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CEHS Hall of Fame: 2016 Inductees

Richard G. Cavasina


Dr. Richard G. Cavasina joined the Department of Psychology at California University of Pennsylvania in 1988, after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duquesne University and an Ed.D. in counseling practice from West Virginia University. During his twenty-eight year career at Cal U, Dr. Cavasina served in many roles including tenured Professor of Psychology, director of the school psychology program, interim associate director of the University’s Advising, Placement, and Testing Center, and interim chair of the Counseling Education Department. Prior to this role, he was the school psychologist for ten years for the Hardy County School System in West Virginia.

In 2005, Dr. Cavasina received one of Cal U’s most prestigious awards, the Presidential Faculty Award for Research. He also reported on his research at the Oxford Roundtable at St. Anthony’s College in the University of Oxford, England. Dr. Cavasina was the recipient of Jasper N. Deahl Award for distinguished alumni at the WVU College of Education and Human Services in 2015.

Dr. Cavasina is an author, lecturer, consultant, and loyal Mountaineer. He was also the recipient of several awards which include the Psychology Department’s Distinguished Community Service Award for Services to Exceptional Children, and the Faculty Professional Development Award for Community Services with Pre-School Children. Dr. Cavasina has been heavily involved in his community as the director of a mental health center, developing pre-assessment programs for at-risk preschool children.

Dr. Cavasina retired from Cal U in June 2012 and was named Professor Emeritus in March 2013. Shortly after he retired, Dr. Cavasina received a liver transplant at Allegheny General Hospital. Since his recovery, he has drawn on his experience in the field of mental health as director of the patient advocacy program at the Pittsburgh-based Abdominal Transplant Institute. As Chair for the Cavasina Endowment for Transplant and Research, Dr. Cavasina currently is conducting research regarding psychological issues involved with transplantation.

Catherine Perry Cotten
Distinguished Alumni


Dr. Catherine Perry Cotten received her B.A. in Mathematics, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from West Virginia University and earned her Ph.D. from The University of Southern Mississippi in Science Education with major areas in mathematics and educational research. She has taken additional graduate coursework in the computer science areas of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Cotten has served for 40 years in public and private education and has held teaching and administrative positions at the elementary through university levels that include academic and research positions. Dr. Cotten received one of nation’s first National Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching and was recognized at the White House by the President of the United States. In addition, Catherine was selected for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Institute for Mathematics Teachers and joined other colleagues on the Princeton University campus to further her knowledge in the areas of mathematical modeling.

During her tenure in secondary schools, two-year colleges, and universities, Cotten was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in state, federal, and private foundation funding that supported curriculum development, teacher education activities, and technology innovation. This includes awards from the National Science Foundation that established a multi-state consortium of post-secondary institutions that initiated 2-year and 4-year degrees in software engineering technologies. The American Association of Community Colleges, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Department of Commerce recognized these projects as exemplary.

Patricia Love


Dr. Patricia Love’s work has been featured on TV including repeat appearances on Oprah, CNN, and The Today Show, in cyberspace, and in popular magazines, but she’s also a distinguished professor, licensed marriage and family therapist and long-standing clinical member and approved supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. Love has six books and numerous professional articles to her credit. Her ever-popular books Hot Monogamy and How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It have literally taken her around the world to help people understand and improve their relationships.

Dr. Love received her doctor of education in counselor education from West Virginia University. She was a tenured associate professor at Texas A&M University in Commerce, Texas for six years before establishing the Austin Family Institute in Austin, Texas. Dr. Love also served as president of the International Association for Marriage and Family Counseling. Her teaching is known for its humor, warmth, research-base and practicality. She is pleased to be in residence this fall in Morgantown serving as a visiting professor in the Counseling Department and celebrating Almost Heaven with the Mountaineers! She continues following her passion to help others through her writing and as a relationship consultant, trainer, and workshop presenter.

Patricia Obenauf


Dr. Patricia Obenauf attended Alverno College and Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She then began her professional career by teaching elementary and secondary math and science in schools in the Midwest and throughout the Mississippi Delta. After obtaining her Ph.D in science education and curriculum and instruction from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1973, she began her higher education career at West Virginia University.

Dr. Obenauf began her tenure at the West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies. She served as a professor, administrator, researcher, advisor, and scholar for over forty years. She retired as a professor emeritus in Curriculum & Instruction. She has chaired nearly 80 doctoral student committees and written several grants, including the West Virginia Department of Education Coordinated and Thematic Science grant for $1.2 million and the National Science Foundation NRAO Green Bank Radio Astronomy Research Experiences for Coordinated and Thematic Science for $4 million.

Dr. Obenauf conducted workshops for teachers, developed the Block Program and helped to develop the West Virginia goals for science education in elementary, middle and high schools. Dr. Obenauf also served as president of the West Virginia Science Teachers Association, chair of the National and Regional National Science Teachers Association, American Evaluation and Translation Service committees and of the WVU Graduate Advisory Council.