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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: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 08:00:07 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

Office of Faith and Spirituality Encourages Campus to Give this Holiday Season

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:52:00 EST

(image) As the holiday season draws near, we’re all reminded why this time of year is so special—quality time with family and friends; festive decorations and yummy food; and the spirit of giving takes over. At Westminster College, the Office of Faith and Spirituality is sharing the spirit of giving by encouraging the campus to purchase Christmas gifts for local youth. The “Angel Giving Tree” is now on display in the McKelvey Campus Center in front of the Student Affairs office.

Participation in the Angel Giving Tree is simple. Feel free to take a tag from the tree; purchase a gift based on the suggestions listed on the tag; place the tag on the gift; and return your gift to the Office of Faith and Spirituality, located in McKelvey Campus Center room 223, by Friday, Dec. 8.

This year’s angel tree supports youth through Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Walker House, the PA Homeless Children’s Initiative and the Bair Foundation.

For more information, contact Diane Gabriel at

Westminster Celebrates Diversity Month

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:04:00 EST

(image) November is Celebrate Diversity Month, and the students from on-campus organizations such as Black Student Union (BSU), ALLIES and the Disability Awareness Club (DAC) came together to plan a month-long string of events to bring light to prevalent issues among minority communities in society.   

Celebrate Diversity Month has been recognized for over ten years. This year, the students of the three organizations hope to increase awareness of inclusivity during a time when these matters have been heightened in our country.

“The goal is to provide the entire campus with educational workshops and events to help inform, inspire and educate our community about issues that are prevalent within minority and underrepresented communities,” Director of Diversity and Inclusion Jeannette Hubbard said.

Black Student Union kicked off the first week of the celebration with a series of events stressing fellowship and education. On Nov 9, guest speaker Mark Weir led a discussion on what it means to “Take a Knee” in today’s society. At the end of his discussion, he opened the floor for open discussion after his presentation.

“Mark talked about taking a knee and why people within this social climate do so,” BSU Vice President Antonia Thompson said. “It was enlightening.”

On Nov. 13, BSU, Allies and DAC presented “Dear Westminster,” a presentation from different students about their experiences as diverse individuals on campus. The following day, ALLIES and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and WHIG hosted Ted Hoover from the Persad Center in Pittsburgh to discuss LGBT in history.

“These students came together to ensure they work harmoniously to get the message of inclusivity across campus,” Hubbard said. “They’re being progressive to get the message out through workshops and activities that will help educate and empower the campus about salient issues in today’s society.”

The campus organizations, under the advising of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, encourage the campus to get involved.

“I became informed by going to different events on subjects I never knew about, and I got the groups' perspective on what’s going on,” BSU member Jay’Kayla Samuels said. 

Most importantly, Celebrate Diversity Month is about getting the campus engaged and better informed about issues every year. Through the events, students are not only able to learn about the subject matters at hand but are also given the opportunity to discuss them openly.

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

Written by Megan Simpson

Dr. Deanne Buffalari presents research at Millersville University

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:56:00 EST

(image) Dr. Deanne Buffalari, assistant professor of neuroscience, recently gave a talk at Millersville University regarding her recent research. Buffalari was invited by the psychology department at Millersville to discuss the research she has been conducting in the neuroscience laboratory at Westminster College with undergraduate students. In particular, this talk highlighted the work of three students—senior Katelynn Morrell and alumni Anthony Sloan '15 and Sarah Waszyn '16. Morrell, Sloan and Waszyn were interested in using animal models to study behavioral and cognitive disorders. This work included studies of what factors might contribute to the progression and symptoms Parkinson's disease and possible treatments for Parkinson's, as well as how individuals with ADHD might react to certain combinations of drugs. A portion of this work was published by Sloan and Buffalari last year. This work is ongoing and provides an exciting and clinically relevant field of research for undergraduate students.

"This talk was particularly exciting for me because it was based solely on the work of our undergraduates. It's great to see their work come together to create a great scientific story. I feel lucky to work with such talented and hard working students. They are making valuable contributions to the field," said Buffalari. 

For more information, contact Buffalari at

Chemistry Students Present Results of Service Learning Project for Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:03:00 EST

(image) Seven Westminster College chemistry and biochemistry majors presented the results of a service-learning project at a meeting of the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition (SRWC) on Oct. 12 at the Jennings Environmental Education Center.

The project was completed as part of an advanced laboratory class and mentored by Dr. Helen Boylan, Westminster professor of chemistry. They collaborated with the SRWC to test the passive water treatment system for treating abandoned mine drainage at the DeSale Restoration Area Phase I site in Butler County.

As part of the five-week project, students studied background literature on abandoned mine drainage, went on a field trip to the sites to do field tests of the water and collect water samples, and used standard methods to analyze various water quality parameters in the lab setting.

“Not only did this project teach us how to create our own methods, it taught us how to use new instruments that are widely used in the field of chemistry,” said student Matt Ford.

Students presented results of the field and lab tests at the SRWC meeting. Their findings confirm that the passive treatment site is working well. Through this collaboration, the SRWC was able to obtain lab-quality data on its passive treatment sites that the non-profit organization would not otherwise be able to afford.

"Despite the rainy weather and attack by yellow jackets, the students were able to use the chemistry that they are learning in the classroom in a real-world scenario,” Boylan said.

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

Westminster Honors Students Eat Churros with the President

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:07:00 EST

(image) Over the weekend, Dr. Hicok and the Honors students partook in the annual tradition of attending President Richardson’s home to enjoy an evening of dinner and fellowship. For some students, this was their final visit to the President’s home as their time at Westminster slowly winds down.

“This marks the beginning of all of the lasts I will be experiencing as a senior. Looking back at all the opportunities made possible by Westminster, I am glad to have chosen such a great college,” senior Jarret Vrabel stated.

On the other hand, some students are still experiencing their firsts here at Westminster. First-year Stephen Barr is only starting to discover the amazing benefits of attending Westminster and being part of the Honors program. He would have to say that his first experience with the president was pretty memorable. 

"President Richardson was extremely hospitable, and walked around with a tray of churros at the end of the dinner to make sure that everyone had gotten as many as they wanted," he said. 

For more information, contact Dr. Hicok at

Humans of Westminster: Meet Andrew '19

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 08:52:00 EST

(image) Gone Fishin’

I have made some special friendships that will most certainly last for years to come. If you ask anyone that knows me what my passion is they’ll most certainly say fishing. If anything, the people here at Westminster have made my passion for fishing stronger. Two of my best friends on campus happen to be avid fisherman, themselves. Over the years together we have spent countless hours on the stream helping each other improve and master our craft. Therefore, as a commuter for my first 2 years who is now staying on campus this year, I can say that there are definitely ways that Westminster makes you feel like you belong here even compared to your own home. Just having this big interconnected web of people you know makes you always feel like you belong, because you do.

Andrew Kearney is a junior environmental science major. 

Perry Encourages Faculty Social Media Use in Podcast Interview

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 08:31:00 EST

(image) Westminster Graduate School Assistant Director Dr. Eric Perry was a featured guest on the Oct. 31 episode of the “The Faculty Meeting” podcast. Perry, who also serves as the Counselor Education Program Coordinator, offered ideas on how college faculty members can best make use of social media in the classroom and in their professional lives.

He was interviewed by Dr. Marty Jencius of Kent State University and Dr. Eric Baltrinic of Winona State University. The pair of counselor educators launched their biweekly podcast this year as a forum to “discuss topics related to being a faculty member at the university level,” such as faculty roles, responsibilities and lifestyle.

Perry said during the podcast that it’s important to incorporate social media into the classroom, as today’s students are “digital natives” who regularly communicate through these channels.

“They’ve grown up with technology. It’s not foreign to them, and so we have to think about how they connect with one another and how we’re going to best connect with them,” he said.

“I’ve such a huge increase in participation,” Perry noted, after describing his classroom use of Poll Everywhere, a live interactive audience participation tool. “It seems like for students who are more tied into technology, they’re more drawn to this form of communication. This is how they’re comfortable communicating, and I want to give them that forum.”

Using examples from his introductory counseling course, Perry explained that it’s best for a faculty member to determine what his or her needs are before choosing a social media tool — such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn — to incorporate into classroom use.

“Many of these were not designed as pedagogical tools. They were designed for broad public social interaction,” Perry said. “Once faculty members have a good idea of how information is shared on there, and what the purpose of the tool is, you can start talking about how it might fit into a course.”

