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Eberly News Blog

3 Mar

Two West Virginia University colleges are joining together to launch the nation’s first accredited master of laws program in forensic justice, further expanding the University’s leadership in the field of forensic science.

The one-year program is a collaboration between the WVU College of Law and the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. WVU’s competitive and highly regarded forensic and investigative science program is one of the first accredited in the world.

The National Jurist has featured the program on their website. Click here to read more.

3 Mar

Department of Physics and Astronomy associate professor Paul Cassak featured in a news briefing with NASA about the phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection around Earth.

NASA is gearing up to launch a quartet of new satellites this month, to study a driving force behind solar storms that threaten Earth’s satellites and power grids. The satellites, which make up NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (or MMS), will launch on March 12 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Click here to read the full article.

3 Mar

Elizabeth Cohen of the Department of Communication at West Virginia University told WDTV Monday that a study saying Facebook causes depression may be flawed.

“The problem is that correlation doesn’t always equal causation,” she said.

Watch the full segment below.

2 Mar
Miriam Katin When students learn about the Holocaust, it can typically be through grisly images captured on grainy black and white film, Hollywood adaptations such as “Schindler’s List” or through textbooks chronicling the larger events of World War II.

Holocaust survivor Miriam Katin has decided to document her experiences with a new approach – a graphic novel memoir. “We Are On Our Own” depicts the struggle of a mother and daughter (based on Miriam and her own mother) fleeing the Nazi invasion in Budapest and their plight to stay free from the advancing German army. Through her pencil sketches, splashes of color and unique dialogue, Katin details a unique experience recalled from stories shared by her mother, of both escaping the clutches of invasion and recovery after.

Katin will share that story – and her creative process – at a public lecture Wednesday, March 11. “Childhood in Black and White: A talk by Miriam Katin” is free and open to the public in G21 Ming Hsieh Hall at 7:30 p.m.

Lisa DiBartolomeo, teaching assistant professor in the Department of World Languages at West Virginia University, uses Katin’s work in her class, “The Holocaust in East European Literature and Film” (FCLT 380). Katin’s method of storytelling can provoke a deeper understanding of the human experience during the Holocaust, DiBartolomeo said.

While DiBartolomeo was originally hesitant about introducing such a unique way of representing history, the response has been largely positive.

“Many students haven’t seen up close the personal costs of the Holocaust, its effects. It makes a difference. A lot of students respond to it, especially how visually oriented we are today,” she said. The graphic novel nature of the memoir, she said, “finds people who might not otherwise spend very much time thinking about, or reading about, the Holocaust.”

As time marches on, and the memory of World War II seems further away, it has never been more important to pay witness to and share the experiences of those who lived through it, DiBartolomeo said.

“Survivors are becoming more and more frail, largely from their experiences and their age. They will not be a resource for very much longer,” DiBartolomeo said. “I think everybody needs to take care to take advantage of that. The best medicine for someone trying to deny or question what happened during the Holocaust is saying ‘No, I know someone,’ or ‘I heard firsthand.’”

“We Are On Our Own” was the first full graphic novel by Katin, published when she was 63 years old. Her follow up, Letting It Go, documents her son’s move to Berlin despite her protests, and coming to terms with her past.

27 Feb

Event focused on expressing the committment on the psychosocial well being of veterans, their families, and caregivers. This is a free event, expected to fill quickly, on a “first come, first serve” basis. Other topics include issues surrounding veteran challenges and working towards their stability and community collaboration. Event is hosted by the Beckley VA Medical Center, Beckley and Princeton Vet Centers, and co-sponsored by WVU School of Social Work. This event is WVU School of Social Work approved for 7.25 social work hours. The PDF Interactive brochure is attached, fill out the pre-registration form on the computer, than send to the email address listed on the brochure.

27 Feb
Morgantown, W.Va—- The Department of English will host a lecture by Jason Phillips, from the WVU Department of History, on Wednesday, March 4 at 2:30 p.m. in 130 Colson Hall. The title of Prof. Phillips’s talk is “Civil War Prophecy: The History and Literature of Futures Past.”
Jason Phillips is the Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies. He will explore how apocalyptic narratives spread after John Brown’s attack on Harpers Ferry.

Using letters, diaries, and literature, he will argue that prophecies of a looming civil war gained widespread credibility after the raid, because portentous stories of the future unified people better than romantic or tragic narratives of current events.

The primary example that he will share is Edmund Ruffin’s “Anticipations of the Future,” an epistolary novel written after Brown’s raid that forecasts a destructive civil war won by the South in 1867. His interpretation of Ruffin’s work and other prophecies relies on an interdisciplinary framework that includes German history by Reinhart Koselleck, literary studies by Frank Kermode, religious studies by Walter Bruggemann, and sociology by Philip Smith.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

23 Feb

Once upon a time, the internet could be defined by the most technical of definitions — a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to link several billion devices worldwide.

Today, and arguably always, it’s a living and breathing organism that can’t be so succinctly limited by the parameters of its technical definition.

In his new book, “The Internet Unconscious,” Sandy Baldwin unwraps the layers of the artistry that comprise the emerging field of electronic literature and explores what falls into the literary category in a digital age.

Baldwin, associate professor of English and director of the Center for Literary Computing, proposes electronic literature be analyzed as an understanding of the net as loosely linked collocation writing practices and materials ranging from fundamental TCP/IP protocols to CAPTCHA and Facebook; as a broad field that organizes these practices and materials into text (and into textual practices of reading, archiving, etc.), and into an aesthetic institution of ‘electronic literature’; and as a project engaged by a subject, a commitment of the writers’ body to the work of the net.

