GSC News

GSC Career Services Counselor Receives Award


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Joanna DiStefano

Joanna DiStefano

GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State College Career Services Counselor, Joanna DiStefano, has been recognized by Creighton University where she was recently awarded a Master of Science in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from their School of Law. She received the Maurine Hamilton Award for Outstanding Graduate Woman of 2014. The annual award is given to a female graduate who portrays the characteristics that Maurine Murdock Hamilton believed in; academic excellence, leadership, and service. Hamilton served as the Dean of Women at Creighton University from 1950-1964.

For part of her final exit project, DiStefano created a general studies course that will be offered as a pilot program at Glenville State College for the fall 2014 term to help students who are undecided in what area they should major. She has also developed and proposed a conflict analysis course that would instill negotiation skills and academic success in students.

“I am incredibly honored to be the recipient of the Maurine Hamilton Award. I am also so very grateful that I was able to complete my practicum here at GSC. This is a wonderful place with a distinctive mission that emphasizes leadership and community.  I now have an amazing opportunity to teach this new course as a pilot GSC 100 (the freshman general education requirement at GSC) class this fall, and I eagerly anticipate all the possibilities for innovation and growth that this will bring,” said DiStefano.

“This award is further evidence of the commitment of Joanna and the Glenville State staff generally to professional development that enhances the quality of the instruction and services the College offers its students,” said GSC Provost and Senior Vice President Dr. John Peek.

For more information about the pilot course or other academic resources at Glenville State College, contact DiStefano at or (304) 462-6151.

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GSC Invites Community to Help Welcome Incoming Students


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New GSC students chat with community members about services available to them during last year's Campus and Community Picnic

New GSC students chat with community members about services available to them during last year's Campus and Community Picnic

GLENVILLE, WV – On Friday, August 15th, new students will be welcomed to Glenville State College (GSC) for the 2014-2015 academic school year. Students will use Friday and the weekend to become acquainted with the school and community before classes begin on Monday, August 18th.

To help the new students learn about the Glenville community—including local businesses, churches, and other groups that might interest them—GSC is hosting a Campus Picnic & Community Fair.

The event will take place on Saturday, August 16th beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the lawn near GSC’s Clark Hall. Representatives from community businesses, churches, and organizations are invited to set up displays to introduce themselves to the new students through the use of coupons, gift certificates, free samples, and information. The annual event is an opportunity to show new GSC Pioneers what the community has to offer them.

“This is a very exciting time in the lives of these students, and we are giving local residents the chance to introduce themselves and their organizations to them. We are more than excited to be a part of such a wonderful community that so willingly gives back to those in the area,” said GSC Director of Student Activities Jodi Ocheltree.

Anyone interested in participating should reserve a table by Friday, August 8th. To make reservations or for additional information, contact Ocheltree at or (304) 462-6416.

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Glenville State College Recognizes Nine Outstanding Alumni


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GLENVILLE, WV – Alumni and friends of Glenville State College gathered on campus for Alumni Day on Saturday, April 27th where they enjoyed tours of the new Waco Center, lots of bluegrass music on the back lawn of the Alumni Center, and the evening’s alumni awards banquet where the prestigious Alumnus of the Year Award was presented to Rich Heffelfinger.

Rich Heffelfinger

Rich Heffelfinger

Heffelfinger was born in Troy, Ohio, graduated from high school, and then made West Virginia his home. He attended Glenville State College where he played football and graduated with honors in 1980 with a degree in education. He was introduced to the oil and gas industry during college in the form of summer employment, which then led to a lifetime career.

His first oil and gas job was with I.L. Morris Well Service in Glenville where he was introduced to people in the industry. The following summer he worked for Eastern American Energy, also in Glenville, which led to an almost 20 year career with the company. He held many titles during his time with Eastern American, finally serving as President in Charleston, West Virginia. Heffelfinger left Eastern American Energy in 2000 to join Rubin Resources as an owner and Executive Vice President and is still there today.

Service to the industry and community has been an important part of his life. Heffelfinger has been elected and served four terms on the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV) Board of Directors, twice serving as president. He was honored by IOGAWV in 2006 with the Gunslinger Award for his distinguished service to the association and industry. In 2013 he was named Oil and Gas Man of the Year by the West Virginia Oil and Gas Festival.

Heffelfinger has also served on the Board of Directors for the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association, Energize West Virginia, Capital State Bank, The Greater Kanawha Valley YMCA where he served two years as Chairman, Glenville State College Foundation Board, and Glenville State College Board of Governors where he is currently serving as Chairman.

He and his wife Twila reside in Charleston and have three children, Heather, Brock, and Blake, and one grandson, Casset Earl.