To listen to the entire free audio podcast, listen through iTunes at:,1,WjBlpHomVEOUWeaCUzDFf3rp1pqztP4_rgN4yvf_D7XbpQ0aEOPHDmwJNPp9vUVYO7r_OkSWz6TLjwClPm7uCdWuQwJ-pLDW6CkbTDnYm2hSrc_MxmI,&typo=1

The podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn or at:,1,NvV17PpqMdX9GhOY6mqtlbvLC7-0ZW7aEnox5H0xHJosl4rJvjIvBqzJhsPI_cnKi3iLN2YchfW2kdYR8naxFpghKVGIBtqBcK1Gqw,,&typo=1

Written by Jessica Shelenberger

Internationally Acclaimed Storyteller to Speak at Westminster College

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 15:03:00 EST

(image) Westminster’s Office of Faith and Spirituality welcomes Tracy Radosevic, internationally-acclaimed storyteller and educator, to campus on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13 to guest speak at Vespers on Sunday night and lead bible study/speak at chapel the following day.

During Vespers at 7:00 pm in Wallace Memorial Chapel, Radosevic will draw on her biblical knowledge and storytelling abilities to help attendees answer the question, “How Does YOUR Garden Grow?”

On Monday, Radosevic will host “The Word Made Flesh: Enlivening Bible Study and Sharing,” from 8:00 am to 11:30 am in the Witherspoon Maple Room. Attendees will explore the basics of story internalization and proclamation and learn how to interpret and teach stories of faith. The cost is $10.00 per person, but if five or more people from the same church attend each person will only have to pay $8.00.

Following the bible study, Radosevic will move to Wallace Memorial Chapel and be the Chapel Speaker at 11:40 am. Her topic of discussion is “Preparing the Way.” Attendees who paid for the program are invited to lunch at 12:15 following the chapel service.

Radosevic is the Director of Christian Education at First Methodist Church in Cherryville, NC, and an adjunct professor at East Tennessee State University. She is a member of the National Storytelling Network and is now the Dean of the Academy for Biblical Storytellers.

Radosevic has traveled across the United States and to several foreign countries to speak to audiences about faith and the power of narrative. She has performed for schools, libraries and civic groups and uses a wide-range of story genres to convey her message to people of all ages. 

The public is encouraged to attend the Office of Faith and Spirituality’s events and learn the power of biblical narrative from Radosevic, an acclaimed biblical scholar.  

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

Written by Megan Simpson

Running with the Best: Keilah Ireland '17

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 14:06:00 EST

(image) After graduating last May with a degree in mathematics, Keilah Ireland is already racing towards a successful future. Keilah currently works as an analyst in the conversions department of BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh putting the critical thinking and analytic skills she learned at Westminster to good use. BNY Mellon is a renowned banking firm that connects clients to financial opportunities in 100 markets across 35 countries. As an analyst, it is her job to ensure clients are able to move their assets when they need to. 

Although starting a new career can be intimidating at first for some recent graduates, luckily Keilah is part of a team with seven other people who are always willing to lend a helping hand. 

"My favorite part about work is my coworkers," said Keilah. "They are always eager to help when I have questions and some of them have even become people that I hang out with outside of work."

Being a team player has always been one of Keilah's strengths. Aside from being actively involved within the math department at Westminster, Keilah was a contributing member of the women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams, scoring in her events throughout her tenure with the Titans. Keilah said being part of the track team led her to different experiences and people that have all impacted her life—including her track coach, Tim McNeil. 

“McNeil is always working hard,” she said. “Even on a bad day, McNeil is enthusiastic."

"He has taught me a number of life lessons and continuously pushed me to be better. He had a major impact on my life in college, and was one of the people that made Westminster feel like home. He is my role model and I aspire to be as hardworking, strong and determined as him.”

Happily running with a new team at BNY Mellon, Keilah left Westminster feeling well-prepared and equipped with the necessary skills to take on her job.

“The math department thoroughly prepared me for this job by teaching me to have a competitive, problem-solving mindset, which has driven some useful improvements to the company process," she said. “The rigorous curriculum and coding skills gave me the stamina and skills I need to perform on a daily basis.”

Westminster gave Keilah the means to discover her strong suits and run with them, both on the track and in the office. It’s evident to her that Westminster is not a place she will forget anytime soon.

Written by Megan Simpson

Alumni Hosts Free VIP Viewing of Kraynak’s Holiday Display

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 10:59:00 EST


Alumni George and Penny Rice Kraynak ’75 are hosting a free VIP viewing of Kraynak’s Holiday Display for Westminster alumni, family and friends! The viewing is Dec. 9 from 8-9 a.m. at Kraynak's (located at 2525 East State Street, Hermitage, PA 16148).

At the end of Christmas Lane, children and families will have the opportunity to take a professional photo with Santa before he departs for the North Pole!

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

Reservations due by Friday, December 1, 2017

View last year's photos here.

Dr. Alison DuBois and Dr. Molly Mistretta (SRU) Present at 20th Annual Fall for Education Conference

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 10:14:00 EST

(image) Dr. Alison DuBois, associate professor of education and counseling, and Dr. Molly Mistretta (Slippery Rock University) were invited to present at the 20th Annual Fall for Education Conference at the University of Wiconsin-La Crosse in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This year's theme for the conference was "Mental Health and Trauma in PK-12."  

During their session entitled "When Caring Hurts: Identifying Signs of Burn-out and Compassion Fatgue in Education," DuBois and Mistretta discussed diagnostic criteria for burnout and compassion fatigue to an audience of pre-service teachers, graduate students, professional educators, school psychologists and administrators. The session also included constructive coping strategies to employ when experiencing the effects of burnout and compassion fatigue along with further discussion pertaining to DuBois and Mistretta's current research in the field of special and early childhood education regarding burnout and secondary trauma.

For more information, contact DuBois at or 724-946-6039.

*pictured above from l-to-r: DuBois, Dr. Laura Kestemberg (Malloy College), Dr. Molly Mistretta (SRU), and Dr. Jeffrey Kottler (Baylor School of Medicine).

Dr. Alison DuBois and Alumnae Reunite for 2017 Kappa Delta Pi National Convocation

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 08:43:00 EST

(image) Dr. Alison DuBois, associate professor of education and counseling, along with alumnae Katelynn Jones '17, Jennifer Rodgers '17 and Mandy Magnotti '17 attended and presented at the 2017 Kappa Delta Pi National Convocation in Pittsburgh on Oct. 28. The group delivered a 60 minute presentation entitled "Caring at a Cost: Helping Young Teachers Identify Burnout and Secondary Trauma," in which they discussed factors that increase the likelihood of secondary trauma in young, inexperienced teachers and practical ways to mitigate burnout and secondary trauma. 

Jones, Rodgers and Magnotti worked with Dr. DuBois on two research studies, over a one year period, examining the effects of burnout on pre-service teachers and also shared their findings during the presentation. The Kappa Delta Pi convocation marked their third national presentation together. 

"In the education department at Westminster, we were encouraged by all professors to take part in meaningful research that would impact our profession as educators," said Rodgers. "I am incredibly grateful for the support I received as a student and continue to receive as a new educator. Westminster College professors and faculty are second to none."

According, Kappa Delta Pi (KDP) is an "International Honor Society in Education founded in 1911 to foster excellence in education and promote fellowship among those dedicated to teaching. Using a variety of programs, services, and resources, KDP supports and advances educators throughout the phases and levels of their teaching careers."

For more information, contact DuBois at or 724-946-6039.

Women’s Soccer: Titans Claim Spot in ECAC Tournament, Will Travel to Frostburg State

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 08:24:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College women’s soccer team has been selected to compete in the 2017 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament.

The Titans (10-8), the No. 3 seed in the third pod, will play at No. 2 seed Frostburg State University (9-8-2) in Frostburg, Md. on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. in the 15-team tournament. The winners of the first two games of the third pod will play on Sunday, Nov. 12. The winners of each pod, will go on to compete in the semifinal rounds on Saturday, November 18.    

Established in 1938, the ECAC is the nation's largest Conference, ranging in location from Maine to Georgia, and westerly to Missouri. The ECAC hosts numerous championships in men's and women's sports across Divisions I, II and III, offering opportunities for thousands of student-athletes. For more information, visit 

Click here for the complete bracket. 

For more information, contact Nathan LaRiccia at

Senior Broadcasting and Media Production Students Prepare for 2017 Documentary Showcase

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 15:10:00 EST

(image) After spending two semesters working hard on their capstone projects, seniors Emiley Westfall, Brad Kolesar, Troy Jackson, Charles Borges and Justin Wilson are officially ready to debut their short-format documentaries during the 2017 Westminster College Documentary Showcase. The showcase takes place on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. in Mueller Theater, located in the McKelvey Campus Center. All are welcome to attend.

