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

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

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

Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:36:38 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

Dr. Aleprete Publishes Article on Russian Intervention in the Ukraine Crisis

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:03:00 EST

(image) Dr. Michael Aleprete, associate professor at Westminster College, recently published his article "Minimizing Loss: Explaining Russian Policy Choices during the Ukrainian Crisis" in the Soviet & Post Soviet Review. His article was published as part of a special issue focused on the Ukraine Crisis.

Aleprete’s research examined realist and liberal scholars of international relations differing interpretations of Russia’s decision to militarily intervene in Ukraine. After applying insights from the foreign policy decision making literature and a close examination of events from late 2013 through the Russian military interventions in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, Aleprete reveals the weaknesses in both the realist and liberal explanations of the crisis.

A link to the journal issue is available here:

Dr. Aleprete completed his undergraduate degree at Duquesne University and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. Trained in the areas of international conflict, international relations theory, and the comparative politics of the former Soviet Union, his research interests include, third party interventions in war, the political geography of border areas, U.S. and Russian foreign policy, nationalism and peacekeeping.

For more information, contact Aleprete at 724-946-7254 or

Cuff to Chair SSHA's Presidential Book Award Selection Committee in Montreal, Quebec Canada

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 08:51:00 EST

(image) Dr. Timothy Cuff, professor of history and chair of the division of social sciences and humanities, has been chosen by the Social Science History Association's (SSHA) publication committee to chair the SSHA’s Presidential Book Award Selection Committee in 2017.  This is Cuff’s second time to hold this position in the organization. 

The award given to an early-career scholar is awarded based on a book's scholarly significance, interdisciplinary reach and methodological innovativeness within the broad category of monographs analyzing past structures and events and change over time.

Cuff will announce the winner and award her/him the $1000 prize at the 2017 Annual Conference in Montreal, Quebec Canada, on November 4, 2017.

For more information, contact Cuff at or 724-946-6152.

Music Education Major Wins Philip H. Inman Excellence in Choral Conducting Arts Scholarship Award

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:58:00 EST

(image) Rachel Read, a senior music education major, was awarded the “Philip H. Inman Excellence in Choral Conducting Arts Scholarship Award” in December, 2016 at the annual Beaver Valley Choral Society concert at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Beaver Falls, PA.

"Rachel was recommended by the Music Faculty at Westminster to the Beaver Valley Choral Society,” says Dr. Daniel Perttu, associate professor of music and chair of the School of Music. “I am thrilled that she was selected.  She is an exemplary student here and certainly represents the values embodied by the award.  She truly deserves the honor." Read is a daughter of Robert and Ruth Read and a graduate of Penn-Trafford High School.

The Philip H. Inman Excellence in Choral Conducting Arts Scholarship Award is presented annually to an exceptionally qualified junior, senior, or post-graduate music student enrolled in one of five colleges in western Pennsylvania; Carnegie Mellon University; Duquesne University; Geneva College; Grove City College; and Westminster College.

According to the Beaver Valley Choral Society, the “Philip H. Inman Excellence in Choral Conducting Arts Scholarship” was created to honor Mr. Inman’s lifelong dedication to the study and performance of fine choral music.

For more information, contact Kristen M. Kuzma, academic administrative assistant in the school of music, at 724-946-7270 or

Resendes and Westminster Students Publish Cancer Biology Research in Apoptosis

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 15:37:00 EST

(image) Dr. Karen K. Resendes, associate professor of biology and coordinator of the molecular biology program, and a team of eight past and present Westminster College biology and molecular biology majors have published their cancer biology research entitled “5-Flurouracil disrupts nuclear export and nuclear pore permeability in a calcium dependent manner" in the journal Apoptosis: An International Journal on Programmed Cell Death.

Each of the eight student authors: Kelly J. Higby ‘16, Melissa M. Bischak ‘16, Christina A. Campbell ’15, Rebecca G. Anderson ‘15, Sarah A. Broskin ’14, Lauren E. Foltz ‘13, Jarrett A. Koper ’17 and Audrey C. Nickle ’18, contributed new data to the paper that they collected as part of experiments associated with various capstone studies, honors research thesis and independent study projects.  The overarching theme of their undergraduate research projects was to understand some aspect of the mechanism of action for various chemotherapeutic drugs, specifically as it related to the regulation of transport in and out of the cell nucleus during the process of cell death.

According Resendes, their results revealed a new mechanism of action for the chemotherapeutic 5-flurouracil (5-FU) in combination with other drugs during apoptosis. “These results open the door to other potential combination chemotherapies that employ 5-FU, which will prove to be another exciting area of research for my laboratory that we are excited to pursue further,” says Resendes. “It is always gratifying to be able to bring together the efforts of several student researchers into a cohesive story that is accepted for publication by my peers in the field of cell biology.”

Sarah Broskin ’14, first year graduate student in the Molecular and Cell Biology & Genetics (MCBG) PhD program at Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM), says the undergraduate research she completed while at Westminster helped her secure a clinical laboratory position within her field immediately following graduation.

“My undergraduate research set me apart from many other applicants and aided in my acceptance to numerous graduate programs,” says Broskin. “Most importantly, the opportunity to complete undergraduate research enhanced my passion and appreciation for science as a whole.”

All of the students attached to the research project have started their careers in the biotechnology industry, are in graduate programs or have plans to attend graduate or medical school.

The entire article is available online here: or view the entire journal:

For more information, contact Dr. Karen Resendes at 724-946-7211 or

R. Tad Greig to Provide Professional Development Session in the Butler Area School District

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:08:00 EST

(image) Dr. R. Tad Greig, professor and director of instrumental activities, will be presenting a session on effective conducting techniques to the music faculty in the Butler Area School District entitled "The Practical Art of Conducting". The professional development session will take place on January 23 at 2 PM at Butler Area High School.

Greig plans to discuss how to develop a non-verbal vocabulary in ensemble members and how to communicate efficiently yet expressively.

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

Westminster College Foster Art Gallery to Host Exhibition of Figurative Sculpture

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 11:00:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Foster Art Gallery will host In the Image and Likeness, an art exhibition of figurative sculpture by Elaina Michalski. The exhibition will run Jan 17 – Feb 10 in the Foster Art Gallery located in Patterson Hall. There will be a gallery reception on Tuesday, Feb 7 from 5-6 PM, with an artist talk at 5:15 PM. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Westminster College art lecturer, Summer Zickefoose says Michalski will be on campus February 7 and 9 to work with students in the hand-building ceramics course and to give an artist lecture at the gallery reception. “I particularly encourage students to attend the gallery reception, as it is a unique opportunity to hear directly from the artist and ask questions about their work," says Zickefoose.

Elaina Michalski is an artist based in Kansas City, Missouri where she teaches in the art department at Metropolitan Community College.  A native of Kansas City, she holds a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA in Multimedia Art, Ceramics, and Sculpture from the University of Florida. Her sculptures have been featured in Lark Books’ 500 Figures in Clay Volume 2 and The Figure in Clay and some of her awards include an Urban Culture Project Studio Residency through the Charlotte Street Foundation and an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant.

Michalski creates figurative sculptures ranging from small fired works for the home to life-size unfired figures in unique environments. Clay is Michalski’s material of choice for the figure because of the qualities it embodies in wet, dry, and fired states, which can represent the vulnerable and malleable stages in human life.