GSC Alumni Association President John Hoover (left) with Alumni Achievement Award recipient Kim Wilson

GSC Alumni Association President John Hoover (left) with Alumni Achievement Award recipient Kim Wilson

Kim Wilson, Class of 1974, received the Alumni Achievement Award for being named the 2014 South Carolina High School Principal of the Year by the South Carolina Association of School Administrators in December 2013.

A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, he is principal at R.B. Stall High School in North Charleston, South Carolina.

During Wilson’s four years as principal at R.B. Stall golf, rugby, and swim teams have been added, fine arts program have tripled, and the number of school clubs has increased from five to 65. Under his guidance, an emphasis has been placed on improving academic assistance and professional development for instructors. The additional activities and tutoring opportunities are ways to keep students engaged at the school. Wilson’s school also partnered with the Boeing plant in North Carolina to offer an aerospace program which ties into college classes.

As the South Carolina principal winner, based on school improvement and achievement, Wilson will advance to the national competition in October 2014 in Washington, D.C.

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Glenville State College, Wilson holds a Master of Arts in Counseling and Rehabilitation from Marshall University, a Master of Science in Physical Education from Marshall, and a Specialist in Education degree from the Citadel.

Wilson’s wife Betsy is also a Parkersburg native. They have one son, Wesley.

Glenville State College Community Service Award recipient Mack Samples steps forward as fellow musician Buddy Griffin (left) and GSC Alumni Association President John Hoover (right) congratulate him

Glenville State College Community Service Award recipient Mack Samples steps forward as fellow musician Buddy Griffin (left) and GSC Alumni Association President John Hoover (right) congratulate him

Mack Samples of Duck, West Virginia was presented with the Community Service Award.

Samples is a 1964 GSC graduate and a widely-known square dance caller. He works tirelessly to promote and preserve Appalachian folk culture in song and dance by unselfishly giving his time to teach square dancing. He is also active in traditional music and continues a busy schedule with the Samples Brothers Band who tours the festival circuit. They have three CDs.

He and his wife Thelma (Wilson) Samples ’64 are enthusiastic square dancers. He was presented with the Vandalia Award during the Vandalia Festival in 2003. The award is the state’s highest for preservation of traditional life in West Virginia. As a result, he was featured on the cover of the Spring 2004 edition of Goldenseal magazine.

Samples placed first in the old time banjo contest and fifth in the fiddle contest at the Vandalia Festival in 2006 and is very active in the West Virginia State Folk Festival. In addition to being a talented artist, musician, and educator, Samples is also a novelist. He has written nine books, the most recent entitled 32 Shots: The 1894 Shootout at Boggs, West Virginia. The book is a historical novel about one of West Virginia’s most notorious shootouts which took place in the small town of Boggs in Webster County.

The Samples’ have two children, Tracy and Grayson, who are both graduates of GSC, and two grandchildren.

Edward McKown

Edward McKown

The family of Professor Edward P. McKown was presented with the Posthumous Award in recognition of his distinguished career and his dedication to Glenville State College.

A music teacher for 45 years, McKown taught students from kindergarten through graduate school. He was a master teacher of the Orff Schulwerk approach and a highly regarded clinician on state and national levels.

McKown, Class of 1961, received his master’s degree from Marshall University and was founding director of the Parkersburg South High School Band. He also directed the Fayetteville High School Band and the Parkersburg High School Big Red Band. His love of the theater led him to direct, produce, and star in several productions on his favorite stage with the Parkersburg Actors Guild.

He returned to his alma mater in 1979 as an assistant professor of music and worked at GSC until 1994.

McKown, who died October 19, 2013, was preceded in death by his wife, former GSC Alumni Director Linda (Lambiotte) McKown ’62 in 1989, their infant son Greg, two sisters, Lou Lilly and Helen Wade, and two brothers, Charles and Jack.

Surviving family members include four brothers: Robert ’72 of Fayetteville, Ted of Ocala, Florida, Paul ’59 of Charleston, and Frank of Naples, Florida. He is further survived by his twin sister Marty Booth of Vienna and godson Kevin Carr ’91 of Alexandria, Virginia.

Phil and Kathie Tharp were recently recognized as Outstanding Teachers

Phil and Kathie Tharp were recently recognized as Outstanding Teachers

Phil ‘75 and Kathie (Fox) Tharp ‘74 have distinguished themselves in the field of education and, as such, were recognized together as Outstanding Public School Teachers.

Kathie holds teaching certifications in Elementary Education, Middle School Education 5-8, and Art Education NK-12. During her 40 year career she taught elementary art, eighth grade physical science, sixth through eighth grade art and computer art, and high school Art I, Photo I, 3-D Design I and II, Honors 3-D III, and Honors Independent Studies in 3-D Design. Her teaching career also led her to Australia where she taught two grade levels. She currently teaches at Crosby High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

She holds numerous state and national awards and has presented at the National Art Education Association national conferences in 2005 (Boston) and 2010 (Seattle).

