A group of 21 senior WVU Tech nursing students participated in a Closed Point of Dispensing (POD) drill at the Capitol Complex in Charleston last week, gaining firsthand emergency preparedness experience.
The project, run by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Center for Threat Preparedness, ran a live exercise simulating an Anthrax exposure event at the Capitol. The drill tested the campus’ Closed POD system, which dispenses medication in an effort to treat state employees and their families to keep the government running during a bioterrorism incident.
WVU Tech students played a variety of roles during the drill, where they served as both emergency workers and “victims” exposed to the biological agent.
“The drill was an excellent practical extension of what our students are currently learning in their community nursing course,” said Melanie Whelan, WVU Tech senior nursing lecturer. “Students were engaged in scenarios that highlighted emergency preparedness concepts and allowed them to connect with the community in a real-world emergency environment.”
Check out coverage from the Charleston Gazette to read more about the Closed POD project.
The West Virginia Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT) offers college students an opportunity to share their passion for space exploration with K-12 students throughout the state. Sponsored by NASA and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the program puts SPOT ambassadors in the classroom to deliver interactive presentations and get young students excited about space, technology and engineering.
“Our goal is to share how NASA’s scientists and astronomers are working to educate the community about space and beyond to help define our place in this vast universe,” said Thy Dinh, SPOT Ambassador and President of WVU Tech’s Student Partnership for the Advancement of Cosmic Exploration (S.P.A.C.E.) organization.
This month, Thy and six other WVU Tech students made the three-hour trip to Green Bank, West Virginia, home of the famed NRAO Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). There, they joined students from Shepherd University, WVU, Marshall University and West Virginia Wesleyan College for a two-day SPOT training session.
In Green Bank, participants toured the GBT and used a 40-foot telescope to capture data from hydrogen clouds in the Milky Way. During training sessions, students learned to give presentations on topics such as the International Space Station, space-based telescopes and the aspects of the universe like radio and gravitational waves inaccessible to the naked eye but vitally important to the study of the cosmos.
Once a student successfully completes SPOT training, provides a sample presentation to SPOT trainers and becomes a certified ambassador, they can begin presenting what they’ve learned in the classroom. K-12 schools book presentations online and SPOT ambassadors in the region will work directly with the school to set up a presentation.
WVU Tech mechanical engineering professor, Dr. Farshid Zabihian, serves as an advisor for the students in the program, but said that SPOT is a wholly student-run effort.
“The great thing about this program is that it’s student-oriented. SPOT ambassadors must learn the presentation content, which is quite advanced. On top of that, they’re learning skills like self-discipline, clear communication, punctuality, self-confidence and networking all the things you would need to successfully operate in a real-world workplace environment,” he said.
Dr. Zabihian said the program’s impact stems from the fact that college students, not professors, are giving these presentations.
“Above all, the program gives our students a chance to give back to the community,” he said. “Some of these students are going back to their old high schools to share their own experiences. The lessons are more powerful when they are coming from a student who was sitting at those same desks just a few years ago.”
While all of WVU Tech’s SPOT participants are currently members of S.P.A.C.E., any student interested in space sciences can participate in the program. To find out how you can get involved with SPOT or S.P.A.C.E., contact Dr. Farshid Zabihian.
Interested in booking a SPOT ambassador for your K-12 class? Request a presentation here.
Photo: SPOT ambassadors spent two days training at the NRAO site in Green Bank, West Virginia. The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope can be seen in the background.
WVU Tech is excited to announce an upcoming performance of the award-winning “Fire in the Hole: A Coal History” by the West Virginia Dance Company (WVDC) at the Tech Center Ballroom on Thursday, October 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The performance, supported by the National Coal Heritage Area Authority, tells the story of early settlers who came to West Virginia to work in the coalfields in the southern part of the state.
“It’s a moving, educational and extremely accurate portrayal of the life of workers, families and the sense of community in early coal camps,” said Managing Artistic Director of the WVDC, Toneta Akers-Toler.
Toler, who choreographed the piece, grew up in southern West Virginia and wanted to share the story of the area’s coal-rich history.