The Foster Art Gallery is open Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM.  The gallery hosts four to six exhibits annually, including work by Westminster students and faculty. Regional, national, and international artists are also brought to campus for exhibits and lectures.

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

Westminster Faculty Presents Trumpet and Piano Recital

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 09:27:00 EST

(image) Dr. Timothy Winfield, Assistant Professor of Music/Heritage Professor for Humanities, and Dr. Nancy DeSalvo, Associate Professor of Music, will present a recital of music for trumpet and piano. The recital will take place on Wednesday, January 25th at 7:30pm in Wallace Memorial Chapel. The recital is free and open to the public.

Adjunct Instructor of Trombone, Kevin McManus, will be joining them on one piece. This recital will feature the world premiere of Dr. Daniel Perttu's "Torngat," a sonata for trumpet and piano. Other pieces on the recital include Antonio Vivaldi's "Concerto in B-flat: RV548," Erik Morales' "Rhapsody," Joseph Turrin's "Fandango," Joshua Oxford's "Beethoven in the House" for trumpet and electronics, and Jean-Baptiste Arban's "Fantaisie Brillante."

For more information, contact Timothy Winfield at 724-946-7274 or

Chemistry Alumna and Professor Join Forces as part of ACS Chemistry Ambassadors Program

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 08:26:00 EST

(image) Chemistry alumna and Sharpsville Area High School teacher Merrissa (Malcolm) Nguyen '12 and Helen Boylan, Professor of Chemistry, have joined forces this year as part of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Ambassadors Program. Through this program, Boylan serves as a “Science Coach,” working with Nguyen to plan activities and connect classroom learning to the real world. Additionally, Nguyen’s school receives a $500 donation from the ACS to support science education.

Boylan visited Nguyen’s two chemistry classes in December. During her visit, the students completed a hand-on experiment on the chemistry of Alka Seltzer. Boylan also shared advice about choosing a major and led class discussion about the benefits and challenges of being a science major in college.

Boylan compliments Nguyen’s teaching style. “Mrs. Nguyen is an engaging teacher. The students connect well with her, and she is fun to work with.”

Nguyen and Boylan are planning a follow-up activity this spring where the students visit Westminster’s chemistry labs and have the opportunity to use advanced instrumentation to perform a chemical analysis.

Photo caption: Nguyen (left) and Boylan (right) in front of the “chemistree” in Sharpsville’s chemistry lab.

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

President Richardson Hits the Road for Spring 2017 Tour

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 09:24:00 EST


President Dr. Kathy Richardson will hit the road for the President on the Road: Spring 2017 tour. President Richardson plans to meet with various Westminster alumni along the east coast for a hors d’ oeuvres reception featuring formal remarks. There is no fee for attending the events. However, reservations are required. Reservations can be made online here:

The first leg of the tour kicks off in Sarasota, Florida with alumni hosts, Trustee Steve ’80 and Amanda ‘80 McConnell, and others welcoming Dr. Richardson to the Sarasota area on Tuesday, Feb 21 at 6 PM at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar located at 2001 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239. Reservations are due by Monday, February 13, 2017.

Fellow Florida alumni are gathering Thursday, Feb 23 at 6 PM to welcome Dr. Richardson to the Orlando area at The B Resort & Spa located at 1905 Hotel Plaza Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830. Reservations are due by Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

President Richardson looks forward to meeting Westminster alumni on the road. "I am excited about the opportunity to visit with our alumni in the Sunshine State, hear their Westminster stories, and to share updates about the college," said President Richardson.  

Alumni hosts, John ‘59 and Alicia ‘60 Blamphin & Jack ‘59 and Carol ‘58 Mansfield are slated to welcome Dr. Richardson to The Villages on Friday, Feb 24 at 5 PM at The Waterfront Inn at Lake Sumter Landing located at 1105 Lake Shore Drive, The Villages, FL 32162. A tour option may also be available for those who show interest in touring The Villages. Reservations are due by Thursday, February 16, 2017.

Remaining tour dates include: Tuesday, March 28 Charlotte, NC; Wednesday, March 29 Raleigh, NC; Monday, May 15 – Harrisburg, PA; Wednesday, May 17 – Philadelphia, PA; and Thursday, May 18 – NYC. Both the Harrisburg and Philadelphia stops will be scheduled alongside the Westminster College Choir’s performances happening the same days in the respective areas.  The New York City event will occur the night prior to the choir’s performance. As details become finalized and specific locations are selected for the remaining tour stops, more information will be released at a later date.

Dress for the evenings will be business attire, and a cash bar will be available during most events. Alumni, parents and friends of the college are encouraged to attend.  

For more information, contact Kara Montgomery at or 724.946.7364

Westminster College Hosts 5th Annual Tournées French Film Festival

Wed, 04 Jan 2017 09:29:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host the 5th annual Tournées French Film Festival this year every Tuesday evening at 7 PM between January 31 and March 7 in Mueller Theater located in the McKelvey Campus Center. The festival will feature five contemporary and one classic French films.

Opening the festival on Jan 31 is the film Dans la cour (In the Courtyard). In the Courtyard depicts the life of a French man, Antoine, who gives up his career as a rock singer to take a job as the live-in custodian of a modest Parisian apartment building that seems to be a magnet for residents who share his emotional fragility.

La cour de Babel (School of Babel) will show Feb 7. School of Babel follows a year in a Paris schoolroom for children who have recently immigrated to France. In an age of resurgent uneasiness with all that is foreign, this documentary is a powerful antidote to fear and suspicion and an inspiring source of hope for France and the world.

Showing on Feb 14 is the contemporary French film, Saint Laurent. Saint Laurent is a lushly executed, unorthodox biopic of superstar fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The film reveals the nuances of a legendarily remote character all while capturing the electricity of his subject’s milieu with astute blue chip casting, moody scoring, and sensual camera movement.

Mustang is a Turkish-French film, will play on the Feb 21. Mustang begins when five orphaned sisters are locked inside their house in Turkey after their grandmother and uncle learn they have been seen splashing around in the sea with boys. The rebellion of the youngest sister, her long-planned escape from oppression, and the sisters’ unbreakable bonds and explosive liveliness are counterbalances to an account of a state of affairs that holds true for millions of young women the world over.

Qu’Allah Bénisse la France (May Allah Bless France) will show on Feb 28. May Allah Bless France is a coming-of-age story and redemption tale based on the rapper and writer-director’s own youth in the beleaguered projects of Strasbourg. In these challenging times for France, and particularly for French Muslims, the film breaks with the pessimism of the “growing up in a slum” genre to propose an intelligent and accessible potential way forward.

Closing the film festival this year on Mar 7 is the Jean-Luc Godard’s classic Pierrot le Fou. Pierrot le Fou recounts the romance between wealthy Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his babysitter Marianne (Anna Karina), followed by their escape to the south of France with gangsters on their trail.

Each film will be introduced by a Westminster student or faculty member, and a discussion will follow. The film festival is free and open to all.