Phil has over 21 years of science teaching experience of which 18 months was spent teaching in Australia, ten years at Parkersburg High School, and four years at Clover Hill High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

In 1991 he was selected as one of four core teachers to form a new Governor’s School in Richmond, Virginia. Starting with 70 students, the school now has 727 students and was ranked by Newsweek in the top twenty elite public high schools in the United States.

Phil was the science curriculum specialist at the school up until his appointment as Coordinator of Administration in 1997. He is a past director of the Summer Residential Governor’s School for NASA Langley and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

He holds a master’s degree in Educational Administration from West Virginia University and has taken postgraduate courses in research design, administration, and coursework in gifted education from Virginia Commonwealth University. He recently rotated off of a three-year term on the Virginia Advisory Committee for the Education of the Gifted.

The Tharps have two children and five grandchildren.

Alumni Association President John Hoover (left) with Outstanding Young Alumnus Matt Cogar

Alumni Association President John Hoover (left) with Outstanding Young Alumnus Matt Cogar

Matt Cogar, Class of 2010, received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. He has been recognized both nationally and internationally and brought much recognition to his alma mater by finishing in second place at the Stihl Timbersports Series World Championship that was held in Stuttgart, Germany in October 2013. Leading up to the World Championship, Cogar had won the United States Professional Championship competition that was held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in June 2013. He was the youngest champion the series had seen since it began in 1985.

He and his family were recently interviewed by Brian Williams on the nationally syndicated ABC news network.

He has been competing in the Stihl Timbersports Series for four years and the second place finish at the U.S. competition propelled him to be a member of the team that traveled to the World Championship competition in Stuttgart, Germany.

Most recently, Cogar won the Stihl Timbersports U.S. Pro Championship for the second straight year. His win, in addition to having the designation of the best lumberjack athlete in the country, came with a brand new truck. He will represent the U.S. team at the World Championship again this year in Austria in November.

Cogar currently works for Gander Mountain. He and his wife, Emma (Bailey) Cogar ’10, reside in Charleston.

Outstanding Young Alumna Award recipient Maggie Beth Ponton with GSC Professor Emeritus Harry Rich (left) and GSC Alumni Association President John Hoover (right)

Outstanding Young Alumna Award recipient Maggie Beth Ponton with GSC Professor Emeritus Harry Rich (left) and GSC Alumni Association President John Hoover (right)

Maggie Beth (Smith) Ponton ’06 received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award. She is currently in her eighth year as General Music teacher at Hedgesville Middle School in Hedgesville, West Virginia.

She currently serves as director for the HMS Handbell & Choir Chime Ensembles. The groups have performed at several venues including New York City and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

She also serves on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council for Berkeley County.

A native of Beckley, Ponton holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Salem International University. She became a Nationally Board Certified music teacher in 2011 and has completed Orff Levels I & II from the University of Kentucky.

She was recently recognized by the WV Society for General Music and the WV Music Educators Association as the 2013 West Virginia General Music Teacher of the Year. She was also a top five finalist for the Berkeley County Teacher of the Year.

When she is not playing flute for the community or singing in her church choir, she enjoys traveling the world with her husband, Tony.

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GSC Yearbook and Campus Newspaper Archives Now Online


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GLENVILLE, WV—Glenville State College’s Robert F. Kidd Library staff recently finished digitally archiving the long-time campus newspaper, The Glenville Mercury as well the college yearbook, the Kanawhachen.

The Mercury was published regularly from 1929 until September 2001. Through the years many things were reported within the pages of the Mercury, such as visits to campus by Amelia Earhart in 1936 and Eleanor Roosevelt in 1939. The Phoenix, the current school newspaper, began publication in 2005.

“Some of the most interesting and unique material in the Mercury revolves around local legend, superstitions, ghost stories, and historical events. Another interesting part of the paper is the old advertisements for local services,” said GSC Library Associate and Archivist Jason Gum.

The Kanawhachen has been in print off and on for over a century, first beginning in 1911. The yearbook was so named due to the importance of the Little Kanawha River for transportation to and from the rest of central West Virginia during the early years of GSC. Kanawha, from the river, and the diminutive ‘-chen’ meaning little in German. Like most yearbooks, it chronicled campus life with photos, polls, and humorous quips. Both publications were mostly produced by students enrolled in GSC’s journalism class.

Until recently, the papers and yearbooks could only be viewed in person at the library. As with many older paper documents, the files were fragile and had to be handled with care.

