Subscribe: Westminster College: leading liberal arts college, New Wilmington, PA
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
college  information contact  ldquo  program  rdquo  research  school  student  students  westminster college  westminster 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
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: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 20:41:54 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2018 Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

Symphony Orchestra Prepares Winter Concert, Feb. 22

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:36:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Symphony Orchestra will host a winter concert on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

Along with student and community performers, the concert will feature associate professor of physics Dr. Robert Knop on the viola and adjunct music faculty Justin Bendel on the bass.

The symphony orchestra will play Serenade No. 1 by composer Johannes Brahms.

Serenade No. 1 celebrates Brahms’s love of nature. The serenade was originally written as a three-movement octet. Great violist and Brahm's good friends Joseph Joachim conducted the premiere, which was a big success. The final version was premiered upon the command of King George of Hanover, again under Joachim’s baton.

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

Dr. Deanne Buffalari Publishes Book Chapter Examining the Neuroscience of Cocaine

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:39:00 EST

(image) Assistant professor and chair of the neuroscience program Dr. Deanne Buffalari recently published a book chapter in an edited volume entitled The Neuroscience of Cocaine: Mechanisms and Treatment. Her chapter, "Nicotine and cocaine interactions: focus on dopamine pharmacology, neuroadaptations, and behavior relevant to addiction," focuses on how nicotine and cocaine might interact at the cellular and behavioral level to promote drug use, escalation to addiction and the risk of relapse.

"There is a great deal of overlap in the population that smokes cigarettes and uses cocaine," explains Buffalari. "That drives our interest in how these drugs affect the brain and influence behavior."

Buffalari recently published research examining how nicotine alters rewarding and aversive stimulus control of behavior. Her current work on nicotine focuses specifically on looking at processes that are relevant to how nicotine might increase the risk of drug relapse after abstinence.

As Buffalari explores the interactions between nicotine and cocaine, undergraduates are also working hard to learn more about the two drugs. Alumna and current medical school student Ashlyn Brown and junior neuroscience major Anna Lish are working on a manuscript detailing their research alongside Buffalari and are aiming to submit for publication in the next few months. Junior neuroscience major Ashley Barker also hopes to continue some of this work for her neuroscience capstone project.

Cleveland Indians vs. Houston Astros (Westminster College Alumni Event)

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 10:20:00 EST

(image) Join Westminster College alumni and friends at Progressive Field on Sunday, May 27, and watch the Cleveland Indians take on the Houston Astros! Your $25 ticket includes a $10 food voucher and seating on the Family Deck with fellow Westminster College Titans!

Reservations due by Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Click here to register!

Special thanks to the Cleveland Regional Alumni Committee for their efforts in planning the Cleveland Indians Game event: Courtney Behm, Whitney Bohan, Michael Burnett, Ginny Frazer, Al Hart, John Libert, Lynn Ulatowski, Kathy Venema, and Julie Weagraff.

For additional information, please contact Nicole Hunter at or 724-946-7373.

Students Take 1st Place in Music Video Category at BEA's Festival of Media Arts

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:45:00 EST

(image) With less than a $100 budget to make a high-end music video, two Westminster students and a recent graduate won 1st place in the Music Video Category at the Broadcast Education Association’s (BEA) Festival of Media Arts.

In collaboration with broadcast communications major Stephen Wells and class of 2017 graduate Doltyn Snedden, senior business major Katie Nicholson (known as Katie Joy in the music industry) produced a music video for her song, "Machine from the West", and entered it into the competition. 

“I knew I wanted to do something big for "Machine from the West" since the song is so big,” Nicholson said. “On my way home from work one day last summer, I zoned out and the whole thing just came to me.”

The 2018 winners were selected from a pool of over 1,500 entries, representing 175 colleges and universities in categories such as audio, documentary, film and video, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting and sports.

The trio produced the music video with limited resources and used students from the college as extras for various scenes. The group ran into their share of challenges being an independent group and trying to find people willing to dedicate enough time to film group shots, but the video came together after extensive hours of planning, shooting and cutting.

“You have to tell a story without being able to use any dialogue or sound easily,” Wells said. “Especially in a concept video like this, you have to be sure that the video adds to the story that the song is telling.” 

Katie Joy has been co-producing since her sophomore year of college with Dan Swank and Daniel Blake. She has already produced two albums and is a registered artist on Spotify. "Machine from the West" is on her most recent album, Collective Canvas

“This video has been a nice way to get my name out there,” she said. “It shows what I’m capable of lyrically, musically, and as an executive producer. It’s cool to be more than just a ‘singer.’”

The BEA’s Festival of Media Arts is a competitive festival open to BEA faculty and student members. The BEA is an international academic media organization that drives insight and excellence in the media-production industry for educators, students and professionals.

“Especially on a project like this with no budget, it’s amazing to see positive reactions and a final product that the crew can be proud of because the success or failure of the project is based completely on the hard work and creativity of those involved,” Wells said.

Watch the official "Machine from the West" music video here.

Written by Megan Simpson

Senior Capstone Students Prepare Art Exhibition

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 09:45:00 EST

(image) Four Westminster College senior art students are presenting select work from their portfolios beginning Feb. 13 and lasting through March 24 in Patterson Hall's Foster Art Gallery. An open reception will be held Feb. 20 from 4:30 - 6 p.m. At the reception, each artist will speak about their work and open the floor for additional questions.

The Senior Capstone Exhibition features the works of both fine art and media art students. In addition to work created during their first three years of studies, students also have opportunities to showcase a project created in their senior capstone. The capstone is a senior-level course within the major designed to provide an opportunity for students to work independently with Westminster fine art and media art faculty to assess their cumulative body of work and make appropriate adjustments to prepare a professional art or media art portfolio.

Art comes in all shapes and sizes, and this gallery show represents all the hard work the students have put in through their time at Westminster.

Linzy Borowicz, media art & design major

Stephanie Dorsch, fine art major

Laura Page, media art & design major

Marcella Sinclair, fine art major

For more information, contact gallery director and lecturer of art Summer Zickefoose at 724-946-7267 or adjunct faculty for media art + design Kandice Hartner at 724-946-7237.

Jazz Ensemble Presents Winter Concert with Guest Artist Scott Belck

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:13:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Jazz Ensemble will perform their annual winter concert on Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. in Berlin Lounge. The ensemble will be joined by guest trumpeter, Dr. Scott Belck. Belck will be featured on several charts including Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca" and Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine." 

Belck currently serves at the director of jazz studies, the division head of ensembles and conducting and professor of music at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he directs the CCM Jazz Orchestra and teaches applied jazz trumpet.

He is a founding member of critically acclaimed Tromba Mundi contemporary trumpet ensemble and has recently toured as a member of Grammy Award winning funk legend Bootsy Collins’ Funk Unity Band as lead trumpet. He has served as trumpet and cornet soloist with the Air Force Band of Flight in Dayton, Ohio where he also held the post of musical director for the Air Force Night Flight Jazz Ensemble. He is the founding artistic director emeritus of the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. On Monday nights in Cincinnati, he serves as lead trumpet and musical director for the new Flying Circus Big Band featuring drummer “Baron” John Von Ohlen.

(image) His playing credits include recordings lead trumpet/guest soloist with the Cincinnati Pops featuring the Manhattan Transfer and John Pizzarelli, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Van Dells, and jazz soloist with the University of North Texas One O'clock Lab Band with whom he recorded four CDs as jazz soloist and section trumpet. Belck is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

Belck will lead a masterclass for anyone interested on Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. in the Patterson Hall Mezzanine (Balcony of Orr Auditorium).

For more information, contact Dr. Timothy Winfield at

'Music with Friends' Concert Series Opens Second Season

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 09:22:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Symphonic Band will open the second season of “Music with Friends” concerts on Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Will W. Orr Auditorium at Westminster College. Joined by special guests, alumnus Matthew Newman ’01 and the Beaver Local High School Band, the two dynamic groups will perform music from composers Gustav Holst, Malcolm Arnold, Alfred Reed and more.

The concert is free and open for all.

The Music with Friends concert series was created by Dr. R. Tad Greig with intentions of providing a shared performance space with colleagues in regional high schools. Stay tuned for future Music with Friends concerts.

For more information, contact Greig at or 724-946-7279.

IQ:STEM Noyce Scholars Program Prepares for New Cohort of Students

Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:57:00 EST

(image) One of the main goals of the IQ:STEM Noyce Scholars program at Westminster is recruiting individuals with strong STEM backgrounds who might not have otherwise considered a career in teaching. Current STEM majors interested in education are invited to come learn more about the scholarship program during an information session on Feb. 12 at 11:40 a.m. in Hoyt 150.

Due to its flexible short term commitment, a highlight of IQ:STEM 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. However, for sophomore biology major Maggie Manolis joining IQ:STEM will come full circle for her as future educator.

“I come from a high needs school district and I want to encourage students that they too can pursue a successful career in science no matter where they came from,” said Manolis. “IQ:STEM program will help me to pursue this goal.”

Junior mathematics major Jacob Stoyer said joining IQ:STEM is helping him become both the teacher and mentor he aspires to be.

