News & Media Relations http://westliberty.edu/news West Liberty University Fri, 23 Feb 2018 19:04:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 123977007 Classroom Named for Great Gala Donor WesBanco http://westliberty.edu/news/news/classroom-named-great-gala-donor-wesbanco/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:00:58 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10454 WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 23, 2018 — For four straight years, WesBanco has supported higher education by sponsoring West Liberty University’s annual Great Gala fundraiser. In gratitude for this consistent and significant support, WLU has named a classroom in its honor. “We are pleased to name a classroom in the Gary E. West College of … Read More

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WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 23, 2018 — For four straight years, WesBanco has supported higher education by sponsoring West Liberty University’s annual Great Gala fundraiser. In gratitude for this consistent and significant support, WLU has named a classroom in its honor.

From left, WLU Foundation member and WesBanco Vice President Jeremy West (also an alumnus), WesBanco CEO/President Todd Clossin, WLU President Stephen Greiner, Dean Mike Turrentine and business student Joni Lake stand near the WesBanco business classroom.

“We are pleased to name a classroom in the Gary E. West College of Business in honor of our title sponsor, WesBanco. The Great Gala is an elegant evening that recognizes the mutually beneficial relationship between the University and the surrounding community and we thank WesBanco for supporting its far-reaching goal of providing more degrees for our region,” said Dr. Stephen Greiner, WLU president.

Located in Main Hall, one of the busiest buildings on campus, the WesBanco Classroom now sports a bronze naming plaque just outside its doorway.

“We are honored to have a classroom in the Gary E. West College of Business named after our company. We enjoy our partnership with West Liberty University and feel that the Great Gala is one of the area’s premier annual events. Supporting the education of our future leaders is something that we, and the University take seriously. To be recognized for this investment is very much appreciated,” said President Todd Clossin, WesBanco’s CEO.

Designed as a theme party with a purpose, the Great Gala’s motif this spring is the 1964 British Invasion and it will take place April 28, 2018. Proceeds will go toward the university’s technological needs.

“This year’s Gala supports the next phase of the University technology plan, focusing on capital needs that integrate with our high-tech infrastructure,” explained Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jason Koegler.

Last summer, WLU embarked on a nearly $1 million campus-wide technology infrastructure update. The Alcatel-Lucent equipment includes state-of-the art data access points in all public buildings. Fortinet network security was added to provide end-to-end, wired and wireless security.

“We are so thankful to WesBanco for leading the way with sponsorships yet again,” Koegler added. “Last year, we enjoyed the support of more than 45 corporate and individual sponsors and a waiting list of guests and WesBanco’s support is a big part of our success.”

According to Koegler, the first seven Galas raised more than $250,000 for scholarships, capital improvements and other university initiatives.

Those interested in supporting WLU’s Great Gala 2018 are encouraged to contact Koegler soon via email at jkoegler@westliberty.edu.

Held in Oglebay Resort’s Glessner Auditorium, the Great Gala includes an exquisite meal, open bar and music. This spring the music is by the band Beatlemania Magic, a national touring tribute band honoring the Beatles. Decorations will copy the mid-1960 pop culture.

To learn more about the event, visit the Great Gala webpage or call 304-336-8888.

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Alumnus Matt Welsch Wins Food Network Competition http://westliberty.edu/news/news/alumnus-matt-welsch-wins-food-network-competition/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 19:46:53 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10448 WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 22, 2018 — Wheeling entrepreneur and WLU alumnus, Matt Welsch, has won an episode of celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s popular TV show, Guy’s Grocery Games. The show involves four chefs cooking and competing in a grocery store. Welsch is the owner and head chef of Wheeling’s Vagabond Kitchen, conveniently located at the … Read More

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Alumnus Matt Welsch is well-known in Wheeling, and on the Food Network, as the Vagabond Chef.

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 22, 2018 — Wheeling entrepreneur and WLU alumnus, Matt Welsch, has won an episode of celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s popular TV show, Guy’s Grocery Games. The show involves four chefs cooking and competing in a grocery store.

