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Preview: Westminster College: leading liberal arts college, New Wilmington, PA

Westminster College: leading liberal arts college, New Wilmington, PA

Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also ranked as the num

Last Build Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:40:53 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

Podcast: Experts Tackle ‘Fake News’ with Westminster College Students

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 09:52:00 EST

(image) By Brad Weaver, Broadcast Communication Faculty

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– Is fake news threatening the truth? Undermining the First Amendment and the Fourth Estate? How do we cope with the issue? Is greater news literacy the solution? WCN 24/7 invited a group of experts to their studios in April where they confronted the issue.

The panel of experts included Westminster College President, Dr. Kathy B. Richardson, who has researched, published, and taught journalism; Dr. Randy Richardson, Professor of Communication Studies at Westminster College; WPXI Journalist Amy Marcinkiewicz; and WPXI News Director Susan Nadell

Each expert offered their experience and insights as journalists, newsroom leaders, scholars, and researchers. The panelists called for citizens and journalists to embrace media literacy; know how good journalism works; and engage in critical thinking. The experts agreed citizens must be critical thinkers and work to become news savvy. These are important to living in a world with fake news.

This podcast was recorded with a live audience at the broadcast studios of WCN. This podcast is the second in a series addressing ‘fake news.’ Click here for part 1. 

View part 2 and a full transcription here.

For more information, contact Brad Weaver at or 724-316-9618.

Westminster College's Student Alumni Association Hosts 1st Titan Tie Dye Run, Sept 30

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 08:59:00 EST

(image) The Student Alumni Association (SAA) will sponsor its first "Titan Tie Dye Run", a one-mile run around the College’s beautiful campus. The run takes place on Saturday, September 30th, starting at the Memorial Field House

Check-in and same day registration will begin at 9:45 a.m. and the run will take off at 10:30 a.m. Registration is $5 per runner/walker. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Student Emergency Fund on behalf of each participant.

Throughout the route, runners will be “powdered” with washable dye and should choose running attire with that in mind. The event is appropriate for children and adults of all ages. In additon to first, second and third place winners, an award for “Best Dressed” will be distributed as well.

Registration is available online and payment can be made the day of the event or sent to the Wiley Alumni House, 319 South Market Street, New Wilmington, PA 16172. Checks should be made payable to Westminster College.

Reservations due by Friday, September 22, 2017.

For additional information, please contact Kelsey Phillips, SAA President and Run Coordinator, at

Biology Professor and Student Travel to Costa Rica to Launch Research Pilot Study

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:07:00 EST

(image) Over the summer, Dr. Diana Ortiz, Assistant Professor of Biology, and junior environmental science major Tia Kowalo traveled to Costa Rica to conduct a research pilot study. Ortiz and Kowalo collaborated with with Dr. Laura Sirot from The College of Wooster (Ohio) and Dr. Adriana Troyo from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) in San Jose to complete the study.

Ortiz says the overall purpose of the study was to determine the host feeding preferences of mosquito species collected at the Lomas Barbudal Biological Preserve. According to Ortiz, several mosquito-borne pathogens occur in Costa Rica, including dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses. 

"Very little information exists on the ecological interactions between mosquitoes, pathogens, and their hosts," reported Ortiz. "The data generated in this pilot study can help to establish a baseline for future studies on the ecological dynamics of mosquito-borne disease transmission."

The research team spent their first few days at UCR, where they were invited by Dr. Troyo and colleagues to give seminars on their research project. The rest of their time was spent collecting, identifying, and conducting host DNA analysis of blood-fed mosquitoes at the Preserve, located near the city of Bagaces in northern Costa Rica. Part of the project and travel funds were provided to Dr. Ortiz and Tia by the Van Vranken Summer Research Experience Award, sponsored by College's Biology Program.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190

Observing the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse: Q&A with Westminster College Astronomer

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:25:00 EST

Hoping to catch next week’s “Great American Eclipse”? Here are some tips from professional astronomer Dr. Thomas Oberst, Associate Professor of Physics and Planetarium and Observatory Co- Director at Westminster College, Pa. Q: What exactly causes a solar eclipse to occur, and why is this particular one getting so much attention? When is the next one expected? A: A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon blocks some of the Sun's light from hitting the Earth, thereby casting a small shadow on the Earth. Only observers in or near the shadow's path, or "path of totality," can see the eclipse. An average of two solar eclipses occur somewhere on Earth each year, and if you have the will and the money, you can travel to see them. But only about a quarter are total eclipses, and rarely do they repeat in the same location. The eclipse this August 21 will be the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire United States since 1918. A few others have clipped the US since then, but the last total solar eclipse viewable from the contiguous United States was in 1979 and then only from the Pacific Northwest. So you might call a total solar eclipse a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, it just so happens that another total solar eclipse will cross the US from Texas to Maine in 2024, with the path of totality passing through Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Warren, and Venango counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Mahoning, Trumbull, and Ashtabula counties (and others farther west) in Ohio. That doesn't mean you should skip this year's eclipse, since you never know if clouds might ruin the show in 2024, especially with our lake effect weather. Q: What is optimal viewing time in our area and how long will the eclipse last? A: First and foremost, don’t observe the eclipse unless you have proper solar eclipse viewing glasses – more on that in a bit. Also, note that this eclipse will not be total as viewed from Pennsylvania – more on that in a bit also. The eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21, 2017. From Westminster’s campus in New Wilmington, Pa., the partial eclipse will begin at approximately 1:09 PM (when the Moon starts to move in front of the Sun, or “first contact”) and end at approximately 3:53 PM (“last contact”), with a maximum of 79 % of the Sun being eclipsed at approximately 2:34 PM, local time. If you are unable to watch the whole time, tune in a bit before first or last contact to watch the Moon move on or off the Sun, respectively, as well as near the maximum to see the eclipse’s full extent. Those are the most dramatic times to watch. The times above will be roughly the same (within a minute) throughout western Pa., but will vary farther away. If you need to find the exact times for other locations, try the interactive map on the Eclipse Safari app for iOS or Android. Q: Where is best location in our area to watch the eclipse?  A: First, somewhere without clouds. Keep an eye on the weather in the hours leading up to the eclipse, particularly cloud coverage maps and the hourly forecast. If it’s cloudy and you are dedicated, you could try to drive to a clear spot. In Western Pa., cloud fronts usually approach from the west (or southwest or northwest). By monitoring their movement in the hours leading up to the eclipse you could try to gauge if (a) an existing cloud front will not pass in time and you could drive west to get out from under it, or (b) a cloud front is approaching and you could drive east to stay ahead of it. Of course weather can be unpredictable and it doesn’t always work out. Second, know where to look in the sky. From New Wilmington, the Sun will be approximately due south and 60 degrees above the horizon at first contact, and move to the southwest and 45 degrees above the horizon by last contact. These positions will be roughly the same (within a few degrees) throughout western Pa. Make sure your view i[...]

Happiness is.. Liz Buechele: Changing the world through promoting kindness

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 09:29:00 EST

“Moving to New York City was a total mistake,” says no one ever— except Westminster alumna, Elizabeth “Liz” Buechele ‘15. Although she misses the quaint, country views of Western Pennsylvania, she’s settling quite happily into her life as an “adopted New Yorker.” “I love being here. I’ve made incredible friends, been challenged in new ways through work, and experienced all the ups and downs that come from taking on a colossal thing like the Big Apple,” said Liz. If you were to ask Liz how she ended up in NYC, she would tell you it was an accident —just like many of the profound things in her life that start that way. Thanks to her “say yes to everything” and “make the most of it” mentality, somehow things just work themselves out for Liz. “And by somehow, I mean with a lot of hustle and sleepless nights,” she added candidly. When she graduated in December of 2015, Liz had an internship lined up in Europe with a travel company. Although she was excited to travel and see Europe, she felt uneasy about her new role and quickly realized that she wasn’t in the right place. “At that moment, I kind of realized that I didn’t have to make the Europe internship work for 90 days if I wasn’t going to be happy with every moment. That’s not to say I wanted perfection – or even expected it – but I quickly realized I had other options.” While still in orientation, she received an interview for an internship with, “a global movement for good” that helps millions of young people make positive change, both on and offline. This wouldn’t be Liz’s first opportunity with Under her term as Service Chair for SGA, Liz led Westminster in placing 3rd in DoSomething’s “Close the Loop” clothing drive. Westminster was also recognized with the spirit award that year. Having dreamt of working for since she was 15, she found herself on a plane to NYC for two reasons: 1) that’s where was located but 2) it was the cheapest way to get back to America. With no job, no back-up plan, no idea of where she’ll live, Liz suddenly found herself on a wildly freeing, yet slightly terrifying journey. She had four internship interviews lined up at and one for another nonprofit, The Riverside Church. After interviewing with the four DoSomething managers, one by one they all said, “no”. “That’s when I panicked a little,” admitted Liz. “I had a job in Europe. I quit THAT job to fly to this crazy, messy, expensive city.” Luckily, Riverside Church offered her a position in their Stewardship & Development office. However, the position was only part time. As she sat desperately trying to make her small bowl of vegetable soup last long enough for her to contemplate the offer— and conspicuously conceal that she was only hanging around for the free Wi-Fi— she thought about everything from other part time jobs to moving back home to PA. As she crafted her response to Riverside, DoSomething emailed her stating they made an error and wanted to know if she was still available for a spring internship— another “accident” that set her on her profound journey of service and selflessness. She excitedly signed on. “I ended up working for DoSomething and Riverside Church, and had an amazing time at both organizations. I cannot speak highly enough about what both groups do and the people I met at both places. They taught me so much about professionalism, NYC, and just life in general and I will forever be grateful that they gave me the first ticket to stay in New York.” Now that she’s found her footing and her experiences at DoSomething and Riverside are behin[...]