“People knew very little about our ancestors who worked in the mines, but I believed there was a rich story to tell. So, I went about researching where these people came from, how they lived and how they overcame daily struggles. This is such an uplifting story and makes me very proud to be a West Virginian.”
The WVDC will present additional concert works at WVU Tech on October 2, including “Five Chapters from a Broken Novel” by internationally acclaimed choreographer, Doug Varone, as well as new works from Donald Laney and other choreographers.
The performance is free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages.
For more on the WVDC, visit WVDanceCo.com or contact Nora Morris at development@wvdancecom. For questions about the WVU Tech event, contact the Office of Student Life at (304) 442-3158.
About the West Virginia Dance Company
Since 1977, the WVDC has toured throughout West Virginia, as well as 14 other states, with their blend of entertaining and thought-provoking modern works. They are the state’s only professional touring dance company and provide award-winning performances and educational programs throughout the state and region.
Dr. Connie Rice, state history scholar, WVU lecturer and Assistant Editor at West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies, will discuss slavery and emancipation in Civil War-era West Virginia at the sixth annual Otis K. Rice lecture at WVU Tech. The free lecture is open to the public, and will be held on Thursday, September 25 at 6 p.m. in the WVU Tech engineering auditorium.
Dr. Rice, who serves on the Governor’s West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, has conducted extensive research and penned numerous publications on the history of women and blacks in the Appalachian region. Her lecture is particularly timely, as history marks 150 years since the American Civil War.
Her lecture, “Nothing but Freedom: Bondage and Emancipation in West Virginia,” will examine slavery, the Underground Railroad and political attitudes towards black citizenship during the statehood movement. Dr. Rice will also discuss post-war freedoms, registration laws targeting free blacks and petitions made by African Americans to the Virginia legislature during the period.
The memorial lecture series was started in 2009 to honor the legacy of noted West Virginia historian, Dr. Otis K. Rice, who served at WVU Tech for 30 years between 1957 and 1987, authored numerous books on state history and became the state’s first Historian Laureate in 2003.
Contact Dr. Melissa Sartore for more information.
Photo: “The Emancipation of the Negroes, January, 1863 – The Past and the Future” was drawn by American political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, for Harper’s Weekly after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on New Year’s Day of that year. Like Nast’s drawing, Dr. Rice’s lecture will focus on the transition from slavery to freedom and the rights of free blacks after emancipation.
Young football fans will have an opportunity to exhibit their football skills as WVU Tech sports studies students and faculty host a local NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 8 a.m. until noon at WVU Tech’s Martin Field. The competition is free and open to boys and girls ages 6-15.
The popular event allows youngsters to showcase their talents with a single punt, pass and kick, and competitors are scored on distance and accuracy.
The top finishers from each age group at the local competition will advance to a sectional competition. Winners at the sectional competition will have their scores compared with other sectional champions. The top four scorers from the pool of sectional champions will advance to participate at an NFL game.
Entry forms are available at NFLPPK.com or at registration on the day of the event. Participants should wear comfortable athletic attire and gym shoes (no football shoes, turf shoes or cleats). To find out more about competition rules and age classifications, visit http://www.nflppk.com/competition_rules.
The event will be hosted rain or shine. Contact Mark Jones at 304-444-1926 or by email at email@example.com for more information.
Update – September 22, 2014
The NFL PP&K event brought in nearly 40 area players to showcase their football skills on WVU Tech’s Martin Field.
Four of those participants will move on to the sectional NFL Punt, Pass & Kick competition on Saturday, October 18 at the University of Charleston’s Laidley Field.
A dozen WVU Tech sports studies students hosted Saturday’s event, which met with outstanding weather.
“It was a great day to work with these young athletes and an excellent opportunity for WVU Tech students to connect with the community,” said WVU Tech physical education professor Mark Jones, who organized the event.
There is a village just outside of Jérémie, Haiti the locals call Premiere Source. It’s a small jungle town 1,400 miles and two flights from Montgomery, West Virginia, and it’s where WVU Tech civil engineering student Nathan McNeil called home for two months this summer.
Nathan traveled to the Caribbean nation as part of a missionary program run by the Gateway Christian Church in Saint Albans, West Virginia. The program sends volunteers to Haiti every few months where they maintain a church and a school that services 150 children sponsored by U.S. families. Some volunteers also provide medical services in clinics around Jérémie.
