Top of the Hill https://westliberty.edu/toth West Liberty University Alumni & Friends Newsletter Mon, 30 Oct 2017 14:34:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Q&A with President Stephen G. Greiner https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/qa-president-stephen-g-greiner/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/qa-president-stephen-g-greiner/#respond Wed, 21 Dec 2016 14:05:03 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1334 West Liberty University Board of Governors named Dr. Stephen Greiner our 36th President a little over a year ago and assumed the daily duties of president in January 2016. Since then he’s spent countless hours talking with students, alumni, staff, faculty and supporters, as he listens to concerns and shares his vision with the Hilltop.    […]

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West Liberty University Board of Governors named Dr. Stephen Greiner our 36th President a little over a year ago and assumed the daily duties of president in January 2016. Since then he’s spent countless hours talking with students, alumni, staff, faculty and supporters, as he listens to concerns and shares his vision with the Hilltop. 

Dr. Greiner brought with him an outstanding record of 14 years as a college president and 27 years as a faculty member, dean and administrator. 

Homecoming day on the quad

Homecoming day on the quad

He holds a bachelor’s in education degree from the University of Kentucky, a master’s of public service from Western Kentucky University and a doctorate of education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech.). 

He is an active member of the Rotary Club International and serves on the board of the Regional Economic Development Partnership, Wheeling. 

He is most interested in community partnerships and last spring he completed the 90-day Community Fitness Challenge, sponsored by Wheeling’s McKinley Carter Wealth Services and Ryan Ferns Healthplex, as well as the Over the Edge rappelling challenge for the YWCA and the Dragon Boat Race. He is a member of Oglebay Institute. 

A former athlete, Greiner graduated from Weir High School and is a proud member of its 1963 state championship basketball team. He and his wife, Nancy, are the parents of two grown children who live outside the area, 27-year-old twins John and Jacquelyn. 

As a Weirton native who spent most of his professional career away from home, tell us how it feels to move back after so many years. 

It is exhilarating being back. I didn’t really see this opportunity in my career path and returning to the Northern Panhandle is more meaningful than I ever imagined. It’s a combination of having an opportunity to lead an outstanding and well respected University, visiting familiar places, getting reacquainted with old friends and making new friends. And the bonus is having brothers and sisters here! (Dr. Greiner has two brothers and one sister, Nick resides in Weirton, W.Va.; John in Toronto, Ohio and Lisa DiCarlo in Mingo Junction, Ohio. His sister Carla Jo is deceased.) 

 

Dr. Greiner and wife Nancy

Dr. Greiner and wife Nancy

After spending about a year at the helm of West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education, what do you see as the biggest challenge facing the University. 

Clearly the biggest challenge is the declining financial support from the state of West Virginia and increased dependence on tuition revenue. But there are other challenges too, which include an aging campus infrastructure and increasing demands of technology, among others. 

 

How do you plan to address these obstacles? 

We must reestablish budget priorities, focus on enrollment management, foster program growth, especially graduate programs, and we will need to consider public-private partnerships when it comes to infrastructure updates and building new facilities, such as student housing. 

 

What is your message to alumni, donors, students and the entire campus community, as to involvement and how they can help? 

I have been incredibly impressed with the current involvement with alumni and students. WLU is a very special place and I’m reminded of that everyday by alumni, students and donors. That’s something we never want to forget. WLU opened so many doors for so many people and they are grateful. It isn’t a cliché to say that: WLU is a window to the world for our students and alumni. Our students can start here and go anywhere. 

 

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Dr. Greiner with Megumi Maruta ’17, International Club President and Jenna Bugaj ’19, elementary education

On a more personal note, what world leader do you most admire? 

That’s easy — Nelson Mandela, since I had the privilege of working for him once. It was in 1994, right after Mandela took over as president and I was the interim Dean of Education at Old Dominion University that had the world’s largest military transition program. I was invited by one of his generals to travel to South Africa and spend a week consulting on a project that involved transitioning military officers into civilian jobs.  

 

What’s your favorite thing to do for relaxation? 

Travel — when I get a chance. 

 

Your favorite food? 

Serbian food, including Sarma (cabbage rolls), Kupis i Grah, (beans and sauerkraut) and nut breads and rolls.  

 

Over the Edge Fundraiser

Over the Edge Fundraiser

Finally, what is it that inspires you in your work?  

To interact with students and learn about their thoughts and aspirations is the most inspiring part of my job. I’ve always taken the approach that to ask students what’s best for students is the right way to go. Everyday I have the chance to interact with our students, and to me there is no better job in the world! 