Welsch is the owner and head chef of Wheeling’s Vagabond Kitchen, conveniently located at the corner of 12th and Market streets in Downtown Wheeling. He graduated cum laude from WLU in 2002 with a liberal arts degree and started cooking right here on the Hilltop, working in the cafeteria.

His Feb. 21 televised win involved a challenge to come up with two winning courses with only $40 to spend on in an episode titled, Budget Wars. He walked away with the big prize of $20,000.

Part of the challenge involved the limited time he was allotted for shopping in the store, cooking the food and serving the meal to the panel of three judges and Guy — that’s a total of eight plates of chef-inspired food for $40!

His winning menu included blue cheese mac and cheese with bacon, and a second course of a pork chop topped with a grilled green apple and veal demi-glace, served with a side of cheesy mashed potatoes. Welsch said that version of this prize plate is already on the Vagabond’s menu, by the way.

Welsch has been hard at work in the restaurant business locally since he first opened the Vagabond in June 2014. Before that he traveled an worked in many restaurants around the country.

What does he plan to do with his winnings?

“I want to do something special for my staff and family, then the rest goes right back into the business,” he said.

Producers for the TV show found Welsch on Instagram, where he maintains an active Vagabond Kitchen online presence (instagram.com/vagabondchef). The restaurant is located at 1201 Market Street and specializes in “handcrafted food rooted in the local community.”

Hours are from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Tuesday – Friday and from 4 – 10 p.m. Saturday. Or call 304.905.6173.

To read more about the competition and Welsch, click here for writer Steve Novotney’s interview (Steve’s another well-known alumnus!).

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Criminal Justice Intern Learns from the Pros http://westliberty.edu/news/news/criminal-justice-intern-learns-pros/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 21:04:38 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10444 WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 21, 2018 — West Liberty University Campus Police is providing more than safety to campus with the addition of student intern Nate Burkes, a senior criminal justice major. “It’s great for students who are considering a career in police work or criminal justice, to have a chance to work in a … Read More

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WLU Police Officer Jim Kelso (left) has been working with student intern Nate Burkes on his criminal justice internship.

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 21, 2018 — West Liberty University Campus Police is providing more than safety to campus with the addition of student intern Nate Burkes, a senior criminal justice major.

“It’s great for students who are considering a career in police work or criminal justice, to have a chance to work in a small operation like ours. They see the inter-workings of administration. How police deal with taking calls and responding and other day-to-day duties of police,” said Chief Joseph Montemurro, who leads the campus police.

Campus police also respond to calls in the surrounding town of West Liberty, which has about 1,500 residents.

Burkes is earning class credit but no salary for his internship.

“I need the hands-on experience and it’s helpful for me as I get ready to graduate. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with the West Liberty University police department,” Burkes said.

Burkes found inspiration for criminal justice profession at home. His mother Carla Burkes worked in corrections and Homeland Security. She continues to work in the field of security on his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

So far, Burkes has spent much of his time riding in the squad car with Officer Jim Kelso as he goes about his day.

Formerly a Resident Assistant for two years, Burkes also met the mayor and town officials and is looking forward to working some night shifts in the near future.

Also a football player, Burkes was a linebacker for the Hilltopper Athletics for three years. He transferred into WLU after spending his freshman year at another college in Ohio.

“I’m looking forward to May and graduation. I plan on going on for a master’s in criminal justice next, then working with inner city youth or maybe the FBI,” he added. Another area of interest for Burkes is the border patrol work.

The Campus Police is dedicated to providing excellence in service to the campus community and provides 24-hour-a-day patrol to the grounds, parking lots, residence halls, academic buildings and the faculty housing area. Located in Shaw Hall, the Campus Police includes six full-time officers and several part-time.

Criminal Justice is a program within the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences in WLU’s College of Liberal Arts. For more information, please contact Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Director of the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Criminal Justice programs, Dr. Keith Bell at keith.bell@westliberty.edu or 304.336.8376.

 

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New MBA in Accounting Focuses on Fraud, Forensics http://westliberty.edu/news/news/new-mba-accounting-focuses-fraud-forensics/ Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:37:08 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10436 WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 20, 2018 — West Liberty University’s Gary E. West College of Business is offering a new online MBA tract that opens exciting career opportunities for professionals interested in forensic accounting. “This new tract offers a accounting concentration and prepares students for the next step in becoming a certified fraud examiner, a … Read More

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WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 20, 2018 — West Liberty University’s Gary E. West College of Business is offering a new online MBA tract that opens exciting career opportunities for professionals interested in forensic accounting.

