West Virginia University Institute of Technology is pleased to announce the 2013 Alumni of the Year: Barry Pearson, ‘96, from the College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences and James E. “Jim” Smith, ‘86, from the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences.
A West Virginia native, Pearson earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from Tech in 1996. A student athlete, he was a three-year starter for the Golden Bears football team and defensive co-captain his senior year. Pearson joined RJF International after graduation in their production control and planning division before moving on to the Imperial Electric Company as the production control manager. In 2000, he accepted a position as the production control group leader with Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia. He has spent the last 13 years with Toyota in several different leadership positions. He is now the manager of human resources responsible for team member relations, corporate strategy and development, government affairs, community relations, staffing and recruiting, training and development, and compensation and benefits.
Smith, a 1986 electrical engineering Tech graduate, has spent the last 25 years of his career serving as a recognized leader, subject matter expert and motivator for teams of engineers around the globe. As a student he was an active member of the campus community. He was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity, co-founder of the Golden Bear’s Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity chapter and editor of the 1985 Bear Tracks yearbook. During his 23-year career with Motorola, he grew from an entry-level RF engineer to a senior engineering manager responsible for teams of engineers in multiple countries supporting a variety of telecom customers. In 2011, Smith took on a new role as a regional RAN manager for Ericsson managing more than 100 engineers in four countries supporting one of America’s largest telecom operators.
Since 1949, it has been an institutional tradition to honor the Tech Alumni of the Year during Homecoming Weekend. To be selected for this honor, alumni must have achieved recognition in their chosen profession, have strong service commitment, and have given time, talent, and treasure to Tech by serving as a role model of loyalty and service for all alumni. On Friday, October 25, 2013, Pearson and Smith will be recognized as the newest members of this distinguished group at the Alumni of the Year banquet in the Tech Center Ballroom. To purchase tickets to the banquet please call the Office of Alumni Relations at 304.442.3131.