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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, 28 Apr 2017 19:51:31 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA

Dr. Sherri Pataki Speaks at International Women's Day Conference in Haifa, Israel.

Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:57:00 EST

(image) Dr. Sherri Pataki, associate professor of psychology at Westminster College, was invited to speak at the International Women's Day conference entitled “Education for Gender Equality in the Arab Sector as Leverage for Social Change” at the Arab Academic College in Haifa, Israel on March 13. During her visit, Pataki taught several classes of students working towards their master’s degree in education and met with students to discuss ongoing collaborative research projects between the Arab Academic College and Westminster.

Pataki and longtime colleague and collaborator Dr. Randa Abbas, dean of academic affairs at the Arab Academic College, presented research related to balancing work, family, and community roles among Arab women and stereotypes of the “other” between U.S. and Israeli Arab women. 

“Dr. Abbas and I have collaborated on research and teaching for many years, and we continue to teach at each other’s schools whenever we travel between the U.S. and Israel for a conference,” mentioned Pataki.

As a visiting scholar in residence at Westminster in the fall semester of 2013, Abbas co-taught "Psychology of Women" and "Educational Psychology" alongside Pataki and gave multiple talks and classroom presentations. Abbas returned to Westminster as a guest lecturer in "Psychology of Women" and "War and Peace" courses in March of 2017.

Over the years, Pataki has taken four psychology students from Westminster to Israel to collect cross-cultural data for their capstone research and create summer internship experiences for two other psychology majors. 

“I hope to be able to support more faculty and student exchange in Israel in the future,” added Pataki.

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

Division of Cognitive and Quantitative Sciences Holds Annual Spring Recognition Banquet

Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:38:00 EST

The Division of Cognitive and Quantitative Sciences hosted their annual spring recognition and awards banquet on Tuesday, March 29, at 5:00 PM in the Witherspoon Lakeview and Maple Rooms. Dr. Terri Lenox, division chair, provided opening remarks. Following the dinner, program faculty recognized graduating seniors and program recognition awards, book awards, and scholarships were awarded to the student winners. CQS faculty members in attendance included Dr. John Bonomo, Dr. Carolyn Cuff, Dr. Natacha Fontes-Merz, Dr. Craig Caylor, Dr. Thomas Oberst, Dr. Robert Knop, Dr. Sherri Pataki, Dr. Sandra Webster, Dr. Jessica Rhodes, Dr. Winifred Limmer, and Dr. Deanne Buffalari. Honored guests included: Barbara Faires, David and Kappy Sarver, Beverly Michael, David B. and Phyllis Gray, and Matthew Hosie. Recognition of Graduating Seniors  Computer Information Systems Majors: Garrett Ashbaugh, Rustin Casteel, Lauren Orzechowski, and Jacob Shodd Information Systems Minors: Andrew Henley and Laurel Michalek   Computer Science Majors: Bryan Gallo and Anthony Groves Mathematics Majors: Richard Beaudoin, Kia-Anne Howe, Keilah Ireland, Sumer Kassim, Danielle Poling, Christijana Vucenovic, and Chelsea Youngs Mathematics Minors: Christopher Caroff, Matthew Getsy, Stephanie Homitz, Isaiah Morgenstern, and Brittany Slupe Physics Majors: Isaiah Morgenstern   Psychology Majors: Neil Christopher, William Currie, Daniel Dailey, Rachel Durbin, Alexander Earp, Emily Frasier, Rebecca Haynik, Kaitlyn Kosarek, Amber Kovach, Eric Mills, Margaret Panagiotou, Abbigail Rinard, and Kaleigh Snider Psychology Minors: Jordan Barley, Zachary Harper, and Jason Pilarski Neuroscience Majors: Emily Broderick, Ashlyn Brown, Rachel Orzechowski, Austin Ruediger, and Ronan Stark Human Resource Management Minors: Julia Hinson, Kathryn Pricener, Sarah Snyder, Maria Synan, Mariah Turiano, and Christopher Wess Childhood Development Minors: Sierra Downing Recognition of Kappa Mu Epsilon Members: Christijana Vucenovic, Trevor Arrigoni, Ava Hoag, Rachael Huff, Richard Beaudoin, Nicholas Caiazza, Christopher Caroff, Bryan Gallo, Anthony Groves, Tyler Heintz, Kia-Anne Howe, Sumer Kassim, Isaiah Morgenstern, and Brittany Slupe Recognition of Sigma Pi Sigma Members: John Clark, Tyler Heintz, Ava Hoag, Isaiah Morgenstern, and Antonio Troese Recognition of Psi Chi Members: Gina Stephenson, Megan Maloney, Katherine Shaw, and Emily Broderick Mathematics Book Award: Alex Michels Computer Science Book Award: Daniel Jackson David Gray Social Action Award: Emily Broderick Brain Awareness Travel Award: Ashlyn Brown Dr. and Mrs. John G Albright Scholarship: Mitchell Donnick, Kendall Graham, Tyler Heintz, Ava Hoag, and Isaiah Morgenstern Dr. James A. Swindler and Jean (Swindler) Hosie Scholar Award: George Huncik The Marmora Maude Dunlap and Dr. Edward A. Dunlap Scholarship: Tyler Heintz National Science Foundation Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship: Gabriel Roman Paul E. Brown Memorial Scholarship: Alex Michels Dr. Warren D. Hickman Scholarship: Jamie Thompson, Matthew Gurneal, and Aaron Signer Dr. Beverly K. Michael Math Education Scholarship: Jacob Stoyer Dr. Thomas R. Nealeigh Mathematics Scholarship: Samuel Hockenberry, and Skyler Hayes J. Miller Peck Computer Science Scholarship: Daniel Jackson Harriet Jackson Sarver Scholarship: Rachael Huff, Trevor Arrigoni, Tyler Heintz, and Ava Hoag Nell Glaser Whipkey and Kenneth Whipkey Scholarship: Nicholas Caiazza  For more information, contact Doreen Matune at or 724-946-7284. [...]

School of Music Alumnus Receives Teaching Award

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:02:00 EST

(image) Westminster College alumnus Cody Floyd '14 was awarded the 2017 Pennsylvania/Delaware String Teachers Association (PADESTA) Outstanding NEW String Teacher Award. He received the award at PADESTA's annual luncheon meeting at the Pennsylvania Music Education Association state conference in Erie, PA, on Thursday, April 20. PADESTA is the state chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).

Floyd graduated from Westminster in 2014 with a degree music education. He currently serves as the orchestra director at Elizabethtown Middle School and High School in Elizabethtown, PA. He was nominated for the award by his students, students' parents, and his Elizabethtown Area School District colleagues.

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

Women’s Lacrosse: Titans Win First Game in School History

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 15:07:00 EST

(image) NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Westminster College women's lacrosse team won its first game in school history after a 19-12 victory over Ohio River Lacrosse Conference (ORLC) foe Waynesburg University on Monday, April 24, 2017.
Senior Anne Tillie (Fallston, MD / Fallston) and first-year Bria Braddock (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk) led the Titan offense with seven points each. Tillie registered a team-high seven goals, while Braddock had six goals and an assist. Tillie's seven goals were a personal-best and tied a team-best for the season.
Westminster took a 2-0 lead after goals by first-year Romie Schweickert (Hiram, OH / Crestwood) (29:07) and Tillie (25:39). Waynesburg tied the game at 2 with two-straight goals. First-year Josie Banks (Winter Garden, FL / West Orange) put the Titans back in front, 3-2, with 24:18 on the clock. The game was tied three more times in the first half, with the latest coming with 57 seconds remaining (9-9); sophomore Emily D'Amico (Moon Township, PA / Moon Area) (15:35, 11:15), Tillie (18:43, 7:25), Schweickert (13:12), and Braddock (3:15) scored the Titan goals during that span. The game was tied, 9-9, at halftime. In the second half, the Titans scored three-straight goals and led 12-9 with 23:21 to play; Braddock (29:02) and Tillie (25:48, 23:21) netted the goals. Braddock scored the final Titan goal before the lightning delay, while the Yellow Jackets tallied two, and the Titans led 13-11.The Titans then outscored the Yellow Jackets, 6-1. Tillie (13:42), Braddock (11:25, 10:23, 4:10), and D'Amico (9:42) registered the first five goals. Waynesburg scored at the 3:55 mark and Tillie scored the final point with 22 seconds remaining.
For the game, Westminster had a 19-14 advantage in draw controls, while Waynesburg led 23-21 in ground balls. Titan senior goalkeeper Jesse Reichard (State College, PA / State College) collected nine saves in a complete-game effort. Reichard also tied a game-high with a team-high four ground balls.
The Titans will close out the regular season on Saturday, April 29 when they travel to Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. The ORLC contest will start at 12 p.m.