“This new tract offers a accounting concentration and prepares students for the next step in becoming a certified fraud examiner, a growing field of need in the world of accounting,” said Dr. Gregory Chase, online MBA program director. “We are also proud to be recognized by the Association for Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) as a fraud education partner.”

The new accounting tract of the online MBA begins in August 2018.

The MBA in accounting is a 30-credit hour program with six core classes of 3-credit hours each and four classes of 3-credit hours each in the concentration. The four classes in the accounting concentration are in forensic accounting and fraud examination. 

“Once a student completes the accounting tract they will have their MBA and be better prepared for the certified fraud examiner exam if they choose to take that career path. Fraud examiners are in huge demand and we are grateful to accounting instructor Jim Crumbacher for developing our new accounting track,” Chase said.

Local marketing professional Joshua Six appreciates the fact that WLU’s MBA is online and convenient.

Crumbacher has been with WLU since 2008 and is himself an associate certified fraud examiner.

Classes in the MBA in accounting tract also are attractive to professionals who already have an MBA, for example, those only wanting the accounting classes to prepare for the Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) Exam, or those seeking to satisfy the requirement of 150 credit hours (undergraduate and graduate) to become a licensed CPA.

Current CPAs also can sign up for the new online accounting classes as convenient continuing education classes.

“These new accounting classes even start in non-tax seasons in consideration of the professional’s work calendar,” added Chase.

Classes are in a seven-week format with six terms over the year. The accounting classes for the MBA in accounting will be offered one at a time each year in May, July, August, and October to allow students time to focus on their study.

“This format permits students to finish the MBA in accounting in less than two years so it is an attractive way to earn an MBA while working full-time and it’s great for busy professionals. We also believe that this new accounting tract helps meet the business needs of our region and beyond,” Chase said.

The MBA program also offers a management tract, which graduated its first class recently and earned high marks from both students and assessment programs. The inaugural class scored nearly 20 percent higher than 36 other online peer MBA programs on a national outbound assessment exam.

“We are very proud of our MBA program and invite interested professionals to contact us and find out why we believe it to be a smart option,” said Chase.

For those interested in enrolling in the MBA, Dr. Chase can be reached at 304-336-8536 or at mba@westliberty.edu. Or visit the MBA online portal here

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Play to Premiere at Kelly Theatre http://westliberty.edu/news/news/play-premiere-kelly-theatre/ Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:21:08 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10430 West Liberty, W.Va., Feb. 16, 2018 — The West Liberty University Hilltop Players will offer theatre fans the opportunity to enjoy a world premiere of the new play “18 Victoria” by Cody Daigle-Orians this February at Kelly Theatre. A Louisiana-born playwright, educator and arts programmer, Daigle-Orians is now living in Hartford, Conn. and will attend the … Read More

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West Liberty, W.Va., Feb. 16, 2018 — The West Liberty University Hilltop Players will offer theatre fans the opportunity to enjoy a world premiere of the new play “18 Victoria” by Cody Daigle-Orians this February at Kelly Theatre.

A Louisiana-born playwright, educator and arts programmer, Daigle-Orians is now living in Hartford, Conn. and will attend the opening night performance. The audience will have a chance to meet him at a coffee and pastries reception just after the Feb. 22 show.

The new production uses a trio of interlocking monologues to tell the story of three siblings — Ben, Catherine and Stephen — who are struggling to piece together their broken family relationship in the wake of their father’s untimely death. But a larger crisis looms.

The need to come to grips is intensified due to the news that a huge asteroid is projected to collide with the earth in less than three weeks, setting off devastating consequences for life on earth. The three siblings scramble to mend their family ties and make sense of the devastating secret that originally tore them apart. 

A huge asteroid is projected to collide with the earth in less than three weeks, setting off devastating consequences for life on earth. The three siblings attempt to mend their family ties and make sense of the devastating secret that originally tore them apart in the brief time left until the destruction of the earth.