 

 

PHOTO CREDITS – FRONT COVER  AND FULL PAGE SPREAD pgs 2-3: REBECCA KIGER

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Interning at WLU: Behind the Scenes https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/interning-wlu-behind-scenes/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/interning-wlu-behind-scenes/#respond Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:41:15 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1431     West Liberty University contributed $50.2 million to the state in 2014, according to an economic impact report that drew media attention this past August. But sometimes it’s what’s behind the headlines that matter. Take for instance Wheeling’s East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) team, the Nailers.     “Our Arts and Communication students are a major […]

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   corey-films-game West Liberty University contributed $50.2 million to the state in 2014, according to an economic impact report that drew media attention this past August. But sometimes it’s what’s behind the headlines that matter. Take for instance Wheeling’s East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) team, the Nailers.
    “Our Arts and Communication students are a major part of Nailers television broadcast. Students run camera, instant replay and assist with the overall production seen on ECHL TV and the arena video board,” explained Theresa Gretchen, executive director of WLU TV-14.
    These are paid internships, so it’s a win-win for both our students and the Nailers
    “These internships are amazing opportunities for a communications student. Especially for me since I grew up in the area, watching the Nailers. It’s great for experience and my resumé when I graduate,” said sophomore Kyle Patrick, from Glen Dale, W.Va., who hopes to become a TV sports anchor one day.
    “Because of the Nailers, anytime there’s an event at the arena, our students tend to get hired, so the partnership offers even more experience and networking. It’s a perfect set-up and we are grateful to the Nailers and the WesBanco Arena for working with us as we educate new professionals to enter the field of communications,” Gretchen added.
    Most recently, 14 was hired by the City of Wheeling to tape and air City Council meetings. Channel 14 also airs some of the Nailers away games, and even then students run master control here on campus to deliver sports action.
    “Our students also are employed at Channel 7 (Wheeling), working in production and sports, and at WTOV Channel 9 (Steubenville) working in the station’s airing of high school football games of the week. Students attend the games, running camera or grip,” she said. These partnerships add so much to student preparation.
    “All this hands-on experience lays the groundwork for future employment. And the feedback we get is terrific. The staff at both local TV stations and the arena tell us that our students are well prepared,” Gretchen said. “We are proud to work with the community.”

NOTE: Economic Impact Report was commissioned by the West Virginia Higher Policy Commission and released by WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

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Community Choir: Not Just for Music Majors https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/community-choir-not-just-music-majors/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/community-choir-not-just-music-majors/#respond Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:18:52 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1409 At West Liberty University, choir is not just for music majors — or even students!     “Our College Community Chorus is open to everyone who likes to sing. This spring we’ll perform one of the world’s top choral works, Mozart’s Requiem, so it’s a great year to be involved,” said Dr. Scott Glysson, assistant professor […]

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Dr. Scott Glysson directing the WLU Singers.

Dr. Scott Glysson directing
the WLU Singers.

At West Liberty University, choir is not just for music majors — or even students!
    “Our College Community Chorus is open to everyone who likes to sing. This spring we’ll perform one of the world’s top choral works, Mozart’s Requiem, so it’s a great year to be involved,” said Dr. Scott Glysson, assistant professor of music, now in his third year as choral director.
  

 Attracting WLU students, area high school students and everyone, the Community Chorus requires no audition, just a love of music. About 70 members are on the roster and a great many are alumni. The chorus rehearses throughout the fall, winter and spring as it prepares for public performances of choral works with orchestras twice a year.  
    “This has been a blessing to those of us who have a passion for music. Dr. Glysson is very talented and his rapport with the choir is just remarkable,” said Carol Couch, former Wheeling music teacher. “I enjoy it so much it’s not an exaggeration to say I live for Monday nights!”
  

The College Community Chorus meets from 7- 9 p.m. every Monday at Vance Presbyterian Church, Wheeling. Students are charged no fee but other members are asked to pay an annual $50 membership fee.
    “It’s a privilege to join with members of the community who all love to sing and rehearse,” said WLU senior Emily Wade, a business major. “There’s a great feeling when we come together and make music, then perform in public with orchestra, for our friends and family.” Wade is in both the Community Chorus and the WLU Singers (student-only group) and is from
Sistersville, W.Va.

    The WLU Singers is the premier student vocal ensemble and membership is by audition only, though any major is welcome. Also directed by Glysson, the Singers tour internationally.