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

Westminster School of Music to Perform Concert Celebrating of Graduating Seniors

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:33:00 EST

(image) Westminster College School of Music presents "A Celebration of Our Seniors," the final major concert of the season featuring performances from the Westminster College Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. The concert is Friday, May 5 beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Will W. Orr Auditorium.

"This concert has become a very special event for the school of music and especially the seniors," said Dr. R. Tad Greig, professor of music and director of instrumental activities. "A majority of these musicians started their college careers performing with one of the bands, and it is a fitting way to conclude their undergraduate careers performing one last time with the bands." 

Guest faculty soloists for the evening include Dr. Nancy DeSalvo on piano, performing Edward Gregson's  "Piano Concerto (Homages)"; Dr. Timothy Winfield on trumpet; and Mr. Kevin McManus on trombone in Joseph Turrin's "Fandango".

Under the direction of Dr. Greig, the bands will also perform works by Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Igor Stravinsky, John Williams and more. Admission is free and open to all. 

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

Humans of Westminster: Meet Abby

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:05:00 EST

(image) There's No Place Like Home

I never understood why people went to college and began calling that place ‘home’ until I came to Westminster. As soon as you leave, you always want to come right back. From the ringing bells, beautiful buildings, Brittain Lake and tailgating with friends, family and alumni on Saturday afternoons for football games, there is no place like Mother Fair. I believe there is a reason we have such great support from our alumni, and it is because we all have a common love for this small town community in Western Pennsylvania. I am thankful for the life-long friendships I have made with students, teammates and faculty members.  I am also very thankful that this will always be a ‘home’ for me to come back to.

Abby Rinard is a senior psychology major. 

Westminster Students and Faculty Present at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 14:13:00 EST

(image) Eight Westminster students attended and presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Memphis in Tennessee the weekend of April 6-8th. The students all received funding from the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research to attend the conference.

In attendance were Ashlyn Brown, Sarah Pace, Patrick Gaughan, Lexie Quigly, Daniel Owoc, Andrew Henley, Kaleigh Snider and Rebecca Haynik. The students presented in either poster sessions or oral presentations, and spent the remaining time networking with their peers, researchers in different fields and graduate school representatives.

“NCUR was a great platform to meet others from around the country and to hear what they have been researching at their college,” said Daniel Owoc, senior biology major. “Traveling to NCUR was something that I always wanted to do after talking to upper classmen when I was just starting out at Westminster.”

Thanks to funding from the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research, students can apply for resources to conduct research projects and/or present at national (sometime international) conferences.

Kaleigh Snider, senior psychology major, took advantage of her opportunities networking with others in the mental health field while senior history major Andrew Henley used his experience at NCUR to help narrow his research focus for his capstone project.

“There were many posters/presentations for many fields, which allowed me to step out of my educational field and observe how other fields and schools complete research,” said Rebecca Haynik who presented her own research on the impact of affective content on memory.

After attending NCUR, senior biology major Sarah Pace says attending URAC made her even more excited to pursue her goal to become an optometrist because she learned so much at the conference.

“NCUR helped me realize the opportunities here at Westminster, and how the students here truly learn to take on the research as their own,” said Sarah. “Our faculty members are some of the best mentors, and NCUR truly showed me this.”

Westminster College faculty members Dr. Karen Resendes and Dr. Timothy Cuff accompanied the students at NCUR and presented a Faculty Action Network (FAN) session entitled “Curricular Integration Through Incrementalism: The Slow Growth and Eventual Institutional Success of Westminster College’s Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration”. Resendes is an associate professor of biology and co-director of the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research and Cuff is a professor of history.

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

The Doo Wop Project Brings Their Classic Sound to Westminster College

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:58:00 EST

(image) Sponsored by the Springfield Restaurant Group and Sharon Regional Hospital, Westminster College Celebrity Series presents The Doo Wop Project live in concert on Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Will W. Orr Auditorium at Westminster College. Single tickets start at $33.

The Doo Wop Project traces the evolution of Doo Wop from the classic sound of five guys singing tight harmonies on a street corner to the biggest hits on the radio today.  Backed up by a full band, the Doo Wop Project takes audiences on a journey from tunes of groups like the Crests, Belmonts, and Flamingos through influences of the sounds of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and The Four Seasons, all the way to Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Amy Winehouse.

Featuring current and former stars of Broadway’s smash hits Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical, the Doo Wop Project brings unparalleled authenticity of sound and vocal excellence to recreate—and in some cases entirely reimagine—some of the best-loved music in American pop and rock history.

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

Inside-Out Students Present Program Ideas to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Admin

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:43:00 EST

(image) Westminster College students participating in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program course at Trumbull Correctional Institution (TCI) had the opportunity to present program proposals to Mr. Todd Ishee, regional director of prisons in Northeast Ohio, Ms. Charmaine Bracy, warden of Trumbull Correctional Institution, and other Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) officials on April 11, 2017. Students proposed an arts program that would occur within the prison, an 8 week reentry course featuring job and interview skills, and a pilot work release program.

"The students were excited and somewhat competitive about the opportunity to create a program that might be implemented for those nearing reentry into society," said Dr. Kristenne Robison, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at Westminster College. "This was an opportunity for the students to feel that they are making a difference. On the flipside, this was a great opportunity for Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction administration to see a program (Inside-Out) that is creating change from reading, personal experience, and dialogue."

Seemingly impressed with the quality and optimistic about the future of the proposed programs, Mr. Ishee and the ODRC officials provided the students with feedback to help them refine their program proposals before submitting their final drafts.

"The proposals are realistic and support our mission to reduce recidivism. Each will become part of how we do business at TCI - changing our operations for the better and providing positive opportunities for those who follow," said Mr. Ishee.

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an educational program that brings together campus-based college students with incarcerated students for a semester-long course held in a prison, jail or other correctional setting. Twelve students from Trumbull Correctional Institution and twelve students from Westminster College came together to discuss important social issues amongst other topics. Students have the option of pursuing summer internships at TCI to see their proposed programs through.

"This was an experience that the students and facilitators will not forget," added Robison.

Visit to learn more about the Inside-Out Prison Exchange program. 

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

History Majors Present at Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:55:00 EST

(image) History majors Lexie Quigley and David Waldschmidt presented their research at the 2017 Western Pennsylvania Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference and Undergraduate History Forum held at Thiel College on April 1.

Quigley won an award for "Best Paper in Panel" for her paper "Frosty Car Windows: A Micro History of the Effect of Cold War Culture on the Depiction of Young American Women, Specifically LuAnne Henderson". Her paper was based on her capstone research advised by Dr. Patricia G. Clark, associate professor of history. Quigley previously won the "Best Paper in Panel" award at the 2015 regional Phi Alpha Theta conference for her paper "Un-American: Arthur Miller's Influence on the House on Un-American Activities Committee During the Second Red Scare".

Waldschmidt presented "Incompetence Overpowers Intelligence?" based on his research on the Nuremberg Trials for the historical methods course taught by Dr. Russell E. Martin, professor of history.

Clark gave opening remarks at the conference as the national representative of the history honor society Phi Alpha Theta to the Western Pennsylvania region.

For more information, contact Dr. Patricia Clark at or 724-946-7248.