Maggie Balsley, who is professor of voice in WLU’s College of Arts and Communication, has worked with the small cast of three student performers to tell the story of siblings who are trying to deal with dark happenings in the past that fractured their family.

From left Alex Gordon, Grant VanCamp and Calllie Carroll are shown in limbo in a slide used in the projections of the show, according to director Maggie Balsley. 

Callie Carroll, a junior theatre major from Morgantown will be playing Catherine and Grant VanCamp, a sophomore theatre major from Follansbee, will play Ben. 

The third character, Stephen, will be portrayed by recent graduate Alex Gordon of Wheeling, who majored in music technology with a piano emphasis. Gordon also composed the original music score. 

The set designer for “18 Victoria” is Chris Rees, a junior theatre major from Follansbee and the lighting and projection design is by Alex Franke, a senior theatre and human biology major from Wheeling. Senior theater major Ingrid Young also is involved in the production, performing the duties of photographer. She is from Martinsburg, W.Va. 

As the characters share their stories of facing the last days of the human race, they also grapple with memories of their father, a troubled childhood, and their shared inability to connect as adults. In an apocalyptic present, it’s the wreckage of the past that endures.

Times and dates for “18 Victoria” are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22-23 and March 1 – 3 and 3 p.m., Sunday, March 4.

Tickets for all Hilltop Players productions are available through Brown Paper Tickets online. For more information, please call the box office at 304.336.8277.

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Criminal Justice Alumna Leads WV Intelligence Fusion Center http://westliberty.edu/news/news/criminal-justice-alumna-leads-wv-intelligence-fusion-center/ Thu, 15 Feb 2018 15:58:58 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10424 WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 15, 2018 — West Liberty University alumna Jessica Griffith made the news this week when she was selected to lead the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, an agency brought to the state after 9/11 to gather information and combat all forms of crime. A former State Police intelligence analyst, she earned … Read More

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WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 15, 2018 — West Liberty University alumna Jessica Griffith made the news this week when she was selected to lead the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center, an agency brought to the state after 9/11 to gather information and combat all forms of crime.

Jessica Griffith ’06

A former State Police intelligence analyst, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice at WLU and earned a Master of Science degree in criminal justice from Fairmont State University.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Keith Bell, who has been with WLU since 2011, is a fusion liaison officer and has served in this capacity since 2013.

“There are six regions in Fusion and we are in two. Our job is to report on any crime statistics, crisis information and work toward crisis intervention,” he said. “I see Jessica at our quarterly meetings that take place at WLU’s Highlands Center.”

A 2006 graduate, Griffith also was a cheerleader and tennis player for the Hilltoppers.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected to serve in this capacity,” Griffith said. “My goal is to strengthen partnerships with those agencies who may be underutilizing our services, and educate those who are unaware of our resources and capabilities so that we are able to better assist in helping to protect West Virginians.”

Griffith has been a major part of the Fusion Center’s success. Perhaps her key contribution has been to develop West Virginia’s Fusion Liaison Officer (FLO) program. FLOs embrace the “See Something, Say Something” concept. The program provides a platform for law enforcement, first responders, and others in both the public and private sectors to strengthen information sharing.

The West Virginia FLO program has been recognized both locally and nationally for assisting the response to numerous recent natural disasters. Griffith was honored in 2016 for her outreach efforts and dedication to working with private sector partners, receiving the Partnership Award from the West Virginia International Association of Special Investigation Units.

Griffith established the FLO program following her 2011 hiring as Homeland Security Manager. She has also served as Supervisory Analyst and FLO Coordinator. Griffith previously worked for the West Virginia State Police as an Intelligence Analyst. Griffith is also a graduate of the Fusion Center Leaders Program.

“My father had a very successful career in law enforcement and criminal investigations. His drive and determination to protect the citizens of this great state inspired me to follow in his footsteps,” Griffith said. “I feel fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to continue working in a field about which I feel so passionately.”

Watching the events of 9/11 unfold on television, meanwhile, instilled in Griffith a resolve “to help protect the United States from future terrorist attacks.” As Director, Griffith said she will seek to expand awareness about Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) tools available to everyday citizens, “since the West Virginia Intelligence/Fusion Center is the repository for SARs in the state.”    

