GSC News

HSTA Students Visit GSC

OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31, 2011

For more information:
Bob Edwards
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College
(304) 462-7361 ext. 6390

Glenville, WV—Twenty-two high school HSTA students from Braxton and Webster Counties visited Glenville State College on Thursday, October 20th to learn about some of the many course offerings available at the school.

These students are participating in the Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) of West Virginia University. This 9th-12th grade math and science program encourages aspirations, opens doors, and empowers minority and underrepresented students and rural communities. HSTA provides the infrastructure and support for community-based science projects mentored by teachers, health professional, students, and volunteer community leaders during the school year. The goals of the program are to: provide teacher development; improve science, math, leadership skills, and knowledge of middle and high school students; increase the number of underrepresented individuals who pursue careers in health sciences, middle/secondary math, and science teaching, speech pathology, and audiology; and improve collaboration to provide resources and expertise. There are HSTA programs in twenty-six West Virginia counties.

GSC senior criminal justice major Sara McFarland of St. Marys, West Virginia demonstrates how to take fingerprints with Webster County High School junior Robby Isabell.

The busy afternoon included several stops on campus. GSC Assistant Professor of Nursing Debra Furbee gave the students a presentation using medical dummies in the Nursing Lab. Sara McFarland, a GSC senior criminal justice major from St. Marys, West Virginia, taught the students how to take fingerprints. Dr. Kevin Evans, Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. David O’Dell, Associate Professor of Chemistry conducted hands-on chemistry experiments for the students. Dr. Gary Morris, Assistant Professor of Biology and Department Chair led the students in a lab where they learned to extract DNA from strawberries using everyday household items.

GSC Assistant Professor of Nursing Debra Furbee (right) talks with HSTA students about the GSC Nursing program.

“This was a nice opportunity for our students to tour the Glenville State College campus and get a feel for the school and a college atmosphere,” said Debra Burgess, HSTA Field Site Coordinator for the Braxton/Webster region.

HSTA conducts Summer Institutes which are campus-based programs that provide intensive academic enrichment emphasizing science and math for each grade from 9th through 12th. They also offer laboratory experiences where students work with scientists/clinical practitioners. The students work on projects emphasizing science in ways to develop their knowledge and skills to observe, hypothesize, and develop methods to answer questions which generate knowledge. The hands-on project experiences promote the concept of biology as an experimental science. The students learn to collect, analyze, and interpret data as well as communicate their results. Self-esteem building, motivation enhancement, leadership development skills, and study skills are incorporated into the experience.

In the summer of 2009, Glenville State College was chosen to host the HSTA Summer Institute for Forensics. Approximately one-hundred students attended the week-long camp where they were presented with a crime scene and learned the forensic science techniques that can be used to collect evidence to solve the crime. The week’s activities were based on the famous 1919 Glenville murder of Sis Linn as a model for the crime to be investigated and tried.

Glenville State College is applying to host the 2011 HSTA Summer Institute for Forensics scheduled for this July. “The 2009 Institute was a wonderful experience for everyone involved including the students, GSC faculty, and GSC student mentors. This is a great opportunity for us to expose dozens of high school students to everything we have to offer here at GSC. It is a lot of hard work, but I believe it is well worth the effort. I hope we are again selected to host the Summer Institute,” said Dr. Morris.

High school students who successfully complete the requirements of the HSTA program, which includes attending the Summer Institute, qualify for college scholarships through the Health Sciences and Technology Academy. Currently there are several HSTA students enrolled at GSC. To learn more about HSTA, visit

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