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

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

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

Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 07:50:22 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

Westminster College Inquiry Classes Partner with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:50:00 EST

(image) Westminster College students in Dr. Sherri Pataki’s Inquiry classes partnered with the Apple Castle in New Wilmington and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to pick produce for distribution to families in the Pittsburgh area.

The project was part of the food bank’s gleaning program that involves community farmers donating produce that volunteers harvest and load for delivery to the food bank. The students helped pick 1,725 pounds of corn and 2,520 pounds of squash and pumpkins.

The Apple Castle, which has been producing quality fruits and vegetables for over 150 years, is owned and operated by Westminster alumni Lyle ’74 and Sandy ’75 Johnston.

(image) Inquiry (Introduction to a Liberal Arts Education) introduces students to the philosophy and practice of a liberal arts education by investigating classic and emerging questions that arise from current social and intellectual concerns.

Contact Pataki, associate professor of psychology, at 724-946-7361 or email for additional information.

Westminster College Debuts Improved Honors Curriculum

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:19:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s improved Honors Program debuted this semester with 21 Honors scholars enrolled in the first course of the new Honors course sequence, Ancient Greek Justice.

Under the guidance of Westminster faculty Dr. Bethany Hicok, professor of English and Honors Program director, and Dr. David Goldberg, associate professor of philosophy, students enrolled in this course explore how the definition of justice has evolved throughout famous texts such as The Iliad, The Odyssey and Plato’s Republic.

After completion of the classroom portion of the course, the students will travel to Greece early next summer to explore the locations they studied.

In addition to offering exposure to another culture, the new Honors sequence replaces Inquiry, Writing and Speech for first-year students enrolled in the program. During their first and second years, Honors scholars will take four additional Honors-designated classes that fulfill many of Westminster’s general education requirements. In their junior and senior years they will complete an advanced Honors capstone project.

“I am so excited to explore all the opportunities the Honors Program offers and to broaden my knowledge with its unique curriculum,” said Ashley Smialek, a first-year molecular biology major from Chicago.

Westminster’s Honors Program provides challenging learning opportunities for selected students with excellent academic records, superior abilities, intellectual promise and demonstrated initiative. The most outstanding students in the incoming first-year class or rising sophomore class are eligible and selection is competitive.

Contact Hicok at 724-946-6349, email or visit for additional information.

Westminster College International Film Series to Show Ang Lee Film

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:11:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Jake Erhardt International Film Series will show Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater.  The program is free and open to the public. describes director Ang Lee’s 2000 film, based on the book by Du Lu Wang, as set in China at a time when miracles were credible and spirits and gods were present in man’s world. Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to a nobleman’s impetuous adolescent daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

The film earned four Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film, and was nominated for six more.

The final film this semester is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The International Film Series is named in honor of its founder, Dr. Jacob Erhardt, professor of German emeritus at Westminster College.  Erhardt, who taught at Westminster from 1968 until his retirement in 2004, served as chair of his department from 1970-1986, was named the Language Educator of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Modern Languages Association, translated into English Robert Reitzel’s Adventures of a Greenhorn, and was recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities as an outstanding member.

Contact Dr. Deborah Mitchell at 724-946-7030 or email for more information.

Westminster College English Professor to Deliver Bleasby Colloquium

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:17:00 EST

(image) As part of the Bleasby Colloquia Series, the Westminster College Department of English and Public Relations will feature Dr. Bethany Hicok, Professor of English and Honors Program Director, at 7 p.m. on Oct. 27, in Mueller Theater located in McKelvey Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Hicok will present her latest book, Elizabeth Bishop’s Brazil, published by the University of Virginia Press in April 2016. Hicok traveled 6,000 miles to and throughout Brazil to gather information and recreate Bishop’s travels.

“Elizabeth Bishop’s Brazil represents the poet’s long, long conversation with the country of Brazil through her poetry and prose writing: its language, culture, people, politics, poverty, wealth, architecture, and its incredible natural beauty,” said Hicok.

Elizabeth Bishop is a Pulitzer prize-winning North American poet who spent nearly two decades in Brazil after she fell in love with a Brazilian aristocrat.

The George Bleasby Colloquia Series features public presentations by the faculty of the department, featured speakers and majors on individual scholarship, interests, and creative projects.

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

Westminster College to Host Haunted Bio Trail

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 14:08:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s SCION and Phi Kappa Tau will host the Haunted Bio Trail at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Westminster Bio Trail. Tickets are $3 in advance or $5 at the event.

A bonfire to roast hot dogs and s’mores will be open to everyone at the end of the trail. The price of hot dogs and hot chocolate is $1 and s’mores will be $2.

A shuttle will be available to transport participants between the trail, fire and parking lot located behind Burry Stadium.

“Both SCION and Phi Kappa Tau have big plans for our organizations,” said Hayley Thewes, SCION president. “We decided to team up for a fundraiser so we can both tackle our organization’s goals this year.”

For more information, contact Thewes at

Westminster College to Celebrate the Arts with School of Music Concert

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 13:09:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s School of Music ensembles will be performing at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, in Will W. Orr Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

The following ensembles will be performing:

·       Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. R. Tad Greig

·       Chamber Singers, conducted by Dr. Samuel Barbara

·       Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Timothy Winfield

·       Opera Westminster, directed by Dr. Anne Bentz

·       Ceol na Teud, a Scottish fiddling group, led by Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu

·       Saxophone Quartet, coached by Dr. James Flowers

·       Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Crawford Perttu

Nearly 100 Westminster students, including music majors, music minors and students from other disciplines, are participating in this event. The concert is designed to celebrate Westminster’s arts during We in Westminster, a week-long celebration in honor of Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson’s inauguration on Friday, Oct. 28.

For more information, contact Dr. Daniel Perttu, associate professor and Chair of the School of Music, at or 724-946-7024.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Robert

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 09:13:00 EST

(image) From Students to Alumni

I am not an alumnus of Westminster College, but I have spent the past three decades of my career coaching and witnessing young men and women grow and transform through opportunities they’ve had during their time at Westminster.
As a swim coach, I’ve heard countless stories about residence halls and about the layers of paint that has glazed “the rock.” I’ve heard about challenging professors, classes, and coaches; and I’ve witnessed Greek Week victories. I’ve seen students memorizing Sing and Swing routines, and I’ve heard those stories about when students meet their roommate for the first time – and how they become best friends even before Fresh Start ends.
Now that I’m on the flip-side of my career, working in the institutional advancement division of Westminster, I have the opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time visiting with alumni. I am amazed by the countless hours of stories they tell of very similar memories that current students experience – and that those very aspects are what made it special so many years ago.