“I joined the IQ:STEM Program in hopes of becoming a more well-rounded teacher and person,” Stoyer said.  “Through my experiences and the opportunities the program has provided, I have learned ways to connect to people from all different backgrounds different than mine.”

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.

To all current student interested in becoming a Noyce Scholar, applications are due Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. Completed applications may be emailed to: or hand delivered/mailed to:

Noyce Scholarship Committee, c/o Karen Resendes
Box 128
Westminster College
New Wilmington, PA 16172

Prospective Noyce Scholars must complete an application with (a) three recommendations, (b) an essay, and (c) transcripts indicating minimum GPA of 3.0. Strong applicants will be invited to interview with the selection committee.

To learn more about the IQ:STEM Noyce Scholars Program, watch this video or visit

For more information, contact Dr. Karen Resendes at

Westminster College Nominates Student for Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 17:35:00 EST


Junior biochemistry major and Honors Scholar Sarah Harris has been nominated for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship based on her academic excellence and promising undergraduate research. For over 30 years, the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation has awarded thousands of undergraduates pursuing careers in STEM research. Harris currently works with assistant professor of chemistry Dr. Patrick Lackey researching the molecular-level processes that occur when a cell is dividing.

Harris was recruited and nominated by 1994 Goldwater scholar Dr. Craig Caylor, associate professor of physics at Westminster. Caylor serves as Westminster’s campus representative and aids nominees throughout the application process. As Harris completes the application process, she believes the rigorous process will be very rewarding in the end.

“While I feel very honored to have the opportunity to apply for this scholarship, I am also so grateful for the faculty at Westminster to have supported and guided me through this endeavor,” says Harris. “Without the help of Dr. Caylor, Dr. Patrick Lackey, Dr. Helen Boylan and Dr. Pete Smith, this process would have been much more difficult.”

In order to be nominated for the Goldwater Scholarship, each nominee must be a current sophomore or junior; have at least a 3.0 GPA and be in the top 25% of their class; must have US citizenship/permanent residency; and must have an interest in a career in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering.

Each 4-year college/university can nominate up to four students to be considered for an award. Visit to learn more about the Goldwater Scholarship.

For more information, contact Caylor at or 724-946-7202.

National Signing Day with Westminster College Sports Management

Tue, 06 Feb 2018 16:34:00 EST


Wednesday, Feb. 7 is known as National Signing Day in the United States. According to, "National Signing Day (usually the first Wednesday of February) is the first day an athlete can sign a letter of intent to his or her future school." As students begin their spring semester, the first anticipated graduating class of the Sports Management program at Westminster College is joining in the festivities by paying homage to the day through "signing" letters of intent to their future career pursuits. 

Kylie Cook, signing a letter of intent for her first membership with the WBCA, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, and WISE, Women in Sports & Events (the Pittsburgh chapter), to pursue interests in her hometown as well as the intercollegiate coaching ranks.

Kornel Foremski, signing his letter of intent to attend the Cleveland Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair in nearby Cleveland, Ohio, to hone his professional opportunities in this sector of sports business.

Raymond Shalvoy, also signing his letter of intent to attend the Cleveland Sport Sales Workshop and Job Fair in nearby Cleveland, Ohio, to enhance his professional opportunities in this sector of sports business.

Melissa Thomas, signing a letter of intent for her first membership with NACMA, National Association of College Marketing Administrator, to advance her pursuit of a career in collegiate sports marketing.

Zachary Walters, signing a letter of intent for his first membership with United Soccer Coaches, formerly NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America), to pursue a path into coaching in the intercollegiate ranks.

According to sports management program coordinator and associate professor Dr. Robert Zullo, the five seniors have served as excellent leaders for their underclassmen peers to emulate in future years.

"The first class of sports management majors have truly honed in on their career pursuits," Zullo said. "[This group of students] is excited to take their passion to the industry and their “signings” on National Signing Day reflect such." 

Though the sports management major is a new one on campus, the program is quickly growing in popularity due to the College’s dedicated approach to off-campus learning as well as the business-emphasis of the curriculum, the experiential learning opportunities and the career readiness emphasis. A greater majority of the students within the program pursue a double major in either sports management and business administration or sports management and marketing to further enhance their career preparation.

Those interested in attending Westminster College and studying sports management should reach out to Dr. Robert Zullo at to learn more about the competitive advantage a Westminster College education affords. 

Dr. Helen Boylan Spends Winter Break Mentoring HS Students Across the Region

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 15:54:00 EST


Some professors go above and beyond their duties to demonstrate their passion for teaching and cultivating the minds of the next generation of scholars. In addition to their commitment to their students, some professors expand their reach beyond their classrooms and into the lives of the young people who make up surrounding communities. Professor of chemistry Dr. Helen Boylan is one of those professors. Boylan spent her Winter break sharing her talents and mentoring students across the area by participating in two different outreach opportunities.  

In December, Boylan served as one of 14 female presenters at “A GEM Affair: Girls Engaging Mentors” hosted by the Butler County Community College at Lawrence Crossings. GEM is a program coordinated by the Lawrence County School to Work Program with a mission to inspire young girls to pursue careers in STEM fields or other non-traditional pathways. Approximately 140 9th grade girls from Lawrence County participated in the event, with small groups rotating around the various mentor presentations.

“This was a great opportunity for female students to be exposed to a wide variety of careers and to meet women who can serve as role models," said Boylan. The panel consisted of women with careers as a software engineer, metallurgist, detective, judge, and pilot to name a few.

(image) In addition to participating in GEM, Boylan also coordinated visits to the classroom of Sharpsville Area High School chemistry teacher and alumna Merrissa Nguyen '12. Boylan and Nguyen collaborated once more for the American Chemical Society (ACS) ambassadors program. Through the ambassador program, Boylan serves as a “science coach” and works with Nguyen to plan activities and connect classroom learning to the real world. Additionally, Nguyen’s school receives a $500 donation from ACS to support science education.

"The goal of the visit was to give the students an opportunity to perform a college-level lab and to address any concerns students had about applying to and/or going to college," added Boylan. 

During her visits with Nguyen’s chemistry classes, Boylan guided the high school students in a hands-on laboratory exercise on the separation of food dyes using column chromatography. Boylan and Nguyen are currently planning to bring the high school students to Westminster later this Spring to perform additional hands-on experiments using the equipment and facilities at the College.

For more information about her outreach efforts, contact Boylan at or 724-946-6293.

Westminster Community Says Thank You to Donors with G.I.V.E. Day Celebration

Sun, 04 Feb 2018 14:06:00 EST

(image) G.I.V.E. Day, Westminster’s tuition freedom day, marks the time of the year when tuition dollars are expended and gifts from donors fund the rest of the year. G.I.V.E. Day celebrates the importance of giving by expressing gratitude to the College’s donors. The day provides opportunities for the entire campus community to thank Westminster College’s donors.

This year’s G.I.V.E. Day celebration is on Wednesday, Feb. 7 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the McKelvey Campus Center. Students are encouraged to write handwritten postcards to mail, as well as create thank you videos and photos to share with donors via social media.

“Just about every aspect of Westminster is touched by the generosity of our donors,” says Amber Scalfari, director of the annual fund. “Our donors make it possible for current and prospective students to receive an affordable education at Westminster.”

In addition to decorating the McKelvey Campus Center, there will also be multiple photo areas, music by Titan Radio and several competitions running throughout the event. There will be a “Thank You” postcard writing competition in which the student organization with the most mail-able postcards written will win a pizza party. Every participant who writes a “Thank You” postcard will be awarded a raffle ticket per each completed and approved postcard and entered into a drawing to win a prize. There will also be a new “Donor Plaque Challenge.” Participants are encouraged to find donor plaques around campus, take a picture of/with the plaque and post it to social media. (Tag @westminsterpa or #GIVEDay2018, #MotherFairCares or #TitansLoveDonors).

For more information, contact Scalfari at or 724-946-6997.

Senior Managing Producer at ESPN to Shares Insight with Student Leaders

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 11:30:00 EST

Senior managing producer at ESPN Features Group and Westminster graduate Denny M. Wolfe will be this year's guest speaker at the Student Alumni Association (SAA) annual leadership dinner. Every year, SAA invites student leaders on campus to a dinner with remarks given by an influential alumni. With over 20 years experience working for ESPN, Wolfe will share some tidbits from his personal and professional journey.  Wolfe earned a BA in broadcast communications and a minor in speech communications from Westminster College in 1997. He grew up in Leechburg, Pa., and graduated from Leechburg High School in 1993. As a student, Wolfe engaged regularly with the Westminster College community. He served as WWNW-89FM’s sports director, DJ, and play-by-play/color announcer for Titans football games for three seasons, including the 1994 National Championship game in Portland, Ore. On the TV side, he worked as the station’s sports director, served as sports anchor, performed play-by-play and analyst roles for high school football games, hosted “Coach’s Corner,” and worked on the Titan TV Crew for remote broadcasts. With a background in journalism, Wolfe also contributed regularly to The Holcad as a sports writer. For three years, he also worked part-time on-campus for the A-V Services department, led by Gary Swanson. Wolfe served as an executive for several organizations. He was elected to the positions of president of Theta Chi fraternity, executive committee member of the Inter-fraternal Council, vice president of the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, and vice president of the Ice Hockey Club. Along with serving in the Student Senate, he served as public relations chair to the Student Government Association. He was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa’s leadership society. Upon graduation, Wolfe landed his first job with the Valley News Dispatch (now a part of Trib Total Media) in Tarentum, Pa., as a part-time staff sports writer covering high school football, youth sports, and pro football. He left the newspaper in November 1997 to work for ESPN in Bristol, Conn. Hired on Nov. 24, 1997, Wolfe took a job as a temporary production assistant (PA) and worked on various jobs for ESPN’s flagship show, “SportsCenter,” including nightly highlights of games. After being promoted from temporary to full-time PA in June 1998, he earned staff positions on “Sunday NFL Countdown,” “NFL Primetime,” “Baseball Tonight,” and “NHL2Night.” While covering hockey, Wolfe discovered his passion for telling feature stories on athletes, just as he did in the newspaper business. These opportunities led to promotions to associate producer and feature producer at the network. In 2011, Wolfe became senior managing producer in the ESPN Features group, a position he still holds today. Since joining the network, Wolfe has won four National Sports Emmy Awards and received more than two dozen nominations. He resides in Bristol, Conn., with his wife, Janet, and their three children, Avery, Brayden, and Carter. The leadership dinner takes place on Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. in the Witherspoon Rooms located in the McKelvey Campus Center.  For additional information, please contact Nicole Hunter at or 724-946-7373. [...]

