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Summer 2016

Flood Relief

Volunteers and President Gee bring supplies to those affected by flooding in Southern West Virginia.

You saw on TV the one-in-1,000-year flooding in southern West Virginia this summer that killed 23 people and damaged more than 5,000 homes and businesses. As soon as Mountaineers heard what had happened, they filled their shopping carts at the store with cleaning supplies, bottled water, toilet paper and whatever authorities requested in the wake of the disaster. Hundreds of people donated supplies to WVU for flood victimsBy the end of June, the University community had delivered more than a dozen trailers filled with supplies to southern West Virginia. More than 350 people volunteered about 3,000 hours. By the end of June, the University community had delivered more than a dozen trailers filled with supplies to southern West Virginia. More than 350 people volunteered about 3,000 hours. 

When volunteers arrived at the damaged Western Auto store in Rainelle, W.Va., owner Paul Raines said, “I got some super kids from WVU.”

If you would like to support flood response efforts through WVU, call the WVU Foundation at 1-866-693-7153 or go online to make your donation:

Getting Down to Business

The College of Business and Economics is launching a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation to prepare students to grow new businesses and develop new products. Courses will cover topics that include business planning, managing risk and entrepreneurial finance, managing family businesses, social entrepreneurship, and managing creativity and innovation.

Making Dirt Cool

If you’re ever looking for people who know all about soil, that important stuff that helps us grow food, look for WVU students. A WVU team took first place at the 2016 National Collegiate Soils Contest for the second time — the first was in 2006 — and Katie Stutler, from Inwood, W.Va., took first place in the individual category. During the event, students had to correctly describe soil morphology and determine land use limitations, taxonomy and landscape setting for four soils. 

Printing a Printer

3-D printer

When College of Creative Arts students wanted to get ahold of a type of ceramic 3-D printer that they didn’t have, they made it — using a 3-D printer. Students assembled two ceramic extrusion printers, built with the guidance of a professor at SUNY New Paltz, from plastic pieces made with the ceramic studio’s existing 3-D printers, as well as wood and electronics. Students have started using the new printers, which pump out wet clay into patterns designed with computer software.

Do you hear the Mountaineer?

Troy Clemons, Mountaineer Mascot

Across the Internet Mountaineer Mascot Troy Clemons is calling out “Let’s Go!” Now it’s your turn to chime back with “Mountaineers.” Clemons posts about his travels from championship games to tailgates to school visits on Twitter. Follow him @WVUMascot.

12 Minutes to Remember

When we think we’ve misplaced our keys one too many times, doctors call that subjective cognitive decline. It could be a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s linked with a decrease in quality of life. In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, associate professor of epidemiology Kim Innes found that listening to music or meditating 12 minutes a day over 12 weeks, followed by three months at a frequency of the person’s choosing, was enough to significantly decrease stress and boost mood and quality of life. If you had to pick one? Go with meditation. Those results were more pronounced.

Virtual Reality

When student journalists walk into the Reed College of Media, they’ve got a lot more tools these days than a pen and paper. With the assistance of Ogden Newspapers Visiting Professor in Media Innovation Nancy Andrews, associate professor Dana Coester, lecturer David Smith and guest innovators-in-residence, young storytellers are learning how to use cameras, tools and headsets from the GoPro 360°Hero rig to the Matterport camera to tell visual stories that the viewer can navigate in 360 degrees.

Leaking Millions

Chart with declining arrow.

In a study published by the European Central Bank, associate professor of finance Alexander Kurov and colleagues suggest
that key U.S. economic information may have been leaked ahead of its release to the public, helping informed traders pocket more than $160 million over the course of six years. In the 30 minutes prior to the release of several economic reports over the years, the market started to move in the “correct” direction, which the study says could be related to leaked data, really smart market predictions by traders, or both.

