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29 Oct

West Virginia University professors and students visited the former Brooke Glass Factory on Tuesday, working with the Brooke County Glass Grants and Opportunities team, along with the Northern Western Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, in an effort to tell the history of Wellsburg and the glass factory. Patrick Kirby, the director of the assistance center, invited the students to help figure out how to best preserve the factory’s history.

28 Oct

West Virginia is one of many states across the nation that allows early voting, and the goal was to get people who couldn’t necessarily get to their polling place on Election Day out to vote.

27 Oct

This week aerospace company Lockheed Martin announced that it was one step closer to producing nuclear fusion energy, an industry in development for decades that is expected to bring cheaper, cleaner and sustainable energy to the world. Earl Scime, the Oleg D. Jefimenko Professor of Physics at West Virginia University, decided as a boy that he wanted to go into physics and his specialty of plasma physics to develop this bountiful clean energy.

27 Oct

Marriage equality is now legal in the state of West Virginia, as Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced on Oct. 9 he would drop his fight against same-sex couples. However, while couples can now be married, there is still a lot of work to do, according to the LGBT community. “We’re up to 30 states now where LGBT people can get married,” said Daniel Brewster, a West Virginia University professor. “Now there are 20 more to go.”

27 Oct

If you have older kids who want to trick-or-treat by themselves, it’s not always easy to find out where exactly they are at all times, but a new app, available for downloads on smartphones is allowing parents and their kids to check-in and find out where each other are located. A new app called “Trick or Tracker” allows parents and their children to locate each other, and send their locations to each other, not only during trick-or-treat, but year round, giving kids a little more freedom, but keeping mom and dad in the know of their location.

22 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Native American Studies Program at West Virginia University will host the annual Peace Tree Ceremony on Nov. 18 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the WVU Peace Tree on the downtown campus between Martin and Elizabeth Moore halls.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Mountainlair ballrooms.

The event is free and open to the public.

The guests of honor for the ceremony include Boe Harris-Nakakakena, (Turtle Mountain Chippewa); and Ragghi Rain Calentine (Eastern Cherokee descent). The two cultural educators promote, social justice, health, cultural awareness, and inclusiveness through traditional music, storytelling, and dance.

Harris-Nakakakena is a Northern Traditional and Jingle Dress dancer who plays Native American flute. She has performed throughout the country, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at numerous NATO military bases throughout Europe.

“As a granddaughter of strong Indian women, my heart and spirit know no other journey than to follow the traditions that flowed through the souls, spirits, and lives of those women who walked before me,” Harris-Nakakakena said.

Calentine is a gifted storyteller who says she helps teach and inspire “people who are on the edge of life, including those in prison, children in crisis, and others.” Her work is aimed at helping individuals break the cycle of unhealthy decision-making that puts them and their families at risk.

Both women are actively engaged in community development with the Nanticoke Indian Association of Southern Delaware and travel throughout the country providing workshops, training, and retreats.

The first WVU Peace Tree was planted in 1992 by Chief Leon Shenandoah, Tadodaho of the Grand Council of the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, and Chippewa Chief Robert TallTree.

While in Morgantown the honored guests will give an interactive Native American music, dance, and storytelling presentation on Sunday, November 16 from 2:00-3:30 at the J. Gluck Theater, Mountainlair. Families are encouraged to attend this free public event and enjoy an apple cider and cookie reception and children’s literature exhibit provided by the performance co-sponsors, the Morgantown Public Library & Shelley A. Marshall Foundation.

Sponsors for the week’s events include The WVU School of Social Work , WVU’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, The College of Education and Human Services—Office for Diversity & Global Initiatives, and The Carolyn Reyer Fund for Native American Studies.

For more information, contact Bonnie Brown at 304-293-4626 or



22 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – There is concern in California that planned wind turbine farms— intended to create new, renewable energy sources— will harm rare California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) and other birds of prey populations if the turbines are placed in their habitat.

The placement of the turbines, paired with the condors’ expansive wing span and their inability to quickly respond to aerial threats (wind turbine blade tips can rotate at 150 mile per hour) could be a deadly combination for the rare bird.

Jonathan Hall, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University, is using a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to monitor the flight patterns of condors to better understand how these birds respond to variation in topography and weather, which could ultimately save their lives.

“There’s a potential conflict between plans to harvest more wind energy and these large birds that use the same resource. As it turns out, some of the most attractive sites for wind turbines are sites that condors and other large raptors utilize to move across the landscape,” Hall said.

“We’re trying to learn as much as we can about how condors navigate the landscape and respond to environmental conditions. A lot of time, money, and effort has been and is still being spent on making sure these birds don’t disappear forever. I feel privileged to work with the folks that are keeping California condors from going extinct because these birds are truly awesome and an important component of a healthy ecosystem. It’s a common and ongoing challenge to mitigate the interests of humans and the survival of wildlife.”

Using solar powered GPS units attached to individual condors, the research team will track each bird’s movements for the next year. The units record GPS location, altitude, flying speed, and temperature every 15 minutes and transmit the data via existing cell phone networks to a remote server.

The amount of data generated by each unit is a four-fold to eight-fold increase from previous generation technology and will provide a much clearer picture of condor flight behavior.

“There are unique benefits to renewable energy, but there are ecological benefits in condors’ presence. We need to understand these birds better if we going to have more wind energy and condors,” Hall said.

For more information, contact Jonathan Hall at (304) 293-8559 or

22 Oct

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Female veterans returning from war face many challenges when readjusting to civilian life.

Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, required deployed women to participate in every aspect of the war.

M. Cookie Mankowski, assistant professor in the School of Social Work at West Virginia University present “Coming Home: readjustment for women veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom,” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, in Elizabeth Moore Hall on the downtown campus, as part of the Women’s and Gender Studies Fireside Chat series.

The event is free and open to the public.

During the 20-minute talk, Mankowski will discuss her research on the difficulties female veterans face when returning from the Iraq conflict and Afghanistan conflict.

“Civilian life is quite unpredictable. It’s everything from picking up the kids, making dinner, to going to work, all still within the experience of their military life. Adjusting to civilian life post-deployment was not always easy or smooth for the women in my study,” Mankowski said.

The two recent conflicts were different than most wars in the sense that there were no front or rear lines, as in a number of previous wars. In Iraq and Afghanistan, every place was a battle zone.

“Women, although they might not have (had) a military occupational specialty that was described for battle, they were still in battle grounds. They were still getting hit by mortars and had to avoid improvised explosive devices,” Mankowski said.

Mankowski completed her bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University and earned her master’s degree from The University of Michigan. She received a pre-dissertation fellowship at Yale University and her doctorate from Smith College.

She has experience providing clinical social work and case management services, and has been employed at community mental health agencies, schools, universities and hospitals.

The Fireside Chats are sponsored by the WVU Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and made possible through contributions to the Women’s Studies Development Fund.

For more information, contact Cookie Mankowski at

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.

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