Westminster College Jazz Ensemble Presents Spring Music with Friends Concert

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:31:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Jazz Ensemble presents their Spring Music with Friends on Sunday, April 30th at 3pm, in Berlin Lounge located in the McKelvey Campus Center. The Jazz Ensemble will be joined by the Westminster College Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Samuel Barbara, and the Conneaut Area Blue Note Jazz Band, under the direction of Mr. Glenn Cameron.

The Westminster College Jazz Ensemble will perform music written by jazz artists Sammy Nestico, Alan Baylocl, Gordon Goodwin, Chick Corea, and others.

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

Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu Publishes Violinist’s Guide to Scottish Fiddling

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:23:00 EST

(image) Dr. Melinda H. Crawford Perttu, assistant professor of music and former U.S. National Scottish Fiddling Champion, recently published a book entitled "A Violinist's Guide to Scottish Fiddling," published by Mel Bay Publications.  Mel Bay is a leading publisher of music books that offer instruction in various instrumental musical genres. 

“It's very exciting to get this book published and available to the public because it is the first of its kind for Scottish fiddling,” says Crawford Perttu. “There's never been another pedagogical guide that has analyzed the traditional techniques that are used when playing in this style.”

Crawford Perttu’s book is designed for violinists who have never fiddled in the Scottish style or for anyone looking to refine their Scottish fiddling skills. In this guide, readers will find discussions about ornamentations and their applications, bowing styles, rhythmic issues and stylistic interpretations. It covers five basic types of tunes: airs, marches, jigs, reels and strathspeys, as well as Scottish fiddle history and regional styles.

Transcriptions of the tunes are included within the guide along with video clips demonstrating all of the techniques and tunes used in the guide.

“Many of the video clips are close-up shots that really show the details of how to perform the techniques. So now, classical violinists working with the guide and its accompanying videos should feel confident that what they will be learning will truly be authentic Scottish fiddling,” added Crawford Perttu.

A Violinist's Guide to Scottish Fiddling” is available through Mel Bay Publications at,, or neighborhood music stores.

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

Westminster College Presents “A Spring Music Concert: A Friends of Music Gala Concert”

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 11:19:00 EST

(image) Westminster College presents "A Spring Music Festival: A Friends of Music Gala Concert" on Friday, April 28, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium at Westminster College. There will be performances from the Westminster College Jazz Ensemble, Chamber Singers and Westminster College Symphony Orchestra. The music festival is free and open to all.

Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Winfield, the Westminster College Jazz ensemble will perform two numbers; Baylock’s El Abrazo and Nestico’s Wind Machine. Accompanied by the Westminster College Chamber singers, the jazz ensemble will perform classic numbers such as Blue Moon featuring soloist Jace Armentrout and As Time Goes By featuring soloists Olivia Schmidt and Kaylee Krug.

The Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Samuel Barbara, will perform a medley of I Love You and What A Wonderful World. Their second musical selection will be Unclouded Day by Fred Johnson.

Under the direction of Dr. Melinda H. Crawford Perttu, the Westminster College Symphony Orchestra will perform: Dvořák - Polka in B-flat; Sibelius – Finlandia; Shore/Whitney - Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring featuring Rhainnon Griffiths, soprano; Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 3 in c: Allegro con brio featuring Joseph Bandi, piano; Mozart - Vedrai carino from "Don Giovanni" featuring Lauren Faber, soprano.

Performing alongside the orchestra are Westminster College Concerto and Aria competition winners, Joseph Bandi and Lauren Faber. Bandi is a current senior working on a dual degree in Music Education and Piano Performance, studying in the studio of Dr. Nancy DeSalvo. Lauren Faber is currently a sophomore vocal performance and communications double major.

There will be a casual cookie and punch reception following the concert in Orr Lobby. 

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

Dr. Kristin Park Presents Research at North Central Sociological Association

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 09:41:00 EST

(image) Dr. Kristin Park, professor of sociology, presented a talk titled “Evaluating Culture and Discovering Boundaries: Non-Amish Perceptions of and Experiences with the Old Order Amish" on April 1, 2017 at the annual meeting of the North Central Sociological Association in Indianapolis, IN

Dr. Park’s presentation described findings from her ongoing qualitative research consisting of in-depth interviews with non-Amish individuals about their experiences with and perceptions of members of the regional Old Order Amish community.  Many participants positively evaluated the hard work, honesty and generosity of their Amish neighbors, as well as their living by Christian teachings.

“This research is the first stage of an ongoing project,” says Park. “In the second stage I plan to interview members of the Amish community about their non-Amish interactions and how they feel they are perceived by the “English,” as well as any other issues that my research participants would like to discuss.”

Some participants criticized racial and ethnic prejudice and the community's rejection of safety devices. Dr. Park’s findings were analyzed in terms of how criticisms of Amish practices align with or challenge a culturally relativist perspective.

For more information, contact Dr. Kristin Park at or 724-946-7251.

Westminster Honors Students Awarded Honorable Mention Status in Goldwater Scholarship Competition

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 15:22:00 EST

(image) The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation has announced 240 new Goldwater Scholars and identified 307 students as Honorable Mentions. For 30 years, Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to thousands of undergraduates pursuing careers in STEM research. Westminster College honors students Tyler Heintz ’18 and Audrey Nickle ’18 were granted Honorable Mention status in the 2017 Goldwater Scholarship competition.

Heintz and Nickle were recruited and nominated by 1994 Goldwater scholar Dr. Craig Caylor, associate professor of physics at Westminster. Dr. Caylor serves as Westminster’s campus representative and aids nominees throughout the application process. Each student was selected based on academic excellence and promising undergraduate research.

Tyler Heintz, a physics and mathematics major, is a son of Jeffrey and Jill Heintz and a graduate of Boardman High School. Heintz collaborated with Dr. Thomas Oberst, associate professor of physics, on their research involving the detection of exoplanets. He will be researching exoplanets further this summer at the University of Salerno, Italy, through Westminster’s NSF IRES grant program.

Audrey Nickle, a molecular biology major, is a daughter of John and Carol Nickle and a graduate of Carlisle High School. Nickle teamed with Dr. Karen Resendes, associate professor of biology to research the molecular mechanism behind the function of some chemotherapy drugs.

“I am both proud and honored by Audrey Nickle's selection for an Honorable Mention for the Goldwater Scholarship Program,” added Dr. Resendes. “Audrey is a standout student who excels not only in the classroom, but also as a research scientist, which is the emphasis of this award.”

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

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

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

Senior Sociology Major Awarded at Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Sociology Symposium

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 14:56:00 EST

(image) Senior Sociology major and Religion minor Charissa Mikoski presented her capstone research at the Northeast Ohio Undergraduate Sociology Symposium (NEOUSS) at the College of Wooster on April 8, 2017. Seventy-five undergraduates from over twenty-five colleges and universities presented their work in paper presentations and a research poster session.

“NEOUSS was a great experience! It was fun to share my work with other sociologists and to learn about what other people have spent time studying. Everyone was very encouraging and supportive of my research,” said Charissa.

Charissa’s research entitled “The Art of Balance: Influential Factors on Work-Life Balance Stress among Presbyterian Church (USA) Clergywomen” was awarded second prize in the research poster category. During her poster session, the most common question Charissa received was what drew her to this research topic.

 “Both of my parents are Presbyterian ministers,” said Charissa. “I’ve grown up in the church and it has always been of interest to me. In addition, when picking a topic for my capstone, I tried to incorporate my religion minor in some way.”

Charissa surveyed 255 Presbyterian Church (USA) clergywomen to look at the impacts of Myers-Briggs personality type, emotional exhaustion, work satisfaction, and spousal assistance on a clergywoman’s feeling of stress about balancing work demands and family responsibilities. She concluded that introverts experience more work-life balance stress than extraverts, clergy who are satisfied with their jobs experienced less work-life balance stress and clergy who were emotionally exhausted experienced more work-life balance stress.

After graduation, Charissa looks forward to continue starting graduate school at Purdue University in the fall to continue building her research skills and one day become a professional quantitative researcher.

For more information, contact Dr. Kristin Park at or 724-946-7251.

