Gordon Gee to return to WVU as president on interim basis; will retain Ohio, national higher education responsibilities
President Emeritus of The Ohio State University and former West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee was named today as president of WVU, effective in early January.
WVU’s Board of Governors voted unanimously Thursday to approve the selection, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission unanimously voted its approval today.
West Virginia University continues to strengthen its position as a key place for energy research and education with the development of a new undergraduate degree, a bachelor’s of science in Environmental and Energy Resource Management.
The new degree, which will begin accepting students immediately, will build upon efforts already under way with other industry partners and institutions of higher learning that are helping to pave the path for research in the energy industry. It will also provide a fast track into the region’s rapidly growing energy industry.
WVU is moving aggressively in the energy research sphere through partnerships with The Ohio State University for shale energy research, outreach and education, and with Northeast Natural Energy for projects between business and academia.
“These partnerships enhance the university’s ability to fulfill the land-grant mission of teaching, research and service,” said Provost Michele Wheatly. “As a driving force shaping our country’s energy future, we are working to benefit not only WVU, but our state and country.”
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. —West Virginia is again in the running for a petrochemical complex. This time around, a Brazilian company, Odebrecht, will look to capitalize on the regional opportunities in the Marcellus and Utica natural gas shale regions.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Odebrecht officials announced on Thursday in Parkersburg that the company will explore developing a new petrochemical complex in Wood County.
Tomblin called the announcement of the potential complex a “defining moment in the economic development of our state.” The complex, which would be known as Ascent—Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise—would include an ethane cracker plant, three polyethylene plants and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy co-generation.
Read more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201311140034
West Virginia University’s Board of Governors, acting swiftly after Monday’s announcement that President Jim Clements was departing for Clemson University, passed two motions during an emergency meeting of the Board Wednesday (Nov. 13) the first to authorize Chair James W. Dailey II to identify individuals to serve as an interim president and a second to authorize the Chair to take the necessary preliminary steps to immediately begin the national search for the next president.
Some of West Virginia’s top innovators took center stage at the TechConnectWV Spirit of Innovation Awards Banquet October 22 in Morgantown. Five awards were presented, honoring advances in energy technology, educational software, vote verification technology, ophthalmic patents and a model funding program.
“The Spirit of Innovation program is an opportunity to spotlight success stories throughout the state, and recognize the people and organizations that support innovation-based economic development,” said Anne Barth, executive director of TechConnect. “By showcasing these creative efforts and the people behind them, we hope to inspire others who may have an entrepreneurial spirit.”
An engineer and a mathematician at West Virginia University claimed two of five awards presented Tuesday (Oct. 22) at the TechConnectWV Spirit of Innovation Awards Banquet.
Xingbo Liu, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was named the 2013 Innovator of the Year for his productivity in energy research and innovation, particularly in developing solid oxide fuel cell interconnect coatings and in improving the cells’ cathode performance, as well as for his research on superalloy castings used in advanced electric power systems and for a new program to develop advanced, utility-scale battery technologies.
The StartUp Innovation of the Year award was presented to eTouchSciences of Grafton, led by Marjorie Darrah, associate professor of mathematics. Darrah helped develop software to help students with visual impairments learn science and math more effectively. The learning system, geared toward middle schoolers, uses hapticscommunication in the form of touchto add touch to science and math education.
David Pogue, science author, New York Times columnist and host of PBS’s Nova Science Now, will be the keynote presenter at the 5th Biennial Science, Technology & Research (STaR) Symposium, to take place Oct. 22-23 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, conference organizers announced today.
Dr. Jan Taylor, director of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science & Research, said, “This year’s STaR Symposium theme, appropriate for an energy state like West Virginia, is The Evolution of Energy: From Scarcity to Abundance. We’ll look at the issues surrounding energy development and use from all sides to highlight the challenges and opportunities in West Virginia.”
Provost Michele Wheatly is increasingly and prominently adding WVU’s voice within higher education groups.
Recently, Wheatly was named to the Executive Committee of the Science & Mathematics Teacher Imperative of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The Initiative aims to transform middle and high school science, technology, engineering and mathematics education by preparing the next generation of science and math teachers. She is joining leaders from universities such as MIT, University of Florida, Auburn University University of Iowa, University of Utah and Texas A&M, among others. The Initiative includes 132 public research universities across 45 states, and it is the largest STEM new teacher initiative in the country.
On Oct. 29, Wheatly is the keynote speaker at a luncheon during the University Economic Development Association’s Annual Summit in Pittsburgh. The summit centers around building partnerships between higher education, communities and the private sector in order to reinvent the economy. The association has more than 140 member organizations throughout North America.
Guodong Guo and a team of engineers from West Virginia University in Morgantown are developing software that can analyze a photo of a user’s face to determine their body-mass index, or BMI. BMI, which is a measurement of the ratio between an individual’s weight and height, is generally used to determine whether individuals are underweight, overweight, or obese. In an increasingly overweight America, the implications of this software are far-reaching, especially in communities of color that have disproportionately high rates of weight-related health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. As these communities continue to adopt technology, especially embracing smartphones and their related apps, such software could become a vital tool to help individuals assess their levels of overall health. The software, so far, has predicted BMIs with an accuracy within about two to three points of a person’s actual BMI. Guo and his team are continuing to refine their algorithm to improve results, but we have much hope for the success and implications of this software.
Read information on original site here: http://mmtconline.org/bbsjpicks/hon-edolphus-towns-guodong-guo-nhora-berrera-murphy-kobe-beef-jerky-crowdfunding-scam/
CHARLESTON, W.Va. —In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,” he discusses the moment when a rising idea or a trend achieves critical mass and spreads from a small group to the general population. The “tipping point” phenomena can be used to explore how behaviors and ideas go mainstream.
Have we reached a tipping point for innovation and entrepreneurship in West Virginia? Good question. Evidence suggests that if we are not at the tipping point, we are getting closer. In the upcoming five weeks alone, six events around the state signal that we are building critical mass in the innovation economy.
Read more here: http://www.wvgazette.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201310080224
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