the Marisas and Mr. Ellis to help us complete this project,” said Stacey Brodak, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Waynesburg University. “Their vision and implementation was outstanding in helping to create unique offerings that we believe our students will embrace, all in honor of Rudy Marisa, a beloved coach and mentor for WU.”

The new location provides ample space for student activities, both indoors and out. In addition to the merchandise available on the first floor, the upper two levels of The Nest, called Rudy’s Place, offer games and gathering space for Waynesburg University students. Rudy’s Place is outfitted with video and arcade games, including Avengers and Star Wars pinball, dartboard, pop-a-shot, bubble hockey, foosball table, etc., and two large screen televisions.

The Nest celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony over the University’s homecoming weekend, Saturday, Oct. 2, and is now open to the public at 84 Wayne Street.


Achievement Academy awarded $20K EQT Foundation Grant

Waynesburg University’s Achievement Academy received a $20,000 grant from the EQT Foundation for the 2020-21 academic year. The Achievement Academy, which launched in August 2019, offers Waynesburg University courses to Waynesburg Central High School (WCHS) students.

“Through our partnership with Waynesburg University’s Achievement Academy, we are helping to provide Greene County high school students with an opportunity like no other by participating in collegelevel courses on a college campus. Being given an opportunity to interact with undergraduate students, as well as professors, while still in high school, we hope it will spark a continual desire to learn, as well as to solidify plans for those students after graduation.” -Ellen Rossi, president of the EQT Foundation

The dual enrollment program provides a pathway to qualified WCHS juniors and seniors to earn college credits. Students are able to take courses in the areas of art, English, history, math, music, psychology and theatre.

Since its inception, 25 high school students have participated in classes through the Achievement Academy. Fifteen students participated in courses that were offered during the fall 2021 semester.

The Achievement Academy plans to extend to other Greene County school districts in the spring of 2022. Support from the EQT Foundation will enable the University to extend its reach.

About EQT Foundation

The EQT Foundation was established by EQT Corporation, one of the nation’s premier natural gas producers, and is committed to the social and economic vitality of our operating regions. The EQT Foundation believes in meaningful engagement with the communities it calls home and takes great pride in the role as both a responsible and responsive corporate citizen.

“It’s been such a joy to see students from Waynesburg Central High School participate in and grow through this program.”
– Dr. Shari Payne, vice president for enrollment Interested in the Achievement Academy?
Contact Director of Admissions Bob Barnhart at rdbarnha@waynesburg.edu or 724-852-3346. 33
p. 36 p.38 p. 40 p. 42 STUDENT 34
Andrew Gordon Nick Haushalter Kaleikaumaka Cruz Christopher Battaglia
p. 44 p. 46 p. 48 p. 50 p. 52 This year’s Q&A series focuses on the stories of students from across various academic programs. 35
Isaiah Skeete Rachel Pellegrino Katelyn Hrubetz Allegra Ochs

Christopher Battaglia

Senior from Roaming Shores, Ohio

With a double major in sociology (family studies) and political science, as well as a double minor in history and psychology, Christopher Battaglia designed his undergraduate experience at Waynesburg University to prepare himself to advocate for vulnerable communities within the United States’ political system.

Christopher carefully balances his academic work with his other responsibilities, as a Bonner Scholar, an intern in the Center for Student Learning, and president of the University’s Sociology and Human Services Club. He has served with many organizations, including as a legal advocate at Domestic Violence Services of Southwest PA and a tutor at WWJD After School Program. He has also served at Erin’s Café at the First United Methodist Church.

Christopher recently completed an internship with the Bonner Foundation and hopes to work in an AmeriCorps position in Cleveland, Ohio, focusing on poverty alleviation.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

I initially found Waynesburg through their Scout Scholarship because I am an Eagle Scout. I was drawn to and chose Waynesburg University because of their commitment to service. I was selected as a Bonner Scholarship recipient and have grown in my leadership within the program.

What is your major?

My majors are Sociology (Family Studies) and Political Science. Being at a small school in a small program, you can get a lot of individualized attention to your academics. I also have learned a lot from my academic advisors. They have helped me plan my courses at Waynesburg University and plan for my future endeavors.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

I have grown in my passion for service and for advocating on behalf of underserved communities. Through

the Sociology Program, I have learned the theory and skills working in the community, while being able to apply those skills in my Bonner Program service. My experiences at Waynesburg have shaped my future career path and my calling in life.

What special opportunities have you had at WU and how did you grow through them?

Through the Bonner Program, I have had so many opportunities that I am so grateful for. Last summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the Bonner Foundation under their president, Bobby Hackett. I interned as the National Know Your Issue intern, where I worked on implementing public policy research and analysis throughout the Bonner network.

What are your professional goals/plans for the future, and how is WU helping you work toward them?

Advocating on behalf of underserved communities is central to my calling in life. Addressing inequalities in our society and achieving justice for all communities is something that I am passionate about. I always adhere to Matthew 25:40 and remember Christ’s love for vulnerable communities. My plans are to take a gap year and serve as an AmeriCorps member. After that, I plan to attend law school and eventually work in public interest and administrative law. The Bonner Program has given me so many resources to advance my career through funding and trainings. Dr. Stratton is also a great resource for pre-law students at Waynesburg.

My advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Olagoke, has been a great mentor to me, and I have learned a lot from our conversations and taking his courses. He is an amazing resource on this campus, and I am so thankful for my time under his guidance. Even though we have different cultural and geographical experiences and exposure, we are able to talk about important issues. He gives his students a unique and important perspective on this campus that is necessary for being informed citizens.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the third floor of the Eberly Library. I find it the best place to study and the quietest place on campus.

What is your favorite WU tradition?

My favorite WU tradition is the Thanksgiving dinner served by faculty, and I also love going to the Christmas tree lighting at the Greene County Courthouse.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life? Please tell us about them.

On campus, Kalei is a member of the Criminal Justice Club and the secretary of STING Swing, the University’s west coast swing dance club. She completed an internship with the Honolulu Satellite Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) during her sophomore year, and her goal is to work in international crimes and security in the Asian-Pacific Rim.

Outside of class, Kalei enjoys drawing and dancing the hula, Hawaii’s cultural dance. More accustomed to sunny days and ocean breezes, Kalei saw snow for the first time in Waynesburg and is thankful to her friends who helped build her new winter wardrobe.

She loves sharing Hawaiian culture on campus, including foods such as li hing mui (Chinese salted plum powder) covered snacks and kakimochi popcorn, as well as weekly Hawaiian words on a white board with the English translation.

Kalei is the daughter of Beeper Nakamaejo, granddaughter of Vicente and Connie Cruz, sister of Mitsuko and Gavin Nakamaejo and niece of Champ Cruz.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

When asked, I like to joke and say Waynesburg chose me. When I was a sophomore in high school, I received an invitation from the University to attend CSI Camp the following summer. I had never heard of the University before, but I knew that I wanted to pursue a criminal justice degree on the east coast. So, the following summer, I attended camp and fell in love with Waynesburg University. Then I decided to attend in 2018.

What is your major? What makes WU’s program special/ what do you like best about it?

My major is criminal justice adminis tration. The program is educational, but also hands-on. It makes all the difference

to be able to participate in practical exer cises. Also, I am so grateful to have such supportive professors who genuinely care about their students. If anyone has any questions or needs help, our profes sors are always there. Finally, I adore the friends I have made. They have been so supportive, and we have grown so much together over the years.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

I have been able to grow as an individ ual. Having the opportunity to leave my hometown and be able to attend Waynesburg has pushed me to become the person I never thought I could be. This campus has offered me the op portunities and possibilities that have strengthened me mentally, physically and spiritually.

What special opportunities have you had at WU and how did you grow through them?