Westminster College Preschool to Open Registration for 2018-2019 School Year, Feb. 5

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 10:09:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Preschool Lab will open enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year on Monday, Feb. 5 to Friday, Feb 9. Registration must be completed online. All children ages 3-4 are eligible to attend. 

“The Westminster College Preschool Lab provides a warm and nurturing environment that encourages children to freely explore, discover and create,” head teacher Debi Roud said. “Our curriculum is appropriate for each child’s developmental needs and offers a variety of activities that focus on social emotional, cognitive, physical and language development.”

The Westminster College Preschool Lab is committed to providing an excellent learning experience for the area’s children. The program is enhanced by the use of an innovative curriculum, well-trained staff, developmentally appropriate equipment and individual attention. College students also gain experience with young children through observation, volunteer opportunities, and as members of the teaching team. The program is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

To obtain further information please contact the psychology program office at 724-946-7284, or visit the preschool registration site.

My Story: Anna Daniels '18

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:24:00 EST


All Settled In

“At Westminster, I have gained skills that I would not have gotten at a larger school—like working with other people outside of class group projects. By working with many different types of people, I feel like I am much more prepared to join the work force. 

I've never been someone who has 100% known what I've wanted to do with my life, so going to a specialized school wasn't an option for me. Westminster gave me a great scholarship and I knew that they had great programs in a wide variety of fields. Coming here made me a completely different person. I have gained confidence in myself and my abilities, which helped me come out of my shell. I hope that every other student here can feel the same amount of growth that I have.” 

Anna always knew she had interests in studying both business and psychology but still chose to come to Westminster as an exploratory major. After joining a few organizations and settling into her coursework, she eventually found niche as a business administration major and prominent leader on campus.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Gabrielle

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 13:24:00 EST


The Makings of a Future Nurse

The world of nursing has so many opportunities and options for women. I want a career that will allow me to help others and to give back, so my ultimate goal is to become a nurse anesthetist. I’m most looking forward to the hands-on experience I will get during our clinicals at the hospital.

Westminster College is preparing me for my future by providing me opportunities to learn, lead and grow not only as a student, but also as a person. Westminster has given me student-life balance. In addition to my academics, I am a student athlete on the women’s soccer team and a Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sister. All of these experiences are contributing to the strong and confident person that I am becoming so I will be ready for the next step in my journey—becoming a nurse. 

Gabrielle Diamond is a sophomore pre-nursing major.

Westminster’s Early College Launched for High School Students

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:46:00 EST

(image) Academically-prepared high school students will be able to earn college credits through Westminster’s Early College (EC) starting in the summer of 2018. The launch of the program will allow EC Scholars to earn up to a year of college credits before finishing high school.

High school students can apply for the program beginning in their sophomore year. If accepted into the program, EC Scholars will come to Westminster to complete courses  during the school year and/or special two-course sequences over the summers leading into their junior and senior years. 

“We know from educational research that students do better in college after they have had preparatory experiences on a college campus,” Dean of the college and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffrey Coker said. “They make better grades and graduate at higher rates.”

EC Scholars may complete up to 32 college credits by the time they graduate from high school, which saves thousands of dollars in college tuition. EC Scholars who enroll at Westminster College are eligible for a refund for up to 32 credits. 

“The Westminster Early College is a tremendous opportunity for high school students in the region to experience real college courses, get ahead and save money,” Coker said.

Regardless of the classes EC Scholars take, credits from courses such as communications, business, biology, art, computer science and more can transfer to other colleges and universities to fulfill requirements for a variety of majors. 

“There are a range of ways that high school students can earn credits for college, but the Early College is a higher quality option for students who want a more authentic taste of the college experience,” said Coker.

For more information on fees and specific classes offered, visit or contact the Admissions Office at 724-946-7100 or

Written by Megan Simpson

Grammy Award Winning Musician Headlines Westminster College’s Spiritual Emphasis Series

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:12:00 EST

(image) Grammy award winning musician and “empowerment facilitator” Bakithi Kumalo will spend a week at Westminster College sharing his message “Take Chances, Have Courage.” Kumalo’s appearance will kick off the spring sector of the Spiritual Emphasis Westminster speaker series sponsored by the college’s Office of Faith and Spirituality.

“Take Chances, Have Courage” captures Kumalo’s upbringing in South Africa during Apartheid, a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination that existed in South Africa between 1948 and 1991. Born and raised in Soweto, the famous Johannesburg township that was also home to Nelson Mandela, Kumalo will talk about Mandela’s influences as an anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist and share the changes he witnessed first-hand upon the abolishment of the Apartheid regime. Kumalo will also talk about the history and evolution of Paul Simon’s landmark album Graceland, in which he played a major role.

Accompanied by The South African All Star Band, Kumalo and his colleagues will give multiple presentations and performances throughout the week of Feb. 12- Feb. 19. The featured guests will play traditional South African classics that include earthy rhythms, rich melodies and songs sung in Zulu, one of South Africa’s official languages. They will also visit various African-American history and music courses while on campus.

On Monday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Wallace Memorial Chapel, there will be a movie presentation of Under African Skies. The movie chronicles the story behind the incredible journey, history and evolution of Paul Simon’s album Graceland and an exploration of the cultural and political climate of South Africa 25 years ago. With the compelling perceptions of anti-apartheid activists and music legends, this film is a profound rumination on the role of the artist in society.

On Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel, Mr. Kumalo will be the guest speaker during the evening service. Music will be provided by Kumalo and The South African-All Star Band.

Kumalo and The South African All Stars Band will give a full concert on Monday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. General admission cost is a $10 donation that will go to support hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. Westminster College students are free.

All SEW events are open to the public.

To learn more about Bakithi Kumalo, visit

For more information about the SEW series, Diane Gabriel at or 724-946-7117.

Foster Art Gallery Hosts “Confluence: An Exhibition of Sculpture and Painting”

Tue, 23 Jan 2018 09:14:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Foster Art Gallery will host “Confluence: An Exhibition of Sculpture and Painting,” an art exhibition featuring sculptures and paintings by Tony Armeni, Dan Newman and Tracy Segreti of Youngstown, Ohio. The exhibit runs from Jan. 15-Feb. 9. Armeni and Segreti will present artist lectures in the gallery Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.

Artist Bios:

Tony Armeni’s work is primarily welded steel or ceramic. Some pieces explore the balance and boundaries between man and nature. Others might tell time (sun dials), give birds a place to bathe and drink (bird baths) or provide a place to park a bicycle (sculptural bike racks). His academic background in formal design enables him to create works both large and small. Over the span of his artistic career, Tony developed two main bodies of work. The first includes smaller, more precious objects that incorporate elements of nature and the man-made. The second is a series of works at human scale. Most of his pieces are abstract, steel and rusty brown—an homage to his rust belt town. 

Mythology, anxiety and personal experience are common starting points for the work of sculptor Dan Newman. Working with a range of scale and medium, Dan uses esoteric symbolism to express his ideas and emotions. Dan earned his BFA at Youngstown State University and is currently the sculpture shop technician at Bucknell University.

After graduating from Youngstown State University with a BFA in graphic design and printmaking, Tracy Segreti continued to make art and fully immersed herself in the Youngstown art community. She was instrumental in starting the group “Artists of the Mahoning Commons” in the Ward Bakery Building. This group hosts semi-annual open studio shows that bring a large audience from near and far. These shows have become popular and continue to grow each year, contributing to the economy of the local art community. In addition, she participates in the Summer Festival of the Arts on the YSU campus and was recently a part of a two-person exhibition at the SOAP Gallery in Youngstown, OH.

The Foster Art Gallery is located in Patterson Hall and is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Zickefoose at 724-946-7267 or

Senior Mathematics Major Presents Research at Conference in CA

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 15:45:00 EST

(image) Senior mathematics major Trevor Arrigoni presented his research at the AMS/MAA Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, CA, on January 10-13. The conference is the largest meeting of mathematicians in the world, with over 6,300 attendees this year. 