Griffith is just the second director of the W.Va. Intelligence Fusion Center since its founding, 10 years ago next month. She succeeds Thom Kirk, who remains the deputy secretary and general counsel for Military Affairs and Public Safety. The Fusion Center is overseen by the Cabinet Department’s Office of the Secretary.

“For nearly a decade, the West Virginia Fusion Center has received countless awards and accolades from across the world, and its work in West Virginia behind-the-scenes has been stellar,” said Secretary Sandy. “I am confident that Ms. Griffith, as the new director of the Fusion Center, will continue the tradition of assisting all West Virginia and our nation’s law enforcement officers.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Information based on West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety’s Press Release.

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Nutting Gallery Welcomes Polish Artists in Abstract Exhibition http://westliberty.edu/news/news/nutting-gallery-welcomes-polish-artists-abstract-exhibition/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:41:44 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10414 WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 13, 2018 — West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery opens a new exhibition featuring three visiting Polish artists, Michalina Wawrzyczek-Klasik, Michał Klasik and Artur Masternak on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The exhibition is entitled: Directly and the opening reception takes place from 5:30 – 7 p.m. The artists are first time visitors to WLU and the United States … Read More

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WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 13, 2018 — West Liberty University’s Nutting Gallery opens a new exhibition featuring three visiting Polish artists, Michalina Wawrzyczek-Klasik, Michał Klasik and Artur Masternak on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The exhibition is entitled: Directly and the opening reception takes place from 5:30 – 7 p.m.

From left, Martyna Matusiak, Michalena Wawrzyczek-Klasik, Bob Villamagna, Michal Klasik and Artur Masternak are shown in the Nutting Gallery.

The artists are first time visitors to WLU and the United States and spent six days in New York City prior to arriving on the hilltop campus.

“We are fascinated by this country and familiar with the United States from movies and media so we appreciate the opportunity to be here and exhibit our work,” said Masternak, who is a Ph.D. at the Katowice School of Technology, a technical and artistic private higher school in Silesia, which offers both bachelor and master degree programs.

Masternak teaches graphic art and painting. He and the other Polish artists were invited to exhibit their work by WLU Associate Professor of Art Martyna Matusiak when she was traveling in Poland with students for summer study abroad.

“It’s great to have Michalina, Michal and Artur here. We planned the exhibit for a long time, and I invite the whole campus community to visit our Nutting Gallery. This exhibition is worth a trip across campus to the Hall of Fine Arts,” said Matusiak, whose parents still reside in Katowice, which is the capital city of the Silesian province of Poland. Matusiak joined WLU in 2012.

This drypoint etching was created by Michalena W. Klasik and is entitled: Artefacts Object I.

The other two visiting artists, Michalina Wawrzyczek-Klasik and Michal Klasik are married. Michalina studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, earning a diploma in 2010. She uses painting, silkscreen printing, digital printing and video-painting for creating installations and objects. Working with monumental forms, she creates sign and space designs. (See michalinawklasik.com.)

Her husband, Michal teaches intermedial sculpture. He is a graduate of Silesian University, Art Institute in Cieszyn with Diploma of Fine Arts with a major in sculpture and second major in ceramics. (See michalklasik.blogspot.com.)

Artur Masternak created this abstract work entitled: Male 5.

He uses sculpture, drawing, video and sound to create installations and objects that are interactive. He’s involved in a group project, “Academy sounds of the Earth” connecting sounds, sculpture and ceramics to the earth itself. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad and is a member of the Polish Artists Society.

“In the context of our exhibition the perception of an image does not mean faster and easier. Our projects have a direct impact on the recipient with the wider picture (object). They appeal to the sensibility, imagination, the ability to use a variety of associations. Operating largely beyond words,” explains the artists in their formal artists’ statement.

Directly was curated by retired professor of art, Bob Villamagna, and will be on display through March 8. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., weekdays or by appointment and all Nutting Gallery exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Located in the Hall of Fine Arts, the Nutting Gallery is dedicated to educating, enriching and engaging students and the public through art exhibitions of the highest quality and to promoting the visual arts within the WLU community.  