For more information, contact Dr. Ann Murphy at or 724-946-7265

Westminster Alumnae Honored at Regional 26th Annual National Philanthropy Day Celebration

Tue, 20 Dec 2016 11:49:00 EST

(image) Dorothy Pollock '46 and Sarah O'Malley '15 were honored at the 26th Annual National Philanthropy Day celebration hosted by the Mahoning-Shenango Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Pollock was named Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser for her 30 years of dedication and volunteerism at Westminster College. Since retiring as a research scientist in 1981, Pollock has served Westminster as volunteer for the Alumni Council Fundraising Committee and in other various capacities. As an Alumni Council volunteer, she raised more than $300,000 for the scholarship program.

O'Malley accepted the award for Outstanding Young Philanthropist for her work with the Kindness Kampaign. The Kindness Kampaign, created by a group of Greenville High School students, aims to spread more kindness in the world through various measures, including Pay It Forward challenges and raising money for those in need.

Westminster President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson and various employees, faculty, and friends of Westminster joined Pollock and O’Malley in celebrating their special night.

Watch a recap of the 26th Annual National Philantropy Day here:

Westminster College Makes 2016 College Honor Roll

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:53:00 EST

(image) Out of 1,400 US colleges and universities, Westminster College was included as one of 301 schools to make ScholarMatch’s College Honor Roll. Every year ScholarMatch analyzes college data to determine which schools are offering excellent opportunities for low-income and first-generation students, and Westminster made the list of schools making a difference in these students lives.

By using public data from the US Federal Government and other public college data collection sites, ScholarMatch evaluated 1,400 schools in four main areas: financial aid, academic strength, student support services and post-graduate success – with specific consideration given to low-income students’ needs.

Only schools with strong scores made the College Honor Roll, and Westminster received a 3.3/4.0 overall rating. Noted for its strong academics, excellent faculty and individualized attention, Westminster scored high in categories for academics and post-grad affordability.

Westminster strives to provide a superior liberal arts education for students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Cheryl Gerber, director of financial aid at Westminster College, says it is important for the college to understand the financial concerns of students and their families during the college search process.

“Westminster College creates financial aid award packages for students on an individual basis,” says Gerber. “It is important to us to find all the ways we can meet a student’s needs to ensure their success here at Westminster. It’s an honor to be recognized for doing so.”

As part of the Honor Roll, Westminster is listed as an institution that has been carefully screened and graded specifically to help low-income and first generation students find a school with a supportive environment and excellent post graduate outcomes.

The full list is available at:

ScholarMatch is a San Francisco nonprofit organization founded by author Dave Eggers that makes college possible for low-income youth by providing free college counseling services.

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

Broadcasting Students Create Promotional Video for Campus Outdoor Labs

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 10:16:00 EST

(image) Corporate web video produced by Westminster students, Justin Shaw ‘17, Laura Page ‘18, Terrell Cleckley ‘19, David Austin ’18 and Jackie Schultz ‘17, has been accepted by Dr. Patrick Krantz to promote the campus outdoor labs to undergrads, faculty, staff and visitors. The video is entitled, “Explore, Experience & Experiment at WC's Outdoor Labs” and can be found across the college’s digital media channels.

The students created the video as part of their corporate video promotion project in BC 251/Single Camera Video Production during the Fall 2016 semester. The project ran the entire semester.

After an initial meeting with Krantz, Shaw, Page, Cleckley, Austin and Shultz worked together as producers, directors, writers, videographers, on-camera extras, editors and client liaisons to create the promotional video. Upon approval from Krantz, the students completed a rough cut and received feedback before concluding the project with a formal presentation of the finished video at the end of the semester.

Brad Weaver, broadcast communications lecturer at Westminster College, says this project was meant to take the students through the entire video production process. His goal was to teach the students how to think critically about their own productions and start seeing how the media landscape around them is produced.

“The students immersed themselves in the video production process by tackling every aspect of the job,” says Weaver.  “They quickly discovered how to learn from mistakes and that video production takes a lot of time and hard work.”

The video production project helped the students to advance their skills with cameras, lighting, technique, best practices, audio and editing. They worked together to as a production team and learned to manage time, equipment and problems all while creating a project to be included in their portfolios and demo reel.

The video is scheduled to go out on the college’s official social media and website. Watch the video now here:

For more information, Contact Brad Weaver at 724-946-7238 or

Westminster College Students Place in Global Top 100 in Online Business Strategy Game

Wed, 14 Dec 2016 14:27:00 EST

(image) Of over 46,000 undergraduate students spanning 37 countries, eight Westminster College students placed in the global top 100 in the online Business Strategy Game (BSG) in the Strategic Management capstone course.

The BSG is a worldwide online simulation in which students operate a simulative athletic footwear company and compete against other students in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Of 17,131 companies worldwide, the co-managers of “Apparition Shoes,” Sam Angelo and Elijah Hall, earned 25th place for their 41.8% average return on equity (ROE) and 56th place for their stock price of $334.19; the company “Finesse Footwear,” managed by John Arcuri and Ben Stevenson, placed 7th for their 50.6% ROE, 22nd for their stock price of $441.90, and 42nd for their earnings per share (EPS) of $21.55; the company “Go Active Footwear,” managed by Julia Hinson and Emily Somerhalder, placed 34th for their 39.3% ROE, and the co-managers of “HigherUp Footwear,” Matthew Slagle and Cameron Pozsgai, tied in 60th place for their 35.3% average ROE.

Teams are responsible for making decisions about production standards, plant capacity, pricing strategies, employee compensation and Six Sigma practices, marketing strategies, distribution and logistics decisions, and other financial and stock related decisions.

“The BSG allows our students to experience the high level of strategy and decision making it requires to manage a successful international operation,” said Brian Petrus, instructor and program coordinator for marketing.

Each week of class simulates one year in the organization. In generating the global top 100 ranking, the BSG measures teams on four performance variables: overall score, earnings per share, return on investment and stock price.

“All aspects of the BSG parallel the functioning of the real-world athletic footwear market, thus allowing you and your co-managers to think rationally and logically in deciding what to do and get valuable practice in making a variety of different business decisions under circumstances that mirror real-world competitive conditions,” according to the BSG website.

Contact Brian Petrus at 724-946-6833 or email for more information.

Westminster College Holds Traditional Christmas Vespers Service

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 14:53:00 EST

(image) Westminster College celebrated one of its most beloved traditions with the presentation of “All I Want for Christmas” at Christmas Vespers on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The event was open to the public.

Coordinated by Westminster’s Office of Faith and Spirituality, the annual worship service began with carols and special musical arrangements at 3:30 p.m. Vocal and instrumental ensembles performed familiar Christmas music as students recited scripture readings and prayers.

Several faculty and staff members joined the joyous occasion and performed alongside students. Westminster College Chaplain, the Rev. James R. Mohr II, closed the evening with a riveting message entitled “All I Want for Christmas is My…”.

Although weather conditions prevented many people from attending this year’s Christmas vespers, Rev. Mohr is reminded of the reason why many people come out to fellowship. “When I think of vespers, I think of people coming across the area to gather during the advent season,” says Mohr. “Through scripture readings and music of the season, we began to get excited about the birth of the Christ Child”.

Campus groups Habitat for Humanity and Experience Alaska served as ushers during the event and collected an offering to support the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge spring break work trip to Georgetown, S.C. and the Experience Alaska work trip.

The Westminster’s Campus Ministries Staff hosted a fellowship reception in Orr Lobby immediately following the service and provided luminaries that lit up the campus walkways.

