West Virginia State University Faculty Members Honored

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Aug. 29, 2016
West Virginia State University Faculty Members Honored

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Several West Virginia State University (WVSU) faculty members have been recognized for their achievements in and out of the classroom through a new faculty awards program.

Sponsored by the University’s Academic Affairs Office, the awards were presented as part of the opening faculty meeting for the fall 2016 semester.

“Our faculty are truly exceptional at delivering a world class educational experience for our students,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya. “We felt it is appropriate to recognize members of our faculty for their innovative accomplishments and achievements.”

WVSU Professor of History Dr. Billy Joe Peyton, and WVSU Professor of Education Dr. Brenda Wilson were recognized with Professor of the Year awards.

Peyton is the author of two local history books and was recently appointed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to serve on the West Virginia Archives and History Commission and the World War I Centennial Commission. He also serves on the West Virginia Humanities Council board of directors and is chair of the Charleston Historic Landmarks Commission.

Wilson is involved with scholarly research activities and also participates in community events. She played a key role in the Department of Education’s reaffirmation of accreditation through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

WVSU Professor of Art Molly Erlandson and WVSU Assistant Professor of Social Work Dr. Kerri Steele were recognized with Teacher of the Year awards.

Erlandson was recognized for her student-centered teaching approach that both supports and challenges students while upholding rigorous standards of achievement. Steele was recognized for her dedication to delivering curriculum across a variety of student learning pathways while also providing quality academic advising to ensure students finish their degree in four years or less.

WVSU Professor of Biology Dr. Umesh K. Reddy and WVSU Professor of Modern Foreign Languages Dr. Miguel Zapata were recognized with awards for Research.

Reddy has had seven academic articles published, while also securing more than $2.2 million in grant funding for this lab. Zapata gave lectures on the art of translation in the United States and Colombia, and led the translation of a collection of poems from English to Spanish that will appear in the journal Encuentros of the Universidad Autonoma.

WVSU Professor of Chemistry Dr. Micheal Fultz and WVSU Professor of Economics Dr. Frehot Hailou were recognized with awards for Service.

Fultz was recognized for his various community service initiatives as well as his university service as Chair of the Educational Policies Committee, which reviews the University’s curriculum. Hailou was recognized for authoring an economic impact study of Senate Bill 298, also known as the “brunch bill.” Hailou’s research provided state lawmakers and the public with a greater understanding of how a change in the law would impact economic development. The bill was passed.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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