“I arrived with a group in May, and we started construction on a building to add classrooms to our school. The group left after a week, but I stayed there with a friend for the next two months to work on the building every day and help take care of the people in our village,” said Nathan.
According to World Bank, a United Nations lending institution, Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas. Nearly 80 percent of the nation’s 10 million inhabitants live on less than $2 a day, and Haitians face threats of widespread famine and infectious disease.
“These people fight every day to survive. There is no work in the city, so people are trying to survive by learning agriculture,” he said. “How strong these people are to live like they do every day amazes me.”
During his visit, Nathan spent time connecting with the young residents of Premiere Source. A member of the WVU Tech men’s basketball team, he brought his love for the game with him to Haiti, where he built a basketball hoop and mounted it to a tree in the village. In a country where soccer is the sport of choice, Nathan said he was surprised to find so many people interested in the game.
“Three days a week, I invited anyone around to come learn about the game,” he said. “More and more people came to play every week, and I taught them the basics like dribbling, shooting and how to play a game against one another. By the end of my time there, I had so many people asking me to play that I left five basketballs at the school.”
Nathan said he learned more than a few valuable lessons during his time in Haiti. While walking through the village to say his goodbyes, he said he couldn’t help but see the stark contrast between the world he was leaving and the one he was returning to 1,400 miles away.
“I realized how much these people needed us and how much I needed them. There are people who would risk their lives just to have the little things that are given to us,” he said. “This was one of the toughest things I’ve done, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. It’s important for us to help others fighting to survive.”
Since his return, Nathan has been in contact with village leaders through Facebook. He said the new building is progressing, and the school children are still practicing the basketball skills he left behind, with older students playing regular three-on-three games.
The Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering & Sciences and the WVU College of Business and Economics signed an agreement establishing a 4+1 MBA degree pathway on Tuesday, August 26.
The pathway program will allow WVU Tech engineering, engineering technology, computer science and information systems students to complete a WVU Tech Bachelor of Science and a WVU Masters of Business Administration degree in a five-year period.
Students pursuing the pathway will complete their B.S. at WVU Tech. Those students who meet prerequisite requirements, maintain a GPA of 3.0 and score at least 600 on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will be guaranteed admission into the WVU MBA program.
“WVU Tech graduates are sought after by employers for their experience-focused education and work-ready professionalism,” said WVU Tech Campus President Carolyn Long. “This pathway program offers a seamless route for students to combine their WVU Tech education with WVU’s distinguished MBA and positions graduates to enter into their careers at a level where they can further impact business and industry in West Virginia and beyond.”
Pathway students will receive the benefit of GMAT preparation materials, opportunities to apply for graduate scholarships and access to the WVU College of Business and Economics Career Services Center. Eligible students may also take approved MBA elective courses during their undergraduate studies, thereby reducing their graduate credit requirements.
Dr. Jose V. Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics, said the pathway will give engineering graduates a competitive edge.
“Students coming from engineering programs at WVU Tech and WVU can add to their technical base some business credentials. These are two degrees that are extremely valuable in the marketplace, and there’s no question that this is a combination employers want to see,” he said.
Explore WVU Tech’s degree programs at wvutech.edu, or find out more about WVU’s top-ranked MBA program at be.wvu.edu/mba.
Photo: (Left to Right) Carolyn Long, WVU Tech Campus President; Dr. Jose V. Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics; Dr. Zeljko “Z” Torbica, Dean of the WVU Tech Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering & Sciences; Dr. William Allen, WVU Tech Provost; Dr. Elizabeth Vitullo, Director of Masters Programs for the WVU College of Business and Economics.
On Friday, August 22, WVU Tech recognized more than 50 scholarship recipients at a luncheon hosted in the Student Success Center. During the event, students wrote messages to donors, signed a thank-you banner and heard from Campus President Carolyn Long.
Mary Cunningham, a nursing student at WVU Tech, attended the event. Mary, who balances her studies with an externship at the CAMC Memorial Hospital cardiac catheterization lab and a busy family life with five brothers and sisters, was awarded the Fitzwater Sisters Scholarship for full-time nursing students. She said the scholarship will allow her to concentrate on finishing out her senior year.