Westminster College Band Director Selected Conductor of North Pittsburgh Symphonic Band

Wed, 12 Oct 2016 13:18:00 EST

(image) Dr. R. Tad Greig, Westminster College professor of music and director of bands, was selected conductor and musical director of the North Pittsburgh Symphonic Band (NPSB) by the band’s board of directors and musicians.

The 85-member ensemble, formerly the North Suburban Symphonic Band, was formed in 1992 by Warren Mercer, band director at North Hills High School. It includes Pittsburgh area music educators and community members who share a love of music.

“I have been aware of this fine ensemble since Mr. Mercer started it,” Greig said. “They perform at a very high level and program high-quality music that includes standards from the wind band repertoire as well as music from movies, shows and more. They provide the Pittsburgh area with wonderful concert opportunities throughout the year.”

The NPSB’s first concert of the season will be Sunday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the Greater Masonic Hall on Cemetery Lane, Pittsburgh. Tickets are available online at or at the door.

Greig, who has been with Westminster since 1995, directs Westminster’s “Titan” Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and award-winning Wind Ensemble.

Contact Greig at 724-946-7279 or email for additional information.

Westminster College to Host Week-Long Celebration in Honor of Inauguration

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:14:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host We in Westminster, a week-long celebration of the college from Oct. 23-28 in honor of Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson’s Inauguration.

The week will include several events each day:

·       Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m., two open houses in Wallace Memorial Chapel and McGill Library will discuss the history and heritage of different aspects of the college and is open to the campus and community.

·       Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m., the Titan Service Cup Award and Celebration will take place in Berlin Lounge. The Titan Service Cup is a competition among all student organizations to participate in the most community service and philanthropy hours. The winning student groups will receive recognition and prizes.

·       Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., the women’s volleyball team will play in Buzz Ridl Gymnasium and the women’s soccer game will begin at 7:30 p.m. on the Titan Varsity Soccer Field. Both athletic events are open to the public.

·       Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m., the Henderson Lecture, featuring Dr. Thomas Oberst, will be open to the public in the Witherspoon Maple Room of the McKelvey Campus Center. Oberst will focus his lecture on the science of planets outside the solar system. The Henderson Lecture was founded by Dr. Joseph R. Henderson and his wife, Elizabeth, to encourage and recognize original and continuing research and scholarship among Westminster College faculty.

·       Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m., the School of Music concert featuring various student ensembles will begin in Orr Auditorium. A post-concert reception will follow the concert in Orr Lobby to celebrate Westminster’s arts.

The week will conclude with an Inaugural Chapel Service at 11:40 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, in Wallace Memorial Chapel followed by the Inauguration Ceremony of Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson at 2:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. Dr. Richardson is the 15th president of Westminster College. The ceremony is free and open to the public. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony in the Witherspoon Room of the McKelvey Campus Center.

For more information contact Kara Montgomery at or 724-946-7363, or Gabriella Budai at or 724-946-7122. To view the full schedule of events, visit

Westminster College to Host Woods Lecture: David Weintraub

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 13:53:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Department of Physics will host Dr. David A. Weintraub for the annual Robert M. Woods Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in Phillips Lecture Hall, Hoyt Science Resources Center. The lecture and the reception at 6:30 p.m. are free and open to the public.

Weintraub, professor of astronomy at Vanderbilt University, will present “Profound and Staggering: The Potential Impact of the Discovery of Planets Around Other Stars on Religion.”

Weintraub will describe how the discoveries of thousands of planets in orbit have been made and predict the progress astronomers are likely to make in their studies over the next 50 years. He will explain the consequences of those potential discoveries for selected religions.

The Woods Memorial Lecture honors Dr. Robert M. Woods, professor of physics at Westminster College from 1947-1972.  It is made possible by a gift from the Woods family that has been supplemented over the years by gifts from friends and alumni.

For more information, contact Dr. Robert Knop at

Westminster College Ranked Among Best Liberal Arts Colleges in the Nation by Washington Monthly

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 11:39:00 EST

(image) Westminster College was ranked the 47th best liberal arts college in the nation by Washington Monthly.

“It is far too easy for colleges to garner undeserved reputations for excellence by hiking tuition, burdening students with loans, and spending the money on things that have little to do with educational excellence,” wrote Kevin Carey, Washington Monthly journalist.

Washington Monthly has been working for 11 years to move away from rankings based on wealth, fame, and exclusivity. These new rankings try to provide a more accurate measure of a college’s value by basing rankings on social mobility, research, and service.

 “We are pleased to be recognized for our excellent education as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation based upon student satisfaction, retention, and graduation rates,” said Dr. Thomas Stein, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “Students are immersed in their learning through research, practical, and experimental education opportunities that build skills and confidence to be successful in an ever changing world.”

Contact Richard Sherlock at 724-946-7191 or email for more information.

Westminster College to Host U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus in Free Concert

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 09:39:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus in a free concert Saturday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.

The Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus are the oldest and largest of The U.S. Army Field Band’s performing components. These two ensembles combine to present joint concerts on their national tours and have performed in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries.

The 65-member Concert Band and 29-member Soldiers’ Chorus perform regularly in some of the most famous concert halls in the world and, just as often, in the humblest auditoriums in the smallest of communities. The joining of the two ensembles allows them to offer unparalleled versatility of programming, ranging from orchestral masterworks and operatic arias to Sousa marches, jazz classics and Broadway musicals. The band and chorus also perform independently and have recently shared the stage with the Boston Pops, the Cincinnati Pops, the Detroit Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to their national tours, formal concerts, chamber recitals and educational outreach, members of the Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus frequently represent the Army at formal and ceremonial functions, including the Presidential inaugural parade, Presidential funerals, the Army All-American Bowl and diplomatic efforts overseas. More than six decades as the military’s most-traveled musicians have earned them the title “The Musical Ambassadors of the Army.”

