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20 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Department of History at West Virginia University present the 2014 Rush Holt Lecture, “Telling Stories in Early America, or, The Indian Who Went to London with an Eagle and Came Home with a Lion” on Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in room G21 of Ming Hsieh Hall on the WVU downtown campus.

Joshua Piker, history professor at the College of William and Mary and editor of the William and Mary Quarterly, will speak on the travels of Tomochichi, a Creek headman who sailed to England in 1734 for a meeting with King George II.

The event is free and open to the public.

“(Piker) exemplifies that teacher-researcher (mentality) that so many academics strive to become over the course of their careers, and he does it through the telling of stories, which is the focus of his talk on Thursday,” said Michele Stephens, assistant professor of history at WVU.

Tomochichi’s experiences on the voyage illustrate how American Indians approached the challenges and opportunities of the colonial world.

Piker has published articles and essays in a wide range of venues, as well as two monographs— “Okfuskee: A Creek Indian Town in Colonial America” and “The Four Deaths of Acorn Whistler: Telling Stories in Colonial America.” The Harvard University Press published both of his articles.

The first Rush D. Holt Lecture was presented by the WVU Department of History in 2011. Inaugurating the lecture series was the Honorable Rush D. Holt Jr., a U.S. Congressman from New Jersey and the son of former U.S. Sen. Rush D. Holt Sr., of West Virginia, after whom the series is named.

The lecture series is supported by the family of Senator Holt through the Senator Rush D. Holt Endowment established in 1998 through a private gift to the WVU Foundation, Inc. The same endowment sponsors a biennial historical conference.

For more information, contact Joseph Hodge, chair of the Department of History at WVU at

17 Oct

Knowing our family and friends are safe after any type of disaster is something we all care about, and now, Facebook is making it even easier for people to notify family and friends of their safety. Natural disasters don’t often happen in our area, but when they do, safety is our number one priority.

“It seems like this app wouldn’t even be able to function if people have their location settings turned off. In other words, if you don’t give Facebook access to your location, the app probably cant work. it’s not really for the people who are in the disaster, its for the people who are worrying about the people who could be in the disaster. It’s just a neat little feature to give people that extra sense of security,” said Elizabeth Cohen, Communication Studies professor at West Virginia University.

15 Oct

Join the Chestnut Ridge Center Nov. 12 from noon-1p.m. for WVU Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry Grand Rounds. In conjunction with the 2014 David C. Hardesty Jr. Tanner Lecture, Dr. Stuart Yudofsky will be presenting “Stuck in Pleasing Others: Introduction to Supermentalization” at the Okey Patteson Auditorium of Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center.

A leader in his field, Yudofsky is the chairman of the departments of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and Houston Methodist Hospital. He is responsible for the oversight of academic activities in psychiatry at Ben Taub General Hospital, the Michael E. Debakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Texas Children’s Hospital, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, DePelchin Children’s Center and the Menninger Clinic

Below are links to both events with details.

15 Oct

Tim Carr believed a Monroe County Utica Shale well producing 38.9 million cubic feet of natural gas per day last year was big. That was until he learned of the 46.5 million cubic feet pumping daily at the Magnum Hunter Stewart Winland well in Tyler County. “I do not know what we will do with all the gas. Always want to wait and see what the decline is, but these numbers are off scale,” Carr, the Marshall Miller professor of geology at West Virginia University, said.
15 Oct

People who use Snapchat send pictures to their friends and family, and they last only for a couple seconds. However, after over 100,000 of these pictures were released over the weekend, more questions are being raised about the app’s security. Selfies are sent via Snapchat by thousands of users every day. One person takes a photo, determines how long they want their friend to view it, and send it out. Once it’s viewed, it disappears.

14 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Andy Lattal, centennial professor in the Department of Psychology at West Virginia University, has been recognized for his more than 45-year-career in the field of behavior analysis.

He has been named the 2015 Outstanding Contributions to Behavior Analysis award recipient by the California Association for Behavior Analysis, and will be honored at the organization’s regional conference in February.

Lattal has long been a leading researcher in the field, and has been essential to the success of behavior analysis research at WVU.

“Dr. Lattal is an internationally recognized scholar of behavior analysis,” said Kevin Larkin, chair of the psychology department.

He added, “receipt of this award is further testimony to the fact that the WVU faculty comprise one of the top programs in the world in the area of behavior analysis.”

Author of 150 research articles and chapters on conceptual, experimental, and applied topics in behavior analysis and the psychology of learning, Lattal has edited seven books and journal special issues.

He has served as president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, the American Psychological Association’s Division for Behavior Analysis, the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis.

Lattal is editor for English language submissions of the Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis, and former editor of the field’s flagship journal, the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has served on the editorial boards of eight professional journals and is a past recipient of the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis Distinguished Contributions to Behavior Analysis Award.