Arrigoni conducted this research as a part of the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Texas at Tyler during the summer of 2017. He and his research group presented their findings to professors from different universities during a poster session.

“Seeing other people come up to our poster, enthusiastic about listening to our research, was an amazing thing,” Arrigoni said. “The fact that other people think our research is interesting and useful is amazing.”

The group looked at Inverse Semi-Group Theory, which is used to understand certain fields within physics. Even though he only presented once at the conference, Arrigoni used his additional time to attend other presentations.

“Even listening to a talk where I had no prior background knowledge of the specific field was interesting,” he said. “As with any subject, there is always a lot to learn and it showed me just how much there is out there in the field of mathematics.”

Upon graduating in the spring, Arrigoni hopes to attend graduate school before pursing his Ph.D. in mathematics. 

Written by Megan Simpson

Westminster College Music Faculty Present Trumpet and Piano Recital

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 14:35:00 EST

(image) Dr. Timothy Winfield and Dr. Nancy DeSalvo will present their trumpet and piano recital, “Musical Shorts and Landscapes,” on Friday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wallace Memorial Chapel at Westminster College. The recital is free and open to the public.

During the recital, Winfield and DeSalvo will premiere the latest compositions by Dr. Jason Howard and award-winning composer Joshua Hobbs. The recital will also feature music written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Walter Hartley, John Williams and Herbert L. Clarke.

Winfield is an assistant professor of music at Westminster where he directs the Westminster College jazz ensemble. He teaches private trumpet, trumpet ensemble, brass chamber music, brass pedagogy, general music methods, introduction to classic jazz, introduction to western music and band practicum. Winfield completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in trumpet performance from the University of Southern California.

DeSalvo is currently an associate professor and chair of the Department of Music at Westminster. She teaches applied piano, vocal and instrumental accompanying/coaching, piano techniques courses, coaching students, capstone and music history. Dr. DeSalvo completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music/ Case Western Reserve University in Collaborative Piano, where she was a student of Anne Epperson. Recently her recording of two new piano sonatas by Daniel Perttu and Jason Howard has been accepted for expected commercial release in February, 2018.

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

Shauna Braun Zukowski ’92 to give 31st Annual Christy Lecture, Feb 11

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:47:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host the 31st annual Wayne H. Christy Memorial Lecture on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Wallace Memorial Chapel. Eight-time All American swimmer and secondary school administrator Shauna Braun Zukowski '92 will speak on her experiences as an educator, administrator, wife, mother and survivor of a ruptured brain aneurysm. 

Zukowski began her career teaching math and coaching swimming in Virginia and at Kiski Area High School. After earning her Masters from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her principal’s papers from Saint Francis University, she returned to Westminster College to earn her superintendent’s papers. Following, she was the administrator at Burrell High School, Highlands Middle School and Armstrong School District. 

Zukowski again continued her education and earned her Ph.D. from Robert Morris University in Instruction Management and Leadership. Amidst her educational initiatives, Zukowski married and mothered two children.

The Wayne H. Christy Memorial Lecture series honors the late Dr. Christy, who was a long-time faculty member and chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Westminster College. As Dr. Christy dedicated his life to relating the heritage of faith to the emerging issues of a changing culture, the lecture series seeks out men and women who distinguish themselves by relating Christian faith to issues of contemporary life.

The event is free and open to the public. A reception, sponsored by the Office of Faith and Spirituality, will be held after the lecture.

For more information, contact Diane Gabriel at 724-946-7117 or

Westminster College Students Travel to Ecuador for Field Experience

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 15:14:00 EST

(image) While some of us were bundling up in these frigid temperatures, Dr. Marosh Furimsky and Dr. Joseph Balczon led a group of 30 Westminster students in traveling throughout Ecuador as part of a two-week academic field experience. Westminster's biology program offers both domestic and international travel experiences as part of the curriculum for students. While in Ecuador, the group observed and identified many different species of native and endemic animals and plants including the famous Darwin's finches, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies.

This particular trip was part a field experience offered by Balczon and Furimsky.

The group visited different sites including the city of Quito, Cotopaxi National Park, Otavalo, the Cuyabeno River in Amazonia and the various Galapagos Islands. Throughout the trip, the students were fully immersed in the different cultures of Ecuador. They climbed the side of a snow covered volcano at over 4500 m (15,000 feet), hiked through the Amazon rainforest and even snorkeled the reefs of the Galapagos! 

Westminster College Student-Athletes Honor MLK by Volunteering at Local Organizations

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:51:00 EST

(image) Not only does Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrate the famous activist’s legacy, MLK Day is usually celebrated with various acts of service conducted by organizations across the nation. Being that service is one of Westminster’s core values, it is no surprise that approximately 150 student-athletes and faculty/staff came together to volunteer at local organizations to honor Dr. King.

Westminster’s Day of Service was coordinated thanks to a joint effort between the Office of Faith and Spirituality, Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the athletics department. The day began with an honorary breakfast featuring guest speaker Rev. Dr. James Henderson Harris, Sr., pastor of the St. James AMEC in Pittsburgh. Soon after, the volunteers left for their assignments.

Campus ministry fellow Stephanie Lehman was responsible for coordinating the “Day of Service” and building relationships with local organizations. Lehman was able to send volunteers to 17 different organizations in Western PA and North-Eastern Ohio including the Salvation Army (Sharon & Grove City), the Rescue Mission, Crisis Shelter of Law. Co. and Children’s Advocacy Center to name a few.

“As the service learning and civic engagement coordinator on campus, it made sense for me to be the person reaching out and building relationships with our local organizations and agencies,” said Lehman. “I hope our student volunteers were challenged and enlightened by their experiences on MLK day.”

The volunteers spent the day completing different tasks ranging from delivering meals to painting classrooms to sorting donated goods. While some of the work was may have menial, leaders of the different organizations reported that the work completed by the volunteers was incredibly helpful.

Now that the Day of Service is complete, the next step for the chapel office is to evaluate the effectiveness of the overall experience for students and the local organizations. The goal is to build lasting relationships with the organizations to increase the likelihood of future partnerships.

“I certainly hope that the [Day of Service] is something we continue to do in the future,” added Lehman. “Learning about and supporting organizations and agencies in our local area is imperative in creating a strong community where everyone has the opportunity to be successful.”

Westminster College Sports Management Program Partners with Cleveland Cavaliers

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:09:00 EST

(image) While Westminster sports management students will not be tasked with guarding all-star LeBron James, they will have to find ways to market his team and sell tickets to an upcoming home game. Dr. Robert Zullo, program coordinator for Westminster’s new sports management major, has implemented a partnership where students in his “Sports Event Planning & Management” course are actively engaged in the sales process through an experiential learning project.

“We are excited to partner with a championship organization and one of the greatest players to ever step on the court as we hone our sales skills,” noted Dr. Zullo. “Many schools simply read about sales, but we want the Westminster students to engage in the process through product knowledge, prospecting, needs assessment, closing and customer satisfaction.”

 Zullo has previously partnered with the Pittsburgh Pirates to teach ticket sales and compares the assignment to a true training camp that better serves the students’ development.

Mark Mazzagatti, senior group events specialist with the Cavs remarked, “the Cleveland Cavaliers are excited to work with Dr. Zullo's Sports Event Planning & Management class as it will provide the Westminster College students an in-depth collaborative sales partnership. This opportunity will only better prepare those in his class for the sports business industry and offer a real-life experience they are sure to remember."

The tickets are for the Thursday, April 5th home game against the Washington Wizards, led by their all-star guard John Wall, with an 8 p.m. tip. For more information on how you can order tickets, contact Dr. Zullo at and he will connect you with the student sales ambassadors in the course. Orders can be placed no later than Tuesday, February 27th.

Though the sports management major is a new one on campus it is quickly growing in popularity due to the College’s dedicated approach to off-campus learning as well as the business-emphasis of the curriculum, the experiential learning opportunities and the career readiness emphasis. Those interested in attending Westminster College and studying sports management should reach out to Dr. Robert Zullo to learn more about the competitive advantage a Westminster College education affords.

For more information, contact Zullo at or visit our sports management webpage.

CALL and Jake Erhardt International Film Series Present Sixth Annual Tournées Film Festival

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 15:18:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Division of Communications, Arts, Languages and Literature (CALL) and the Jake Erhardt International Film Series will present its sixth Tournées Film Festival beginning Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in Mueller Theater (located in the McKelvey Campus Center). Over the next six weeks, five contemporary and one classic French films will be displayed every Tuesday evening.

Each film will be introduced by a Westminster College faculty member or student and will be followed by a discussion. These events are free and open to the public. All films will be in French with English subtitles. The films will be shown in the following order:

Jan. 23: L'avenir (Things to Come)

Jan. 30: Ma vie de courgette (My Life as a Zucchini)

Feb. 6: Frantz

Feb. 13: Fatima

Feb. 20: Les dernières nouvelles du cosmos (Latest News from the Cosmos)

Feb. 27: La noire de (Black Girl)

Tournées is made possible through a grant awarded by the French-American Cultural Exchange and sponsors Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée, Franco-American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation, and Highbrow Entertainment.