“The years upon years of use and deterioration made me realize that, if these materials were going to survive much longer, something had to be done immediately. Each time some of the oldest issues were used, pieces of history were turning to dust, never to be seen again. Now, the original works can be preserved and treated as artifacts while the accessibility and search ability of the content has actually increased beyond what previous generations who created this treasure trove could have ever imagined,” said Gum.

GSC Archivist Jason Gum digitizes an issue of the Mercury

GSC Archivist Jason Gum digitizes an issue of the Mercury

The process of digitalization began with a machine called the Book Drive Pro. It uses two digital cameras to take high-resolution images and then optical character recognition software makes the text on the pages word-searchable.

That means every word that was typed into the pages of the Mercury and the Kanawhachen can now be searched for specific topics or people in a compilation of over 100 years’ of Glenville State College history. Gum says the digitization process took about four years for all issues of both documents and that GSC saved between 10 and 20 thousand dollars by doing the process in-house.

To view either publication, click here and choose either ‘Kanawhachen Yearbook’ or ‘Mercury’ from the menu.

For more information about the GSC Archives, contact Gum at or (304) 462-6163.

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Five Inducted into Hall of Fame at GSC


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GLENVILLE, WV – Five individuals were inducted into the Glenville State College Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame during the college’s annual Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony on Saturday, May 31st.

The 2014 inductees were: Bob Turner, Keith Pritt ’58, Fred Taylor ’60, Charles “Bernie” Buttrey ’76, and Kent Pilant ’97.

Fred Taylor '60, Kent Pilant '97, Bob Turner, Charles “Bernie” Buttrey '76, and Keith Pritt '58

Fred Taylor '60, Kent Pilant '97, Bob Turner, Charles “Bernie” Buttrey '76, and Keith Pritt '58

Bob Turner, a native of Gilmer County, excelled in basketball at Glenville High School. Upon entering Glenville State College he played basketball for the Glenville Pioneers in 1950-51 when the team was State Tournament Champion.

After a three year stint in the United States Army, where he played basketball with an Army team in Frankfort, Germany, Turner returned to Glenville State in 1954, landed a spot in the starting five, and turned out to be the strongest defensive weapon that the Pioneers had that season.

The following year, he served as pivot man on a team that went to the finals in both the WVIAC Tournament and the NAIA playoffs in Kansas City, Missouri. Turner was team captain and was named to the WVIAC All-Tournament Team that year with fellow teammate Rudy Poole. He was also awarded a spot on the All-Conference Second Team.

His team was WVIAC First Team All-Conference in 1956 and in 1957. Turner and fellow teammate Alan Reich were named to the All-Conference Team.

Known for his rebounding skills, team spirit, and defensive ability, he greatly aided his team in rebounds; snagging over 400 during the 1955 season.

In his position as center, he was known throughout the Conference as the key man who stopped opposing high point scorers. This and his rebounding excellence are what caught the eye and admiration of opponents and fans alike.

He and his wife, Wyene (Bush) Turner, maintain homes in Normantown, West Virginia and in The Villages, Florida. They like spending as much time as they can in their native Gilmer County but are snow birds in Florida from November through April.

Keith Pritt, a native of Rand, West Virginia graduated from DuPont High School in Kanawha County and was a three year letterman in football for the Pioneers, playing offense, defense, and special teams.

Pritt, a 1958 Glenville State College graduate, was on the WVIAC Conference First Team his senior year. He was also team captain his senior year and for four games during his junior year.

During his college career, Pritt was freshman class vice president, vice president of the G Club, and clerk of the Holy Roller Court.

He received a master’s degree in secondary school administration from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in health administration from Marshall University.

Pritt coached at DuPont Junior High School from 1958-1962 where his teams won county championships in football and basketball.

He went on to coach at Charleston High School from 1962-1974 where he was offensive and defensive line coach. He was also the designated assistant head coach under Frank Vincent when the school won three consecutive class AAA football championships and one runner up State AAA championship.

During this time, he also coached three state championship track teams and two state runner-up teams in addition to being the school’s wrestling coach.

In 1974, he was promoted to Director of Athletics, Health, and Physical Education for the Kanawha County school system where he organized the Mountain State Athletic Conference (aka MSAC) which included schools from Kanawha, Cabell, Raleigh, Wood, Greenbrier, and Putnam Counties. He also started the Capital City Classic Track Meet.

Pritt was named the American Association for Health and Physical Education Athletic Director of the Year in 1978.

He has written a sprint training and hurdling article for Coaches Digest, coached professional football for the West Virginia Rockets, coached the West Virginia Lightning professional football team to a national minor league championship in 1996, and coached track and field at the University of Charleston.

Pritt was assistant principal at Charleston High School in 1992-1993 and at Herbert Hoover High School from 1993-1996. Additionally, he served as principal at Roosevelt Junior High School from 1996-1999 and was Director of Parks and Recreation from 1999-2002.

