Life-changing opportunities offered to Waynesburg students

February 16, 2014

Eight female students at Waynesburg University have been afforded a life-changing opportunity through the Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership.

Collectively, the women received more than $37,600 in scholarship money that will enable them to study abroad this summer. Each of the recipients were required to complete an application, submit academic and personal letters of reference and a proposal of their plans. Applicants were also required to explain how the trip related to their academic areas of study and plans.

Interviews were held in front of a committee. The students were selected based on their proposal, the leadership they demonstrated on campus and how well the committee felt they would represent the university and the nation abroad.

Congratulations are in order, not because the students were selected, but that six were granted scholarships rather than the traditional three. The Vira I. Heinz Program for Women in Global Leadership offers women valuable opportunities to travel abroad, develop leadership skills and serve communities. Typically, three women from each institution are admitted into the one-year program and receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 to put toward the cost of a journey of their choosing.

We agree with Pat Bristor, associate dean of students and the university’s coordinator of the Vira I. Heinz Program for almost 20 years, who said, “We are pleased to have such bright young women at Waynesburg University who are interested in the world around them. To have six women chosen speaks to the quality of our academics, faith integration and service opportunities.”

So, we salute juniors Ellen Limback, Rebecca Shindelar and Allyson Wernert and sophomores Caley Blankenbuehler, Cassandra Gates and Madison Perretta.

• Limback, an early childhood education major from Mars, will study in Cuzco, Peru, through Projects Abroad, one of the world’s leading international volunteer organizations.

• Shindelar, a human services major from Bemidji, Minn., will travel to Brasov, Romania, also through Projects Abroad. She will volunteer at an orphanage and take two online summer courses.

• Wernert, an international studies and political science major from Finleyville, will take her talents to Tokyo this summer through Sophia University. She will take classes in Japanese language and culture.

• Blankenbuehler, a mathematics major from West Newton, will spend her summer in Southern India through Projects Abroad. There, she will teach English and mathematics.

• Gates, a chemistry major from Penn Hills, will travel to Costa Rica through International Studies Abroad. She will study the Spanish language and environmental studies and participate in volunteer work projects such as species monitoring and trail cleaning.

• Perretta, a sociology major from Beaver Falls, will study through IES Abroad’s Summer Psychology program in Vienna, Austria. She will learn about different methods of communicating with and treating individuals with mental illnesses.

We wish these eight women great success in their educational endeavors.



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