For broadcast communication and media production students, the senior capstone project experience culminates during the course Documentary Production. Over the span of the two-semester course, the students move through the process of conducting research and conceptualizing their documentaries before launching into production and post-production. The students are able to choose their own topic, and are responsible for conducting interviews and shooting/editing their documentaries.

With the amount of work that goes into video production, this year’s senior capstone cohort all agree that shooting as much footage as possible over the summer before the last semester of capstone is the critical to being successful.

"Always make sure you’re professional and that you manage your time," said Emiley Westfall. "It will sneak up on you, and you don't want that to happen.”

For Troy Jackson, flexibility and adaptability are other key skills to keep in mind throughout the process of capstone. While shooting his project, Troy’s project started to change as soon as he started shooting. 

“I found out new things that didn't appear in my research,” said Troy. “What the experts told me in interviews was so much different than my online research."

Because capturing video footage and interviews can be unpredictable at times, Charles Borges encourages students to be assertive throughout the process.

“When you're doing interviews or shooting your b-roll, tell [your interviewees] what you need,” Charles said. “It's your movie. It's your documentary. It's what you make of it. Be a director."

Justin Wilson advises future capstone students to choose a topic that is challenging to them.

"Don't pick something easy that you can just get way with in this process,” Justin said. “Pick a project that you like. If you feel it in your heart, go for it."

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

Emiley Westfall: "Tutus, Pink Shoes, & Baby Blues"

Brad Kolesar: "Hitting the Red Line"

Troy Jackson: "Ghost Witch"

Charles Borges: "A Chance to Play"

Justin Wilson: "Tiny Living"

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

Westminster College Student Named Winner in Retro Renegade/Power Up National Sweepstakes

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:24:00 EST


Morgan Sesler, a student at Westminster College, was recently selected as one of eight lucky winners in Sodexo’s Power Up Retro Renegade National Prize Sweepstakes. Sesler received an Atari Flashback 7 Classic Game Console and a $200 Best Buy gift card.

The Power Up promotion was part of an ongoing resident dining campaign sponsored by Sodexo, the dining services company at Westminster College.

Featured at more than 600 college and university campuses managed by Sodexo nationwide, Power Up was a lively promotion designed to leverage the popularity of today’s gaming culture, while focusing on delicious foods that will help any student power through his or her busy day. This was the perfect platform to highlight the excitement and variety found in the college's dining program.

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

The Man with the Camera: Brad Kolesar ‘18

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:50:00 EST


Freshman year of college can be daunting, for the number of study options often outweigh students’ understandings of their life callings. However, senior broadcast major Brad Kolesar did not let the different possible career pathways deter him from pursuing his passion for cameras.

Having originally thought his career path would lead him to photography throughout high school, his interest transitioned into video—which ultimately led him to Westminster. At Westminster, Brad’s options for videography and similar disciplines were plenty. He had the option to explore TV news, video production, film making and broadcasting remote production.

“Westminster has shaped me into a well-rounded person,” Brad said. “I am not just smart in a certain area or skill set. When I leave Westminster, I know I will be prepared for whatever lies ahead.”

After graduation in May 2018, Brad plans on pursuing a career in remote broadcast after gaining valuable experience during his on-campus job organizing all remote broadcast. Brad broadcasts various events on campus to be available to the public at home. If it was not for the hands-on experience that Westminster’s broadcasting program requires, Brad asserts he would not be graduating in the spring with as nearly as much confidence.

“Westminster has prepared me by giving me the hands-on experience of understanding my major,” he said. “Many schools teach theory, and you don’t get a chance to get your hands dirty working on things. But Westminster allowed me to jump right on in my freshmen year and prepared me for my future ever since.”

In fact, broadcasting majors are required to create their own documentaries before graduating. Brad’s documentary, “Hitting the Redline,” debuts Nov. 18 during the 2017 Westminster College Documentary Showcase. The documentary follows the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, a ten-day celebration that pays tribute to the world of vintage cars and vintage motorsports racing. His documentary will be available online a couple of weeks later for the public to view.

“Westminster has put me on the path for success and I’m excited to see where the journey leads me.”

Written by Megan Simpson

Westminster College Wind Ensemble presents Young Conductors Concert, Nov. 17

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:46:00 EST

(image) Under the direction of Dr. R. Tad Greig, the Westminster College Wind Ensemble presents their annual "Young Conductors Concert" on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

Young Conductors Competition winners Allison Clutter, Olivia Schmidt and Angela Renninger will all be highlighted during the first half of the concert. Dr. Greig will conduct the Wind Ensemble on the second half of the concert.

Together the ensemble will perform works by Boysen, Grainger, Delo-Joio, Giroux and Tchaikovsky.

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

Confident in a Successful Future: Nataleigh Kerr '18

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 09:14:00 EST

(image) Graduating from college is typically paired with an uneasy feeling of not knowing exactly where the next step may lead. However, senior business and accounting major Nataleigh Kerr has utilized the resources at Westminster College to make her transition in May one that will be filled with confidence in a successful future.

By combining academics, service and community at Westminster, Nataleigh mastered her abilities to speak, write, analyze and make impactful differences on a global scale. She serves as the treasurer of the Student Government Association, Student Alumni Association and her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. She is also the president of Enactus, a business-oriented service organization.

“Enactus has allowed me to experience the importance of incorporating a service-minded approach within a business,” she said. “It is important to me to align my personal values with my professional career, and being a part of Enactus has given me the tools to find a need and utilize entrepreneurial skills to help solve problems and promote sustainability.”

Nataleigh chose business and accounting for the flexibility that the disciplines allowed. This way, she will be able to use her skillsets anywhere long term—whether it’s for her family’s business or a Fortune 500 company. After graduation, Nataleigh will start studying and testing to become a Certified Public Accountant and will start her career as an Assurance Associate for Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Pittsburgh next Fall.

Regardless of what the future holds, Westminster College has been a vital part of developing Nataleigh and what her future will look like.

“I now have a strong care for the importance of a community and how we can all do our best to support one another, which is vital wherever life may take me,” she said. “My favorite thing about Westminster is the genuine compassion and connection that is shared between everyone on this campus.”

Nataleigh will graduate in the spring with a feeling of accomplishment and pride for both herself and her alma mater. She looks forward to being an active alum at the college she chose to attend just four years ago. 

“Rather than choosing to come to a college, I was choosing to come home.”

Brandon Bennett Brings Electrifying Elvis Tribute to Westminster College

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 14:38:00 EST

(image) You do not want to miss the highly acclaimed Brandon Bennett in his spine-tingling tribute to Rock ‘n Roll legend Elvis Presley. Simply titled “Elvis My Way,” Bennett will take Orr Auditorium stage to honor “The King of Rock ‘n Roll” on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Westminster College.

Bennett’s pure-bred southern charm, powerful voice, and scandalous moves scored him the title “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist” by Elvis Presley Enterprises at Graceland. A native son of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, Bennett’s southern roots, God-given talent, and natural resemblance to Elvis allow him to uniquely evoke the unmistakable essence of Elvis's famous onstage charm.

Including all-time favorite hits such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” and “Suspicious Minds,” Bennett’s must-see show traverses Elvis’ career from the Rock n’ Roll nativity of the 50s to the iconic comeback television concert of the 60s and legendary jumpsuits of the 70s.

Known for his performance in Chicago’s Million Dollar Quartet, Bennett has also appeared on The Late Night Show with David Letterman and The Rosie O'Donnell Show. He has been honored to sing alongside music legends such as The Jordanaires, DJ Fontana, and The Sweet Inspirations, as well as open for Diamond Rio, Ronnie Millsap, and Chuck Berry.

Bennett’s appearance at Westminster is sponsored by Springfield Restaurant Group. Tickets start at $30.

For more information or to order tickets, contact Georgene Gib by calling 724-946-7354 or online at

H. Vail Barrett '73 Presents 'A Voice Among the Silent' Documentary & Talk, Nov. 7

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 09:55:00 EST

(image) All are welcomed to the showing of "A Voice Among the Silent,” a documentary featuring the story of James G. McDonald who met and warned the world about Adolf Hitler and his threat to civilization. A brief introduction to the film will be provided by H. Vail Barrett, Ambassador McDonald's grandson and a 1973 graduate of Westminster College. Barrett will also make a series of in-class presentations during his two-day stay at Westminster.

The documentary will be shown Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Witherspoon Lakeview room located on the third floor of the McKelvey Campus Center

"A Voice Among the Silent" is the first documentary to shine a light on McDonald's remarkable efforts to warn the world of Adolf Hitler's plan for the Jews. McDonald's foresight was almost lost to history until his meticulously kept diaries were discovered in 2003. He was one of the first Americans to meet Hitler, face-to-face, in 1933. Shocked by Hitler's threats, McDonald worked tirelessly to find safe havens for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany when he served as High Commissioner for Refugees in Europe in 1933 under President Franklin Roosevelt. He repeatedly warned leaders, including President Franklin Roosevelt and future Pope Pius the XII of the looming threat. In 1948, President Truman appointed McDonald the first U.S. Ambassador to Israel. McDonald's bravery is a model for human decency and courage that is as relevant today as it was 80 years ago.

