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CEHS Hall Of Fame Archive

The purpose of the WVU College of Education and Human Services Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor alumni and other individuals who have made significant contributions to further the mission of the College. Each year, from the selected individuals, a Distinguished Alumni is also chosen.

CEHS Hall Of Fame Inductees


Marino C. Alvarez
Distinguished Alumnus

Marino C. Alvarez, Ed.D., professor emeritus, Tennessee State University, served on the faculty at Tennessee State University in the College of Education and as a Senior Research Scientist at the Center of Excellence in Information Systems. He is the recipient of the CEHS Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2019. An accomplished literacy education scholar whose work focuses on designing learning environments that foster students’ reading comprehension, Alvarez has published his work in more than 100 literacy and education journals and conference proceedings and presented papers in the USA and twelve foreign countries.

Among numerous professional awards and achievements, Alvarez has received the Laureate Award for lifetime achievement from the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, the Albert J. Mazurkiewicz Service Award from the College Reading Association, and the Certificate of Recognition as a Resource Speaker from the Department of Education, Republic of the Philippines, Region IV – A Calabarzon, Division of Rizal. In recognition of his work at Tennessee State University, he received the President’s Award for Distinguished Service to the University, the only recipient of both the Teacher of the Year Award and the Distinguished Researcher Award, and the first faculty member to be awarded the Professor Emeritus status at the University.

In addition to his achievements as a literacy teacher educator and researcher, Alvarez has distinguished himself as a prominent Sherlock Holmes scholar. He is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, a premier, invitation-only society of only 300 Sherlockian scholars worldwide. Among a wealth of scholarly pieces on Sherlock Holmes, Alvarez is the author of the 2012 text, A Professor Reflects on Sherlock Holmes.

Alvarez earned his BA in history and teacher education from Fort Lewis College, his MA in reading, and his Ed.D. in reading and special education, both from WVU. He served on active duty in the United States Air Force and inactive duty with the Air National Guard from 1961 to 1967, when he received an honorable discharge as a staff sergeant.

JoAnna Ford White

JoAnna Ford White, Ed.D., professor emerita, Georgia State University, served on the faculty of the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University for more than 30 years, 11 of which she served as department chair. A leading expert in play therapy, White built Georgia State University’s play therapy program into a nationally recognized program.

White has presented workshops throughout the United States and Europe to advance the field of play therapy and is a widely published scholar who has more than 50 research articles, and numerous books and book chapters. In addition to her work in the field of play therapy, White developed the White-Campbell Psychological Birth Order Inventory, which has been the subject of research both in the United States and internationally.

White is a past president of the Association for Play Therapy. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her teaching and service at Georgia State University, including the Faculty Mentoring Award from the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services and the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award from the College of Education.

Prior to her role at Georgia State University, White was a member of the faculty at the University of North Texas, where she served in various roles, including program director of the School Counseling Program and director of the Pupil Appraisal Center. While there, White was recognized as a Meadows Honor Professor. Prior to her faculty position at The Univerisity of North Texas, White served as school counselor at both Barrackville and North Marion High Schools.

A West Virginia native, White holds her BA in secondary education from Fairmont State University, and her MA and doctor of education in counselor education, both from WVU.


Elizabeth A. Dooley

Elizabeth A. Dooley, EdD, is the provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Central Florida, which has more than 68,000 students as one of the nation’s largest universities.

Dooley is the first woman and African-American to be named provost in school history. She is UCF’s chief academic officer, providing leadership for 13 colleges, including a college of medicine, along with multiple campuses, research centers and institutes. Her responsibilities include curriculum, faculty development and oversight of UCF’s $1.8 billion operating budget.

Dooley is a native of Fairmont, West Virginia. She is a proud alumna of West Virginia University, where she earned her master's in special education and her doctorate in education, special education, with a minor in higher education administration.

After being an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at Northeastern Illinois University, Dooley returned to WVU, where she served in various leadership roles during her 24-year tenure. Those roles included being a department chair, founding dean of the WVU University College, associate provost for academic affairs, and interim dean for the College of Education and Human Services.

In 2015, Dooley joined UCF as the vice provost for teaching and learning and dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies. Before being promoted to provost and a vice president in October, she served as interim provost.

Dooley champions academic excellence and encourages innovation in scholarship, teaching and learning. She is a highly respected leader who is at the forefront of reimagining higher education for the 21st century. She believes that transformative change only happens when we expand opportunities and value diverse viewpoints. Dooley has launched initiatives and organizational structures to leverage the power of technology and build interdisciplinary strength to help solve problems, create economic impact and empower people through education.

Daniel E. Hursh

Daniel Hursh, PhD, was a professor and chair of the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development at CEHS. He is being inducted posthumously into the CEHS Hall of Fame.
Among many professional achievements, Hursh was a leader in applied behavioral analysis, and was passionate about children and parents with behavioral challenges.The majority of his 28 professional publications and 32 service roles were tied to that work. 
Hursh was a founding editor of Education and Treatment of Children, and served in many other professional service roles throughout his career. He was committed to developing competent learners and thoroughly integrated that into his teaching, research and service. Prior to his role at CEHS, Hursh also taught at the University of Oregon, Western Michigan University and Western Carolina University. Hursh was actively involved at CEHS as both a professor and mentor, and always went the extra mile for his students.
Hursh earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oregon, his master’s degree in human development and his doctoral degree in developmental and child psychology, both from the University of Kansas.

Victoria J. Risko
Distinguished Alumna

Victoria J. Risko, EdD, professor emerita, Vanderbilt University, served on the faculty of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College for more than 35 years. She is the recipient of the CEHS Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Award for 2018. Throughout her career in academia, Risko has studied high leverage instructional practices for the preparation of literacy teachers, comprehension instruction for diverse and struggling readers, comprehension instruction for English learners, and affordances for building academic knowledge and cultural connections within multimodal, cross-curricular learning environments. 
Risko’s research has appeared in publications such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Journal of Literacy Research, and Research in Teaching English, among others. Recently, she co-authored two books – “Be That Teacher! Breaking the Cycle for Struggling Readers” with Doris Walker-Dalhouse, and “Professional Learning in Action: An Inquiry Approach for Teachers of Literacy” with Mary Ellen Vogt. 
Risko was president of the International Reading Association, now the International Literacy Association, from 2011 to 2012; she was also a member of the organization’s board of directors from 2002 to 2005. 
Risko has received numerous academic and professional honors, including the Distinguished Professor Award from the Tennessee Reading Association, the Literary Award for Leadership, Global Outreach, Research and Leader Organization from the International Reading Association, the Alan C. Purves Award from NCTE for research investigating instruction for English learners, and induction into the Reading Hall of Fame. 
Risko holds her BS in English and elementary education from the University of Pittsburgh and her MA and EdD in reading and literacy education from WVU. Currently, she is a literacy consultant on the K-12 literacy initiatives advanced by the Tennessee State Department of Education.

Barbara “Bobbie” Gibson Warash

Barbara “Bobbie” Gibson Warash, EdD, served as director of the WVU Nursery School for 38 years. Throughout her career, Warash has demonstrated leadership and community commitment while directing the WVU Nursery School and serving on multiple committees of the West Virginia Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Families. 
Warash has taught more than 16 courses, published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed publications, presented more than 73 papers and received funding for numerous research grants. She has been known for her creative approaches and concern for each and every student in her care. Warash insists that her students are exposed to the best and most unique aspects of everything the College and University has to offer. She has been a teacher and a mentor to her students and colleagues, both as director of the WVU Nursery School, and as a professor of child development and family studies at CEHS.
In 2010, Warash received the Centennial Laureate Award from Florida State University, and in 2005, Warash received the Ethel and Gerry Heebink Award for DistinguishedState Service from WVU. She has also been recognized for Outstanding Teacher, Outstanding Service in the Family and Consumer Sciences, and Outstanding Service Contributor. Prior to her role at WVU, Warash was an education director at North Central West Virginia Head Start. 
Warash received her undergraduate and doctoral degrees from WVU, and she earned her master’s degree from Florida State University.


Diane Kendall

Diane L. Kendall, PhD, CCC-SLP is professor and chair of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington and a research scientist at the VA Medical Center Puget Sound in Seattle. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Washington, Kendall was an associate professor in the Department of Communications and Disorders at the University of Florida.