The service appeared live online at, and is available for on-demand viewing at

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

Award Winners from Westminster College’s Environmental Symposium Announced

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:05:00 EST

(image) Nearly 200 attendees gathered at Westminster College’s 9th Environmental Symposium on Dec. 1 in McKelvey Campus Center. The symposium highlighted the research, projects, service work and environmental themed artwork of students from five regional colleges and universities (Westminster College, Geneva College, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Slippery Rock University and Youngstown State University) and Wilmington Area High School.

The symposium presentations were split into three categories: Environmental Project, Research Poster and Oral Presentation. Westminster College and the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition, co-organizers of the event, came together to announce the award winners of this year’s Environmental Symposium.

Forty-three students presented at this year’s symposium. Cash prizes, sponsored by Stream Restoration Inc., were awarded to the top student work in each category. All awardees received a certificate.  

Senior environmental science major, Erin Hassett, earned top prize in the Environmental Project presentation category. Hassett interned with the Missouri Department of Conservation and presented her research on fish response to flow alteration.

This is Hassett’s third year participating in the Environmental Symposium and every year she is excited to showcase the research she has been dedicated to for months. “The symposium gives me, and other participants, the valuable opportunity to interact with and receive feedback from students and faculty in a professional setting,” said Hassett.

Brooke Mancuso, senior biology major, received Best in Research Poster category for her poster reflecting her research on the associations among microhabitat characteristics and patterns of nest site occupancy in American Kestrels. Cameron Yard '17 earned Honorable Mention.

Jacob Booth ‘17, Adam Cheatham ‘17, Erin Hassett ‘17 and Natasha Pacifico '17 were awarded Honorable Mention for their presentation on the detriments of water quality of natural springs in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.

Jackie Schultz ‘17, Laura Page ‘18, Justin Shaw ‘17, Terrell Cleckley ‘19 and David Austin '18 were awarded Feature Presentation for their interdisciplinary approach of a non-science perspective to an environmental project. The students produced broadcasting communications project entitled “Explore, Experience, Experiment” that featured Westminster’s Outdoor Laboratory.

For more information about the Environmental Symposium, contact Dr. Helen Boylan at or 724-946-6293

Westminster College Psychology and Neuroscience Capstone Presentations

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:55:00 EST

(image) Nineteen psychology and neuroscience majors, including three honors students, will present their senior capstone projects from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13 in Hoyt Science Resource Center rooms 150, 152 and 166.

Capstone is a course that provides an opportunity for students to evaluate the strengths and limitations of their major field. After starting their capstone projects in the spring semester of their junior year, the psychology and neuroscience students will present their data on campus and possibly later at appropriate regional or national conferences.

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.

“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.

Honors Students Experience the Rigors of Monastic Life

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 16:17:00 EST

(image) Westminster College honors students spent a weekend at a Monastery in Mohawk, New York this past November learning more about monastic life. The trip was part of an honors course that Dr. Russell Martin, Professor of History, is teaching this semester on Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

Junior political science major Don Lun says the trip was enlightening. “One thing I discovered is the rigor of discipline required to choose the monastic life,” says Lun. “It was interesting to see that although being a monk seems far out of reach, they were quite sociable, gregarious and excited to talk to us.”

In order to extend the experience of Martin’s course, the students spent time watching the daily routines of the monks and participating in informative lectures. For more information about the honors program, contact Dr. Bethany Hicok, Professor of English and director of the honors program, at 724-946-6349 or

Professor Elected Vice Chair for the Biology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:57:00 EST

(image) Associate professor of biology and co-director of the Westminster College Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research, Dr. Karen K. Resendes, was recently elected Vice Chair/Chair Elect for the Biology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).

CUR is a national organization whose mission is “to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.”

Resendes was first elected as a CUR councilor in 2012 and re-elected in 2015. During her tenure with the Biology Division, she has spent four years as division secretary and co-chaired the Biology Division Student Travel Awards Committee for the past two years.

“I'm honored to represent Westminster College at this national level and to use my enhanced involvement in CUR to help the college further strengthen our undergraduate research initiatives,” said Resendes.

In July of 2017, Resendes will transition from Vice Chair to Chair of the Biology Division, which also places her on the Executive Board of CUR for a three-year term.

For more information, contact Resendes at or 724-946-7211, or visit

Westminster College School of Music Oboe Studio Performance

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:41:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College School of Music Oboe Studio will perform at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Two Rivers Coffee Shop in New Castle. The event is free and open to the public.

Students and faculty in the Oboe Studio will be joined by members of the Westminster Guitar and String studios, and will perform both classical and popular pieces. The program will end with a set of Christmas carols and songs.

“Singing along will be encouraged,” said Kimberly Winfield, adjunct music faculty.

Two Rivers Coffee Shop is located at 11 S. Mill St., New Castle, PA 16101.

For more information, contact Winfield at or 724-946-7270.

Westminster College Senior Wins Award at Analytical Chemistry Conference

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:20:00 EST

(image) Senior chemistry major, Christopher Caroff, was one of four undergraduate students to be awarded the 2016 EAS Student Research Award at the Eastern Analytical Symposium (EAS) on Nov. 15 in Somerset, NJ.

Caroff was nominated by Dr. Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry, for his undergraduate research experience with spectroscopy, chemometrics, and nuclear chemistry. Caroff has conducted undergraduate research with Boylan on utilizing advanced statistical methods to analyze complex chemical data sets.

As an award winner at EAS, Caroff presented his research during the award poster session. His work, “Creation of a 113Sn/113mIn Generator System Utilizing Polymeric Solid Supports,” was research he completed with Dr. Jonathan Fitzsimmons and Ali Younes at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

Caroff spent two summers at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he studied and did research on nuclear chemistry. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry following graduation.

“I’m very honored to have received this award and am extremely grateful for my education at Westminster as it has given me so many great opportunities such as this,” said Caroff.

Christopher is the son of George Caroff and Kimberlie Bolinger from Indiana, PA.

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

Broadcasting and Production Major Capstone Presentations

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:06:00 EST


Westminster College broadcasting and production students will be presenting their capstone projects starting at 2 p.m., Dec. 3, in Mueller Theater. A question and answer session will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

A capstone project is a final project that all Westminster students must complete before graduation. The purpose of the project is for students to take what they have learned over their time at Westminster and complete a major-specific task. For broadcasting and media production students, the task is to create a full length documentary.

The documentaries that will be shown include:

  • “The Gift of Motherhood” by Kellen Gursky
  • “A Journey Down Academy Avenue” by Connor Hamilton
  • “Land of the Living Dead” by Zac Hynus
  • “What’s Behind the Trees?” by Doltyn Snedden
  • “Re-Stripped” by Dan Swank

In broadcasting, “The most valuable thing to have is the ability to adapt to multiple things being thrown at you at once,” said senior broadcasting and media production major, Zac Hynus.

“Fear of changing is your worst enemy in this class,” said senior broadcasting and media production major, Connor Hamilton.

Contact Bradley Weaver, lecturer of broadcast communications, at 724-946-7238 or email for more information.

Westminster College Ranked in Top Small College for Social Types

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:36:00 EST

(image) Westminster College was ranked 18th on Great College Deals’ list of “Best Deals: Small Colleges for Social Types.”

