3 Jun

by Pamela Pritt

Beckley-area residents were excited to learn Monday that the Mountaineers are definitely coming to town.

West Virginia University officials signed the final papers that completed the state flagship university’s purchase of the former Mountain State University campus.

Carolyn Long, president of WVU Tech in Montgomery, will be at the helm of the WVU Beckley campus as well. Long said Tuesday that she is excited at the prospect of leading the way for WVU in Beckley, even though her workload will essentially double.

“Certainly I will have to be very efficient with my time and I will have to be efficient not just with my time, but with traveling in the sense of making sure that wherever I am I utilize my time the best I can and the fullest I can,” Long said.

The trip from Montgomery to Beckley takes about 50 minutes. Long knows that could be problematic, but is also aware that many people in the area travel that far to work every day.

“So I just have to be very aware that I make sure I have full days every place and that I’m efficient and effective as humanly possible,” she said.

Long said she is lucky to have a “wonderful administrative staff on both campuses.”

“Is it going to be a lot of work? Sure. But I think it’s well worth it and I look forward to doing it.”

With the ink on those documents barely dry, Long is already thinking ahead to the local campus’ needs and where to begin the transition.

“This is a creation in progress,” she said. Long said WVU will rebrand the campus and she hopes an admissions counselor will be hired and ready to help prospective students by late summer when the degrees available in Beckley will be set.

“We’re going to get our buildings ready; we’re going to configure them like we need to for the classes that we’ll have to offer,” she continued.

Long said it can take two years to get new programs online since they must be approved by the Higher Learning Commission and the Higher Education Policy Commission, as well as go through internal processes.

“We’ll be working on getting faculty ready to teach,” she said. “Certainly, we’ll be out recruiting for students and getting the campus all ready to welcome everybody in the fall of 2016.”

It’s a lot to juggle, with nearly 44 miles between campuses, but Long is ready. She’s a veteran educator with experience in the classroom and in administration. She’s also a retired superintendent of schools and a former member of the WVU Board of Governors.

Since she’s been at WVU Tech, the school has seen a 10 percent increase in enrollment, according to the school’s website.

If she’s looking forward to WVU at Beckley, she’s not looking at WVU Tech in the rearview mirror.

She calls the school a jewel in the state’s education crown, and when she’s asked about the “good” engineering program at WVU Tech, she laughs.

“There’s not a good engineering program, there’s a great engineering program,” she said. “There’s an absolutely wonderful engineering program. It is small, very intimate, but we have nine fully accredited programs on that campus.”

Beckley and Montgomery will likely share more than Long, as technology will allow distance learning between the two schools, and possibly Morgantown.

That saves resources, both financial and human, but Long wants students in both places to have a “real” classroom experience.

“It’s very important that students get to know their professors,” she said. “So I would envision professors who choose to do both campuses will take turns conducting the class on the Beckley campus one day and maybe two days later conducting the class on the Tech campus.

“It’s important we still have that family atmosphere,” she said. “Teleconferencing is fine, but in person is much better. Even though technology can be our friend, it can be our enemy if you overuse it. I want to make sure we use it appropriately.”

Long said WVU Beckley will not only be working with WVU Tech, but also with area universities and colleges to develop programs that will benefit the region’s residents and potential students.

“I look forward to working with Bluefield (State College) and Concord (University) to see if we can cooperate on some programs and some classes that may be helpful to all of us,” Long said. “We want to be a good steward of the education system and we want to be good neighbors in West Virginia.”

Long said masters degree programs will be a good way to partner with other schools.

She said a visitors center will open on the campus later this summer, the first building to open before students arrive next year. Long said she’ll see the interior design of the building later this week.

The WVU Board of Governors meets at the Resort at Glade Springs on Friday.

1 Jun

From WVU Today – 6/1/15

West Virginia University’s purchase of the former Mountain State University campus in Beckley was completed today (June 1), and President Gordon Gee said University officials hope to offer classes there by fall 2016.

“This is truly a unique opportunity to better serve the citizens of southern West Virginia with niche and relevant academic programs that meet the needs of the region,” Gee said. “It is also an opportunity to partner with area colleges and universities on additional educational pathways.”