I was able to have the opportunity to intern with the ATF my sophomore year. My professor, James Tanda, was able to connect me with the ATF office in Honolulu. I was able to work with real agents in the field, and I learned so much. Sadly, I was only able to work for a couple of months, due to COVID-19. Still, those few months made all the difference. Not many get to intern with the ATF, and I am truly grateful for being able to experience this opportunity.

What are your professional goals/plans for the future, and how is WU helping you work toward them?

My professional goal is to work interna tional crimes/security in the Asian-Pa cific Rim. Academically, WU has taught and prepared me with the essentials to begin my career in the criminal justice field. Outside of the classroom, our de partment works hard to connect us with potential employers and internships. Ev ery year, they plan a job fair, solely for Criminal Justice and Forensic Science

majors, that allows us to meet and talk with varying potential employers from local, state and federal agencies.

There have been so many people that have helped and blessed me during my time here at WU, and I forever will be grateful. An important person that has been a mentor is Mr. Robert (Bob) Barnhart. He has been a big supporter of mine, ever since I first stepped on campus for CSI Camp, in the Summer of 2016. I would have never known nor had the opportunity to attend WU, without him. Throughout my four years, he has always helped me and been a listening ear, no matter what was going on in my life. Whether it was school or home-related, he was always there to offer advice. I appreciate all that you have done for me. Mahalo nui loa (Thank you very much), Mr. Bob!

What would you want a prospective student to know about WU?

I would want them to know that there is no other place like WU. I would say that if you are thinking about attending, you should press the “Accept” button right now. If you are debating but leaning towards another university, I would say please reconsider. This campus is friendly and so supportive of all its students. There are so many opportunities and experiences that will help you grow, not only academically, but also as an individual. I have had the best four years of my life, and I know you will too, here at Waynesburg University.

Criminal justice administration major Kaleikaumaka Cruz, known to many as Kalei, hails from Kailua, and more recently, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life? Please tell us about them.

Kaleikaumaka Cruz

Senior from Honolulu, Hawaii


Andrew Gordon

Senior from Strongsville, Ohio


During his college selection process, biochemistry major Andrew Gordon prioritized a true liberal arts experience, which he found at Waynesburg. Here, he has become involved in a wide array of activities, rounding out his major in the sciences with extracurricular activities in the fine arts and campus ministries.

Andrew is Waynesburg’s first RIBS (Research Initiatives in the Biomedical Sciences) Scholar and President of the Waynesburg Biology Club. He is also a member of the American Medical Students Association (AMSA), American Chemical Society (ACS), Gamma Sigma Epsilon National Chemistry Honorary – Rho Iota Chapter, the Lamplighters Touring Choir and the Upper Room Team.

He has served as a volunteer at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, Grace Hospice and Mon Health. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys making YouTube videos about chemistry, playing piano, singing and playing basketball. He is also a worship leader at The Foundry Church in Morgantown, West Virginia.

A recipient of the Jeffrey and Regina L. Taussig Ohio Honors Scholarship, Andrew is passionate about his future plans of becoming a physician. He is the son of Neil and Elvira Gordon.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

I loved Waynesburg from the moment I stepped foot on campus, mostly because of the welcoming, vibrant community. I also figured that I’d have multitudinous opportunities to get involved in student organizations, research, service and music at Waynesburg, which were all aspects of a collegiate education I considered essential.

What is your major?

At Waynesburg, I major in biochemistry. Honestly, the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Sciences at Waynesburg University is a hidden gem, mainly because of the incredible longitudinal mentorship I have received over the years from the helpful faculty. Whether it was advice about vocational pursuits, my faith, or even the best places to eat in the area, I have always felt welcomed and valued by my professors. Additionally, the American Chemical

Society Chapter at Waynesburg has orchestrated a myriad of special chemistry-themed events throughout my time at Waynesburg, which fostered my passion for the sciences.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

Primarily, I have grown in recognizing the world is much bigger than myself. God has called me to serve Him through serving others, and that realization has helped grow my heart for serving my greater community wherever I am led.

By mentoring other students directly or indirectly, I have also realized I have a desire to work with students to nurture their abilities and help them achieve academic or vocational goals.

What special opportunities have you had at WU and how did you grow through them?

At WU, I’ve had the unique opportunity to conduct research – funded by the National Science Foundation – through a cutting-edge biocatalysis project. As a Research Initiatives in the Biomedical Sciences Scholar, I am compensated for my research, which is uncommon among undergraduate research opportunities. I’ve grown in my critical thinking abilities, problem-solving skills, and have developed leadership skills through my independence in the laboratory, which will propel me through my career as a physician.

What are your professional goals/plans for the future, and how is WU helping you work toward them?

I plan to become a physician in the future, and I plan to incorporate research into my professional career. WU has helped me procure internships, such as an NIH-funded fellowship in Pittsburgh over the summer, and has provided me with leadership opportunities, so that I may excel in medical school. Furthermore, WU has allowed me to remain a well-rounded

scholar through service and music, which aids me in relating to patients from diverse backgrounds.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life? Please tell us about them.

I think Dr. Takashi Suyama has been an incredible spiritual and academic mentor to me during my time here at Waynesburg. Primarily, the effect that Dr. Suyama has had on my vocational outlook has been paramount to my growth here at Waynesburg, and his ministry work has inspired my involvement at the Foundry Church. Dr. Suyama has helped me realize that a love for God and for others is exquisitely compatible with my love of science and medicine.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the Center for Campus Ministry. Whether it’s talking, hanging out, or seeking community in faith, it is a location which sticks out in my mind as a place of respite during my collegiate tenure. While I haven’t been there as frequently this semester, I have made so many great memories connecting with colleagues and hearing their stories in the Center for Campus Ministry.

Do you have a hidden talent or skill that few people know about?

I actually am a semi-adept puppeteer, which is probably not what comes to most people’s minds when they think of me. Puppetry was a big part of the ministry I did in high school – I even attended a few national conferences where I got to be a part of a puppetry team. I’d love to start a club in medical school to take puppets on the road and visit children’s hospitals to brighten their day.


Majoring in biblical and ministry studies with an emphasis on Christian missions, Nick plans to serve in Africa during the summer of 2022 with a missionary organization, where he will spend time with a pilot and deliver supplies to remote villages.

Nick has served on campus as a campus ministry assistant and now serves as a youth ministry leader alongside his wife, Kendra Haushalter, at Jefferson Baptist Church, where they enjoy their responsibilities of teaching and discipleship immensely. Kendra is also a junior at Waynesburg, majoring in biblical and ministry studies with an emphasis on children and youth.

He is a piper in the James D. Randolph Kiltie Band and a leader in church history book study group. In his free time, Nick enjoys cooking and baking, playing soccer with friends and studying theology and church history.

With plans to graduate early after the fall 2022 semester, Nick is the son of Kurt and Joanna Haushalter of State College, Pennsylvania, and brother to Amaryah, 18, and Sean, 15.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

As somebody going into ministry, Waynesburg’s faith-oriented culture was immediately attractive. During my visits, I found the people here to be welcoming, personable and always ready to dive into the kinds of deep conversations I love. Many people have said that the best thing about Waynesburg is the people you find here, and that was apparent to me from the start. Chaplain and Professor Josh Sumpter was especially influential in this regard.

What is your major?

I am a Christian Mission major. One special thing about Waynesburg’s program is that they offer it at all, as few schools do. Beyond that, I credit my Biblical and Ministries Studies professors for making my education great. They are skilled at teaching in the classroom, but are also passionate enough about the material to engage with enriching conversations outside of

it. These interactions have grown my faith and knowledge at least as much as formal instruction has.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

Anybody who knows me will say that my time here has been the most formative of my life. My faith has been completely transformed since arriving as a freshman, and the University itself has had no small part to play in that. It was through Waynesburg that I began having an interest in the intellectual side of Christianity; as this passion grew, my love of God has become incomparably deeper and more fulfilling.

What special opportunities have you had while at WU?