Great College Deals’ mission is “to provide high schoolers and other prospective college students with information about top-ranked universities.” The rankings on this list were determined by “the presence of diverse student-run social organizations, an active Greek life opportunity, lively ongoing campus festivities, generous financial aid packages, and any additional distinctions that add value to the highly social student.”

Westminster made the list because of the “family-like” fraternities and sororities, fundraising for charities, the on-campus radio and television stations, the student-run newspaper publications, and various other opportunities for students.

“To be included with higher education institutions both private and public, as well as institutions of significant size and research-based focus, speaks volumes about the quality of education being offered,” said Dr. Thomas Stein, vice president for enrollment and marketing.

Contact Rick Sherlock, senior director of marketing and communications, at 724-946-7191 or email for more information.

Westminster College Ranked in Top Quarter of Colleges by The Wall Street Journal/ Times Higher Education

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:00:00 EST

(image) Westminster College achieved 248th out of 1061 colleges and 96th out of 305 in the Northeast region on The Wall Street Journal/Times’ Higher Education College Rankings.  

Times Higher Education has provided insight to colleges for five decades and is one of the oldest ranking systems in the world.

“Our aim is to assess each university’s success in achieving their educational mission,” wrote Phil Baty, editor for Times Higher Education’s Rankings. Baty said that the key focus of Times Higher Education’s ranking scale is to analyze a “university’s ability to deliver valuable outcomes and education for its students.”

Times Higher Education ranks colleges based on four pillars: Resources, Engagement, Outcomes, and Environment.

Westminster’s strongest pillar was engagement, in which they achieved a ranking of 202, which is in the top 20% of schools ranked. This pillar was based on student engagement, student recommendations, student interaction, and subject breadth.   

“Part of the mission of Westminster is to provide the learning environment that will help make each student successful through the excellent curriculum rich in engagement, faculty interactions, and practical experiences,” said Dr. Thomas Stein, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “Students graduate prepared to be productive members of an ever changing world.”

Contact Rick Sherlock, senior director of marketing and communications, at 724-946-7191 or email for more information.

Westminster College Music Performance Major Places in Vocal Competition

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:49:00 EST

(image) Becca Bly, a Westminster College senior music performance major, placed third in the Classical Senior Vocal Women category at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) voice competition at West Virginia University Nov. 15.

Bly, who studies with Dr. Anne Hagan Bentz, is a daughter of Jeffrey and Amy Bly of Chicora and a graduate of Karns City Area High School.

In addition to Bly, Westminster students Matthew Benzenhoefer, Lauren Faber, Corey McNulty, Rachel Read, Joseph Spurio and Matthew Younger were among more than 128 vocalists from the Tri-State Chapter of NATS who competed in the vocal competition.

Contact Bentz, associate professor of music, at 724-946-6045 or for additional information.

Westminster College Christmas Vespers Scheduled for Dec. 11

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 15:13:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will continue a long-standing tradition with the presentation of “All I Want for Christmas” at Christmas Vespers on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.  The public is invited to attend.

The annual worship service includes Lessons and Carols with familiar Christmas music performed by a variety of vocal and instrumental ensembles; lighting of the Advent candles; Scripture readings; and “All I Want for Christmas is My…,” the message from Westminster College Chaplain, the Rev. James R. Mohr II. Senior students have the honor of sharing the readings and prayers during the service.

Additional faculty and staff participating are: Dr. Samuel Barbara, director of choral activities; Dr. R. Tad Greig, director of the Wind Ensemble; Paula Kubik, Westminster College organist; Father Michael Peck, rector of St. Camillus Church in New Castle; and Gina Vance, associate dean of student affairs and director of the hand bell choir.

Members of the spring break work teams, Westminster chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and Experience Alaska Group will serve as ushers.   

Offerings collected will be used to support the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge spring break work trip to Georgetown, S.C., and the Experience Alaska work trip.

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

Westminster’s Campus Ministries Staff will provide campus luminaries.

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

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

Westminster College School of Business Hosts Networking Day

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 10:41:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College School of Business Networking Day took place on Nov. 12, with the goal of helping Westminster students and recent alumni explore networking related topics.

“The Professional Networking Symposium serves as an important platform for our students to interact and engage with a variety of individuals who are looking to share their expertise and experiences to best enhance overall connectivity between students, faculty, administration, alumni, employers, and other professional affiliates,” said Brian Petrus ‘10, instructor of business administration. “Additionally, these networking sessions have culminated in multiple students landing jobs, internships, externships, and general lifelong connections.”

Participants had the opportunity to view different career options, develop networking contacts, and secure better internships or full-time jobs. The panel sessions included topics such as, networking 101, informational interviews, sales and marketing, personal finance, resume review, and finding a job/internship.

“Over the past several years, I have witnessed the symposium grow from a few dozen individual participants to hundreds of networkers,” said Petrus. “The most exciting part, in my opinion, is the story that each individual brings to the event.  You never know what you may learn, who you may meet, where the day may take you, and what may come as a result of having participated.”

For more information, contact Linda Travers at or 724-946-7160.

2016 Documentary Showcase

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 15:02:00 EST

(image) Five Westminster College students will premiere their short documentary projects at the 2016 Westminster Documentary Showcase beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, in Mueller Theater.

The projects explore a variety of topics, people, and places as the students engaged in research, interviews, and production. Students began research and pre-production last January. The documentary course spans two semesters.

Links to the trailers for each student’s digital film can be found below:

"The documentary project requires each student to take on the role of a full-time producer and director challenging them as young media professionals," said Bradley Weaver, broadcast and media production lecturer. "The process forces them manage, think critically, and use their vision to create a compelling story."

Each student will also submit their work to a festival or peer-reviewed competition.

For more information, contact Weaver at 724-946-7238 or

Community Invited to Learn Latest Student Research on Environment

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:15:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host the 9th Annual Student Environmental Symposium from 5:30-9:00 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, 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.

Nearly fifty student researchers from Westminster College, Allegheny College, Geneva College, Sharpsville Area High School, Slippery Rock University, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Wilmington Area High School, and Youngstown State University will present their research posters from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Witherspoon Rooms and will present oral presentations at 7-9 p.m. in Mueller Theater.

“The Symposium perfectly highlights student work in the region that relates to the environment,” said Dr. Helen Boylan, professor and program coordinator of Westminster’s environmental programs. “We have a wide variety of student projects being presented, from acid mine drainage and water quality to land use and habitat selection. I 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:

Westminster College Students Attend Criminology Conference

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 13:57:00 EST

(image) Dr. Kristenne Robison, professor of criminal justice, and five senior criminal justice studies students traveled to New Orleans to present their senior capstone research at The American Society of Criminology Conference.

Student posters showcased research from Maija Belmar, Gabbie Fabish, Coty Gander, Britt Mavrich, and Hayley Thewes. Topics of posters included, mental disorders and support of the death penalty, sexual violence and substance abuse, juvenile solitary confinement, gender roles, and daily stress of defense attorneys.

“The ASC Conference is primarily a faculty and graduate student conference,” said Robison. “Those who engage with our students during their poster sessions are always surprised to learn that they are undergraduate students.”