The WLU Community Choir performing Handel's Messiah.

The WLU Community Choir performing Handel’s Messiah.

 “We toured Ireland last spring and are headed to Toronto this May,” he said. “Our Singers are inspiring and wonderful to direct. You couldn’t find more enthusiastic, hard-working students anywhere.”

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Embracing New Leadership https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/embracing-new-leadership/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/embracing-new-leadership/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 21:05:14 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1406 West Liberty University’s student body has seen several changes over the past year, and aside from a very active president, none have had quite the immediate impact as the newly-appointed Student Government Association executive board.      SGA members are responsible for many of the student activities and programs that happen throughout the year, with Homecoming […]

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West Liberty University’s student body has seen several changes over the past year, and aside from a very active president, none have had quite the immediate impact as the newly-appointed Student Government Association executive board.

     SGA members are responsible for many of the student activities and programs that happen throughout the year, with Homecoming as their top priority.
    “Homecoming this year was by far our biggest success yet,” said David “Reid” Boden, SGA President. “We plan things well in advance, and we’re still learning the directions we want to go.”
    Boden is a sophomore education major who was born in Washington, Pa. and grew up primarily in Keyser, W.Va. He ran for SGA president as a freshman last year and believes that his ambition and love for the school and public service helped him overcome any obstacle to land the position.
    “There were some people who were very, very unsure about my presidency,” Boden said. “There were some people who thought I was too young, too inexperienced, and not ready for the position. What I thought was that it was time for this organization to have fresh, new leadership and a fresh, new vision.”
    “I feel a very deep connection to this school; that’s part of the reason why I came here,” Boden said. “I wanted to be a part of something so much bigger than myself and be a part of an organization that was rebuilding itself.”
    West Liberty’s SGA was recognized by the American Student Government Association. Their current goals include planning various student activities, rebuilding the “Topper Den,” which is the student section at sporting events, and even considering a Redbox machine for the campus.
    “We have people that want to get involved, that want to participate in things on campus,” Boden said. “I would say that the student body is excited, they’re energetic, and they’re taking pride in this school. When I say it’s a new day and a new era here on the Hilltop, I really mean that.”

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WLU: Agent of Change in Wheeling https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/wlu-agent-change-wheeling/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/wlu-agent-change-wheeling/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 21:03:29 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1403     For the past several decades, the Ohio Valley, with Wheeling serving as its metro hub, has suffered population loss and economic downturn. Wheeling’s population, once in the top 20 in the United States, is now just over 27,000.       However, things are changing. A new wave of younger professionals, preservationists, artists and students […]

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    For the past several decades, the Ohio Valley, with Wheeling serving as its metro hub, has suffered population loss and economic downturn. Wheeling’s population, once in the top 20 in the United States, is now just over 27,000.  

    However, things are changing. A new wave of younger professionals, preservationists, artists and students are partnering with Wheeling-ites who have been trying to make a difference for years, and they are doubling down on Wheeling.
    There is new construction in Downtown Wheeling with the groundbreaking of the 400-employee, Health Plan headquarters. New housing structures are being constructed, and new restaurants are serving millennial-friendly food, craft beer and music, and a new crop of City Council members and Mayor swept the May 2016 local elections.
    “I think we are entering a period of time where for the first time in my lifetime people are talking about the present and future of Wheeling rather than about the past of Wheeling, and I am not being critical of those who talk about the past because this city’s past is a remarkable history,” said Mayor Glenn Elliott, a Wheeling native and attorney who returned to town after working in D.C. for years, first as an assistant to U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd and then in corporate law.
    One only has to look in one’s backyard to find examples of revitalization that give hope: Morgantown and Pittsburgh. Both are thriving communities who keep their young people in town and attract new residents by the droves. The common thread is the universities that serve as catalysts.  

West Liberty University is poised to take a leadership role and serve as a similar agent of change:

•    WLU Center for Entrepreneurship has incubated five new Downtown Wheeling businesses.
•    WesBanco headquarters proudly employs 100+ alumni.
•    WLU TV Channel 14 carries live election coverage, Show of Hands competitions, the Wheeling City Council meetings, the State of the City and community interest shows.
•    College of Arts and Communication students and faculty have been instrumental in leading change through art with mural projects and events.
•    WLU Downtown Center opened in September, with a satellite office for  WLU Foundation and an office used by Advancement, Community Relations and Admissions.

    “People appreciate the fact that you care about your community. That’s why I think a focus on bringing people back is just as important as a concentration on retaining our young people,” said Mayor Elliott recently.

