WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Aug. 18, 2022 — West Liberty University began the 2022-2023 academic year with its annual Faculty-Staff Institute held today. The gathering took place at 9 a.m. in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC).
The focus of the event, which is planned by the Office of the Provost, is to offer information that will ensure a successful school year.
Dr. W. Franklin Evans, WLU President, delivered the State of the University address, opening with welcome and an overview of campus achievements to celebrate, as well as sharing initiatives that are still evolving.
Items to celebrate included:
- Surviving COVID-19
- Stabilizing the Budget
- Reaffirming specialized accreditations
- Completing the HLC Assurance Review
- Establishing Community Partnerships
- Creating Articulations with Other Higher Ed Institutions
Evans added other positive points such as WLU’s consistently high professional exam passing rates, the awards presented to WLU student-athletes, the ongoing DEI initiatives, grants received and increases in both graduate and international student enrollment.
Evans shared a list of other positive directions that are still evolving, including the Governor’s Enhancement Funds, the HEPC Funding Formula, Establishing an Office of Sponsored Programs, WLU’s Highlands Center and the Alumni Association.
Evans ended by noting that he was looking forward to a positive semester and that he plans on working hard to achieve his goals throughout the remainder of his contract.
Also updating campus on their specific areas were the following President’s Cabinet members: Katie Cooper, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Lori Hudson, Vice President of Fiscal Affairs, Angela Zambito-Hill, President WLU Foundation, Joe Rodella, Chief Information and Operations Officer, Jason Koegler, Vice President of External Affairs, Dr. Monique L. Akassi, Special Assistant to the President in charge of DEI and Strategic Initiatives and Dr. Catherine Monteroso, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.
In addition to the President’s Cabinet members’ information, the audience heard from Institutional Review Board (IRB) co-chairs Dr. Mitch Greco and Dr. Ryan Koenig who shared facts about research protocol.
Dr. Ann Saurbier then spoke briefly on the Higher Learning Commission process of accreditation. Saurbier is the Dean of the Gary E. West College of Business and coordinates the HLC process on campus.
The event gave Chief Human Resources Officer Diana Harto a chance to introduce new staff to the campus, including:
- Amanda Bennett, Director of Alumni Affairs
- George Blum, Administrative Assistant
- Tamara Bonar, Clinical Administrative Assistant
- Cory Bougher, Instructional Designer
- Jacob Davey, Sports Information Director
- Necol Dunson, Library Assistant
- Alicia Dutton, Custodian
- Donald Gilbert, Landscaper
- Matthew Hines, Trades Specialist
- Nichole Johnson, Custodian
- Kristie Komorowki, Speech Pathology Clinical Supervisor
- Jaclyn Lander, Administrative Assistant
- Jennifer Little, Accounts Payable Manager
- Marcie McAdams, Custodian
- Ashley Rebel, Assistant Acrobatics & Tumbling Coach
- Mark Spigarelli, Assistant Football Coach
- Cameron Timok, Assistant Wrestling Coach
- Logan Watson, Athletic Operations Specialist
- Linda Wincek, Administrative Assistant
Monteroso then introduced the new faculty. Assistant professors include: Dr. Allegra Cornaglia, Dr. Natasha Godkin, Hannah Hart, Dr. Nicole LaRue and Brittany Sobota. Instructors joining the university include, Jessica Davis and Michelle Yadrick. Visiting Professors include Dr. Mary Railing and Dr. Richard Talbert. Visiting Instructor is Alvin Simpson.
Faculty promotions and names of those who earned tenure were next:
Assistant professor promotions include: Dr. Ronald Hulewicz.
Associate professor promotion includes: Dr. Angie Curfman, Dr. Jason Metz, Dr. Deanna Schmitt, Dr. Napatsawan Nugent.
Full professor status promotions include: Dr. Lihua Chen, Dr. Sarah Schimmel, Dr. Aaron Anslow, Dr. Joseph Horzempa, Dr. Jeffrey Grubbs.
Faculty tenure was awarded to:
- Dr. Jeffrey Grubbs, Professor of Art Education
- Dr. Jason Metz, Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology
- Dr. Deanna Schmitt, Associate Professor of Biology
Before closing the program, President Evans joined Harto in announcing the Employee Engagement Committee Staff Recognition Award, reflecting the achievements of WLU employees.
Both the True Topper and the Customer Service awards include a cash prize of $200, provided by the WLU Foundation. The Top Team of employees receives a traveling trophy to display for the entire year.
- The Top Team Award went to the WLU custodial staff. Accepting the award was Michele Heath Custodial Supervisor,
- The Customer Service Award was presented to Kate Billings,
- The True Topper Award was presented to Chris McPherson, Director of Learning and Student Development Center
To view the entire Faculty-Staff Institute, please visit Topperstation.com.