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Westminster College Offers M.Ed. in Adventure Education

Westminster College will offer a master's degree in Adventure Education starting this summer.

 The new graduate program blends Westminster College's faith heritage, leadership training, and outdoor experiential components into an innovative program for classroom teachers, business leaders, trainers, youth workers, camp staff, outdoor professionals, and others who are interested in learning alternative means of teaching and learning through adventure programming.

 "We believe that education, which models life as an adventure, will transform the world," said Steven Montgomery, director of Westminster's Titan Traverse and employee of the Coalition for Christian Outreach.  "Courses in Adventure Education will combine academic thought and content in tangible contexts with practical applications.  Students will study to learn Adventure Education from the perspective of three anchor points: conviction, character, and community."

 Some of the courses offered in the Adventure Education curriculum include: The Theology of Recreation and Play, Leadership in Adventure Education, Effective Group Development, Critical Issues in Adventure Education, Design and Facilitation, and Adventure Education Administration.

 Students can choose a master's degree track or a non-degree track, according to Montgomery.  The M.Ed. track requires the completion of 30 hours of graduate work, and includes philosophical, psychological, and research foundations of education.

 Westminster's Adventure Education Graduate Program summer session starts June 14.  Contact Montgomery at (724) 946-6198 or e-mail for more information.

Two Westminster College Students Present Senior Art Capstone Show

Two Westminster College media art majors, Luke Downer from Daytona Beach, Fla. and Kellie Gilchrist from Youngstown, Ohio, display their work Dec. 3-17 at the Gallery. The gallery, located next to Orr Auditorium, is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday, noon-9 p.m.

 "My senior display is like a promotional campaign focused on the theme, We Need to Pray,'" Gilchrist said.  "I made up a fictional Christian organization and created a logo.  Then I  graphically designed mock billboards, posters, magazine ads, brochures, and a few other items."

 "My work is a combination of design and technology using my home of Daytona Beach, Fla., as the subject matter," Downer said.  "I used straight forward graphic design to create posters based on popular tourist events, as well as digital photographs and digital illustrations to represent what Florida means to me.  I live in a place called the world's most famous beach,' and this exhibit is about my home and my art through design."
   "Exhibiting is technically and conceptually difficult for even the most seasoned professional artist," said Peggy Cox, professor of art at Westminster College.  "Everyone will see it and everyone will have an opinion about it.  It's like having your heart and soul pinned to the wall for everyone to examine and criticize."

 For more information, contact Cox at (724) 946-7266 or e-mail

Photo by Luke Downer
Photo by Kellie Gilchrist

Westminster College Celebrity Series Welcomes Ricky Skaggs

The Westminster College Celebrity Series welcomes 10-time Grammy award-winning artist Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder Friday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.

 "Skaggs is an accomplished singer and musician, who is bringing back an appreciation of bluegrass to America and countries around the world," said Gene DeCaprio, director of the Westminster College Celebrity Series.  "He's backed up with an incredible all-star group, Kentucky Thunder.  Today's audiences love the toe tapping, knee slapping beat of this authentic American music."

 Skaggs marked his 30th year as a professional musician in 2001, and this ten-time Grammy Award winner continues to do his part to lead the recent roots revival in music.  Known affectionately today as bluegrass music's official ambassador, and has brought the genre to greater levels of popularity in the past few years than the father of bluegrass music, the legendary Bill Monroe, could ever have imagined.

 Skaggs accomplishments include eight awards from the Country Music Association, including 1985 "Entertainer of the Year."  In 1997, he established his own record label, the Skaggs Family Records, and has released an amazing seven consecutive Grammy-nominated classics.
 Westminster's Orr Auditorium has been recently remodeled to include air conditioning, stage elevator, new carpeting, and re-upholstered seats, along with stage lighting and shell improvements.

Tickets are on sale now.  Contact Connie McGinnis, assistant director of the Westminster College Celebrity Series, at (724) 946-7354 or e-mail for tickets

Ricky Skaggs

Westminster Receives Grant for State-of-the-Art Broadcast Equipment

Westminster College recently received a grant from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters (PAB) to purchase a state-of-the-art digital video camera, which allows one person to be the photographer and the reporter on a story.