Well Wheeling — the Hilltop’s right here with you!

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Living the Dream https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/living-the-dream/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/living-the-dream/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 21:00:08 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1401 New Martinsville native Ashlea Bland-Minch, principal of Woodsdale Elementary School in Wheeling, is a proud alumna. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2004. While she was an excellent student, Minch is best-known for her acclaimed collegiate basketball career.     During Minch’s four varsity seasons from 2001-2004, the Lady Hilltoppers saw four consecutive […]

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New Martinsville native Ashlea Bland-Minch, principal of Woodsdale Elementary School in Wheeling, is a proud alumna. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 2004. While she was an excellent student, Minch is best-known for her acclaimed collegiate basketball career.
    During Minch’s four varsity seasons from 2001-2004, the Lady Hilltoppers saw four consecutive 20-win seasons and NCAA Division II Tournament showings along with a 102-22 (.832) record — the best run in the program’s history. She led the West Virginia Conference in scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage and blocked shots in her senior season, when she was also honored as an NCAA Division II Basketball All-American and a CoSIDA Academic All-American. Minch still ranks among our top five in career points (1,628), rebounds (864) and blocked shots (154). She was selected as one of the top 25 basketball players in WVIAC history in 2007, and was inducted into the WLU Hall of Fame in 2009.
    “I miss it,” Minch said. “There’s a community there that I’m so happy to be a part of. Year in and year out, I get to keep that connection with the program.”
     Minch’s basketball career didn’t end once she graduated; she ended up taking the jump from star player to assistant coach. Then, Minch began a string of staff positions at WLU while earning her master’s degree from WVU. She taught as a reading specialist and kindergarten teacher until landing the assistant principal job at John Marshall High School in 2013.
    “My mom was a teacher for 35 years before she died, so I just grew up in that kind of an atmosphere,” Minch said. “She had a passion for what she did, and I wanted to be just like her.” Now, she is living the dream.
    She lives with husband Herb Minch (Hilltopper head athletic trainer and softball coach) her two children, Zach, 5, and Alivia, 4, and her stepdaughter, Kailey, 11. They spend a lot of time at her alma mater.
    “It’s the perfect combination of college and hometown,” Minch said. “I think the athletics had a lot of play into my ability to be a good leader in a school and to be a good administrator. It all kind of ties together; I was given a great education, I was afforded the opportunity to play basketball at one of the top places in the nation, and in turn, it just formed me to be the administrator that I am today. I owe my entire life, pretty much, to West Liberty, and I’m forever grateful.”

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Acrobatics and Tumbling Joins Sports Lineup https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/acrobatics-tumbling-joins-sports-lineup/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/acrobatics-tumbling-joins-sports-lineup/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:56:58 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1346     West Liberty University became the 16th school to add Women’s Acrobatics and Tumbling as a varsity sport in the six short years since the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) was established.     The Hilltoppers expect to begin their first season of Acrobatics and Tumbling competition in the spring of 2018 and a […]

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    West Liberty University became the 16th school to add Women’s Acrobatics and Tumbling as a varsity sport in the six short years since the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) was established.
    The Hilltoppers expect to begin their first season of Acrobatics and Tumbling competition in the spring of 2018 and a nationwide search for the head coach is under way.
    “We’re very pleased to add Acrobatics and Tumbling to our varsity sports lineup,” Dr. Greiner said. “This will open the door of opportunity for many female high school student-athletes to not only continue pursuing their passion at the highest level as a Lady Hilltopper but to use
that passion to fuel their pursuit of a college degree.”

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Cabins & New House Increase Student Options https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/cabins-new-house-increase-student-options/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/cabins-new-house-increase-student-options/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:55:58 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1384 New housing options for students include modern cabins offering privacy, convenience and cozy living. These two or three bedroom cabins are just across the road from the main campus near the Gary E. West Event Center.     “The addition of fully furnished cabins in the woods is very unique to the Hilltop,” said President Stephen […]

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New housing options for students include modern cabins offering privacy, convenience and cozy living. These two or three bedroom cabins are just across the road from the main campus near the Gary E. West Event Center.

    “The addition of fully furnished cabins in the woods is very unique to the Hilltop,” said President Stephen Greiner. “These are perfect for our students and we are pleased that we can offer them.”
    Each cabin comes with kitchen, living room and bedroom furniture, plus a washer, dryer and big screen TV in a park-like setting.
    The other housing option that is new this year is the addition of a former bed and breakfast that was acquired over the summer and includes four bedrooms now housing students. This comfortable home is situated just outside the main gate at 409 Van Meter Way.