For more information, contact associate professor of French and Spanish Dr. Ann Murphy at or 724-946-3046.

Online Graduate Education Programs at Westminster College Recognized by U.S. News & World Report

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:58:00 EST

(image) Westminster College was recognized by U.S. News & World Report for having one of the “Best Online Graduate Education Programs” in the country. Programs were ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence, including student engagement, student services and technology, admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training, and peer reputation.

Westminster College’s no. 197 spot in U.S. News’ national ranking of best online graduate education programs marks the success of the Graduate School’s decision in 2015 to create online versions of its well-respected educational offerings. This national recognition confirms that Westminster’s graduate students are receiving the same quality education that on-campus students have received for over 70 years.

The graduate program in education at Westminster offers online degree and certification-only tracks, including master’s degrees in education, school counseling, dual special education/reading specialist, school principal, school superintendent and the newly-added master of art degree in clinical mental health counseling.

The M.A. in clinical mental health counseling is a 60 credit-hour cohort program aimed at developing a professional counseling identity. The program features tracks in adult, youth and school counseling, with specialty study options in trauma and rural/distance counseling.

The Graduate School at Westminster offers rolling admissions, which means that students can enter the program during any of the following months: January, March, May, July, August or October. New courses start every eight weeks. This year Westminster will also offer more online classes for undergraduate students during this year’s summer session, which begins on June 4, 2018. 

For more information, contact The Graduate School at Westminster College at or 888-378-2779.

Tough as a Titan: Carrie Whisel '14

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:47:00 EST

Imagine being flown to an undisclosed location with nothing but a backpack and piercing anticipation of what’s to come. Feel your heartbeat banging on the walls of your chest and the butterflies running marathons in your stomach knowing that you were chosen for the adventure of a lifetime. Now imagine how alumna Carrie Whisel ’14 must’ve felt when she learned she was chosen as one of two finalists to test Columbia Sportswear gear during a seven-day outdoor excursion in some of the most extreme conditions. As part of Dick Sporting Goods’ (DSG) Team of Toughness, Carrie discovered how tough she truly can be. After graduating from Westminster in 2014 with a degree in psychology and minor in human resources, Carrie embarked upon a career with DSG as part of the University Relations team. Within two years of working for DSG, she was promoted to campus recruiter. Although traveling to different college campuses to meet students can be quite the adventure, applying to be part of DSG’s Team of Toughness proved to be the most thrilling adventure she’s had with the company thus far. DSG’s Team of Toughness is a marketing campaign that was created in collaboration with Columbia Sportswear’s “Directors of Toughness,” a program led by Mark Chase and Faith Briggs who test gear for Columbia. Mark and Faith have faced some of nature’s many rushing waters, highest points and most extreme conditions. Two lucky finalists would be given the opportunity to accompany them during their next expedition.  DSG employees from all over the country were encourage to apply by submitting a one-minute clip detailing why they are “tough.”  “I had waited until the last minute to submit an application, because I honestly didn’t think I would get chosen,” admitted Carrie. “I created my video haphazardly on my iPhone and hoped for the best!” Much to Carrie’s surprise, she was contacted a few days later informing her she was one of 10 associates chosen to interview out of 100+ video submissions. Soon after, she was flown to Boulder, Colo., for an interview that was no ordinary interview. Her day started with a 5 a.m. wakeup call and hike up the scenic, breathtaking Realization Point Trailhead. After completing the arduous climb, Carrie immediately sat down for an intense round of questioning that further tested her grit. Leaving her best efforts at the top of Realization Point, Carrie headed back home to Pittsburgh. A few days later, she was surprised with confetti and a letter notifying her that she had been selected as one of the “toughest.” Before she knew it, her ticket to Portland was booked, and she was on her way to meet with Columbia’s marketing team and the Directors of Toughness, Mark and Faith.  Carrie arrived to Portland, Ore., with nothing but a backpack and excitement to start her two missions alongside her associates. The group received their first assignment after arriving in the San Juan Islands, off the Washington coast. Tasked with learning to sea kayak, finding a pod of orcas, camping on an island, jumping off a cliff and trail running up the side of a mountain, the group only had 48 hours to complete their mission. With nearly a half an hour to spare, the team[...]

Westminster College Hosts Community Breakfast and Day of Service in honor of MLK Jr. Day, Jan. 15

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 09:52:00 EST

(image) Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality and Office of Diversity and Inclusion are hosting a "Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast" on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 8:30 AM in the Witherspoon Rooms in the McKelvey Campus Center at Westminster College. The campus and community are invited to attend the celebration of Dr. King's legacy. Admission is $5.00 and payable at the door.

Guest speaker for the breakfast is Pittsburgh native Rev. Dr. James Henderson Harris, Sr., pastor of the St. James AMEC, Pittsburgh PA. Rev. Harris has had a long productive career serving the AME Church for 43 years, beginning his ministry at the age of 17. He received his BA from Wilberforce University in 1989; his MDiv from Payne Theological Seminary in 1992; and his DMin from United Theological Seminary in 1995.

Following the breakfast approximately 150 Westminster College student athletes are participating in a "Day of Service," volunteering at various community organizations across the area. Throughout the day, the group of students will serve the Salvation Army (Sharon & Grove City), City Rescue Mission, Crisis Shelter of Law. Co., Children’s Advocacy Center, Habitat for Humanity, Making Kids Count, Mobile Meals Trumbull, Camp Crestfield, St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, Oh Wow! Kids, Pine Valley Bible Camp, WC Field Station, Children’s Aid Society of Mercer County and Aware Inc.

Coordinators of the MLK Breakfast are Rev. Jim Mohr, chaplain and director of church relations; Rev. Jeannette Hubbard, director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion; and Stephanie Lehman, campus ministry fellow in the Office of Faith and Spirituality.

For further information or questions, contact Ms. Lehman at 724-946-7405.

Valuable Experiences: Megan Douds '18

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 09:30:00 EST

(image) Not only is senior psychology major Megan Douds a familiar face around campus, she also epitomizes the essence of what Westminster offers students—a quality education and holistic personal and professional development.

“Westminster has definitely shaped me into the person I am,” says Megan. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and being independent while at Westminster.”

Although Megan admits it took her a few major changes before she settled into her discipline, Westminster’s rich liberal arts tradition allowed her to explore all of her interests and even pick up a minor in communications. And now that she’s finished with her psychology capstone project, Megan says she feel very well-rounded and prepared after going through the program.

“My favorite part of the psychology department is the wide range of specialties that the faculty have,” she shared. “All of the professors truly care about the students and go above and beyond for us. My peers are so supportive and involved—it’s a family.” 

In between juggling a full course load and serving as captain of the swimming and diving team, Megan is also president of her sorority, a student philanthropy ambassador, and a member of Titan Guides and the Student Alumni Association. She also gives community swim lessons on the side.

“All of my experiences here have shaped me to be driven and compassionate. I’ve been able to be myself while at Westminster, and I’m so thankful for my time here and all of the people I’ve met.” 

While the Westminster experience is unique for each Titan, one thing students and alumni share is the tight-knit WC community that remains “home” for years to come. Westminster fosters many opportunities for collaboration with peers, faculty and alumni. Our academic curriculum provides plenty of chances for experiential learning through invigorating classroom instruction, undergraduate research and practical internships. A Westminster education sets the foundation for a successful future.

“Westminster has given me so much real-world experience. From conducting my own research and different internships to just learning skills that will help me as I interview and apply for jobs, I couldn’t have asked for a better undergraduate experience.”

Dr. R. Tad Greig Spreading Music Throughout the Region

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 10:50:00 EST

(image) Dr. R. Tad Greig, director of instrumental activities and professor of music at Westminster College, is busy making music throughout the area during the first couple weeks of January. On Thursday, Jan. 4, Dr. Greig is guest conducting the Lawrence County All-Star Band, a collection of the top instrumentalists from the 8 area high schools, at Westminster at 7:00 p.m. This is a one-day event, featuring both a junior high honors band and a senior high honors band.

"I have done this one in the past and really enjoy the opportunity to work with my area colleagues and their fine students," said Greig. 

The following week, Greig travels to Warren, PA to be the guest conductor for the PMEA, District 2, High School Honors Band. This band is comprised of students from Crawford, Erie, Warren, McKean, Potter, Elk, and Cameron Counties.

"This festival is very special to me personally as I started my teaching career 34 years ago in Warren County," Greig added.

Greig has been a guest conductor, clinician and guest lecturer throughout the Eastern United States. As a guest conductor, he has worked with junior high, senior high and collegiate bands throughout his career.

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

Humans of Westminster: Meet Danielle

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 10:04:00 EST


Sister, Sister

Choosing to attend Westminster was a difficult choice for me. My sister was already in her freshman year here when I was doing my college search, and although she and I are really close, I didn’t want people to think I was only coming here to be “just like her” or that I’m not my own person. However, after visiting her one weekend that year and spending the night, I woke up feeling like I could continue to stay, and it would feel completely natural.

From that morning, even though I didn’t admit it right away, I knew I would end up here. Now, I’m so happy that I did. Though I’m only a sophomore, I’ve already made lasting relationships here and received multiple opportunities that have helped me grow not only in my major and minor, but also just as a person in general. I truly feel like I was meant to end up here at Westminster, and it’s not just because my sister goes here, too.