Professor Sumpter is the one who initially got me connected with the youth ministry at Jefferson Baptist Church. Waynesburg has allowed me to pursue my leadership there more fully by giving class credits this semester for my service with the youth. Because of this, I can spend more time discipling and putting the things I have learned in the classroom to good use.

What are your professional goals for the future?

My plan after graduating is to be a missionary pilot (Lord willing). This involves supporting missionaries in remote locations with transportation, supply, and even medical evacuation, along with participating in actual ministry opportunities. Waynesburg continues to grow my spiritual maturity so that I can be an effective witness for the Kingdom before beginning pilot training. The University has also been extremely helpful in getting me connected to missionaries active in the field, which will be important for finding my place after college.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life?

Chaplain/Professor Josh Sumpter is not just my academic advisor, he is also a reliable source for advice, encouragement and meaningful conversation. It is a real blessing to know somebody like him who always seems to have time for my concerns. This is especially helpful at this stage in my education; I feel more confident pursuing post-college ministry because of his reliable support.

What is one thing the pandemic has taught you about yourself?

Like many, I learned that I need people in my life more than I ever realized. During quarantine, my mental health fell to new lows in the absence of (especially Christian) community. I became wrapped up in my own thoughts and lost the joy I was once known for. Be intentional about your relationships! Even if you are more introverted like me, realize that everyone needs each other’s company to be well.

What is your favorite place on campus?

I absolutely love sitting in the empty chapel. It is a place of beauty and serenity. The tall windows are lovely in the evening when the sun is low and the light is golden. Amidst the struggles that every student faces, there is usually nothing that helps more than sitting in one of its pews for a time of prayer and reflection. I am genuinely thankful to the University for providing us with access to such a space.


Nick Haushalter

from State College, Pennsylvania


Allegra Ochs

from Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania

A nursing student with a passion for holistic patient care who grew up in a house full of music, Allegra Ochs’ future plans include becoming a critical care nurse and eventually returning to school to become a certified, registered nurse anesthetist.

Allegra has been a nurse intern at Monongahela Valley Hospital since May 2020, working in both the progressive care and intensive care units. She has also had clinical experiences at Washington Hospital, St. Clair Hospital and Ruby Memorial Hospital, with her most recent clinical experience in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Ruby Memorial Hospital, an experience that affirmed her desire to become an ICU nurse.

Her love of music led her to join the Lamplighters Touring Choir’s service trip to Romania in 2019 and to be involved in musicals and plays in the Department of Fine Arts, along with taking private voice lessons.

In addition to being a member of the Lamplighters Touring Choir, Allegra is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society and was the Nursing Faculty Organization Student Representative in 2019-2020. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, live theater and reading. She is a member of Saint Anne’s Church in Rostraver, Pennsylvania.

Allegra is the daughter of Aaron and Kristy Ochs and has two younger siblings, Avery and Aidan. Allegra credits her many musical-related extracurriculars to her mom, who is a music teacher.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

I spent a good bit of time looking at the quality of every aspect of every school I had visited. For me, the allure of Waynesburg University was that it had one of the top nursing programs in the state, and the University’s mission was centered around service. These were two important factors when making my college decision.

What is your major?

I am a nursing student. I was very excited to attend Waynesburg University’s nursing program because

it is consistently ranked as one of the best nursing programs in the state. This was incredibly important to me, as I wanted to get the best education possible so that I could become a competent and successful nurse. WU’s Nursing Program focuses on holistic care, which means taking care of every part of a patient: body, mind, spirit and emotions. I felt that a program centered around holistic care would teach me how to take care of a patient with compassion and empathy. I have been provided with exceptional clinical experiences at great hospitals, and I feel that our faculty members are very knowledgeable and are excellent nurses to look up to.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

I feel that I have grown into a more compassionate and serving person. Waynesburg University has taught me a great deal about the importance of serving others and serving God. The experiences I have had here encourage me to strive to look for opportunities to lend myself to others.

What special opportunities have you had at WU and how did you grow through them?

During my freshman year, I had the opportunity to join the Lamplighters Touring Choir’s service trip to Romania. We visited an orphanage, Caminul Felix, assisted with various projects around the campus, and performed a concert to raise money for them, as well. I gained worldly knowledge from this experience as well as strengthened my faith and deepened my empathy and compassion for those less fortunate.

What are your professional goals/plans for the future, and how is WU helping you work toward them?

My plan is to become a critical care nurse and eventually return to school to become a certified, registered nurse anesthetist. WU has provided me with

the skills and knowledge to be a strong nurse, and my senior-level courses have provided me with opportunities to prepare for job searching and interviewing with resume reviews and practice interview questions.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life?

Someone who has been a positive influence on my life has been Mrs. Melanie Catana. Through choir and private voice lessons, she has provided me with many opportunities to continue sharing my love of music. I am so thankful she has given me wonderful experiences at WU.

What is one thing the pandemic has taught you about yourself?

One thing the pandemic has taught me about myself is that I am more resilient than I thought I was. Working as a health care worker during a pandemic, I discovered that I am strong and I can withstand many hardships with the love of God.

What is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place is inside Roberts Chapel at sunset. With the sun streaming through the tall windows, it is a very peaceful place to go to pray or think, especially when the semester can feel very overwhelming.

What is your favorite WU tradition?

My favorite WU tradition is the Thanksgiving dinner at the dining hall. The professors serve the dinner, and it’s so much fun to share a Thanksgiving dinner with all of your friends. Not to mention the delicious food! That time in the semester can be quite stressful, so this is an enjoyable way to share in friendship and relax.


Currently majoring in business management and minoring in entrepreneurial leadership at Waynesburg University, Katelyn Hrubetz started out as a nursing major at another regional university. Transferring to Waynesburg as a sophomore led Katelyn on a path to finding her purpose.

A recipient of the Transfer Honor Scholarship, Katelyn is currently an intern with the eHIVE, the University’s Entrepreneurial Hub for Innovative Ventures and Endeavors, where she works with Project Grow. Project Grow helps empower women entrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic to start their own businesses. Katelyn’s favorite part of her internship is seeing people grow and reach their dreams and seeing projects through from start to finish.

She enjoys hiking, painting and shopping in her free time, and is an active volunteer with the American Legion, where she helps organize events to support veterans.

Katelyn is the daughter of Leann and Michael Hrubetz and has two brothers and a sister.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

When I was thinking about transferring schools, I chose Waynesburg because of its strong academics. On top of that was Waynesburg’s commitment to service.

I really wanted a school that focused on service, because I feel it builds a stronger community, and that is also really important to me. As soon as I toured Waynesburg, I knew it had all the things I found important in a school.

What is your major?

I am a business management major with a minor in entrepreneurial leadership. Waynesburg’s Business Management Program is special because it does not focus on just one area of business. You learn about many aspects so you can figure out what you like the best. The thing that makes entrepreneurial leadership special is that it uses critical thinking skills through different everyday problems.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

I have grown into a better person throughout my time at Waynesburg University. When I first started at Waynesburg, I felt very lost, and I had no clue what direction to go in my life.

I have been able to find myself and become a better person through all the opportunities I have had at Waynesburg.

What special opportunities have you had at WU and how did you grow through them?

A special opportunity I have had through WU is my internship with the eHIVE, where I help empower women entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. Within my internship,

I plan trainings and learn about business finances. My internship is a continuation of a class, and without the class, I wouldn’t have this amazing opportunity through which I have grown more in my faith. One of the key parts of the internship is service, and my service has brought me closer to God. I was able to grow more into myself with this opportunity.

What are your professional goals/plans for the future, and how is WU helping you work toward them?

My plans for the future include working in corporate social responsibility or other non-profit work. WU was able to help me work towards this goal by giving me opportunities to find my passion in the work I want to do. Also, WU led me to different opportunities in and out of the classroom to help me make connections with other people in my desired field. In my classes, we were required to go out and actually do the things we were talking about. I have been able to help plan and organize service with 2nd Sam 9, which enabled

me to make connections within the non-profit field.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life? Please tell us about them.