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

*photos courtesy of

Westminster College to Host Veterans Day Ceremony, Nov. 9

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:09:00 EST

(image) Westminster College welcomes all to the annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. Music will be provided by the New Wilmington Area High School Band and the Westminster College Concert Choir.

This year’s guest speaker is Brigadier General (BGen) Dave Papak, US Marine Corps (retired).

BGen. Papak is a native of Monongahela, Pa. and a 1971 graduate of Mon Valley Catholic HS. He was commissioned in the US Marine Corps following graduation from the US Naval Academy in 1976. He also earned a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1986. BGen. Papak was designated a Naval Aviator and a CH 53 helicopter pilot in 1979.

During his 33 years of dedicated and honorable service, he has held numerous aviation command and staff assignments— including deployments in support of Operation Desert Storm and the most recent Global War on Terror. Subsequent to his 2009 Marine Corps retirement, he continues to work in the corporate world as a senior level sales and business development executive.

He also dedicates his energy and time to the Travis Manion Foundation serving as a veteran presenter for the Foundation’s Character Does Matter Program in addition to being an advisor for local community 9/11 Heroes Runs honoring local Veterans and first responders.

He and his wife Kate enjoy 3 children and 6 grandchildren and currently reside in Monongahela, Pa.

The Veterans Day Ceremony is sponsored in part by Central Heating and Plumbing Co., Westminster College and Wilmington Area School District.

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

Humans of Westminster: Meet Jaevon

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 09:52:00 EST

(image) Titans Have Your Back

I chose Westminster primarily for football. Coach Haugh recruited me. When I took my official visit, I met my two soon to be very good friends Juju and Dom. During that visit, we decided we were going to make something special happen here at Westminster.

I like how gracious most of the Westminster staff are towards minority students. They really do their best to make sure we are on top of everything. The support has been amazing, especially after my recent injury. I still cannot believe how many people, including students and staff, who keep making sure that I am alright. They have helped keep my mindset in a good place through this troublesome time. Recovery is going to be hard. However, with everyone's support, I WILL bounce back better than ever! What makes Westminster “home” is the close network of friends I have here that make me comfortable.

Jaevon Hardy is a senior sociology major.

Cross Country: Camerlo, Morrell Place in Top Ten, Titans Compete at PAC Championships

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:39:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the 2017 Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon. Westminster was the host.

The Titan women finished third out of nine teams with a team score of 74, for Westminster’s best finish since 2011. Titan sophomore Morgan Camerlo (Freeport, PA / St. Joseph) placed second out of 118 runners with a time of 23:29.97. Senior Katelynn Morrell (Boardman, OH / Boardman) placed in sixth place, posting a time of 23:55.63. Titan sophomore Katie Schrantz (New Castle, PA / Neshannock) (21st/24:57.92), first-year Allison Hampton (Ten Sleep, WY / Ten Sleep) (22nd/25:02.54), and senior Paige Baierl (Bellevue, PA / Northgate) (23rd/25:05.67) rounded out the top five for the Titans.

The Titan men finished eighth out of 10 schools, scoring a team score of 208. Westminster senior Joshua McFall (New Castle, PA / New Castle) finished best for the Titan men, running a time of 27:40.74 to finish in 25th place. Freshman Harrison Keenan (Cranberry, PA / Cranberry) finished next with a 32nd place time of 28:00.68. Freshman Chase Waldschmidt (New Castle, PA / Shenango) (45th/28:53.23), freshman Adam Bettwy (Clarion, PA / Clarion) (51st/29:18.10), and junior Michael Peters (Pittsburgh, PA / Mount Lebanon) (55th/30:08.25) rounded out the top five for the Titans.

Westminster will next compete at the NCAA Regional Meet on Saturday, November 11. Start time is set for 11 a.m. 

For more information, contact Nathan LaRiccia at

Written by Nick Macdonald

Tunnel of Oppression Makes A Return to Campus

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 10:34:00 EST


Jeannette Hubbard and Faith Craig are co-coordinating a “Tunnel of Oppression” at Westminster College on Nov. 2 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Patterson Hall. The Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive tour that allows participants to fully understand various types of oppression experienced by different marginalized groups.

Participants will be given the opportunity to walk through spaces designed by campus organizations that cover issues such as racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, and more. The Tunnel of Oppression is designed to challenge people’s thoughts and perceptions about oppression and hatred.

While the Tunnel of Oppression is not a unique experience, it will be unique to Westminster because no two tunnels end up the same. Westminster held its last Tunnel of Oppression in 2013 and covered issues such as language barriers, sexism in the media, hazing and undocumented youth. This year, ALLIES is covering the transgender bathroom debate; Black Student Union is focusing on racism, stereotyping and white privilege; and Disability Awareness Club is covering campus barriers. Other groups involved with this year’s tunnel are Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Greek Life, Student Government Association, Theatre Westminster and Alpha Psi Omega.

Although the Tunnel of Oppression is open to all, some scenes may contain sensitive content due to the seriousness of the topics.

For more information, contact Jeannette Hubbard at or 724-946-7119.  

Sigma Tau Delta & Scrawl Team-Up for Poetry Slam at Mugsies

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 14:12:00 EST

(image) Poetry slams have the reputation of being platforms for some of the rawest and most honest poetry ever shared. Imagine poets battling mic to mic for a shot at a grand prize; going round for round with clever metaphors and similes. Whether you prefer to witness or participate in this intense battle of wordplay, the energy of slams is pulsating and will leave your lyrical hearts thoroughly satisfied. Sigma Tau Delta and Scrawl’s 2nd annual Poetry Slam promises to do just that.

The slam goes down on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Mugsies Coffee House (located at 139 S Market St, New Wilmington, PA 16142). Admission is free, and Mugsies refreshments and food will be available for purchase.

Signups for the slam are due by 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, and your poetry does not have to be submitted beforehand. Participants, be prepared to perform three poems between 1-3 minutes long. Email Marissa Miller at to sign up.

Additionally, there will be an open mic before the competition. Anyone is welcome to participate.

Sigma Tau Delta is the international English Honor Society. The society strives to confer a distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies. It provides cultural stimulation on the campus of Westminster College and promotes interest in literature and the English language in our surrounding community. 

SCRAWL is Westminster College’s Literary and Art Magazine. Since 1939, SCRAWL has been publishing opinions, short stories, poems, and artwork by WC Students, Faculty and Alumni.

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

Volleyball: SAAC Honors Kendell Dickson as Titan Athlete of the Week

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:04:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) today selected volleyball senior Kendell Dickson (Cochranton, PA / Cochranton) as its Titan Athlete of the Week.
Dickson registered her 1,000th career dig last week, ranking 18th in school history. She tied a team-high 28 digs for the week. Dickson also had 20 kills, which tied for second-best on the team.
The Titans will host Geneva College tonight at 7 p.m.

For more information, contact Nathan LaRiccia at

IQ: STEM Noyce Scholar Program Answers Demand for STEM Educators in High Needs Schools

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 14:34:00 EST

Teachers have the unique ability to make significant impacts in the lives of children every day of their working careers. With over 20 high-need schools in the greater New Castle area, Westminster answered the need for secondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers in these districts by establishing the IQ: STEM Noyce Scholar Program at the College. The focus of the program is for Noyce Scholars to use experiential learning and practicum experiences to improve the quality of secondary (grades 7-12) STEM educators in high-needs areas. Once selected, Noyce Scholars receive $15,000 grants their junior and senior years to use for tuition, room and board and commit to two years of teaching in areas of high need. Students majoring in a STEM discipline with an interest in secondary education are encouraged to apply. “Those are the areas where you need the most qualified and motivated individuals,” said Dr. Amy Camardese, principal investigator of the grant program. “I cannot think of a better way than to provide our Westminster students who really get an excellent education and teacher preparation to go out and make a difference.” Noyce Scholars are also granted extra money to attend a conference their junior year and to present on a selected research topic at a conference their senior year. Many Noyce Scholars come out of school loan-free, but the grant money is not necessarily the main attraction of the program. “The Noyce Program has opened up a whole new world of teaching and learning that I had never seen before,” Noyce Scholar Jacob Stoyer said. “It has inspired a new-found passion for helping others that I had only just scratched the surface of prior to joining.” A sizable percentage of the nation’s schools are considered high-needs, and they do not just exist in inner-city areas where it is most evident. In fact, local schools such as Hermitage, Mohawk, Slippery Rock and Shenango are considered high-needs based on the percentage of children from families with incomes below the poverty line. Therefore, the IQ STEM Program has enabled students to realize the need for high-needs teachers and respond in a way that has been more than enthusiastic. “We keep in touch with those students who have graduated and are now teaching in areas of high need,” Camardese said. “They share with us the strengths, the benefits, low moments, but most of all their joy in teaching the students.” Noyce Scholars are given the necessary tools to explore a way to make an impact that hits close to home.  Their minds are opened to a new way of thinking regardless of whether they entered Westminster with intentions of teaching.  “By getting involved with the Noyce Program I have learned how to build relationships with people who have different life experiences than me,” Stoyer said. “By learning ways to relate to these students, we can help them develop a love for learning that they have not been exposed to before.” Written by Megan Simpson [...]