For more information, please contact rvillama@westliberty.edu.

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Alumnus Alan Cline Earns Metropolitan Opera Audition http://westliberty.edu/news/news/alumnus-alan-cline-earns-metropolitan-opera-audition/ Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:20:12 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10406 Area singer Alan Cline has won the right to compete in the semi-final round of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Cline, a baritone, earned this tremendous opportunity by being chosen as the 2017-18 regional winner from the Great Lakes Region. In April, he will compete with other regional winners on the stage of … Read More

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Area singer Alan Cline has won the right to compete in the semi-final round of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Alan Cline studied voice with Dr. Linda Cowan.

Cline, a baritone, earned this tremendous opportunity by being chosen as the 2017-18 regional winner from the Great Lakes Region. In April, he will compete with other regional winners on the stage of the world-famous opera house in New York City.

The story of his success is filled with irony. Cline is a relative “late bloomer” in the operatic world as he has been pursuing a singing career for only six or seven years. His first visit to the Met actually will be when he walks onto the main stage to sing in the auditions.

“I’ve never been to a show at the Met,” he said, noting that his introduction will be “to walk straight onto the stage, which scares me a little bit.”

After winning the regional round, Cline thought the next phase of competition would occur on a secondary stage of the Manhattan opera house. However, he learned he will appear on the Met’s main stage. This information, he admitted, “scared the heck out of me. That was a surprise that kind of opened my eyes wider.”

Cline, who grew up in Wellsburg, now lives in Mount Olivet. He works at C.A. House Music in St. Clairsville, plus teaches “lots and lots of voice lessons.”

Now, the West Liberty University alumnus will devote much of his time to prepare for the next Met auditions. He hasn’t chosen his vocal selections yet, but anticipates singing a repertoire similar to what he presented at the district and regional levels of the competition.

In preparation for the finals, Cline said he has had an “open lesson” with Dr. Linda Cowan, his former voice teacher at WLU. He also plans to meet with his former teachers at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and then go to New York City to work with his vocal coach’s former teacher.

Cline plans to choose “the four best possible things that I can sing in a cohesive unit that I can present to the judges.” He added, “It’s going to be a whole team effort. I’ll have as many of my friends and colleagues hear me. I want to have just as many ears as possible in the decision making.”

The semi-final round of the auditions usually involves about 20 people, who are given piano accompaniment. Approximately 10 singers will go on to the finals, where they will be accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra when they compete on the last weekend in April, Cline said. The judges will select three to six grand champions.

In addition to winning a $15,000 grand prize, for competitors “one of the biggest things is exposure to agents,” he explained.

“Some will receive contracts through agencies.”

Signing a contract with an artist management agency and getting sent around the world to perform “would be my best goal,” he said.

Unlike the days when Wheeling native Eleanor Steber won first prize at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air and earned a Met contract in 1940, not many opera houses sign singers to exclusive contracts now, Cline said.

Cline never thought he would get this far in the auditions. “I anticipated I’d go to the district level, get some comments and try again next year,” he said.

He competed initially in the Pittsburgh District, along with a few dozen people. He and one other singer from the Pittsburgh District were picked to compete at the regional level.

He and six other singers participated in the Great Lakes Region auditions in Grand Rapids, Mich., in late January. He was the only entrant chosen to advance to the semi-final round.

Describing his mentors’ reaction to the exciting news, he said, “They lost it. I called Dr. Linda Cowan the moment I knew when I left the concert hall in Michigan.”

Benton Hess, senior vocal coach at the Eastman School, also is thrilled by his former student’s success. “It’s been quite a few years since he’s had someone in the finals,” Cline said.

Cowan, chair of WLU’s Department of Music and Theater, said the music department is proud of Cline. She commented, “Personally, I’m thrilled for him — this will bring big things his way. I know he will make a great showing in New York at the competition and he knows there are many fans rooting for him on the Hilltop!”

Cline studied instrumental music at West Liberty for a couple of years before pursuing operatic studies. Cowan noted, “Alan came in as the winner of the Wheeling Symphony Rachael Worby scholarship as a tuba major before switching to voice performance.”