For tickets (limit four per request) to the Westminster concert:

  • Send name, address, number of tickets requested and a self-addressed stamped envelope to Westminster College Celebrity Series, 319 S. Market Street, New Wilmington PA 16172
  • Call the Celebrity Series office at 724-946-7354
  • Stop in at the Celebrity Series office in Patterson Hall or the offices of the New Castle News or Sharon Herald

Contact the Celebrity Series box office at the number above for additional information.

Homecoming Pep Rally

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:01:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will kick off the Homecoming and Reunion Weekend with a pep rally from 7-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 in the Memorial Field House. The event is free and open to the public. 

The 2016 homecoming candidates will be announced and the fall sports will be celebrated. 

Students are encouraged to attend in support of their fellow Titans.

For more information, contact Heaven Brown at

Register to Vote!

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:42:00 EST

(image) Dear Students,

As you know, the upcoming presidential election has been generating a great deal of public interest nationwide. The importance of having a say in this election cannot be understated.

To this end, the Department of State, which administers elections in Pennsylvania, has prepared a Guide as well as a list of frequently asked questions to help you navigate the registration and voting process. You can access the Guide by clicking on the link below:

There you will find information about the qualifications necessary to become eligible to vote in Pennsylvania, voter registration options and methods available, and the process for casting your votes, including voting by absentee ballot or at the polls on Election Day. Later this semester members of our student body will be providing additional voting information and assistance to the campus community.

Remember, the last day to register to vote is Tuesday, October 11th. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8th.

Your vote is your voice!

Neal Edman, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Westminster College Professor Organized, Hosted and Presented at International Conference

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 11:56:00 EST

(image) Dr. James Rhoads, Westminster College professor of political science, organized and hosted the 32nd annual conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity held Sept. 7-10 in New Orleans.

The conference brought together Q methodologists from around the world and from several disciplines to share their research. Q methodology is a conceptual framework and set of procedures used to scientifically study the subjective. Presentations were made by academics from Australia and New Zealand, Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In addition to his other duties, Rhoads co-presented the “Introduction to Q” workshop, for doctoral students using Q in their research and dissertations, with Dr. Susan Ramlo (University of Akron). He co-authored two conference presentations: “Trump 2016: Popular Narratives of an Insurgent Presidential Candidate” with Dr. Larry Baas (Valparaiso University), Dr. Dan Thomas (Wartburg College) and Dr. Shannon Smithey, Westminster associate professor of political science; and “Academic Perspectives of the Obama Legacy” with Baas and Thomas.

Rhoads was re-elected vice president of the society. The next annual meeting will be held September 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Contact Rhoads at 724-946-7255 or email for additional information.

Westminster Carillon to be Featured at Homecoming

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 11:42:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s 42-bell carillon will be featured at Homecoming and Reunion Weekend Oct. 6-9 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the last addition of bells given by the Class of 1956.

Guest carilloneur and alumnus Doug Gefvert ’71 will play the bells Saturday, Oct. 8, at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 9, at 10 a.m. and noon. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organ from Westminster and master’s degree in music history from Temple University. He is currently carilloneur at the Washington Memorial National Carillon in Valley Forge.

One of only 55 college carillons nationwide, Westminster’s bells are an integral part of life on campus. In addition to chiming every quarter hour daily, they are played regularly by Paula Kubik, Westminster organist, and Joseph Bandi, a senior music education and music performance major, who earned a scholarship to cover the cost of lessons. Bandi is a son of Joseph and Debbie Bandi of Imperial and a graduate of West Allegheny High School.

A renewed interest in the carillon has led to interest in the formation of a student guild of carilloneurs, whose purpose includes increasing the number of students who learn and play the carillon regularly during the academic year.

Beyond Homecoming the carillon is scheduled to be played:

Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. prior to vespers, with Bandi at the controls.

Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10:45-11:30 a.m.

Sunday, Oct. 23, for Inauguration Week kickoff at 1 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 28, following Inauguration at 4 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 5, during Family Day

Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10:45-11:30 a.m.

Contact Kubik at 724-946-7270 or email for additional information.

Alumni to Host Fair Trade Market Homecoming Weekend

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 07:42:00 EST

(image) Alumna Wendy Farmerie ’91 will return to campus Homecoming Weekend to offer Purchase with a Purpose: A Fair Trade Market from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, in McKelvey Campus Center.

Linda Claybourn Jenkins ’80 will collaborate with a second fair trade market, Trades of Hope. Farmerie and Jenkins will offer alumni the opportunity to think globally by purchasing international handmade crafts.

Farmerie spoke on campus in September to Inquiry students about the journey that led to owning her business, Silk Road Fair Trade Market, located in New Wilmington. Her business allows consumers to purchase international, handmade gifts to support women from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are seeking to emerge out of the poverty cycle.

She shared stories with students about the workers’ struggles she witnessed while employed in the international business world.  She explained her hopes of finding a different way to support international women in need of operating small sustainable businesses to provide food, shelter and education for their families.

Purchase with a Purpose is co-sponsored by Westminster’s School of Education, Inquiry and the Office of Faith and Spirituality.

For more information, contact Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi at or 724-946-7189.

Westminster College to Host Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquium

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 14:53:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science will host a colloquium featuring Rose Gamble ’86 at 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12 in Hoyt 166. The event is free and open to the public.

Gamble is now a professor of computer science engineering and the director of the Software Design Laboratory at the University of Tulsa. Gamble’s presentation, “Imposing Security Awareness on Wearables,” will focus on wearables such as fitness bands, smart watches, and medical devices. She will discuss the issues surrounding wearable data security and privacy.  

For more information, contact Doreen Matune at or 724-946-7284.

Westminster College to Host Psychology Program Colloquium

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 14:02:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Department of Psychology will host Dr. Celia Brownell for a presentation on prosocial behavior at 11:40 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 in Mueller Theater located in McKelvey Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Brownell is a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Brownell’s presentation, “The Cradle of Compassion: Early Ontogeny of Prosocial Behavior,” will review research on early developments in empathy, helping and sharing. She will discuss how such behaviors emerge and exhibit substantial development between 12 and 30 months of age.

“Dr. Celia Brownell’s ground breaking work explores the moral roots of what makes us human - our ability to show caring and sharing behaviors to others,” said Dr. Mandy Medvin, professor of psychology. “Through careful research she looks at how these behaviors develop in toddlers within the family context, and how such compassion can be fostered.”