Westminster Wind Ensemble Earns Distinction from Collegiate Band Directors National Association

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 11:16:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. R. Tad Greig, earned another distinction with the Collegiate Band Directors National Association. After their submission was peer-reviewed by the leadership of the Eastern Region, the Westminster College Wind Ensemble was selected as a top small college ensemble in the East. As a result, Greig will travel to Yale University for the CBDNA Conference and present a session related to the beginnning of the emsemble and its many successes over the years.

"I could not be more proud of the Wind Ensemble and how it has continued to achieve such amazing accolades", said Greig, Director of Instrumental Activities and Professor of Music. "We are fortunate to have three very active bands, jazz ensemble and chamber music at Westminster College." 

Since its beginnings (formed in 1997 by Greig), the Wind Ensemble has been selected to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators All-State Conference on three occasions, and has received special mention from the National Association of Schools of Music in their two accreditation visits to Westminster. This past Spring, the Wind Ensemble was a part of the Scottish Rite Cathedral concert series, another first for the Westminster College School of Music. Along with numerous concerts and the new "Music with Friends Concert Series," the ensemble has performed for the last two Westminster College presidential inaugurations.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190.

TIME MONEY Magazine Ranks Westminster as one of the 'Best Colleges for Your Money'

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 10:45:00 EST

(image) Westminster College has been ranked among the “Best Colleges for Your Money” by TIME MONEY Magazine. In order to determine this list of the "best performing colleges," MONEY assembled a team of the nation’s top experts on education quality, financing, and value.

“College is now the second-largest financial expenditure for many families, exceeded only by the purchase of a home,” writes Kim Clark, veteran financial journalist for MONEY Magazine. “So it isn’t surprising that parents and students are taking a hard look at the costs and payoffs of any college they consider.”

MONEY ranked the colleges based on 27 measures of educational quality, affordability and alumni success— which are all critical conditions students evaluate before selecting a college. Nearly 1,400 Westminster undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty and choose from 41 majors, 10 pre-professional programs, and 5 graduate programs. Almost every student at Westminster receive some form of financial aid, albeit merit or need based. Also, 98% of Westminster graduates are employed or attend graduate school within a year. 

View the full ranking here:

Have you downloaded Titan Radio?

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 15:16:00 EST

(image) Titan Radio, 88.9 WWNW, is a commercial-free radio station owned by Westminster College and professionally operated by the students in the college’s Broadcasting and Media Production department that broadcasts 24/7. Serving all of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania and parts of neighboring Mercer County, the station broadcasts adult hit music, area High School and Westminster College sports, plus local and campus news and weather, all without commercials.

The award-winning station has been recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the "Best College Radio Stations" in North America, and radio industry leaders have recognized their facilities and training as “world class,” providing “a much-needed jump-start for the radio leaders of tomorrow. "The radio station is very active on social media, coordinating with WCN (Westminster Cable Network,) TV to provide comprehensive entertainment and information across the two-county area.Learn more about Westminster’s Broadcasting and Media Production offerings and many other fine programs by visiting

Get it now:




Titan Athletics: Three Westminster Men's Basketball Players Named to NABC Honors Court

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 10:51:00 EST

(image) KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced the 2016-17 NABC Honors Court. Men's collegiate basketball student-athletes were recognized for excelling in academics during the past season. The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom.

Senior Coty Gander (Stoneboro, PA / Lakeview), senior Jason Pilarski (Pittsburgh, PA / Brentwood), and junior Jarret Vrabel (Canfield, OH / Canfield) represented Westminster College on the list.

In order to be named to the Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are as follows:

1. Academically a junior or senior and a varsity player.

2. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year.

3. Students must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution.

4. Member of a NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Division I or II institution with a NABC member coach.

Click here to see the full list of 2016-17 NABC Honors Court members.

For more information, contact Nathan LaRiccia at or 724-946-6357.

Dr. Robert Zorn Published in Two National Journals

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 11:25:00 EST

(image) Dr. Robert Zorn, director of Westminster College's Graduate School, recently published articles in two national education-related journals.

Zorn authored "Coming in 2017: A New Generation of Graduate Students -- The Z Generation," which was published in the March 2017 issue of College and University. The article describes Generation Z—those born between 1995 and 2012— and how graduate schools are meeting these students' unique needs, particularly their dependence upon technology.

In June, Zorn's article "Getting the Best Principals for Your School District" was published in the American School Board Journal. After highlighting Westminster's Graduate School School Principal K-12 degree in an overview of common principal preparation program, Zorn provides practical tips for identifying strong leadership traits in principal candidates.

Zorn has been at Westminster since 1986. He earned his bachelor’s in education from Kent State University, a master's in education from Westminster, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information, contact Jessica Shelenberger at or 724-946-7353.

The Seeds of Scholarship: Students are reaping benefits of Lemmon Family Scholarship

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 11:05:00 EST

The Seeds of Scholarship By Elizabeth Fontaine Hildebrand '92 In the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, “legacy” is defined as “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” The seeds that Helen Louise Lemmon and her sister Margaret Lemmon Janisse planted are coming into bloom today, just four years after the creation of the Lemmon Family Scholarship. If they could see their legacy, they would be impressed with its yield, its variety, and its impact on the lives of some of Westminster’s brightest. “Knowing that someone I never met before has donated on behalf of my scholarship makes me feel incredibly blessed,” said Katelynn Morrell, a junior neuroscience major and member of an elite group of student beneficiaries of the Lemmon Family Scholarship. The endowed scholarship for students seeking careers in the sciences was born after Lemmon provided the College with a $7 million bequest, which included a charitable remainder unitrust for the benefit of her older sister. The sisters both attended Westminster in the 1930s, but neither graduated. Janisse passed away in 2010, while Lemmon—who, in her youth, dreamed of becoming a doctor—died in 2011.  While Lemmon’s dream may have been unfulfilled, the scholarship she established ensures that the similar dreams of today’s promising students can be realized. “I am a first-generation college student,” said George Huncik, a rising sophomore who is contemplating a career in medical physics. “My father is a mechanic and my mother is an office manager. Without the Lemmon Family Scholarship, I would absolutely not be able to attend Westminster.”  With his freshman year now behind him, Huncik found the physics and mathematics programs challenging and rewarding, with professors who encourage his individual and intellectual growth. And although he is still on his path of discovery, he is confident his experience at Westminster College will give him an edge. “I expect that no matter where I go after this—be it medical school, a Ph.D. program, or somewhere else entirely—that I will be well prepared because of the quality of education I’m getting here,” he said. At Westminster, students work with faculty mentors and conduct cutting-edge research and present findings at national conferences. The sciences are Westminster’s fastest-growing majors, and the curriculum emphasizes experiential learning and preparation for success in their chosen fields.  Ashlyn Brown’s four years at Westminster were spent focused on her rigorous coursework and student activities such as serving as president of the Student Alumni Association and the Neuroscience Club—not on the financial burden that sometimes comes with a college education. “The Lemmon scholarship was the determining factor in my decision to attend Westminster,” said Brown, who recently graduated magna cum laude and with All-College Honors in neuroscience.  “It has been unbelievably helpful to not worry myself over student loans or finances while I complete my undergraduate degree. “The course load I normally take on is stressful enough, and so eliminating financial worries was a huge advantage.” Brown’s hard work has paid off; she will attend Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia this fall. She hopes to pursue a medical career in global health, practicing internationally and domestically. Fellow neuroscience major Morrell took a step back to reevaluate her future plans following a cross country injury this academic year. After several weeks of rehabilitation, the cross country and track athlete began to[...]

New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC) to Hold 112th Annual Conference, July 22-29

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 11:26:00 EST

(image) The New Wilmington Mission Conference will host its 112th annual conference from July 22-29 at Westminster College.

All ages are welcome to participate in the conference.

The purpose of the conference is to deepen the missionary spirit by gathering missionaries and leaders from the global church. With over 800 attendees from more than 30 states and 20 countries, the conference provides an opportunity to strengthen relationships with peers and with God.

All are invited to hear the speakers, who come from a plethora of backgrounds. The speaker for the morning meetings this year is Dr. Rodger Nishioka, director of adult education ministries at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS. He will speak each morning, Monday-Friday, at 11:00 a.m. in Anderson Auditorium. The evening meetings begin at 6:45 p.m. each night in Anderson Auditorium, featuring various speakers, who are listed on the NWMC website.

This year, the NWMC celebrates 57 years of sponsoring the Summer Service team of young adults, who are sent out to do international service. 8 college students and their leader served this year in the Dominican Republic. The Summer Service team will be speaking on their experience on Friday, July 28, at 6:45 p.m.

The theme verse for this year’s conference is Jeremiah 29:7, “Work for the well-being of the city where I have sent you to and pray to the Lord for this. For if it is well with the city you live in, it will be well with you.”

Other speakers include Rev. Dr. Jim Singleton, professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Ellen Sherby, the coordinator of the Equipping for Mission Involvement office in Presbyterian World Mission; Rev. Ginny Teitt, the Director of the New Wilmington Mission Conference; and Dr. Kathy Richardson, President of Westminster College.

Members of the community are invited to come and participate in the Morning and Evening meetings at no charge. For more information regarding the speakers, the schedule, registration, fees, and more, visit Morning and evening meetings will also be available for live streaming, with podcasts to follow.