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G-TOP https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/g-top/ Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:54:17 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1372 Generations Restaurant brought its tasty menu to the Hilltop this October as it opened a new restaurant pub, the G-Top, at West Liberty University’s Gary E. West Event Center.     G-Top opened just in time for Homecoming and is conveniently located at 260 Roadworthy Drive, just across W.Va. Route 88, and not far from WLU’s […]

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Generations Restaurant brought its tasty menu to the Hilltop this October as it opened a new restaurant pub, the G-Top, at West Liberty University’s Gary E. West Event Center.

    G-Top opened just in time for Homecoming and is conveniently located at 260 Roadworthy Drive, just across W.Va. Route 88, and not far from WLU’s main gate.
    “Students and staff are thrilled with the new gathering spot, serving great food and beverages along with entertainment. We are pleased to work with Mike Duplaga and Generations in this new endeavor,” said Dr. Stephen Greiner, WLU president. Mike’s son, Michael, a 2014 alumnus is managing the place.
    “We want to provide our students with the best campus experience possible and G-Top has expanded dining and entertainment options for the entire campus,” he said.
    Generations is leasing the space from the university and is open Wednesday through Saturday. Offering a full menu, including steak, pasta, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, pizza and a full bar, dining hours are 4 – 10 p.m., Wednesday – Friday and noon – 10 p.m. on Saturdays. The bar remains open till 2 a.m.

You may reach the G-Top by phone at 304-336-4114.

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Graduate Programs Growing https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/graduate-programs-growing/ https://westliberty.edu/toth/2016/12/graduate-programs-growing/#respond Tue, 20 Dec 2016 20:53:21 +0000 https://westliberty.edu/toth/?p=1360     Graduate degrees up and running include the Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Professional Studies, Master of Science in Criminology (MSC) and online MBA degrees.     Soon the newest graduate program, the Masters of Science in Dental Hygiene, will join the mix.      “We are pleased […]

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    Graduate degrees up and running include the Master of Arts in Education, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Professional Studies, Master of Science in Criminology (MSC) and online MBA degrees.
    Soon the newest graduate program, the Masters of Science in Dental Hygiene, will join the mix.
     “We are pleased to move forward with yet another graduate program that is needed in our region. Though we won’t be able to welcome our first class in the dental hygiene master’s for a while yet, we expect this to be very popular and highly accessible degree, since it will be totally online,” said President Stephen Greiner.
     The newest online program is being studied by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and will then go to the Higher Learning Commission for final approval in a process that takes about two years.
    Online master’s programs are the preferred method of delivery for many students.
     “Our MBA is totally online and it’s proved to be very successful. We not only filled our first class but added a second section to accommodate 40 students total,” said Dr. Michael Turrentine, dean of the Gary E. West College of Business. Turrentine took on the role of dean just this past July and has been with WLU for 17 years.
    The MBA offers a choice of two tracks: entrepreneurship or management. Dr. Gregory Chase researched and developed the MBA and Ann Rose is the online instructional specialist for the program.
    “This is a challenging program at a reasonable cost and we feel we can compete very well with other programs in the market,” Turrentine said. Students also can elect to finish the 30-credit hour program in two years, or finish in one year if they
are ambitious.
    According to student Amy Whipkey of Wheeling, the MBA offers her a higher level of professional learning and a path to advance her career. She’s worked in the field of higher education for most of her professional life and also is a busy mother, so the online aspect makes it perfect.
    Likewise, the new criminology master’s is
gaining ground.
    “We accepted our first cohort of students this fall and, due to demand, opened enrollment up for spring 2017 enrollment as well. The program has received great reviews from current students and has been praised for its rigorous course offerings in advanced research methods, advanced statistical applications, and grant writing. It’s going great,” said Dr. Keith Bell, associate professor of Criminal Justice.
    “The thing I really like about the Master’s of Criminal Justice is it’s affordable,” said Hannah Walters, who finished her undergraduate degree last spring and went right into the program. As the student president of the Criminal Justice Society, she plans on finishing her master’s in December 2017.
    Walters, who is from Williamstown, W.Va., plans on working with victims of violent crimes in the immediate future but will eventually earn her doctoral degree and become a professor if all goes
 as planned.
    “The master’s program is going great. It’s challenging but the teachers offer the one-on-one attention that helps you learn and be successful,” she said. “I’m so glad WLU has it now.”

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