For more information, contact Medvin at or 724-946-7360.

Westminster College Biology Faculty Publish Article on Integrating Research into the Curriculum

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 13:01:00 EST

(image) Westminster biology faculty Dr. Karen Resendes, Dr. Joseph Balczon, Dr. Joshua Corrette-Bennett, Dr. Kerri Cornell Duerr and Dr. Katherine Robertson published “Integrating Research Across Biology to Strengthen Senior Capstone Research” in CURQ, the online version of Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly.

The article outlines how, beginning in 2011, Westminster’s Department of Biology revised its introductory and intermediate biology courses to better prepare students for the goals and objectives of the capstone course, as well as to provide students with the skills needed for a broad range of careers in the biological sciences.

More specifically, the revisions were made throughout the curriculum to enable students to gain more experience with scientific literature; develop better questions and testable hypotheses based on current knowledge; improve experimental design as well as an understanding of how to collect, analyze and interpret data; and report findings and conclusions in a more effective and professional manner.

“The faculty chose to publish this major curricular change as an example to other institutions for the successful integration of undergraduate research and the related skills at all levels of education,” Resendes said.

Visit to read the article. Contact Resendes at 724-946-7211 or email for additional information. 

Westminster College Accounting Students Attend Networking Event

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:24:00 EST

(image) Ten Westminster College accounting students and three faculty advisers attended a networking event sponsored by the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) at Station Square in Pittsburgh.

A casino night theme was used to promote the accounting profession and to raise awareness of career opportunities in accounting.

The evening began with a more traditional networking activity: interaction between the students and representatives from CPA firms, accounting graduate schools and CPA exam course sponsors.

“Recruiters shared that they value a sense of poise, attentiveness and confidence in candidates,” said David Smith, Westminster associate professor of accounting, who accompanied the group. “Academic ability can be demonstrated on a résumé but, because the profession is heavily client-service oriented, the ability to think on one’s feet, work in a team and relate well to a vast array of clients is at the top of the list of employers’ hiring criteria. This atmosphere allowed our students to showcase those characteristics.”

In the second portion of the evening, casino games provided an opportunity for students to mingle with faculty and recruiters in a non-academic, non-job search related environment, providing students with a more casual environment to demonstrate their interpersonal skills.

In addition to Smith, Westminster School of Business faculty Keith Bittel and John Geidner attended with the group.

Contact Smith at 724-946-7161 or email for additional information.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Chris

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:07:00 EST

(image) Residence Hall Life

It’s funny, most people wouldn’t think to put 5 lamps and 7 plants in their room, but somehow I’ve made it work. After a long day, all I want to do is go back to my room because it’s my sanctuary. It’s the place where I feel the most relaxed, and it gives me the ability to recharge and tackle everything on my “to do list.” I've never been afraid to put something out of the ordinary in my room, hence the antique barn shutter leaning against my wall.

Chris Israel is a senior business administration major.

Westminster College Orchestra to Present Concert

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:11:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College orchestra will present “Night of the Dance” Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

The program includes: Dvořák’s “Prague Waltzes,” “Danse Macabre” by Saint Saëns, Respighi’s “Ancient Airs and Dances for Lute, Suite I” and “Dance of the Tumblers” by Rimsky-Korsakov.

In addition to the Westminster students, the orchestra includes community members as well as Westminster faculty Dr. Robert Knop, associate professor of physics, playing viola and music adjuncts Robin Hasenpflug playing cello and Cory Palmer playing bass.

The orchestra is under the direction of Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu, assistant professor of music.

Contact Crawford Perttu at 724-946-7271 or email for additional information.

Westminster College Religion Professor to Deliver Lectures in Italy

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:33:00 EST

(image) Dr. Bryan Rennie, Westminster College professor of religion and philosophy and Vira I. Heinz Chair in religion, will deliver a series of invited guest lectures during a research trip to Italy in October.

Rennie, a globally recognized scholar on the life and works of Mircea Eliade and the relationship of religion and art, will present “Eliade’s Concept of the Sacred” and “Skill and the Sacred” at the University of Salerno.

The following week he will deliver “The Ethology of Art and Religion” at La Sapienza University of Rome. He has been asked by the editor-in-chief of SMSR, the flagship journal for the history of religions in Italy, to submit the text of this talk for publication.

Rennie, who has been with Westminster since 1992, earned an undergraduate degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.  His research interests focus on the works of Mircea Eliade, about whom he has authored four books and numerous articles; the relationship of religion and the creative arts; and the ethology (the study of behavior as an evolved trait) of art and religion.

Contact Rennie at 724-946-7151 or email for additional information.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Carmelina

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 13:39:00 EST

(image) Working With Staff and Students

I get the chance to interact with many students while working in the Mail Room. I have students that work with me for three to four years of their college career. I get to know them well and have developed special relationships. Some call me their “Westminster Mom." Several relationships have lasted beyond their time here at WC. I truly enjoy the friendship with the students and my staff. It’s nice to see a sense of balance between the working relationship and friendship that is encouraged in the Mail Room and at Westminster. There is always something to learn from so many different personalities. Each year brings new lessons!

Carmelina Shockey is the mail room supervisor.

Westminster College to Host Shale Waste Disposal Workshop

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:37:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host “Shale Waste Disposal Workshop: Community Concerns” Thursday, Sept. 29, from 5:30-7:45 p.m. in the Witherspoon Lakeview Room of the McKelvey Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public but reservations are appreciated.

The evening’s agenda includes a networking dinner, panelist presentations and community and teacher action discussion. Participants will understand the techniques of shale gas extraction and how waste is generated; be aware of the environmental, health and social concerns associated with the process; learn about the role of civic participation in addressing how the waste is handled and processed; and, for educators, consider ways to implement the topic into their classes.

Presenters include:

* Dr. Helen Boylan, Westminster professor of chemistry: “The Science of Shale Gas Extraction”

* Rachel Huff, Westminster junior computer science major: the Lawrence and Mercer ALLARM website

* Dr. Jay Parrish, former Pennsylvania state geologist: “Shale Waste Disposal, Geology and Seismicity”

* Dr. Ted Auch, FracTracker Great Lakes program coordinator: “Injection Wells, Water Use and Produced Brine in Ohio”

* Chad Nicholson, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund: “Injection Wells, Laws and Community Rights”

* Stacy Wanchisn Long, Grant Township supervisor: “Local Government, Laws and Regulations”

* Photographs of shale gas extraction from the local region by the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project

The workshop can offer two Act 48 hours to educators.