Lattal received the WVU Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award in 1989, the American Psychological Association’s Division for Behavior Analysis Distinguished Contributions to Basic Research Award in 2001 and its Don Hake Award for Translational Research in 2013.

Lattal taught and conducted research at several universities and in six other countries, most recently spending the 2012-13 academic year at Université Charles de Gaulle in Lille, France, as a Fulbright Research Scholar.

He is a fellow of American Psychological Association, Association for Behavior Analysis International, and the American Psychological Society.

Lattal joined the WVU faculty in 1972, serving for 30 as the coordinator of WVU’s behavior analysis.

The annual California conference is the largest subgroup of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, an association of behavior analysts from various organizations throughout the world.

It is composed of practitioners in education, autism, and basic researchers.

Lattal will accept the award at the CalABA Western Regional Conference at the Town & Country in San Diego, from Feb 19-21, 2015.

For more information, contact Andy Lattal at (304) 293-1705 or

14 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – American politics are becoming increasingly polarized.

That polarization, experts say, can cause politicians to focus more on helping out their party, rather than doing what is good for the general public.

The School of Politics and Policy at West Virginia University will host Sean Theriault, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and scholar on congressional partisanship at 10 a.m. Friday in the Shenandoah Room of the Mountainlair (downtown campus).

Theriault will present “Party Warriors: The Ugly Side of Party Polarization in Congress,” a look at how Congress has become polarized, and what it means for the future of American politics.

The event is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session will follow.

“This will give people some background on where we are right now, with the challenges were facing in a very polarized political system in Washington,” said Scott Crichlow, director of the WVU School of Politics and Policy.

“Both houses of Congress have changed their behavior with the increasing level of polarization in the last 20 years. Can Congress still function in that way?”

Theriault researches American political institutions, primarily the U.S. Congress. His current research is on the Gingrich Senators, who entered Congress and led a group of insurgent conservatives whose chief aim was a Republican Party majority. This led to extreme polarization; something American politics had yet to experience.

He has published three books, “The Power of the People: Congressional Competition, Public Attention, and Voter Retribution” (Ohio State University Press, 2005); “Party Polarization in Congress” (Cambridge University Press, 2008); and “The Gingrich Senators: The Roots of Partisan Warfare in Congress” (Oxford University Press, 2013).

In addition to his books, Theriault has published numerous articles on subjects ranging from presidential rhetoric, congressional careers, the Louisiana Purchase and the Pendleton Act of 1883.

For more information, contact Scott Crichlow at (304) 293-9535 or

14 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In recent years, the need for mental and behavioral specialists is on the rise. Health policy changes under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will lead to millions more Americans accessing mental and behavioral health services.

Unfortunately, the number of mental and behavioral specialists is not sufficient to meet the increasing need for their services.

Carrie Rishel, associate professor in the School of Social Work at West Virginia University, recently received a behavioral health workforce education and training grant totaling $545,785 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to extend support for the Integrated Behavioral Health Training Program (IMBTP).

Her colleague, Helen Hartnett associate director and MSW program director of the School of Social Work, serves as the co-principal investigator on the grant.

The program, established in 2012 by support from a mental and behavioral health education and training grant funded by HRSA, trains graduate students in the Master’s of Social Work program in areas directly related to mental and behavioral health, with the goal of creating new professionals in the field.

Working professionals can also participate in the training workshops sponsored as part of the IMBTP through the School’s Professional and Community Education program.

The original IMBTP funding is being used to support the training of 25 students from 2012-2015 in integrated mental and behavioral health, with a special focus on both children and military personnel, veterans and their families.

The newly funded project, known as the IMBTP-2, will fund an additional 40 students from 2014-2017 in the same field, with a focus on practice with children, adolescents and transitional-age youth who are at-risk for behavioral health disorders.

“I hope to see that we are developing a highly trained workforce in West Virginia that can address the mental and behavioral health needs of children and youth in the state, and who can serve as leaders in developing integrated models of service delivery,” Rishel said. “Integrated models of service are especially needed in rural areas.”

The program will consist specialized coursework including completion of the “Graduate Certificate in Mental and Behavioral Health,” focused field placements (internships) in mental and behavioral health settings working with children, adolescents, and/or transitional age youth, and several specialized workshops including topics such as motivational interviewing, parent-child therapy, play therapy, substance abuse, and more.

The WVU School of Social Work will offer the program to master’s candidates at six locations in West Virginia, including Morgantown, Charleston, Beckley, Keyser, Wheeling and Martinsburg.

Rishel received her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. Her research focuses on children’s mental health, specifically the prevention of child mental health problems.

For more information, contact Carrie Rishel, at 304-293-6377 or

14 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University debate team is off to a fantastic start, and that’s not debatable.