Carolyn Long, campus president of West Virginia University Institute of Technology, will lead the WVU Beckley campus while continuing her leadership role at Tech.

“Because of Carolyn’s background as a former member of the WVU Board of Governors and now as campus president at our divisional campus in Montgomery, she has a great understanding of the role West Virginia University plays in providing access to our state citizens, especially in the southern part of our state,” Provost Joyce McConnell said. “We are delighted that she has accepted this dual role as we gear up for a wonderful educational environment in Beckley – which, we feel confident, will complement what is being offered at Tech.”

Mountain State’s Board of Trustees Chairman Max Beard called the agreement historic, saying, “As a native of Beckley I believe the arrival of WVU in Beckley is the most significant event in the history of our city. This promising opportunity would not have happened without the relentless commitment and dedicated economic development efforts of MSU Trustee Elmer Coppoolse, managing partner of The Resort of Glade Springs. His contribution to this transaction is unparalleled.”

Following a review under an exclusive due diligence agreement entered into in November, and then extended, WVU offered to purchase the Beckley campus land and assets for $8 million on Dec. 31. The Mountain State board accepted the offer, pending court approval, which was granted Jan. 16. Today’s action completes the purchase.

See original post from WVU Today.

CONTACT: University Relations/News

27 May

Dr. Zeljko “Z” Torbica, dean of the WVU Tech Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences, travelled to Greece this week to speak at the eighth Construction in the 21st Century (CITC-8) conference in Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest city.

Organized by the East Carolina University Department of Construction Management and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Department of Civil Engineering, the conference will draw construction and engineering professionals from dozens of nations to discuss topics ranging from mega projects and future trends to innovation and education in the construction industry.

Dr. Torbica’s keynote presentation, “Advancing Undergraduate Construction Management Education: Lessons Learned from the Engineering Education – a U.S. Perspective,” will discuss how methods used to address challenges in engineering education can be applied to the study of construction management, a much younger field.

The conference is just one in a series of many events and activities WVU Tech faculty and administration have been attending in an effort to both promote the advancement of their fields and share the work going on at WVU Tech.

“This type of engagement helps with raising the visibility of any institution,” said Dr. Torbica. “In this particular case, many of the attendees, who are either faculty members or industry professionals, may hear of WVU Tech for the first time.”

CITC-8 runs from May 27 – 30.

26 May

Remembering Dr. John Nash

Zachary | May 26th, 2015

The WVU Tech community is saddened to hear of the passing of John and Alicia Nash.

Dr. John Forbes Nash, Jr., a Nobel laureate and one of the 20th century’s greatest mathematical minds, was a West Virginia native and a man of staggering mathematical genius.

Nash’s work in game theory – the mathematical study of decision making – impacted scholarship on everything from political science and foreign affairs to biology and psychology. In his lifetime, Nash also endured a heartbreaking, decades-long struggle with mental illness. His story served as the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind.”

In 2006, WVU Tech had the distinct honor of welcoming Dr. Nash to the institution’s 107th Commencement Ceremony, where he was recognized for his scientific contributions and awarded an honorary doctorate alongside noted architect Henry Elden and historian Ronald Alexander.

WVU Tech joins the scientific community in mourning the loss of this truly beautiful mind.

For more about Nash, listen to Still a Beautiful Mind – and an Inspiring West Virginian from West Virginia Public Broadcasting. You can read local coverage of Nash’s life at The Charleston Gazette, Times West Virginian, West Virginia Metro News and West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

19 May
IMG_5097xx WVU Tech’s Dr. Hasan El-Rifai holds a ball of flame during a chemistry presentation for visiting Tolsia High School students.

Thirteen juniors and seniors from Tolsia High School in Wayne County, West Virginia, visited WVU Tech May 14-15 for two days of classroom, laboratory and field demonstrations.

The students – pupils of Tolsia’s AP biology and genetics courses – participated in biology, mathematics, ecology, chemistry, computer science and robotics activities while on campus.

Roger Spry, an AP biology and AP physics teacher at Tolsia, said the event is a way to give these bright students both exposure to high-tech laboratory equipment and a chance to work in the field.