Broadcast Communications Alumnus Recounts His Journey from Westminster to ESPN

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 11:07:00 EST

(image) Several Westminster College alumni have landed their dream jobs at ESPN including alumni Denny Wolfe '97, ESPN features unit manager; Bob Bräunlich '76, vice president of remote production operations at ESPN; and now ESPN’s newest soccer correspondent, 2003 graduate Sebastian Salazar. In a candid interview, WC undergraduates Aaron Becker and Peter Andrade retrace the beginning of Salazar’s journey from WCN to ESPN in a podcast available online at

Becker and Andrade wrote and produced the podcast for the Alumni Spotlight Project, an ongoing audio or video assignment in broadcast communication and digital journalism courses designed to connect current students with alumni. While the project promotes networking for current students, it fosters and advances interviewing, writing, producing and reporting skills. The projects also feed student portfolios and demo reels.

In the podcast, Salazar speaks about similar instruction and experiences he recieved in some of his courses at Westminster. Long before covering major league soccer with ESPN, Salazar was a star on the men’s soccer team. He also worked at Titan Radio and Westminster Cable covering Westminster and high school games as Titan Town Sports

For the rest of Salazar's journey to ESPN, listen to podcast below:

Part 1

Part 2

The Unbreakable Kara Knickerbocker: The author behind Next to Everything that is Breakable

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 14:12:00 EST

Catching up with Kara Knickerbocker '12 may be hard to do in between the many moving facets of her life. After a full year of visiting over seven countries and running her first marathon six months after receiving a pacemaker, no wonder why her goal for the rest of 2017 is to honestly slow down. “I will always be passionate about travel and will continue to do so whenever possible,” says Kara. “But four international trips last year while training for a marathon, working full time, and working on my manuscript and taking classes was chaotic.” For most writers, chaos brews creativity. The same sentiment holds true for the ever-wandering Knickerbocker. Drawing on her “whirlwind of experience” over the past year, Kara uses her trials and triumphs to pen the emotionally charged Next to Everything that is Breakable, her debut poetry collection. Delving deep into the idea of fragility, the chapbook is divided into three major themes: travel, the human body and love. "I have poems in each of those categories that are particularly close to me,” reveals Kara. Brilliantly using travel, the human body and love as metaphoric vehicles to explore the human condition, the essence of Kara’s humanity is captured in this riveting account of her journey into womanhood. From exposing her more vulnerable self in “They Told Me” to offering a raw, honest perspective on love in “If You’re Asking Why I’m Leaving,” Kara speaks from a place of fragility that ties the entire collection of poems together. Arguably the most revealing piece of the collection, “Beating” captures everything Kara felt about her pacemaker surgery. In March of 2016, after enduring issues with her health, she underwent surgery to receive a pacemaker. “This came as a shock to my family and I, as I was only 25 and never had any serious heart problems. I was healthier than I had ever been,” says Kara. “I had found a love for running and finished four half marathons (something I never thought possible), and then after my surgery, I would get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs.” “I felt so much emotion surrounding this topic that I had to put it down on the page. That became determination: not only for running, but also for writing, which led to Next to Everything that is Breakable coming to life.” Much like the many hurdles she overcame in her life, Kara found the strength to conquer her bouts of writer’s block. While she received her BA in English from Westminster College in 2012, she unfortunately stopped writing for pleasure for nearly five years. “Although I wish I could go back in time and change that, I can’t regret the path I took. I had to live first, and many of those experiences later came back to life in the content of my poetry.” In the fall of 2015, Kara found her way back to her creative voice. She began taking classes with the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University, a weekly, semester-long workshop for women in her community. Backed by a group of supporting, fierce “Madwomen,” Kara continues to find inspiration from her peers and learn as much as she can from the incredibly talented group of writers. “They have without a doubt been my strength and support— the family I didn’t know I was missing,” admits Kara. “Since then, I’ve never doubted that this is what I love to do and will always continue to do.” Dr. Kristianne Kalata, associate professor of English at Westminster, believes this is just the beginning of successes for the gifted poet. Kara named Kalata and Dr. Andr[...]

Westminster Rises Among Leading Institutions in Transforming Student Learning Experiences

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:39:00 EST

Westminster College was selected as one of only 12 institutions in the country to be part of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Transformations Project. The CUR Transformations Project is a four-year project designed to create cohesive, research-based undergraduate curricula in biology, chemistry, physics and psychology programs. Supported with funding from the National Science Foundation, Westminster is now among leading institutions pursuing school and college-wide transformations in student learning through undergraduate research. According to Mitch Malachowski, lead principal investigator of the CUR Transformations Project, “[Westminster’s] proposal really stood out amongst the many strong proposals [that were] received.” Along with other accepted institutions, Westminster will attend a collective meeting later this year in Washington D.C to launch the project. “The project will support the integration of research into Westminster’s biology and psychology program curriculums, and the interdisciplinary neuroscience program and related molecular biology major as well,” says Dr. Karen Resendes, Co-Director of Undergraduate Research and Associate Professor of Biology (Institutional Contact). In addition to working with consultants provided by CUR (one for biology and one for psychology), teams of Westminster biology and psychology faculty members will use the support provided by the grant to attend national workshops and training sessions. Funding has also been delegated towards conducting professional development at Westminster.   “Exactly what the outcome of our projects will look like will depend on the decisions each program makes on how to move forward when we meet our consultants,” added Resendes. “No matter how we proceed the goals of the grant are to build on our current published successes in research in the curriculum and to make the transformations of these programs a model for growth across campus.” The success of Westminster’s proposal was a joint effort thanks to teams of biology and psychology faculty members who serve in college-wide roles that directly impact the ability to carry out the aims of the grant. The Institutional Coordinating Leadership Team members includes: Dr. Karen Resendes; Dr. Jamie McMinn, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Psychology; Dr. Sandra Webster, Chair of Outcomes Assessment Advisory Committee and Professor of Psychology; Dr. John Robertson, Chair of Curriculum Committee and Program Coordinator/Associate Professor of Biology (Designated Contact Biology); and Dr. Mandy Medvin, Program Coordinator/Professor of Psychology. Since coming on in June, incoming Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College Dr. Jeffrey Coker has agreed to join the Institutional Coordinating Leadership Team. “This is wonderfully symbolic of Westminster’s emerging national leadership in the area of undergraduate research, and experiential learning more broadly,” says Coker. Departmental leadership teams include faculty members from various sub-disciplines. The biology leadership team includes Dr. Joshua Corrette-Bennett, Associate Professor of Biology (former chair of the biology department); Dr. Diana Ortiz, Assistant Professor of Biology; and institutional team members Resendes and Robertson. The psychology leadership team includes Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Dr. Deanne Buffalari and institutional team members Webster and Medvin. Buffalari teaches learning, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience, all courses that include undergraduate research. Webste[...]

Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program at Westminster College Prepares for New Cohort of Scholars

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 09:14:00 EST

In 2014, officials announced that Westminster College was set to receive a $1.027 million grant through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program of the National Science Foundation, a program aimed to increase qualifications of secondary educators in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or IQ:STEM). Since its inception at Westminster, seven scholars have been accepted into the program; four of which have graduated and are in their first years of teaching. One of the goals of IQ:STEM is recruiting individuals with strong STEM backgrounds who might not have otherwise considered a career in teaching. Due to its flexible short term commitment, a highlight of the program is that the rest of each scholar’s career path is completely in their hands. Some scholars continue making a positive impact in the lives of students in areas of high need, while others move on to different school districts or pursue different careers altogether. For scholars like Cody Postupac, physics teacher at John Handley High School in Winchester, VA, the IQ:STEM Noyce Scholar program was a step in the right direction for him. Cody knew he wanted to go into teaching after completing his physics degree at Westminster. Through his participation in the program, Cody says he gained experience into many different areas of education including behavior management, pedagogical strategy and educational technology. “One of the most useful things the program did for me was teach me about and give me experience in a high needs school,” Cody says. “As a teacher in a high needs school, that past experience has been invaluable. It shed some light on what a student might have to deal with outside of school, and that really puts everything else in perspective.” Gaining the knowledge and experience needed to teach in areas of high need is what senior biology major David McCollough says gave him the insight needed for his career. Along with his colleagues, David has had many networking opportunities through attending practicum experiences, conferences and workshops. “The program has many eye-opening opportunities that helps you gain experience in different schools. It also helps you realize that when a school is described as “high needs,” it is not as scary as most people think,” says David. “High needs schools are just like any other school once you get used to them, but you as a teacher must be a little more creative.” Recent graduate and past scholar Brooke Mancuso says IQ:STEM provides students with the tools for more than just success. Starting this fall, Brooke is set to begin her new job as a biology teacher at Hempfield High School in Lancaster PA. Through the program, Brooke was able to attend the Noyce Northeastern regional conference in Boston, MA and the American Society of Cell Biology conference in San Diego, CA. “The program provides you with the opportunities to learn and grow. They provide actual real life experiences through workshops, meetings, and conferences,” says Brooke. Noyce Scholars receive stipends to attend/present at both Noyce Scholar conferences and conferences in their respective disciplines. In addition, each scholar is awarded a $15,000 grant for tuition, room and board during their junior and senior year. Stipends are also awarded to help offset certification tests and teacher workshop expenses. In return, each Noyce Scholars commit to two years of teaching in an area of high need for each year of support received. “As a university level educator, working with this program has opened my eyes to the level of hard w[...]

Strathgheny School of Scottish Fiddling Presents Two Free Concerts to the Public

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:33:00 EST

(image) DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, the concert scheduled for Monday, July 10 will take place in ORR AUDITORIUM. 

Come enjoy two free concerts presented by the Strathgheny School of Scottish Fiddling. The first concert takes place on Monday, July 10 and the second concert is Friday, July 14. Both concerts start 8 p.m. 