He currently trains athletes in football, tennis, and track and field.

He and his wife Dora (deceased) had two children, John William Pritt and Patty (Pritt) Dodson. He has five grandchildren and lives in Charleston.

Fred Taylor, a native of Walton, West Virginia, graduated from Walton High School where he was a three varsity sport standout in football, basketball, and baseball.

He was a four-year starter on the Pioneer football team at GSC and starting safety for the 1958 WVIAC undefeated team.

In 1959 he was starting quarterback, team captain, and leading scorer for the Pioneers.

During his college career, Taylor was also a member of the Pioneer baseball team, G Club, and the Kappa Sigma Kappa fraternity.

A 1960 graduate from GSC, he received a master’s degree in Physical Education from West Virginia University in 1965 and obtained a degree in Education Administration from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies in 1989.

Starting in Avon, Ohio, he was head high school coach in nearly all sports and then returned to his native West Virginia at Walton, Ripley, and Ravenswood High Schools.

Taylor’s longest tenure of 31 years was at Ravenswood High School where he served as athletic director and head football coach.

He had a career football coaching record of 209-129-6 and coached 36 all-state players. He coached State AA football championship teams in 1972 (undefeated) and 1976 (11-1). He also had a semi-finalist undefeated State AAA football championship in 1974.

Taylor was selected West Virginia High School Football Coach of the Year in 1976 by the West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association and runner-up West Virginia High School Football Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association the same year.

He was nominated for National High School Football Coach of the Year four times by the West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association and was District National High School Football Coach of the Year in 1972, one of only eight football coaches to be so recognized nationally. The recognition ceremony was held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Taylor was coach for three West Virginia High School Football North-South All-Star games.

His coaching accomplishments were captured in Fred Toothman’s book entitled ‘Wild, Wonderful Winners: Great Football Coaches of West Virginia.’

After retiring from coaching in 1996, he was an assistant professor in the Physical Education Department at the University of Rio Grande in Ohio.

Taylor was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

He and his wife Helen (deceased) had three children: Joe, Sandra, and Robert. He has eight grandchildren and resides in Spencer.

Charles “Bernie” Buttrey, a native of St. Marys, West Virginia, graduated from St. Marys High School where he lettered in football, basketball, and track.

He came to GSC after two years of playing football as a defensive end at Marshall University and was Most Valuable Lineman at the 1973 NAIA National Runner-up football team’s semi-final game.

A 1976 graduate of GSC, Buttrey says he will forever be touched by the 1970 Marshall plane crash that all but obliterated the Marshall University football team and coaching staff. He was a freshman that year and as such didn’t make the trip. As fate would have it, he was one of the fortunate ones.

Buttrey was head coach at West Preston High School (1976-1983), assistant coach at Williamstown High School (1983-1994), assistant coach, defensive lineman strength coach, and freshman head coach at Marietta College (1994-1998), head coach at Williamstown High School (1999-2001), and Parkersburg High School head coach (2002-2009) where he had 66 wins and two State Championships.

Buttrey is the only coach in the more than a 100-year history of Parkersburg High Football to lead the Big Reds to back-to-back state titles.

He was named West Virginia High School Coach of the Year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association following the Big Reds’ 14-0 season in 2006, when Parkersburg won the first of two state championships under his guidance.

PHS repeated as state champions in 2007, posting a 13-1 mark in winning the 11th state football title in school history.

Buttrey’s Big Red teams qualified for the state playoffs in six of his eight seasons, failing to accomplish that feat only in his initial season of 2002 and again in 2008. His coach’s play-off record was 12-5.

He left PHS in December 2009 as the fifth winningest coach in the school’s history. He was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame in June 2014.

He and his wife Robin reside in Williamstown. He has one daughter Kayla (Buttrey) Nelson, two sons Jason and Travis, and three grandchildren.

Kent Pilant, a native of Newville, West Virginia, graduated from Magnolia High School in Wetzel County. A high point scorer in the 1991 AAA West Virginia State Track Meet, he captured individual championships in the 110 meter high hurdles, the 200 meter dash, and the 300 meter intermediate high hurdles while leading Magnolia High School to their first ever boy’s state championship. He set a new state record in the 300 meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 39.2.

Pilant was also a 1000 yard rusher in football at Magnolia and played football as a receiver for the Pioneers when he was a freshman. After one year and with more concussions than one would care to count, he devoted all of his energies to track and field where he lettered for four years and enjoyed tremendous success. His records at GSC still stand today.

He received WVIAC and NAIA District Championships in 110 meter hurdles (1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995), 4 x 100 meter relays (1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995), 4 x 400 meter relay (1994), 400 meter dash (1995), and 400 meter hurdles (1995).

Pilant was 1995 WVIAC Athlete of the Year in Track and Field and 1995 WVIAC Meet High Point Individual.