The team began the season on a strong note, with some excellent performances, and important debuts at the Rutgers-Newark University Season-Opener tournament on Oct. 3-5.

In the junior varisty division, team captain Nina Orteza, a senior economics, Slavic and East European Studies and World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics student from Morgantown, West Virginia, and her partner, Carty Flora went 4-2, earning a five seed in the tournament.

The two students received a bye in the octafinals before losing a 2-1 decision to Western Connecticut State University in the quarterfinals.

Orteza was named second best speaker in the JV division.

In the novice division, Stephen Mullins, a senior physics and astronomy and world languages student from Charleston, West Virginia, and his partner, Mickey Wright, a junior history, economics and Latin American studies student from Hedgesville, West Virginia, began their debate careers with a strong performance.

Mullins and Wright went 5-1 in preliminary rounds, the only loss coming to Binghamton University. This placed Mullins and Wright as a three seed in a 40-team division.

They received a bye in the double octafinals before winning 3-0 over George Mason University in octafinals, and 2-1 over Liberty University in the quarterfinals.

The team lost 3-0 to Binghamton, who won the tournament, 3-0 in the semifinals.

Mullins was named top individual speaker in the novice division.

Neil Berch, political science professor, Samantha Godbey, the team’s assistant director, Samuel Darkwa, assistant coach, and volunteer Joshua Imes are the coaches of the 2014 team.

“We’re really excited about the start of the season. Old and new debaters have been working hard to prepare, and we’re expecting great things. We appreciate all the support we’ve gotten from the Eberly College and the University community,” Berch said.

The WVU Debate Team followed up its stellar opening weekend with another strong performance at the LBS Tournament hosted at James Madison University.

In the Open Division, Nathan McTeer (in just his second college tournament) and Nina Orteza went 3-3, just missing elimination rounds and defeating some very strong debaters. In Novice, Mickey Wright and Nathan Wagner (in his first tournament ever) went 4-2 in preliminary rounds, including a big win over Cornell. As the 7th seed, they defeated a team from West Point in octafinals on a 3-0 decision, before dropping a tough 2-1 quarterfinals decision to another team from Army. The tournament also marked the competitive finale for two year debater Rachel Pruden, who will be graduating in December. She will, however, join us as a judge at the WVU John Jacobsohn Memorial Mountaineer Debate Tournament November 14-16 (mark your calendars!),

Debaters were already plotting strategy for West Point the day after JMU, and several have vowed to spend part of Fall Break preparing for the West Point tournament, which is shaping up to be the East’s largest tournament of the fall.

The team will host the John A. Jacobsohn Memorial Debates for the first time since 2011, on Nov. 14-16.

The tournament is named in memory of the WVU Debate Team’s long time advisor, John Jacobsohn.

Jacobsohn was a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at WVU, who taught courses in Latin American politics and government, international law and international human rights.

Teams from around the Eastern and Southern United States will attend and alumni and friends are encouraged to join.

Coach Berch will treat returning alumni to dinner, and will present the Jacobsohn, Borsay, and Rogers awards at an awards ceremony.

For more information, contact Neil Berch at (304) 293-9532 or

13 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDS), commonly referred to as doping, has long been a controversial topic in the world of professional sports.

But where do these drugs come from?

The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University will host Katinka van de Ven, a doctorate candidate of the Erasmus Mundus Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology, on Oct. 17, at 11:30 a.m., in the Laurel Room of the WVU Mountainlair on the downtown campus.

Van de Ven will present “The Formation and Development of PIEDs Trafficking Networks in the Netherlands and Belgium: A Typology of Dealers, and the Implications of PIED policies.”

Her talk, which is free and open to the public, will dive into the Dutch and Belgian performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) black market to examine how trafficking networks develop.

These countries provide the ideal types for exploring the PIEDs markets in relation to policy, as Belgium is advancing a zero-tolerance approach, and the Netherlands do not have a policy on PIEDs.

In the mid 2000s, sport officials and authorities began to blame the high use of performance and image enhancing drugs on organized crime. According to the officials, these alleged groups are well-financed and prey on the success of athletes and lure young athletes into using the drugs.

“It is no secret that performance enhancing drugs plague athletics. Katinka van de Ven’s lecture offers students, college athletic departments, and faculty new insight into an ongoing problem that warrants much critical insight,” said Walter Dekeseredy, Anna Deane Carlson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences and professor of sociology at WVU.

Doping, van de Ven posits, is more than a threat to athletics. It’s a social problem in need of a criminal justice response.

Van de Ven holds a master’s of science in psychology and a master’s of arts in criminology from Utrecht University, and specializes in documenting how differences in anti-doping legislation affect the criminal market for PIEDs.

For more information, contact Walter Dekeseredy at (304) 293-8846 or

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