Co-sponsored by the Lawrence and Mercer Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring Program (ALLARM), the workshop is presented as part of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania’s “Straight Scoop on Shale” initiative, supported by a Colcom Foundation grant to the League’s Citizen Education Fund.

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

Westminster College to Host Gallery Reception, “Standing in Place: Recent Landscapes”

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:06:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Peggy Cox, professor of art, will speak about her current art exhibition “Standing in Place: Recent Landscapes” from 5-6 p.m. on Sept. 28 in Foster Art Gallery, Patterson Hall. The reception is free and open to the public.

Cox’s inspiration came from studying the landscape and wooded areas around the college.

Cox has been at Westminster since 1985. She received a bachelor’s degree in studio art from University of Louisville, and a masters of fine art from the University of Pennsylvania.

Contact gallery director, Summer Zickefoose, at 724-946-7267 or for additional information.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Scott

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:58:00 EST

(image) Alumni Support

I'm always blown away from the words of encouragement I receive from alumni. Not long ago, I received a letter from a former player from the class of '06 and was blown away by his pride for Westminster College and Westminster football. In that letter, Chris told me that he loves wearing his Westminster gear in Pittsburgh and is stopped by people who say, "how about those Titans!" He ended his letter by offering to talk to any senior in business, accounting or finance who want to talk about the world of careers after college. The alumni family is what makes Westminster special. 

Scott Benzel is the head football coach.

Westminster College Sociology and Criminal Justice Faculty Receives SAGE Award

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:27:00 EST

(image) Dr. Jamie Chapman, Westminster College assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice studies, was selected to receive the American Sociology Association’s SAGE Teaching innovations and Professional Development Award.

Chapman received this award, presented in Seattle, for demonstrating her commitment to ongoing teaching and learning in sociology.

While there, she also took part in a full day pre-conference workshop, “The Relevant Syllabus.”   

Chapman is the third sociologist in Westminster College history to receive this award, the most recent being Dr. Kristenne Robinson, program coordinator for sociology and criminal justice studies, in 2011.

Contact Chapman at 724-946-6302 or email for additional information.

Westminster College Celebrity Series to Present “Stephen Schwartz and Friends”

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:00:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Celebrity Series will present “Defying Gravity: Stephen Schwartz and Friends” Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The show is sponsored by Huntington Bank.

Schwartz, the celebrated Oscar- and Grammy-winning Broadway composer of Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, will be joined on stage by Broadway vocalists Debbie Gravitte, a Tony winner, and rising star Scott Coulter. Featuring songs from the animated films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Prince of Egypt as well as Schwartz’ musicals, the trio will create an unforgettable evening of musical theatre.

Schwartz studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School of Music while in high school and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of fine art degree in drama. Music and new lyrics for Godspell were followed by Pippin and The Magic Show. At one point, all three shows were running on Broadway simultaneously.

He collaborated with composer Alan Menken on Pocahontas, which earned him two Oscars and a Grammy; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; and most recently, Enchanted. He provided songs for The Prince of Egypt, winning an Academy Award for “When You Believe.”

His most recent musical, Wicked, opened in 2003 and is currently running on Broadway as well as in national and international productions. When the musical reached its 1,900th performance on Broadway, Schwartz became the only songwriter in Broadway history to have three shows run in more than 1,900 performances.

Gravitte won a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award nomination and the New York Showstopper Award for her performance in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. She has taken her nightclub act worldwide, including performances in Atlantic City where she shared the stage with Jay Leno, Harry Anderson and the legendary George Burns.

Coulter, one of New York’s most honored vocalists, has earned five MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs) Awards, five Bistro Awards and two Nightlife Awards. He regularly performs in concert both as a solo artist and with a variety of performers including Tony winner Ben Vereen and Grammy winner Sheena Easton. His symphony concerts include San Francisco, Baltimore, Seattle, Phoenix, Winnipeg, St. Louis and Calgary.

Ticket prices start at $35, with special pricing for school- and college-age students.

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

Humans of Westminster: Meet Brian

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 11:55:00 EST

(image) Campus Architecture

I’m amazed by time. It can move but also stand still. When I arrive to campus every morning, I feel a new appreciation and understanding for the eloquence and history that time has presented to me – for us. Since its founding in 1852, so much time has passed. With that time, the economy, social climate, and technology of Westminster has changed, but the architectural elegance and sophistication of the buildings, campus, and surrounding community remains beautifully sustained. As I walk passed Old Main’s prominent Gothic exterior or by McKelvey Campus Center’s window laden view of Lake Britain, or when I think about the soon-to-be-constructed Tiny House, I can’t help but stand in awe and appreciation for what was, what is, and what is yet to be built. 

Brian Petrus is an instructor of business administration and the marketing program coordinator.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Hannah

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:38:00 EST

(image) Surrounding Area

Upon initially seeing the desolate roads of New Wilmington, it is probably easy for new students to think Westminster wouldn’t have much to offer. However, after running those roads for miles, they now hold a special place in my heart. As an untraditional athlete, I joined the cross county team here my sophomore year and gained an unexpected blessing in finding one of the best teams and college experiences I could ask for. I have since seen so many others find their place at Westminster, and am proud to be a part of such a warm and inviting college community.

Hannah Kappel is a senior accounting major.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Anne

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 10:32:00 EST

(image) Westminster Community

I challenge anyone at Westminster to try and go from one side of campus to the next and not say hi to someone on your way. I bet you can’t do it. Everyone is just too friendly, and that genuine friendliness is contagious; you can’t help but wave and ask how someone’s day is going. Whether you run into another student, professor, or staff member, you always feel like a member of this community.

Anne Tillie is a senior political science major.

Westminster College Announces 2016 Homecoming Activities

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 10:14:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will celebrate its annual Homecoming and Reunion Weekend Oct. 6-9 with a variety of activities.

Westminster’s Celebrity Series will present Defying Gravity, the Music of Stephen Schwartz to kick off the weekend. Visit or call 724-946-7354 to purchase tickets.