Both in practice and in scholarship, Kendall has made invaluable contributions to her profession, specifically in the area of adult language disorders. Her clinical experience includes fellowships at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in Glendale, Calif., and the VA Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., along with work at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and the VA Brain Rehabilitation & Research Center of Excellence in Gainesville, Fla.

In 2013, Kendall received a Fulbright Scholar Award and was in residence at the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, South Africa. She was also named a 2006 Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. She has 57 scholarly publications and has been awarded more than $1.7 million in grant funding for her work.

Kendall holds her BS in speech pathology and audiology from WVU, her MA in communication disorders from California State University and her PhD in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mary Marockie
Distinguished Alumna

Mary Marockie, EdD is a former curriculum and research director and interim director for Regional Educational Service Agency VI in Wheeling, W.Va. She was also the founder of Ohio County’s award-winning beginning teacher program, which was recognized as the best of its kind in the nation by the National School Personnel Educators Administration. Marockie became the impetus for the statewide program.

Marockie has taught courses at WVU and Ohio University, served as a consultant and designer for numerous educational programs and school systems, and written grants that amounted to millions of dollars in funding for education. Among many board memberships, Marockie was elected to the board of the International Reading Association (now the International Literacy Association), an organization with more than 100,000 members at that time. She also served on the National Commission on Teacher Induction and as president of the Board of Trustees for West Virginia Northern Community College. She has shared her expertise as an educator with presentations in numerous states, including multiple keynote speeches at professional staff development events for teachers and principals. Currently, Marockie serves as a co-editor and co-writer of the West Virginia Reading Association’s publication, “WVRA Interchange.” She continues to be very active and has served as Vice President for the past five years in the Wheeling New Comers consisting of over 100 women from across the nation.

Along with her sister, Dr. Evelyn Di Tosto, she established the Di Tosto and Marockie Outstanding Supervising Teacher Award in 2016 to recognize educators who support and mentor preservice teachers at CEHS. Marockie is a past recipient of the College’s Jasper N. Deahl Award, which recognizes alumni who demonstrate professional leadership, community engagement, and loyalty to West Virginia and/or WVU.

Marockie holds her BS in elementary education and psychology from the University of Charleston, her MA in elementary education and psychology, and her EdD in curriculum and instruction with a major in reading and psychology, both from WVU. She also completed additional graduate coursework at Ohio University and the University of Michigan.

Michael A. Oliverio, Sr.

Michael A. Oliverio, counselor, statesman, educator and civic leader, is being inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame. Before his passing in 2014, Oliverio spent his life as a leading advocate for people with disabilities and for service to others.

Among many professional achievements, Oliverio served as the national president of both the National Rehabilitation Association International Advocacy Group for Persons with Disabilities and national president of the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association. He also served as a consultant to President Jimmy Carter on reorganization plans for the U.S. Department of Education and briefed President Gerald Ford on elements for better efficiencies in health agencies. Oliverio received many awards and honors within the local, national and global arenas, but his pride came from his personal philosophy and mission to “respect the dignity of each person and all cultures.”

Oliverio was actively involved at CEHS, having taught courses in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling and Counseling Psychology for 22 years. The College’s Michael A. Oliverio Scholarship, which provides funding to rehabilitation counseling graduates, was established to honor his commitment to the College’s counseling program.

Oliverio earned his BS in physical science and mathematics from Fairmont State University and his MA in guidance and counseling from WVU. He completed additional post-graduate coursework at the University of Virginia, College of St. Thomas, Minnesota, and George Washington University.


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 Alumna

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.


Kristen Casto
Distinguished Alumna

Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Army
Audiology and Hearing Conservation Consultant to the Army Surgeon General

Lieutenant Colonel Kristen Casto earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and was the outstanding graduate and William G. Monahan award recipient fromWVU’s College of Human Resources and Education in 1991. Also in 1991, she received a US Army commission through WVU’s Reserve Officer Training Corps with Distinguished Military Graduate honors. She was granted a military service educational delay and earned a Master of Science degree in audiology from WVU in 1993.

During the first portion of her military career, Kristen successfully managed hearing conservation and clinical audiology services at a variety of Army installations where her work was focused on the prevention and rehabilitation of noise-induced hearing loss among military service members. During this time she earned a clinical doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) from Central Michigan University (2004).

LTC Casto was selected by the Army Medical Department for advanced training and earned a Ph.D. in Human Factors Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2009. Her dissertation titled “An Examination of Headset, Hearing Sensitivity, Flight Workload, and Communication Signal Quality on Black Hawk Helicopter Simulator Pilot Performance” was recognized as the Stanley N. Roscoe Outstanding Dissertation in Aerospace Human Factors in 2010.

She subsequently directed acoustics research at the US Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, where she served as research investigator on projects focused on auditory injury prevention and the development of auditory return-to-duty standards. In her current position as the Audiology and Hearing Conservation consultant to the Army Surgeon General, LTC Casto provides policy, oversight, and advocacy to ensure an effective Army Hearing Program and provides consultation on Department of Defense hearing health service implementation.

Kristen is the President of the National Hearing Conservation Association, the mission of which is to prevent hearing loss due to noise and other environmental factors through education and research, information exchange, professional development, and participation in policy development.
LTC Casto is certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and by the Council for Accreditation of Occupational Hearing Conservationists, is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, a member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, and the Order of Military Medical Merit. She was awarded the Army Medical Department’s ‘9A’ designator, which recognizes outstanding career performance and significant contributions to the Army Medical Department, and was recently recognized as the 2014-2015 Outstanding Recent Graduate by Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering.

Ron Iannone

Professor Emeritus
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, West Virginia University

Founder and former Executive Producer of West Virginia Public Theater

Dr. Ron Iannone has degrees from St. Bonaventure University, the University of Rochester and has attained his Doctorate from Syracuse University with post-graduate work at Harvard. He has written several educational books, articles, plays and screenplays. His books are known nationally especially School Ain’t No Way/Appalachian Consciousness and Alternatives to the Coming Death of Schooling. Additionally, he has chaired and been a member on over 120 doctoral student committees and through his teaching he has touched the lives and hearts of several thousand students.

After 35 years, Dr. Ron Iannone retired from his full time professor position at WVU. He is well known for his thoughts on bringing the arts, humanizing teacher education, and bringing the study of theory and philosophy to the classroom. Recently, he was given two lifetime achievement awards for his contributions as a writer, educator, poet, artist, and as an outstanding Italian-American in West Virginia.

His most cherished work is founding West Virginia Public Theatre (WVPT), which began in a small tent at the Sheraton Lakeview Resort in 1985. Over the past 30 years he has produced more than 260 productions including such shows as CATS, My Fair Lady, Carousel, 1776, South Pacific, AIDA, Forever Plaid, and A Chorus Line. Additionally, He founded an anti- drug education program for middle school children called TARGET. He also presented holiday shows with instructional packets for teachers, such as Annie, Cinderella, Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, plus many more for over 150,000 students in the tri-state area. He has also presented new plays such as Streets of Gold for ten years in Uniontown and recently he produced the Monongah Mining Disaster Play, which he hopes to present as an educational touring play.


Pamela Balch
Distinguished Alumna

Dr. Balch has distinguished herself as a leader in higher education with 36 years of experience. “Currently President of the WVWC since 2006, she has served as President of Mayville State University, ND; Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Bethany College, WV; Vice Provost for Academic Planning at California State University, Chico; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus; Director of Teacher Education (San Diego State University); and was Director of Graduate Programs in Teacher Education at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Significant accomplishments under the leadership of Dr. Balch include West Virginia Wesleyan being listed as a first-tier regional college in the Southeast for the past two years in U.S. News and World’s Report ’s Best Colleges Guide and the only college or university in West Virginia to be listed in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges “Great Schools at Great Prices” category. Wesleyan ranks first in the number of Appalachian College Association Scholarship recipients over the past five years and 17 students have been named international scholarship winners (including 13 Fulbright Scholars) during the past eight years. In addition, Dr. Balch has written and directed a 1.6 million dollar Title III grant directed toward assisting non­ traditional students. Dr. Balch has received several distinguished leadership awards for her accomplishments.