“We’re working on upgrading our own equipment, but we currently don’t have access to the types of lab equipment available at WVU Tech,” he said. “Our students are doing new things in these labs, like staining bacteria and using powerful microscopes to examine their sizes and shapes.”

IMG_5009 Tolsia High students wrap up a biology course in WVU Tech’s Orndorff Hall

“We’re also visiting an acid mine drainage site to look at the ecology of the stream and how they’re trying to reclaim that area. An outdoor field environment where students can work with the actual insects they’re studying and where they can see how tools are used in the field is an awesome experience for them, and there are a lot of real-world applications to what they’re doing here,” he said.

For visiting AP biology student Annalyse Mann, the experience was also a glimpse into the future.

“I’ve always liked science since I was young, so it’s nice to be able to have this kind of experience. Just being able to experience college classrooms and labs is great. A lot of the students plan to study biology in college and they get a chance to work in a setting they will be seeing in the future,” she said.

Spry said that the two-day visit is an extension of the longstanding partnership between Tolsia and WVU Tech’s Dr. Kimberlyn Gray, who organizes the annual event.

“I can’t express how thankful we are for the partnership with WVU Tech and Dr. Gray, who is great about working with our students throughout the year,” he said.

View photos from the visit on Flickr.

11 May

WVU Tech’s 116th Commencement Ceremony honored nearly 200 graduates on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Baisi Athletic Center in Montgomery.

Local media covered the event, including the following from WSAZ:

MONTGOMERY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Nearly 200 students at WVU Tech turned their tassels Saturday during the school’s 116th commencement ceremony.

One of the speakers at the graduation was U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

“To anyone who says that America in a nation in decline and our young people are soft and uncompetitive, I would say this – come to WVU Tech and I’ll introduce you to a 190-plus graduates who I guarantee will change your mind,” said Goodwin in his address.

Campus President Carolyn Long also spoke, advising students to take what they’ve learned during their years at WVU Tech, and use it to make positive changes.

“Some of you may wander the planet in search of your passion while others will find it right here at home,” Long said. “Wherever you land and wherever you go in the months and years ahead, know that you have everything you need to make a better life for you and the ones you love.”

“WVU Tech has prepared us with the knowledge to go out and face the world – to not just challenge it, but to improve it,” said Amy Haddix, graduate and President of the WVU Tech Student Government Association.

Read more coverage of the ceremony from WOAY and WCHS.

During the weekend, local media outlets also covered the story of WVU Tech graduate Jermaine Gadson, who overcame a devastating coma in 1998 and completed his degree after 16 years.

From The Charleston Gazette:

On Dec. 14, 1998, doctors told Johnnie Gadson to come to Cabell Huntington Hospital, and to come quickly. Gadson’s son, Jermaine, a freshman at Marshall University, was in a coma and was not expected to wake up.

On Saturday, Jermaine Gadson graduated from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, in Montgomery.

“I don’t think I’m the oldest graduate in this walking class, but I’m up there,” Jermaine, now 35, said.
He can’t remember how he ended up in the hospital. He had been at a party drinking when something happened.

Johnnie said campus police never did determine exactly what happened to his son. About all he knows is that Jermaine ended up in the hospital, where his condition kept getting worse.

Doctors said Jermaine was brain-dead, and would probably never recover.

“They wanted to know if I’d donate his organs,” Johnnie recalled.

About all family members could do was pray. Johnnie prayed a lot. Then, 28 days later, Jermaine Gadson came out of his coma.

Within a week, he drove himself to a basketball game.

“His short-term memory wasn’t that good, but everything else was fine,” Johnnie said. “Even the doctor admitted they had no medical reason for his recovery.

“I believe God can reverse any situation.”

Jermaine tried to go back to college in 1999, but the effort proved too much for him. He just couldn’t remember things.

But he stuck to it. He worked for a while, tried school again, then went to work again.

He had to relearn how to learn. But he refused to give up.

“I knew I’d be able to graduate,” he said. “It wasn’t something I was going to be denied.”

Jermaine Gadson now has a degree in sports management.

