Message from Dean Gypsy Denzine


As commencement approaches, the College of Education and Human Services is preparing to send 357 education and human service professionals into the workplace. Regardless of where they choose to go, we’re confident that our graduates have the professional preparation they need to flourish in their chosen careers and to help their communities to prosper.

This month’s e-news will introduce you to our upcoming commencement speaker, Dr. Frank Devono, the superintendent of Monongalia County Schools. Dr. Devono is a lifelong West Virginian, educational expert and two-time alumnus of our College.

Also, you will read about five more of our alumni who will be recognized as this year’s Jasper N. Deahl Awardees at our CEHS Alumni Dinner on May 5, 2017. This year’s recipients of the Deahl Award have distinguished themselves at both the state and national levels for their service as counselors and educators, and we look forward to sharing their stories of success with you.

Finally, we’ll celebrate the work of our students and faculty members, who work to make our College and our communities better on a daily basis. We’ll share the story of one of our graduates, Danielle Poling, as well as one of our faculty members, Dr. Melissa Sherfinski.

While we bid a “see you soon” to the class of 2017, we continue to prepare the next successful group of future alumni, even through the summer. Thank you for your support of CEHS as we continue to shape our communities, state and nation through the important work that we do.

Devono to speak at CEHS Commencement

Dr. Frank Devono, superintendent of Monongalia County Schools, will speak at CEHS’s 2017 Commencement, set for Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 9 a.m. in the West Virginia University Coliseum.

Devono is a two-time graduate of CEHS, having earned both his master’s in education administration and doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the College. Prior to his 12 years of service as a superintendent, Devono was the administrative liaison for Harrison County Schools and a school principal for 25 years.

Five alumni selected as 2017 Jasper N. Deahl Award recipients

The West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services is pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2017 Jasper N. Deahl Award, which honors CEHS alumni for demonstrated leadership in their personal careers, engagement in their communities and/or loyalty to the state of West Virginia or WVU. The 2017 awardees are Eleanor Green, Eric Kincaid, Eric Murphy, Candace Rotruck and Richard Walls.

Eleanor Green earned her bachelor’s in social work and master’s in counseling from WVU and proudly marched in the WVU band, before pursuing a dream of living and working in Washington, D.C. After 12 years at home, Green pursued her substitute teacher’s certification and was later hired as a reading interventionist at North Elementary, a position she has held ever since. In her free time, Green volunteers through her church, 4-H and Scouting. Green’s volunteer work includes feeding the homeless and tutoring underprivileged children. She is the founder of the Winter Weather Posse, a Morgantown-based organization that helps Monongalia County senior citizens prepare their homes for inclement weather.

Student Spotlight: Danielle Poling

For some, the decision to attend West Virginia University is an unexpected surprise. For others, it’s something they’ve known all along.

Danielle Poling is one of those Mountaineers who had her eyes set on WVU all her life. A Core native, Poling grew up just 20 minutes outside of Morgantown and often came to campus with her mother, a WVU employee. 

Faculty Spotlight: Melissa Sherfinski

Dr. Melissa Sherfinski’s interest in becoming a researcher was sparked by her experience as a kindergarten teacher in Wisconsin amidst the advent of No Child Left Behind. It was then that Sherfinski noticed a palpable shift in how she was perceived as an educator.

“I felt that I went from a respected curriculum designer, colleague, community member and educator in a holistic sense, to somewhat of a first stop in the line of producing ready children to compete in the global knowledge economy,” Sherfinski said. “This repositioning of my role and identity as a teacher actually inspired me to read like mad about the social context of education.”