Dr. Balch has been a strong advocate for providing appropriate facilities to meet programmatic needs at WVWC. She has overseen new construction projects including a fitness center, science-research center, performing arts center, residence halls, fountain/campus green, welcome center, and a multi-purpose field and track.

Mary Ellen Burris

Mary Ellen Burris is Senior Vice President of Consumer Affairs for Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., based in Rochester, NY. In 1971 she joined Wegmans as the voice of the consumer and created a 100-person department responsible for consumer response and customer services, food safety and quality assurance, community relations, public relations and sustainability. Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. has 85 stores in 6 states. For 18 years, it has been one of Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Companies To Work For and was #1 a few years ago. In March of 2014, Consumer Reports rated Wegmans as the best supermarket in the country.

Born in West Virginia, Burris received her B.S. Degree from West Virginia University in 1955 (Mary Ellen Tolley) and a M.Ed degree from the University of Rochester. Before joining Wegmans, she was a Cooperative Extension agent in New Jersey and New York. In the latter capacity, for Cornell University, she and consumer economics professor Dr. Heinz Biesdorf co-authored and co-hosted the award-winning educational television series and food shopper’s guide: Be A Better Shopper.

Currently, Burris serves on the Dean’s Advisory Committee, University of Rochester, Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She is also on the Advisory Committee for the Center for Produce Safety, headquartered at the University of California, Davis. Other board positions include the New York Wine and Culinary Center, and the Healthi Kids Policy Team of the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, focused on helping children have healthy food to eat and active play.

Burris has been the recipient of numerous awards, one of the most prestigious being the Food Marketing Institute’s Esther Peterson Award in 2000 for consumer service. In 2013, she received the inaugural Chairman’s Award from the New York Wine and Culinary Center, honoring an individual or organization that has shown extraordinary resolve and persistence in promoting NY State products.

J. Joe Evans

Throughout his years of teaching science and preparing pre-service teachers for careers in elementary and secondary school teaching, as well as preparing students for working in science-­ related jobs, Joe was committed to helping students assume responsibility for life as a teacher. Joe also encouraged students/teachers to continue their education and at times to pursue a doctoral degree. He found time to serve on science educational doctoral committees at WVU. In the first few decades of Joe’s teaching career, if one wanted to contact him on the weekend, he and his colleagues led weekend field trips and workshops for students and science teachers in the Glenville wooded areas. These field trips were biological and environmental in nature. Students and teachers alike have a sense of confidence when working with Joe that “all would be well, that their time would be used wisely, and that they would be challenged and ready to become creative producers in their own sphere of influence.”

Beyond his teaching at Glenville, Joe is involved with other colleagues and science leaders across the State. Initially (1970s) Joe served on the West Virginia State Department of Education Science Committee bringing his expertise in developing physics and chemistry essentials, using scientific processes (inquiry and problem solving) and bringing awareness to the scientific attitudes. From that time to the present, Joe was continually involved in the development of state standards and processes for evaluating them as well. His expertise in science and his ability to work with others in diverse settings was recognized. He was invited to work with state, regional, and national organizations.

Donald P. Lauda

In 1969/70, Dr. Lauda was a post-doctoral student at WVU, when he worked on a federal grant in the Technology Education Department. Because of the excellent work that he and other doctoral students had accomplished, Don returned to WVU in 1973 to serve as professor and chairperson of the Technology Education Department. During that time,Dr. Lauda was a national leader in promoting curricula and professional change in the discipline, resulting in technology-based industrial arts programs in the public schools. Dr.Lauda’s experiences at WVU led him to two terms on the Board of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. In addition, he was elected as President of the American Council of Industrial Arts Teacher Education and as President of the International Technology Education Association.

Dr.Lauda accepted a position as Dean of the School of Technology at Eastern Illinois University in 1975. Under his leadership,numerous students went on to hold leadership positions in education. In 1983,Dr. Lauda accepted the position as Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at California State University/Long Beach. As one of the supporting letters stated,”that College was the largest on campus in terms of faculty,staff,and student enrollment and for well over 20 years he held the College up to standards of exceptional rigor.” Dr. Lauda concluded his tenure with a totally new venue. He became a highly recruited consultant and lecturer internationally on the topic of the Status of Alternate and Complementary Medicine in the United States.

Dr.Lauda’s accomplishments continue to contribute to the profession and his community.

Thomas P. Lombardi

Dr. Thomas P. Lombardi, retired WVU professor emeritus, has been named a CEH Hall of Fame recipient for 2014. A tireless advocate for individuals with special needs, Dr. Lombardi can be considered a pioneer authoring over 80 books, articles, and monographs during his career.

After receiving his doctorate from the University of Arizona and serving as an assistant professor there, he came to WVU in 1971. At that time, WVU’s special education department was solely preparing teachers for students with intellectual limitations. Shortly after his arrival in West Virginia, he chaired the committee for the West Virginia Department of Education that created the professional certification for teaching students with specific (rather than general) learning disabilities.

Dr. Lombardi served West Virginia as a hearing officer, expert witness, and its delegate to the first White House Conference for the Handicapped. Among his many honors, Lombardi was elected vice president of the American Association on Mental Retardation (now the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities), was named member of the year by the Council for Exceptional Children, was recognized as an outstanding teacher by WVU’s College of Education and Human Services three times, received a U.S. Fulbright Award to develop a special education teacher training program in Lisbon, Portugal, and was the runner-up for the Professor of the Year Award for all 25 institutions of higher education in West Virginia. He wrote and directed the Dean’s Grant designed to prepare all of the College’s students and faculty for responsible inclusion.

Lombardi’s scrapbook is thick with awards, honors, and articles proclaiming his commitment to the education of individuals with special needs. It includes information and news accounts of his various volunteer efforts, his national and international speaking engagements, and innovations in education. Travelling extensively as an author for several Phi delta Kappa fastback books, he was a featured speaker at many of the 600 PDK chapters in the United States and Canada. Dr. Lombardi established a recognition award given each year to a student with special needs who graduating from Monongalia County Schools, and he and his wife also established a WVU Foundation scholarship for a WVU student who plans to teach in special education.

In addition to his professional memorabilia, his scrap book also includes several pictures of a young man dancing as well as playbills of his appearances as “Tommy Lombardi the eight-year-old tango king.” Still a lover of dance to this day, Lombardi feels it is equally important to keep his body as active as his mind. He takes and has taught Zumba and Silver Sneakers lessons at various venues in Morgantown and Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Lombardi’s wife, two daughters, two sons-in-law, and grandson all are alumni of WVU.

Kathryn C. Vecellio

Kathryn Cottrill Vecellio is a West Virginia native who graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences/Secondary Education in 1971 and a Masters of Art in Guidance and Counseling in 1972. Although still having a home in West Virginia, Mrs. Vecellio has been a resident of Palm Beach County since 1979, and has worked as an organizer, fundraiser and development volunteer for many community, charitable and educational organizations in that area and throughout the country. Following in her parents’ spirit of philanthropy, Kathryn has established a reputation as a “hands on” volunteer, generously giving of her talents and tirelessly working toward seemingly unreachable goals, while making it all look effortless.

One of Mrs. Vecellio’s most recent accomplishments was chairing the Palm Beach Heart Ball, raising a record breaking $2.48 million, making it the most successful Heart Ball in the nation. Along with this record breaking achievement, Mrs. Vecellio has made her mark over the years by chairing or co-chairing a myriad of fundraising events. She has served as a trustee for many organizations including Palm Beach Atlantic University, Palm Beach Community College Foundation, Norton Museum of Art, St. Mary’s Hospital, Intra-Coastal Health Systems, Benjamin School, the Center for Children in Crisis and the Center for Family Services. She also served on the Visiting Committee for WVU’s School of Human Resources and Education for fourteen years. Mrs. Vecellio has been an advocate for children and their success, whether working for children’s health, protection or education through science and the arts for over forty years.

She is currently serving as a Trustee on the National Board for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (which awards over $60 million per year for research to further its mission to eradicate blood diseases), Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, The Kravis Center for Performing Arts, the Schepens Eye Research Institute and the Vecellio Family Foundation. She also serves on the Cleveland Clinic Florida Health and Wellness Center Leadership Board, the American Heart Association Palm Beach County Market Board of Directors and on the National Development Committee for NSDAR.