“Never give up hope,” he said. “Never give up faith. That’s what got me through it.”

Read more about Jermaine at The Herald-Dispatch, The Exponent Telegram and Daily Journal.

To see photos from WVU Tech’s commencement weekend, visit the WVU Teck Flickr page.

Graduates who want to order portraits taken during the commencement ceremony can do so at Grad Images.

7 May

On Tuesday, May 5, a group of more than 15 students, faculty and staff represented WVU Tech at the Junior League of Charleston’s Women on the Move event at the Women’s Club of Charleston.

The networking event featured a panel of female professionals from STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) fields to discuss the important role of women in these growing industries.

WVU Tech Campus President Carolyn Long served on the panel alongside Kathy D’Antoni, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, West Virginia Department of Education, Division of Technical and Adult Education Services; Betty King, Vice President of Operations and Education, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Sherry Cole, Electrical & Instrumentation Engineering Team Leader, DuPont, and Dr. Christen Simpson Raynes, Dentist, Simpson Dental.

Optimized-2W1A0444 WVU Tech students and faculty attend the second annual Women on the Move event.

During the panel, attendees learned about advances in STEAM education, the power of mentorships and the importance of integrating educational subjects so that students might better understand the connections between them.

“STEAM is important because it helps students learn how to think. It’s more than just knowing the right answer, it’s about knowing how to learn and find the answer,” said President Long.

Panelists also provided words of encouragement to students studying STEAM disciplines.

Sherry Cole, Electrical & Instrumentation Engineering Team Leader at DuPont, said that women in STEAM fields should not be afraid to go after the career of their dreams.

“Don’t give up. If there’s something you want to do, do it,” she said.

“Make sure you love what you do, else you will just walk through life – and you want to be able to fly,” added President Long.

View photos from the event on Flickr.

6 May

R. Booth Goodwin II, United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, will address the graduating class of 2015 on Saturday, May 9 during the 116th annual West Virginia University Institute of Technology commencement ceremony.

“We’re very pleased to have Booth Goodwin as our guest for this year’s commencement ceremony,” said WVU Tech Campus President Carolyn Long.

“We work very hard to instill in all of our students a commitment to lifelong learning and a sense of community before they head out into the working world. Booth is a fantastic example of those principles in action and our graduates are fortunate to be able to hear from him.”

Goodwin will join President Long in sending off nearly 200 graduates from engineering, business, humanities and social science programs.

Commencement is set for 10 a.m. in the gymnasium of the Neal D. Baisi Athletic Center, followed immediately by a reception in the Tech Center Ballroom.

The ceremony will also announce the recipients of WVU Tech’s prestigious Presidential Leadership and First-Year Student Excellence awards, and the university will honor Golden Alumni from the graduating class of 1965.

For more information and to view a live stream of the event, visit commencement.wvutech.edu.

5 May

WVU Tech’s faculty members are dedicated to the advancement of the fields they teach. Outside of the classroom, they’re researchers, writers, presenters, go-to experts and road warriors who share their passion for learning with the world.

Here’s what our faculty members were up to this month and what they’ll be getting into over the summer:

Dr. John Neary (Biology) collaborated on an article in Infection and Immunity entitled “Role of the Carboxy Terminus of SecA in Iron Acquisition, Protein Translocation, and Virulence of the Bacterial Pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.”

Dr. Horng-Jyh “Tigra’ Yang’s (Civil Engineering) paper “Online Resources Utilization in Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory for Undergraduate Civil Engineering Students” was accepted in the 2015 American Society for Engineering Education North Central Section Conference. Dr. Yang was also invited for a section presentation on April 18.

Dr. Z. Torbica, Dean of Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering & Sciences, has been invited to be one of the Keynote Speakers at the 8th International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century (CITC-8), to be held in Thessaloniki, Greece from May 27-30, 2015.

Dr. Mark Wilson (Economics) has been chosen as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar for 2015. He will participate in a month-long Institute at Michigan State University entitled “Development Ethics and Global Justice: Gender, Environment and Economics.”

Dr. Wilson also had his review of Benn Steil’s “The Battle of Bretton Woods” published in the Journal of Economic Issues.