Friday’s schedule includes campus tours, an open house at McGill Library, Golden Tower Society hospitality area for alumni from 1930-1966, and Alumni Council’s awards reception and dinner.

Saturday is a full day beginning with Purchase with a Purpose: A Fair Trade Market; a worship service led by the Class of 1966; “’90s TV Shows”-themed parade; reunion luncheons, dinners and photos; decade tents; Titan football vs. the St. Vincent Bearcats; varsity volleyball; and crowning of Homecoming royalty.

Sunday features meditation walks at the Sandy Edmiston Memorial Labyrinth and evening vespers.

Throughout the weekend, alumnus Doug Gefvert ’71 will provide music on Old Main’s carillon.

Many of the weekend’s events require reservations. Visit for a complete schedule and to register for activities.

Contact Linda Wilson in the Alumni Relations Office at 724-946-7364 or email for additional information.

Westminster College to Honor Distinguished Alumni at Reception and Dinner Oct. 7

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:56:00 EST

As part of Westminster College’s Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, its Alumni Council will host the annual Alumni Citation Awards reception and dinner Friday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. in the Witherspoon Room of the McKelvey Campus Center. This year’s honorees are Laurel Phythyon, William Rankin, and Janice Twaddle. Jacklyn Gates will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and Chloe Knappenberger will be recognized with the Rising Titan Award. The Westminster College Alumni Citations were created to recognize alumni who achieved significant accomplishments in their profession or made meaningful contributions to the community or Westminster.  The Outstanding Young Alumni Award recognizes alumni of 15 years or less who are making significant contributions as they build careers and serve their communities or Westminster. The Rising Titan Award honors an up-and-coming student who showcases the ability to be a leading alumnus. Phythyon is a 1974 graduate who earned an undergraduate degree in elementary education and master’s degree in education. She spent 41 years teaching in the Warren (Ohio) Area School District and other local and regional institutions. An outstanding educator, she has earned numerous recognitions, including Kent State University’s Jennings Scholar Award. She has been an active volunteer on her reunion committees and an avid supporter of Westminster’s Jerb Miller Scholarship program. She and her husband, Paul, live in Warren, Ohio, where she enjoys gardening, reading and exercising. Rankin, who graduated magna cum laude in 1960 with a degree in economics and business administration, went on to earn a master of business administration degree from Pace University in New York. He is the former vice president of employee resources for Pfizer’s Consumer Health Care Group and was instrumental in establishing its worldwide consumer organization. He served on Westminster’s Board of Trustees, has endowed two scholarships, is the lead donor for the Bill Rankin Golf Center and is a member of the Towering Titan Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Carla, reside in Gibsonia, where he is active in his church. Twaddle earned her undergraduate degree in English and elementary education in 1974. She has served as the corporate relations manager for the United Way of Allegheny County for the past 22 years, donating innumerable volunteer hours for the partner agencies the organization supports. Her efforts have earned her recognition not only for her volunteerism but also as a member of the Diamond Club for her role in ticket sales for the Pittsburgh Pirates. She has served Westminster’s Alumni Council as a general member and as president. Currently, she serves on the Pittsburgh Regional Alumni Committee and assists during Homecoming. Gates is a 2004 chemistry graduate earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, served a postdoctoral fellowship at Germany’s Technical University of Munich and returned to Berkeley to work in the nuclear laboratory. She was awarded the 2016 Department of Energy Early Career Grant, designed to support d[...]

Westminster College Receives National Science Foundation Grant to Support Rural STEM Students

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:34:00 EST

(image) The National Science Foundation has awarded Westminster College a grant of $648,670 for its project “Rural Discovery Scholars: Providing Targeted Services and Role Models to Increase STEM Preparedness in Rural Students.”

The award, which spans Sept. 15, 2016, to Aug. 31, 2021, is under the direction of Westminster faculty Dr. Peter Smith, professor of chemistry and chair of the Division of Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences (BCES); Dr. Erin Wilson, associate professor of chemistry; Dr. Kerri Duerr, assistant professor of biology; and Dr. Patrick Krantz, associate professor of environmental science.

“The proposed project will provide dedicated scholarships to 20 rural, low-income, academically talented and predominantly first-generation college students in the programs housed in BCES,” Smith said. “The goal is to increase the self-efficacy and academic success of these students by providing targeted support services and mentoring programs. Each participant will live on the same floor of one of our residence halls in a living-learning community and will have a peer-tutor/mentor, a faculty mentor and an alumni mentor to serve as a role model for success.”

The first scholarships will be awarded to 10 students for the fall 2017 semester. A second cohort of 10 students will matriculate in fall 2018. The students will receive financial support for all four years as long as they maintain academic standing (3.0 cumulative GPA or higher) and continue as one of the majors in BCES: biochemistry, biology, chemistry, environmental science, materials science or molecular biology.

Contact Smith at 724-946-7299 or email for additional information.

Westminster College Combined Choirs to Present “Gospel Mass” Oct. 2

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:22:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Combined Choirs will present Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass Sunday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel. The worship service is open to all.

Written more than 35 years ago as an experimental work for a one-time performance, the 30-minute Gospel Mass sets the words and music from the Catholic Mass to the rhythm and harmony of African-American music. The composer believes this piece strikes an ecumenical chord that “allows people of all denominations or faith to embrace the style.”

The special Open Door Worship will feature student soloists and Westminster faculty artists Jeff Wachter, P. J. Gatch III and Mark Antonich.

The choirs are under the direction of Dr. Sam Barbara, Westminster assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

Contact Barbara at 724-946-7278 or email for additional information.

Westminster College Professor to Present on Constitution Day

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 10:30:00 EST

(image) In honor of Constitution Day, Dr. Edward Cohen will lecture on the meaning and history of the Constitution at 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20 in Patterson Hall 207.

Cohen’s lecture is titled, The U.S. Constitution After 230 Years.

Every year the political science and history departments take turns presenting on an important aspect of the Constitution. This year, Cohen will be discussing the goals, evolution, and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, which is now almost 230 years old.

Federal law requires the college to have an event to celebrate the adoption of the proposed Constitution by the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787 in Philadelphia.