With a lifetime of work volunteering and many years of full-time community service, Kathryn’s honors and distinctions are many and include “Florida’s Finest Award for Community Service” -Gov. Laughton Childs, “Women in Leadership Award” – Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, “The William Booth Society Award” – Salvation Army, “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award” – Association of Fundraising Professionals, “Women of Distinction Award” – Palm Beach Atlantic University, to name but a few.

Kathryn and her husband of thirty-nine years, Leo, and their two sons, own the Vecellio Group, Inc., which has been one of the nation’s Top 400 Contractors since 1938 and is now in its “4th generation as a family owned and operated business” since their sons have taken on leadership roles. Their Family Foundation has supported 344 students with a total of $2.9 million scholarship dollars and has donated $6.3 million to the needs of many West Virginia and Florida organizations, charities, communities and schools.

For Kathryn, as well as the rest of her family, giving back is a way of life exemplified every day by this dynamic, volunteer, activist, educator and fundraiser. Fortunately, she also has continued to be loyal to WVU. In addition to funding the Dr. Clarence C. and Maxine D. Cottrill General Dentistry Endowment for Continuing Education and the Cottrill Dental School Scholarship in honor of her parents, she also developed the Kathryn C. Vecellio CEHS Scholarship in the College of Education and Human Services. This scholarship is targeted for enrolled students who have completed their first year while maintaining a high GPA and also participating in community service. In addition, the Vecellio Family Foundation has donated funds to various other college projects, most notably the Allen Hall Speech Clinic.


William Bingman

Bingman received his master’s degree (1967) in elementary education and a doctorate of education (1972) in curriculum and instruction from the College. Bingman taught more than 38 years at Frostburg State University in the Department of Educational Professions. He founded Frostburg State’s Children’s Literature Center to enhance study and dissemination of children’s literature.

Under his guidance, the Children’s Literature Festival was started and has operated for 33 years. The festival is one of the largest on the East Coast and provides librarians, educators, students and other literacy advocates the opportunity to experience first-hand interaction with celebrated authors, illustrators and storytellers. Additionally, he oversaw the creation of an exchange program with Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland.

Bingman, now faculty emeritus at Frostburg State, remains active in academia, continuously promoting literacy and exposure to quality literature. In addition to the Hall of Fame honor, Bingman has been chosen as the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient.

Helen Leslie Harkness

Harkness received her bachelor’s degree (1950) in speech pathology and audiology and a master’s degree (1953) in English during her time at WVU. She completed her doctorate of philosophy (1976) at North Texas University.

She is a consultant, researcher, experienced speaker, teacher, writer and pioneer in the development and implementation of career management programs. Her multidimensional career includes being a successful entrepreneur, a former academic dean/provost, a college professor, director of continuing education and a public school teacher.

Her published work includes “Best Jobs for the Future (1995),” “The Career Chase: Taking Creative Control in a Chaotic Age (1997),” “Don’t Stop the Career Clock: Rejecting the Myths of Aging for a New Way to Work in the 21st Century (1999)” and “Capitalizing on Career Chaos: Bringing Creativity and Purpose to You Work and Life (2005).” She is currently working on a book titled “Moving from Mindless Myths to Meaning and Money at Midlife.”

Kimberly Horn

Horn received her master’s degree (1993) from WVU and her doctorate of education (1997) from the College. She is nationally recognized for studies focusing on teen smoking cessation. Horn is associate dean of research for the School of Public Health and Health Services at George Washington University.

She previously worked and taught at WVU and conducted population health research in the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, where she was director of the Evaluation Oversight and Coordinating Unit, an oversight body for the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health’s State Tobacco Prevention Program. Horn has been recognized for her dedication to public health in the past by receiving the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence from the WVU School of Medicine in 2005, as well as being named the second most cited author in the “Journal of School Nursing” in 2009.

Ranjit Majumder

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a doctorate of philosophy in psychology, Majumder moved to Morgantown to teach and conduct research. In 1969, he headed a project that would eventually become the International Center for Disability Information in the College.

Majumder contributed to the establishment of the Job Accommodation Network, which, since 1983, has been a national technical assistance center that facilitates the employment and retention of workers with disabilities through the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Majumder served as the director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center. In that role, he also had memorandums of understanding with National University of Columbia, University of St. Petersburg and University of Calcutta.

At the College, Majumder taught classes and conducted research for more than 35 years. He is professor emeritus in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling and Counseling Psychology. He has served as a Rotary district governor, led several international trips and assisted his wife, Indira, on a rubella immunization project in India. Recently, they established the Drs. Ranjit and Indira Majumder Education Policy Research Endowment Award through the WVU Foundation to benefit students researching West Virginia education policy and practice.


Molly Vass-Lehman

Molly Vass-Lehman earned a bachelor of arts (1974), master of arts (1976) and doctor of education (1978) from WVU. She went on to teach in the Counseling Psychology and Education Program at Western Michigan University and to direct the Holistic Health Care Program in the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services. This program became a national model on the integration of mind/body health approaches into the mainstream of health care and education.

Vass-Lehman was awarded the National Teaching Award and was a national speaker regarding the impact of the holistic health field on counseling, psychology, medicine and education.
She was one of the founding fellows of the Fetzer Institute and has been key to the development of several programs, including the PBS Emmy-winning series, “Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers,” and other programs that have significantly impacted the field of health and education in the country.

Vass-Lehman designed and developed the Fetzer Institute’s retreat center, GilChrist, a contemplative retreat center for individuals and groups.

Diane Woodrum-Leuthold

Diane Woodrum-Leuthold currently works as a licensed school psychologist for Fremouw-Sigley Psychological Associates in Morgantown, WV, working with children, families and WVUstudents. Diane retired from higher education in July 2011. She spent 22 years at WVU, leaving as a professor of special education. While at WVU, she served as chair of the faculty senate and graduate council and received CEHS’s outstanding teacher award three times during her tenure. For the last 10 years, Diane has served as chair in the education department at Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, PA, and often serves as an expert witness in court cases involving special education. Diane is married to Peter P. Leuthold and has five children and seven grandchildren. She spends her summers at her home on Lake Lyster, Quebec, Canada, and is a number one fan of WVUfootball and basketball!

Franklin Parker

Franklin Parker, WVU Benedum Professor of Education Emeritus (1968-86), and his wife Betty attended Berea College (BA), University of Illinois (MS), and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College (Ed.D.). He previously taught history and philosophy of education, comparative and international education at the Universities of Texas (Austin) and Oklahoma (Norman). After retirement, he taught at Northern Arizona University and Western Carolina University. The Parkers, still active at Uplands Village, Crossville, Tennessee, wrote George Peabody, A Biography (Vanderbilt Press, 1971, revised 1995), 50+ other books, 200+ journal articles, and many blog articles under the name bfparker in


Patrick Hartwick
Distinguished Alumnus


Patrick Hartwick received his doctoral degree in special education in 1987 from West Virginia University.

Before coming to Lynn University in June 2007 as dean of the Donald E. and Helen L. Ross College of Education, Dr. Hartwick had more than 24 years of academic and professional experience. He served as dean of the school of education at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H.; spent 12 years at Daemen College, holding such positions as associate professor, primary investigator and administrator of federal and state grant programs, chairman of the education department, and director of special programs in education; and was a classroom teacher for more than 12 years.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Dr. Hartwick was president of the New York State chapter of the American Association of Mental Retardation, served on the board of the International Dyslexia Association, and made presentations on special education and educational research topics at countless national, state, and regional conferences.
A great leader and motivator, he had vision as well as wonderful energy and enthusiasm. He was strong physically, but was also strong spiritually and emotionally. He was an avid skier, swimmer and cyclist.

Dr. Hartwick, 53, was a loving father to his son, Jonathan, and daughter, Allie, and a devoted husband to his wife, Christine, who passed away in September 2008.


Ansley Bacon
Distinguished Alumna

Ansley Bacon received her bachelor’s degree in 1973 in psychology and her master’s degree in 1974 in Psychology from Western Michigan University. She completed her doctoral degree in 1977 in educational psychology from West Virginia University.

Dr. Bacon is the president and CEO of the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD), a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCDD). She also is the director of the Center on Disability and Health in the Graduate School of Health Sciences and Practice at New York Medical College. Her academic appointments include professor of practice in the School of Health Sciences and Practice, associate professor of clinical psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and associate professor of clinical pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at New York Medical College.

