A thank you to all of the people at WU

Almost four years ago, I came to Waynesburg University, just a kid from North Apollo, Pennsylvania. I now leave Waynesburg University, still unsure what lies ahead, but 100% sure I made the best decision of my life coming here.

This journey would not have been possible without the mentorship and kindness of Dr. Larry Stratton. I would not have been able to attend Waynesburg without becoming a Stover Scholar, and Dr. Stratton’s belief in me, at many times exceeding my belief in myself, allowed me to attend my dream program. I can never repay him for the personal investment he has made in me, for which I am forever grateful for.

Because of this investment, I was able to work within the best communication program in Pennsylvania. I jumped in right away with the Department of Communication, working with WCTV, WCYJ-FM, WUSN and of course The Yellow Jacket.

The highlight of these experiences has been my time as Executive Editor. This position was my greatest challenge, but also my greatest accomplishment. I was blessed with a dedicated staff that helped me at every turn this year. I have the fullest confidence that this paper will continue to thrive and make new strides after my departure.

I am most proud of our accomplishment in transforming the paper to excel in our digital society. This school year alone, our website has surpassed 35,000 views at the time of writing, which will certainly increase before the end of the semester. This would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of countless individuals at the paper.

At the forefront of this group are Professors Richard Krause and Kristine Schiffbauer. Their commitment to constantly pushing the department forward is unmatched, and their openness to many of my ideas entering this position made everything we have done possible.

I want to thank everyone at this University, past and present, that I have had the pleasure to consider friends. Starting with my closest circle of seniors: Scott Rykala, Will Purbaugh, CJ Sekanick, Jack Hillgrove, Adam Morgante, Dylan Cleland and Ed DiOrio. You all have given me a family away from home, and it still doesn’t feel real that this is the last time we will see each other on a daily basis. As sad as I am that these days are over, I am just as excited to watch as we each chase our own dreams and set out to accomplish our goals.

To my friends with the Waynesburg University Student Senate and the Stover Program: the time we have spent working together to transform the student body and the Polis at large has been a blessing. From Nick Cordova to Luke Diel, it has been an honor to serve with you and to get to know each person that has joined our fold.

To members of the department past and present: you have taught me so much about our field, myself and the great community that can be built in pursuit of a common goal. The classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 taught me how to be a leader in the department. They passed down their wisdom to us underclassmen and set the tone that we are a hard working, but fun, department.

To the classes of 2022, 2023 and 2024, I hope that I have been able to do the same for you as you progress as a person and as a communicator in this program.

Finally to my family and friends at home: Thank you for your endless support and love through these past four years. I didn’t get to visit or come home for wing nights as often as I’d have liked, but you always understood how hard I was working here and continue to be my biggest fans in everything I do.

Waynesburg University is all about the people that make it. The community here is unmatched, both at large and within each group that forms here. This starts with President Lee, and under his guidance this University will continue to be a shining light in higher education. I have been blessed to join this community, and the people I have grown to know here have made a profound impact on my life as I depart.

This article along with many others are included in the 2021 Commencement Issue of The Yellow Jacket. The full print layout version can be viewed here.