By Jalyn Bolyard, Distribution Manager
The College of Liberal Arts (CoLA) has many changes and upcoming events for the 2016-17 school year at West Liberty University.
This past May, the college put on their first A Taste of CoLA event. 33 juniors from John Marshall High School participated in it. The event featured six different programs that represented different degree options within the college. The students could select four out of six topics to attend. It was a huge success, and the college is planning on a second event for May of 2017.
“Students made comments such as, I ‘can’t wait to come here’ and ‘You can make college seem like fun,’” said Dr. Tammy McClain, Interim Dean. “We are looking forward to our next event!”
This fall marks the first semester for the brand new Masters in Criminology program. It began with ten students enrolled for the fall, with an additional four starting in the spring semester.
A lot of events are happening in psychology. There are more opportunities for the practicum course, where students will be able to work with more local businesses in or related to the mental health field so that the students can gain more real world experience for their field or research.
The Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the international honor society in psychology, have various fall 2016 activities planned. This includes trips to Grand Vue Park and Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a major fundraiser, philanthropy events, movie and game nights and psychology-themed Jeopardy to help students study for exams.
Numerous psychology students are also working on and submitting research presentations for the South Eastern Psychological Association conference. This conference will take place in Atlanta, Ga, in March 2017.
The Geography major got an update and is now the Geography and Planning major.
“We recently changed our major from ‘just’ geography to geography and planning to reflect a growing emphasis on the role of geographers and geography students working to improve our communities,” said Professor Aron Massey. “We offer courses on community planning and urban geography to examine the challenges that our communities face and now have a required internship that places our students in organizations that look to improve communities.”
There are also plans to keep exploring the local area with the Geography and Planning Drone, which recently got a makeover to rep the WLU colors of black and gold. Massey and the students fly the drone around campus and nearby areas so they can explore. Then, the drone footage and pictures are incorporated into research and classroom projects.
Geography club, which is open to all students, is also excited for the upcoming year. They meet regularly to talk about academic, social and philanthropic events that they participate in throughout the year. They also are planning on their yearly sneaker recycling drive. So far, they have collected over 500 pairs of shoes, which are then sent to developing regions of the world or are recycled into multiple products. At their annual cookout, they also induct new members into the International Geography Honorary Society called Gamma Theta Upsilon.
“This academic year promises to offer many exciting opportunities for current and perspective students in the CoLA,” McClain said. “Our faculty are enthusiastic about providing students with quality academic experiences and are eager to see them succeed. We understand the importance of students connecting to their faculty, programs, and peers, and we have numerous opportunities for students to join with like-minded faculty and students for both academic and extra-curricular opportunities.”
For more information about the College of Liberal Arts, check out their website at https://westliberty.edu/social-and-behavioral-sciences/.