For more information, contact Cohen at

Students Participate in WFMJ Fashion Show

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:02:00 EST

(image) WFMJ Channel 21 (NBC) out of Youngstown hosted a college student "fashion" show  at Westminster College on Wednesday, Sept. 14, on the early news segment, WFMJ Today.

Westminster College served as the backdrop with six students serving as models. Students were advised by Susan Henderson, fashion editor for WFMJ, and Michele Fraelich, manager of Dilliards Southern Park Mall in Boardman, Ohio.

Student models included, Regino FloresJordyn KeeMorgan KohlerChris IsraelMacaya Yao, and Kimu Kim.

The show was divided into three different segments including President Kathy Richardson, Brad Tokar, director of admissions, and two students to represent the Tiny House Project, Lexie Yoho and Cameron Worthing.

Students from Broadcasting and Media Production were also present to experience a hands-on look at a live broadcast production with the WFMJ crew.

The segment started at 5:45 A.M. and the final segment started at 6:45 A.M.

Three locations on campus were highlighted and Dilliards provided the clothing and fittings.

Below is a link to the segments.


U.S. News & World Report Ranks Westminster College in “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges”

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:12:00 EST

(image) Westminster College placed as the 119th “Best National Liberal Arts College” in the nation, according to the new edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings released Sept. 13.

“Being recognized annually by U.S. News is testimony to the quality education and learning experience Westminster provides to each student,” said Dr. Thomas H. Stein, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “Knowing the criteria used to determine the rankings, it is nice to observe Westminster’s position increasing as we strive to give the students high value learning experiences.”

Now in its 32nd year, the rankings present data gathered from and about nearly 1,400 colleges and universities across the nation. Schools are categorized as national universities, national liberal arts colleges, regional universities and regional colleges.

Within each category, scores for each of seven key measures of quality – graduation and retention rates; assessment of excellence; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; graduation rate performance; and alumni giving – are weighted to arrive at a final overall score.

According to U.S. News, the results, in combination with “college visits, interviews and personal intuition,” can be used by prospective students and their parents as an aid in determining the best school for each student.

Visit or contact Rick Sherlock, Westminster marketing and communications director, at 724-946-7191 (email for additional information.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Shane

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:06:00 EST

(image) GREEK LIFE

The Greek Life community of Westminster is truly one of a kind. The members of each and every organization show such extreme compassion for one another and their college. There comes a day in the semester when independent students have an opportunity to join a Greek organization. Every bid day is special to me, but this past one was extraordinary. When my fraternity began their procession in the negative temperatures of that February morning, I could not control my emotions as I watched 14 young men begin their journey into Sigma Phi Epsilon. I knew what our fraternity would offer them in order to better themselves and their institution.

Wilson is a senior early childhood/special education major and president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Thomas

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:00:00 EST

(image) "The Night Sky Over Westminster"
The night sky over campus can be especially dark and star-filled if the stadium field lights are off and you pick the right spot. Westminster is far from big city lights and noise, and provides a peaceful retreat. My personal favorite spots for stargazing are the Outdoor Field Station and the College Woods. Our nighttime astronomy labs are a big hit with students, and public stargazing events following planetarium shows can draw a crowd. My most memorable night was when students viewed comet Pan-STARRs through telescopes. A couple weeks later, some of the same students stayed up all night to watch the Lyrids meteor shower.

Oberst is an assistant professor of physics and the director of the Westminster College Planetarium and Observatory.

Westminster College Neuroscience Major Wins National Travel Award

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:39:00 EST

(image) Ashlyn Brown, a Westminster College senior neuroscience major, won a national travel award for her research and outreach efforts in teaching preschool children about the brain.

Brown teamed with Melissa Egan, a Westminster senior early childhood/special education major, to design neuroscience games and activities to engage preschoolers in learning. They visited Westminster’s Preschool Lab many times to teach simple concepts about how the brain controls behavior.

The project was an initiative of Westminster faculty Dr. Deanne Buffalari, assistant professor of neuroscience, and Dr. Sararose Lynch, assistant professor of education, to utilize targeted educational approaches to teach neuroscience to young children and to promote interdisciplinary research.

Sponsored by The Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience and the Society for Neuroscience, competition for the award is open to any undergraduate from across the country who conducts neuroscience outreach.

The sole recipient of the travel award, Brown will attend the Society for Neuroscience conference Nov. 12-16 in San Diego to present her research in two sessions and receive recognition for her outreach and accomplishments.

Brown is a daughter of Allison Winters of Avella and a graduate of Trinity High School.

Egan is a daughter of William and Diane Egan of McDonald and a graduate of South Fayette High School.

Contact Buffalari at 724-946-7358 or email for additional information.

Westminster College Students, Faculty and Staff Participate in Wilmington School Fundraiser

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 13:45:00 EST

(image) Westminster College students, faculty, alumni and staff spent an evening working alongside Wilmington Area School administrators and staff to help raise scholarship funds for Wilmington Area High School students and teachers.

The August fundraiser took place at Cedar Farm Inn in New Wilmington.

Senior educations majors, Carly Christofferson and Sarah Slonaker, volunteered with Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, professor of education, to prepare and serve food trays to those in attendance. Christofferson and Slonaker are also graduates of Wilmington Area High School.

“It was a great networking event and I enjoyed getting the opportunity to reconnect with administrators from my high school,” said Christofferson. “It was amazing to see the support that was shown for the Wilmington Area Educational Foundation.”

Westminster alumna, Jennifer Matyasovsky, manager at Cedar Farm Inn, along with George Endrizzi, Wilmington Middle School administrator, were the primary organizers and chefs for this fundraising event.

For more information, contact Klassen Endrizzi at or 724-946-7189.

Westminster College International Film Series to Open with Beatles Movie

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 14:06:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Jake Erhardt International Film Series will open the 2016-2017 season with A Hard Day’s Night Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater.  The program is free and open to the public.

The 1964 Richard Lester film follows a “typical” day in the life of the Beatles, arguably the world’s most famous rock and roll band, as they travel from their home in Liverpool to London for a television show.

The British film was nominated for two Academy Awards and a Grammy and won Boxoffice magazine’s Blue Ribbon Award for Best Picture of the Month for the Whole Family (Sept. 1964).

Additional films this semester are scheduled for Tuesdays, Oct. 25 and Nov. 15.