The first concert features instructors Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu and Mr. David Gardner on Scottish fiddle and Dr. Daniel Perttu on piano. Crawford Perttu is the director of the Strathgheny School, a sanctioned Scottish F.I.R.E judge, a U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Champion and an associate professor of music (violin) at Westminster College. Gardner is also a sanctioned Scottish F.I.R.E judge, a professional Scottish fiddler for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and a Fulbright “teacher exchange” scholar in music.

(image) The second concert features student participants and music from the weeks' intensive instruction. 

This is a family friendly event; all are welcomed to attend both concerts. Please bring lawn chairs and blankets to sit on.

For more information, contact Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu at or 724-946-7271.

Carolyn Cuff: Westminster’s Necessary Voice

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:43:00 EST

(image) Carolyn Cuff: Westminster’s Necessary Voice

When summarizing their thoughts on this year’s Distinguished Faculty Award winner, colleagues, students and alumni repeatedly used words such as “excellence,” “visionary” and “commitment.” Their praises were high and one thing was clear: Dr. Carolyn Cuff’s range of impact is far-reaching.

Dr. Carolyn Cuff, program coordinator and professor of mathematics, was presented with the 2017 prestigious Westminster honor, a recognition of her intellect, her leadership, and her influences on both her peers and students.

Deeply respected among Westminster’s faculty and staff, Cuff is seen as a “necessary voice” at Westminster with her careful judgment, visionary leadership, and commitment to the College. She has been a role model to many, particularly her female students, demonstrating that women can survive, succeed and excel in the world of math and science.

But aside from her pursuit of excellence and strength of her character, alumni recall her compassionate side, her understanding nature. She, like all great leaders, listened. She listened as students talked about their dreams and their passions, their ups and their downs— and event today, she continues to keep that line of communication to help listen and guide.

Cuff, a 1978 Westminster graduate who joined the faculty in 1989, earned a master’s and her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

The Distinguished Faculty Award is presented to a tenured faculty member who has demonstrated characteristics of the most outstanding faculty: intellectual vitality, effective communication skills, the ability to motivate or inspire compassion and concern for student success, collegiality, and leadership.

Titan Athletics - Women’s Swimming & Diving: Titans Earn Scholar All-America Recognition

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:53:00 EST

(image) NORFOLK, Va. – The Westminster College women's swimming & diving team was named a College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Scholar All-America Division III Team for the Spring semester.
The Titans, under the guidance of first-year head coach Pat Smith, earned a 3.32 grade point average.
To be selected as a CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, programs must have achieved a grade point average of 3.00 or higher over the Spring semester.

For more information, contact Nathan LaRiccia, sports information director, at

Independence Day Celebration to be held at Westminster on July 3

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:58:00 EST

(image) Come enjoy an evening full of music and fireworks at the annual Independence Day Celebration on Monday, July 3 at Westminster College’s Brittain Lake. The event is free and open to the public.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. This year’s entertainment includes the River City Brass Band; former New York Metropolitan Opera singer Susan Shaffer; and Todd Hancock of the Easy Street Productions in Youngstown, OH.

At 9:15 p.m., there will be a firework display by Pyrotecnico.

Early arrival is suggested for this family-friendly event and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs for seating. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held inside Anderson Amphitheater.

There will be food vendors will be on site. However, feel free to bring picnic baskets and other refreshments.

This year’s Independence Day Celebration was funded entirely by community donations.

For additional information, contact Gene DeCaprio at 724-730-2085.

Regional High School Students Visit Westminster for Chemistry Outreach Program

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:43:00 EST

(image) Students from Sharpsville Area High School and Wilmington Area High School visited Westminster College in May as part of a chemistry outreach program hosted by Dr. Helen Boylan, Professor of Chemistry. The theme of the program was water quality, and both groups had hands-on experiences doing field and laboratory water quality testing.

Merrissa (Malcolm) Nguyen '12 brought approximately 30 Sharpsville chemistry students on May 19 as part of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Ambassadors Program. Through this program, Nguyen collaborates with Boylan who serves as a “Science Coach,” working with Nguyen to plan activities and connect classroom learning to the real world.

Abby Sarver brought approximately 20 Wilmington CHEM II students to campus on May 22 as part of a long-standing collaboration between Boylan and Sarver with the goal of exposing upper-level high school chemistry students to advanced techniques and instrumentation that the students would experience in a college chemistry lab.

Westminster students Jessica Garcia Ramirez (’19) and Robert Hellier (’17) assisted with the laboratory portion of the activities.

“Water quality analysis is an important application of chemistry,” Boylan stated, “And I believe it is important for chemistry students to experience both lab and field work.”

For more information, contact Boylan at or 724-946-6293.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Morgan

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:15:00 EST

(image) Westminster in the Spring

My favorite time of year at Westminster is spring. All of the beautiful trees on campus start blooming, and it always smells like freshly cut grass. I take a blanket outside and lay on the Quad while doing homework, and I’m surrounded by others doing the same. I love how the campus opens up when the weather gets warm. Since we get such cold winters, the warm weather serves as a refreshment for me. The last few weeks of the spring semester are pretty rough, but the gorgeous atmosphere brings me much needed peace of mind amidst the stress.

Morgan is a senior English major and writing minor. 

Westminster College Celebrates Spring 2017 Deans List Recipients

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:51:00 EST

(image) More than 300 Westminster College students earned Dean’s List recognition for the 2017 spring semester.

The Dean’s List recognizes students who attain a grade point average of at least 3.6 out of a possible 4.0.

For more information, contact Colleen Hannon, associate registrar, at 724-946-7137 or

View full list here

Dr. Charlene K. Endrizzi Publishes Research Regarding Family-School Literacy Partnerships

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:33:00 EST

(image) Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, professor of literacy education at Westminster College, authored a chapter entitled “Photos as Bridges into Hidden Literacy Lives” published in Reclaiming Early Childhood Literacies: Narratives of Hope, Power, and Vision edited by Rick Meyer and Kathy Whitmore.

In her chapter, Klassen Endrizzi outlines her research collaboration with seven Westminster alumni (who were student teachers at the time) and four kindergarten teachers at Campbell Elementary in Campbell, OH during the spring of 2014. The researchers sought to understand the importance of kindergarten children reading out-of-school texts in everyday settings with family members.  They discovered some purposeful literacy moments that naturally occurred between children and family members.

"The families of the kindergarten students shared photos showed them reading fast food menus and shopping mall signage, newspaper comics and cleaning products at home and much more," added Klassen Endrizzi

Klassen Endrizzi continues to research family-school literacy partnerships, as examined in her book about teacher professional development entitled Becoming Teammates: Teachers and Families as Literacy Partners.

“Today teachers realize that families are essential learning partners but struggle to find simple ways to value each child’s literacy funds of knowledge,” said Klassen Endrizzi. “My teacher research with Westminster student teachers, Campbell teachers and fifteen diverse families provides an example of one simple pathway (photos) for bridging the communication gap between teachers and families.”

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190

Echoes from Greece: Westminster Honors Students Reflect on Their Time Abroad

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 09:41:00 EST

(image) Echoes from Greece: Jessica Grady '19, environmental science major

May 23, 2017

Samos is our vacation on our vacation. When we got to our new hotel (at 3 in the morning), we were shocked at how nice it was! The lobby itself was beautiful and we went up to our room, it was huge and bright. There were cookies and milk waiting for us on the vanity. Taylor and I were so tired on the ferry and the bus, but it took us a while to go to sleep, because we were so excited about our room. We couldn’t wait to see Samos in the daylight.

When we woke up in the morning and went downstairs to breakfast, we were amazed! I swear they had every breakfast food you could think of; it was overwhelming. I had cereal with raisins, almonds, walnuts, and dried cranberries, and after that was gone, I went back for fruit. They had so much fresh fruit! They had four different types of olives, too! I was in heaven.

After breakfast, a bunch of us changed and then went out to lay by the pool. We realized that there were chairs down by the beach, though, so we walked across the street to hang out there. It was beautiful! We went into the Aegean Sea—even though it was freezing cold. You could see Turkey from the beach; it was really close. When we got hungry, Dani, Jake, Troy, and I went to get lunch at the hotel restaurant. I got falafel and it was delicious. We laid out by the pool on the cabanas after lunch and I stayed there until it was time to get ready for dinner. The day was so relaxing.

We had a group dinner at this place called Faros which was right along the bay, so we had a pretty view of the sea while we ate. It was seafood restaurant, so I couldn’t really eat much, but a lot of people seemed to enjoy it. After dinner, some people got gelato at this place called Two Spoons. It looked really good. After the twenty minute walk back to the hotel, I was pretty tired, but a bunch of us hung out by the cabanas for a while. I already liked Samos much better than Athens. 