A mentor at Waynesburg who has changed my life is Mindy Walls. With the help of Professor Walls, I was able to find what I was passionate about. She took the time to get to know me and help me through life. Since the first time I walked into her office, she made me feel like she cared about me and my success. She goes above her duties as a professor and advisor and makes sure that I am being the best student that I could be.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place near campus is the fountain in the park. This is my favorite place because it is super peaceful and a great place to get your homework done on a nice day. Also, you can see all the squirrels run around, which brings me joy.

What would you want a prospective student to know about WU?

I would tell them that your professors actually care about you and want you to succeed. If you get to know them, they are really cool people, and they will go above and beyond to help you when you need it. At Waynesburg University, you are truly more than just a number in the classroom.


Katelyn Hrubetz

Senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Rachel Pellegrino

Senior from Yardley, Pennsylvania


Rachel Pellegrino grew up in a big family, and found another big family at Waynesburg University in the Department of Communication. Majoring in communication with a concentration in electronic media and a minor in journalism, along with a fully packed schedule of leadership roles and extracurricular activities, Rachel is always on the go.

Currently serving as the executive editor of the Yellow Jacket Newspaper, Rachel leads the award-winning, student-run newspaper, in addition to leading the Cross Country/Track teams as their captain.

Rachel also serves as the president of Waynesburg’s Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the historian of the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society, and a student writer in Waynesburg’s Office of University Relations. Rachel is a member of WCTV, WCYJ-FM and Waynesburg’s Honor Program. In her free time, Rachel enjoys running, reading and hiking.

In addition to being on the Dean’s List every semester, Rachel’s academic pursuits have been recognized by various awards, and she is a recipient of the Vira I. Heinz Scholarship and the A.B. Miller Scholarship.

Rachel is the daughter of Bruce and Gloria Pellegrino and has four sisters: Lauren, Caitlin, Amanda and Natalie.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

About four years ago, I received a letter from Chris Hardie, the head coach of Waynesburg’s men and women’s cross-country teams. At the time, I was unsure of where I wanted to go to college and what field of study I wanted to pursue. That letter was the reason I took a chance with Waynesburg University. After receiving the letter, I decided to look into small private universities in western Pennsylvania. My search, however, stopped once I visited Waynesburg’s campus. I immediately fell in love with the campus, the people and the Department of Communication. I not only found a career path I was passionate about, but I had also found a home away from home.

What is your major?

Ever since my freshman year, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in

communication, but choosing just one concentration was difficult. Ultimately, I decided to pursue a communication major with an electronic media concentration and minor in journalism. The Department of Communication is special because it provides you the opportunities to become versatile in the industry. Even though electronic media is my primary concentration, the Department provided me handson experience in graphic design, web design, print journalism and broadcast journalism, as well as many other communication areas. As the Department of Communication puts it, I’ve truly been able to become a “Big Bucket” here at Waynesburg University.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

Over the course of my four years at Waynesburg, I’ve grown significantly in every aspect of my life. The Waynesburg community has given me the chance to reaffirm my values in faith, learning and service, and has allowed me to become more confident in myself and my abilities.

What special opportunities have you had at WU and how did you grow through them?

Waynesburg University has given me a plethora of opportunities to not only grow in my field of study but to succeed in all facets of my life. Throughout my four years, I’ve been greatly involved with the student-run newspaper, the radio station and the TV station, as well as many other clubs. The most notable experience was virtually interning abroad in Florence, Italy, with Magenta Publishers, the owner of several Englishspeaking news publications. I was able to do this because of Waynesburg’s relationship with the Vira I. Heinz Program, which fosters leadership development and international experiences for women who have never traveled abroad.

What are your professional goals/plans for the future, and how is WU helping you work toward them?

After graduation, I hope to work as a reporter/anchor at a TV station. Thanks to Waynesburg University, I feel more comfortable working in this field because I already have extensive experience working as a reporter and anchor for Waynesburg’s TV station, WCTV. Even though I am not yet an expert in the field, I am confident in the knowledge and skills that I have developed at Waynesburg to achieve my professional goals.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life?

This is a hard question to answer because there are so many people at Waynesburg that have positively impacted my life. Sometimes the most impactful interactions are those 5-to10-minute conversations you have with people in between other activities. The people that have specifically impacted me are the professors and students in the Department of Communication. Throughout my time at Waynesburg, they continuously pushed me to do better and be the best student and person I can be.

What’s your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the fourth floor of Buhl. From the physical location to what it represents, I love everything about the fourth floor.

I’ll always remember the late nights working on projects, creating content with friends in the TV studio and the endless comradery of the Department of Communication. The fourth floor is truly a family that I’ve been blessed to be a part of.


On campus, Alexander is involved with a variety of clubs, including serving as the vice president for Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society and secretary for the Biology Club. Alexander is also a Student Senator, a member of the EcoStewards Club and the WU’s Line Improv Club, and a peer tutor.

As a Stover Scholar in the University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, Alexander has met a variety of different people in law, politics and finance, among other professional fields. These interactions have enabled him to learn more about previously unfamiliar fields and expand his view of the professional world.

At home, Alexander is active with his local church, Amplify Church East, and is a volunteer firefighter at Adamsburg and Community Volunteer Fire Department. A lover of the outdoors, Alexander enjoys camping, fishing and hiking in his free time. He is an Eagle Scout with three palms and returns to his home troop whenever possible to provide guidance to the next generation of Boy Scouts.

What made you choose Waynesburg?

I came to Waynesburg almost on accident. Initially, it was not even on my list of colleges, but during a Christian college fair, I met one of the admissions counselors and decided to come to an open house. At that open house, I felt like I belonged and that I was meant to be here, so I applied and ended up here.

What is your major?

I am a Biology and Environmental Science major. These programs are very rigorous, but I really enjoy them because I have had the opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects and broaden my knowledge in my field. I chose multiple majors because I was already a biology major, and I wanted to take some more specialized classes in the area of conservation because that is the field I’d like to work in.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

While at Waynesburg, I have grown primarily in my faith. I took “Intro to New Testament” as part of my general education requirements, and it opened my eyes to exactly what is in the Bible and what it means. I grew up in the church and heard most of the Sunday School stories, but it was great to dive deeper. I also took a class called “Faith and Learning” where I was able to wrestle with some challenging topics of integrating faith with science, and it helped me to further solidify my views on faith in the science world.

What special opportunities have you had while at WU?

I was granted the opportunity at WU to be a part of the Stover Scholars program. It really helped me grow in my worldview and to discuss difficult legal and political topics with my peers.

I have had the chance to meet many important political figures, like former Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

What are your professional goals for the future?

In the future, I hope to work in one of Pennsylvania’s conservation-focused

agencies like the Game Commission or the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, or in the environmental department of an engineering or consulting firm.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life?

One mentor I have had at Waynesburg is Dr. Janet Paladino. She is the advisor for the Environmental Science Majors. She is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the field, and she has helped me in my endeavors at Waynesburg whether it be in getting an internship or doing research. Dr. Paladino is very kind, and she is always ready to help her students and I appreciate all she has done to help me.

What is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is the Unity Trail. It is right on the edge of campus and is very quiet. It is the only place within walking distance where someone can be within God’s creation and truly disconnect from the stresses of the world.

What is your favorite WU tradition?

My favorite tradition at WU is the President’s Breakfast during Finals Week. President and Mrs. Lee are very kind, considerate people, and not often do the students get to really speak to them and I enjoy that opportunity.

Alexander Wees, a senior biology and environmental science dual major minoring in chemistry, is passionate about preserving God’s creation. He has worked extensively to maintain a sustainable habitat on Waynesburg’s Unity Trail, removing invasive species that over grow and cause desirable native species to be pushed out.