From 1978 to 1985, she served as the Director of the Mississippi University Center on Disability. In 1985, she assumed her current position with (WIHD). She has been active in the Association of University Centers on Disability (AUCD), serving as the AUCD President in 1987-88, and co-chairing the Legislative Affairs Committee. Dr. Bacon has participated on over 25 site review teams to other university centers on disability and on several grant review panels for three federal agencies.

Edward C. Keller Jr.

Edward Keller Jr. received a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, botany, and economics in 1952, a master’s degree in genetics/breeding and zoology, anda doctoral degree in statistical genetics and statistics in 1961, all from Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Keller worked for Penn State from 1955 to 1961 as an instructor and researcher while attending school, and was a NIH Fellow at both Penn State and University of North Carolina. From 1964 to 1968, he was an assistant professor of zoology at the University of Maryland and worked part-time at George Washington University as an advisor in undergraduate education. In 1966 to 1968, he was manager of data systems and operations for the NUS Corporation in Los Angeles, where he worked for the space program.

He came to Morgantown in 1968 as the chairman of the WVU biology department. After five years as an administrator, he became a full-time teacher/researcher who taught thousands of students and graduate students over a 40-year period and served on many graduate committees. During that time, he published over 110 research articles, abstracts, and reports and was awarded 52 governmental grants. In addition, he was important in higher science education in the state and served as the past president of the West Virginia Academy of Sciences.

His areas of research expertise included taconite pollution in Lake Superior; the ocean dumping problem in Philadelphia; EPA air and water pollution monitoring criteria; impacts of stress on bio-regeneration systems in the Apollo project; oil pollution projects for the EPA and industry; wastewater guidelines; nuclear, synfuel, and coal plant impact statements; the impact of acid mine drainage and acid mine drainage remediation; and the environmental influences in human cancer and cardiovascular mortalities and their spatial distributions in West Virginia.

Dr. Keller received many awards in his life that he held dear. Among those he was most proud of were an honorary D.Sc. from Salem College (1978); WVU Social Justice Award (1991); Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering (1997); Distinguished Service Award from the National Science Teachers Association (1997); and his 2002 induction into the Hall of Fame for Persons With Disabilities for his lifetime achievements.

Dr. Keller was known as a champion for the disabled. He obtained National Science Foundation (NSF) funding and taught for several years at a unique summer program designed to expose high school juniors to the marine sciences in a laboratory setting (Wallops Island, VA), and to other students with differing disabilities than their own. This program was so successful that an award winning film was made about it. He spent his later years as a NSF expert on disabled persons in Science and Engineering and was the coordinator of the WV Dept. Education for Equity & Access Education.


Brandon Hall
Distinguished Alumna

Brandon Hall received his doctoral degree in 1977 in Educational Psychology at West Virginia University.

Dr. Hall is a leading independent expert in e-learning. His company helps organizations make decisions about technology through reports, advising and presentations. With more than 25 years as a training professional, Dr. Hall is the author of the Web-Based Training Cookbook and is a featured speaker at conferences around the world, including Berlin, Singapore, Australia, and Saudi Arabia.

He also served on the faculty of San Francisco State University’s Multimedia Studies Program. Dr. Hall publishes about 25 reports a year on e-learning and is a columnist for Chief Learning Officer magazine. As a recognized researcher in the field, he has been interviewed by Fortune, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Business Week, among others.
Dr. Hall has advised groups including Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Motorola, Goldman Sachs, Westinghouse, and the U.S. Army, among others. In addition, Dr. Hall chairs the annual Excellence in Learning Awards, now in its tenth year and the first recognition program dedicated to the e-learning industry.

James B. Phares

James Phares received his bachelor’s degree in 1974 in elementary education from West Virginia University and his doctoral degree in 1995 from Virginia Polytechnic and State University. Dr. Phares has a distinguished leadership record at all major levels of public education and has attained national prominence for his stellar accomplishments as the superintendent of Marion County Schools.

He was named West Virginia Superintendent of the Year in 2007-2008 and selected as one of four finalists and runner-up for the National Superintendent of the Year. Under his transformative leadership, Marion schools have consistently met “Adequate Yearly Progress” under No Child Left Behind requirements.

Superintendent Phares also has advanced the use of technology to enhance the quality of administrative and instructional activities and to ensure students success in meeting the challenges of 21st century learning. Dr. Phares is currently serving as superintendent of Randolph County Schools.


Steven Paine
Distinguished Alumnus

Steven Paine received his bachelor’s degree from Fairmont State College. He furthered his education by attending West Virginia University, where he received his master’s degree in educational administration and his doctoral degree in educational leadership.

Dr. Paine served as West Virginia’s state superintendent of schools from 2005 to 2011. Under his leadership, West Virginia was nationally recognized for its 21st Century Learning Skills initiative, pre-kindergarten programs, school technology implementation, reading initiatives and teacher quality efforts. Paine joined the West Virginia Department of Education in 2003 as deputy state superintendent of schools after serving as county superintendent in Morgan County, West Virginia.

Previously he served as curriculum director of Upshur County Schools in Buckhannon, West Virginia. At the time of his Milken Educator Award, Dr. Paine was principal of Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School—West Virginia’s largest middle school—which he helped achieve the rare distinction of being a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School as well as an Education, Safe, Drug-Free School.

Dr. Paine also assisted the West Virginia Department of Education in its implementation of the nationally acclaimed Responsible Students Program, through which 99 percent of his school’s 1,050 students were recognized. By implementing the BUCS (Building Up Conscientious Students) program, Dr. Paine also significantly improved every aspect of education at Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School.

Kevin Elko

Kevin Elko received his bachelor’s degree in biology education and coaching from California University of Pennsylvania. He then went on to West Virginia University where he received two master’s degrees in both counseling and sports psychology, and his doctoral degree in education with a major emphasis in sports and counseling. He is also a certified addictions counselor.

Elko is a nationally renowned performance consultant, professional motivational speaker, and author. He has consulted with numerous companies including: ING, Tyson Foods, Abbott Labs, and Pioneer Investments. He presents more than 200 times per year and has spoken in every state and internationally.

In the sports world, Elko has consulted with the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department and football programs at the University of Miami, Rutgers University, Louisiana State University, and University of Alabama. He has also consulted with professional teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints.
He is the author of four books, including The Pep Talk, which is in the process of becoming a motion picture. He was inducted into the Brownsville Area High School Hall of Fame.

Kay Huffman Goodwin

Kay Goodwin of Charleston, Kanawha County, was reappointed Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Education and the Arts on January 17, 2005 by Governor Joe Manchin III. She serves on the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the West Virginia Film Commission, the Prepaid Tuition Fund Board of Trustees and the Professional Staff Development Advisory Council. She is co-chairman of the Center for Professional Development Board, is chairman of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, is co-chairman of the West Virginia Council on Civics Literacy and is the Governor’s designee to the Educational Broadcasting Authority. She is a member of The Workforce Planning Council, is a lifetime member of the Governor’s Honors Schools Advisory Council, is a member of the Board of Advisors for WVU’s Blaney House and serves on the HB 3009 Workforce Development Initiative Committee. She is the former Chairman of the EPSCoR Advisory Council and is a current member of the Science and Research Council.

Secretary Goodwin is the former chairman of the University of West Virginia System Board of Trustees, the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Financial Aid Coordinating Council. She has served on WVU’s Board of Advisors and as Chairman and member of the WVU College of Creative Arts Board of Visitors. A former member of the Arts Education Advisory Board for the National Endowment for the Arts, she was appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush to serve on the Independent Commission to Review the Grant making Procedures of the National Endowment for the Arts. She is a former member of the West Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees, the WV Humanities Council, the United Health Systems Board, and the West Virginia University Hospitals Board of Directors.

Named a Distinguished West Virginian, WVU’s Outstanding Alumna, and recipient of the WVU President’s Distinguished Service Award, she was inducted into the WVU College of Human Resources and Education Hall of Fame in 2008. Secretary Goodwin was recognized as Daughter of the Year by the West Virginia Society of Washington, D.C. In 2004, Secretary Goodwin was designated one of only four recipients of the National Public Service Award.