Belmar, Gander, Mavrich, Thewes, and Robison were part of a student and faculty roundtable titled, “Stepping Inside-College Students’ and their Instructors Experiences with the Inside-Out Model.” Inside-Out courses involve 12 Westminster students going inside prisons walls to take a course alongside 12 students at Trumbull Correctional Institution in Leavittsburg, OH.

Dr. Robison also presented a poster titled, “‘Did They All Come Back’: A Longitudinal Study of Recidivism at a Medium Size Probation Office,” based on research collected with Dr. Shannon Smithey over the past four years.

From Nov. 16-19, students presented their own research, attended sessions of their favorite scholars, visited the book exhibit, and explored the local area.

For more information about criminal justice studies at Westminster, contact Robison at or 724-946-6033.

Westminster College Professor Published in Journal of College Science Teaching

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 13:13:00 EST

(image) Westminster College biology professor Dr. Katherine Robertson’s article, “An Authentic Research Experience on a Budget: Using Data from Simple Experiments to Develop Mini Research Proposals,” will be published in the November issue of the Journal of College Science Teaching

In this article, Robertson outlines the research format that she uses with her developmental biology students to help prepare them for their capstone project and research they will do after college as well as helping to give the students a deeper understanding of the topic.

“Students who first experience research in their senior year may feel overwhelmed and/or unmotivated because they perceive their capstone project as an unwelcome formality for graduation and fail to appreciate its relevance to their chosen careers,” wrote Robertson. “Introducing some research experiences early in the curriculum helps to alleviate these problems and improves retention.”

Robertson received her master’s degree in immunology and a Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of London, UK, and has been with Westminster College since 2005.

Contact Robertson at 724-946-7213 or email for more information. 

Student Donates Sodexo’s National Prize Sweepstakes to City Rescue Mission

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 14:42:00 EST

(image) Regino Flores, a student at Westminster College, was recently selected as one of four lucky winners in Sodexo’s Take a Bite Out of Hunger National Prize Sweepstakes and will have a $2,500 donation made in his name to the food-related charity of his choice. Sodexo and Flores will be presenting a check to Kevin Green from the City Rescue Mission on campus on Thursday, Nov. 17.

In addition, Flores will receive a Sodexo Mindful Box Subscription Package which includes four boxes throughout the academic year. NeighborFood is part of an ongoing resident dining promotion series sponsored by Sodexo, the dining services company at Westminster College.

Featured at more than 600 college and university campuses managed by Sodexo nationwide, NeighborFood was a unique promotion that provided the perfect platform to showcase the quality and wholesomeness of their dining program through a selection of delicious dishes, featuring fresh, locally grown ingredients plus a variety of customer-engaging events.

In addition to a variety of on-site activities, the Take a Bite Out of Hunger National Sweepstakes encouraged students to take a submit a 6-second video nomination explaining why their food-related charity should be the recipient of a randomly selected $2,500 donation made in the student's name.

For more information, contact Mona Moufid at or 724-946-7703.

Westminster Seekers Take Part in Operation Christmas Child

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 14:49:00 EST

(image) Westminster College Christian fellowship group, Seekers, recently took part in a project alongside Operation Christmas Child (OCC) to send shoe boxes full of gifts to children in over 100 different countries in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

 “OCC is a mission project run by an international non-profit called Samaritan's Purse,” said Rachel Lemke, a senior Christian education major from Harborcreek. “Children from all over the world receive these wrapped shoeboxes that contain toys, hygiene products, articles of clothing...and along with each box, the children take some courses that teach them about God and the love of Jesus Christ.”

The Seekers have taken part in this project for the past four years. This year, they collected enough donations to send 13 boxes to children in need. Lemke has “talked with people who have seen firsthand how much the small shoebox Christmas gift has helped children change their lives.”  She says her “only prayer is that God's will be done through our time and offering and the love put into these shoeboxes.” 

Contact Lemke at for more information.

Westminster College and UPMC School of Nursing Announce New Partnership

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:46:00 EST

The Westminster College School of Nursing will launch its inaugural program in Fall Semester 2017 in a collaborative agreement with UPMC Jameson’s School of Nursing in New Castle, leading to both a nursing diploma and a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in the new four-year program. First-year students will take pre-nursing and liberal arts courses at Westminster and matriculate to UPMC Jameson’s School of Nursing. For years two and three, students will follow the UPMC Jameson program while earning credits at Westminster toward the BSN degree. At the completion of the UPMC Jameson program, students will test for licensing for registered nurse (RN) licensure. During the fourth year students will complete higher level nursing courses at Westminster to earn the BSN. “The bachelor’s degree in nursing is now considered the gold standard for entry into nursing practice within healthcare,” said Tricia Ryan, newly appointed School of Nursing director at Westminster. “With the collaboration between Westminster College and UPMC Jameson’s School of Nursing our students will experience the ‘best of both worlds’ in nursing education with this brilliant combination of nursing and the liberal arts.” “The healthcare needs of the communities in and surrounding New Wilmington and New Castle are diverse and unique in many ways and provide rich opportunities for these future nurses to develop specialized skills to serve patients in rural areas,” said Linda Kmetz, Ph.D., executive director of UPMC Schools of Nursing and director of UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing. “During their time at UPMC Jameson School of Nursing, students will have rare opportunities to study and gain practical experience in telemedicine, behavioral health, obstetrics, pediatrics and Amish health customs and practices, in addition to rural medicine.” Other highlights of the partnership include opportunities for students to study Spanish medical language; a nursing licensure exam pass rate of current UPMC Jameson students that is consistently above the national average; a strong pipeline to nursing positions in home care, primary care offices, in case management and in traditional settings at UPMC’s community hospitals including Horizon, Hamot and Jameson; and opportunities to experience global health through Westminster’s mission programs in the Dominican Republic. About UPMC A world-renowned health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. It provides nearly $900 million a year in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates 60,000 employees, more than 20 hospitals, more than 500 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical and behavioral health services insurer in western Pennsylvania. Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Scie[...]

Westminster College Chemistry Majors Present Research

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:33:00 EST

(image) Nine Westminster College chemistry and biochemistry majors presented the results of a service-learning project during a meeting of the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition (SRWC) on Oct. 13, at the Jennings Environmental Education Center.

The students worked with SRWC at the McIntire site in Butler County to test the passive water treatment system for treating abandoned mine drainage.

The students collected water samples from the site to be tested in the laboratory. After analysis, the students determined that the treatment system is effectively improving the water quality.

"This collaboration is in its tenth year," said Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry and faculty mentor on the project. "We were able to test for more metals this year because of the new instrumentation Westminster College obtained through a National Science Foundation grant."

Boylan, a Westminster graduate, earned her Ph.D. from Duquesne University and has been a member of the teaching staff at Westminster since 2001.

Contact Boylan at 724-946-6293 or email for additional information.

Westminster College Celebrity Series to Present Sandi Patty in Concert

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:08:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Celebrity Series will welcome Sandi Patty back for the third and last time to appear on the Orr stage to celebrate “Christmas Blessings” as part of her “Forever Grateful: The Farewell Tour” Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The event is sponsored by Giant Eagle.

The most awarded female vocalist in gospel music history, “The Voice” has been honored with 40 Dove Awards, 5 Grammys, four Billboard Music Awards, three platinum records and five gold records. Her latest album, Forever Grateful, was released this year.

