WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Jan. 15, 2020 — West Liberty University held a midyear Convocation and General Faculty Meeting at noon today in Kelly Theatre that brought the campus community together for updates from the president and his cabinet.
President Stephen Greiner began the meeting with comments from Vice President of Enrollment Scott Cook, who shared an overall positive message.
“There were only two schools in West Virginia that showed an overall increase in enrollment over the past four years and West Liberty was one of them. We must continue to share our good news that West Liberty provides an affordable education on a safe campus with a caring environment for students and their families,” he said.
Following Cook, Vice President of Finance and Administration Roberta Linger reported on a successful audit and shared other accounting news with employees.
President Greiner then thanked the faculty and staff for their work that made these successes possible. He next singled out three faculty members for excellence, presenting them with both a monetary award and plaque.
- Matthew Zdilla of the College of Sciences, Faculty Excellence in Professional Activity Award
- Steve Criniti of the College of Liberal Arts, Faculty Excellence in Service Award
- Chad Kuhns of the College of Sciences, Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award
Zdilla is an associate professor of biology and physician assistant studies and has taught at WLU since 2009. Most recently, he was named a finalist for West Virginia Professor of the Year. His laboratory is involved in research aiming to improve clinical procedures and discover new links between human structure and function. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh and his doctoral degree at New York Chiropractic College. He is a resident of Wheeling.
Kuhns is an associate professor of mathematics and joined WLU in the fall of 2014. He earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics at Freed-Hardeman University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics, both at Idaho State University. He serves as faculty advisor to the WLU chapter of the science honorary Chi Beta Phi and as Chair of the General Studies Assessment Committee. He resides in Valley Grove.
Criniti is a full professor of English and joined WLU in the fall of 2008. His areas of specialization include 20th century American literature, American ethnic literature, contemporary literature, and composition studies. In addition to teaching courses in these areas, he serves as primary coordinator and advisor for the English Education program. He earned a doctoral degree in English and comparative literature at University of Cincinnati, a master’s in English at the University of Dayton and a bachelor’s in English and professional communication at Wheeling Jesuit University. He resides in Wheeling.
Provost Dr. Brian Crawford then took a moment to introduce new faculty hired since fall to the audience. The three new faculty include:
- Sarah Alig of Wheeling, assistant professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology
- Katie Phillips of Prosperity, Pa., instructor of Accounting
- George Vopal of Wheeling, instructor of Mathematics
Chief Human Resources Officer Diana Harto took the podium and introduced new staff members hired since August 2019. They include:
- Charles Butler, certified mechanic
- Denver Schuler, accountant
- Lauralee Wiechman, administrative assistant
- Thomas Estlack, web designer
- Johnie Olkosky, student records assistant
- Andrew Miller, trades specialist-carpenter
- Brooke Cenkus, program coordinator Teacher Education
- Stephanie Hooper, general counsel
- Lori Gibson, administrative assistant
- Sally Ayob, instructional designer
- Maureen Golick, assistant to the provost
The convocation ended with comments from Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Special Projects Ron Witt who updated employees on the activities of the Employee Engagement Committee.
In closing, Dr. Darrin Cox shared news of Faculty Senate with the audience.