FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2014
For More Information:
Glenville State College
Public Relations Department
Glenville, WV—Glenville State College Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Ross Conover has received the 2014 Curtis Elam Professor for Teaching Excellence Award. To be eligible for consideration faculty members must be tenured or be making satisfactory progress toward tenure, have a record of scholarship and service regarding the improvement of teaching, a record of dedication to the preparation of teachers and innovation in pedagogy, and have a record of successful partnerships with the public schools to advance the teaching/learning process.
The award, which is effective for three years, also provides $5,000 per year to support additional professional development for the designated professor.
“I’m elated to receive the Curtis Elam Award for Teaching Excellence as it will allow me to pursue several academic and scholarship aspirations. This award will solidify my continued long-term research to understand life-history tradeoffs of high elevation sparrows in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, assist the formation of a collaborative project between GSC and Gilmer County High School to study the influence of feral cats on breeding songbirds native to Gilmer County, and I also hope to develop an affordable study abroad opportunity for GSC students to learn first-hand about Tropical Field Biology in Costa Rica,” said Conover.
Conover is in his sixth year at GSC. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in environmental science and wildlife from Unity College in Maine, a Master’s of Science degree in biology from Mississippi State University, and a Ph.D. in animal ecology from Iowa State University.
In addition to his teaching duties, Conover is also a member of several professional organizations and enjoys avian related research. Most recently he completed three years of bird surveys which took place in northwestern Mississippi. That research was published in The American Midland Naturalist. He is also at the helm of the self-proclaimed ‘Little Kanawha Navy’ that has initiated cleanup efforts on sections of the Little Kanawha River in Gilmer County for the past three years.
“Being named the Curtis Elam Professor is a tremendous accomplishment because it is so highly competitive. It also shows that his peers and administrators felt he was deserving of this award. Ross already possesses enormous skills in the instruction of our students, and I’m sure that the activities he has planned for the next three years will only enhance his abilities,” said Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr.
The late Curtis Elam, a 1949 GSC graduate, established the Curtis Elam Faculty Award as a tribute to the faculty of Glenville State College in recognition of the help and guidance they provided to him in obtaining his undergraduate degree. Elam found a home at Glenville State College where he excelled as a football player and earned a degree. After graduation, Mr. Elam, a native of Oklahoma, devoted his entire life to teaching and child advocacy.
In addition to the Teaching Excellence award, Curtis Elam’s endowment to his alma mater established a scholarship program for college students with disabilities by funding special support services for them, as well as the Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame.
Conover is the fifth GSC Curtis Elam Professor. Other winners were Dr. Joe Evans (2002), Professor Emerita Dr. Sherry Jones (2005), Dr. Rico Gazal (2008), and Teresa Dody (2011). He will be officially recognized with the honor at the spring faculty and staff welcome back meeting in January.