GSC News

Gibbons Receives 2014 Barr Award


For more information:
Dustin Crutchfield
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College
(304) 462-6394

GLENVILLE, WV – Dr. Megan Gibbons, Assistant Professor of Spanish at Glenville State College, has been selected to receive the 2014 Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award.

The recipient of the award may use the funds to further his or her professional growth and development. The award is rotated annually between faculty and staff. The funds must be used within eighteen months of being awarded.

GSC President Dr. Peter Barr and Betsy Barr and with 2014 Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award recipient Dr. Megan Gibbons (center).

GSC President Dr. Peter Barr and Betsy Barr and with 2014 Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award recipient Dr. Megan Gibbons (center).

Gibbons plans to use the award to attend the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference in San Diego this coming May. With West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission placing emphasis on expanding internationalization in curriculum, this conference will provide resources and workshops and allow her insight into transforming not only her courses, but to assist other professors at Glenville State College in doing the same.

“Upon learning I had received the award, I was very grateful and excited. NAFSA is the Association of International Educators and is well-known for its leadership in all areas of internationalization. As a member of GSC’s International Committee and as Project Coordinator for our two pilot courses featuring collaborative online international learning, I felt it would be important for me to attend NAFSA’s annual conference in order to stay current with trends and best practices related to internationalization. What I learn at the NAFSA conference will be extremely useful in my work here at Glenville State to internationalize the curriculum, since it is my hope that someday all GSC students will have at least one academic global learning experience before they graduate,” said Gibbons.

GSC was recently selected as one of three institutions in the country to receive financial support and technical training from the State University of New York Collaborative Online International Learning American Council on Education Award. With that announcement, Gibbons will be working in concert with GSC Associate Professor of History Dr. Mike Gherke and with two professors from the University of Oviedo in Spain in order to explore the shared cultural and historical connections between the Appalachian and Asturian regions.

Asturian immigrants settled in Central West Virginia in the early twentieth century, maintaining their language and traditions while simultaneously adjusting to life in Appalachia. All students enrolled in these courses will increase their cultural knowledge. Additionally, those in Dr. Gherke’s course will focus on the immigrant experience whereas those in Dr. Gibbons’ course will hone language skills by practicing with native speakers.

“Our intent in funding this award was to expand the opportunities for our staff and faculty to grow professionally in a way that will benefit all of us here at Glenville State.  Dr. Gibbons’ selection will certainly meet that goal, and Betsy and I congratulate her for her insight in the expansion of our international footprint in this exciting venture,” said President Barr.

“The support of President and Mrs. Barr for faculty and staff to pursue professional development opportunities such as these is critical to maintaining standards of excellence, and I am honored to be able to represent the college at NAFSA thanks to the generosity of the Barrs,” concluded Gibbons.

Gibbons is originally from Western Massachusetts but has lived throughout the United States and also in Italy, Panama, and Spain. She earned her Ph.D. in Hispanic Language and Literature from Boston University. Gibbons is currently in her third year at GSC and in addition to teaching all levels of Spanish, she also serves as the study abroad advisor.

Previous recipients of the Barr Award were: GSC Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Sara Sawyer (2010), Administrative Secretary for the GSC Athletic Department and Title IX Coordinator/Senior Women’s Administrator Amanda Frymier (2011), Associate Professor of Business Cheryl Fleming McKinney, CPA (2012), and Registrar’s Office Certification Analyst Denise Ellyson (2013).

The next Barr Award will be presented in January 2015 to a selected staff applicant. A committee comprised of two faculty members and two staff representatives reviews all applications and selects the awardee.

For more information about the Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award, contact Vice President for College Advancement and Executive Director of GSC Foundation and Chairman of the Pete and Betsy Barr Professional Development Award Selection Committee Denny Pounds at or (304) 462-6381.

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