Rising Above the Trend: Nate Cavlovic ‘18

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 16:49:00 EST

(image) Last year, Pennsylvania and Ohio legalized medical cannabis— a move that will contribute to the growth of the chemical cannabis industry in the next few years. Senior chemistry major Nate Cavlovic hopes to be a part of that trend. Recently, Nate received a research grant from the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research to fund a drug testing chemistry lab that will create opportunities for Westminster students to study hemp products.

 “Since cannabis chemistry is such an important topic in today's society, there needs to be a chemistry lab that exposes undergraduates to its analysis,” states Nate. “The lab would incorporate common laboratory techniques, including High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), and could provide direct experience for undergraduates to find a career in cannabis chemistry.”

Dr. Helen Boylan, professor of chemistry, is Nate’s mentor for this project. Nate says Dr. Boylan's limitless knowledge and enthusiasm for this project made working with her very enjoyable and rewarding.

“She really cares about seeing her students achieve their research goals, and it was a grand honor being able to work under her,” he added.

Nate’s biggest takeaways from this project is the confidence he gained as a researcher throughout this process and the experience of working independently on his own project. Nate believes that getting the opportunity to work independently and set his own pace and goals will be useful when he starts a chemistry career.

“I would like to go straight into working a chemical analysis job [after graduation],” said Nate. “My end goal would be to find a career in forensic analysis, working as a chemist in the criminal justice system. I think that my experience with my research project could easily land me a career in the continually-expanding cannabis chemistry industry, and I would not be opposed to that at all.”

DeMedal Takes on Leadership Role in Pittsburgh Education Recruiting Consortium

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 14:59:00 EST

(image) Katy DeMedal, director of the Career Center at Westminster College, was recently elected Member at Large and Co-Chair of the Educator Excellence Award Committee to the Pittsburgh Education Recruiting Consortium (PERC).

PERC is a non-profit organization with a consortium of 29 colleges and universities in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Northern West Virginia.The primary purpose of PERC is to sponsor an annual education job fair to provide their graduates with career opportunities.

According to DeMedal, Westminster College has been a member of PERC since the beginning of the organization.

“My [new] role supports PERC’s mission and helps ensure that the organization continues to thrive and offer teaching opportunities from around the country to our students,” said DeMedal.

Annually, Westminster students and other members of the consortium attend the PERC education job fair, a well-respected regional and national recruitment event. Representatives include 200+ employers of certified teachers from across the United States–including Pennsylvania. Participating employers interview and hire teacher candidates in all Pre K-12 disciplines as well as related certification areas such as counseling, therapies and administration.  

Learn more the PERC job fair here.

For more information, contact DeMedal at or 724-946-6338.

Foster Art Gallery to Host 'Hot-n-Ready: A Print Portfolio Exchange'

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:50:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s Foster Art Gallery will host Hot-n-Ready: A Print Portfolio Exchange, an art exhibition organized by artists Nathan Pietrykowski and Robyn Wall. The exhibit runs from Oct. 23-Dec. 8., and there will be a gallery reception on Thursday, Nov. 2 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The exhibition features the work of 23 artists with additional pieces by Pietrykowski and Wall. The theme of the portfolio exchange involved using an 11-inch medium size pizza box as a parameter on which the artists were encouraged to create a print about how they stay motivated through tedious tasks in their studio practices or daily obligations.

“There are a range of traditional printmaking techniques used: intaglio, etching, lithography and screenprinting,” explained Summer Zickefoose, assistant professor of fine art at Westminster. “Including a large number of artists allows us to see the multiple ways a single theme can be interpreted."

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

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

Passion for Research: Austin Arrigo '18

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:10:00 EST

As students progress through their selected programs, it’s hard for them to imagine ever getting out of the classroom and into real-world applications. However, through internships, Westminster students are not only able to get a taste of what they may want to do in the future but also make an impact in their respective fields.  Senior biology major Austin Arrigo spent his summer with the Hillman Research Institute in Pittsburgh conducting significant research on platelet interaction with cancer cells. As one of the recipients of Westminster’s Spencer Davis Scholarship for students with unpaid internships, Arrigo volunteered at the institute and made new findings in his research.  “So what we were looking at was platelet interaction with cancer cells because what happens is the platelets form a shield around the cancer cells and allows them to move through the bloodstream easier,” Arrigo said. Therefore, Arrigo was assigned to look how the metastasis—the movement of a tumor from its original location to another part of the body—of cancer takes place in the body.  “We know that they [cancer cells] interact with platelets, so if we can stop their interaction with platelets, then we can stop them from metastasizing.” He looked at specific proteins involved in the platelet cell cycle and how they activate cancer cells. By understanding the presence of these specific proteins, Arrigo manipulated protein expression in cells and fabricated platelets. From there, his research was to make cancer cells act like platelets in order to better understand metastasis.  A week before he left, Arrigo found a cancer cell that activated like a platelet would in his experimentations. Unfortunately, he ran out of time in his internship before he could finish the procedure. Nonetheless, Arrigo used his experience this summer to find a new interaction of cancer cells through the mechanism that he performed. “People already knew that the cells acted like platelets if you treated them like platelets,” he said. “So the use of cells as platelets was not necessarily new, but the specific interaction through the mechanism I used is new.” Arrigo attributed his abilities in the laboratory this summer to the experience he received in his classes at Westminster. All summer, he did specific functions such as Western Blots and micropipetting that he wouldn’t have been experienced in had it not been for his lab time in class. Through his internship, Arrigo was reassured that his interests in class align with the field of work he is looking to pursue upon graduation.  “I already knew I like research, but to do something like that it really put my feet to the fire and helped me realize that this is something I truly love,” he said. The experience that students gain in their respective fields gives them a way to think more seriously about their futures and test their knowledge against what they are learning in class. Arrigo’s research not only fed his passion for research but also gave the cancer-research industry a leverage as they continue his research with platelets, proteins and metastasis. Written by Megan Simp[...]

Dr. R. Tad Greig Leads Clinics for Local Public School Music Programs

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:19:00 EST

(image) Dr. R. Tad Greig continues to be very active as a clinician in local public school music programs. On October 17, Dr. Greig visited Beaver Area High School where he provided a clinic for the high school and middle school bands—both instructed by alumnus J.P. Scanga. In addition to numerous guest conducting engagements and adjudicating at music assessment festivals, Dr. Greig commonly does four or five clinics per year.

"I enjoy getting out into the public schools and working with young musicians and my colleagues who do such great work," said Greig. "What made this clinic so special was working with one of our own graduates, Mr. J.P. Scanga, who is doing such an amazing job as a musician, educator and advocate for music. I worked with two ensembles full of engaged, articulate, inquisitive and talented musicians who were eager to learn and make wonderful music."

Greig has been with Westminster since 1993. As a professor of music and director of instrumental activities, he teaches courses in instrumental methods, band literature, and instrumental and advanced conducting. He oversees the Titan Marching Band and conducts the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.

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

Humans of Westminster: Meet Vanessa

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:40:00 EST

(image) A Worldly View

I went abroad the summer after my freshman year, eager to see the world and put into practice the Spanish skills I had been learning in the classroom. The experience not only gave me professional skills, but also grew my confidence and gave me a more global outlook. Since returning to Westminster, I applied and was accepted to be a "Global Ambassador" for ISA Study Abroad on Westminster's campus. I wanted to promote the company and its programs at Westminster so that other students could have the same life-changing experience I had. There is nothing better for me than the feeling of stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring the unfamiliar. Every time I travel, I always learn more about myself and the world in which I live.  Nothing expands your mind or makes you more of a well-rounded person that traveling and fully immersing yourself in an unfamiliar culture.

Vanessa is a junior public relations major and an All-College Honors student.