Cowan said Cline had roles in WLU’s productions of “The Magic Flute” and “Hansel and Gretel.”In opera scenes, he played Scarpia in “Tosca” and Marcello in “La Boheme,” she said.

Cline, son of Ruth Ann and Wayne Cline of Wellsburg, graduated from Brooke High School in 2009 and received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from West Liberty in 2014. He earned a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in 2016. He served as an adjunct music instructor in New York State for a year before returning home to the Ohio Valley.

His wife, Lara Cline, is the new band director at Bellaire High School. She is a graduate of McGuffey High School in Washington County, Pa., and a graduate of West Liberty. “We met in marching band — of all the horrifying things,” he quipped.

NOTE: Here’s the link to the original article in the Wheeling News-Register. Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net

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Professor Invited to Share Military Research with International Audience http://westliberty.edu/news/news/professor-invited-share-military-research-international-audience/ Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:19:30 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10399 WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 9, 2018 — West Liberty University faculty member, Dr. Meleesa Wohleber, recently shared her research with elite military soldiers at an international meeting, the 4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance, held in Melbourne, Australia. “I applaud Dr. Wohleber on her recent research and presentation in Australia. It was an incredible … Read More

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WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 9, 2018 — West Liberty University faculty member, Dr. Meleesa Wohleber, recently shared her research with elite military soldiers at an international meeting, the 4th International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance, held in Melbourne, Australia.

“I applaud Dr. Wohleber on her recent research and presentation in Australia. It was an incredible opportunity to represent West Liberty University professionally,” said Dr. David Hanna, WLU Athletic Training program director and her supervisor. “The fact she was able to make a connection while there and orchestrate opportunities for data collection and research to our students in Quantico is icing on the cake. I feel very fortunate to have Dr. Wohleber as part of our faculty.”

Dr. Meleesa Wohleber is shown presenting her research to an international audience of military researchers, athletic trainers, physical therapists, faculty and other experts. 

The gathering is considered the most important international conference in applied military human performance research, attracting experts from all over the world.

An assistant professor of Athletic Training and resident of Bethlehem, W.Va., Wohleber was invited to present her study on physical characteristics in Special Operations Forces that predicted lower and upper body injury and how injury prevention programs targeting these areas could reduce the risk of injury in our elite military groups. 

“I was invited to speak on the military research that I completed over the last four years just prior to arriving at West Liberty, when I was part of the injury prevention and performance optimization research team at the University of Pittsburgh Neuromuscular Research Laboratory and was embedded with the Special Operations Forces we were studying,” she explained. 

While there Wohleber met exercise physiologists, athletic trainers, physical therapists, researchers, faculty, and military from many other countries at the conference.

“Many of the same injury and performance characteristics and issues with force readiness are the same challenges in other countries and their military, so having that common challenge and building this research network to address injury risk and physical performance internationally was inspiring. I even met an athletic training faculty from UNLV (University of Nevada) whose parents were West Liberty University alumni!” she added.

“I also got in contact with a researcher who is an athletic trainer doing research with the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va. that has a student volunteer opportunity for athletic training students to participate in data collection as part of a large research study. We are hoping to take advantage of this research opportunity for our WLU athletic training students,” she said. 

Dr. Wohleber is shown with her research poster.

“I am so thankful for the support of the West Liberty Foundation, President Greiner, and Dr. Brian Crawford for the opportunity to represent WLU at this meeting and the opportunity to bring back anything that can contribute to the betterment of our Athletic Training program curriculum and the students here at WLU,” she said.

Prior to joining WLU last fall, Wohleber worked at the University of Pittsburgh as faculty and prior to that she was an athletic trainer at the University of Louisville and the United States Coast Guard Training Center.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from West Virginia Wesleyan College, a Master of Science in Kinesiology degree from James Madison University and doctoral degree in health sciences from Nova Southeastern University.

The Athletic Training Program is housed in the College of Education and Human Performance.

Established in 1837, West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest institution and offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs including master’s in education, physician assistant studies, criminology, biology, professional studies and an online MBA. For more information on WLU, please call 1.866.WESTLIB or visit westliberty.edu.