Dr. Deb Beutler (Biology) gave a presentation, “The Effects on Macroinvertebrates of using Limestone Fines to treat AMD in Morris Creek, WV,” at the West Virginia Academy of Sciences at West Liberty University. She also served as the moderator for a session of presentations on stream ecology and as a judge for undergraduate presentations.

Dr. Yogendra Panta (Mechanical Engineering) is now serving as a campus representative for the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA), of which Dr. Panta helped WVU Tech become an official member. WVU Tech’s membership will open opportunities for faculty and students to do collaborative work with NFPA, NFPA members and industrial partners in industry-driven fluid power-related research projects.

Dr. Panta, along with Dr. Ganesh Kudav of Youngstown State University in Ohio, was issued a U.S. patent for “Solar Panel Wind Deflector,” a unique finned aerodynamic wind deflector designed to reduce wind uplift and drag forces on pitched and horizontally mounted solar panels.

Dr. Melissa Sartore (History) will present her lecture “Outlaws in West Virginia: War, Whiskey and Wonder – and not a Robin Hood in Sight” at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5 at the West Virginia Culture Center.

Dr. Rachel Bragg (English) presented her paper “Invention Just Got Inked: Tattooing a New Understanding of Rhetorical Theory” at the Southwest Pop Culture Association Conference on February 13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Dr. Houbing Song (Electrical and Computer Engineering) participated in the 2015 National Science Foundation Early-Career Investigators’ Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems in Smart Cities during CPS Week, which was held in Seattle, WA, April 13-17, 2015.

Dr. Song’s recent research on cyber-physical systems was published in the May 2015 issue of IEEE Communications Magazine.

Dr. Andrea Kent (Political Science) was selected to attend FACDIS Scholar-Diplomat program in Washington, D.C. April 8-10 at an event entitled The Pacific Pivot: Overdue Recalibration or Utter Illusion? Dr. Kent also presented a paper on her research at the annual meeting of Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago, Illinois April 16. Read more here.

Dr. Farshid Zabihian (Mechanical Engineering) and three students from the Mechanical Engineering department presented three papers at the 2015 ASEE North Central Section Conference, April 17-18, 2015, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Read more here.

Dr. Kenan Hatipoglu (Electrical and Computer Engineering) attended the NSF/NAE – sponsored workshop on Reforming Electric Energy Systems Curriculum at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C.

In mid-April, Dr. Hatipoglu presented two papers and chaired one technical presentation section at the 2015 American Society for Engineering Education North Central Section Conference at Cincinnati, Ohio.

29 Apr

The WVU Tech Student Government Association hosted its last meeting of the 2014-2015 academic year on Tuesday, April 28 to wrap up the year’s business and thank the 2014-2015 officers for their work.

“We’re proud to mark another successful year of fulfilling our commitment to student leadership opportunities and engaging student activities, and are grateful for the work of student leaders in SGA and other campus student organizations,” said Dean of Students Richard Carpinelli.

The meeting also saw the swearing in of new officers to serve in the 2015-2016 academic year, including Rob Leibel as President, Janet Cunningham as Vice President, and Tavon Johnson, Christian Strickler, Gaetan Tchewa, Shella (Gabbi) Kelley, Hannah Gibson, Lesli Taylor, Stephanie Seewer, Jacob Lovejoy and Barbara Smith as senators.

Afterward, the dean and the SGA recognized students and WVU Tech employees for their work with the SGA and the student body.

“The outstanding students, faculty and staff honored at the leadership recognition ceremony were selected for their leadership, dedication to student life and their unwavering pride in what it means to be a member of the WVU Tech community,” he said.

The following students, faculty and staff were recognized during the ceremony:

Brittany Doran
Amy Haddix
Rob Leibel
Lindsay McDowall

Student Government Association
Student Activities Board

Deb Beutler – Outstanding Student Organization Advisor
Karen Skaggs – Outstanding Golden Bear

WVU Tech would like to congratulate the SGA’s new officers and all those honored at Tuesday’s meeting.

Visit WVU Tech on Flickr to see photos from the final meeting.

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