Education Professor and Colleague Presents Research at ACPA Conferences in CA and OH

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 15:25:00 EST

(image) Dr. Alison DuBois, assistant professor of early childhood education, special education, and counseling, and Dr. Molly Mistretta (of Slippery Rock University) presented at the American Counseling Association's National Conference in San Francisco, CA on March 17, 2017. Their 60 minute presentation, "When Caring Hurts: Identifying Signs of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue in Education," discussed diagnostic criteria used to assess burnout and compassion fatigue, personal factors that contribute to secondary trauma, and recommendations on prevention and resiliency strategies for educators.

“[Dr. Mistretta] and I feel passionate about our subject matter because it affects all of the helping professions,” says Dr. DuBois. “Few people are looking at this phenomenon in the fields of education and student affairs. Providing young professionals with necessary tools for self-care early in their careers helps them to become more effective practitioners and gain more satisfaction in their work.”

The pair also presented at ACPA’s National Concerference (College Student Educators International) in Columbus, OH on March 26, 2017. Dr. DuBois and Dr. Mistretta’s presentation entitled "Caring and Coping: Burnout and Compassion Fatigue in Student Affairs” included their research findings from three recent studies they have conducted.

For more information, contact Dr. Alison Dubois at or 724-946-6039.

Titan Gift Shop's Annual Sidewalk Clearance Sale

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 10:58:00 EST


Mark your calendars for the Titan Gift Shop’s Annual Spring Sidewalk Sale. The Titan Gift Shop will hold a spring clearance sale on Thursday, April 20 from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM in front of the gift shop.

Come shop early for the best bargains on clothing and Westminster merchandise.

Contact Kay Galanski, bookstore supervisor, at or 724-946-7218 with questions.

Westminster College Combined Choirs Present Spring Concert

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 09:33:00 EST

(image) Please join the Westminster College choral department, under the direction of Dr. Samuel Barbara, for a spring concert of music spanning the Renaissance era to the 21st century. All four Westminster College choirs will be represented at the concert, which will also serve as a farewell to the graduating seniors. The concert is Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 3 p.m. in the Wallace Memorial Chapel at Westminster College; free and open to all.

For more information, contact Dr. Samuel Barbara at or 724-946-7278.

Humans of Westminster: Meet Matthew

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 11:16:00 EST

(image) More than I've Ever Imagined

When I first stepped on Westminster's campus, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that within a year I'd join a fraternity, become a leader of several campus organizations, and make friends that will last a lifetime. Westminster has truly been more than I've ever imagined. That's why I love being a student worker in the admissions office. Every day, I get to encourage prospective students to make the decision that will change their life. What's better than that?

Matthew McDonald is a sophomore public relations major. 

Music Professor Guest Conducts PMEA District 1 Junior District Orchestra

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 13:31:00 EST


Dr. Melinda Crawford Perttu, assistant professor of music at Westminster College, guest conducted the PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) District 1 Junior District Orchestra on March 31 and April 1, 2017. The event was hosted by Norwin High School in Irwin, PA

Nearly 140 participants, in grades 7-9, came from 59 different school districts in PMEA District 1 (the greater Pittsburgh area) attended and rehearsed music for full orchestra and string orchestra over the period of two days and performed on Saturday.

At Westminster, Dr. Crawford Perttu directs the symphony orchestra, teaches the string pedagogy sequence as well as private violin and viola lessons, and supervises the weekly string master class and string lab. She also performs as part of the Westminster Faculty Piano Trio and with the Greenville Symphony

Before receiving her Ph.D. in music education with an emphasis in string pedagogy from The Ohio State University, Dr. Crawford Perttu earned an M.A. in music education from The Ohio State University and a B.S. in music education from Duquesne University. She taught in the public schools of Calvert County, Maryland, and Fairfax County, Virginia before coming to Westminster.

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

Alumna Organizes Formal Dress Collection for Middle School Girls

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 13:01:00 EST

(image) Westminster College alumna Abby Buckholt ’14 organized a formal dress collection for 7th and 8th grade girls at Selma Middle School in Selma, North Carolina. Abby is currently a special education teacher at Selma Middle School.

“We hadn't been able to have a school dance here in several years for behavioral reasons that pertained to the whole school,” said Abby. “Our 8th graders at the time (from 2 years ago, May 2015) wrote a proposal to our principal at the time about the ideas they had and why they felt they should be able to have a school dance.”

After reviewing the proposal, the school administration granted the students’ request and plans for a dance began.

After several conversations with the 7th and 8th grade girls, Abby noticed both their excitement to attend the dance and their concerns about whether their families could afford to purchase a dress. Selma Middle School is located in a low-socioeconomic area of Selma. For many of the students, this dress collection may be the only way that they can obtain a formal dress for the dance.

“Many had gone home and talked with their parents/guardians and the girls were told that they couldn't afford to purchase a dress, so right then and there I told myself I was going to do whatever it took to make sure that the girls could still attend the dance no matter what and looking as pretty as ever,” added Abby.

Abby started reaching out to friends and colleagues in North Carolina, at Westminster College and back home to her high school religion teacher, Mrs. Kathy Wray at Seton- La Salle Catholic High School. She also had family and friends share a poster she created on Facebook to help drive donations and give her students an opportunity to shine along with their middle school classmates. 

This is Abby’s third year collecting dresses for students in need of formal gowns for the school dance, and she plans to continue the collection for as long as she can. To become a part of the formal dress collection, contact Abby Buckholt at

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

SAAC and CEC Collaborates with Lawrence County Special Olympics

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 10:25:00 EST

(image) Westminster College student athletes and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) collaborated with the Lawrence County Special Olympics to host the Lawrence County Basketball Special Olympics. The Olympic games took place in the Memorial Fieldhouse on Saturday, March 25, 2017. Olympians from Crawford, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland, Allegheny and Butler counties competed this year.

“Saturday was a tremendous day,” says Jane Dean, adjunct education faculty at Westminster College. "It was a time for our Westminster students to connect with the Special Olympians and their families and friends.  They were able to see the Olympians desire to compete and their positive spirits.  It was a day filled with energy, excitement and caring."

Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) reps Shane Wilson (men’s golf) and Gab Tissue (women’s soccer), coincidently education majors, were the primary Westminster organizers and the liaisons working with Lawrence County Special Olympics this year. Over past years, SAAC student-athletes along with some of their teammates volunteered to operate the tournament with the organizers of the Lawrence County Special Olympics.

“In recent years, Jane Dean and CEC members got involved and really helped take the tournament to a higher new level,” said Jim Dafler, director of athletics at Westminster College and SAAC adviser.

“The purpose of the partnership is to enhance the lives of Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes through a mutual learning experience; provide a platform for recognition of Special Olympics athletes and Division III student-athletes within their communities; and raise awareness of Special Olympics, its programs and services,” added Dafler.

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

Graduate School Adjunct Faculty Share at Professional Networking Symposium

Thu, 06 Apr 2017 09:44:00 EST

(image) Well over 400 people gathered at Westminster College’s Professional Networking Symposium on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Alumni and friends of the college, across disciplines, were invited to share professional advice and network with current Westminster students. In panels led by alumni and friends of the college, members of the Westminster community engaged in various breakout sessions and other networking opportunities.

Dr. Charlene Klassen Endrizzi, professor of Education, coordinated a breakout session for Westminster preservice teachers led by adjunct faculty in the Reading Specialist graduate program and recent graduates of the Westminster College Graduate School.

Graduate adjunct faculty presenters included Karen Matis, Laura Nych and Diane O'Donovan, all graduates of Westminster College Graduate School. Recent graduates Alex Taylor Schroder and Katie Tomko Williams also joined the panel to share their graduate school journey at Westminster.  

Former Board of Trustees member Barbara Guffey, attorney Angelo Papa and Brian Wolfe, director of Resch Foundation, were in attendance and offered their insights to future teachers.

