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Spring 2018

Show me the Money

Show me the money Freshmen in high school wondering about the financial feasibility of attending WVU can wonder no more. The online tool RaiseMe will help students track how their achievements and activities can earn them financial support at the University. Students can earn dollars toward micro-scholarships by participating in activities like taking AP courses, earning good grades or taking a WVU Access course. Students can input their information into RaiseMe and watch their earning potential grow. WVU awards more than $433 million annually in financial aid, including $48 million in scholarships. Find out more at

Going Out Gold


Olympic gold medalist Nicco Campriani, BS ’11, Industrial Engineering, is retiring from his rifle career and taking a new path with the International Olympic Committee. He participated in three Summer Olympics, taking home a silver and gold medal in London and two gold medals in Rio. He was the first rifle athlete to win two gold medals at one game and three gold medals overall. His role with the IOC will be as project manager with the Athlete Career Program.

For the Kids

Med Children's Tower WVU Medicine Children's will be getting a new 10-story tower, adding 150 beds to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. A $60 million fundraising campaign is being launched to support construction of the $152-million tower — the rest of the cost being financed by WVU Hospitals — that will take three years to complete. The tower will include private inpatient beds, operating rooms, intensive care units and diagnostic imaging, among other services. “This is a necessity, not a nicety,” said WVU President E. Gordon Gee. “The children and families we serve will be relying on our friends and alumni, our businesses, the people of West Virginia, and the Mountaineer Nation — wherever they may be — to pitch in and to make this project a reality.”

Quote Solo

Stephanie ShumarM.G. ELLIS PHOTO 

“It is like having a car that is leaking antifreeze but instead of fixing the leak, you just keep buying cases of antifreeze and refilling the engine." -- Stephanie Shumar, biochemistry and molecular biology graduate student 

Shumar, who is researching the causes of diabetes, equates filling a leaking car with antifreeze to current diabetes medications that stabilize blood-sugar levels but don’t improve the chemical processes that make and process blood sugar. With support from the National Institutes of Health, she is investigating how an enzyme called Nudt7 regulates coenzyme A levels and glucose production in the liver. Her aim is to provide a base of knowledge for future medications that target coenzyme A and alleviate complications of diabetes.

One-of-a-Kind Lawyers

In August, the University is opening the nation’s only Master of Laws degree in forensics for white-collar crime, a 14-month online program in collaboration between the College of Law and College of Business and Economics. Students will learn in-depth skills for examining financial fraud from professors who have experience in law and forensic accounting. “White-collar criminal lawyers work on some of the most sophisticated cases,” said Jena Martin, director of the program and a former attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Being able to analyze and interpret complex accounting evidence will give them the advantage they need to win.”

Put a Lid on It


Analysis from finance professor Alexander Kurov has led Germany to change how it releases economic data, no longer providing the data to news agencies ahead of public announcements. Kurov found in a financial-market analysis of Germany’s market that prices would drift in the “right” direction before economic announcements. The Wall Street Journal reported that the country’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority was also taking the step of investigating trading around the release of economic data. “Government agencies around the world have been discussing the data security issue for years,” Kurov said. “Providing this information ahead of time to a select few should not give them the opportunity to make money.”

Chasing Memories

Chasing MemoriesPHOTO PROVIDED

We have pacemakers to keep our hearts going. There’s even one to help those suffering from Parkinson’s. What if we could also use a pacemaker to slow down Alzheimer’s disease? That’s what Dr. Ali Rezai — the new director of the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute — is positing with clinical trials he led at the Ohio State University that used deep brain stimulation implants typically used to treat Parkinson’s disease and tremors. Rezai said that the implant shows promise in “improving connectivity, and cognitive and functional performance.” The study findings were published in the Jan. 30 edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Name Brand

Sometimes progress happens with the help of a little name recognition. The Reed College of Media is growing its Community Branding Initiative, which began as a pilot project last year — headed by associate professor Rita Colistra — and created branding campaigns for Matewan, Grafton and Whitesville. With support from the American Electric Power Foundation, the initiative — known as BrandJRNY — pairs students in upper-level strategic communications courses with West Virginia communities to draw attention to the communities’ strengths.