“This is a real blessing. I want to be a nurse and a servant to the community, and this will help me get there when I may not have been able to otherwise,” she said. “It’s also helping my classmates who are mothers, full-time workers and students continue to be amazing.”
President Long said students like Mary are why scholarship funding is so important.
“Our scholarship program is much more than financial support. Awarding a scholarship shows faith and trust in our students, encourages continued academic success and enables students to focus on an education that will allow them to change their very futures,” she said.
View more photos on Flickr.
WVU Tech would like to thank our scholarship donors for their investment in our students and congratulate the following scholarship recipients:
Adam Westwick Alan M. and Evelyn G. Simmons Scholarship
Alexandra Flores William A. Bragg Scholarship
Allison Kincaid Brigit Laird Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Andrew Thaxton Bryan Bills Scholarship
Brandon Cole James Edward “Eddie” Kenyon Memorial Scholarship
Brandon Frazier Westmoreland Coal Scholarship
Brendon Rankou Thad Epps Memorial Scholarship/Richard C. Flint Scholarship
Brittany Doran Hungate-Thyuson Civil Engineering Scholarship
Brittany Doyle Fitzwater Sisters Scholarship
Bryana Christian Brigit Laird Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Chelsie King Fitzwater Sisters Scholarship
Cortes Torres Nora Goad Endowed Scholarship
Crystal Spurlock Fitzwater Sisters Scholarship
Daniel Hull Westmoreland Coal Scholarship
Diantha Ray Alva W. and Irene May Orndorff Scholarship
Dustin Sauriol Nelson Endowed Scholarship
Emily Fontalbert Alva W. and Irene May Orndorff Scholarship
Erica Johnson Otis. K. Rice Endowed Scholarship
Erica Johnson William A. Bragg Scholarship
Hailey Ballard Ammy Michelle Webb Civil Engineering Scholarship
Jacob Harper Bryan Bills Scholarship
Jacob Riggins Ruth Watson Memorial Scholarship
Jacqueline Carroll Virginia P. Toney Presidential Honorarium
James Waldeck Alva W. and Irene May Orndorff Scholarship
Janet Cunningham Pamela and Sewell Preston Champe Scholarship
Jonathan Clark Westmoreland Coal Scholarship
Jorge Zapata H.M. McSurley Endowed Scholarship
Joseph Caudill Harvey R. Chapman Memorial Scholarship
Joseph Ferguson Alex Walmsley Memorial Scholarship
Joshua Keiffer Leonard R. and Farrell Kirk Computer Science Scholarship
Kaleb Acree Bryan Bills Scholarship
Kiarash Tirandazi Leonard R. and Farrell Kirk Computer Science Scholarship
Kyle Diem Bryan Bills Scholarship
LaShae Edmonds William A. Bragg Scholarship
Loren Jackson Richard Ridgeway Moore Memorial Scholarship
Mary Cunningham Fitzwater Sisters Scholarship
Matthew Caton H.M. McSurley Endowed Scholarship
Matthew Cook Henry C. Skaggs Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Miranda Morrison Laird Memorial Nurses Alumni Association
Nia Nolan Nora Goad Endowed Scholarship
Nicole Pennington Fitzwater Sisters Scholarship
Roger Pettit William A. Bragg Scholarship
Sara Brown Clonch Family Scholarship
Shannon Wiercioch Orndorff Freshman Scholarship
Shella Kelley James Edward “Eddie” Kenyon Memorial Scholarship
Sheridan Satokao J.A.B. and Verna Veaszey Holt Scholarship
Tammy Skidemore Brigit Laird Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Teresa Purdue Virginia P. Toney Presidential Honorarium
Tiffany Humphery Valley Emergency Medical Services Scholarship
Tory Raynes Patsy Sizemore Scholarship
Tyler Williams Virginia P. Toney Presidential Honorarium
Tyrelle McLeod-Bentley Pitsenberger Family HHJ&L Endowed Scholarship
Vanity Harrah Alva W. and Irene May Orndorff Scholarship
Zachary Hornsby Westmoreland Coal Scholarship
Zachary Riggins Patsy Sizemore Scholarship
WVU Tech and Montgomery General Hospital hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly established Nursing Training Center on Tuesday, August 19.