Mrs. Goodwin is a past president of the Junior League of Charleston, the West Virginia University Alumni Association, Keep a Child in School, the Ripley High School Parent Advisory Committee, and the Epworth Methodist Church Administrative Board. She also served on the National Assessment of Educational Progress Arts Steering Committee, the National Advisory Committee to Study Arts Education in the United States, and has testified before Congress on arts and education initiatives on behalf of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. She was a member of the Bradley Foundation’s Commission to Hear and Review Arts Funding in Milwaukee. She is a former member of the United Bankshares Community Advisory Board, the Jackson County Foundation Performing Arts Fund, the West Virginia Artists’ and Craftsmen’s Guild Board of Directors, the West Virginia Public Radio Advisory Committee as well as the West Virginia Symphony Women’s Committee, and the University of Charleston Builders. Mrs. Goodwin was, for over twenty years, privileged to direct community and high school musical theatre in Jackson County, in addition to staging opera performances in other state venues. Secretary Goodwin was honored by both the National Educational Theatre Association and the West Virginia Thespian Conference for her support and advancement of student theatre in West Virginia and the nation. In 2010, Mrs. Goodwin was named one of The Charleston YWCA’s Women of Achievement in addition to being honored with her husband, Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, by the West Virginia Education Alliance.

Holding a masters degree in drama, she has served on both WVU and West Virginia State University faculties. Secretary Goodwin has received seven honorary doctoral degrees.

Cleaster Jones Jackson

Cleaster Jackson received her bachelor’s degree in social work and her master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin. She was awarded her doctoral degree in special education in 1997 from West Virginia University.

Dr. Jackson is a dedicated educator and administrator and a person who has significantly impacted the lives and education of many students. She has been recognized at the national and state levels for her outstanding leadership in education, especially for her efforts to improve student achievement and success.

Dr. Jackson is presently the superintendent and principal of the World of Wonder (WOW) School located in Dayton, Ohio. The WOW School is a charter school with one of the highest poverty rates in the Dayton area. Dr. Jackson has steadfastly worked to bring the school up from the lowest ranking on the state’s report card, “academic emergency,” to the level of “continuous improvement.”

Beverly Kingery

Beverly Kingery received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood/elementary education from the University of Charleston, and her master’s degrees in reading education and educational administration from Marshall University.

Kingery is recognized for her contributions to reading in the state of West Virginia. She serves as the coordinator of reading for the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE). She is currently the superintendent for Nicholas County Schools. Ms. Kingery has received both national and state awards that recognize her efforts to improve reading education.

Gwen Socol Rosenbluth

Gwen Rosenbluth received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her master’s degree in secondary guidance and counseling at Memphis State University and her doctoral degree in education from West Virginia University in 1990.
Dr. Rosenbluth is both a teacher and a teacher’s teacher. She was a longtime English teacher at Morgantown High School. She was an early leader in the development of the University’s five-year teacher preparation program and coordinated the first teacher education center at Morgantown High School.

As an adjunct instructor at WVU, she taught courses in writing methods, English education, and language arts for a number of years. Practicing teachers have benefited from Dr. Rosenbluth’s leadership of the West Virginia University Writing Project for more than a decade, her role in resuscitating the West Virginia Language Arts Council, and her years as a consultant and instructor for the West Virginia Center for Professional Development’s Advanced Placement (AP) English and Composition workshops. Because of her exemplary work in AP, she was selected as a consultant for the College Board Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Program.

Rosenbluth was the Monongalia County Teacher of the Year in 1989 and was also a pioneer in the use of computers in teaching writing in WV, having introduced one of the first computer writing labs in a WV high school.


Susan Brown Hardesty

Susan Hardesty received her bachelor’s degree in 1967 in music education from the College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University and her master’s degree in special education in 1974 from the University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies in Institute, West Virginia.

For 16 years, Hardesty taught music and special education. An avid community volunteer, she involved herself in a variety of activities, including directing her church choir and helping to organize the first Keynotes Concert, featuring the Mountaineer Marching Band, in Charleston. In 1988, she was instrumental in founding a Read Aloud West Virginia program in Jackson County. To her credit, as news of the program’s success spread, Read Aloud programs expanded to every county in West Virginia.

Hardesty was a charter member and has served as chair of the College of Creative Arts Board of Visitors. She also is the past chairperson of the Council of Presidents’ and Chancellors’ Spouses for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. In 2001 and 2004, she was included in The Dominion Post’s list of the area’s 100 Most Influential Citizens, and the WVU Office of Student Affairs honored her with their first Outstanding Achievement Award. She served as chair of the 2004 and 2005 WVU United Way Campaigns.

One of her most rewarding efforts has been chairing the Mountaineer Parents Club. She and her husband, WVU President Emeritus David C. Hardesty Jr., formed this unique organization in 1995 to foster student success and to better involve parents in University life. Since its beginning with a handful of members, the Mountaineer Parents Club has proudly grown to include more than 18,500 families in its membership, some 70 local clubs, and a network of state chairs from coast to coast. Among its many helpful activities are the Mountaineer Parents Club Helpline, a parent E-News, informative newsletters, and support for summer send-off picnics for WVU students and their families.

For her extraordinary efforts on behalf of her alma mater, the West Virginia Society of Washington, D.C., named Hardesty its Daughter of the Year for 1997.

Melanie A. Kerber

Melanie Kerber received her bachelor’s degree in 1974 in elementary education from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, and her master’s degree in 1979 and her doctoral degree in 1991 in special education from WVU.

Dr. Kerber began her career after graduation in 1974, teaching students with severe learning and behavioral difficulties in Monongalia County, West Virginia, and Highland School, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. As she gained experience in this field, Dr. Kerber became a diagnostic specialist and educational consultant delivering diagnostic and academic services. In 1981, she was a doctoral fellow at the Kennedy Center in Morgantown, and, in 1982, she accepted a position as an assistant professor of early childhood and special education at Allegheny College in Maryland.

Dr. Kerber’s talent, education, and expertise quickly propelled her into a leadership position, and, in 1987, she became the Director of Springwood School in Leesburg, Virginia. In this position, she had the opportunity to hone her administrative skills while also working with a team of clinicians developing treatment plans for adolescents and their families. Her work was recognized, and she was asked to start an inpatient treatment facility for children known as the Children’s Center.

Dr. Kerber’s reputation as an educator, administrator, and advocate for diverse learners resulted in her selection as director of the Commonwealth Academy in Falls Church, Virginia, in 1998. She was responsible for curriculum development, hiring and training, budget oversight, student recruitment, fundraising, licensing, event planning, and referral development. Under her direction, the Academy is now recognized as a fully accredited college preparatory program in Washington, D.C. Currently, Dr. Kerber is principal of Sto-Rox High School located in Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Frank Kerber, have one son, Brandon.

Joanna Strosnider Nesselroad

Joanna Nesselroad received her bachelor’s degree in 1946 in home economics, her master’s degree in 1955 in home economics, and her doctoral degree in 1978 in education, all from West Virginia University. She also studied at the University of Tennessee, Penn State University, and New York University, and at Britain Infant Schools and Paget Applied Research Institute, both in London.

Nesselroad developed one of the nation’s first Head Start programs in McDowell County, the heart of West Virginia’s southern coalfields. As director of the training program there, she trained both teachers and administrators, and the principles she established then remain in place today. Dr. Nesselroad is recognized as a state pioneer in early childhood education, a reputation that led to her Head Start appointment. She has taught that subject and home economics at WVU, Fairmont State University, Murray State University, and Penn State University. Before that, she was a public school teacher in Monongalia and Hampshire Counties in West Virginia.

At Fairmont State, where she retired in 1984, she created the school’s associate and bachelor’s degree programs in child care and development. Retired or not, she has kept busy over the past two decades advising preschool programs, the state’s Visiting Homemakers Service, and West Virginia Home Economics Education Program.

Dr. Nesselroad’s research and teachings have long been recognized as the national standard for educators. Her professional biography has appeared in the Who’s Who of American Women, and Who’s Who Biographical Record – Child Development Professionals The educator divides her time in West Virginia and Florida with her husband, Dr. Paul Nesselroad. They have a son, Mark, a daughter, Karina, and four grandchildren.