Echoes from Greece: Westminster Honors Students Reflect on Their Time Abroad

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 09:06:00 EST

Echoes from Greece: Danielle Grady '20, public relations major Sunday, May 21st After eating breakfast, all of us met in the lobby of the hotel, and we took a long walk to the National Archaeological Museum. Although the walk was long, it was pretty and showed us parts of Athens that we had not previously explored. Today was our last day with Athens Centre archaeologist Dr. Michael Wedde, and he met us at the museum. The museum was the largest we had been to, and we made our way through it as Michael guided us. We took a break about half way through the tour, and me, Jess, Jake, and Troy went down to the café and got frappes. This was our first time getting frappes in Greece, and they’re pretty different from frappes in the United States, but still really good. Jake and I also split a little chocolate cake, which was delicious. We continued our tour of the museum after the break, and then we said our goodbyes to Michael once we finished up. After we left the museum, Dr. Goldberg and Dr. Hicok led us to Parliament so we could see the changing of the guards. We were all starving after this because it was past lunchtime, so we took the Metro and made our way back to the part of Athens that we were familiar with, and me, Jake, Jess, Troy, Taylor, Patty, and Maggie stopped at a restaurant for lunch. Although we picked the restaurant randomly, we were all really happy with our food. Following lunch, we went to a gelato place that we had yet to try. We chose it from the ton of other gelato places because it had fun cones in its display case. I got a waffle cone dipped in chocolate and covered with rainbow sprinkles filled with both dark chocolate gelato and forest fruit sorbet. It was some of the best gelato I’ve had yet, and I tasted Jake’s and his was delicious, too. After that, me, Jake, and Jess split off to do some shopping and exploring. Jess and I found a really nice bracelet that we bought for our best friend back home and Jake found a nice hat that he bought. We also all found some nice gifts to bring home for our parents. While we were shopping, we met a kind vendor who told us of a wall of postcards that he keeps in his room. Each time he sells something to someone, he gives them a card with his address on it and asks them to send him a postcard when they return home. Jess and I bought a small wire bicycle that he crafted himself from him to give to our grandma, and we left with a promise to send him a postcard from Westminster once we return for the fall semester. Once we finished shopping, the three of us took some time to explore Athens. We walked up and down a bunch of streets, and found gorgeous white alleys with white stairs that we went up to find a fantastic view of the city. We took a lot of pictures as we overlooked the city. When we were all done and back at the hotel, we had walked a total of 13 miles that day so far, and it was only the early evening. After taking naps and relaxing for a while, the same group that I had lunch with earlier in the day got ready to go out and celebrate Taylor’s birthday since it was going to be the following day. We went to a late dinner at Arcadia, and then took to Metro to an area near a dance club that we had planned to go to. Although we had gotten directions to the club, we weren’t able to find it, and it started pouring rain on us. We were kind of [...]

Echoes from Greece: Westminster Honors Students Reflect on Their Time Abroad

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:47:00 EST

(image) Echoes from Greece: Troy Holden '20, biochemistry major

Wednesday, May 17th was the first day we got to meet our archaeologist, Michael Wedde. He provided us with captivating facts as we explored the Parthenon, the Erechtheon, and the temple of Athena on the Acropolis. We were fortunate to receive access inside the Parthenon – a very exclusive privilege and one that even Mr. Wedde had not been previously granted. We stopped at the theater of Dionysus after the Acropolis. It rained for most of the day, prompting Dr. Goldberg to conclude that we must have been in Seattle, as “It never rains in Greece.”

On our way to lunch, we were walking on a road that is blocked off to traffic, which results in many street performances. Many performers have (image) a cup of change in front of them. I was not paying attention as I was walking (shocker) and utterly flattened a young musician’s cup of change. Words of wisdom: pay attention to where you are at all times so you do not receive fuming glares from street performers. After lunch, we toured the recently constructed Acropolis museum. For dinner, we went to Arcadia, where I got my favorite meal of the trip – lamb souvlaki. Most of us had an early evening, as we were tired from the day’s activities. 

Celebrity Series Celebrates 50 Years of Bringing World Class Entertainment to the Region

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 14:18:00 EST

Celebrity Series at Westminster College readies an exciting 2017-2018 season jam-packed with homages to the classic sounds of Paul McCartney and the king of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley. The 50th anniversary season is presented in memory of J. Fred Rentz, a lifetime member to Celebrity Series. “J. Fred Rentz recognized the transformative value of the arts to enhance the quality of life,” said Connie McGinnis, director of Celebrity Series at Westminster College. “He saw Celebrity Series as an important source of enrichment, entertainment and inspiration for all who entered Orr Auditorium doors.” Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. in the William W. Orr Auditorium unless otherwise indicated. Kicking off the season is STEPPIN’ OUT WITH BEN VEREEN on Saturday, September 16, sponsored by First National Bank. Vereen continues to dazzle audiences around the world. Few entertainers today are as accomplished or as versatile. Come enjoy an evening filled with song and dance, stories of his life, and a great deal of humor and inspiration. On Saturday, October 21, experience An Evening with Chris Botti sponsored by Giant Eagle. Multi Grammy Award-winning master trumpeter Chris Botti has recorded and performed alongside Sting, Barbra Streisand, Yo-Yo Ma, Andrea Bocelli, and Frank Sinatra amassing multiple Gold and Platinum albums and a spectacular variety of honors becoming the nation’s largest selling instrumental artist. The electrifying Brandon Bennett of the hit musical MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET will set the stage ablaze in a spine-tingling tribute to Elvis Presley on Saturday, November 18. Bennett was named the “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist” by Elvis Presley Enterprises at Graceland. ELVIS MY WAY is sponsored by the Springfield Restaurant Group. Spend the holiday season being serenaded by the soothing sounds of The TEN Tenors Home for the Holidays on Monday, December 11. Sponsored by UPMC Jameson, this magical experience for the whole family will dazzle, delight and captivate. Join Australia’s rockstars of the opera as they amaze and enthrall with their unique selection of traditional and contemporary favorites. Sponsored by Huntington National Bank, THE McCARTNEY YEARS takes center stage on Saturday, April 28. Don’t miss this premiere Paul McCartney experience that is period-true and technically stunning. The explosive live concert features the music of Paul McCartney spanning two decades from The Beatles to Wings. Celebrity Series for Kids presents How I Became a Pirate on Monday, May 14 at 6:30 p.m. This swashbuckling, high energy, funny-bone tickling musical adaptation of Melinda Long’s best-selling book is sure to leave young “mateys” singing and dancing in the aisles! The show is sponsored by Pizza Joes, Hoyt Arts & Education, Dr. Richard Ribarevski, New Wilmington Family Medicine Associates, P.C. and Pek C. Te h, M.D.  F.A.C.O.G. The Westminster College Celebrity Series is partially funded by the Caroline Knox Memorial Trust Fund —reflecting God’s light into the world. Season tickets and Early Bird Ticketing are available for best seats and best savings. Paid orders placed over the phone before July 15 will be placed on wait list then seated first-ordered, first-served immediately after th[...]

Titan Athletics - Outdoor Track & Field: Jaevon Hardy Becomes First Track Titan All-American

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 11:34:00 EST

(image) GENEVA, Ohio – Westminster College junior Jaevon Hardy (Waldorf, MD / North Point) became the first track Titan All-American as he placed third in the 100 finals with a school-record time of 10.46 at the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 27.

Hardy, who was making his third trip to Nationals, placed seventh with a time of 10.66 in Friday’s preliminaries, becoming the first Titan (male or female) to advance to the finals in any track event in school history. His third-place time on Saturday was the best finish by any male Titan at Nationals in the history of the program.

Westminster, under the guidance of head coach Tim McNeil '96, had a school-record five National qualifiers at this year’s NCAA Championships. On Thursday, senior Marissa Kalsey (Waynesburg, PA / Waynesburg) made history as she won the pole vault with a school- and NCAA Championships-record of 13 feet, 10 inches (4.22 meters), becoming the first National Champion in school history. The Titans had three other pole vaulters compete, including senior Cassidy Shepherd (Greensburg, PA / Greensburg-Salem) who earned her first outdoor All-America citation after clearing 12 feet, 9.5 inches (3.90m) for seventh place. Westminster junior Hailey Hall (Grove City, PA / Grove City Area) placed 15th with a jump of 12 feet, 1.5 inches (3.70m), while senior Brooke Mancuso (Wexford, PA / North Allegheny) placed 19th with a mark of 12 feet, 1.5 inches (3.70m). Assistant Bradi Rhoades coaches the Titan pole vaulters.

Watch Hardy's interview here.

Watch Hardy's All-America performance here.

Read Thursday’s release here.

For more information, contact Westminster College Sports Information Director Nathan LaRiccia at or 724-946-6357

Dr. Diana Ortiz to Speak at Café Scientifique on Monday, June 5

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 09:06:00 EST

(image) Dr. Diana Ortiz, assistant professor of biology, is guest speaking at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh as part of the Café Scientifique series on Monday, June 5 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to adults. Food and drink will be available for purchase and parking is available for $5. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Carnegie Science Center’s Café Scientifique is an adult program for anyone interested in learning more about science and the latest technology breakthroughs in a relaxed, “pub-type atmosphere.”

“Being invited to present at the Carnegie Science Center’s Café Scientifique is an honor,” says Ortiz. “I hope that after this presentation, the audience gains a new appreciation for disease vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks, and how humans are affecting how they live and interact with the environment.”

In her presentation, “Vector-Borne Disease Transmission: The Zika Virus Effect,” Ortiz discusses the societal and environmental changes that have directly affected the occurrence of vector-borne diseases. She also describes how unpredictable and complex these diseases can be, such as what has been observed through the worldwide emergence of the Zika virus.

Ortiz’s perspective on vectors stems from two decades of experience working in academia, industry, and government in the areas of vector biology, virology, biodefense, and public health

“I always get asked very basic questions about vectors and the diseases they transmit. I think people are always surprised to know that they are not just flying or crawling blood-sucking “needles,” explains Ortiz.

“Disease vectors are a group of very complex, biodiverse organisms that have been around a lot longer that humans have. These small, innocuous organisms are some of the most interesting and dangerous animals on Earth.”

Since coming to Westminster in 2014, Ortiz has maintained an active undergraduate research program in vector biology/ecology and emerging vector-borne diseases.

For additional information, please see:

Contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190 with additional inquiries.

Humans Of Westminster: Meet Dom

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 10:19:00 EST

(image) Appreciating History

When attending a college like Westminster, you gain an appreciation for history. From the stories of past alumni to the professors who have walked the grounds for over thirty years, each story holds a significant idea. History shapes who we are as people. As a History Major, I tend to agree with that idea. Yet, when you visit Westminster, the history of the school influences you in numerous ways. Whether the influence is a story from a past student or the experiences of a new friend, history lives and guides us along in the present. William Faulkner once wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past". I agree with Faulkner's words. Our histories help to develop our futures. At Westminster, the past not only lives but blossoms as we embark on our college journey.