Accompanied by members of her family and a full live band, Sandi will delight the audience with a full evening of music, including her rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Jingle Bells a la Sandra” and her moving arrangement of “O Holy Night.”

Contact Georgene Gib, box office manager, at 724-946-7354, email or visit for additional information or to purchase tickets.

Westminster College Announces Appointment of Nursing School Director

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 12:42:00 EST

(image) Westminster College has named Tricia Ryan director of its School of Nursing, the result of a collaborative agreement with UPMC Jameson School of Nursing.

Westminster’s School of Nursing will launch its inaugural program in Fall Semester 2017, leading to both a nursing diploma and a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree in the new four-year program.

“I felt very drawn to Westminster to develop a unique nursing program that is much needed in our community,” Ryan added. “I am fortunate to be able to collaborate with UPMC Jameson to provide the education and support needed for our nursing students to be successful in today’s healthcare environments.”

Ryan comes to Westminster from Sharon Regional Health System, where she held various nursing and administrative positions, most recently as the program administrator and director in the School of Nursing.

She earned a nursing diploma (RN) from Sharon Regional Health System’s School of Nursing, a bachelor of science degree (BS) with a major in nursing from The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) education from Robert Morris University, where she is pursuing a doctorate in instructional management and leadership (Ph.D. IML). She is a certified nurse educator (CNE); is licensed as a registered nurse (RN) in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York; and holds CPR instructor certification (BLS), CPR certification – healthcare provider and advanced cardiac life support certification (ACLS).

Contact Ryan at 724-946-7470 or email for additional information.

Westminster All-College Honors Program Dines with President Richardson

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 13:57:00 EST

(image) Westminster All-College Honors Program students and Dr. Bethany Hicok, honors program director, enjoyed dinner with President Kathy Richardson and her husband on Nov. 6.

“Dining with the President of Westminster College as a first-year student was truly a memory I will treasure forever,” said first-year honors student, Sammi Winter. “I sincerely enjoyed both the food and the company at the President’s house, and I hope we have more events like this in the future.”

42 students in the honors program attended the dinner at President Richardson’s home. Those students agreed that they are excited to see the positive impact the new president will have on the college in the future.

“Both president Richardson and her husband were very personable and a joy to interact with,” said Brittany Slupe, senior honors student. “I am very excited that I had the chance to spend time with President Richardson, but also sad that this will be the last honors program dinner that I will be able to experience with her.”

For more information, contact Hicok at or 724-946-6349.

Westminster College Presents Upcoming Bleasby Colloquium

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 13:47:00 EST

(image) Dr. Kristianne Kalata, associate professor of English, will speak at the Bleasby Colloquium on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in Mueller Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Kalata’s presentation is titled “Emotion and Memory in Literary Best Sellers.” Kalata plans to examine the interaction of perspective, emotion, and memory in bestselling literary fiction of the 19th and 21st centuries.

“My research aims to deepen our understanding of how a novel’s form works with or against concepts of memory and emotion in both characters and readers,” said Kalata. “As an undergraduate at Westminster, I was an English major who minored in psychology and secondary education. This project gives me the opportunity to combine my longstanding interests in psychology with my work as an English professor.”

Work on this project has allowed Kalata to develop several new English courses in the past three years. Inspiration also came from a Cluster Course that she co-taught with Dr. Mandy Medvin in psychology.

For more information, contact Kalata at 724-946-7350 or 

Westminster College to Host Annual Christmas Vespers and Dinner

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 13:04:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host its annual Christmas Vespers on Sunday, Dec. 11, in Orr Auditorium. The service is free and open to the public.

Coordinated by Westminster’s Office of Faith and Spirituality, the afternoon will begin with carols and special musical arrangements at 3:30 p.m. followed by Vespers at 4 p.m. The service, led by the Rev. James Mohr, chaplain, and students will feature Scripture readings, a message, and music provided by Westminster’s vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Following the service, a tree-side holiday feast will be available in the Witherspoon Room of McKelvey Campus Center. Registration for the buffet dinner will be $20 per adult and $11 for children aged 11 and younger. Reservations are required by Thursday, Dec. 1, and may be made online at or by calling the Office of Alumni Relations at 724-946-7364.

Contact Nicole Hunter, assistant director of alumni relations, at 724-946-7373 or for additional information.

Westminster College Education Professor Published

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 13:48:00 EST

(image) Dr. Alison DuBois, assistant professor of education and counseling, published articles in two different professional journals this month.

Her first article, “Four Steps to Help with the Hurt that You Feel,” was published in the fall issue of New Teacher Advocate. This article outlines steps young teachers can take to protect themselves or to reduce the effects of secondary trauma.

The second article, “Curriculum Weaving: Developing Creative Curricular Opportunities for Pre-Service Teachers and Elementary Students Through Project-Based Learning,” was published in the November issue of The Journal of Curriculum and Teaching. This article describes a year-long project-based learning activity that early childhood and special education students engaged in last year.

Contact DuBois at 724-946-6039 or 

Westminster College Hosts Bright Futures Alumni Networking Dinner

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 13:05:00 EST

(image) Westminster College partnered with the Marion G. Resch Bright Futures Program to host over 20 Campbell High School students for an alumni networking dinner on Nov. 3.

Dr. Amy Camardese, professor of education, and Dr. Alison DuBois, assistant professor of education and counseling, co-directors of the Bright Futures Grant, hosted the networking event.

Since 2005, the Resch Bright Futures Program has successfully provided school-year mentoring and summer camp programs to the Campbell School District. This initiative partners Westminster College with high school students to better prepare them for higher education.

Drs. Tim and Carolyn Cuff ‘78, Professor Brian Petrus ’10, Josh Schroeder ’13 and Alex Taylor Schroeder ’14 attended the dinner as Westminster College alumni.

“It was exciting to hear the career plans and dreams of the Bright Futures students,” said Dr. Timothy Cuff. “As a Westminster alumnus and a current Westminster faculty member, it was interesting to consider and share with the students how the excellent liberal arts education I received at Westminster provided the grounding for my career.”

Students had the opportunity to ask questions about various aspects of college life and future careers.

“The students explained how our discussions help them not only to think about their future college plans but to set specific goals to help them achieve those college plans,” said Dr. Carolyn Cuff. “In turn, the students listened to our advice on how to continue to work in high school to prepare them for college. It was a great evening.”

Contact DuBois at 724-946-6039 or for more information.

Westminster College Hosts PICPA Accounting Career Day

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 14:56:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College School of Business hosted the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) Accounting Career Day for 120 students from five local high schools on Oct. 25.

Four teams of panelists provided students with information about career paths in accounting and Westminster’s role in preparing its graduates for success.

Panelists included Carl Sizer, CPA and Kevin McCarty ’13 from Arnett Carbis Toothman LLP, Alicia Seitz ’11, CPA from Hill Barth & King LLC, Sean Gibbon ’16 from JFS Wealth Advisors, Professor Jesse Ligo, Jr. ’82, CPA MBA, and senior accounting students, Mariah Turiano, Nathan McMaster, John-Scott Somora, and Matthew Slagle.