Danielle Grady is a sophomore public relations major and marketing minor.

Sports Management Students Head to Pittsburgh For Professional Development Conference

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 09:40:00 EST

Students Ashley Chorney, Kevin Cusick and Michael Spencer attended the annual Sport Management Conference at Robert Morris University last semester as part of their new major’s continuing effort to embrace professional development beyond the campus classroom. The conference afforded networking opportunities with such organizations as the San Antonio Spurs, NCAA, Cleveland Cavaliers, Madison Square Garden, Dick’s Sporting Goods corporate and additional professional sports teams. Workshops featured such contemporary issues as sports analytics, digital social media and team sales. Though Ashley is only in her first year at Westminster she felt compelled to attend to begin networking and to gain further insight on career preparation. Starting early allows her the opportunity to get connected to those in the industry in the specific areas of her internship and job pursuits. She called the conference “eye opening” and encouraged her peers to attend future events to gain new contacts and referrals. Michael noted how the conference served as a nice complement to the Professional Networking Symposium that Westminster College hosts each year. He thoroughly enjoyed the roundtable discussions and looks to employ the tips offered by those working in the sports business industry in order to become more marketable. He also spoke highly of the chance to make connections and encouraged his peers to attend as many conferences as possible, especially given the competitive nation of the sports management industry. Students in the Westminster College sports management program will look to continue their travels in 2018 with trips to conferences and career fairs in Pittsburgh and Cleveland during the spring semester, taking advantage of the close proximity of the two metropolitan areas. They also aspire to a summer trip to Washington DC for additional professional development in intercollegiate athletics through the annual NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) and CoSIDA Conventions (College Sports Information Directors of America). Though the sports management major is a new one on campus it is quickly growing in popularity due to the College’s dedicated approach to off-campus learning as well as the business-emphasis of the curriculum, the experiential learning opportunities and the career readiness emphasis. Those interested in attending Westminster College and studying sports management should reach out to Dr. Robert Zullo to learn more about the competitive advantage a Westminster College education affords. For more information, contact Zullo at or visit our sports management webpage. [...]

Westminster College Announces Environmental Symposium Awards

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:31:00 EST

Westminster College hosted the 10th annual Student Symposium on the Environment on Dec. 7, 2017. The symposium featured 75 student presenters from 11 regional institutions, with high school through graduate students participating. The event is cosponsored by Westminster College and the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition, and awards are made possible through the generosity of Stream Restoration Inc. A total of eight student presentations were recognized, including two presentations from Westminster College. The following students were recognized: Best Environmental Project  Anna Cowie, Westminster College (Dr. Ann Throckmorton)  "A new method to prepare yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) core samples for age measurement" Honorable Mention Environmental Project  Samantha Laurence, Slippery Rock University "Systematic Review of Outcomes of Place- based Education"   Best Research Poster  Shadrack Ampomah, Youngstown State University "The influence of Land Use on Sediment Quality in Mill Creek Watershed, Mahoning County Ohio"   Honorable Mention Research Poster  Grant Gagnon, Westminster College (Dr. Marosh Furimsky)  "The pesticide malathion causes decreased growth in developing zebrafish"  Best Oral Presentation Sydney Tomechko, Indiana University of Pennsylvania  "Small Mammal Presence and Abundance at Jennings Environmental Education Center" Honorable Mention Oral Presentation  Tyler Hunt, Allegheny College  "Survival Rates of Foslomia candida When Subjected to Structured Concentrations of an Alcohol Ethoxylate Surfactant in a Controlled Environment"  Best High School Project  Dalton Fussnecker, Struthers High School  "Yellow Creek Stream Study"   Honorable Mention High School Project  Jonathan Micsky, Brianna Pennington, Caylee Jayne & Kyle Wingard, Greenville Sr High School  "Quantifying the Health of the Middle Shenango River: A Multi-year Study of Riffle Fish Assemblages and Elemental Bed Sediment Analysis"  “This was our largest Symposium yet,” noted Dr. Helen Boylan, Westminster College professor of chemistry and program coordinator of environmental science. “I was impressed by all the great environmental work being done in our region.” The complete photo album from the event can be viewed online.  For more information, contact Boylan at or 724-946-6293. [...]

Westminster College Choir Tours Local Churches in Florida Area

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 10:35:00 EST

The Westminster College Choir will make their way across several Florida cities in January during their annual Spring semester tour. Under the direction of assistant professor of music and director of choral activities Dr. Don Schade, the choir is slated to perform at four different churches in the Sunshine State. Westminster College President Dr. Kathy B. Richardson will accompany the choir to Florida to continue her President on the Road tour, partaking in receptions hosted by various alumni and attending the performances along their route. All choir performances are free and open to the public; however, reservations are desired. Reservations can be made online at The College invites attendees to learn more about the College by attending the receptions as well. The first stop of the tour is Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the New Life Christian Church (located at 4701 Easy County Road 462 Wildwood, FL 34785). The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are due by Thursday, Jan 4. The choir will make their second stop on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at Westminster Presbyterian Church (located at 2555 58th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32966). The performance starts at 7 p.m. There will be a cookie and punch reception hosted by Board of Trustee Emeritus George Berlin following the performance. Reservations are due by Wednesday, Jan 3. Following their stop in Vero Beach, the choir’s next performance is Thursday, Jan. 11 at the First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland (located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive Lakeland, FL 33801). After the 7:30 p.m. performance, alumnus Dr. John "Mike" Loudon '70 will host a cookie and punch reception. Reservations are due Thursday, Jan. 4. On the last stop of the tour, the Westminster College Choir will welcome alumni and friends for a preconcert cookie and punch reception at 2:30 p.m. at the Church of the Palms Presbyterian Church (located at 3224 Bee Ridge Road Sarasota, FL 34239) on Sunday, Jan. 14. The preconcert reception will be hosted by Trustee Rev. Dr. Steve '80 & Amanda (Shanks) McConnell '80. The concert starts a 4 p.m., and reservations are due by Sunday, Jan.7. In addition to the choir performance receptions, a special alumni reception will be held at the Venice Golf & Country Club (located at 250 Venice Golf Club Drive, Venice, FL 34239) on Saturday, Jan. 13. This special reception will be hosted by Trustee Emeritus Dr. Robert Gardner ’57 and his wife Dr. Monika Becker. Alumni, parents and friends of the college are encouraged to make their reservations to attend by Jan. 6. For additional information, please contact Kara Montgomery at or 724-946-7364. [...]

Results of Collaborative Environmental Research Presented to Lawrence County Conservation District

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 09:03:00 EST

(image) Four students participating in the environmental science/studies capstone class presented the results of their research to the Lawrence County Conservation District during their monthly board meeting on Dec. 6, 2017, in New Castle, PA.

The students studied the impact of nutrient management plans on water quality near agricultural sites. Nutrient management plans are strategies adopted by livestock operations to address environmental concerns related to soil erosion, livestock manure, and disposal of organic by-products.

In collaboration with the local conservation districts, the students identified cattle and dairy farm locations within both Lawrence and Mercer counties. At each location, the students investigated water quality both upstream and downstream of the farm. They collected water quality data and sampled macroinvertebrates at farming locations with and without nutrient management plans.

The student results indicate that, with the exception of one site, water quality was generally good near farms. Because of the limited data set, the students did not find statistically significant differences between water quality near farms with a nutrient management plan and farms without a nutrient management plan. The students were able to provide the conservation district with important water quality data and to make suggestions for improving a research study like theirs.

"Working on my Capstone project this semester was a once in a lifetime opportunity," said environmental science major Leah Billingsley. "Not many people my age can say they conducted and presented their own research and even fewer can say they worked in collaboration with their local conservation district. It was an honor to be a part of the ES 2017 Capstone Team and an even bigger honor to have the help of the Lawrence County Conservation District."

The interdisciplinary capstone research project was mentored by Dr. Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Diana Ortiz, assistant professor of biology.

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

Robison, Clark-Williams '17 and Johnston '14 Represent Westminster at International Conference

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:16:00 EST

(image) Westminster College was represented at 2017 The American Society of Criminology Conference (ASC) by senior sociology major and 2017 Drinko Summer fellow Alicia Clark-Williams; associate professor of sociology & criminal justice Studies Dr. Kristenne Robison and alumna Tricia Johnston '14. This year's conference was held in Nov. 15-18 in Philadelphia, PA.

"Every year outstanding senior sociology and criminal justice studies majors make the trip to The American Society of Criminology to present their research," added Robison. 

Clark-Williams presented her capstone research titled "Citizen Perceptions of Citizen-Police Interactions," a study that analyzed people's perceptions and attitudes towards police officers in a city nicknamed "Steel Town". Clark-Williams said attending ASC really helped her decide to continue her research and pursue new research in the future.

"I loved ASC," said Clark-Williams. "I was complemented by many for my research and because I was an undergrad presenting at an international conference!"

After presenting, Clark-Williams and Dr. Robison sat on a roundtable about their experiences with the Inside-Out program. Dr. Robison also presented her research entitleed "Negotiating Hope and Frustration: Volunteer Experiences on a Prison Television Channel." Her research was featured during one of three panels on "The Penal Voluntary Sector".

