Matter of Fact
FOR THE GIRLS
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, or “Girl Day,” is part of National Engineers Week. A decade ago, BridgeValley Community and Technical College started a Girl Day program designed to reach out to areas eighth-grade girls. The program expanded into more parts of the state this year, and WVU Tech served as one of the host campuses. More than 60 girls worked with female STEM professionals to learn about engineering concepts and careers.
BECKLEY, OLYMPIC VILLAGE
The Upward Bound program has been helping West Virginia’s young people explore college for half a century. Each summer, students from across the state gather at one college for a day of festivities and friendly competition at the Upward Bound Olympics.
This year’s site was WVU Tech’s campus in Beckley. Students from programs at Concord University, Davis & Elkins College, Marshall University, Salem University, Shepherd University, WVU and WVU Tech spent the day running, playing team sports, competing in creative challenges, playing games and learning how powerful it can be to realize you’re part of something so much bigger.
THIS IS SPARTA
A MOVING MONUMENTIn honor of World AIDS Day, WVU Tech’s Division of Student Life and Student Health Clinic hosted portions of the famed NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in the library. For an entire week, students were able to learn more about the project and read just a few of the 96,000 names on the quilt – some of them from West Virginia.
WVU Tech welcomed special guests last April for a unique chance to exchange ideas with leaders in the tech industry. Among our visitors was U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna of California’s 17th Congressional District – which includes tech hub Silicon Valley.Congressman Khanna, leaders from regional tech firms and representatives from the WVU system discussed current and future efforts to modernize the Mountain State and to encourage the growth of technological fields in the area. Visitors also got a chance to meet with some of our students to discuss the work they’re doing in and out of the classroom.
Author, bookstore owner and 2018 New River Gorge Writer-in-Residence Dr. Wendy Welch visited campus to talk about her book “Fall or Fly: The Strangely Hopeful Story of Foster Care and Adoption in Appalachia.” The work details foster care and adoption against the backdrop of the opioid crisis through interviews with more than 60 social workers, parents and children in the system. “There has never been a more important time for people in Southern West Virginia to understand what is happening in foster care because of the opioid crisis. While it is not all doom and gloom, there are serious implications for everyone. Foster care worker, friend, neighbor, bystander: we are all in this together,” she said.
WALKING THE WALK ...
Landing that first job out of college is stressful. Being able to look the part shouldn’t be. That’s why our Career Services department teamed up with the local JCPenney. At regular “Suit-Up” events, students get a chance to update their job-hunting wardrobe at a discount. Plus, they learn about proper fit, how to pick the right items and even how to make a necktie – or bowtie – do what it’s supposed to do.
... AND TALKING THE TALK
Looking sharp is only part of making a great first impression. Career Services wanted to give students a leg up at that awkward interview lunch as well, so they invited a group of alumni and a professional etiquette instructor for a formal etiquette dinner. Students dressed as if they were attending an interview, learned how to navigate the dreaded formal table setting and spent the evening chatting about their career goals with attending alumni.
FIELDS THAT FIT
WVU Tech is more than 120 years old, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn new tricks. The University has launched two brand new four-year degree programs designed to fit the resources and industries of the area. Construction Management will allow students to work alongside field-experienced professionals as they learn the skills to tackle big careers in building. Adventure Recreation Management will take advantage of WVU Tech’s close proximity to world-class adventure, training graduates to run the industries that help people connect with the great outdoors. Both programs started in the fall of 2018.
A DAY FOR DISCOVERY
The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia hosts what is arguably one of the year’s coolest events for kids. Discover Engineering Day brings in STEM professionals and student groups from local colleges and universities to showcase all of the interesting things young students can do with simple engineering. From coding to chemistry, and everything in between, it’s a truly unique day of discovery for hundreds of youngsters.
Information systems grad Chedli Ben Hassine, ’17, opened up the first e-sports gym in Paris last year. Now his company – BeGame – is moving into the greater gaming space. BeGame organizes video gaming events, helps other groups establish gaming gyms and is developing an app to help gamers find gatherings in their area. They were even selected as the gaming partner for the Fusion Concept World Final in Paris, one of the biggest hip-hop dance competitions in the world.
Golden Bear volunteers have been logging record numbers of service hours in an effort to connect with the communities around us – and the newcomers are playing a big part. This August, new students logged more than 1,000 hours during the Golden Bears Give Back day of service. It’s the single-largest service event since we started tracking our community service impact.
LUNCH WITH THE PREZ
We caught Dr. Gee on campus last spring during a check-in with the Beckley campus. He spent the morning chatting with faculty and staff about how to move the University forward in the coming years – then grabbed lunch with students in the Bears Den to catch up on how they were doing for the semester.
There’s a little lab in WVU Tech’s Innovation Building. It’s got everything – Raspberry Pi computers, video game consoles, 3D printers and even small-scale robots. There are also some of the comfiest chairs you’ll find on campus. And on Saturdays, that lab is full of youngsters who are learning new skills. It’s called the Community Transformation Project, and it’s run by passionate volunteers who aim to change the face of weekend learning in Southern West Virginia.