Science in the Bay

Science in the BayGRAPHIC PROVIDED

The Chesapeake Bay has been under threat for years with fish and birds in unhealthy habitats and a 1.8 cubic-mile dead zone in the bay every summer from pollution. The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design is taking an important role in addressing water quality concerns around the bay with a grant to hire a science adviser for the next five years. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing funding for the adviser who will foster collaboration between landowners, industries and environmental and government groups to bring about improvements in the bay watershed.

Amnesia Drug

A recent case report indicates that use of the synthetic opioid fentanyl could lead to a particular type of amnesia. Neuropsychologist Dr. Marc Haut, chair of the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, was an author of the report that is the first to link this new-onset amnesia with fentanyl, a drug that is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. In the case study, the patient initially tested positive for cocaine and was later found to have the metabolite for fentanyl, which is known as norfentanyl, in his system. A second patient in the Mid-Atlantic region presented similar symptoms, and both are similar to a cluster of patients observed in Massachusetts.

Bubble Removal Team

Bubble Removal TeamPHOTO PROVIDED

A team of engineering students hopped aboard a microgravity research aircraft to test out their plan to remove the bubbles that form in solder joints created in microgravity. These voids can make the joints weaker and less electrically conductive, said team adviser and professor emeritus John Kuhlman. Students Matt Eberspeaker, Anthony Fucello, Ray Nevling, Robert Wilson and Honors student Tim Bear tested their theory that using magnetic solder paste to solder within a magnetic field would force trapped bubbles out of the joint. The team is analyzing data collected from their voyage where they spent approximately 20 seconds at a time in weightlessness.

Passing the Rifle

Trevor K

Trevor Kiess, a senior in the Honors College majoring in accounting, is the 2018–19 Mountaineer Mascot. The Elkins, W.Va., native served as an alternate Mountaineer this year and as a student-athlete tutor and director of community service for the Mountaineer Maniacs. Kiess said, “This is the greatest honor of my life, and I look forward to showing the entire country what it means to be a Mountaineer!”

Turn up the Heat

The University could be the first in the country with a geothermal direct-use heating and cooling system if scientists exploring the area’s geology find enough necessary fuel. The WVU Energy Institute in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the West Virginia Geologic and Economic Survey and Cornell University are studying the feasibility of using underground heat to power the campus. The project is made possible through a grant from the Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office.

Matter of Fact Archive

Fall 2014

From the new art museum to acupuncture to shoe research, there’s a lot happening at WVU.

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Fall 2015

The WVU Beckley campus opened, an alumna took a case to the U.S. Supreme Court and new students prepared for zombie wars. Catch these and so much more in Matter of Fact.

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Fall 2016

WVU surpassed $1 billion in its State of Minds campaign and the robotics team was again the only team to win NASA's competition.

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Fall 2017

One alumna beat the pros in the Food Network show "Cooks vs. Cons" and another alumnus was on flights measuring Hurricane Irma. See what else is cookin' among WVU faculty, staff, students and alumni.

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Spring 2015

A 94-year-old grad. An artificial hand that works like a real one. A tree from Isaac Newton’s backyard. Learn about these and more.

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Spring 2016

This issue, the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute prepares to open, a professor takes cameras into classrooms and Morgantown breaks ground on a new $30-million swimming, diving and track complex.

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Spring 2017

We bid farewell to Arnold Hall, "meet the press" and applaud WVU's online grad program in software engineering.

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Spring 2018

Much is happening at WVU. We have a new Mountaineer, raised $1.2 billion and are adding a 10-story tower for Medicine Children's.

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Summer 2016

Mountaineers went first in assisting with flood relief efforts in West Virginia this summer.

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Summer 2017

An ice drilling team took home top honors in a NASA competition, the sports management graduate program is ranked 10th in the U.S., and an alumna wrote the book on pepperoni rolls.

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Summer 2018

We're talking trash, saluting scholars and bidding farewell to the chief.

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