Judy Prozzillo Byers
Distinguished Alumna

Judy Byers received her bachelor’s degree in English and social studies in 1969 from Fairmont State University. She received both a master’s degree in English and education in 1972 and her doctorate degree in English education in 1982 from the College of Human Resources and Education at West Virginia University. She completed post-graduate studies at the International Folklore Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington, and observed educational drama throughout the British schools.

Dr. Byers is known for her work as a folklorist, workshop director, English educator, and storyteller, as well as for her commitment to scholarship, teaching, and service. She has taught English and folklore for her entire career, which has included WVU, Salem College, Davis and Elkins College, Marion County Schools, and Fairmont State University. She is active in numerous professional associations nationwide, including the National Council of Teachers of English. She participates on the board of these organizations, presents papers, and hosts workshops.

Dr. Byers’ publication record is lengthy, diverse, and respected. She is a co-author of In the Mountain State: A West Virginia Folklore and Cultural Studies Curriculum, which has been distributed statewide to West Virginia schools and libraries and used extensively in the folklore studies curriculum at Fairmont State University.

Dr. Byers has received numerous awards throughout her career, including West Virginia State Teacher of the Year in 1977 from the West Virginia Department of Education, Italian Woman of the Year in 1986 from the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival, Outstanding Teacher Award in 1991 from the City of Fairmont Arts and Humanities Commission, and West Virginia Professor of the Year in 2002-2003 from the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia. She is currently the director of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community and Technical College, which serves the needs of Fairmont State University and also the state of West Virginia. She has also been awarded the Abelina Suarez Professorship in the Department of Language and Literature, College of Liberal Arts, at Fairmont State University where she currently teaches English education.

Michael A. Caruso

Michael Caruso received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education in 1956 and his master’s degree in counseling and guidance in 1958 from the College of Human Resources and Education (Now the College of Education and Human Services) at West Virginia University.

Caruso worked for WVU for 40 years. He began his career as a chemistry teacher and guidance counselor at University High School when it was still run and owned by WVU. He was known to be firm but fair, always committed to helping students. In 1968, Caruso accepted a position in the Office of Student Advising and Records and as assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in HR&E. He became an expert on teacher certification, and his dedication to helping students flourished. During his employment, he processed over 35,000 applications for public school certifications and advised more than 24,000 graduate and undergraduate students for the College. He made over 800 phone calls a year to individuals, county boards of education, and the WV State Department of Education, and in addition, traveled throughout the state to meet with teachers, administrators, and staff personnel.

In 1992, Caruso was awarded the first College of CEHS Laddie Reed Bell Distinguished Service Award for his exceptional contributions to the achievement of our mission and the development of our programs in the College. He also received the Sallie Mae Teacher Tribute Award in 1992, served in the U.S. Army, and was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Delta Kappa education honoraries. He is currently retired and has been granted assistant professor emeritus status with WVU.

Eddie C. Kennedy

Eddie Kennedy received a bachelor’s degree in elementary and secondary education in 1947 from Glenville State College, a master’s degree in English and education in 1948 from George Peabody College for Teachers, now Vanderbilt University, and his doctorate in 1951 from Indiana University with an emphasis in elementary education, English, and educational psychology.

Prior to this education, Dr. Kennedy began teaching elementary grades in Gilmer County public schools in 1931 without the help of college preparation. He began to take summer school courses, but this was interrupted by his service to the United States Army Air Forces in World War II. In 1946, Dr. Kennedy resumed his career and professional education for 30 more years without interruption. Before coming to WVU, he was the chairman of the Department of Education and Psychology at Glenville State College.

In 1953, he accepted the position of director of elementary student teaching and then chairman of the Department of Elementary Education in the College of Human Resources and Education (now the College of Education and Human Services). In 1958, he was the acting dean for the college, and for the following 13 years, he served the college as a professor as well as director of the WVU Reading Center before retiring in 1976. He is an accomplished author with 14 textbooks and monographs, the writer and presenter of 90 television programs that focus on reading education, and the recipient of numerous awards, including Who’s Who in America, Phi Delta Kappa and Kappa Delta Pi, and Outstanding Teacher in Education from WVU in 1965. Dr. Kennedy is currently retired and enjoys building string musical instruments, writing, and, of course, corresponding with former students. He has been granted professor emeritus status with WVU.

Edith Rechter Levy

Edith Levy received a bachelor’s degree in 1976, a master’s degree in 1980 in foreign languages from West Virginia University’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, and a doctoral degree in educational administration in 1988 from the College of Human Resources and Education (now the College of Education and Human services) at West Virginia University.

Dr. Levy worked as an adjunct assistant professor for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Human Resources and Education from 1989 to 1998 and also in the Department of Foreign Languages at WVU and Fairmont State. She is currently the executive director of the West Virginia Commission on Holocaust Education as appointed by Governor Underwood in 1998; president of the West Virginia Holocaust Education Foundation, Inc.; and an advisor on the West Virginia Education Council.

Dr. Levy has been a co-author for many books and has written numerous articles, book reviews, and papers. She is most well known for her book published in 2001, The Holocaust in Perspective, which has been widely acclaimed and adopted by the state as a reader and textbook for Holocaust education to middle and high school students.

She has been the keynote speaker at 20 Holocaust commemorative programs and lectures throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. She has procured exhibits, worked in theater production, offered workshops, presented at conferences, and is affiliated with numerous Holocaust organizations. Dr. Levy was born in Vienna, Austria, and is a Holocaust survivor. She has devoted her life’s work to Holocaust education.

Dr. Levy received a lifetime achievement award from Governor Joe Manchin in 2005 and was selected in 2002 by Governor Wise as a Distinguished West Virginian.

Betty Schoenbaum

Betty Schoenbaum is well known throughout the state of West Virginia for her charity and selfless concern for the community. In 1988, she and her husband, Alex, established The Schoenbaum Family Foundation, Inc., which grants to numerous charitable organizations including the College of Human Resources and Education (now the College of Education and Human Services) at West Virginia University. In 1989, Betty and Alex donated $500,000 to the College to establish the Schoenbaum/Loan Endowment to encourage future teachers to remain in West Virginia after receiving their education at WVU. The Schoenbaums were concerned that too many highly qualified teachers were leaving West Virginia to go to other places to teach. Students who receive the Schoenbaum/Loan Endowment must match each year of scholarship support with a year of teaching in West Virginia, and the loan will be forgiven. Over the past 16 years, 50 students have received more than $550,000 to assist with their tuition. The endowed fund has grown to nearly one million dollars and will continue to support CEHS students forever.

Betty has enabled many young men and women to focus on academics in undergraduate preparation for careers in education rather than focusing on the means to pay for the opportunity to attend college. She is personally interested in each student and calls them “her kids.” She often writes letters of encouragement and visits to learn more about them.

Betty has held positions as the president of the Schoenbaum Corporation; president, secretary, and treasurer of The Schoenbaum Family Foundation, Inc.; and president, secretary, treasurer of the Blue Galaxy of Sarasota, Inc. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including an honorary degree, doctor of humanities, in May 1999 at the University of Charleston, in Charleston, West Virginia; an honorary degree, doctor of business, in March 2001 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; and the 2004 Spirit of the Valley Award from the YMCA of Kanawha Valley. Betty currently resides part-time in Florida and West Virginia.


Beverly Bieniek
Distinguished Alumna

Beverly Bieniek has been a special education teacher and consultant in both the Pennsylvania and West Virginia public schools. Currently, she is director of special education and pupil personnel services for the Laurel Highlands School District in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

Donald R. Cotten

Dr. Donald R. Cotten received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Science Education from West Virginia University, a MS in Science Education from The University of Southern Mississippi, and his BS in the Biological Sciences from The University of Southern Mississippi. He has held a number of faculty and administrative positions: High School Science Teacher, Instructor of Biological Sciences in a Community College, Department Chair in a Community College, University Professor of Science Education, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, Director of The Center for Science and Mathematics, Executive Director for a business education advocacy organization, Associate Vice President for Research, Graduate Dean, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer, Vice Provost for Research, and Vice President for Research. These academic responsibilities have been in the following states: Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas.