Dean Carllos Lassiter Responds to Student Concerns with a Series of Town Hall Meetings

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:25:00 EST

(image) Dean Carllos Lassiter, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, held his first Town Hall meeting with the Westminster community on Oct. 12. Centered on diversity and inclusion, the meeting addressed the challenges some students face on campus and provided a space for them to share their experiences at Westminster so far.

Sophomore biology major Antonia Thompson said the Town Hall meeting was enlightening.

“I was able to voice my opinion about being a black female student [at Westminster]," Thompson said. "The population of black female students [on our campus] is a bit low, and we are typically forgotten about. Hopefully that will change.”

The town hall meetings are part of Dean Lassiter’s initiative to improve the quality of student life at Westminster.

 “I hope this will enable students to become empowered through self-advocacy while allowing them to be stakeholders in shaping what they would like for their campus experience to be at Westminster,” added Lassiter.

Overall, the dean believes the first town hall event went well and was well received by students.

“For the next one, we will allow students to submit comments and questions prior to the event to generate a more fluid conversation and to increase engagement among the students in attendance,” he mentioned.

Future Town Halls will focus on the overall student life experience on campus. Dean Lassiter will be joined by SALT (Student Affairs Leadership Team—composed of all Directors and Associate Deans in Student Affairs) in addressing the issues presented by students.

Already in his first four months at Westminster, Dean Lassiter is committed to and busy ensuring the “Westminster experience” is exceptional for all students. Over the rest of the year, Dean Lassiter and his team are working on implementing a system of “CARE” when working with students; creating more intentional campus programming, presentations and workshops from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; and developing a culture of assessment for the student life experience of on-campus students. His other plans include addressing student transportation needs, student engagement on campus, customer service, the functionality of the McKelvey Campus Center and professional staff development.

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

Greece Trip Changes Honors Students’ Perspectives

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 11:13:00 EST

(image) A trip to Greece helped shape the global perspectives of Westminster College honors students. After studying the ancient world and the changing ideas of Greek justice for a semester, the group of students spent two weeks immersing themselves in the culture and seeing the places they learned about.

“Each person in the class did a giant group presentation on a certain site, so we visited all of those sites,” sophomore biochemistry major Troy Holden said. “In Athens, we visited the Agora and Areopagus, and that was kind of cool—getting to see what you actually researched.”

Accompanied by Dr. David Goldberg and Dr. Bethany Hicok, the students visited famous sites such as Athens, Samos Island, Delphi and Mycenae among other attractions. A trained archaeologist accompanied the group throughout the entirety of their trip to help them better understand the city and its antiquity. 

In order to get a better taste of the culture, the students took a few topical classes such as cooking and language. Students were also given the opportunity to find their own ways around Greece during free periods of time during which they explored, shopped and ate native dishes.

Among his studies of the culture through travelling with the Honors Program, Holden found just how different the lives of the Greeks differed from his in the United States.

“It’s definitely different over there,” he said. “I would definitely say that was my biggest take away—the level of safety we feel. A lot of time, there’s a day to day struggle over there for people to survive.”

Even as the students were studying the world of Ancient Greece, it was apparent that what they learned about the Greek culture expanded beyond the confines of their textbooks while traveling abroad.

“You get a better scope of the world and different intellectual approaches to learning,” Holden said. “It enhances your view of the world. It’s important for everyone to experience at least once at some point.”

By taking their studies from the pages of the books to the living sites, students in the Westminster Honors Program revitalized their passions for learning and sparked new cultural interests. The Honors Program will continue the class and trip annually with new groups of students.

Written by Megan Simpson

Distinguished Alumni Honored at Annual Alumni Citation Award Reception and Dinner

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 09:17:00 EST

As part of Homecoming and Reunion Weekend, the Westminster College Alumni Council hosted the annual Alumni Citation Awards reception and dinner on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Witherspoon Room of the McKelvey Campus Center. This year’s Alumni Citation Award recipients were Dan Vogler, Mary Lynn Tobin and Wilma Donaldson. 2010 graduate David Bauer received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and senior environmental science major Lexie Yoho was 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 outstanding junior or senior who showcases the ability to be a leading alumnus. Award Winner Bios: Dan Vogler is a 1981 graduate who earned a degree in political science and is a member of Theta Chi fraternity. His career includes 14 years as director of governmental affairs and registered lobbyist for New Castle-based Pennsylvania Power Company. He also serves as an elected supervisor in Neshannock Township and has been elected commissioner in Lawrence County since 2003. During three of his four terms as commissioner he served as board chairman and chairs of the Lawrence County’s retirement (pension) board, salary board and board of elections. Dan has served on Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency’s board of directors and Westminster’s Alumni Council. A member of First Presbyterian Church in New Castle, he is the father of Jonathan, Lyndsey ’13 and Christopher. Mary Lynn Tobin graduated in 1976 with a degree in religion and psychology and served on the chapel staff. She continued her education at San Francisco Theological Seminary during a time when female ministers were rare, earning the seminary’s Pastoral Ministry Prize granted by faculty at graduation. She served as associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta (the membership of which equaled the population of her native New Wilmington) before being called to Davis (Calif.) Community Church. In 2013, Mary Lynn followed a new call as a leadership coach, listening to and counseling clients who are primarily new pastors. She and her husband, David Campbell ’78, live in Davis. Wilma Donaldson is a 1964 graduate with a degree in education. She went on to earn a master’s degree from Fairfield (Conn.) University and taught in Weston, Conn for 35 years. During her tenure she wrote the system’s first elementary curriculum guide and served on many curriculum/administrative committees. She and two colleagues presented at the first Soviet-American Conference of Science Teachers in Moscow. A NASA-Newest awardee, Wilma worked with NASA Langley Air Force Base personnel on a space/flight educational curriculum. She has received honors as Weston Teacher of [...]

Westminster Symphony Orchestra Opens Season with Fall Concert, Oct. 27

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 13:55:00 EST


Under the direction of Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu, associate professor of music, the Westminster College Symphony Orchestra will open their season with a fall concert on Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The concert is free and open to all.

In addition to Westminster students and community guests, featured in the concert are Dr. Robert Knop, associate professor of physics, on viola and adjunct music faculty Robin Hasenpflug playing cello and Justin Bendel playing bass.

Together the symphony orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Egmont Overture; Brahms’s Hungarian Dances No. 2 and No. 7; and Four Norwegian Dances, op. 35 composed by E. Grieg. In traditional "fiddle band" style, the orchestra will play a three-piece performance set composed of three Scottish fiddle tunes entitled “Fingal’s Caves.” The set was arranged by Crawford Perttu and will feature her as a soloist.

For more information, contact Crawford Perttu at 724-946-7271 or email

Tiny Houser Jenna Spesard Comes to Westminster to Talk Building Freedom & Happiness

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:31:00 EST

(image) Jenna Spesard, “Tiny Houser” and lifestyle blogger, will be on campus to talk about tiny living on Monday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in the Lakeview Room located in the McKelvey Campus Center. The event is open to all and light refreshments will be provided.

In 2014, Jenna Spesard quit her job and downsized to a self-built 165 square foot Tiny House on wheels to quench her thirst for a nomadic life. In the past three years, she has towed her Tiny House over 25,000 miles across the United States and backpacked for several months in countries around the world. Her blog, Tiny House Giant Journey, has been featured on several large news outlets, including Business Insider, New York Times, USA Today, Huffington Post,, and the front page of She has also been featured on HGTV’s popular TV shows: “Tiny House Big Living” and “Mighty Tiny Homes.”

Living small has opened many doors for Jenna. Her mantra is “live small so you can travel big,” and she hopes to inspire others to go after their dreams.

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

Pregame Tailgate: Westminster Titans vs. Case Western Spartans

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:07:00 EST

(image) Join fellow Westminster alumni, friends, and parents in a pregame gathering before the Titans take the field against the Case Western Spartans at DiSanto Field (located at 1747 E 118th St, Cleveland, OH 44106) on Saturday, Nov. 4. Kickoff starts at 1 p.m.

The pre-game game gathering begins at 11 a.m at Happy Dog (located at 11625 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106). Cost of attendance is $10 per adult/Westminster student and $8 per child, which includes: Happy Dog's famous hot dog buffet and tater tot sides, mac & cheese and garden salad. Access to a cash bar will be available. Happy Dog is just a short walk to the football stadium!

Parking will be available at Lot 46 for a flat rate of $7. See parking map

Reservations are due by Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 and can be made online at

Don't forget to wear your blue and white!

For additional information, please contact Andrew Youtz at or 724.946.7009.

