The Jasper N. Deahl Award is an alumni recognition program designed to honor College of Education and Human Services alumni for demonstrated leadership in their personal career, engagement in their community and/or loyalty to the state of West Virginia or WVU. The 2016 recipients are Harry Bostic, Joanie Davis, Candi Johnson, Ruth Lewis, Joy Myers, Laura VanHorn, Lonny Watro and Mary Beth Sickles (honorary recipient).
Harry (Hank) Bostic is a certified rehabilitation counselor, licensed social worker in WV, and certified community work incentives coordinator. Harry has been working professionally in the rehabilitation field since his graduation starting as a disability program navigator for West Virginia University Research Corporation in 2006, a community work incentives coordinator specialist for West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities in 2007, a rehabilitation counselor for West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services in 2008, rehabilitation program specialist for West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services in 2010, and in his current position as a community work incentives coordinator specialist/employment program specialist at Disability Network Southwest Michigan since 2013. Harry was awarded the President’s Call to Service Award from George W. Bush in 2004, a volunteer service award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation for dedicating over 4,000 hours to volunteer services.
Dr. Joanie Davis is board certified in audiology and owns Davis Family Hearing, in Spring Hill, FL. She graduated with her doctorate degree in audiology from West Virginia University in 2008 and has been practicing audiology in Florida ever since. Dr. Davis has two rules: (1) No one leaves not hearing, and (2) No one leaves not smiling. She works closely with Tampa General Hospital for cochlear implant and bone anchored instrument surgeries, with several universities to train upcoming doctors, and she is on the board for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Florida, Inc. She gives credit to the audiology department at WVU for providing her with the excellent knowledge base and professionalism that she needed to be able to do anything she wanted to when she graduated.
Candi Johnson holds a B.S. in family resources and education from West Virginia University (1979) and completed postgraduate work at Wheeling Jesuit University and George Washington University. Candi spent her career as a human resource consultant with over 30 years’ experience in media, civilian enterprise contacts, retail sales and the law and health care industries. Currently, she works part-time at the local library as a member of the management team and spends her free time doing volunteer genealogical work for lineage and historical societies, as well as fostering, transporting, and arranging home visits for small dog rescue, and fundraising for various organizations.
Ruth Lewis earned her undergraduate degree in 1955 in Elementary Classroom 1-9, her master’s degree in Elementary Education in 1956, and her Ed.D. in Reading and Higher Education in 1970, all from West Virginia University. She began her career teaching primary school in a non-graded, two-room school in Brandonville, West Virginia. She then went on to teach as a professor of education at West Liberty State College from 1960 to 1976, serving as chairperson of the Department of Education for four of those years. In 1976, Ruth joined Brooke County Public Schools as the Reading/Language Arts Supervisor, until her retirement from Brooke County in 1989. From 1989-1995, Ruth again taught at West Liberty State College, as an adjunct professor. Ruth has served as a past president for the West Virginia Reading Association, the Brooke County Association of Retired School Employees, the Friends of Brooke County Public Library (current), and as the clerk of Session at First Presbyterian Church, Wellsburg (18 years).
Joy Myers is a West Virginia native, and her “roots” home is still in the hills. Born in St. Albans on the banks of Coal River near its confluence with the Great Kanawha, she graduated from South Charleston High School, attended Marshall University for one year and received her B.S. in Education from West Virginia University in 1954. Joy began her teaching career as a substitute teacher in Fort Knox, KY, where her husband was stationed. She taught elementary school full-time in Columbus, OH, while her husband attended medical school. The couple settled in Circleville, OH, where Joy raised her family while participating in numerous social, academic, and professional organizations in her community, her adopted state and nationally. Joy completed necessary postgraduate education and became a licensed social worker; she used those skills to serve as the prevention counselor for Pickaway County (Ohio) Schools for 10 years.
Laura VanHorn earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education in early childhood in 1988 and her master’s in education administration in 1992, both from West Virginia University. She began her teaching career in Monongalia County in 1988, first serving as a substitute teacher, before moving to Riverside Elementary where she taught for 10 years. For the past 18 years, Laura has been teaching kindergarten at North Elementary School in Morgantown, WV, and also serves as the school’s garden coordinator and WVU teacher education coordinator. Laura is also an adjunct professor in the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University. Laura became a National Board Certified teacher in 2007 and now serves as a mentor to current candidates and leads a WVU mentor group for pre-K teachers seeking literacy certification. She is a 2014 Arch Coal Award winner.
Lonny Watro received a four-year state senatorial scholarship to attend Frostburg State University, where she majored in mathematics and minored in computer science and physics. Following graduation, Lonny worked for an aerospace company in Silver Spring, M.D., which built flight simulators for the U.S. government and allies. She was the first female engineer to work in the tactical group in this company. Lonny married her husband, Richard Watro, 34 years ago, at which time she began working with another aerospace company in Rocket Center, West Virginia. She advanced from a business COBOL programmer to a ballistics engineer, designing solid rocket motors. After approximately eight years, Lonny began her career in education, receiving a master’s degree and certification in technology education from West Virginia University in 2004. She first began working at the secondary level at the board of education, supporting teachers and the computers throughout the schools in Alleghany County, Maryland. She then taught middle school mathematics before moving into higher education.
Mary Beth Sickles earned her Bachelor of Science in journalism from West Virginia University in 1989. After college, Mary Beth went on to work as a marketing assistant and guest services coordinator and as a specialty leasing manager for Glimcher Realty Trust in Morgantown, West Virginia. Mary Beth then joined the West Virginia Public Theatre in Morgantown as the Managing Director. In 2010, Mary Beth joined the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University as the Alumni Relations and Special Events Coordinator. Over the past five years, Mary Beth has served as an arm between our college and its alumni. As one alumni stated, “It is truly because of your emails from CEHS to its alumni that I became interested again in the ‘goings on’ of the College.” It is because of Mary Beth’s hard work organizing events, coordinating alumni gatherings, managing our student ambassadors, and providing ongoing communications for our alumni, faculty, staff, and students that CEHS has continued to connect and involve its many constituents.
For more on Jasper N. Deahl Award past recipients and nomination information, please visit the Jasper N. Deahl Award page.