He is WVIAC Meet Record Holder in the 110 meter hurdles (14.68) and the 4 x 400 meter relay and undefeated for career in the WVIAC in the 110 meter hurdles.

Pilant holds the following Outdoor Track school records: 100 meter hurdles at 13.8, 4 x 100 meter relay at 41.6, and 4 x 400 meter relay at 3:18.8. He also holds the following Indoor Track school records: 55 meter hurdles at 7.74 and 4 x 400 meter relay at 3:28.3. Pilant was a 1995 NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships Qualifier in the 110 meter hurdles and the 4 x 100 meter relay.

Additionally, he was a 1995 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field All-American in the 110 meter hurdles.

His team accomplishments are as follows: 1992 NAIA District 18 Champions, 1993 WVIAC and NAIA District 28 Champions, 1994 WVIAC Runner-up, and 1995 WVIAC Champions.

He graduated from GSC in 1997 and received the prestigious Frank Montrose award that year. He was inducted into the Magnolia High School Athletic Hall of Fame with the school’s 2014 class.

He and his wife Meredith reside in New Martinsville. He has two children, Kyndra and Koen.

Twelve former Curtis Elam Hall of Fame inductees were in attendance at the banquet and induction ceremony to extend their welcome to the Class of 2014 inductees into the ranks of GSC’s Hall of Famers. They included: Whitey Adolfson, Leland Byrd, Harold Erwin, Steve Gandee, Bill Hanlin, Bob “Hooks” Hardman, Bob Hardman II, Ralph Holder, Gary Ray, Bob Reynolds, Keith Smith, and Steve Taylor.

The Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 2001 through the generosity of the late Curtis Elam, a 1949 GSC graduate.

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Katie Avery Named GSC Head Volleyball Coach

Glenville State College has announced the hiring of Katie Avery as the new Head Lady Pioneer Volleyball Coach

Glenville, W.Va. - Glenville State College has announced the hiring of Katie Avery as the new Head Lady Pioneer Volleyball Coach.

Coach Avery comes to GSC from Charleston, West Virginia where she has spent the last year working as a personal trainer at a Nautilus Fitness Center. Avery graduated from West Virginia State University in 2013 with a degree in Sport Studies. While at WVSU she was a four year starter for their volleyball team from 2009-2012, were she also served as captain of the team. In 2013 she spent the season on the sidelines as a student assistant for the Yellow Jackets. She is a 2009 graduate of Winfield High School where she helped win a State Championship in 2006.

“I am honored and blessed for Glenville State giving me this great opportunity. I am excited and ready to take the Lady Pioneers Volleyball program to the next level,” stated Avery.

“Coach Avery has been around the Mountain East Conference (MEC) and has worked under good leadership. I’m confident that she is ready to lead our volleyball program and to help the Lady Pioneers excel,” said GSC Athletic Director Janet Bailey.

She replaces former head coach Camai Roberson who left the program in March of 2014. Avery resides in Glenville.

For more information about Pioneer Athletics at Glenville State College, contact (304) 462-6238.

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Hunter Lands at GSC

Glenville, W. Va. – Recruiters came from as far away as southern Florida to watch left-handed slugger John Hunter tear it up for the Sherman High Tide in 2014.

A late surge for the collegiate services of the Class A All State selection hit fever pitch as the Tide was wrapping up a Region 3 Section 3 title over Valley Fayette last month.

Just as he did as a junior, Hunter produced video game numbers that are hard to ignore. The honor student with game breaking speed on the base paths made it official on June 24 as he made the announcement official that he would be lacing up the spikes for the Division II Glenville State College baseball team.

“I am comfortable academically at GSC and Coach James Mullins and his staff made me feel at home. I just have a gut feeling that Glenville is where I need to be,” said Hunter.

Coach Mullins took over the program prior to the 2014 season.

Hunter flirted with Marshall University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Charleston, West Virginia State University and Southern Florida among others before making his decision.

On the diamond, there were no doubts as to where the 5-10 160 pound infielder was going. Generally, it was around the bases with controlled abandon while notching 52 stolen bases in 2014. Hunter had 94 swipes in his junior and senior seasons alone.

“He is the total package,” said Ravenswood High coach Wes Swain. “You talk to other coaches around the state and he is certainly on the short list of West Virginia’s best players.”

As a junior, Hunter mashed .521 with 5 HR, 9 triples, 12 doubles, 32 runs and 33 RBIs. As a senior, he hit .590 with 5 HR, 8 triples, 14 doubles, 36 runs and 40 RBIs while playing near flawless defense at first base and the outfield.

Sherman High Coach Jeremiah Pettry knows all too well how much his squad will miss the heroics of No. 2.