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

Westminster College Student Honored as 2017 Newman Civic Fellow

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 14:35:00 EST

Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, including Westminster College’s own Sarah Smith. Sarah Smith, a senior accounting major and human resource minor, is a daughter of Dale and Debra Smith and a graduate of Burgettstown Area High School. She is active on campus and in the local community by serving in different groups and activities. She is a Resident Assistant in a campus dormitory, volunteers on Chapel Staff and meets with the UKirk College ministry program at a local church. She has been a three-year member of ENACTUS, an accounting and business club, and has become a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance worker helping prepare taxes for low-income families in New Castle, PA. “In looking at the criteria for the Newman Civic Fellow program, [we] quickly thought of Sarah,” Rev. Jim Mohr, Westminster College Chaplain. “She is involved in a lot of areas on campus. She has a commitment to making life better for the community around her, which in our eyes made her the perfect nominee for Westminster College”. As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Sarah will be a part of the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities. “The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “We rebuilt the Newman Civic Fellowship experience because our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together for positive change. We are thrilled to welcome this group of 273 exemplary students as the first cohort to participate in this new model.” The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation. Campus Compact's Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The fellowship is named in honor of Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact's founders, and is supported by the KPMG Foundation and by the Newman's Own Foundation. For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190. [...]

Biology Professor and Student Present Research at Ornithological Conference in Florida

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 10:38:00 EST

(image) Dr. Kerri Cornell Duerr and Rebecca Zdilla '17 recently attended the Wilson Ornithological Society conference at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL. Duerr and Zdilla coauthored and presented a poster presentation entitled “Habitat use by American Kestrels and European Starlings in west-central Pennsylvania”.

Duerr, assistant professor of biology at Westminster College, serves as the chair of the Jed Burtt Undergraduate Mentoring Award Committee for the Wilson Ornithological Society and she is Zdilla’s capstone research adviser.

Zdilla, a senior biology and biochemistry major, is a daughter of James and Kathryn Zdilla and a graduate of Butler Area Senior High School.

 “Attending the conference was a completely new experience for me,” says Zdilla. “It was interesting to listen to [other participants’] research projects that they are doing through a university or through various jobs.”

Zdilla was inspired to think of different job opportunities thanks to a museum curator and a researcher for Florida's game and wildlife commission. “Those are two types of jobs that I had never considered before, but have sparked my interest into exploring them more,” she added.

Duerr and Zdilla also spent time birding at Corkscrew Swamp Wildlife Sanctuary and participated in a bird banding session hosted by the North American Bird Banding Council.

For more information, contact Dr. Kerri Duerr at or 724-946-7210.

Senior Art Students Present Select Pieces from Their Capstones

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:58:00 EST

(image) A group of senior art students are presenting select pieces from their capstone portfolios beginning April 3 and lasting through the first week of May in Patterson Hall's Foster Art Gallery. A reception will be held April 6 from 4:30 - 6 p.m. and is open and free to the public.

The Senior Art Show features the works of both fine art and media art students. Capstone is a senior-level course within the major designed to provide an opportunity for students to work independently with Westminster fine art and media art faculty to assess their cumulative body of work and make appropriate adjustments to prepare a professional art or media art portfolio.

“Art comes in all shapes and sizes, and this gallery show represents all the hard work the students have put in through their time at Westminster,” says Kandice Hartner, adjunct faculty for Media Art + Design.

The showcase features David Austin, William Austin, Jacqui Holiday, Jordyn Kee, Stephanie Lesnak, Emiley Lindsey, Mark Salamon, Jackie Schultz and Doltyn Snedden.

David Austin, a senior media art + design major, is a son of Cara Austin and a graduate of Farrell Area High School.

William Austin, a senior media art + design major, is a son of Cara Austin and a graduate of Farrell Area High School.

Jacqui Holiday, a senior media art + design and fine art major, is a daughter of Erin and Danielle Holiday and a graduate of Archbishop Spalding High School.

Jordyn Kee, a senior fine art major, is a daughter of Shiela Kee and a graduate of Solon High School.

Stephanie Lesnak, a senior fine art major, is a daughter of Jan and Cheryl Lesnak and a graduate of Campbell Memorial High School.

Emily Lindsey, a senior media art + design major, is a daughter of Mark and Paula Lindsey and a graduate of Freeport Area Senior High School.

Mark Salamon, a senior fine art major, is a son of John and Laura Salamon and a graduate of Cloverleaf Senior High School.

Jackie Schultz, a senior media art + design major, is a daughter of John and Christal Schultz and a graduate of Northwest Pa Collegiate Acad.

Doltyn Snedden, a senior media art + design major, is a son of Douglas and Barbara Snedden and a graduate of Forest Hills High School.

For more information, contact Summer Zickefoose, Gallery Director and Lecturer of Art, at 724-946-7267 or Kandice Hartner at 724-946-7237.

Broadcast Communications Alumnus Offers Filmmaking Advice to Documentary Capstone Students

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:09:00 EST

(image) Jonathan Joy ’03 recently visited students enrolled in documentary production led by Brad Weaver, lecturer at Westminster College, to share some filmmaking advice. Joy currently teaches media production at the University of Buffalo where he is also finishing up his MFA.

Joy shared tips and other filmmaking knowledge he picked up over the years.

"The cycle of technology will never stop, and neither should your love for narrative,” shared Joy. “It doesn't matter, technically, how it was produced, but aesthetic and thematically why was it produced. Know your production intentions and know your audience”.

Emiley Westfall, Charlie Borges, Justin Wilson, Brad Kolesar and Troy Jackson are currently producing their capstone documentaries and will present their trailers at the Undergraduate Research and Arts Festival on April 26. Their final projects will screen on campus this November.

"The diverse collection of work from this year's capstone class is a testament to the guidance, support and tiresome effort from faculty member Brad Weaver,” added Joy. “Each project contains its own distinct voice filled with professional level work, excelling at all three phases of production."

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

Dr. Thomas Oberst Leads Discovery of Exoplanet Soon to be Shredded

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 13:24:00 EST

A multinational team of astronomers led by Dr. Thomas Oberst, associate professor of physics and director of the Westminster College Planetarium and Observatory, has discovered an exoplanet orbiting precariously close to its host star. And it is getting closer. The planet, KELT-16b, is whipping around its star so quickly that its entire year lasts less than one day on Earth. Oberst’s team calculates that it may have only a few hundreds of thousands of years left – a mere instant in astronomical timescales – before being ripped to shreds by the tidal forces of its star.   The discovery of KELT-16b has garnered media attention from the likes of CBS News and after the study was first published in The Astronomical Journal. “One of our goals is to piece together the story of what happens to giant planets as their solar systems evolve,” said Oberst. “We have a few examples like KELT-16b at the end of the story, and lots in the middle. What we are still missing is the beginning of the story: planets that are very young.” KELT-16b will also shed light on how the atmospheres of alien planets work. For example, the planet’s proximity to its star is expected to generate unusual weather, such as rain showers of titanium oxide and vanadium oxide at sunset, said Oberst. “KELT-16b is inhospitable for life,” he added. “But the technology used to study its atmosphere may one day advance to the point that we could detect signs of life in the atmospheres of distant worlds with more habitable conditions.” Oberst shares his passion for research with his students, who help search for new planets from the Westminster College Observatory atop the Hoyt Science Resources Center. Together, they have co-discovered nearly 20 exoplanets. Tyler Heintz, a junior physics and mathematics major and co-author of the KELT-16b study, reduced much of the telescopic image data used in the discovery. “It is cool to experience real research on the frontiers of science, and it’s greatly enhanced my education and career preparation,” he said. Heintz will be researching exoplanets further this summer at the University of Salerno, Italy, through Westminster’s NSF IRES grant program. Oberst plans to use his research on KELT-16b to enrich courses in the new astronomy minor at Westminster – particularly the AST 141 “Planets” course offered next spring. Oberst has been with Westminster since 2008. He earned an undergraduate degree from Duquesne University and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell University. For more information, contact Oberst at 724-946-7204 or *Photo: An artist’s impression of a Jupiter-like planet orbiting close to its star (G. Bacon STSci/NASA/ESA) [...]

Westminster College Announces New Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:04:00 EST

(image) The Graduate School at Westminster College announces the start the new Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program (CMHC) starting in Fall 2017. There will be an information session on April 5 at 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Berlin Lounge located in the McKelvey Campus Center.

The Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60 credit-hour cohort program aimed at developing a professional counseling identity. The program features tracks in Adult, Youth and School Counseling with specialty study options in Trauma and Rural/Distance Counseling.

“The program is designed to prepare students for work in community mental health agencies, residential treatment facilities, elementary and secondary schools, and hospitals,” says Eric Perry, assistant director of the graduate school. “The program is suited for with Bachelor degrees from any discipline.”

Graduates of the CMHIC program are eligible for the National Certified Counselor or credential (NCC) and are license-eligible in Pennsylvania and Ohio as a professional counselor (LPC). The program offers small class sizes with faculty who are engaging, student centered and highly committed to teaching.

To learn more and apply, visit the Westminster College Graduate school online or visit the graduate office located on the 2nd floor of McKelvey behind the bookstore.

For more information, contact Eric Perry at or 724-946-7874.

Women’s Lacrosse Set to Begin Inaugural Season

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:28:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College women's lacrosse team will start its inaugural season on Wednesday, March 29 at Saint Vincent with a game time of 4 p.m.

The Titans have 18 players on their roster, including eight first-years, six sophomores, two juniors, and two seniors.

Westminster has 10 opponents on the schedule for the 2017 season. The Titans open with three Ohio River Lacrosse Conference (ORLC) road games: at Saint Vincent (March 29), at Hanover (April 1), and at Thomas More (April 2). Westminster’s home opener is slated for Wednesday, April 5 vs. ORLC foe Washington & Jefferson at 7:30 p.m. After its lone non-conference game of the season at Franciscan on Monday, April 10, Westminster plays at Thiel on Wednesday, April 12. The Titans then play three home games: vs. Waynesburg (April 19), vs. Mount St. Joseph (April 22), and vs. Franklin (1:30 p.m.). Westminster concludes the regular season at Transylvania on Saturday, April 29.

"It is of utmost importance that the women's lacrosse program reflects the mission of Westminster,” said first-year head coach Kim Eldridge.  “My goal is to create a motivating subculture where young women feel empowered to reach their fullest potential in the classroom, community, and on the field. I look forward to establishing a foundation of tradition and pride and contributing to the Titan community."

Westminster Students Display Artwork in Exhibition in Portland, OR

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:02:00 EST

(image) Westminster students enrolled in the Handbuilding Ceramics and Contemporary Crafts courses this spring have their artwork displayed as part of the exhibition, "Social Objects", at c3: initiative gallery in Portland, OR. The exhibition takes place during the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts conference that runs March 23 until April 14.

Social Objects is an exhibit that includes works 14 members of the Socially Engaged Craft Collective (SECC), including Westminster faculty Summer Zickefoose who coordinated the event along with SECC. The exhibit highlights the intersection of socially engaged art and the ceramic medium. Students in the two classes were paired up to collaborate on memorial tiles and embroideries.

According to c3: initiative, “[SECC] aims to promote artists and to expose other artists, educators, and those who are interested to the wide spectrum of socially engaged craft”.

Visit to learn more about c3: initiative and to see current and upcoming events.

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

WC Students, Alumni and Professor Travel to the Dominican Republic for Research and Mission Work

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:12:00 EST

Several Westminster students, alumni and Dr. Joel Postema, associate professor of Spanish, recently traveled to Sabaneta de Yásica, Dominican Republic to volunteer during a mission partnership between Presbyterian congregations in Pennsylvania and Ohio and the Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana in Sabaneta de Yásica, Dominican Republic. Students Shelby Seyler, Sarah Pace and Madison Ordonez attended the mission partnership last year. Seyler and Pace continued the research they began last year on the perception of healthcare in the DR by conducting informal interviews with as many Dominican children as possible to learn about their knowledge of vitamins, germs, water quality and other factors that impact their health.  Ordonez conducted research on Dominican pharmaceuticals and access to medicine.  This research will help inform the partnership’s medical decisions in the future. Outside of conducting research, the students also shadowed a professional in their prospective careers. Seyler, junior Psychology major, shadowed a practicing Occupational Therapist. Ordonez, junior Biochemistry major, assisted a pharmacist while volunteering in a pharmacy and senior Biology major Sarah Pace assisted in the medical clinics. "It was by far the most eye-opening experience I’ve ever had,” said Ordonez. “It was incredible to meet so many new people and to be completely immersed in another culture. I learned so much about the language, the people, the culture and God in just one week.” The students prepared for their translating roles during the trip by taking an independent study course with Dr. Postema. Postema strived to create a rich learning experience for the students while widening their global awareness. “Last year’s goal was for students to see what life outside of the U.S. looks like, especially with regard to healthcare, education and housing,” says Postema. “Goals were different this year. This year was more about language learning and strengthening the reality of what life looks like in the DR.” Postema volunteers for a week each year in Sabenta de Yásica as an interpreter, translating for doctors, construction workers, educators and church officials. This is the 25th year of the partnership between the local churches and the Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana congregations. During the annual visits, volunteers help in medical, construction projects, water treatment efforts, educational scholarship support and bible school programs. Visit to read more about the week-long trip. For more information, contact Dr. Joel Postema at or 724-946-7263. [...]

Westminster Mathematics and Computer Science Departments Hosts High School Programming Competition

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 15:37:00 EST

(image) Eighteen teams from four high schools attended this year’s Westminster College High School Programming Contest hosted by the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, in conjunction with the college Admissions Department, on Monday, March 13, 2017. Participating schools included: Nichols School in Buffalo, NY (coached by Jason DeGroat); North Allegheny High School in Wexford, PA (coached by Laura Prosser); Seneca Valley High School in Harmony, PA (Coached by Diane Krauland and Chad Robertson); and Wilmington Area High School, in New Wilmington, PA (coached by Mary Beth Acker).

The teams, consisting of 3 to 4 high school students each, worked for two and a half hours on six computer programming problems. Students submitted solutions and received feedback from the judges electronically, while an electronic score sheet displayed updated results throughout the contest. Scoring for each problem was based on the time since the beginning of the contest as well as the number of incorrect submissions.

This year’s winning team was “NA1” from North Allegheny High School in Wexford, PA.
2b || !2b” from Seneca Valley High School took second place and third place was awarded to “NA 3” from North Allegheny High School.

Westminster faculty member, Dr. John Bonomo, designed and ran the contest. Dr. Bonomo is an active organizer and problem contributor to local, regional, and international programming contests and has been Head Judge for the ACM East Regional Programming Contest since 2000. He has served as Head Judge and problem contributor for the International Collegiate Programming Competition for the past 14 years, including Stockholm, Sweden in April, 2009; Harbin, China in February, 2010; Orlando, FL in May, 2011; Warsaw, Poland, May 2012; St. Petersburg, Russia, June 2013; Ekaterinburg, Russia, June 2014; Marrakech, Morocco, May 2015; and Phuket, Thailand, May 2016.

Dr. Bonomo was assisted by Dr. David Shaffer, associate professor of computer science, and computer science students Trevor Arrigoni, Aaron Signer and David Windsor. More information about the contest can be found at here.

For more information, contact Bonomo at

Westminster School of Music Enters Affiliation Agreement with Duquesne University for Music Therapy

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:28:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College School of Music is proud to announce its Affiliation Agreement with Duquesne University for Music Therapy after a culmination of efforts by the Westminster music faculty and Dr. Daniel Perttu, Chair of the School of Music.

As a part of the Affiliation Agreement, students obtain a bachelor’s degree in music at Westminster and then receive priority consideration for the Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Music Therapy (PBCMT) program at Duquesne. After successfully completing the required courses, students may apply and audition for a spot in the PBCMT program.

"We are truly very excited to be able to offer students this option,” says Perttu. “With this agreement, Westminster students can get a well-rounded musical education as an undergraduate, take courses needed to prepare for the PBCMT program at Duquesne and be considered for priority admission." The PBCMT program is highly competitive and requires a year of coursework followed by a 6-month internship.

Perttu adds, “The music faculty often hear that prospective students are interested in music therapy. This Affiliation Agreement gives students a formalized path through which students can learn about music therapy and then focus themselves as they go further in their college career."

