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News Archive


Theatre Westminster to Present "Pride and Prejudice"

Theatre Westminster will present Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice April 30-May 3 in Beeghly Theater. This will be the final production of the academic year.

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Notes from the Field Station: Bluebirds

Male bluebird perched in a Virginia pine at the Field Station Feb. 24
Ben Armstead and his dad, Dr. Douglas Armstead, install one of 10 bluebird nest boxes at the Field Station.
The Bear Tree Connections Club watches a video about bluebirds in the Nature Center.

Eastern bluebirds, named Sialia sialis by biologists, have arrived for the season. In the weekend of the international Great Backyard Bird Count, February 12-15, two were spotted in our immediate locale and electronically reported to Cornell University.

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Senior to Present Vocal Recital Nov. 7

Alison Paden

Alison Paden, a Westminster College senior music education major, will present her capstone voice recital Sunday, Nov. 7, at 3 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel. The program is free and open to the public.

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Notes from the Field Station: Our History: Field Station's Past, Present, and Future

The barn, a future Nature Center building, in 1994
Back side of the future Nature Center building in 1995
Nature Center during renovation in 2001

Thirty-one years ago the Field Station was born, brought into existence by Westminster College's Board of Trustees.  What actually happened is that in 1980 the Trustees approved a plan by the Department of Biology to gain custodianship for a 10-year period of the 50-acre "Offutt farm" that the College bought in 1964 but had not used in any significant way.

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Psychology Professor Presented at Annual Meeting

Dr. Sandra Webster

Dr. Sandra Webster, Westminster College professor of psychology, and Jerome Flint, senior training associate for JKM Crisis Management, presented research at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association March 1-3 in Pittsburgh.

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Westminster College to Present Annual Christmas Vespers Dec. 2

View the entire Christmas Vespers service.

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College will continue a long-standing tradition with the presentation of "And They Called Him Emmanuel" at Christmas Vespers Sunday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.  The public is invited to attend.

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Westminster College to Host Public Meeting on Local Water Quality Monitoring Program

Umstead (L and Front) and Jubic (R) work in the chemistry lab.

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College will host a public meeting about the Lawrence and Mercer Alliance for Aquatic Resources Monitoring (ALLARM) program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Thompson Clark, room 205. The event is free and open to the public.

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Westminster College to Host The Ancients Gallery Exhibition

La Pachamama Santa Maria by Inga Hamilton

The Westminster College department of Communication Studies, Theatre and Art announce their upcoming gallery exhibition, January 14 through March 20 in the Foster Art Gallery in Patterson Hall. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Hosting Education Seminars

The Westminster College Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will host a series of education clinics.  The 2004 Mathematics Coaches Clinic, which includes dinner, is scheduled Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 4-6:15 p.m. in the Lakeview Room of the McKelvey Campus Center.

 This session, which is the second session on mathematics, will be led by Tim LaVan, mathematics specialist for the Oil City School District, a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Math Advisory Committee that developed and reviewed the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests.  His program will focus on what specific adjustments should be made in all mathematics courses to integrate eligible content and anchor assessments; and the relationship between the math coach, the teacher, and the principal that allows the coach to facilitate these critical adjustments and work to support the teacher's efforts.

The Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning was developed to advance world-class teaching at Westminster and enrich K-12 education through outreach programs for area educators.

 The event is sponsored by the Tri-State Area School Study Council Department of Administrative Policy Studies at the School of Education of the University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Westminster College.

Several other programs are scheduled in the coming months.  They include: Developing a High Performance School or School System dinner Nov. 23; Science Literacy lunch, Jan. 20; School Law Update lunch, March 17; and Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum dinner, April 7.

 All clinics offer Act 48 hours, and are open all interested parties.  For registration, contact Carol Fiumara at the Tri-State Area School Study Council at (412) 648-7185 or e-mail  Applications can also be mailed to: 4H01 Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA  15260. 

 For more information, contact Dr. Chet Kent at (412) 648-7169 or e-mail

Westminster Receives $75,000 Grant for Composting

Westminster College recently received a $75,000 grant from Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection to help expand its compost program.

 "Westminster will also add $15,000 to the state grant to upgrade the compost operation at our Field Station," said Dr. Clarence Harms, director of the Field Station at Westminster College.  "This is a major boost for recycling organic materials in our region where benefits will go far beyond the College campus.  There will be extensive College and community involvement in our operation that will recycle an estimated 45 to 60 tons of organic waste, including food waste and yard waste, each year."

 The major equipment that will be purchased with the grant will be a truck to haul compostables, a tractor and mechanical turner to stir the compost windrows, and a screener to remove non-composted materials at the end of the cycle.  Chemical supplies and consumable materials will also be purchased.

 "The campus composting project, by encouraging sustainability of resources and ethical behavior, is highly relevant and consistent with the mission statement of Westminster College," said Westminster's President R. Thomas Williamson.  "Many of Westminster's programs focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling our solid wastes.  The composting project fits in with theses ideals.  Dr. Harms is to be congratulated for his good work on this project."

 Recycling and composting are not new to Westminster College. Campus-wide recycling of glass, aluminum and paper has been in effect for over 10 years.  Recycling of corrugated cardboard began in September 2004.  Student groups and the local Kiwanis Club have collected and recycled athletic shoes since February 2005.  At the Field Station, compost windrows have been built from yard waste, chipped Christmas trees, autumn leaves, corn cob litter from animal housing facilities of the Departments of Biology and Psychology, pondweed removed mechanically from Brittain Lake, and shredded office paper. 

 "Until now, no attempt has been made to systematically compost appropriate food waste from dining halls and community homes," Harms said.  "The food service compostables from Westminster are currently ground and flushed into the sewage or relegated to garbage and sent by a commercial carrier to a landfill.  This composting project will significantly reduce the need for landfill space, a resource that's in short supply in our region and throughout the Commonwealth."

 "When the project is underway, pre- and post-comsumer food waste will be collected from Westminster dining facilities and transported three times a week to the Field Station," Harms said.  "One day each week community members will be encouraged to drop off their bagged compostables.  Kitchen food wastes, autumn leaves, yard waste, tree branches, and shredded paper will be welcome without charge.  Then all 'feedstocks' will be placed into outdoor windrows and stirred by a compost turner.  Compost that is adequately stirred and aerated is almost odorless.  After four or five months, the compost will be screened and ready for application."

 During the composting process, various classes and research programs will use the compost.  Dr. Joseph Balczon, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Helen Boylan, assistant professor of chemistry have written lab exercises that will test for nitrogen, pH, and pesticides in the composting process.  Students and staff will carry out projects such as use of biodegradable plastics and the role of worms in composting.  Students in broadcast communications and journalism will play roles in advertising the compost operation, and students in graphic arts will design posters for the dining halls where post-consumer food wastes are placed.  Workshops will be held so that individuals and groups from the community will be able to consider composting in their own backyards.

Contact Harms at (724) 946-8520 or e-mail for more information.

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