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Student Radio Station WGLZ wins Award and Grant http://westliberty.edu/news/news/student-radio-station-wglz-wins-award-grant/ Tue, 06 Feb 2018 21:35:22 +0000 http://westliberty.edu/news/?p=10394 WEST LIBERTY, Feb. 6, 2018 — West Liberty University’s radio station WGLZ 91.5 is celebrating a “trifecta,” as its faculty adviser Jeff Pfister describes it, from its work in 2017. After another successful year recognizing College Radio Day in October, WGLZ was named a recipient of the Spirit of College of Radio Award by the … Read More

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WGLZ station is crowded with students including Walker Polivka, seated center front. At far left front is instructor Jeff Pfister.

WEST LIBERTY, Feb. 6, 2018 — West Liberty University’s radio station WGLZ 91.5 is celebrating a “trifecta,” as its faculty adviser Jeff Pfister describes it, from its work in 2017.

After another successful year recognizing College Radio Day in October, WGLZ was named a recipient of the Spirit of College of Radio Award by the College Radio Foundation, who also provided the station with a $1,000 grant last week.

WGLZ General Manager, sophomore broadcasting student Walker Polivka, was also recognized with the Abe Voron Award, a $3,000 national scholarship by the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) for his ongoing efforts in the studio.

“It feels very good,” Pfister said. “We have been doing excellent work here at West Liberty, and I feel that it’s only just for us to finally be entered into that category for recognition.” The separate grant money will be used to purchase portable speakers for the station.

Around 400 schools participated in some way for College Radio Day last year. WGLZ’s 48-hour marathon helped it stand out, as it was one of six college radio stations to receive the Spirit of College Radio Award. Walker Polivka first ran a 24-hour marathon in 2016.

“I remember when Walker was in class and we were first talking about the college radio days, and I said, ‘Well, what if we were to do a 24-hour marathon,’ and there were about a dozen students in the classroom, and I could kind of read the nonverbal that were going on with many people, and suddenly this hand slowly raised up, and it was Walker, and he said, ‘I’ll do it,’” Pfister recalled.

“This year, Walker was still interested in his marathon, and we had the students of COM 204 and 329 participate in a 24-hour marathon leading up to his,” Pfister said.

WGLZ raised $2,200 leading up to and during the marathon, which was divided and donated to the American Legion Post 52 and the Bellaire Eagles No. 371, both in Bellaire, Ohio, Polivka’s hometown.  

Polivka originally “had no clue what to expect” when he started at WGLZ. “I was walking into my major blindly, almost,” he said. He began his college career in 2016, when he was enrolled in the radio production class.

“I enjoyed the class, stuck with the radio station, and have had a lot of fun and educational experiences,” Polivka said. “It has really helped me grow as a person.”

“Our discipline of communication is very competitive,” Pfister said. “So, the field is expecting the students to have experience. You get the experience outside the classroom. So at West Liberty, we really have a lot of great laboratories to experiment and to build resume talking points. Walker has taken every advantage of that from day one in terms of coming in and recognizing what his interests were and how he could benefit from that.”

Polivka was one of nine students across seven universities in the country selected for the BEA scholarship in November. “I figured they had already picked a winner because I hadn’t heard back, but when I did I was pretty excited,” Polivka said. “My hard work is finally starting to pay off, and it’s nice to get this recognition.”

“People hear ‘communications’ and think, ‘Oh, all you do is talk,’” Polivka explained. “Well, there’s quite a bit more to it than that, and things like this will help students realize that.”

Pfister, Polivka and the rest of the station’s team are already thinking of College Radio Day 2018 and how they can keep things fresh. They’re currently planning events like “Eat to the Beats” in West Liberty’s Marketplace and the potential return of their March Madness basketball bracket competition in the spring.

“A lot of people look at the radio station and say that we’re exclusively trying to prepare somebody to go into the field of radio. But at the ‘core of the core,’ as I like to say, we’re trying to help people become better communicators,” Pfister said. “Regardless of where you want to go, and regardless of what you’re going to do in your career, radio and what you’ve done with it becomes a talking point on that resume. Anybody can get involved.  Participating in campus media — maybe that’s the newspaper, maybe that’s the TV station, maybe it’s the radio station — helps you build those talking points and they’re valuable regardless of where you go.” 

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