Dom Boston is a junior history and English major. 

New York Times Names Westminster One of the

Mon, 29 May 2017 10:28:00 EST

(image) The New York Times’ third annual College Access Index ranked Westminster College #21 in the nation for “Top Colleges Doing the Most for the American Dream.” The Index includes some of the most esteemed public and private academic institutions in the nation, including campuses in the University of California system, Williams College, Amherst College, Harvard University and Princeton University.

The Index ranks colleges and universities with a five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent on their commitment to providing access to students from all income levels. According to the Times, the ranking is based on a combination of the number of lower-and middle-income students that a college enrolls and what it charges those students.

“We are honored that that the Index has recognized Westminster College as an institution that provides an outstanding education to students regardless of their economic background,” said Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson, president of Westminster. “From its founding in 1852, the college has offered access to students from all backgrounds and support to help them achieve their goals and dreams.”

Read more about the listing at

Contact Richard Sherlock, senior director of marketing and communications, at 724-946-7191 or with additional inquiries. 

Faculty and Students Participate in WISE Speaker Series at Carnegie Elementary School

Wed, 24 May 2017 09:46:00 EST

(image) Dr. Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry, together with two students, Maddison Grimes '18 and Cory Pullen '20, participated in the Women in Science/Engineering Speaker Series at Carnegie Elementary School, which is part of Carlynton School District in the Pittsburgh area. The WISE program is the brainchild of Mr. Scott Donnelly, science teacher at the school, who hopes to inspire girls in 5th and 6th grade by exposing them to successful women in science and engineering.

Boylan, Grimes, and Pullen visited Carnegie Elementary on May 17. Following a presentation by Boylan about the perks of science and how grit, and not IQ, is predictive of success in science, Grimes discussed the Tiny House Project that is underway at Westminster College. Pullen explained solar energy and led a hands-on session where the girls got to build and test Lego solar cars.

“The girls really enjoyed testing the solar cars, and fortunately it was a sunny day outside,” according to Boylan. “They also asked a lot of questions about the composting toilet that is part of the tiny house project.”

For more information, contact Tom Fields at 724-946-7190 or 

Westminster Student and Faculty Members Honored at Audubon Awards Ceremony

Mon, 22 May 2017 10:28:00 EST

(image) A Westminster College student and two faculty members received awards at the annual Bartramian Audubon Society Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 8, at the Jennings Environmental Education Center in Slippery Rock, PA.

Alexa Yoho, a junior environmental science major from Coraopolis, PA, received the Helen B. Ferguson Award. The Ferguson Award is an annual scholarship given to a Westminster College student studying environmental science or environmental studies. Dr. Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry, presented Yoho with the award, recognizing her leadership in several environmental organizations including the Tiny House Team, the ALLARM outreach program, the student Green Party, and the Sierra Student Coalition.

(image) Dr. Kerri Duerr, assistant professor of biology, and Mr. Brad Weaver, broadcast communication faculty, received awards for “Sustainable Conservation by Individuals.” Mr. Jeffry Hall, president of the Bartramian Audubon Society, awarded Duerr and Weaver for their interdisciplinary approach to teaching "Ornithology" and "Essentials of Digital Media" in the cluster course "Tweetspeak". Hall praised Duerr and Weaver for their community service aspect to the course as the students successfully worked to establish the Westminster College campus as an Audubon Certified Wildlife Sanctuary.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at 724-946-7190 or

Carllos Lassiter Selected as Westminster College’s New Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Sun, 21 May 2017 20:55:00 EST

Carllos Lassiter has been selected to serve as the next Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Westminster College following a national search. Lassiter will begin his appointment at Westminster in July 2017. “We are very pleased that Mr. Lassiter will be joining us at Westminster,” said President Kathy Brittain Richardson. “He brings broad experience in student affairs leadership, and he is deeply committed to supporting the growth and well being of students within a vibrant campus community.” “I am truly excited to be joining such an esteemed and outstanding liberal arts institution,” said Lassiter. “My team and I will work to ensure a holistic and transformative approach to student life that will augment students’ academic pursuits.  I am honored by my selection and look forward to working with the entire Westminster College campus in creating a student-centered learning community.” Lassiter currently serves as Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Rust College, in Holly Springs, Miss.  As the chief student affairs officer, Lassiter directly oversees residence education; student health; religious life; greek life; student activities; student conduct; and campus security. He implemented a new crisis assessment, intervention and response plan and created partnerships with local colleges to develop a cross-institutional student leadership training program. He also developed mental health resource partnerships with local community and state-wide agencies, created rebranding of the student life experience at Rust College, and reorganized student housing, creating a model residential education program with emphasis on integrating learning, engagement and development in campus co-curricular programming. With more than 14 years of experience in student affairs, Lassiter has served at a variety of academic institutions, including Vanderbilt University, Tulane University, and the University of Chicago, where he developed and led initiatives that met the changing needs of diverse student populations and increased opportunities for student input and engagement. Lassiter has been committed to creating a campus culture and environment that is inclusive and one which enhances the growth of all students to reach their full potential. After earning his bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Vassar College, Lassiter received a master of arts degree in higher education administration from the University of Mississippi where he is completing his doctorate in higher education. He participated in the Executive Leadership Academy of The Council of Independent Colleges in 2015-2016. He has served on a number of committees and commissions of the American College Personnel Association and is affiliated with National Association of Student Personnel Administrators; Association of College and University Housing Officers—International; Association for Student Conduct Administration; Association of Governing Board of Universities and Colleges; and the White House HBCU All-Star Alumni Association Advisory B[...]

Westminster College Enactus Team Named Regional Champions

Fri, 19 May 2017 10:52:00 EST

(image) Twenty Westminster College students, accompanied by school of business faculty David Smith and Keith Bittel, were named regional champions after competing in the Enactus regional competition in Plano, TX this past April. Enactus is an international not-for-profit organization that brings together college students, academics and business leaders for the purpose of using entrepreneurial action to empower economically disadvantaged people around the globe in order to create a more sustainable world.

During the competition, teams of students present results from a service learning project completed during the academic year to a diverse panel of judges and other competing teams. The students are also required to defend their projects by fielding questions from the judges following the presentation.

Westminster's Enactus team presented results from two service projects started by previous teams; the Employment and College Planning Workshop and the Campus Community Connection. The team were able to educate more than 200 local high school students about resume writing, interviewing skills and applying to college through the Employment and College Planning Workshop. The goal of the Campus Community Connection was to increase communication and engagement between students and community members.

"The students also presented plans for future social entrepreneurship projects that Westminster Enactus hopes to undertake during the upcoming year," said Bittel, lecturer at Westminster College. "These plans include working with an economic development agency to promote a farmers market, partnering with a non-profit coffee shop operated by a local social service agency and conducting a professional clothing collection drive to aid another local social service agency that works with women in need."

Westminster's Enactus team was comprised of the following students: Carina Burns, Keely Flynn, Jarod Forsythe, Kevin Hart, Morgan Hartzfeld, Allison Iorio, Erin Keich, Nataleigh Kerr, Carey Kimball, Richard Klose, Caitlynn Kreider, Seth Magee, Matthew McDonald, Nolan Moffett, Taylor Moon, Megan Peluso, Elizabeth Smith, Sarah Snyder, Shelby Wood and Daniel Ziegler.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190.

Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research Announces First Class of Summer Research Fellows

Mon, 15 May 2017 11:32:00 EST

(image) The Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research at Westminster College announced its first group of summer research fellows. Student and faculty pairs from all academic disciplines were encouraged to apply for one of the highly competitive research fellowships, and only six were accepted.

“This is our first attempt at a summer research program and we are really excited about the opportunity for our students and the possibility of expanding this program in future years,” said Dr. Karen Resendes, associate professor of biology and co-director of the Drinko Center.

The fellowship includes stipends for both the undergraduate researcher and their faculty mentor. Partial support for on-campus housing will be provided to recipients to help with residential costs during their four-week research period.

The group of researchers include:

Tessa Altman, a junior English major, paired with Dr. Kristianne Kalata. Altman and Kalata are researching Anne Bronte and her progression as a progressive through her writing.

Trevor Arrigoni, a junior mathematics major, paired with Dr. Natacha Fontez Merz. The two are collaborating on a project entitled “Generalizing the Pill Problem.”

 Alicia Clark-Williams, a senior sociology major, paired with Dr. Kristenne Robison. Clark-Williams and Robison will collect and analyze police-citizen interactions in an undisclosed city.

Bridget Herlihy, a junior neuroscience major, paired with Dr. Deanne Buffalari. Herlihy and Buffalari are testing the effects of ethanol and MPH on fear memory.

Christina Robb, a junior chemistry major, and Dr. Jessica Sarver are researching the curvature effects on membrane binding of a protein using spectroscopy.