Alumna Tricia Johnston '14 also presented at the conference. She presented her research titled "Community Structure and Property Crime: Does Social Disorganization Matter?" Johnston is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

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

Collaborating for Success: Launch of the Environment Project Management Academy

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:19:00 EST

To ensure Westminster College graduates are well-prepared to operate in highly technical workplaces, professors Dr. Helen Boylan, Dr. Alison DuBois, and Brian Petrus are using a combination of their respected expertise to launch the Environmental Project Management Academy (EPMA) at Westminster. As the world continues to make great technological and scientific strides, those trained to work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) remain in high demand. But many employers have expressed concerns that STEM undergraduates, while well-versed in their disciplines, lack the critical soft skills to be successful in the workforce. STEM employers, on the other hand, are concerned about non-STEM majors lacking the basic scientific literacies necessary to succeed. With this in mind, and after Boylan—professor of chemistry and program coordinator for the environmental science major— witnessed the positive results of environmental-science based service learning in her classroom, Boylan approached colleagues DuBois and Petrus and the concept for EPMA was born. And over this past summer, the trio learned they received a grant of more than $200,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund EPMA over the next three years. Under EPMA, sophomores and juniors pursuing either STEM or business majors will work together on a semester-long service learning project with a community partner. Boylan will lead the development and delivery of STEM educational content and hands- on experiences for the students. DuBois, professor of early childhood education, special education and counseling, is tasked with aligning the educational content and hands-on experiences with student learning objectives, directing instruction, and mentoring students on intangible skills. She will ultimately conduct the final assessment to determine the program for efficacy. “Effective communication is critical during implementation of a project,” said Dubois. “Students will participate in a leadership seminar to develop their communication microskills—active listening, paraphrasing, questioning, and providing feedback.” Petrus, assistant professor of business administration, will oversee student recruitment and developing the content for the project management aspect of the program for students. Using his 10+ years of business management and consulting experience, Petrus will also serve as mentor to students on business/project management. Due to its interdisciplinary conception, EPMA naturally took shape as a cluster course—a combination of two courses from different disciplines addressing the same topic. Students in the program will take a semester-long cluster course including an existing 100-level environmental science course (Principles of Environmental Science) and a new 200-level project management course (Principles and Practices of Project Management). “The cluster course requirement is one of the best examples of Westminst[...]

Final Touches: Stephanie Dorsch ‘18

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:04:00 EST

(image) Like many Westminster seniors, fine arts major Stephanie Dorsch is putting the final touches on her capstone project. Drawing inspiration from studying abroad in Costa Rica and Spain, her love of psychology and nature, Stephanie’s artwork was created to communicate what she describes as the common human experience.

“I was really reflective during my time abroad when I started creating the idea for my project,” Stephanie explained. “I was really inspired by the consequences of being human like language, vulnerability, narrow-mindedness, freedom, rights, senses and brainpower.”

Since traveling and meeting people from around the world, Stephanie’s love for psychology really blossomed into passion and essentially became the backbone of her capstone project. During her internship in Seville, Spain at BarroAzul Ceramic Studio, Stephanie recalls feeling like she saw humanity from a new perspective for the first time. In between translating and assisting with classes and studio work, Stephanie was able to collect different human experiences that she would later bring to life as she created her capstone project.

Though the undergraduate capstone process can be demanding, Stephanie is grateful to have a mentor in Professor Summer Zickefoose. Capstone truly challenges students to integrate all of the skills they have developed over the years and apply what they have learned. Fortunately for Stephanie, she feels like this process has allowed her to set the foundation for what kind of artist she strives to be in the future.

“I have so much respect and appreciation for Professor Zickefoose,” Stephanie shared. “She has provided so much guidance, professional critique and opportunities for me to learn and grow as an artist and student. She really challenged me to expand my project and directly influenced the overall evolution of the project.”

With capstone finally behind her, Stephanie’s next project is focusing on life after graduating this coming Spring. After graduation, she plans to take a year to apply for graduate programs in the psychology fields, specifically program that combines her interests in art therapy and its relation to neuropsychology. She is also interested in different international programs like the Peace Corps for example.

“As a fine art major, psychology minor, and biology minor, I often have a hard time narrowing down my interests,” Stephanie said. “It is amazing how a community so small like Westminster can be filled with so many opportunities. The most fascinating part about a college of this size is that, if you really wanted to, you can basically try it all.”

Humans of Westminster: Meet Megan

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 12:06:00 EST

(image) Crunch Time

This time of year, the campus is an oxymoron. On one hand, the buildings are beautifully decorated for Christmas, and there's a tangible excitement for the upcoming break. At the same time, there's a tangible feeling of anxiety as deadlines approach and finals loom over our heads. However, there's really no better time of year because it's during this time that I'm able to not just witness but to also be a part of such a close-knit community.

Professors serve us breakfast for dinner at Cram Jam, and time is taken out of schedules for tree lightings and Christmas Vespers. Professors leave Christmas wishes in your mailbox, and clubs use meetings to write cards to each other or random strangers. The library becomes a hub for both work and play, but it's really the people who surround you that get you through these last weeks. The anxiety is balanced by a community that isn't afraid to go out of its way to accommodate the stress of the season. Even though we can't wait to be done with the end of the semester, the Westminster Community makes it tough to want to leave when it's over.

Megan Simpson is a junior public relations major. 

Westminster Students and Faculty Send Letters to Congress Regarding Tax Policies for Grad Students

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:34:00 EST

(image) Westminster College students and faculty were given a chance to express their concerns regarding proposed changes to how graduate students may pay taxes. The version of the tax bill that was recently passed by the House of Representatives would significantly increase the tax burden on many graduate students. RESPAC, Westminster College's professional advisory committee for students interested in research and graduate school, organized a letter writing campaign for students and faculty members last week. The committee plans to send the letters to each participants’ respective hometown representatives.

"We felt it was important to raise awareness of this issue, since it could so strongly impact our undergraduates who have hopes of attending graduate school," RESPAC member and assistant professor of neuroscience Dr. Deanne Buffalari said. " I'd hate to see any of our students miss out on such an amazing opportunity due to their economic circumstances. It was great to see students get involved [with the writing campaign]."

Senior psychology major Katie Shaw was eager to write her letter because her long-term goal is to attend graduate school for occupational therapy.

“I have put in a lot of time and hard work to prepare for these plans,” Shaw said. “As graduation is fast approaching and I am beginning to apply to graduate schools, I would hate for these tax changes to prevent me from achieving my dreams."

The writing campaign produced nearly 100 letters that will be sent representatives.

For more information, contact Buffalari at or 724-946-7358.

*Photo provided by NY Daily News

Humans of Westminster: Meet Cait

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:13:00 EST

(image) A Family Affair

Westminster runs in my family’s DNA. From my grandparents who worked here years ago, my mom currently working here and my mom, dad and sister all attending here… it’s safe to say Mother Fair and my family are well acquainted. Ever since I was first introduced to Westminster at 9 years of age, I was made to feel like I belong. Although the school is small, the people here make you feel big and that you matter. Students here are not just a number or statistic at Westminster, we are faces and names that professors can remember outside of class, walking down the sidewalk. Mother Fair will always have a place in my heart and my family lineage.

Cait DeSantis is sophomore Marketing major.

Gaining a Global Perspective: Teresa Whetstone ’14

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:56:00 EST

College is a time where most people learn to navigate the world around them and map out the different routes towards a successful future. While the journey to success is full of winding turns, a strong moral compass usually leads us to where we are meant to be. After graduation, alumna Teresa Whetstone ’14 soon discovered her compass pointed towards China. Whetstone enlisted in Peace Corps China and spent two years serving in Wanzhou (wahn-joe), Chongqing (chohng-cheeng) in the People's Republic of China. There she spent most of her time teaching in the classroom or on-campus activities with students, many of whom have never interacted with someone not from China. “Serving in Peace Corps China was a life changing experience,” Teresa shared. “Westminster promotes a culture of service and philanthropy which prepared me mentally to get through a lot of the struggles I faced over there.” For Teresa, getting acclimated to life in China required some time to adjust to her new surroundings. After some in-country training, she found herself alone at her site and was reminded every time she stepped out of her apartment that she was a foreigner. Fortunately, the loneliness did not last long and she soon made many friends who were Chinese or foreigners like she was. “Every excursion was a learning experience,” she said. “Most people, strangers, were kind and patient and helpful.” Beyond her many learning experiences, service and teaching, Teresa gained valuable language and life skills that she brought home with her to the states. Teresa currently resides in the Cleveland, Ohio, area completing a pre-med post baccalaureate program at Cleveland State University. She plans to start medical school by the fall of 2020. Teresa claims it was a Westminster connection that set her on the path to medical school. “Several years ago, I had the opportunity to serve as a translator for a medical mission in Guatemala thanks to Ben Nelson ’06 connecting me to the Mission of Love,” she explained. “It completely changed my life. His mother, Dr. Kathie Nelson, encouraged me to look at becoming a doctor and over the past three years, that seed of a thought has grown into a sprout.” As she continues to blossom, Teresa is grateful for the roots she planted at Westminster. Even though she is not pursuing a career directly related to her fields of study, Teresa hopes to employ her liberal arts training to work with immigrant and migrant populations in the U.S. Most importantly, Teresa says the most inspiring experience she had at Westminster was studying under so many strong and intelligent women who are completely unafraid to call “it as they see it.” “In a world where strong women are told that they should sit down and be quiet, studying under and working alongside professors like Drs. Shannon Smithey, Bethany[...]