“John was a tremendous high school baseball player. He played with a lot of heart and love for the game. He will be a great addition to Glenville State and should be able to help them right away with his speed.”

He continued, “I coached him in sixth and seventh grade when he was just a scrawny little kid with a lot of love for baseball and again when he started high school as a freshman and grew before our eyes. You could see he was something special. He had the attitude and work ethic that separated him from the rest.”

The GSC program, still in its toddler stage, was resurrected in 2011 after a near 30-year absence from the diamond. The Sue Morris Complex is one of the more beautiful collegiate parks in West Virginia and while the NCAA Division II Pioneers have struggled early on, they have made tremendous strides since that first season back as the squad entered the new Mountain East Conference last spring and compiled a (9-33) record.

Hunter is projected as an outfielder on the next level and will have a chance to utilize his speed with the opportunity crack the starting lineup in the 2015 season as a frosh.

“I am really going to miss playing on the field that I learned and got better on,” said Hunter, whose trademark head-first slide became a staple in West Virginia prep baseball.

The Tide baseball program certainly echoes that same sentiment about John Hunter.

Story By: Phil Perry For the Coal Valley News

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Glenville State College ROTC Cadet Completes Air Assault School


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Glenville State College
Public Relations Department
(304) 462-4115

GLENVILLE, WV—Army ROTC Cadet Kyle Hartleben, a Glenville State College senior, recently graduated from the Sabalauski Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The 10-day school is a rigorous and fast-paced program that trains soldiers and ROTC cadets in aircraft orientation, sling-load operations, and rappelling techniques. As part of its program students are required to take part in a 12-mile march with their rucksack in under three hours on the morning of their graduation. Upon completion, graduates of the course will be able to make maximum use of helicopter assets in training and in combat to support unit operations.

Glenville State College senior ROTC Cadet Kyle Hartleben after graduating from the Sabalauski Air Assault School

Glenville State College senior ROTC Cadet Kyle Hartleben after graduating from the Sabalauski Air Assault School

Hartleben is a biology major from Hurricane (Putnam County), West Virginia. Following the training he commented, “I just want to sleep now.” In July he will be attending a nearly month-long assessment course to complete the required training to become an officer. Hartleben is undecided on what particular occupation field he will enter in the Army.

Major Charles Beirne, Assistant Professor of Military Science at Glenville State College and the Yellow Jacket Battalion Executive Officer commented, “We are extremely proud of Kyle. He has transformed into one of our battalion’s top cadets and will most likely exceed the standards at his upcoming Leadership Development Assessment Course.”

In four years, the Glenville State College ROTC program has grown to be the largest in the Yellow Jacket Battalion which includes programs at West Virginia State University, the University of Charleston, West Virginia University-Tech, and GSC. The GSC program alone has sent three students to the Leaders Training Course, ten students to the Leadership Development Assessment Course, one to Airborne School, one to Air Assault School, one to Thailand with the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program, and has commissioned six officers into the United States Army.

For more information about the Glenville State College Army ROTC program, contact GSC’s Senior Military Science Instructor Sergeant First Class Daniel Webb, at or (304) 462-6285.

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Three Honored as Emeriti Faculty at GSC


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Public Relations Department
Glenville State College
(304) 462-6394

Glenville State College's newest emeriti faculty Dr. Sherry Jones, Dr. Michael Smith, and Dr. Kathy Butler

Glenville State College's newest emeriti faculty Dr. Sherry Jones, Dr. Michael Smith, and Dr. Kathy Butler

GLENVILLE, WV—Three Glenville State College professors were recognized recently as emeriti faculty; joining 32 other GSC professors who share the title. The honors were bestowed upon Dr. Kathy Butler, Dr. Sherry Jones, and Dr. Michael Smith at the 140th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 10, 2014.

Emeritus status is an honorary title that may be awarded to a nominated faculty member or administrator for extended meritorious service. In addition to having made lasting and positive contributions to the college, the honoree must also have completed ten years of service at GSC, be distinguished in teaching and service, and have the recommendation of their respective departments’ faculty and the Faculty Senate.

A permanent plaque with the names of all emeriti faculty is displayed in Glenville State College’s Heflin Administration Building.

Dr. Kathy Butler

Dr. Butler began teaching at Glenville State College in 1989, eventually becoming a tenured Professor of Education. She was serving as GSC’s Provost and Senior Vice President when she left in 2010 to fill the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs position at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in Charleston.

The announcement that she was being honored as a faculty emerita was a surprise to Butler. “I did not know that I was receiving the recognition until President Barr introduced the platform party members. The award of the prestigious Professor Emeritus designation is an honor that I will always cherish,” she said.