Other changes to the Westminster College School of Music include the new track in Music Composition for students of Bachelor of Arts in Music.  As a part of this track, students take more in-depth composition lessons, upper-level music theory courses and incorporate their original composition into their Capstone thesis project.

For more information, contact Dr. Daniel Perttu at or 724-946-7024.

*photo provided by The American Music Therapy Association 

Westminster College Students Compete in Trinity Firefighting Robot Competition

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:16:00 EST

(image) Westminster students Aaron Signer ‘19, Matt Gurneal ‘18 and Jacob Shodd ‘17 will be competing in the Trinity Firefighting Robot Competition in Hartford, Connecticut on March 30-April 2

Signer, Gurneal and Shodd are developing a robot that can navigate a mock-up of a single-story home to find a "fire" (candle) and extinguish it. Teams from regional high schools and elementary, who were supported in part by Westminster’s Division of Cognitive and Quantitative Sciences, will accompany the Westminster students at the competition.

The Trinity Firefighting Robot Competition is an annual competition that attracts robotics teams from all over the world. Started in 1994 as a small local robotics event, the competition has grown to include over 100 robot teams from all over the world.  It is held annually at Trinity College's campus in Hartford, Connecticut USA.

The competition will be live-streamed and a link will be available at

For more information, contact David Shaffer at or 724-946-7292.

Education Professor and Students Travel to Dominican Republic with Steel City Mission Group

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:54:00 EST

(image) Senior early childhood education majors Melissa Egan and Denver Baker, along with Dr. Sararose Lynch, recently traveled to Samaná, Dominican Republic as part of the Steel City Mission Group. Egan, Baker and Dr. Lynch teamed up with a group of students and Dr. Jeremy Lynch, associate professor of special education, from Slippery Rock University (SRU) to teach math and science to school aged children and families. The mission group visited 6 schools: Robales, Honduras, Arroyo Seco, El Valle, Maria Louisa and Los Coronas.

Additionally, Dr. Lynch, Egan and Baker conducted research regarding the recent changes to the education system in the Dominican Republic. Their findings will be shared during URAC on April 26, 2017 at Westminster College.

This is the first year a team from Westminster collaborated with a team from SRU to provide academic services with the mission group. Through a joint effort, the team shared the water filtration program which taught the Dominican students the need for using clean water. The Dominican students used biological microscopes to view samples of their water and water from other locations.

Volunteers from the mission group also taught the Dominican students and teachers mathematics games that can be used in all grades and provided the game materials to be used as part of their weekly routines.

The Steel City Mission Group is a non-profit group serving individuals from the Dominican Republic and Haiti by providing medical, construction, water filtration, and youth bible school services. The group is based out of Western Pennsylvania with members throughout the United States. Through generous donations of supplies, volunteerism and monetary donations, the Steel City Mission Group is able to provide crucial services while sharing their Christian faith. To learn more about the Steel City Mission Group, visit

For more information, contact Dr. Sararose Lynch at

Westminster College Wind Ensemble to Perform at Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:13:00 EST

(image) The Westminster College Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. R. Tad Greig will perform at the famed Scottish Rite Cathedral located at 110 East Lincoln Avenue New Castle, PA 16101 on Friday, March 31, 2017 at 7:30 PM. The ensemble will be assisted by the Shenango Valley Chorale and faculty artist Dr. Nancy Zipay DeSalvo. The concert will present an amazing array of the finest music for winds in one of the region’s most beautiful performance halls. The concert will be free to all with a free-will donation being accepted.

The Wind Ensemble at Westminster College has earned performances at the Pennsylvania State Music Educators Conference on numerous occasions and has been acknowledged by the National Association of Schools of Music in their multiple visits to Westminster. Westminster Colleges Band musicians have achieved honors at both the state and national collegiate levels.

There are no formal tickets for this show. However, preregistering helps gauge reception attendance and food needs. Registration is available at:

The concert will be followed by an open post-reception in the lobby featuring one of the college's famed chamber ensembles. Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson will also attend the post-reception.

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

Early Childhood Majors Co-Host Union Elementary Math Night

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:45:00 EST

(image) More than 15 Westminster College early childhood/special education majors participated in a "Math Night" at Union Elementary School in New Castle during the spring Semester. The night included a carnival theme coordinated by pre-service teachers (Westminster students in Early Childhood Practicum), student-teachers at Union Elementary and Dani Brown 12’, a Westminster alumna with a BA in Early Childhood Education. Brown teaches 5th grade at Union Elementary School.

During Math Night, the pre-service teachers from Westminster facilitated games, STEAM activities and technology applications that the families could use to practice mathematics topics at school and home. Dr. Sararose Lynch, assistant professor of mathematics education at Westminster College, believes that Math Night is a beneficial opportunity for all involved.

"The elementary students and families are engaged in activities that that can be used at home to practice mathematics in a fun way, while the pre-service teachers get to learn in an authentic manner while providing a service to our local community," said Lynch.

For more information, contact Dr. Sararose Lynch at

Humans of Westminster: Meet Jordyn

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:34:00 EST

(image) Breaking Out of My Shell

I was afraid at first that I wasn’t going to fit in and not make any friends here. Since high school, I just played in the marching band and went home after school. I decided that in college I was going to join a lot of clubs and get out and meet people. Now after my 4 years here, I’ve held multiple leadership positions in clubs such as Gospel Choir, Kappa Delta and ALLIES. I’m a sweetheart to my favorite fraternity, played in the Marching Band and ran track for a season. If it wasn’t for Westminster I wouldn’t have met my wonderful boyfriend and all my lifelong friends. I wouldn’t have experienced all the opportunities this school has blessed me with. I believe Westminster has changed me for the better and has made me more confident and ready to take on the world. 

Jordyn Kee is a senior Fine Arts major. 

Eight BCES Students Attend Pittcon

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:10:00 EST

Eight seniors from the Division of Biological, Chemical, and Environmental Sciences at Westminster College participated in the 2017 Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon 2017) in Chicago, IL in March. With more than 14,000 in attendance and more than 1,000 technical sessions, Pittcon claims the distinction as “the world’s largest annual premier conference and exposition on laboratory science.” Westminster student Michael McClain realized the many networking opportunities he had during the conference. “I talked to other students and discussed their research to see if anything sparked my interest. I talked to professors from universities from all over the country and discussed what they had to offer in terms of education and research opportunities. I also spoke with people from different countries to see what they are researching and what chemistry is like in their country compared to [the U.S.],” said McClain. The participating students presented posters as part of Pittcon’s undergraduate student poster session: Daniel Owoc, biology major, presented “Heavy Metal Analysis of Manure and Feed Samples from Local Farmland in Northwestern Pennsylvania” (mentored by Diana Ortiz, Erin Wilson).  He is the son of Roy and Diane Owoc and a graduate of Penn-Trafford High School. Brittany Slupe, chemistry major, presented “Analysis of Manganese Oxides Recovered from Abandoned Mine Drainage Passive Treatment Sites” (mentored by Helen Boylan).  She is the daughter of Kristine L. Slupe and a graduate of Butler Area Senior High School. Stephanie Homitz, chemistry major, presented “Analysis of Pet Food by LIBS, ICP-OES, and Chemometric Methods” (mentored by Helen Boylan).  She is the daughter of Jack and Susan Homitz and a graduate of New Brighton Area Senior High School. Michael McClain, biochemistry major, presented “Protecting [alpha]-Crystallin and Inhibiting Protein Aggregation to Delay Disease” (mentored by Erin Wilson).  He is the son of Lethia Seitz and a graduate of Clarion Area Senior High School. Mathilda Willoughby, biochemistry major, presented “Bacteria Adhesion Quantification Using Microscopy and ImageJ Analysis” (mentored by Erin Wilson).  She is the daughter of Ross and Mary Willoughby and a graduate of Fox Chapel Area High School. Samantha Tower, chemistry major, presented “Green Synthesis of Coumarin-3-Carboxylic Acids and Complexation with Eu(III)” (mentored by Peter Smith).  She is the daughter of Christopher and Jane Tower and a graduate of Franklin Regional Senior High School. Brendan Messner, chemistry major, presented “Separation of Samarium from Cobalt Using Water-Immiscible Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs)” (mentored by Peter Smith).  He is the son of James and Kristen Me[...]