Cotten has extensive experience in strategically working with state, federal and private sector partners in building competitive university education/research programs. He has worked closely with state and local policy makers as well as aggressively working closely with federal, state and private sector partners throughout his career. In addition, he has served on the board of directors for private foundations, worked closely with federal laboratories, and engaged public policy makers to implement policies that ensure strong public/private partnerships with education. Dr. Cotten has been engaged in building coalitions among federal and state programs with universities to ensure the basic research and education infrastructure of these entities are strengthened. These efforts range from serving on the board of Oak Ridge Affiliated Universities to being a part of the efforts to ensure competitive funding for the institutions where he served in a leadership role.

In his field of Science Education, he has been the recipient of millions of dollars in extramural funding from agencies such as National Science Foundation, NASA, Department of Defense, U. S. Department of Education, USDA, and a number of private entities. In addition, he has widely published in the field of Science Education and authored a number of technical reports and guides. His personal education/research interests include: Curriculum Development, Formative and Summative Evaluation.

Barbara Judy

Barbara Judy was an Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator for the state of West Virginia and serves as the chair of the board and president of the National Association of ADA Coordinators. She was a driving force in the widely acclaimed Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for over 20 years.

She has also been elected to the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities.

William G. Monahan

William Monahan received his bachelor’s degree in geography from Western Kentucky University in 1951, his master’s degree in geography and history from Vanderbilt University in 1955, and an Ed.D. in educational administration from Michigan State University in 1960.

Dr. Monahan began his professional career as a high school teacher and athletic coach in Marion, Kentucky. He went on to fulfill a long academic career, teaching at the University of Oklahoma and Michigan State University before joining the University of Iowa faculty where he also served as director of the Iowa Center for Research in School Administration. He advanced to become dean of the College of Human Resources and Education at West Virginia University, where after a decade of service, he retired as emeritus professor of higher education.

Dr. Monahan authored five books and more than 70 scholarly articles in nationally refereed journals, as well as a number of published monographs and essays. He was cited by the American Educational Research Association in 1975 for his research utilizing factor analysis. He served as president of the National Association of Land Grant and State University Deans of Education. He was a two-term member of the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and he chaired AACTE’s Extended Program Task Force, which led to five-year teacher education programs at WVU and elsewhere.

Beth E. Musser

Beth Musser received her bachelor’s degree from Lycoming College in 1966, her master’s degree from West Virginia University in 1969, and her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1981.

Dr. Musser has been a leader in literacy education and, as the dean of the West Liberty State College School of Education, was instrumental in establishing the West Liberty State College/Ohio County Professional Development School partnership. She served as the dean for the school of education at West Liberty State College for nine years. During her time there, she served as chair for the Department of Professional Education from 1999 – 2000 and director of Student Teaching from 1987 – 2007. Dr. Musser retired in 2009.

Kathleen Hawk Sawyer

Kathleen Sawyer received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wheeling Jesuit College and her master’s degree in 1973 and her doctoral degree in Counseling and Rehabilitation in 1978 from West Virginia University.

Dr. Sawyer was the first woman to be named director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She held the position for 11 years before retiring in 2003.


Alfred N. Renzella
Distinguished Alumnus

Alfred Renzella received his bachelor’s degree in 1964 in social studies from West Liberty State College and his master’s degree in special education in 1968 from West Virginia University in the College of Education and Human Services (formerly the College of Human Resources and Education). He also holds graduate degrees in gifted education and one in school psychology from Marshall University.

Renzella is director of special education and attendance for Marshall County Schools, a post he’s held since 1984. Before that, he was principal of J. T. King Special Education Elementary School in Moundsville, where an innovative behavior management program he developed is still in use today.

He is known for his commitment to the cause, offering extensive training and other resources to school faculty and staff who deal daily with special-needs children.
Partnership programs he established with Bethany College, Wheeling Jesuit University, and West Liberty State College give education majors their frontline experience.

Governor Gaston Caperton

Former West Virginia Governor Gaston Caperton received his bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Carolina. After graduation, he worked at a small, family-owned insurance company and became president of McDonough Caperton Insurance Group in 1976. He was elected to his first term as governor in 1989 and was reelected in 1992. In 1999 Caperton was appointed as the eighth president of the College Board.

His leadership, public service, and work on behalf of education have been recognized with numerous state and national awards, including 10 honorary doctoral degrees.
In 2007, he received the prestigious James Bryant Conant Award from the Education Commission of the States in recognition of his significant contributions to the quality of education in the United States.

Gloria Salucci Cunningham

Mrs. Gloria Salucci is a lifelong resident of Morgantown. She attended local schools, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University and pursued advanced graduate studies. She was associated with the university for 27 years, 12 years with University High School and 15 years at WVU.

She was one of the founders of the College of Education and Human Services (formerly the College of Human Resources and Education) Alumni Association and in 2001 received the Special Dean’s Award from the college for exceptional service. In May 2004, she was one of the first five inductees into the College’s Hall of Fame. She was elected into membership in Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Delta Kappa material education honoraries, and to Delta Kappa Gamma, international teachers’ honorary and served two terms as president of the local chapter. She is a life member of both the Monongalia County and the West Virginia Education Associations.

She is a life member of the WVU Alumni Association, a member of the WVU Emeritus Club, and served as its president in 1997. In 2000, she was the recipient of the David W. Jacobs Award given by the alumni association in recognition of her support and services to the association. In May 2009, she was inducted into the Order of Vandalia at WVU, the highest recognition given for services to the university and to the state. She and her late husband, Gail W. Cunningham, were charter members of the Irvin Stewart Society, establishing a scholarship in Mrs. Cunningham’s name in the College of Human Resources and Education. She was also one of the founders of the Committee for the Preservation of Italian-American History and Culture and has served as its chairman since its inception in 1993. She was also a charter member of the National Admission and Recruiting Network to recruit students and to facilitate their entrance to WVU.
In the area of public school education, she has dedicated much of her time serving on various councils at both the county and state levels particularly devoted to vocational education. She was also active in community volunteerism by serving on a number of organizations devoted to charitable projects and to both teenage and adult education.

Jeanne Marcum Gerlach

Jeanne Gerlach received her bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College. She was awarded her master’s degree in 1979 and her first doctoral degree in 1985 in Curriculum & Instruction/English Education from the College of Education and Human Services (formerly the College of Human Resources and Education) at West Virginia University and her second doctorate in 1992 in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Texas

Dr. Gerlach brings a Texas-sized commitment to education to her job as Dean and Professor of education at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Education and Health Professions, a college she helped grow from what was a Center for Professional Teacher Education. She also serves as the Associate Vice President for K-16 education at UTA.

Dr. Gerlach has also been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English as an Outstanding Woman in English Education and holds an Outstanding Alumni Award/Higher Education from the University of North Texas. She was a fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Advanced Management and Leadership Institute, and has taught in England, New Zealand, France, Germany, Thailand and Australia.

Edward C. Keller

Edward Keller received his bachelor’s degree in 1976 in secondary education and a master’s degree in 1985 in curriculum and instruction from West Virginia University.
Keller’s work is known in Monongalia County’s public school system and beyond.
He has developed three science kits available nationwide for teachers today and received funding for 16 years to create materials and instructional strategies for Marine Science programs for students with disabilities.

Science is his expertise; he taught the subject for 26 years to Monongalia County’s elementary, middle, and high school students, and that run was marked with lots of acclaim from his peers in the profession.

Keller earned the National Science Foundation Teachers Association Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1986 and took home the first Milken Family Distinguished Educator Award in 1990. He was honored in 1991 with the West Virginia Education Fund’s Outstanding Elementary Educator Merit Award and the West Virginia College of Human Resources and Education Alumni Association’s Award for Distinguished Achievement in Classroom Instruction.

A. Lynne Williams

Lynn Williams received her bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1978 and her master’s degree in 1980 from WVU’s College of Human Resources and Education (now the College of Education and Human Services). She was awarded a doctorate in speech and hearing sciences in 1988 from Indiana University.

“You should hear what you’re learning.”
The above statement has long been Dr. Williams’ clinical philosophy, and the researcher has been widely recognized in her field of phonological treatment, which sets out to correct hearing flaws that cause children to incorrectly process the language sounds they learn as infants and toddlers. Dr. Williams founded the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, and her research over the years has been supported by three separate grants from the National Institutes of Health.

In 1983 she was recognized nationally for the work that went into establishing the hospital program: she was presented the American Speech and Hearing Foundation Award for Outstanding Clinical Achievements in Human Communication Science and Disorders.