Sports Management Session Debuts at Professional Networking Symposium

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:21:00 EST

In light of our recent addition of the sports management program, this year's Professional Networking Symposium debuted a one-hour session on working in the sports business industry in addition to many other professional development panels. Traditonally, the symposium brings exceptional Westminster alumni back to campus to participate in a career fair and educational sessions. The Fall 2017 symposium was no exception. Recent alumni Jacob Dindak ‘16 and Carrie Whisel ‘14 participated in the sports business industry panel and gave students insight into working in their field. As employees of Dick's Sporting Goods corporate, Jacob works as an assistant buyer and Carrie is a university relations recruiter. Senior Carl Carpenter also served on the panel. Carl has a job lined up with Team Scotti, a Major League Baseball’s insurance broker in Downtown Pittsburgh, after graduation. His future employment reflects on his devoted engagement in the student government, campus organizations and the networking opportunities he took advantage of during his four years on campus.  “Networking is a critical part in aligning ourselves with great opportunities," noted Carl. "Take advantage of those situations and you are bound for success.” Though the sports management major is relatively new at Westminster, the program is quickly growing in popularity due to the College’s proximity to resources in Pittsburgh, Akron, Erie and Cleveland; the business-emphasis of the curriculum; the experiential learning opportunities; and the career readiness emphasis. As the sports management program continues to expand, future students will benefit from the Westminster alumni returning home to support the annual networking symposium. “[Seeing] these Titans come back to campus to impart their knowledge and wisdom on today’s students is inspiring," added Dr. Robert Zullo, associate professor in the School of Business and the program coordinator for the sports management major/minor at Westminster. "It truly reflects the close-knit family environment found in our community.” Those interested in attending Westminster College and studying sports management should reach out to Dr. Zullo to learn more about the competitive advantage a Westminster College education affords.  For more information, contact Zullo at or visit our sports management webpage. [...]

Westminster Tiny House to be Dedicated During 2017 Homecoming & Reunion Weekend

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 14:00:00 EST

(image) Please join the Westminster College community for the Tiny House dedication and open house celebration during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend. On Friday, Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m., the student Tiny House Team, the New Castle School Trades students and instructors, and the many supporters and volunteers who helped with the construction will officially dedicate the house at its current campus location, the corner of Prospect Street and College Drive. On Saturday, Oct.13, the Tiny House team will have an open house for alumni and friends from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Tiny House Project allows Westminster College to develop a unique living/learning educational experience that integrates concepts of sustainability, simple living, environmental science/studies into students’ coursework and lifestyles. Each student enrolled in a Tiny House-linked course will experience “tiny living” for approximately one-two weeks (new students will rotate into the TH’s every one-two weeks). Student learning objectives associated with tiny living will be meaningfully integrated into Tiny House-linked coursework. This novel educational model which incorporates tiny living into the student’s academic experience will position Westminster College as an innovator in sustainability education.

For more information, contact Rick Sherlock at or 724-946-7191

Westminster College's Alpha Psi Omega Presents Double Feature, Oct. 12-14 & 15

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 15:46:00 EST

(image) Westminster College’s chapter of Alpha Psi Omega presents “Slacks and Top” and “Not Drawn to Scale,” back-to-back features. Both shows run Oct. 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 15 at 2:30 p.m. in the Beeghly Theater located in Patterson Hall at the Collge. The shows are open to the public, and admission is granted at the door by donation.

“Slacks and Tops,” by Harry Kondoleon, offers a unique perspective on the traditional American family, through zany and off-beat humor. Hunter Stenitz’s “Not Drawn to Scale” tells the story of growing up different. The story is about overcoming life’s challenges to accept what makes someone beautiful.

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

From Titan to Pittsburgh Health Care Hero: Jennifer Neuman March ‘87

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:40:00 EST

Each year, the Pittsburgh Business Times honors the individuals and organizations who are instrumental in making the region one of the premier health care centers in the world. Out of over 100 applicants vying for a 2017 Health Care Heroes award, fifteen were were chosen including Westminster College alumna Jennifer Neuman March representing the organization Family House. March currently serves as executive director of Family House, a non profit organization that provides convenient, safe, affordable and home-like accommodations for patients and their family members who are traveling to Pittsburgh to receive medical care. The awards were presented Sept. 14th at the Healthcare Heroes 2017 event at the Omni William Penn in Pittsburgh. “It is my honor to accept this award on behalf of the Family House Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and hospital partners who brought the organization to this level of excellence, deserving of this award,” said March. “Family House relies on, and is fortunate to have, relationships with hospitals and healthcare partners whose doors are always open to us to garner information that we need to stay relevant and to provide the highest standard of guest services for our unique population.” Before getting her break in the non-profit sector, March said she tried corporate America but did not believe that was her calling. After graduating from Westminster in 1987, she moved to Washington D.C., with the hopes her degree in Spanish would land her a job at an Embassy. She ended up taking a job at the front desk of the DuPont Plaza Hotel while she figured out what to do next. Although her dream of working for an Embassy did not pan out, her Spanish did come in handy when she was put in charge of visiting tour groups. Soonafter, March landed her first “real job” with a national non-profit, the American Society for Industrial Security, and she absolutely loved it. “I always say major in what you love and are good at,” March offered. “Life will sort out the rest for you! I never even knew about the development field when I was a student. But, as I followed my path, I fell into the development field.” She moved to Pittsburgh a few years later, and it was not until she landed in the arts and culture arena there that she found her “people” and really felt at home in Pittsburgh. Over her 30 year career in fundraising and development, March found herself in numerous roles serving the Pittsburgh area before settling into her current role with Family House since April. “It’s been a whirlwind of learning and connecting, cultivating relationships that will ensure Family House thrives while it continues to serve the current needs of patients and families who stay with us in today’s quickly evolving healthcare environment.&rdquo[...]

Honors Program Implements Greece Trip in Curriculum

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 10:34:00 EST

After restructuring the Honors Program curriculum upon being named director in 2014, Dr. Bethany Hicok realized that the mind is best developed when students take what they learned in the classroom into the world. Therefore, she teamed up with Dr. David Goldberg to give the program a worldly touch by creating an honors course that concluded with a trip to Greece.  “When I took over as director of the honors program in 2014, I started the process of making a new curriculum,” Hicok said. “And at the center of that we wanted to establish a more global dimension to the program because that’s kind of where national programs are going.” The course focused on the ancient Greek world and ideas of justice during the Bronze Age recounted in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Students also studied the teachings of Socrates and Plato and famous archeological sites in Ancient Greece.  The honors students spent the spring semester learning about the histories and features of different archeological sites in Greece and then were given the opportunity to witness them for themselves. “We visit the main archeological sites that have been important in our reading,” Hicok said.  “At the end of the course, the students do group projects where they do research on the archeological sites we’ll be visiting. When we go to Greece, we work with the Athens Center, and they design a trip around our syllabus.” On the trip, the students visited famous archeological sites such as the Acropolis, Mycenae, Delphi and the Temple of Hera among a variety of art museums and galleries. This was the first year that Hicok implemented the travel course as part of the Honors Program.  Goldberg originally established it as study abroad class at the previous school he taught. Eventually, he brought the class curriculum to Westminster where it originated as a cluster course that was open to all students. The benefits of travel complemented by academic studies was evident to the course directors.  “After having done this for 20 years and watching the change in students,” Goldberg said. “It’s amazing—the change that occurs.  Students tend to mature. They tend to become more self-confident. They learn to do things on their own.” Goldberg and Hicok hope to see the trip evolve as the curriculum is implemented and more trips are taken. In the future, Goldberg hopes to alternate trips to Greece and Italy. Nonetheless, the Honors Program will continue to take students abroad as they are shaped by new knowledge of different cultures. Written by Megan Simpson [...]

Discovering Purpose: Paige Baierl ‘18

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 10:02:00 EST

Optimism is sometimes hard to stumble upon as we are consumed by the stress that comes with busy schedules and contemplating life choices. However, senior early education major Paige Baierl’s optimistic personality helps her shine within her major and extracuricular activities here at Westminster. Baierl came to Westminster as a math major with a secondary education minor. As she progressed through the program, she realized that she was being called down a different path.  “I was really excited when I switched to early education because I think God always had a calling for it,” Baierl said. “I’d be in front of children, and I just felt so at home there when I’d go volunteer at Sunday school.” Baierl originally planned become a high school math teacher. As her view on her studies evolved, her view of herself molded with the changes. “I’ve started to accept challenges more and accept change,” she said. “I really hated change, but since college, I’ve developed into a more approachable person and more of a person who is reaching out and more outgoing.”  As a woman who will mentor young adults as her career, Baierl exemplifies the essence of a person who lives her life for others. She helped kindergarteners in the classroom during practicum at Mercer Elementary School last year. There, she taught lessons in each content area, assisted the teacher and students and conducted morning meetings.  She will continue to develop her skills this year as she completes another practicum at George Washington Elementary School and her student teaching position in the spring. She also volunteers at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church as a youth group leader for middle school girls.  Baierl is a member of the cross country and track and field teams, was a resident assistant for two years, volunteered in the preschool lab and is an advisee mentor for the early education department. Therefore, she does not limit herself in the number of people she touches. “I love meeting new people, and I’ve broken out of my shell in college to the point where I can just be approachable,” she said. “Everyone has a different point of view, so it’s fun to get immersed in different groups to find the different kinds of people at Westminster. It’s so cool to go in each group and know that there are so many similarities, too.” Baierl graduates this spring, and the thought of the unknown excites her rather than cripples her. Her future may be uncertain, but Westminster helped Baierl realize that life isn’t necessarily about having everything figured out. “I love that I have no idea what I’m going to do in the future,” she said. “I know my career path, but God can really use me anywher[...]