Senior from Irwin, Pennsylvania


Isaiah Skeete Graduate student from Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania


Currently enrolled in two Waynesburg University graduate programs, Isaiah Skeete is pursuing both a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Arts in Criminal Investigation degree. He also works fulltime as an admissions counselor at the University.

In 2021, Isaiah graduated from Waynesburg with a Bachelor of Arts degree; he majored in criminal justice administration and minored in accounting. At his commencement ceremony, he was awarded the inaugural Douglas G. and Kathryn D. Lee Servant Leadership Endowed Award. The award is intended to recognize an individual with an exceptional ability of providing leadership to make a positive impact on others within the Waynesburg University community, in their home community, or anywhere in the world.

As an undergraduate, Isaiah was a leader in areas across campus and within the local community, from academics and service to the student-led Keep Waynesburg Well Team, a group dedicated to promoting health and safety on campus amid the pandemic.

Isaiah also served on the Diversity & Belonging Student Advisory Board and as Social Vice President for Student Senate. He was a Bonner Scholar, a resident assistant and a student ambassador within the Admissions Office.

What made you choose Waynesburg for graduate school?

Waynesburg has outstanding graduate programs, and I knew whichever programs I chose, I would be receiving the best instruction from individuals experienced within their fields.

What are you studying?

Currently, I am in the Master of Arts in Criminal Investigation and Master

of Business Administration programs. These programs are special because the professors have a wealth of knowledge and experience. In addition, I like that both of these programs are remote, which allows me to work around my full-time job. I like how not only does the professor have experience, but several other students have experience as well. I am not only learning from the professor, but I am learning from other students too.

How have you grown while at Waynesburg University?

Waynesburg University has allowed me to grow in ways that I never thought were possible. During my time at WU, I became more comfortable with myself, conversating with others, learning from others, and serving others. The moment I stepped onto this campus, I knew this place would be my home, and I am forever grateful for the growth that Waynesburg provided for me.

What special opportunities have you had at WU?

I had the privilege to attend a service trip to the Dominican Republic during spring break of my sophomore year. This opportunity was transformational for me and opened my eyes. We worked with a non-profit named Wine to Water, and they made water filters to purify the water. This trip showed me how grateful I truly am and stressed the importance of giving back to the people that are less fortunate than I am.

What are your professional goals for the future?

Currently, I love higher education, and I am planning on pursuing that route for now. My goal is to advance within

higher education, specifically in the Admissions Office. I work at WU as an Admissions Counselor right now, and it’s the best job. I am learning from great people who have been in the higher education field for a while now. Working with experienced people at WU and continuously learning from them is going to help me reach my goals.

Is there someone at WU who has been a mentor to you or who has had a positive influence on your life?

This question is very hard for me because many people could make this list. Many people have had a positive influence on my life, and I wish that I could name all of them. If I had to pick one, it would be Avery White. Avery and I are very good friends, but he has had a positive influence on my life. The way he honors the Lord through his family, job and friends is inspiring. When Avery was a student, he had a positive impact on this campus and had positive relationships with many people. I love the way he interacts with people and that inspired me to get out of my shell my freshman year and meet people.

What is your favorite place on campus?

The third floor library, because that’s where I got most of my studying done. Also, it is very peaceful and quiet up there.

What has the pandemic taught you?

The pandemic has taught me that you can get through anything as long as you put your mind to it.

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One of the greatest dynasties in Waynesburg University history continued its run at the top of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), as the Yellow Jacket women’s cross country team won its sixthstraight conference title on October 30. Waynesburg accomplished the feat in dramatic fashion by besting secondplace Franciscan by a single point to take the crown.

As she has done for three years prior, senior Aubrey Wingeart led the Jacket charge to victory. She finished second overall in the 88-woman field. It was the fourth time in her illustrious career that Wingeart earned first-team All-PAC status, including winning the league individual title in 2019. Senior Gloria Reed also earned first-team all-conference laurels for a third time as a Jacket.

Decorated Waynesburg University head cross country coach Chris Hardie, who also leads the Yellow Jacket track & field program, earned his seventh PAC Women’s Coach of the Year award in the past eight seasons.

Wingeart’s memorable postseason continued on Nov. 13, when she made Waynesburg cross country history by becoming the first runner, male or female, to twice qualify for the NCAA

Division III National Championships. She accomplished the feat by placing eighth out of 218 runners at the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Cross Country Championships.

Wingeart ended her 2021 campaign with a strong showing at nationals. Her 105th-place finish in a field of 292 of the nation’s top runners was 29 spots higher than her first trip to the event in 2019.

The Waynesburg men’s cross coun try team put together a respectable showing at this year’s PAC Champi onships by placing fifth in the nineteam field. The Yellow Jackets were led by sophomore Andrew Kasper, who was named second-team All-PAC after placing 12th out of 99 runners in the field.

Junior Jac Cokley and freshman Nolan Curran earned honorable mention all-conference applause. Speaking of Cokley, he ended his third year with the program on a high note by posting the highest finish ever for a Waynesburg men’s runner at a regional championship. The Cochranton, Pennsylvania, native placed 57th out of 223 runners.

Head coach Ron Headlee’s women’s tennis team went 0-10 in the fall, but nearly claimed victory in a pair of 5-4

matches that could have just as easily gone Waynesburg’s way.

Moving to the golf course, both the Yellow Jackets men’s and women’s squads made headlines, one before the first tee shot was struck, and the other during the PAC Fall Championships.

The Waynesburg women made national headlines when current LPGA touring professional and Waynesburg native Rachel Rohanna Virgili took over as head coach in mid-June. Hopes are high for the Yellow Jackets as Rohanna Virgili begins building the roster for the future.

On the men’s side, senior Luke Diel accomplished one of the rarest feats in the sport when he recorded a holein-one on a par four at the PAC Fall Championships. Diel accomplished the feat on the 308-yard fifth hole at the Avalon Lakes Course in Warren, Ohio. The ace came as part of a 36hole performance that saw the veteran standout put together a score of 151 (79-72), which is good enough to tie him for seventh overall in a 35-man field. The PAC schedule concludes this spring, giving Diel a shot to make a run at an individual championship. Both Waynesburg University soccer programs received reboots in the form of new head coaches. George


DeAugustine took over the head spot of the Yellow Jacket women, while Treg Lunger became the new leader of the Jacket men.

DeAugustine guided his squad to its first appearance in the PAC tournament since 2012 after the Jacket women went 8-7-1 overall in the regular season and 4-4-1 in conference competition. The Yellow Jackets emphatically clinched their spot in the postseason by defeating Geneva 7-1 in the final game of the regular season. Freshman Haley Johnson exploded for four goals in the victory.

Waynesburg nearly earned its first postseason victory since 2011 when it battled W&J into overtime in a firstround playoff showdown. Unfortunately, the Jackets’ efforts came up just short in a 1-0 overtime loss.

Following the conclusion of the season, Johnson, as well as senior Meghan Briski were named second-team All-PAC. Junior Autumn Blair and sophomore Kate James were tabbed as honorable mention all-league selections.

On the men’s side of the pitch, the Jackets put a strong ending on a 3-12-1 campaign that included a 2-6-1 mark in PAC play. Waynesburg went 2-0-1 over the final three games of its schedule.

For their efforts over the 16-game season, senior Daniel Hott, senior Ryan McCann and junior Samuel Hawkins were all named honorable mention All-PAC.

The Waynesburg University volleyball team tallied its most total wins since 2011 when it went 9-19 overall. The Jackets’ three conference wins (3-15) were the program’s most since logging four in 2014.

The Orange and Black was led by second-team All-PAC pick Alyson Johnson, who not only led the PAC in digs per set (6.53), but posted the top mark in all of the NCAA Division III ranks. Johnson punctuated her memorable


campaign by setting a new single-match record for both Waynesburg and the conference with 59 digs in just four sets against Grove City on Sept. 28.