 Tristan Toca, a senior biochemistry major, and Dr. Erin Wilson are observing how an eye protein’s function changes when exposed to UV light and how this affects the formation of cataracts.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190

Goldberg Chosen to Participate in Seminar on Ancient Greece

Mon, 15 May 2017 08:39:00 EST

Westminster College is pleased to announce that Dr. David Goldberg, associate professor of religion, history, and philosophy, is one of a select group of faculty members nationwide chosen by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Center for Hellenic Studies to participate in an Ancient Greece in the Modern Classroom seminar, “The Verbal Art of Plato.” CIC and the Center for Hellenic Studies recently selected 21 faculty members out of 51 highly competitive nominations to participate in the seminar, which will take place July 24–30, 2017, at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies campus in Washington, DC. Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones, professor of classical Greek literature and professor of comparative literature at Harvard University, and Kenneth Scott Morrell, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies at Rhodes College, will lead the seminar. The program is generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “Strengthening the teaching of the classics at colleges and universities is of critical importance. This seminar series addresses the challenge of keeping alive in undergraduate education classical texts that a generation ago were read and understood by every college graduate,” said CIC President Richard Ekman. “We believe that Dr. Goldberg will contribute to the seminar in meaningful ways and learn much that will energize teaching when he returns home.” “Dr. Goldberg is the perfect faculty member to participate in the CIC’s “The Verbal Art of Plato” seminar,” said Dr. Timothy Cuff, professor of history and chair of the division of social sciences and humanities at Westminster College. “Anyone who has spent time with David knows his love of philosophy and his artistic displays of philosophical argument.  I am sure that David will both add to the seminar and bring back valuable insights and techniques from which his students will benefit.” Designed primarily for non-specialists, the seminar will explore Plato’s dialogues in which he “stages” encounters between Socrates, his mentor, and some of the most celebrated intellectuals in the second half of the fifth century BCE. The language of these conversations reflects Plato’s keen ear for the complex traditions of verbal art. For more than ten years, CIC has collaborated with the Center for Hellenic Studies to provide seminars on teaching the classics for small and mid-sized independent colleges that have a limited number of faculty members or courses in the classics. The seminar is ideal for faculty members who have been trained in other disciplines and who seek opportunities to explore major classical texts and learn new ways to teach these texts to undergraduates. For more information, visit the CIC website at  Contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190 with any additional questions.  [...]

Employees Recognized for Combined 797 Years of Service to Westminster College

Fri, 12 May 2017 15:06:00 EST

Westminster College honored 46 employees with a combined total of 797 years of service during the annual employee recognition luncheon traditionally held every Spring. Current and retired employees gathered on May 10 in the Witherspoon Rooms of the McKelvey Campus Center to honor the service milestones and retirements of those who have dedicated many years to the Westminster community. “Employees look forward to the recognition luncheon every year,” says Kim Christofferson, director of human resources at Westminster College. “We all enjoy time together before the summer break, and look forward to seeing many of our local retirees who come back for the event as well.” Retiring from Westminster College are: Ann M. Badger, advancement secretary; Cynthia S. Dafler, assistant director of alumni; Dr. Neal A. Edman, vice president for student affairs and dean of students; Dr. Daniel E. Fischmar, professor of economics; Elaine M. Gurtner, custodian; Dr. Darwin W. Huey, professor of education; and Barbara I. Quincy, counselor. Other honorees included: 35 years of service - Kimberlee K. Christofferson, director of human resources 30 years of service - Steven E. Connell, supervisor, grounds unit; Michael W. Cosgrove, supervisor, crafts unit; Shaun J. Toomey, head athletic trainer 25 years of service - Edward Galanski, college electrician; Dr. Mandy B. Medvin, professor of psychology; Dr. Deborah C. Mitchell, professor of English and film studies; Dr. James C. Rhoads, Jr., professor of political science 20 years of service – Dr. Joseph M. Balczon, associate professor of biology; Cheryl Gerber, director of financial aid; Kathy J. Metrocavige, custodian; Carol S. Morrow, academic administrative assistant; Brian Schultz, manager, print shop; Carmelina Shockey, supervisor, campus mailroom; Nancy M. Smith, accounts payable coordinator; Milagros Swerdlow, lecturer in Spanish; Diane L. Ubry, executive secretary, president’s office; Linda E. Wilson, secretary, office of alumni relations 15 years of service – Dr. Jeffrey T. Bersett, associate professor of Spanish; Dr. Colleen M. Merrick, associate professor of communication studies; Dawn M. Chapman, associate director of admissions; Stanton A. Fleming, director of user services; Lynn L. Foltz, statistician, admissions & financial aid; Dr. David W. Goldberg, associate professor of philosophy; Dr. Patrick D. Krantz, associate professor of environmental science/director of outdoor lab; Doreen M. Matune, academic administrative assistant; Erin T. Smith, associate dean for LIS/associate professor; Janet M. Smith, business manager; Dr. Peter M. Smith, professor of chemistry 10 years of service – Dr. Michael E. Aleprete Jr., associate professor of political science; Sandra Auchter, custodian; Andy Changoway, network & telecommunications engineer; Samuel A. DiVitto, equipment manager, department of athletics; Elizabeth F. Hildebrand, director of publications; Timothy Hohn, custodian; Jason T. Howard, lecture[...]

Westminster College Honors Student Heads to National Collegiate Honors Conference in Atlanta, GA

Tue, 09 May 2017 10:09:00 EST

(image) Alina Clough, junior honors student at Westminster College, was accepted into the 2017 National Collegiate Honors Conference to be held in Atlanta, GA later this year. Clough will present her poster entitled “Philanthropic Cartography: Crowdmapping Rural Tanzania with OpenStreetMap (OSM).”

“I am very much looking forward to heading to Atlanta with Dr. Hicok and hope this project is able to shine a bit of light on the technological aspect of development," said Clough.

In her research project, Clough uses the Tanzania Development Trust as a case study to examine the effectiveness of crowd-sourced mapping technologies as a development tool. 

“The [Tanzania Development Trust] combines a global network of volunteer mappers with grassroots teams to work with communities in rural Tanzania,” explained Clough. “Using the maps, the Trust helps girls affected by child marriage and female genital mutilation find escape routes to safe homes where they are then provided with vocational training and family counseling.”

The theme of the conference is “Just Honors,” and will explore justice both as an academic focus and also the role honors can serve in addressing issues of access, equity, and technology in education according to

Clough says the emphasis on research is one of the main reasons she loves Westminster.

“All of the professors here have given me so much support to explore outside of my major through self-guided research,” added Clough.

Last year, Clough and her classmate Tyler Heintz attended the Northeast Regional Honors Council and presented their astronomy research. Clough and Heintz built a program to project sky maps over Cambridge, Massachusetts up to one million years into the future.

In the future, Clough hopes to take advantage of Westminster's Yonsei exchange semester to begin learning Korean, and would like to eventually pursue a master's in international political economy.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190

Westminster College Celebrates 163rd Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies, May 13

Mon, 08 May 2017 15:10:00 EST

(image) Nearly 300 students are expected to earn degrees Saturday, May 13, at Westminster College’s 163rd commencement ceremonies.  A baccalaureate service will be held at 10­ a.m. in Orr Auditorium with Commencement at 1 p.m. on the Weisel Senior Terrace of Old Main.

“Commencement is such a joyful occasion on our campus as we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduating students and wish them well as they move forward with their plans for successful and fulfilling lives,” said Westminster College President Dr. Kathy B. Richardson

The baccalaureate message will be given by Dr. and Rev. Gordon S. and Nancy Mikoski, parents of graduating senior Charissa Mikoski. Dr. Mikoski is an associate professor of Christian education at Princeton Theological Seminary and Rev. Mikoski serves at the Pennington Presbyterian Church.

Anthony Easley was selected by the 2017 senior class to give the senior address during commencement. A political science major, Easley is a son of Robert and Marissa Easley and a graduate of Karns City Area Senior High School.

During the ceremony, Dr. Robert S. Gardner ’57 will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa. An alumnus of the College, Dr. Gardner served for many years as a member of the Board of Trustees, including a term as chairman, and is a trustee emeritus.  Dr. Gardner has had a distinguished career as a physician specializing in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology and cardiac angiology and has been recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in Orr Auditorium.

The ceremonies will be broadcasted live on, Armstrong (channel 72 in New Wilmington and channel 204 in Grove City), and Comcast (Channel 183 in New Castle). Stay connected on social media by using and searching #WCGRAD17.

Contact Gabriella Budai, executive secretary in the Office of Academic Affairs, at 724-946-7122 for more information.

Titan Athletics - Westminster Holds Dedication for New Bill Rankin Golf Center

Mon, 08 May 2017 11:58:00 EST

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Westminster College held a dedication for the new Bill Rankin Golf Center on Saturday, May 6th.   The Director of Athletics Jim Dafler, Head Women's Golf Coach Jeff Roud, Head Men's Golf Coach Matt Torrence '93, senior men's golf player Shane Wilson, senior women's golf player Kelsey Phillips, President Kathy Richardson, and Bill Rankin '60 all spoke about the new state-of-the-art facility. Alumni, donors, employees, students, and friends were among the attendees.   "There's a long list of folks to thank for making the golf center possible," said Rankin.     The Bill Rankin Golf Center, which is located in the basement of Eichenhauer Hall, features two state-of-the-art golf simulators, a chipping/putting green, the Palmer conference room (named in honor of the late western Pennsylvania native Arnold Palmer), a players lounge, and locker rooms for both Titan men's and women's golf teams. The pair of Foresight GC2 simulators feature 10 different courses throughout the country and are the same ones used by the Golf Channel. The nearly 1,000 square foot Southwest chipping and putting greens are similar to the ones used by professionals.   On Saturday, demonstrations of the golf simulators and the putting/chipping greens were given by members of the Westminster men's and women's golf teams.   In addition to thanking the donors, Westminster staff members, alumni, and friends, Rankin spoke directly to the student-athletes. "To the men's and women's golf teams, thank you," he said. "It was your enthusiasm and your love for the game that was a great inspiration for me. When I come up and watch the men and women of the golf teams practicing here and the joy they get and the fun they have practicing, it's just so satisfying for me."   The project started with an approval in November 2015 and the primary features of the center were completed in April 2016. Not only is this a facility where the Westminster golf teams can compete year-round, but it also appeals to potential recruits. The Bill Rankin Golf Center, which has already been described as a Division I-type facility, has already helped recruit current first-year student-athletes.   "I've been very blessed in my life in so many ways and Westminster has been so great to me," Rankin said in closing. "I'm just pleased that I can give something back to Westminster." For more information, Nathaniel LaRiccia at or 724-946-6357. [...]