Practical Experience: Jarret Vrabel ‘18

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 13:50:00 EST


Senior biochemistry major Jarret Vrabel, received a research grant from the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research to fund his project examining the binding properties of the neural protein alpha-synuclein, more specifically how particular structural mutations can affect the protein’s function. Alpha-synuclein is known to have a role in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's Disease.

Vrabel conducted his research under the mentorship of Dr. Jessica Sarver, assistant professor in physical chemistry.

“Dr. Sarver has been able to guide me through the methodology of the experimental processes with her knowledge of alpha-synuclein,” added Vrabel. “She is always helpful in answering my questions and watching me carry out various steps in the research.”

Through conducting undergraduate research, Vrabel hopes to gain experience working in the field with hopes of contributing to the understanding of the alpha-synuclein.

“[This experience] will help me immensely as I prepare for medical school following this year. I am currently in the application process."

Football: Titans Score School-Record 66 Points in Dominant Win at Saint Vincent

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 08:48:00 EST

LATROBE, Pa. – The Westminster College football team remained undefeated in conference play as it won, 66-12, at Saint Vincent College in Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) action Saturday afternoon. The win also marked the Titans’ fourth-straight. The Titans’ 66 points broke the program’s previous record of 56 points, which was set twice with the latest coming against West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1988. The 54-point margin of victory was also the most over the Bearcats in the all-time series matchup. Westminster senior Paul Columbo (Boca Raton, FL / West Boca Raton) went 13 of 15 for a season-high 271 passing yards and tied a career high with four passing scores. Columbo also passed Kevin Franz (2006-08) for second all-time in school history with 51 career passing touchdowns.  The Titans outgained Saint Vincent 531-242 in total yards, including 248-110 on the ground. Senior Dominique McKinley (Greensburg, PA / Greensburg-Salem) rushed for a game- and season-high 102 yards from 17 carries with two scores. Senior Zaire Williams (Sicklerville, N.J. / Timber Creek) added 71 rushing yards and a touchdown, while sophomore Bryce Hill (Boynton Beach, FL / Boca Raton Community) totaled 30 yards and a score. Titan senior Jametrius Bentley (Lake Worth, FL / Park Vista Community) led the receiving corps with two catches for 70 yards and a score. Junior Bryson Paulinellie (DuBois, PA / Dubois Area) tied a career-high with a game-best two receiving touchdowns for a total of 54 yards, while sophomore Christien Caldwell (Upper Marlboro, MD / Largo) added three catches for 41 yards and a score. Westminster sophomores Paul Gonzalez (Miami, FL / Florida Christian) and Anthony Rush (New Castle, PA / Union) led the Titan defense with seven tackles each. Gonzalez had a game-high two tackles for a loss. Junior Bill Madeja (Pittsburgh, PA / Brentwood) added five tackles (1.5 for a loss), to go along with an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown. Senior CJ Armstrong (Lake Worth, FL / Park Vista) added a sack. Senior Todd Jeter (Monroeville, PA / Gateway) and sophomore Yosami Sanabria (Miami, FL / G. Holmes Braddock) each pocketed an interception. Freshman kicker John Cybak (Massillon, OH / Tuslaw) made a career-long 43-yard field goal. Cybak was also a perfect 9-for-9 on extra points. The Titans led 14-0 after the first quarter and 31-6 at halftime. Westminster outscored Saint Vincent 28-0 in the third quarter and 7-6 in the fourth. Westminster set the tone for the game on its first play of its opening possession as Columbo found Bentley for a 64-yard touchdown pass. The Titans improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the PAC, while the Bearcats dropped to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in league play. Westminster will next host Grove City College on Saturday, Oct. 14[...]

Grammy Award Winner Chris Botti Spends an Evening with Westminster

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 16:31:00 EST

(image) Come experience “An Evening with Chris Botti,” a Westminster College Celebrity Series spectacular on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.

Since the release of his 2004 critically acclaimed album, When I Fall In Love, Grammy award winner Chris Botti has become the largest-selling American instrumental artist. His success has crossed over to pop music audiences and his ongoing association with PBS has led to four #1 jazz albums and multiple gold and platinum records. Most recently, his latest album, Impressions, won a Grammy for “Best Pop Instrumental Album” at the 2013 55th Grammy Awards. Botti has performed worldwide and sold more than four million albums. He has a creative form of expression that begins in jazz and expands beyond the limits of any single genre.

Over the past three decades, Botti has recorded and performed with the best in music including Sting, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, and Frank Sinatra to name a few. Hitting the road for as many as 300 days per year, the trumpeter has also performed with many of the finest symphonies and at some of the world's most prestigious venues from Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl to the Sydney Opera House and the Real Teatro di San Carlo in Italy.

Botti’s appearance at Westminster was made possible by the generosity of Giant Eagle, a leading supporter of the arts in the local community. Tickets start at $45.

For more information or to order tickets, contact Georgene Gib by calling 724-946-7354 or online at

Cross Country: Hampton, Keenan Claim Weekly ECAC Rookie of the Week Honors

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:51:00 EST

(image) DANBURY, Conn. – Westminster College first-year runners Allison Hampton (Ten Sleep, WY /Ten Sleep) and Harrison Keenan (Cranberry, PA / Cranberry) were selected as the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III South Cross Country Rookies of the Week.

Hampton finished eighth at last Friday's 71-runner Washington & Jefferson College Invitational, completing the five-kilometer course in a time of 20 minutes, 16.85 seconds (6:32/mile). She helped Westminster secure the team title at the nine-school event.

Keenan registered a third-place finish at Friday’s 52-runner W&J Invitational, completing the eight-kilometer course in 28 minutes, 37.85 seconds (5:46/mile). Westminster was the runner-up at the six-team event.

Westminster is scheduled to return to the course on Saturday, October 14 at Oberlin College’s Inter-Regional Rumble. The women’s six-kilometer race is slated to begin at 11 a.m. while the men’s eight-kilometer race is scheduled for 11:45 a.m.

*Release courtesy of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference

For more information, contact Nathan LaRiccia at

#WCCares, Campus Organizations Raise Over $5000 for Hurricane Victims

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 10:55:00 EST

allowfullscreen='' frameborder='0' height='169' src='' width='300'> Hurricane Harvey left the people of Southern Texas and Louisiana with 27 trillion gallons of rain, $90 billion worth of damage and 30,000 people without a home, according to CNN and Forbes. As Hurricane Irma slashed through Florida, The Guardian reports the storm caused the relocation of over 160,000 people. Hurricane Maria, the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico since 1928, have left millions without power, fresh water, food and communications in much of the island. Even though Westminster College safely rests hundreds of miles away from the epicenter of the storms, senior Christian Na and the Student Government Association (SGA) brought a full-functioning service drive together in less than a week to aid hurricane victims.  “When people recognize the need, people will get together and do it,” senior SGA Service Chair Liz Smith said. “Westminster is a tight-knit group and a service-oriented campus, so if people are asked to help they will. People in the world need help now.  When people need help, you do it, not just when it's convenient for you.”  During the month of September, SGA and the sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha collected monetary donations, gently used clothes, unperishable food items, toiletries, diapers, and other provisions to send to the Texas Diaper Bank, Houston Food Bank, Abundant Life Christian Center, The Hive Society and other areas affected by the storms. With matching funds from Westminster President Kathy Brittain Richardson, over $5,000 has been raised to support hurricane relief. For the rest of October, monetary donations can be delivered to Student Affairs in the McKelvey Campus Center between 9-4:30 p.m. “We encourage all students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community members to give! These hurricane victims are our family,” Na said.  “And we believe in humans’ purpose of taking care of each other.” Hurricane victims need help now, and Westminster joined together in light of busy schedules and the bustle of the beginning of the new semester to turn a disaster into a sense of hope.  For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190. [...]