“The internet is with us all the time: it is where we communicate, work, and play,” he said.

“I’m constantly amazed by its presence in my life and also how much I forget it or don’t notice it. This is the “unconscious” in the book’s title, and I hope readers will share in this amazement and gain new ways of understanding the net.”

“The Internet Unconscious” was published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

As coordinator of the WVU Center for Literary Computing, Baldwin facilitates interdisciplinary research projects in the poetics of new media and the media ecology of literary institutions, using web-technologies, multimedia, hypertext, audio/video, and virtual environments.

Baldwin’s scholarly work explores media technologies as rhetorical and aesthetic objects, asking how media structure our thought and experience. His particular focus is on continuities and borrowings between literary theory and theories of digital multimedia.

His current research areas include: net art as a literary genre, avant-garde writing as a precursor of multimedia, the narrativity of computer games, and the cultural implications of nanotechnology.

For more information, please contact Sandy Baldwin at or at (304) 293-9703.

20 Feb

The Center for Excellence in Disabilities is recruiting students for its Fall 2015 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities traineeship program.

The program is seeking students enrolled in social work, public administration, psychology, and the healthcare administration and nonprofit management certificates who are interested in working with children with disabilities.

Students selected may be eligible for tuition waiver and stipend Trainees receive clinical and didactic training on state-of-the-art service to children with disabilities.

Traineeships require a 20 hours per week commitment.

The program is also looking for family members of a person with a disability and disability self-advocates that meet selection criteria.

Must be a U.S. citizen to apply.

To apply visit Applications are due by March 3, 2015. For more information contact Diane Williams, or call 304-293-4692.

18 Feb
Charles J. Brody

Charles J. Brody, finalist candidate for dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, appeared on campus Tuesday to present his vision for the position and field questions in an open forum.

Due to technical issues, the presentation was not streamed and was previously unavailable. A recorded copy of the presentation is available to watch below.

For full candidate information, visit our finalists webpage here.

13 Feb

The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce four recipients of the 2015 Outstanding Teaching Award: Joshua Arthurs, Rosemary Hathaway, Joseph Lebold and Rachel Stein.

“It’s exciting—indeed an honor—to recognize these four individuals, coming as they do from four different areas of the Eberly College,” said Rudolph Almasy, interim dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. “Each is not only a fine representative of what we do, but a model and mentor to so many others—both students and faculty colleagues.”

Josh Arthurs Joshua Arthurs, associate professor of history and director of graduate studies, challenges his students to question what they already know. Instead of assigning texts built around established narratives of historical events, this method allows his students to look further than often simplified, inflexible ideas about the past.

“Many history courses revolve around the questions of who, what, and where?” one student wrote in a recommendation. “Dr. Arthurs designs his courses around the question of ‘why?’”

His research interests include modern Italy, western and Southern Europe and the commemoration, conflict, political culture and everyday life during the Fascist period. Arthurs received his doctorate in 2007 and master’s degree in 1999 from the University of Chicago, and his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 1997.

Rosemary Hathaway Rosemary Hathaway, associate professor of English, believes flexibility is the key to connecting with students. Keeping a loose hand on the wheel of class activity, she recognizes teachable moments aren’t created, they’re presented through interest and understanding of the texts presented. Her students are forced to confront their own biases and assumptions of texts, because without doing so, they cannot understand how their experiences mesh, or stand apart from, others’.

“It is crucial for me to provide students with the tools and the sense of safety they need to understand why the material I’m teaching is relevant—why it matters and how it speaks to their own experiences,” she said.

Her areas of interest include folklore, young-adult literature, 20th century American literature and English education. She received her doctorate from Ohio State University in 1998.

Joe Lebold Joe Lebold, teaching assistant professor of geology, keeps his students on his toes by incorporating a dynamic nature of study. By incorporating content from almost every required course in the geology curriculum, he jumps from one topic to another. This keeps students from getting bored with the material, as the focus could shift while still being relevant to his courses. This method was adopted from an unlikely source – his days as a salesman. Communication is everything, and now it helps his students fully engage with his work.

“I try to introduce information in a simple framework, based on observations that anyone can make,” he said. “I then draw upon examples from nature that have a connection to my students’ lives. My goal is to give them the confidence needed to make key observations and interpret the patterns that they see every day.”

His research interests include paleoecology, paleontology and regional geology. He received his doctorate and his bachelor’s degree in geology from West Virginia University (2005, 1994, respectively) and his master’s degree in geology from Ohio State University in 1998.

Rachel Stein Rachel Stein, associate professor of sociology, has shifted away from lecture-based teaching. Instead, she has adopted a team-based learning model. Her goal is to promote student learning and provide an element of accountability for students in the classroom, to become more aware of their learning processes and to emphasize skills they will continue to use after graduation. Stein feels strongly that students are more likely to care about the course material if they understand why and how the class is relevant to their lives.

“This method is designed to empower student learning,” she said. “If students take responsibility for their learning, they will have a greater learning experience in the classroom.”

Stein’s research has focused primarily on the multilevel analysis of cross-national victimization within a routine activities/lifestyles theoretical framework. Her research also explores the portrayal of violent females in popular film through content analysis. She received her doctorate (2008) and master’s degree (2004) in sociology from the University of Akron, and her bachelor’s degree from Mount Union College (2002).

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