A Whole New World

Tom Sloane

His official title was executive director for international student life and global services. But international students and alumni from Malaysia to Kazakhstan just call him their friend. Tom Sloane, BA ’66, English, MA ’71, English, retired this spring after serving WVU for more than 40 years, most notably as a senior associate dean of students and an influential builder of international recruitment and alumni relations. As a student, he didn’t study abroad. But he made up for that throughout his career. Under his leadership, WVU grew international enrollment by more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2014. Sloane and the Alumni Association helped establish eight new international alumni chapters in Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Kuwait. At the December 2009 convocation address, Sloane described how the University has grown its influence across the globe.

“I’ve seen our alumni wearing the Flying WV Nike coaches shirts in Thailand before they were available at the Morgantown Mall,” Sloane said. “Other alums in Bahrain hold up the horrible hankey, their ’70s answer to the [Pittsburgh Steelers] Terrible Towel, with the Flying WV on it. They gather in Tokyo for Mountaineer football and basketball at midnight to see the games on satellite.” 

Because of Sloane, there are now many more midnight watch parties and people whose hearts turn toward WVU.

Quote Solo

“Candidates have a responsibility to tell us how our lives could be better, and what they would do to get us there, but they also need to temper that with realism. Unfortunately, we have been told too much of the former, and far too little of the latter.”—Robert DiClerico, professor emeritus

In an editorial for the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail entitled, “The trouble with great expectations,” DiClerico, an emeritus political science professor who has long studied the presidency and elections, noted that the number of campaign promises made by presidential candidates has inflated over time. In 1960, John F. Kennedy made 30 campaign promises. George H.W. Bush made 80, and Bill Clinton made 152. In 2008, Barack Obama made 260.

Starting Cures

Graphic of blood cells in a race.

There’s a new lab at the Health Sciences Center that is designed to take medical treatments from ideas to reality. The Health Sciences Innovation Center, located in the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Center, is providing lab space for life science start-up companies as well as mentoring, capital and connections to industry. The center already has two start-ups. One is CereDx, creating the first commercially available finger-prick blood test to determine if a patient is having a stroke and the time a stroke started. The other startup is Modulation Therapeutics, which has developed drug candidates to target cancer tumors that metastasize in bone, which are currently very difficult to treat.

Back to School

You’re busy with your career and can’t get back to WVU for professional development. That’s OK, we can come to you. The new Pioneer Sessions offered through the Alumni Association tackle topics ranging from saving for the purchase of a home to retirement planning. The sessions take place in Morgantown and are livestreamed on Periscope. If you would like to share your expertise with other alumni at the sessions, contact Allyson Cannon at

Music for Your Health

Prescription for Music.

Some of the musicians coming out of the School of Music will be using their talents to help us heal. A new bachelor’s degree in music therapy will help students find jobs in a growing field — by 2020, the field is expected to increase by 17 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And they’ll be able to help patients in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and homes recover physically and emotionally through experiences of creating and responding to music.

Raising the Bar

Bar graph

The number of global prestigious scholarships and fellowships awarded to WVU students in 2016 is at an all-time high. These awards include the Goldwater and Udall scholarships, National Institute of Standards and Technology undergraduate research fellows program and the National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship that support students pursuing research, as well as the Fulbright, Boren, Gilman and Critical Language scholarships that support study abroad and language development.

Prior to 2015-16, students have also been recipients of the Rhodes, Truman, Department of Homeland Security, Jack Kent Cooke, Hertz and Marshall scholarships and fellowships.

Skills Vs. Readiness

Adults who have the most readiness to learn seem to have lower levels of literacy, numeracy and technology-related problem-solving skills when the data is analyzed at a national level. The study, “Adult Readiness to Learn: An International Study of Individual and Contextual Predictors,” co-authored by M. Cecil Smith, associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Education and Human Services, showed that the U.S., Canada, Finland and Denmark had adults with an overall higher average readiness to learn and lower average skills. The opposite was true for countries such as South Korea, Japan, Belgium and Germany, which showed lower average readiness to learn but higher skills averages. 

Law 2.0

If you’ve been thinking about the next step in your law career, two new College of Law online programs could give you an edge. The LLM degrees in Forensic Justice and Energy and Sustainable Development Law are year-long programs that help attorneys focus on energy and sustainable development policy, and using forensic evidence. 

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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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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