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Summer 2017

Mission. Vision. Values.

Woodburn Hall

WVU is determined to lead. And on its 150th birthday, it was time to reaffirm its role in creating transformation with an updated mission, vision and values. Mission: “As a land-grant institution the faculty, staff and students at West Virginia University commit to creating a diverse and inclusive culture that advances education, healthcare and prosperity for all by providing access and opportunity; by advancing high-impact research; and by leading transformation in West Virginia and the world through local, state and global engagement.” Vision: “As one West Virginia University, we are purposeful in our studies and our work so that we can partner with our communities — both near and far — to bring needed and valued solutions to real-life problems within the pillars of education, healthcare and prosperity.” That mission and vision are supported by the five values: Service, Curiosity, Respect, Accountability and Appreciation.

A+ for Nurses

Have you been thinking about furthering your nursing education? The Future of Nursing report has called for an increase in the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees in nursing to 80 percent by 2020. To help nurses get there, the School of Nursing is offering in-state tuition to all students in its online RN-BSN program.

Pepperoni on a Roll

The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll book

When Italian immigrants went into the mines of West Virginia, they brought pepperoni and rolls, which a former miner later combined into the pepperoni roll. You can discover the comprehensive history of the snack — the unofficial state food of West Virginia — with a new book, “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll,” published by WVU Press and written by WVU Magazine contributor Candace Nelson, BS ’11, Journalism, BA ’11, English, MS ’13, Journalism. The book covers debates about what constitutes a proper pepperoni roll (pepperoni sticks or slices inside), recipes, more than 100 photographs and recollections from those who shaped the story of the pepperoni roll. It is available at

Leader in Sports

The sport management graduate program in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences is ranked 10th in the U.S., according to Eduniversal Best Masters, a global ranking agency. On a global scale, the program ranked in the top 50. One hundred percent of students in the program are placed in sports internships.

Take a Deep Breath

Illustration of lungs. When doctors examine patients’ lungs, they may one day rely on software developed by biomedical engineering students in cooperation with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. They developed software that is 90 percent accurate in diagnosing lung disease from the sound of a patient’s cough, and the technology could be developed into a mobile platform. The students on the project, led by Ryan Mezan of Weirton, W.Va., include Krystal Capers of Jackson, N.J.; Adam Chivers of Wellsburg, W.Va.; and Honors College students Kristina Sebacher of California, Md., and Brian Tomblin of Lancaster, Pa. They were part of the first graduating class of the biomedical engineering program.

Media that Matters

After the 100 Days in Appalachia project experimented with telling the stories of the region, it became clear that readers and students want more. Students in the Reed College of Media will have the opportunity this fall to participate in a media enterprise that will experiment in new distribution models for digital publishing while offering a solutions-based approach for reporting and cultural analysis of the region. The project is supported by a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Quote Solo

Chelsea Bragg

“After the doctor told me I had thyroid cancer, I couldn’t listen to anything he said. I was stunned, and it took me a few days to get myself together again. I had one year of school left, and I was so afraid I wasn’t going to be able to graduate.” — Chelsea Bragg, BS ’17, Medical Laboratory Science 

Bragg was diagnosed about a year before her graduation with thyroid cancer. She had her thyroid and several lymph nodes removed and was able to still attend classes during her radiation treatment. With the flexibility and support of her professors, she graduated on time and is entering a field where she will be a disease detective, helping others to have an accurate diagnosis. She graduated from WVU’s histotechnology program, one of eight in the country.

50 Years of Bull

The Reymann Memorial Farm in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design held its 50th bull sale this year. The West Virginia Bull Evaluation program — sponsored by WVU, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the West Virginia Cattlemen’s Association — was created to increase profitability for cattle raisers and identify genetically superior bulls.

Hidden Figures No More

"Hidden Figures" books.

When WVU gathers in the fall, students, faculty and staff will start reading “Hidden Figures,” the book by Margot Lee Shetterly that depicts three African-American women — Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson, who worked at NASA as mathematicians during the space race. You too, can join in on this Campus Read. The book has a West Virginia connection as Johnson was from White Sulphur Springs and was the first African American to attend graduate classes at WVU, and Vaughn moved to Morgantown as a teenager. Learn more online:

Ice on Mars

Illustration of ice on Mars. WVU students are ready to make discoveries with a win at NASA’s Mars Ice Challenge. The Mountaineer Ice Drilling Automated System or MIDAS team lead by electrical engineering master’s student Eric Loy and adviser Powsiri Klinkhachorn captured top overall honors in the competition that involved drilling and water extraction that could one day be used on Mars. The team also scored first in collecting the most water and the cleanest water. WVU was the only school to send two teams to the competition among the likes of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas at Austin.

Serving our Troops

Five military stars A former Army Ranger is going to medical school with the help of law students in the College of Law’s Veterans Advocacy Law Clinic. Jeremy Marx, who served six deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan as a medic in the 75th Ranger Regiment, was inspired to become a doctor after his service and was admitted to Georgetown University School of Medicine. Though he had obtained a bachelor’s degree through the GI Bill, injuries he received on active duty meant he was eligible for additional benefits. Law students Alex Jonese and Brad DeFlumeri filed an appeal with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which reversed its earlier decision to deny benefits.

By the Numbers

Robert DiClerico

34,000 STUDENTS 

These numbers represent the impact that Professor Emeritus Robert DiClerico has had over a 45-year career of teaching and coaching students applying for national scholarships. DiClerico, though he officially retired in 2012, taught his final class in the spring of 2017. The political science professor was known for captivating and mentoring his students as well as supporting select students with the Robert E. DiClerico Scholarship in Democratic Institutions and Public Leadership. He fully retired in order to spend more time with family in New Hampshire and lessen the amount of time he travels with his two golden retrievers, “neither of whom drive,” he said.

Generation Robot

Someone in a robotics shirt operating a drill.

Some of the finest youth roboteers are coached at WVU. The Mountaineer Area RoboticS, or MARS, high school team took top honors at the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship as they received the Chairman’s Award. The team is coached by Earl Scime, Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Steve Raque, an engineer with Bombardier in Pittsburgh, and mentored by WVU faculty, WVU students and community members.

China Connection

Students in China on a study abroad trip.

This summer a group of WVU students on a study abroad trip, led by teaching associate professor Hannah Lin, visited the Pearl S. Buck House at Nanjing University in China. Buck, the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in Hillsboro, W.Va., and moved to China where her parents were missionaries.

Using Our Words

Appalachian dialects are changing along with other English dialects, but perceptions that these dialects are staying in the past can interfere with students’ ability to learn. Linguistics professor Kirk Hazen and education assistant professor Audra Slocum are studying eighth graders’ perceptions of language and dialects in order to map linguistic trends in West Virginia as well as to help teachers help their students learn regardless of how they speak.

Paper and Bytes

Amy Schissel with students and background mural.

Amy Schissel likes to take the digital world and the physical world and weave them together in her art. The assistant professor of painting in the College of Creative Arts is getting a chance to create exhibits for the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and for a project in Switzerland, with a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant Program. To make these, she’ll be using more than 80 feet of paper, 40 pots of paint, 200 acrylic markers and multiple large-scale ink cartridges. In this photo, Schissel and her students gathered to paint a mural as part of her installation this spring at the Creative Arts Center.

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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See what it takes for rifle champion Ginny Thrasher to make the shot for Olympic gold.

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Rolling Out Justice (With or Without Skates)

Mindy Parsley is a clerk at the West Virginia Supreme Court. After work, she transforms into "Minnie Hurl," a blocker for roller derby team the Chemical Valley Roller Girls.

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