The International Film Series is named in honor of its founder, Dr. Jacob Erhardt, professor of German emeritus at Westminster College.  Erhardt, who taught at Westminster from 1968 until his retirement in 2004, served as chair of his department from 1970-1986, was named the Language Educator of the Year by the Pennsylvania State Modern Languages Association, translated into English Robert Reitzel’s Adventures of a Greenhorn, and was recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities as an outstanding member.

Contact Dr. Deborah Mitchell at 724-946-7030 or email for more information.

Westminster Graduate Faculty Publish Blogs on College-School Collaboration

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:16:00 EST

(image) Two Westminster College faculty members published four blogs outlining their joint two-month inquiry between seventh-graders from Shenango Middle School and Westminster College secondary education majors.

Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, professor and coordinator of the reading specialist graduate program, and Dr. Karen Matis, adjunct faculty and seventh-grade teacher at Shenango Middle School, recently published the blogs at Worlds of Words: International Children’s Literature.

The integrated curricular exploration began with the study of the novel, The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson. Westminster secondary education students in Klassen Endrizzi’s education course visited Matis’ classroom for a Skype session with author, Hopkinson.

“The opportunity to blog with Klassen Endrizzi for the Worlds of Words website was quite rewarding,” said Matis. “Klassen Endrizzi's education students and my adolescents provided a unique mix of learning opportunities. Literature needs to ‘come alive’ for adolescent learners.  Activities and real world experiences and connections meant that literature set in the 1800s could easily be connected to global issues today.”

The blogs feature insights from three Westminster College secondary education majors, Katherine St. Pierre, Cory Hughes, and Ben Gaul.

For more information, contact Klassen Endrizzi at or 724-946-7189.

Westminster College Sociology Professor Presents at Amish Studies Conference

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 15:03:00 EST

(image) Dr. Kristin Park, Westminster College professor of sociology, presented “The Perceived Influence of Amish Residents on ‘English’ Values, Beliefs, Behaviors and Interactions in a Small Community” at Elizabethtown College in June.

The presentation shared data from Park’s ongoing research involving in-depth interviews with non-Amish residents of a region with a significant Old Order Amish settlement.

“The research is discovering the perceptions, experiences and interactions that non-Amish have of and with their fellow Amish community members,” Park said. “Non-Amish participants respect the humility, willingness to live within limits and within religious frameworks, and slower pace of life of their Amish friends and acquaintances. Some participants expressed concerns about Amish racial insensitivity and examples of what they felt to be excessive and unwarranted restrictions on the life paths of their Amish friends.”

The conference, “Continuity and Change: 50 Years of Amish Society,” was sponsored by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.

Contact Park at 724-946-7251 or email for additional information.

“Experience Alaska” Team to Present at Westminster College Vespers

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 14:43:00 EST

Westminster College students and staff of the “Experience Alaska” team will participate in the vespers service Sunday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel. The worship service is open to the public. Led by the Rev. Jim Mohr, chaplain, and Dr. Kerri Duerr, assistant professor of biology, the group spent May 16-June 2 celebrating the six components of the trip: Spiritual development, which included leading worship in a Presbyterian and a Baptist church and evening reflections on the day’s highs and lows. Vocational discernment, asking each other “What does God want me to do with my life?” Service that included planting over 450 trees in areas that suffered from forest fires, leading worship services, learning about eco-sustainability homes, cleaning up around homes, and engaging homeless individuals at First Presbyterian Church in Anchorage. Environmental concerns, including a day spent with a National Parks worker at Exit Glacier learning to think about global issues in a new way. Alaskan culture through conversations with native Alaskans, including two Alaskan Secretaries of State, the founders of the Iditarod dog sled race, and the mayor of Anchorage, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Travel that included “firsts” for many of the students: first time in an airplane or on a boat; first time eating native Alaska food; first time square dancing. “Trips like Experience Alaska have the potential to transform one’s life as you celebrate creation, think about your life goals, meet people from other cultures and do things you never imagined you would ever get an opportunity to do,” Mohr said. Funded in part by a Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) Chaplaincy Implementation grant, the trip provided opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, leadership development, and conversations and reflections about vocational discernment, along with environmental sciences and conservation experiences. “Thanks to funding provided by a Westminster family we will be able to sponsor Experience Alaska 2 during the summer of 2017,” Mohr added. The team will make an additional presentation Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 11:30 a.m. in the Witherspoon Maple Room of the McKelvey Campus Center. Contact Mohr at 724-946-7116 or email for additional information. [...]

Westminster College to Host NeighborFood Picnic

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 13:25:00 EST

(image) Westminster College will host a NeighborFood Picnic from 5-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13 in the quad on campus.

‘A shorter distance from farm to fork’ is the focus for this season’s campus dining experience. During this event, Sodexo is extending their commitment to locally sourced, fresh, clean foods with NeighborFood.

Sodexo will serve grilled burgers, chicken, hot dogs, corn on the cob, salads, fresh fruit, and ice cream sandwiches. Live music, games and prizes will be available. Meal swipes will be accepted as a form of payment.

New Wilmington Fresh Marketplace will also be open. This farmer’s market features a wide variety of local fresh produce.

Duff Dining Hall is the rain location.

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

Westminster College to Host First Annual Lakeside Craft Fair

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 13:51:00 EST

Westminster College’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Sodexo Dining Services will host the first annual Lakeside Craft Fair from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Anderson Amphitheater next to Lake Brittain.

The planning team is currently seeking craft vendors. Student vendors will pay $5 and others will pay $15. Vendors will receive the use of one eight-foot table and one chair.

The event will be held in conjunction with Hunger Awareness Month. Funds from the concession stand and vendor table fees will be donated to New Wilmington’s PB&J BackPack Program.

The PB&J BackPack Program is part of the Community Food Warehouse’s BackPack Program, which feeds over 830 eligible school children on the weekends spanning throughout eight school districts. The program was started through the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County, a non-profit organization and a member of Feeding America, the nation’s network of food banks. 

“The generosity of our volunteers and donors are what drive not only the BackPack Program, but all of our programs, to be successful,” said Lauren Beran, program and volunteer coordinator at the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County. “We are so grateful to everyone who donates their time and energy to help us feed the hungry people in our community.”

For more information, contact Mona Moufid, marketing specialist for Sodexo Dining Services at Westminster, at or 724-946-7703.