Westminster College Celebrates Fall 2016 Deans List Recipients

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:29:00 EST

(image) Westminster College would like to congratulate students who earned Dean’s List recognition for the 2016 fall semester.

The Dean’s List recognizes students who attain a grade point average of at least 3.6 out of a possible 4.0 with a minimum of 12 course semester hours.

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

View the list of recipients here.

Group from Westminster College Spends Spring Break on a Work Trip in Georgetown, SC

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:31:00 EST

(image) A group of 28 Westminster College students along with Rev. Jim Mohr, Stephanie Lehman and Joyce Laughlin traveled to Georgetown, South Carolina for this year’s Westminster College Spring Break with a Purpose trip. The team worked on two houses and collected items for the HFH ReStore with Habitat for Humanity in Georgetown, teaching children from two Charleston elementary schools to read as part of the Reading Partners program.    

The team spent time with former pastor of Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston Dr. Betty Clark. Dr. Clark is now a pastor in Georgetown who shared with the group what it was like to be the pastor following the church shooting last year.

Before returning from Charleston, the team met with 4 alumni and their family members at Mellow Mushroom, an art-filled chain pizzeria. In attendance were Eric ‘13 and Marlee Tonks Dennis '12, Brooke Emmonds and Heather Aeppli '95 with her daughter Kate.

“This has been an outstanding trip with our students representing WC in amazing ways,” says Rev. Mohr. The team returned to New Wilmington on Saturday evening.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 250,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Rev. Mohr at or 724-946-7116.

Westminster College Hosts West Virginia Philosophical Society Spring Conference

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 08:51:00 EST

(image) The West Virginia Philosophical Society held its spring meeting at Westminster College on March 17 and 18. The West Virginia Philosophical Society has been in existence since 1947 and meets twice a year. 

This year's keynote speaker was Dr. Nicholas Rescher, Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. Rescher has authored nearly 150 books. His talk was entitled "Culpable Ignorance" and focused on the criteria for deciding the moral worth of an action.

Ten other presenters from a variety of institutions, including Dr. David Goldberg, Professor of Philosophy at Westminster College, presented their work as well. Goldberg, 2017-2018 Henderson Lectureship Award winner, presented his research on Nietzsche's understanding of history.

For more information, contact Goldberg at 724-946-7153 or

Westminster College Used Book Sale Starts April 3 in McGill Library

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:04:00 EST


Westminster College is having a used book sale starting April 3 until April 7 during regular library hours. The sale will be located on the first floor of McGill Library across from the Library and Information Services (LIS) Help desk.

Paperbacks are $1 and hardcover books are $2. For special deals throughtout the week, follow us on Facebook @WestminsterCollegeLibrary and Twitter @Chill_McGill.

For additional information, please contact Alex Julio at or 724-946-7330.

Charles Borges Previews Capstone Documentary “A Chance to Play”

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 10:45:00 EST

(image) Charles Borges ’18, Broadcast and Media Production major, recently shared his vision for his capstone documentary project about the Miracle League of Southwestern PA (MLSWPA).  His project, "A Chance to Play," goes into production this summer.

Affiliated with the National Miracle League Baseball organization, the MLSWPA is dedicated to providing opportunities for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities to play organized baseball ever since its opening on May 16, 2009. The MLSWPA is committed to expanding its offerings and support to special needs children and adults in Western Pennsylvania.

Borges hopes to interview parents, coaches, players, and volunteers to gain insight into the inner-workings of the Miracle League and why volunteers dedicate their time for such a noble cause.  

“I want this documentary to promote awareness for Miracle League itself, have it be a comfortable topic in mainstream media and to show everyone how much fun these kids can have,” says Borges. “If watching [this documentary] can help coax a few people into volunteering, I think I did a good job.”

Borges is one of five students in the documentary production course. The course spans two semesters moving students from the research and concept launches of their documentaries into production and post-production. The experience end in the world premiere of their final projects during the November 2017 Student Documentary Showcase on campus alongside classmates Brad Kolesar, Justin Wilson, Troy Jackson, and Emiley Westfall.

To learn more about the MLSWPA visit

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

Westminster College Hosts Professional Networking Symposium for Over 300 Students, Alumni & Friends

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:03:00 EST

Westminster College will host a Professional Networking Symposium for current students, alumni and friends of the college on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. in Patterson Hall followed by a career fair in Orr Lobby. There is no cost to attend the event; however, reservations are required. Register online at The Professional Networking Symposium is designed to help students and young alumni better understand potential paths after graduation, including career and graduate school options. There are also many opportunities for students, alumni and friends of the college to meet and network with others in their field, as over 300 attendees are expected to attend the event. “Although this program originated in the Business Department, it has really been adopted by the entire College community now,” says Kara Montgomery, Director of Alumni Relations.  “It’s very exciting to see alumni so passionate about wanting to return to campus to help our current students and offer them advice.  It lets us know that they are still connected not just to mother fair, but to their fellow student—they genuinely want to see our future graduates succeed.” Co-chairing the event are Dr. Dan Fishmar, Economics Professor, Ben Nelson ‘06, Vice President – Senior Credit Officer at Moody’s and Dr. Christie (Grewe) Nelson ’06, Assistant Research Professor at Rutgers University. “Bringing industry professionals onto college campuses to connect with students is more important than ever. Networking is critical for students who want to obtain better jobs and understand all the opportunities that are out there,” says Dr. Christie (Grewe) Nelson. The Symposium includes a career fair, over 30 breakout sessions with a variety of specially designed tracks, a networking luncheon and an off-site thank-you reception for participating alumni and friends. Sessions are designed to address specific topics and interests, include participants with directly relevant experience and are moderated by experienced professionals. The topics themselves are generated by a collaborative effort between a variety of parties, including the Career Center, Alumni Office, Academic Affairs Office, alumni stakeholders and faculty representatives from each of the College’s Divisions and Schools. Students, alumni and guests, registration is available online at Please note that not all fields will apply to all attendees. Students can also contact Terry Sammons at or 724-946-7338 to register for the symposium through the Career Center or visit the Career Center on the 3rd floor of the McKelvey Campus Center. For more information, contact Kara Mon[...]

Early Childhood/Special Education and Child and Family Studies Majors Visit DC

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:53:00 EST

Eight Early Childhood/Special Education and Child and Family Studies majors visited Washington D.C. over spring break. The group of students visited early childhood programs at Aidan Montessori and American University Lab Schools. The directors of both schools met with the students to discuss program philosophy and offered extensive tours. The school visits ended with Q&A sessions with other staff members.

The study group, under the guidance of Mrs. Diana Reed, also visited several sights in D.C. including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Holocaust Memorial Museum and Arlington National Cemetery.

For more information, contact Diana Reed at or 724-946-3207.

Westminster College Choral Department Hosts 'Brothers, Sing On Men's Choral Festival'

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:50:00 EST

(image) Please join the choral department for an afternoon of uplifting music featuring performances by the Westminster College Men’s Chorus, Upper St. Clair High School Men’s Ensemble and a festival chorus of 125 singer including high school men from around the region. The concert is Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 3 p.m. in Orr Auditorium at Westminster College. Free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Samuel Barbara at or 724-946-7278.

Westminster College Announces Spring Fitness Classes

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 09:07:00 EST

(image) Westminster College announces upcoming spring fitness classes. All classes are open to the public. Classes are $25 for 4 classes or $7 per individual class.

Hatha Yoga, instructed by Lori Allen, will be held from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 21 and 28; April 4 and 11.

Cardio/Strength Blast, instructed by Michael Gordon, will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursdays, March 23 and 30; April 6 and 20.

All classes will be held in Old 77 Dance Studio at Westminster College. There's no need to pre-register. Classes can be paid by cash or check. For more information, contact Karen Weichman at 724-946-7353 or