A joint effort between Montgomery General Hospital Health Care Systems and the WVU nursing program at WVU Tech, the full-service center will provide nursing students with access to specialized medical equipment, two training areas and six patient rooms where they can learn and practice nursing fundamentals using medical manikins in a true hospital setting.
“Simulation-based learning not only provides an avenue for students to learn key skills and practice care in a ‘safe’ environment, it also has been associated with increased self-confidence and safety behaviors in patient care settings,” said Dr. Tara Hulsey, Dean of the WVU School of Nursing. “Faculty are integrating simulation-based learning activities into the curriculum, and I am thrilled that we are able to add this component to our program at the WVU Tech campus.”
Evelyn Klocke, Chair of WVU Tech Department of Nursing, said the partnership will serve as a springboard for additional opportunities to work with hospital staff.
“Through this partnership, our students’ educational experience will be enhanced because they will be learning in an actual hospital environment. We hope to build on this opportunity to develop additional educational interactions between the students and nurses at the hospital,” she said.
Robin McDaniel, Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services at Montgomery General, said the arrangement is just as important to hospital clinicians as it is to nursing students.
“Montgomery General Hospital is pleased to collaborate with WVU Tech on the training center, which will provide both nursing students and clinicians an opportunity to learn and practice new skills, expand upon current knowledge and maintain medical competency,” said McDaniel. “Healthcare is forever changing, and healthcare providers must keep up with those changes to enhance the well-being and quality of life for the patients and community we serve.”
See photos from the ribbon-cutting on Flickr.
WVU Tech senior, Thy Dinh, knows a thing or two about aerospace studies. A triple-major in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and mathematics, Thy serves as the president of WVU Tech’s S.P.A.C.E. Club (Student Partnership for the Advancement of Cosmic Exploration) and as a member of the Space Public Outreach Team (SPOT).
Thy’s activities, however, aren’t just limited to the academic year. This summer, he was one of only 15 students in the nation selected to attend the inaugural Aircraft Readiness Engineering Workshop sponsored by the North Carolina Space Grant Consortium and hosted at North Carolina State University in Havelock, North Carolina.
Designed to put students in direct contact with aircraft engineers, pilots and manufacturers, the workshop provided students with opportunities to attend lectures and presentations, fly helicopters in a flight simulator and run analytical tests on aircraft materials.
Workshop attendees also toured the Cherry Point and New River Marine Corps air stations, visited a flight mishap investigation facility and toured an aircraft operations line to see engineers and maintenance personnel at work.
For Thy, visiting the investigation facility was particularly impactful. The facility was investigating the crash of a Marine Corps heavy transport helicopter. The incident, which cost the lives of the helicopter’s entire crew, is thought to have been caused by an error during a routine pre-flight check.
“As a veteran, that really hit home. It was an experience none of us will ever forget and it showed that what we do as engineers will affect others, even if we don’t see it,” he said. “Our men and women in the armed forces risk their lives for our freedom, so it’s up to us to engineer something better and consider who’s going to be involved directly and indirectly.”
For their final project, students worked in teams to design and construct an unmanned aerial vehicle. Thy’s team, which included students from Texas A&M and the University of North Carolina, designed their remote-controlled plane to look like an F-22 fighter and dubbed it the Barking Spider.
The Barking Spider was the first plane to successfully takeoff and was the victor in a three-plane aerial dogfight staged at the end of the final competition.
“It was exhilarating to see something we built actually take flight. We placed third overall, but our plane outlasted the others and that’s a great feeling,” said Thy.
Thy said his participation in the workshop would not have been possible without the students and faculty he met in student clubs and organizations. He recommends that students interested in similar opportunities get involved in the S.P.A.C.E. club or in state space grant consortiums. In fact, it was the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium’s Dr. Majid Jaridi that encouraged Thy to apply for the workshop.
“Last semester, Dr. Jaridi told me that this was an opportunity worth taking. So I took it, and it was the experience of a lifetime,” he said.
Thy will share his experience with first-year student classes during the fall semester.