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Energy professional, musician, film and TV extra: WVU Tech grad has done a little bit of everything

Butch Martin says WVU Tech runs in his family. His dad attended what was then New River State in the 1930s, hitchhiking his way from Cedar Grove to Montgomery. His sister graduated from Tech in 1958, and Martin started at Tech in 1965 and graduated in 1970.

Initially coming to Tech by way of Ripley High School as a chemistry major, he changed his major to business administration technology.

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WVU Tech to play doubleheader at Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center

West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) men’s and women’s basketball teams will be playing a doubleheader at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center on Saturday, January 7, 2023. The women’s game will tip off at 1 p.m., with the men’s game to follow at 3 p.m.
Many community partners came together to make this opportunity possible for the Golden Bears. Thanks to generous support from the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association and Jarrett Construction, the games will be free for anyone who wants to attend.

“We are beyond excited to partner with the great folks at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center to put on these two River States Conference (RSC) games. As we continue to expand our athletic footprint, these opportunities are something we definitely appreciate. With the help of our sponsors from the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association and Jarrett Construction, we are pleased to announce that admission to both games will be free to everyone,” says Kenny Howell, Athletic Director at WVU Tech. “We hope to see our familiar faces from Raleigh County in attendance and will be excited to welcome our friends, alumni and fans from the Kanawha Valley and surrounding areas who want to see some fantastic small college basketball.”

Mike Fry, '84, president of the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association (TGBAA), is excited for the Association to connect with alumni, students, employees and friends at the games. “By helping support the ticket buyout for the games, we hope that our fellow alumni and our friends in the Charleston area will come out and support our WVU Tech Golden Bear men’s and women’s basketball teams.”

John Jarrett, '84, president and founder of Jarrett Construction, is a co-sponsor of the games. “Jarrett Construction is a proud supporter of WVU Tech. We believe in Golden Bears hiring Golden Bears, West Virginia’s best and brightest. We want to continue to hire and connect with WVU Tech students and alumni. I’m a proud Tech grad and love to support WVU Tech and Golden Bear Athletics,” shared Jarrett.

"We're excited to welcome the Golden Bears to Charleston. We also look forward to welcoming players, staff, fans and boosters from Oakland City University. This is a great opportunity to showcase our city and facilities, as well as host some exciting NAIA basketball,” says Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Tim Brady.

OVG360 (Oak View Group) and General Manager of the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center, Patrick Leahy, says this is a way to bring additional local college sports to the city.

"Hosting the WVU Tech men's and women's basketball teams at the Coliseum is another way to showcase local sports. We look forward to seeing local basketball fans and high school teams come out to watch the collegiate level of play," Leahy says.

Both coaches are excited to be able to play in Charleston and understand what it means to play at the Coliseum.

“Some of our players have been fortunate to play there in high school for the West Virginia State Tournament. The guys that have not played there are looking forward to it. It will be high-level college basketball in a very fun environment. This is a great opportunity for our programs to compete with Oakland City at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center,” says George Wilmore, head men’s basketball coach for the Golden Bears.

Women’s head coach Roger Hodge echoes Wilmore’s sentiment.

“Having grown up in West Virginia and starting my coaching career here, I understand the significance that Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center holds in relation to basketball within the state. It has been the site of some of the most historic games that West Virginia has ever seen. I have watched many games there and have been on the bench in the facility as a young coach a long time ago. This will be my first time working as a head coach there, so the experience will be special for me. Not only do I consider it an honor for our basketball program to play in the Charleston Coliseum, but it is also great for our institution. The positive exposure of playing in such an outstanding venue highlights the growth of WVU Tech. What a great opportunity this will be for our program and school to showcase what we are all about! I encourage the Golden Bear family to come and support our teams and the school,” says Hodge.

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West Virginia native returns home to serve as WVU Tech campus president

Stuart most recently served as the president of Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia. Prior to his role at Clayton State, he served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, Georgia. Before moving to Georgia, Stuart served in the provost’s office at West Virginia State University in a variety of roles including associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs. He also served as a faculty member teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at WVSU, West Virginia State Community and Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Stuart to the WVU Tech Campus and our WVU family,"  WVU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed said. "Dr. Stuart has extensive leadership experience in higher education with a compelling personal story that makes him a role model for our students. He is a proud West Virginia native who overcame adversity to become a highly successful university administrator, and he wants to bring those lessons home."

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WVU Tech mathematics department awarded grant to reduce financial burden for students

West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) is making it easier for students to succeed by purchasing supplies so that they do not have to purchase additional materials for their mathematics courses. This was made possible through grant funds and donations from the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association.

Dr. Deborah Chun, Professor and Chair of the Mathematics Department, says the high cost for class materials is a nationwide concern. Students in precalculus, trigonometry and calculus courses can get the required books, software and calculators at no additional cost. 

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WVU Tech awarded Internet of Things grant

West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) is developing a state-of-the-art radio frequency identification (RFID) sensor network using a $20,000 grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Division of Science and Research.

This project is part of developing “The Internet of Things.” Dr. Charan Litchfield, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dr. Mingyu Lu, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering are the co-authors of the grant. This project is the next step in technology integration commercially and domestically, Litchfield explains.

“Think back to the 1980’s film Back to the Future,” Litchfield said. “If we remember Dr. Brown, we may recall his household has technology doing all his daily chores. The difference in the contemporary Internet of Things is that devices could be controlled through a computer, cell phone, tablet, watch and so on.”

The Internet of Things refers to RFID tags and their interactivity with electronics to track equipment or people. For example, RFID tags could find products in a massive warehouse or control conveniences in our homes.

For WVU Tech, the foundation of this RFID sensor network will allow students to learn more about how The Internet of Things works both practically and technically. Initially, Dr. Litchfield and Dr. Lu will use personnel tracking RFID sensors, base stations and servers in conjunction with software to demonstrate the tracking capability of the technology for students. There are many applications, but especially in the energy sector. Smart power grids help run more efficiently and can continuously measure the flow and power in different parts of the grid. Smart cities can offer wi-fi access anywhere in the city using this technology as well.

“The hardware and software make a useful learning tool for our electrical engineering, computer science and computer engineering programs. This proposal acts as the first step in increasing STEM growth in Raleigh county and West Virginia,” Litchfield said.

Dr. Litchfield and Dr. Lu say they will use the equipment and technology to demonstrate their research and the capability of the technology to WVU Tech students.

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