“The PICPA Accounting Career Day is a wonderful event to help high school students become aware of what opportunities an accounting degree can give them in the future,” said Mariah Turiano. “Being part of the student panel allowed me to give valuable insight on why accounting is a great career to pursue.”

For more information, contact Ligo at 724-946-7167 or

Jazz Ensemble Fall Concert

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 14:02:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Jazz Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in Berlin Lounge. The concert is free and open to the public.

The group will be performing classic and modern works under the direction of Dr. Timothy Winfield, assistant professor of music. Pieces by Nat Adderly, Count Basie, Alan Baylock, Duke Ellington, Mercer Ellington, Gordon Goodwin, Hank Levy, and Ray Wetzel will be performed.

For more information, contact Winfield at 724-946-7274 or 

Religion Professor Published Online

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 13:56:00 EST

(image) Dr. Kang-Yup Na, Westminster College associate professor of religion, has authored “State and Church, and the State of the Church” on Princeton Theological Seminary’s Institute for Youth Ministry webpage.

The article is part of the “Engage//Faith & Politics” section that provides short, insightful articles and resources for youth or Bible study groups to start the conversation about issues that circulate through the news media, often presenting questions about how Christians should think and live.

Regarding the upcoming presidential election, Na’s article states: “For Christians, the civic duty to vote must be accompanied by the prayerful duty to discern providence. Yet among Christians, just as among Americans in general, we have deep divisions in the house. Divisions among churchgoers are so grave that partisan zeal for political victory obscures our praxis of Jesus’ commandment for us to love one another.”

The article concludes with the admonition “If we think any candidate will rescue us from what ails the universe, then a review of history or a simple glance at Augustine’s City of God might suggest a more sobering wisdom. At the least, we might learn humility.”

Contact Na at 724-946-7155 or email for additional information. Visit to read the article.

Westminster College Philosophy Professor Organized Society Conference

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 13:48:00 EST

(image) Dr. David Goldberg, professor of philosophy, organized and hosted the fall meeting of the West Virginia Philosophical Society (WVPS) on Oct. 15, at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Goldberg serves as president of the West Virginia Philosophical Society and is responsible for planning the conference, reading paper submissions, and deciding on a keynote speaker. He has been president since 2010.

Goldberg’s paper, The Gesture, focused on how a simple gesture can identify an individual as a member of a group. His inspiration stemmed from the Cluster Course he teaches with Emeritus Professor Alan Gittis.

The keynote speaker of this meeting was Patrick Miller, associate professor of philosophy, from Duquesne University. Miller’s paper discussed how Plato would have professors teach philosophy today.

The WVPS has been in existence since 1947. Members meet twice a year, each meeting with open topics to allow for a variety of paper submissions. This meeting included papers on music, philosophy of literature, critical thinking, Kant and more.

Since the fall of 2006, the organization has hosted meetings at several Pennsylvania schools. Westminster College will host the spring WVPS meeting.

Contact Goldberg at 724-946-7153 or for more information. 

Westminster College to Host Ninth Annual Ken and Nancy Long Chemistry Lecture

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 13:32:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Department of Chemistry will host Dr. Kasey Kovalcik for the ninth annual Ken and Nancy Long Chemistry Lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 10, in the Lakeview Room located in McKelvey Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Kovalcik’s lecture is titled, “Analytical Challenges of Measuring Public Exposure Through Multimedia: Air, Water, Plants.”

During his lecture, Kovalcik will present the sampling and analysis challenges in doing exposure studies involving wildfire smoke, near-road sources, nano-materials, and epiphytic moss.

Kovalcik is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chemist with a background in academia, methods development in a clinical lab, and almost 10 years of research experience at EPA.

The lecture series is funded by Dr. Ken Long, Westminster emeritus professor of chemistry, and his wife, Nancy, to invite chemists to speak with students on campus.

For more information, contact Sharon Muraca at or 724-946-7206

Office of Faith and Spirituality to Host “The Prodigal Sons”

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 12:51:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Office of Faith and Spirituality will host a special presentation of The Prodigal Sons Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel as part of the weekly Open Door Worship and is open to the public.

With music by Christian composer Jeannie Allen and based on the Biblical story, the script is an updated version about two sons on a dairy farm in 1980s Oregon. The eight-member cast features Allen’s son, the Rev. David Allen, and daughter, Kathryn Rickenback. Musical accompaniment is provided by Jeanette Allen on piano and Skip Cooper on guitar.

Contact Diane Gabriel at 724-946-7117 or email for additional information. Visit for details on the production. 

Westminster College Computer Science Major Presents Interdisciplinary Work

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 13:22:00 EST

(image) Westminster College junior computer science major, Rachael Huff, presented her work, “User Friendly Enhancements to a Citizen Science, Water Monitoring Website,” at the Ohio River Consortium for Research and Education conference at Youngstown State University.

Huff worked over the summer in collaboration with Dr. Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry and environmental science, to improve the Lawrence and Mercer Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) website.

On the ALLARM website, anyone can access and upload information about local water quality as well as photos and videos and other educational material about water safety. To make the site more accessible, Huff created a dashboard to easily view information from monitored streams and developed an app to be able to allow other students to easily upload water quality information from a smartphone.

Huff faced many challenges including problems trying to be creative within the limitations of the website editor. However, she was able to work with other students to come up with solutions to the problems that arose.

Huff found that she enjoyed working with students and professors from a different discipline, and that it opened her up to different ways of looking at situations and showed her solutions to problems that she would not thought of on her own. Huff believes that this opportunity was extremely beneficial to her educational experience.

"Previous student participants on the ALLARM team have been chemistry and environmental majors,” Boylan said. “Rachael's background as a computer science major allowed us to evaluate our website from a new perspective. Her modifications have made the information available on our website easier for non-scientists to understand.”

“It reminded and encouraged me to think from many perspectives to be able to fully understand a concept,” said Huff. “This experience showed me that there are many ways to do one thing. That if the first idea fails, to try again since there is always another way to do it.”

Huff is a daughter of Jeffery and Laurel Huff of New Wilmington and a graduate of Wilmington Area High School.

Contact Boylan at 724-946-6293 or email for additional information. 

Assistant Director of Westminster College’s Graduate School Honored as Emerging Leader

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 11:04:00 EST

(image) Eric Perry, assistant director of the Westminster College Graduate School and coordinator of counselor education, was honored as an “Emerging Leader” by the North American Regional Association for Counselor Education Supervision (NARACES).

The award recognizes early professionals in counselor education who show initiative; demonstrate commitment to the profession of counselor education and supervision, leadership experience and potential; and participate in local, state, regional and national organizations and conferences.

In addition, Perry was offered one of nine spots available on the executive council for the national Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES). As social media coordinator and web content manager, Perry will attend and participate in national council meetings that determine the operation and direction of the national organization.

Perry, who has been with Westminster since 2015, earned an undergraduate degree from Ashford University, a master’s degree from Slippery Rock University and is pursuing a Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision at Duquesne University.

Westminster’s Graduate School offers master’s degrees in education and school superintendent, as well as graduate certifications in special education and reading specialist K-12, school counselor (elementary and secondary) and school principal K-12.

All graduate school classes are taught in blended format (classroom and online) in evening and summer sessions to accommodate the schedules of busy working adults. Programs are also offered as cohorts that meet off campus.

Contact Perry at 724-946-7874, email or visit for additional information.