ENACTUS Hosts Holiday Event with The Confluence in New Castle, PA

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:10:00 EST

(image) Westminster’s chapter of ENACTUS is doing their part in spreading holiday cheer by hosting a holiday event with The Confluence coffee shop in New Castle, PA. On Friday, Dec. 8, “Westminster Wonderland” will take place to drive traffic to small businesses in New Castle and give students some reprieve from a long semester. 

For just $5, students can purchase a ticket to the event in New Castle. Each ticket includes ice skating, a viewing of Home Alone at the Warner Cascade Theatre Museum, live musical entertainment and holiday trivia. The event runs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and shuttle services are being offered for students.

“Westminster Wonderland is an amazing opportunity for students to release some stress before finals week and explore the city of New Castle,” ENACTUS vice president Erin Keich said. “We are happy to be able to provide this opportunity and support local businesses.”

ENACTUS is an organization that empowers organizations through entrepreneurial actions to shape a more sustainable world. The club meets weekly to develop their business-oriented service projects and works closely with The Confluence, a sister brand of Cray Youth and Family Services.

“We are proud to be working with Cray Youth and Family Services and The Confluence and helping them make a difference,” Keich said. “We love everything they are doing for the community and hope to continue our partnership.”

Westminster Wonderland will be part of the string of holiday events happening in New Castle during December to stimulate the local economy. Tickets will be sold during lunch hours in McKelvey Campus Center all week, and alumni and faculty are encouraged to participate. 

For more information, contact Keith Bittel, School of Business faculty and advisor of ENACTUS, at

Psychology and Neuroscience Seniors Prepare Capstone Presentations, Dec. 11

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:50:00 EST

(image) Eighteen psychology and neuroscience majors, including one research scholar, will present their senior capstone projects from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11 in Hoyt Science Resources Center rooms 150, 152 and 166.

Faculty advisors for the capstone projects are: Dr. Deanne Buffalari, assistant professor; Dr. Mandy Medvin, professor and coordinator of the program; Dr. Sherri Pataki, associate professor; Dr. Jessica Rhodes, assistant professor; and Dr. Sandra Webster, professor.

Capstone is a course that provides an opportunity for students to conduct in-depth research in their major. After completing their research project proposed during the spring semester of the junior year, the psychology and neuroscience students will present their research findings and discuss the implications of their work.

“I believe this opportunity to conduct undergraduate research with faculty is one of the greatest strengths of our program,” says Pataki. “This experience provides great preparation for graduate school and related careers, and our alumni often reflect back on how valuable this experience was to them following their graduation from Westminster.”

For more information, contact Pataki at or 724-946-7361

Senior Social Science and Humanities Majors Prepare for Annual Capstone Poster Session

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 10:33:00 EST

(image) Join senior criminal justice studies, history, international studies, political science and sociology students as they present their capstone research on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. in the Witherspoon Rooms of the McKelvey Campus Center. 

The Capstone Poster Session will highlight research projects carried out over the past year by senior majors in the afforementioned programs. Topics will range from reactions in the Pittsburgh area press to WWII Japanese internment, analysis of pro-life issues and political party identification, the use of the word” feminism” in major U.S. newspapers during the women’s liberation movement, to college students’ attitudes toward prison conditions and prisoners’ rights.

Light refreshments will be served during the poster session. 

For more information, contact Dr. Timothy Cuff at

Westminster College Christmas Vespers Scheduled for Dec. 10

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:21:00 EST


Westminster College’s Christmas Vespers service will be held on Sunday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The service is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

The annual worship service includes lessons and carols with familiar Christmas music performed by Westminster choral and instrumental ensembles; lighting of the advent candles; scripture readings; and a message delivered by Rev. James R. Mohr II, Westminster College chaplain. This year’s message is entitled “Expectant Waiting.” Senior students have the honor of sharing the readings and prayers during the service.

The Westminster Cable Network (WCN) will telecast the Christmas Vespers service live on cable television over Armstrong (Ch. 72, New Wilmington; Ch. 204, Grove City) and Comcast (Ch. 183, New Castle) Cable systems. The service will also appear live online at, and will be archived for on-demand viewing at

Following the service, the Chapel Staff will host a cookie reception and time of fellowship in Orr Lobby.

Contact Westminster’s Chapel Office at 724-946-7117 or for additional information.

Liberal Arts Living: Margaret Portmann ’19

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:17:00 EST

(image) The beauty of a liberal arts college is that students are not only able to try their hand in different disciplines, but they are encouraged to do so. Junior English major and marketing minor Margaret Portmann embodies the essence of Westminster’s liberal arts curriculum by letting her different interests complement one another.

Name it, and Margaret is probably involved in some way. She is a residence assistant, English desk operator, percussionist in the jazz ensemble, wind ensemble, captain in the marching band, an active member of Sigma Tau Delta, Mortar Board and sometimes a helping hand in the theater department. She even finds time to expand her musical passion by playing at independent gigs with different bands. 

“Because drums are my life blood, it only made sense that I continue [playing],” she said.  “If I’m not studying English or doing marketing, I have to have some sort of creative output, and I think that music is similar to how your head has to work whenever you write papers.”

As if her involvement with music and her major aren’t enough to keep her engaged on campus, Margaret is currently taking advantage of another campus opportunity outside of her discipline. She interns for Dr. Russell Martin, professor of history and editor in the chief of the Canadian-American Slavic Studies Journal, where she helps edit authors’ articles to go into the journal.

In addition to her many opportunities to grow at Westmister, Margaret says that the Westminster’s intimate community has enabled her to make connections with her professors so that she may receive the hands-on experience she needs to progress professionally.

“The intimacy is good from the professors, and I think that you can find ways to challenge yourself, and the professors are really good about accommodating that,” Margaret said. “You truly do get out what you put in, and Westminster gives you a good chance to do that.”

Living by the Nelson Mandela quote, “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” Margaret looks forward to expanding her English research through her capstone thesis even though she knows it will be anything but easy.

“Every time I have an assignment I think, ‘How am I going to finish 60 pages worth of papers,’ but then you do it and you realize that you really did,” she said.  “I’m proud of myself for that, and I just want to continue to push myself.”

Written by Megan Simpson

Westminster College Hosts 10th Annual Student Symposium on the Environment

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 10:33:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host the 10th Annual Student Environmental Symposium from 5:30-9:00 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7, in McKelvey Campus Center. Sponsored by Westminster’s Environmental Programs and the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition, the event is free and open to the public.

Seventy-five student researchers from Westminster College, Allegheny College, Chatham University, Geneva College, Saint Vincent College, Slippery Rock University, University of Pittsburgh, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Youngstown State University, Struthers High School and Greenville Sr. High School will present their research posters from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Witherspoon Rooms and will present oral presentations at 7:30-9 p.m. in Mueller Theater.

“The Symposium highlights student work in the region that relates to the environment, with student researchers from high school through Master's level,” said Dr. Helen Boylan, professor and program coordinator of Westminster’s environmental programs. “We would like to encourage those who are interested in the environment to come network with—and support—the student presenters.”

For additional information, contact Boylan at 724-946-6293 or or visit here.

Dr. Diana Ortiz, Dr. Tuesdae Stainbrook '91 & Erin Hassett '17 Present Research at ASTMH Conference

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 16:34:00 EST


Dr. Diana Ortiz, assistant professor of biology, and Westminster alumni Erin Hassett ’17 and Dr. Tuesdae Stainbrook ’91 presented a research poster at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) in Baltimore, MD earlier this November. The group presented their research on clinical and demographic characteristics of human Lyme disease in cases in Western PA.

“This study was conceived after Erin completed my epidemiology course (BIO 467) and wanted to expand on her research experience in epidemiology through an independent study project," said Ortiz. "Right around that time, Dr. Stainbrook gave a presentation for the biology program on her clinical work in infectious diseases." 

After discussing their common interest in Lyme disease, Ortiz, Hassett and Stainbrook teamed up to develop an epidemiological study to examine the clinical and demographic characteristics of human Lyme disease cases in Western Pennsylvania. During the study, Hassett was able to access electronic medical records, collect, and analyze epidemiological data for 109 patients. The success of her study resulted in a poster presentation at ASTMH, an international conference on infectious diseases.

In addition, Hassett presented a second research poster at ASTMH as a result of her summer internship at the Tennessee State Laboratory in Nashville. She was involved in both laboratory and field studies examining the distribution of container breeding mosquitoes and disease transmission risk in Tennessee. She was invited to continue her work in Tennessee for the next few months before attending graduate school in the fall.

“Successful collaborations and valuable internship experiences are great examples of the high-quality undergraduate research that Westminster students are capable of conducting. It also shows the impact that our alumni can have on their career paths. I am very proud of Erin’s work and persistence, and also very excited for her future contributions to public health,” said Ortiz.