Skip to main content

Summer 2018

Hail to the Chief

Bob Roberts

He served as University Police chief, watching generations of students arrive and graduate. This year Bob Roberts, RBA ’90, MS ’92, is retiring after 28 years as chief and 33 years in the department. Before his retirement, he was named Chief of the Year by the National Association of Campus Safety Administrators for his “dedication to the community, exemplary performance as a police chief and service to public safety in higher education.” Since he was named the first official chief of police on Jan. 1, 1990, he has overseen the creation of a full-fledged, professional department, whose officers receive training from the State Police Academy, are as equipped as any small city department and operate out of their own building instead of a house on the Evansdale campus. The department has gone from 26 sworn and two non-sworn officers to 57 sworn officers, from two dispatchers to 20 communication officers and added 20 student cadets. Major William “W.P.” Chedester, a 16-year veteran of the department, succeeds Roberts as chief. 

Not the Media You Know

Student journalists will be going out into the field to report on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a natural gas line slated to run from Harrison County, W.Va., through Virginia to North Carolina. Reed College of Media students and George Washington University students from Washington, D.C. will combine local and political reporting to break media bubbles and converge rural and urban experiences.

Finding Home

To help students find their niche on campus, WVU is expanding its Living-Learning Communities to 11 groups by 2019. Existing groups include engineering to forensic sciences to creative arts to LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive communities. The communities, designed to improve recruitment and retention, will add groups that include business and health professionals. The living-learning communities allow the students to bond with fellow students over shared interests and more quickly find a home at WVU.

Fitness Your Way

The College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences has a new degree program: a three-year Physical Activity and Well-being major that includes specialized training in movement sciences, personal training and physical activity instruction. Aside from core classes, students can customize their degrees to focus on adventure and outdoor learning, aquatics, recreational sport or well-being.

Quote Solo


“So was that even real? Do you usually do this? Is this new? I have to call my mom.-- Ashley Eby, Foundation Scholar 

Incoming chemical engineering freshman Ashley Eby from Wellsburg, W.Va., was surprised during an interview with a WVU camera crew with the Foundation Scholarship, a full ride for five West Virginia freshman each year. The scholarship, awarded by the WVU Foundation, was also awarded this year to Heather Cottrill, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Braxton County; Morgan Glass, a biochemistry major from Wheeling; Shamil Patel, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Huntington; and Meg Sorrells, a speech pathology and audiology major from Hurricane. Go online to the WestVirginiaU YouTube channel to see the video of Eby’s surprise.

So Many Books, So Little Time

You could spend your whole life reading and probably never get through  a new addition to the WVU Libraries’ collection. A retiring West Virginia bookseller has donated 10,000 books in honor of retired rare books curator Harold Forbes. Jim Presgraves of Bookworm and Silverfish Books donated books, pamphlets, archives, maps and more to the Libraries in honor of the man he called “Mr. West Virginia University,” who over the years was a frequent customer, selecting items for the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

The Public Health Doctors are in


To handle pressing health problems, you need doctors with  a public health approach. That’s why the School of Public Health is creating a Public Health and General Preventive Medicine residency, the first of its kind in Appalachia. The school will also expand the Occupational Medicine residency. Both two-year programs are aimed at training physicians in public and occupational health who are committed to serving rural and underserved populations across Appalachia.

Know Your Rights

The College of Law is stepping  in to assist West Virginia consumers through a new Joint Consumer Assistance Project with Marshall University. Professors and students  with the project will analyze consumer regulations and  make policy recommendations to state agencies and the state legislature. The group will also assist consumer protection organizations and attorneys.  The project is supported  through $1 million to each  school from attorneys involved  in the class-action case Swiger v. Amerigas.

Fish Back in Water

Trout A watershed in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle had lost its native brook trout years ago. This year, the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources changed that. Scientists took fertilized native brook trout eggs and grew them at WVU’s Reymann Memorial Farm, where 90 hatched before being given a new home in a Cacapon  River tributary. While the fish were hatched in captivity, genetically they have the same attributes as fellow fish in the watershed.

Top Doctor


Alumna Patrice A. Harris is now the president-elect of the American Medical Association, the first African-American woman to hold the office. Harris, BA ’82, psychology, MA ’86, counseling psychology, MD ’92, is a psychiatrist in Atlanta, Ga., in private practice. She will serve as president-elect before becoming president in June 2019. “It will be my honor to represent the nation’s physicians at the forefront of discussions when policymaker and lawmakers search for practical solutions to the challenges in our nation’s health system. I am committed to preserving the central role of the physician-patient relationship in our healing art,” Dr. Harris said.    

Talking Trash


English professor Stephanie Foote studies the story of garbage and what it says about us. Author of the forthcoming “The Art of Waste: Narrative, Trash and Contemporary Culture,” Foote has been named one of the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellows by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The fellowship recognizes foremost scholars who bring new perspectives to current pressing problems. “I use the stories garbage tells and the stories that we tell about garbage to explore a broad range of cultural narratives about human choices and environmental degradation,” Foote said. “If literary creation is the sign of human civilization, garbage is the visible sign of its costs.”

Salute the Scholars

Every year WVU students amass prestigious national scholarships from the service-oriented Truman Scholarship to the international exchange Fulbright Scholarship – the number of Fulbright Scholars named in a year at WVU doubled in 2018. See how all WVU scholars stack up this year.

14 Gilman Scholar: Funds study abroad.

10 Fulbright Scholars: Funds a year of study or research in one of more than 140 countries.

4 Boren Scholars: Funds study abroad immersion in less-commonly taught languages.

2 Critical Language Scholars: Funds study abroad in languages ranging from Arabic to Korean  to Urdu to Russian.

1 Truman Scholar:  Funds graduate study for those committed to careers in public service.

1 Goldwater Scholar:  Funds upperclassmen studies in natural sciences, math  and engineering.

1 Gates Cambridge Scholar: Funds education at the University of Cambridge.

1 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow: Funds graduate work in science, math and engineering.

1 Newman Civic Fellow: Supports students who want to make social change.

1 Schwarzman Scholar: Grows global leaders through funding master’s degree in Beijing.

The Song Goes On

Stimeling book You know about the rich music tradition of West Virginia. But you may not know that the songs are still coming. Associate professor of musicology Travis Stimeling in the College of Creative Arts has written a book “Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia: Profiles and Reflections” through WVU Press. Told largely in the songwriters’ own words, the book traces established personalities such as Larry Groce, host of Mountain Stage, and emerging musicians in the state.

Computer Cops

At a time when almost all of the Fortune 500 companies have been hacked and more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. go unfilled, WVU is starting two new degree programs in cybersecurity. The Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is offering a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity beginning  in the fall while the College of Business and Economics launches a master’s in Business Cybersecurity Management.

Making Miracles

With the launch of a new addictions studies minor, students in social work to public health and beyond will learn skills they need to support people who are struggling with substance use disorder. Clinical assistant professor Frankie Tack, an addiction counselor with 20 years of experience, created the minor in the College of Education and Human Services. “When you work in this field, you get to see miracles on a regular basis,” she said. “People rise out of the ashes of the devastation of addiction and heal their lives, heal with their families, become productive citizens and go on to help others.”

Matter of Fact Archive

Fall 2014

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Spring 2017

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Summer 2016

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Summer 2018

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

Continue Reading