WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Jan. 26, 2022 — Each year the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia honors an outstanding faculty member from a West Virginia college or university and West Liberty University is honored to once again, claim one of these five.
The five finalists for the 2021 Professor of the Year as announced today in a press release from the Faculty Merit Foundation are: Linda Cowan, DMA, Professor of Music, West Liberty University; Micheal Fultz, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry, West Virginia State University; Michael Groves, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Nursing, Shepherd University; Dan Hollis, M.A., Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Marshall University; and Paul Rakes, Ph.D., Professor of History, West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
“I congratulate Dr. Cowan on her selection as a finalist for this prestigious award. She has brought honor to the College of Liberal and Creative Arts and to the entire university, and we wish her well as she continues through the candidate process that will determine the final selection for West Virginia’s 2021 Professor of the Year,” said W. Franklin Evans, WLU President.
Over the past seven years, WLU faculty members have been selected three times as the state’s Professor of the Year, and six times as a finalist in the statewide competition.
Interviews with the five candidates are being held on Monday, February 14, 2022. Traditionally, finalists are honored at a springtime banquet in Charleston, where the Professor of the Year is announced. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, plans for a banquet have not been determined.
Dr. Linda Cowan-Youssef holds the Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Indiana State University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
She has performed in the genres of opera, musical theater, theater, oratorio, and the concert hall. She has concertized extensively in New Jersey, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cowan created Hilltop Opera at WLU, where she has taught for 19 years, and directed many operatic and theatrical performances.
Cowan is chair of WLU’s Music and Theatre Department, and teaches private and class voice, diction, opera workshop, musical theater workshop, and vocal literature and pedagogy classes. Cowan previously taught at the West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts, and has been a frequent guest artist-teacher. She served the National Association of Teachers of Singing as the governor for West Virginia and as former president of the NATS Tri-States chapter. She currently performs with Voces Solis, a nonprofit chorus in Pittsburgh, and is in demand as a guest clinician for master classes and for All-State and All-State Chamber Choir auditions, Solo and Ensemble Festivals, etc.
Her passions include her outreach to elementary and middle-school students with her “Opera Improv” workshops, serving on the National Board of Alpha Chi, and being a member of Chapter AB-Weirton.
The Faculty Merit Foundation was created in 1984 to provide a means to recognize and reward innovation and creativity among the faculties of West Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. Through the Professor of the Year program, the outstanding achievements of those individuals are brought to the attention of the general public. A $10,000 cash award is given to the candidate selected as Professor of the Year, with smaller awards to the other finalists.
The Professor of the Year award is sponsored by: United Bank; Bowles Rice LLP; Greene, Ketchum, Farrell, Bailey & Tweel LLP; Maier Foundation; Graystone Consulting; and The Daywood Foundation, Inc. For additional information on the award, please call 304.347.2131.
To reach Professor Cowan, please email her at email@example.com.