The future of the Waynesburg volleyball program looks to be in good hands as head coach Emily Taylor saw two freshman members of her squad earn honorable mention All-PAC laurels. First-year standouts Paige Cousley and Makayla Osborn grabbed the honors, giving the Jackets their most All-PAC selections since four in 2008.

Last, but not least, the Waynesburg football team took a step forward by going 2-8 overall and 2-7 in PAC play. Both win totals are the most for the program since 2018.

The biggest breakout star of the campaign was freshman wide receiver Dakota Romantino, who twice put his name in the Waynesburg record book in just his first three games. During a week-two conference showdown with Case Western Reserve, Romantino logged the second-most

receiving yards in one game by grabbing nine catches for 260 yards. Waynesburg great and NFL wide receiver Don Hermann holds the record with 328 yards in 1968.

The following week, during a 52-14 victory over Thiel, Romantino caught a short pass from junior quarterback Tyler Raines and turned it into a 99-yard touchdown catch. It was the longest play from scrimmage in program history.

For his remarkable freshman campaign (46 catches, 821 yards, four touchdowns) Romantino was one of four honorable mention All-PAC picks for Waynesburg. Senior offensive lineman Eric McDowell, junior running back Justin Flack and freshman defensive back James Davis joined Romantino in receiving the accolade. Sophomore kicker Keegan Raabe represented the Yellow Jackets as a second-team all-conference selection after connecting on six-of-seven field goal attempts and 16-of-17 PAT attempts.


CommencemenT 2021


Waynesburg University honored the Class of 2021 during in-person commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, on the Lawn of Miller Hall, honoring more than 400 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

Four ceremonies were held over the two days in order to comply with state and federal guidelines. All four ceremonies were also live-streamed, and graduates were given the option to participate virtually if they were unable to attend in person. Virtual participants were honored at the in-person ceremony with their name announced and their photo showed on a large outdoor screen.

Lance Hyde, the Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Koppers, delivered the Commencement Address at the Graduate and Professional Studies ceremony on Saturday, and Rev. James Tinnemeyer, Senior Pastor at Southminster Presbyterian Church, delivered the Commencement Address at the three undergraduate ceremonies on Sunday.

During the ceremonies, Tinnemeyer was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, and Hyde was presented the Timothy & Carolyn Thyreen Service Leadership Award, which 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.

Graduates Nathan Jecelin of Baltimore, Md., and Cullen McElligott of Waynesburg, Pa., were commissioned Second Lieutenants in the Army of the United States of America during the 10 a.m. ceremony on Sunday.

In addition, Isaiah Skeete, criminal justice administration graduate from Sinking Spring, Pa., was awarded the inaugural Douglas G. and Kathryn D. Lee Servant Leadership Endowed Award during the 4 p.m. ceremony on Sunday. This award was established by the Waynesburg University Board of Trustees to honor the leadership and commitment of Douglas and Kathryn Lee to the University. It will be awarded each year to one graduating student who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities over the course of their time at Waynesburg University in the mission focus areas of faith, learning and serving. Learn more about Isaiah on page 52.

The following graduates were named valedictorians:

• Carly Breach from Madras, Oregon

• Bailey Holt from Smithfield, Pennsylvania

• Joshua Miller from Reedsville, West Virginia

• Casidee Millero from Greensville, Pennsylvania

• Aaron Sielski from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania

Miller, Millero and Sielski addressed the Class of 2021 at their respective ceremonies on Sunday, and graduate Vanessa Milagros-Guillen, Ph.D., addressed students at the Graduate and Professional Studies ceremony on Saturday.



Waynesburg University hosted a hybrid version of Homecoming starting Wednesday, Sept. 29, offering two days of virtual events on Wednesday and Thursday before transitioning to in-person festivities for the final two days.Virtual programming included updates on plans for the future from various University representatives and a virtual trivia night.

In-person events included an alumni golf event at the Greene County Country Club; an all-alumni celebration and combined class reunion in the Denny House, during which years ending in 0, 1, 5 and 6 were honored; the 25th Annual 5K Run/Walk, which benefited the University’s Student Mission Fund; a Stover Scholars Alumni Brunch; a 50th Anniversary Brunch for the classes of 1970 and 1971; and the 5th Quarter Steak Cookout.

Attendees had the opportunity to cheer on the Yellow Jackets as the women’s tennis team took on Saint Vincent College, the volleyball team played a doubleheader, and the football team took the field at John F. Wiley Stadium at 1 p.m. for the annual Homecoming football game.

The celebration also included the crowning of seniors Andrew Gordon and Alexandra Morar as the 2021 Homecoming King and Queen, respectively.

President Douglas G. Lee and Mrs. Lee welcome Cynthia (Cyndi) Wilson Kumor back to Waynesburg. Cyndi and President Lee were homecoming king and queen 40 years ago in 1981.

Thursday, Nov. 4 | One World. One WU. One Future.

Despite the past year’s challenges, Waynesburg

remains strong, thanks to the unwavering support of our community. This year, the generosity of Waynesburg University alumni, friends, students, parents, faculty and staff around the world helped us achieve our most successful Day of Giving to date.

Gifts from this fundraising event help the University ensure that the students of tomorrow have even more opportunities to learn, succeed, develop and grow at Waynesburg University, positively impacting our world and our future.


Giving donations


• Providing more than 90%

• Maintaining a safe,


Day of

a vital role in the


we were able to

more than $358,000. We are so



-Donna Nypaver, director of donor relations

In addition to achieving our Alumni

participated in our successful Alumni Donor



total in support of the Fund for Waynesburg. “Each year,

participation is such an important part of our annual Day of Giving event. Not only do we enjoy seeing the pride our alumni express in their alma mater that day, but alumni giving rate is also one of the metrics some ranking systems—including U.S. News & World Report—use to determine how Waynesburg University stacks up against its peers. As a result, the higher that participation number climbs, the higher the University’s ranking could climb, which attracts prospective students and adds to the value of a Waynesburg degree. We continue to be so grateful for all of our alumni who support the University, both during our Day of Giving and all throughout the year.” -David Floyd, director of development and alumni relations.

benefit current and future students in many
of students with financial aid;
Enhancing educational programs;
Meeting ever-changing operational needs;
Continuing in-person classes; and
healthy campus. Final Results Total Raised: $358,000+ Alumni Donors: 358 Total Donors: 656 Challenge Winners Academic Department Winners First Place: Biblical & Ministry Studies Second Place: Business Administration Athletic Team Winners First Place: Softball Second Place: Volleyball Overall Winner: Softball
year our annual
Giving fundraising event plays
advancement of the University. This year, through the generous support of
entire Waynesburg community,
achieve the most successful Day of Giving to date, raising
thankful for our
Day of Giving and always.”
and annual giving
Donor Goal, many alumni
unlocked $10,000
additional funds toward our
 View the complete 2021 results on our DOG Dashboard: waynesburg.edu/dogdash 64

O.A.K.S. Campaign Celebration recognizes campaign contributors for generosity and support

About the O.A.K.S. Campaign

In January 2016, Waynesburg University embarked on a comprehensive, five-year fundraising initiative, the Opportunity and Knowledge Strengthened (O.A.K.S.) Campaign. This effort was designed to support the long-term stability of Waynesburg University so that the University could face today’s challenges, as well as flourish in the future.

In December 2019, a year ahead of schedule, the University accomplished its goal of 92 major and planned gifts of $20,000 or more. At that time, a new goal of 110 major and planned gifts was established, and the Campaign successfully reached this new goal by the Campaign’s completion at the end of 2020.


The O.A.K.S. Campaign


O.A.K.S. Campaign Celebration

Honoring the generosity and continued support of campaign contributors, the O.A.K.S. Campaign Celebration was held at Nemacolin Woodlands resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania, from Friday, November 19, 2021, to Saturday, November 20, 2021. The events included a reception and dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday.