"Convergence is blurring the lines between print and broadcast journalism," said Brad Weaver, instructor of broadcast communications at Westminster College.  "Newspaper photographers now shoot and edit video and present those stories online thanks to the light weight, professional digital video camera.  In order to remain competitive, young broadcast journalists must become savvy to the ways of digital video shooting and editing.  The digital age means the jobs of producer, shooter, editor, and reporter are merging, and to remain competitive, broadcast students need training and experience with the new digital video systems."

"This new digital video camera will also allow us to integrate video with out Web efforts as a vital component, including video blogging and podcasting," Weaver said.  "Broadcasters need to grow past the idea that they can just tag on video and audio to the text they post on the Web.  Digital cameras let us think about how to produce video and audio content for new media"

"PAB has long been interested in campus broadcasting programs and especially the curriculum followed in Pennsylvania's College and Universities aimed at broadcast majors," said Richard Wyckoff, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters.  "We decided to assist these colleges and universities by establishing a grant program.  PAB is very pleased to recognize Westminster College for its broadcasting program and is most happy to award the College with one of our 2006 grants."

"Our broadcasting program is proud that we are recognized by professional broadcasters via the awarding of this grant," said Dr. David Barner, chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Theatre, and Art.  "In addition to the grant, the PAB allows Westminster students to attend PAB professional seminars at no charge.  Through this outreach, Westminster students meet working professionals and receive free training in the latest broadcast techniques from the top broadcast professionals in the country."

One of Westminster's current broadcast students, Kathryn Larson, recently conducted research on the use of the digital video camera.

"My research was largely a case study in Nashville, Tenn., where this new 'baby Sony' camera is currently affecting the local television stations," Larson said.  "Whether liked or disliked, a reporter or photographer will write their story using video and sound shot from this digital video camera, which weighs just a few pounds and costs considerably less than the $10,000 digital video pro at $10.000 digital video $10,000 and a $5,000 tripod.  Right now this 'baby' camera is used at the ABC affiliate Channel 2 in Nashville, where people say it's the wave of the future."

Kathryn Larson is a daughter of Jane Lauer of Nashville, Tenn.  Larson, a senior English and broadcast communications major, is a graduate of Harpeth Hall School.

Contact Barner at (724) 946-7239 or e-mail for more information.

High School District Honors Chorus Concert at Westminster College

District Five Honors Chorus will perform Saturday, Nov. 3, at 2:30 p.m. in Westminster College's Orr Auditorium.

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Westminster College Students to Interview Radio Personalities

Fourteen Westminster College students will have the opportunity to interview radio personalities from local morning shows.

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Westminster Canoe-a-Thon to Benefit AIDS Taskforce

Westminster College will host a "Canoe-a-Thon" Sunday, April 27, from 1-5 p.m. at Brittain Lake.

Proceeds from the $3 canoe rides around Brittain Lake will be donated to the Pittsburgh AIDS Taskforce.  Sponsors Alpha Phi Omega will also have food and games available at nearby Anderson Amphitheater.

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Young Presbyterian Scholars Offer Unique Holiday Giving Opportunities

The Westminster College Young Presbyterian Scholars (YPS) are sponsoring an "Alternative Gift Market" Thursday, Dec. 7, from noon-7 p.m. in the Carlson Atrium of the McKelvey Campus Center.

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A Bio Farm in Tanzania

Moses, at Gibb's Farm, explaining coffee production
Moses showing coffee berries

Moses, the man of history, used a walking stick as did Moses, our guide at Gibb's Farm in Tanzania. He offered each of us a stick and I almost refused. I don't usually find one necessary. This time I was glad I took Moses at his offer! 

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Students to Spend Spring Break with Habitat for Humanity Project

Eighteen Westminster College students and two staff will join fellow spring breakers from across the country participating in Habitat for Humanity's "Collegiate Challenge" March 15-22.

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