Victoria Volkay Wins 2017 Horn Capstone Award

Fri, 05 May 2017 11:51:00 EST

(image) Victoria Volkay, senior English major, won the 2017 Dr. Frederick Horn Capstone Award for her capstone project entitled “The Humanity in Holmes: A Character Study on the Personality and Relationships of Sherlock Holmes in Literature and Film.” Volkay’s capstone focuses on Sherlock Holmes’ personality and his relationships with various characters in the original stories, and how those relationships translated to several of the most famous film adaptations by Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Robert Downey Jr., and Benedict Cumberbatch.

“I found that Holmes himself is intelligent and excitable, and that even though he would like everyone to believe that he is unemotional, this isn’t exactly the case,” says Volkay.

The creative portion of Volkay’s capstone was a one act murder mystery play she directed for her theater capstone this semester as well. She created the characters based on the Holmes archetypes she studied in her critical analysis.

Although Volkay admits capstone was definitely a lot of hard work, she says she always had people at her side reminding her that the situation really wasn’t as bad as she thought.

“Capstone is something you literally need to do every day (or near enough to it), especially if it ends up being a longer one like mine was (114 pages),” says Volkay. “It honestly feels amazing. It’s so wonderful to know that the hours I spent agonizing over even the most specific word choices paid off.”

Upon graduation, Volkay plans on getting both the critical and creative sections of her capstone published and working on some more of her own creative writing to have published. She aspires to be a fiction author.

The Horn Capstone Award was established in 2003 by Dr. Frederick Horn, professor of English emeritus. It recognizes the highest level of scholarship and imagination among senior English majors’ capstone projects. Professors supervising senior capstone select the recipient every year.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190.

Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) Hosts Relay for Life to Raise Money for the American Cancer Society

Fri, 05 May 2017 11:25:00 EST

(image) There is still time to register for Westminster College’s Relay for Life on Saturday, May 6. The opening ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Registration and further instructions are available online. Due to bad weather conditions, the event will be held indoors at Old 77.

Although the Relay happens indoors this year, participators can still expect a day full of events and entertainment. The Survivor Lap starts at 11:15 a.m. followed by Zumba beginning at noon. Also, there will be performances from the Nasturtium Quartet at 3:30 and Adam Kaiser at 6 p.m. The luminaria/closing ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m.

For the first time in Relay history at Westminster, the College’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is leading the event after being involved in past years. Before taking over the event this year, the fundraising goal for this year was set at $14,300.

Nikki Savini, junior business administration major and president of CAC, thinks it would be amazing to reach that fundraising goal. However due to undisclosed occurrences and a late start, CAC has set a new goal of around $7000 and have currently raised over $6000.

With support from the brothers of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sodexo, Tuscany Square and Alpha Phi Omega, Savini believes the impact that Westminster's Relay for Life has on the New Wilmington community is truly something special.

“Throughout this journey, I've had the opportunity to work with some of the most driven and generous individuals who are all fighting for the same cause-to best cancer,” says Savini. “In my opinion, everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another, which is why this event is so significant. The American Cancer Society uses these donations to provide treatment and care for patients, research, and educational programming.”

Savini would like to like to thank CAC members for all the hard work they have done to ensure Relay's success and to those who have been such strong supporters.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190.

School of Music Presents Oboe and Bassoon Studio Recital

Thu, 04 May 2017 08:44:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College School of Music is having an oboe and bassoon recital performed by students and faculty on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 12 p.m. in the Wallace Memorial Chapel. The recital features several interpretations of the pastoral, a style which presents a romanticized version of rural country life, and evokes images of shepherds and bagpipes. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Kimberly Winfield, adjunct music faculty, at or 724-946-7270.

Seven Westminster Students Inducted into Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honorary Society

Thu, 04 May 2017 08:25:00 EST

(image) Seven Westminster College Criminal Justice Studies, International Studies and Sociology majors were inducted into Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honorary Society, on April 19, 2017. The initiated students were Rebecca Buckham, Gabriella Fabish, Coty Gander, Kelly Klaas, Caitlynn Kreider, Brittany Mavrich and Maximalian Ungerman. Charissa Mikoski is the current President and Treasurer of AKD. To be eligible for membership the students demonstrated high academic performance in both their major and general college coursework.

The ceremony was followed by a dessert reception attended by initiates, parents and Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies faculty. In addition, Mr. Jeff Simmons and Ms. Wilma Oman presented a colloquium entitled "Immigration Justice: Reflections from the Borderlands." Simmons and Oman shared observations from their recent trip to the US-Mexican border, including the perils of the desert crossing, the activities of humanitarian and sanctuary programs and the impacts of the criminal justice system on immigrant families.

For more information, contact Kristin Park at or 724-510-4055.

Senior English Majors Present Capstones at Bleasby Colloquium

Wed, 03 May 2017 16:23:00 EST

(image) Senior English majors presented portions of their capstone at the final Bleasby Colloquium of the year in Mueller Theater on Thursday, April 20. Below are a list of presenters and the title of their projects:

Laurel Michalek, Creation and Character: Corruption's Foothold in Tolkien's Life and Works.

Francesca Nardone, "More than Gore: Stephen King Addressing Social Issues in Carrie and The Shining"

Katherine Schaefer-St.Pierre, "The Kosmic Traveler and The Jazz Poet: The Cultural Crossings of Walt Whitman and Langston Hughes"

Victoria Volkay, "The Humanity of Holmes: A Character Study of the Personality and Relationships of Sherlock Holmes"

Melissa Zhang, "Fakes and Phonies: Cognitive Dissonance in The Catcher in the Rye and Gone Girl" 

Rachael Murphy, "The Validity of "Travel-Chick-Lit"

Mariah Roberts, "Herakles Lives"

Aaron Wilson, "King Arthur: Now and Then and Back Again"

Softball: Titans Set for PAC Championship Tournament

Wed, 03 May 2017 15:51:00 EST

(image) CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Westminster College softball team has clinched a spot in the 2017 Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Softball Championship Tournament.
The four-team, double-elimination tournament will take place Friday-Saturday, May 5-6 in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
Second-seeded Westminster (26-10, 14-4 PAC) will play third-seeded Saint Vincent College (18-14, 11-7 PAC) on Friday, May 5 at 10 a.m.
Top-seeded Thomas More (32-8, 18-0 PAC) and fourth-seeded Thiel College (16-18, 11-7 PAC) will match up in the second opening-round game at 12 p.m.
The losers of Friday's opening-round matchups will meet in elimination Game C at 2 p.m., followed by the winners of the two opening-round games facing off at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, the winner of Game C will meet the loser of Game D in an elimination game at 11 a.m. for the right to play for the conference title against the Game D winner at 1 p.m. If both teams have one loss at that point, the "if necessary" game is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The 2017 PAC Championship Tournament winner will secure the league's automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship.
The PAC Sports Network ( will broadcast all the games. Follow live stats here.
*The PAC contributed to this release.

For more information, contact Nathan LaRiccia at or 724-946-6357.

Watch the exclusive softball hype video here.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Jackie

Wed, 03 May 2017 15:41:00 EST

(image) Connecting the Dots

We are reminded endlessly here at Westminster that a liberal arts education is all about connections. No single discipline can survive on its own; we need a little bit of everything to put all of the parts of ourselves together. I am a Media Art & Design major, but thanks to Westminster, I am so much more than that. My freshman year I learned how to use power tools to build a theatre set thanks to Terry Jachimiak. I've traveled the world through fiction with Dr. Ade. I learned how two opposite disciplines like medicine and literature are intertwined. I've written 40 pages worth of screenplays. I worked on a wonderful team that wrote, filmed, and edited a film in 48 hours. I've read from Chaucer, to Thoreau, to John Green. I love my major, but thanks to Westminster I know that there is so much more to learning than choosing what's comfortable for you and running with it. Learning is about putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. It's about playing one big game of connect the dots between everything you're being asked to absorb, and at the end of that game, you find out a little bit more about yourself and about the world around you. 

Jackie Schultz is a senior media art & design major.

Honors Students Travel to Pittsburgh to Present Research

Wed, 03 May 2017 11:35:00 EST

(image) From April 6th to April 9th, five Westminster honors students had the opportunity to present research at the Northeast Regional Honors Conference. The conference brings together hundreds of honors students from around the region to share research and ideas. Appropriately, the theme for the conference was “Bridging the Divide,” inviting students to investigate ways in which metaphorical bridges can be constructed between various topics, cultures, and disciplines.

"The conference was a great opportunity for the students to network and engage in an academic environment," said Dr. Shannon Smithey.

Sophomore Vanessa Restifo presented her paper titled “Converging Cultures,” which focused on her observations of Peruvian culture. Restifo did an internship in Peru last summer. Juniors Audrey Nickle and Laura Page each presented separate posters entitled, “5-Fluorouracil Repairs a Bridge to the Nucleus for Tumor Suppressors in HeLa Cells” and “Bridging the Divide Between Producers and Consumers,” respectively.

Seniors Emily Broderick and Kaitlyn Kosarek each presented posters as well, titled, “The Power of the Spoken Word: Personality Trait Self-Perception in Hispanic and Anglo-American Bilinguals” and “Our Nomadic Thoughts: Affect and Temporal Focus Impact Attention through Mind Wandering”.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190