Rev. Dr. Parker Williamson, president of the Stover Foundation, provided remarks at the dinner event. During his remarks, he announced a generous gift to the University for the construction of the Center for Criminal and Forensic Investigation.

Dr. Williamson was also the keynote speaker at the campaign kickoff event in September 2017 in Alumni Hall, during which he announced a $2 million lead gift for the University’s O.A.K.S. Campaign.

Rev. Dr. Stuart Broberg, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees, delivered both the invocation and the benediction, and President Douglas G. Lee shared the final figures from the campaign. Other speakers included Stacey Brodak, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and University Relations; Dave Floyd, Director of Development and Alumni Relations; and Donna Nypaver, Director of Donor Relations and Annual Giving.

At breakfast on Saturday, students from the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership and the Campus Ministry programs were in attendance to speak one-on-one with donors at their tables. University Chaplain Joshua Sumpter and two of his student guests, Nicholas Haushalter and Sophie Kipe, as well as Dr. Larry Stratton and Stover Scholar and Student Senate President Luke Diel, spoke during the program about the difference donor contributions make in the lives of Waynesburg students each day.

Overview • 117 endowed scholarships/funds and major gifts received • More than 127% of initial goal achieved • More than 106% of revised goal achieved • Campaign totals more than $13.5 million 67

Alumnus finds home at Waynesburg

Jorge Villacampa, a Cuban native, found the support he needed to succeed in America at Waynesburg University.

After leaving Cuba with his family post-Cuban Revolution, Waynesburg provided Villacampa not only with the skills he needed to succeed in life, but also with a place he would forever call home.

“Waynesburg is very important in my life and my family’s life,” Villacampa said. “Since Waynesburg was a small school, there was no room to hide. It helped me academically, particularly with my business courses … I was able to use the interpersonal skills I had learned [and] to translate them into the business world.”

The skills he learned at Waynesburg have played an important role in his professional life, leading to success in his career pursuits.

The 1968 alumnus recently retired from his position as president for Wells Fargo Bank in the Miami market. It is the largest bank in the market, with more than 70 branches and thousands of employees.

In his retirement, he continues to manage family investments and serves on the board of Florida International University, Florida’s largest public university.

He is personally grateful for these opportunities as well as others that Waynesburg University has provided him.

“Like I said, it’s always been an important part of my life. I am grateful to Waynesburg that they gave me the opportunity to attend and grow,” Villacampa added. “It is a part of my life I’ve never forgotten. I want to help others achieve what I have.”

Villacampa continues to give back to Waynesburg

in many ways. Throughout the years, he’s given back financially, most notably with his recent generous gift to the O.A.K.S. Campaign in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Now that he has retired, he would also like to give back in other ways. He plans to utilize the skills he’s gained throughout life to assist his alma mater.

“It’s really important that everyone does their part in maintain and improving our school,” Villacampa stressed. “Participation is important in national rankings, and also every little bit helps to fund the mission and give others the opportunity we had.”

His family’s contribution to the Campaign will provide support over a four-year period for the Fund for Waynesburg. Donations to the general fund help Waynesburg in a myriad of meaningful ways, such as student scholarships; improvements to the campus; and programmatic support of academic departments, athletic teams, the arts and other initiatives.

Even after graduating more than 50 years ago, Villacampa is still left with fond memories of Waynesburg University. He still remembers his first day.

“That first evening, we had a dinner and I made so many friends that first day that I knew I was at the right place,” Villacampa said. “I was home.”

Since then, he has found another home outside of Waynesburg.

“I have a wonderful family,” said Villacampa, who has a daughter, son, and wife, Maggie, who he says is his life partner and the best thing that has ever happened to him.

Villacampa plans to continue keeping Waynesburg’s mission going for years to come.


Path to Success: Waynesburg’s mission guides alumna

When Janelle Chuah graduated from Waynesburg University in 2018, her path was uncertain. She was passionate about helping others, but torn between medical school and going into research. Waynesburg provided Chuah guidance to not only decide on a career path, but motivation to stick with it throughout the past four years.

Immediately after graduating with a B.S. in biology pre-med, Chuah was accepted into West Virginia University’s Ph.D. program in biomedical sciences. She is currently a graduate research assistant and Ph.D. candidate in biochemistry and molecular biology.

“I think Waynesburg equipped me to not just start this process, but to actually hold out for about four years now into my Ph.D. program. I felt like they actually prepared me,” Chuah said. “There is always a huge learning curve to Ph.D. programs, but because of my whole experience and time at Waynesburg, I was able to have [the] self-discipline to succeed in my Ph.D.”

As part of the Ph.D. program, Chuah was required to propose a research project to study throughout the term of her candidacy. Her project explores protein degradation and how it relates to neurodegeneration. The objective is to investigate whether targeting the removal of protein waste is a good strategy for neuro degeneration therapy.

“We noticed in neurodegeneration – Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s – that the system of degrading proteins waste, is impaired, it’s not working right,” Chuah said. “We’re trying to understand why that’s the case, and we hope that understanding (why) can lead to a thera peutic strategy for these diseases.”

Chuah plans to complete her Ph.D. program within the next two years. Her project is just a “little piece of the puzzle,” yet she hopes it will contribute to the field’s understanding of neurodegeneration and how we might combat it.

“I’m very glad that I am doing research. I know that research is something that can benefit people one day, and it motivates me so much,” she said.

As Chuah explores what comes next, Waynesburg’s mission continues to guide her.

“In this journey of finding a career, I am holding on so hard to the values of faith, learning and service and finding something that fits me well,” Chuah said. “I think I’ve really treated it as a guide for my lifestyle … I want to pick a career where I can serve and I’m constantly challenged, which is the learning aspect. Also, faith is very personal to me so where I feel that God has led me, that’s where I think I’m meant to be.”

Among many things, Waynesburg has provided Chuah a guide to live by and solid friendships to journey with through life. For these reasons as well as others, Chuah continues to find ways to give back to Waynesburg.

“I believe in paying it forward. I think the people there, the professors, the mentors, have invested in me, and it’s time to pay it forward to the next gener ation of students,” Chuah said. “And if it just means going back there and doing what they think is a favor but to me is service and giving back, I am more than happy to do that.”


Waynesburg Alumnus ‘pays it forward’

After 25 years, Waynesburg University still plays an integral role in the life of Joe Bruce. The 1996 alumnus continues to find ways to stay connected and give back to the University.

“I’ve decided to stay in contact with Waynesburg University, because Waynesburg provided me with the opportunities and direction while I was there to help me get to where I am today,” Bruce said. “I think it’s important to pay those opportunities forward, and my involvement with Waynesburg reflects that belief.”

Bruce graduated from Waynesburg College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. One of his biggest accomplishments since graduation was making shareholder at one of the top 60 accounting and advisory firms in the country, Schneider Downs & Co., located in Pittsburgh, Pa. He started working at Schneider Downs in September 1996 and has been there ever since.

“I wanted to be a shareholder so I could pay the opportunity, coaching and mentoring that I received forward to others and hopefully leave the firm one day in better hands and better place than when I started,” Bruce said. “Schneider Downs has been a family to me and a tremendous professional opportunity to have a career doing what I love with awesome people every day.”

He attributes his success in his field and commitment to Schneider Downs to his experiences at Waynesburg University.

“Waynesburg assisted me in achieving these goals by cultivating my leadership roles, through servant leadership and the rewards of hard work, which have been valuable to my career progression and evolution of a firm that values its employees, clients and

communities we live in.” Bruce continued, “It’s one of the primary reasons I’m still with Schneider Downs after 25 years.”

Waynesburg’s mission of faith, learning and service has also played an integral part in his professional life. Bruce said he strives to work and live every day with a service mentality.

