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Transforming society through the power of literature

Student volunteer holding jar of beans standing outside next to HESA club table for book project.

A unique student-driven project recognizes the power of literature to transform individuals and societies while supporting the freedom to read and write. The West Virginia University Higher Education Student Association’s mission underscores educational, vocational and personal development for people who are imprisoned.

WVU HESA recently collaborated with the Appalachian Prison Book Project as part of their engagement in the 2022 WVU Week of Purpose. APBP focuses on challenging mass incarceration through books, education and community engagement.

Feeling most at home

Jihad Dixon wearing WVU dark blue tshirt, standing next to President Gee, wearing a gold hat and vest and WVU bowtie.

In recognition of what it means to be a Mountaineer, the West Virginia University Alumni Association will celebrate recipients of the 2022 Homecoming and Alumni Service Awards during Homecoming Week, Oct. 24-30.

Jihad Dixon (’17, ’19) will receive the John F. Nicholas Jr. Award during the Homecoming festivities. Dixon, higher education program graduate, was highly involved in many aspect of campus life. He was the president of the WVU NAACP and the Higher Education Student Association, a resident assistant at Dadisman/Stalnaker Halls, a diversity ambassador within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion , a member of Mountain Honorary, a student representative of the WVU Student Conduct Board and WVU Residency Committee, and a student senator and executive leader in the Student Government Association.

McHenry-Sorber helps set rural education research agenda

Headshot of Erin Mc-Henry Sorber

The National Rural Education Association recently announced its five-year research agenda, and West Virginia University’s Erin McHenry Sorber is at the center of the team that helped develop the major priorities and for current and future rural education research.

McHenry-Sorber is one of six members of the NREA’s subcommittee that designed a research agenda to help plot a path for rural education with the goal of shedding light on innovative rural practices, addressing unique rural challenges and continuing to build on the strengths of rural people and places.

Study abroad internship strengthens healthcare career options

Female student seated at desk, wearing a headset, red long sleeved top and black skirt.

As Alexandra Snyder entered West Virginia University, she had visions of becoming a physical or occupational therapist. “After a few months I wasn’t positive if that was the correct path for me, so I began looking into other majors. The health and well-being program began accepting students my sophomore year. I switched to this major because of the many professional opportunities this program offers,” she said. Snyder, from Hollidaysburg, Pa., added a minor in health promotion to her portfolio.

“This major has taught me about people's overall health and how to be effective as a worker in the healthcare setting. Those two things were essential since I have always been interested in health and helping others through community service.”

Connecting students with field learning experiences

Andrew Walker, on left, with Justin Violette, standing on a golf course, wearing event white shirts and tan pants.

Two sport management students received first-hand sports business knowledge through the 2022 Presidents Cup, a nationally televised PGA event. Andrew Walker, graduate student, and Justin Violette, undergraduate, traveled to Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, N.C. for the September 22-25 competition. The pair worked for Show Pros Entertainment, Inc., a crowd management and event-oriented staffing company.

Patrick Hairston, sport management teaching assistant professor, says he attempts to associate students with business practitioners and events so they can gain field learning skills and network within the sports industry. “Andrew and Justin both love the game of golf. As I connect with students throughout the semester, I discover their passions. I learned that Andrew and Justin played golf by getting to know them and their interests,” Hairston said.