“I try to serve my clients and the people I work with every day to the best of my ability,” Bruce said. “I work every day to make the firm a great place to be a part of, and that servant leadership mindset reminds me to think and act in the best interests of the firm and our people, not in mine.”

In addition to becoming a shareholder for Schneider Downs, Bruce said his greatest accomplishment in life is his family.

“I love being a husband and father and learn every day from the challenges and opportunities that both present,” Bruce said.

Since the University has greatly impacted his life, Bruce continues to give back in whatever way he can. Year after year, he gives back to Waynesburg both financially and as a volunteer on the Business Program Advisory Board. Additionally, he assists Waynesburg students and graduates with internships and full-time positions at Schneider Downs.

“Giving back is important to me because Waynesburg University played an integral role in where I am today,” Bruce said. “Professors like Anthony Bocchini and Joe Graff helped provide direction, counsel and opportunities while I was there. I value their involvement in my career in public accounting and it’s important to me to pay it forward.”

A personal mission: ensuring an affordable college experience for future students 72

Waynesburg University holds a uniquely special place in the hearts of Charlie and Shelly Piccinini, 1975 graduates of then Waynesburg College.

At Waynesburg, they met and fell in love – and gained skills that propelled them into successful careers in business and education upon graduation.

Now, they are focused on ensuring those same opportunities exist for future Waynesburg University students.

“We just [want] to give back to an institution that gave us many blessings,” said Shelly.

Indeed, it was their very first day at Waynesburg when they met in the parking lot of Ray Hall. The two became friends, started dating, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Yet it wasn’t just their own relationship that blossomed while at Waynesburg. Throughout their four years, they grew a network of supportive friends, many of whom are still close friends today.

“The friends we made at Waynesburg are lifelong, true friends,” said Shelly. “There is no other time in one’s life that can duplicate living with your peer group for four years and learning about strengths and weaknesses, offering moral support, growing up together and just being there for one another.”

These formative experiences that parallel one’s educational growth at college are what the Piccininis hope their scholarship fund can help provide the next generation of college students.

The Charlie and Shelly (Wargofchik) Piccinini Endowed Scholarship Fund provides support to two students each year, one majoring in business and one majoring in education.

“We wanted to contribute to the careers in which we were most familiar and had personal experience,” shared Charlie.

Upon graduating from Waynes burg with a degree in business ad ministration, Charlie immediately began working in the real estate business and remained in that field throughout his career until his retirement in 2008.

“I was able to use the lessons taught [at Waynesburg] throughout my career,” said Charlie. “I started work with a good base of knowledge [in] accounting, economics and law that was applied during my entire career.”

As Charlie found success in his career path, so too did Shelly as she fulfilled her dream of being a teacher.

“I always loved school and had aspirations of becoming a teacher as far back as I can remember,” she said. “My Waynesburg education gave me a good foundation.”

Shelly taught at a variety of grade levels throughout her career, including preschool, kindergarten, and first grade, her favorite.

“I loved knowing that I made a difference in the lives of the children I taught. It was a most rewarding career,” said Shelly, who retired in 2018.

The success and fulfillment that both Charlie and Shelly

garnered from their careers are a testament to the education they received at Waynesburg. They both agree that the quality of education at Waynesburg was strong then but it’s even better now.

This is why they know their generous gift, which has the potential to grow over the years to support more students, can be life-changing.

The Piccininis urged anyone considering a gift to act now because of the positive impact it can have directly on a student’s dreams for the future.

“There is no sense in waiting, because some young person is yearning for the opportunity to attend college…help make that happen,” said Shelly, who believes, along with Charlie, that Waynesburg University is the optimal place for students to learn and grow.

To them, Waynesburg University is the best place for students to receive a quality education while they grow both personally and professionally.

Hopefully, the students that have the honor of receiving the Piccinini’s scholarship walk away from their days at Waynesburg with a similar feeling as Charlie and Shelly did.

“Waynesburg was, and still is, a very important part of our lives and our history,” Charlie added. “We are blessed to have found each other and thank God every day that we did.”



The University is thankful for all of the donors who gave during the fiscal year from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, listed on the following pages. We gratefully acknowledge the generous individuals and organizations whose gifts make a daily impact on Waynesburg University students.


In Memoriam

Mehtab Alam 1986

John J. Andaloro 1978

Peter C. Arthmire 1958 Elinor H. Baily, Friend Stephanie A. Balik 1945

John H. Barnes 1953

Ronald D. Barr 1968

Edward J. Barry 1957 Edward “Chip” Beck 1983

Alan R. Birmingham 1974

John W. Blosser 1960

Robert J. Boyle 1955

Nicholas Bradlee 1959

Elaine (O’Brochta) Brickner 1964 Dorothy (Lutz) Briggs 1956

Gerald E. Brown 1966

Judith A. Buday 1976

Donald P. Bush, Friend Marlis Jean (Corwin) Cain 1955

Brenda L. Clark 1993

Debra Clarke, Former Faculty Rosemary (Moritz) Clayton 1987 V. Lynne Cochran 2004 Lynn K. Corder 1958

John W. Coss, Former Student Ruth (Matthews) Craft 1949

Robert E. Davies 1957

David A. Dee 1980

Carl A. DePasqua, Former Coach Rosetta Kormuth DeVito 1954

Michael A. DiPerna 1967 C. Paul Duffield Jr. 1962 Judy (Patterson) Dulaney 1990

John C. Echon 1949

Lee P. Edwards 1964

Gregory A. Forbes, Former Student

William F. Gaffney 1972

Robert Girardin 1967

H. David Goldblum 1965 Delbert R. Hager 1963 Timothy J. Hardin 1991

John W. Hardisty 1972 Madaline (Hetrick) Hayden 1992 C. Edward Hayslip 2003

Gerald R. Helmick 1962

Paul I. Henderson 1951 Lyda Hill Herold 1938 Linda (George) Hill 1970 A. Thomas Hill 1954 William K. Hinerman 1960 Rosemary (Kupets) Hogan 1992 Doris D. Holland 1994 Donald D. Horward 1955

Robert F. Hostetter Jr 1960 William W. Huffman 1961 Jean B. Hunt 1976 Thomas C. Jackson 1968 A. Michele (Dargi) Keller 1973 Coretta Jo Kenimond 2016 Ruth A. Kimble 1988

John R. Kompa Sr. 1968

Ernest L. Kuno Jr. 1964

Todd E. Latshaw 1974

Daniel R. Lemley 1991 Julia (Allinger) Levis 1944 Ralph F. Lewis 1952 Carla (Boncarosky) Linton 1980 Shirley (Johnson) Long 1950 Clyde W. Martz 1957 Janet Helene McGhie 1976

Elias S. McMillan 2009 C. Arnold “Arnie” Morris 1955

Josifani M. Moyo 1968

Patrick F. O’Neal, Former Student R. Sean Parees, Former Student R. Bruce Pickens 1950

Alan B. Plows 1967

Robert M. Polander Jr. 1981

Sue (Brown) Reiter 1959 Al Reiter 1958

Frank M. Remaley 1968 George H. Rhodes 1955 Candice M. Riggi 2003

Lois “Bonny” (Bruno) Roos 1963 Forest Wayne Ross 1964 Gary G. Rossell 1963 Virginia (Jones) Rush 1946 Thomas J. Sarago 1953 Francis Saunders 1954 S. Thomas Serpento 1950 Russell C. Sherbondy 1960 Eva (Wasser) Sherinian 1979

Carlota (Roberts) Slick 1951

Jerry M. Smith 1956 Bonnie (Bonifield) Smith 1955

Dale Vernon Stevenson 1955 George “Bob” Strawn 1966

Larry J. Volk 1965

Theodore R. Walters 1961 Challen W. Waychoff III 1971 Robert A. Wendel 1976

Argene A. Whalen, Friend John D. Whittingham 1982 Chang Bin Yim, Friend Lee R. Zawacki MBA 1994