Butler says that serving as an administrator at Glenville State College prepared her well for the work that she encountered as Vice Chancellor. She also believes that her time as a faculty member at GSC also provided an additional perspective that has served her well when advocating for faculty and the faculty perspective on issues. As she put it, “I don’t think there is any replacement for campus-based experience for a statewide administrator.”

Organizing and preparing for a review by the Higher Learning Commission in 2003 tops Butler’s list of memorable experiences at GSC. “It had been a tough time for GSC in the few years prior to that accreditation review but with the help of everyone at the college, we were able to receive a 10 year unconditional accreditation approval…unheard of at that time! I was able to work with many, many wonderful people to accomplish that feat and I was so proud to be a part of the Glenville family, a family that pulled together to accomplish the impossible,” said Butler.

“I taught for 10 years as a GSC teacher education faculty member before stepping into administration. My greatest joys came from teaching students though. While at Glenville, I served in a lot of roles and I thoroughly enjoyed each one of them. There’s nothing I would change,” said Butler. “I never dreamed that I would be the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the state of West Virginia! Not in my wildest dreams! But God has been so good to me and has opened so many doors that I feel privileged and blessed to have been able to serve in this capacity as well. Thank you to Glenville State for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to teach and learn from some great mentors!” she added.

Dr. Sherry Jones

Dr. Jones, a 1975 GSC graduate, has been an instructor at Glenville State College for the past twenty-six years. “It has been an honor to teach at GSC. When I graduated from GSC, it never crossed my mind that I might one day become a professor. In fact, it was one of my GSC business professors, Ernie Smith, who called me when there was a job opening and asked if I would be interested in applying. At the time, I was teaching at Gilmer County High School and had recently finished my Master’s degree. GSC and Gilmer County are home to me, and the people I work with are like family. When you care about a place and its people, the personal investment keeps you interested and motivated to do the best job you can,” said Jones.

She says that she will certainly miss her students and colleagues after retiring this summer. “Thankfully, I will continue teaching part-time under GSC’s post-retirement program, so I hope to continue contributing and giving back to the college,” said Jones

In addition to being a graduate herself, Jones has a long list of family members who have attended, worked, and taught at GSC. Her great grandmother, Esta Shiflet, was a cook in the former Kanawha Hall in the 1920s, her grandmother, Irene Shiflet Langford, helped in the kitchen/dining hall in Kanawha Hall in the late 20s, her grandfather, Claude Woofter, worked in the maintenance department in the 50s and 60s, and her great uncle, Beryl Langford, was the college Registrar from 1962-1973.

Her uncle, Lyndall Jones, graduated from GSC in 1964 and returned to GSC’s 2014 graduation ceremony to participate as a 50 Year Graduate. Her aunt, Judy Woofter Jones, graduated from GSC in 1966.

Her mother, Betty Langford Woofter (’52), brother, Kent Woofter (’84), husband, David L. Jones (’77), and aunt have all taught with their GSC degrees. Her nephew, Adam Jones, and a niece, Melissa Jones, are both recent GSC graduates and are currently teaching in West Virginia schools.

Jones’ two sons also graduated from GSC; Christopher Jones in 2000 and Cason Jones in 2003. Additionally, she and her husband have several cousins who graduated from GSC.

In her time here, Jones says that many of her best memories center on times of laughter with students and colleagues. “When we were just chatting and enjoying life and discussing the funny things that happen to us on life’s journey, those times stand out. And a note or a ‘thank you’ from a student or colleague would have to share a place at the top of the list of good memories. It really makes all the hard work worthwhile when you have a student who takes the time to let you know you have helped him or her in some way,” said Jones.

Jones has served as Business Department Chair, was a Faculty Marshal, and was the recipient of the Curtis Elam Professor of Teaching Excellence Award in 2008 and was presented with the Faculty Award of Excellence in 2010.

She also worked with several on-campus committees and, most recently, had an article published in the California State University Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT). The March 2013 issue of JOLT featured her research paper on the learning equity between online and traditional classroom mathematics courses.

In her retirement, Jones hopes to travel and spend time with her seven grandsons and the rest of her family.

Dr. Michael Smith

Dr. Smith has been a professor at Glenville State College in the Social Science Department for twenty years. He says that, for him, GSC has been both convenient and simply a good place to teach.

“GSC was convenient for me because my primary residence has been in Marietta, Ohio. There are not a lot of teaching positions for political scientists and the job here was close to Marietta, as these things go,” said Smith. He also appreciates GSC’s strong commitment to teaching and its dedication to educating the sorts of students it has traditionally served.

Additionally, he says his department has consisted of dedicated teachers who were good colleagues who he respected and with whom he enjoyed working.

Smith says that he will miss teaching and interacting with students. Particularly, he adds, those he got to know more closely during his independent study courses where he was able to see them learn and grow more than in a standard class.

When thinking back on his years at GSC, he recalls several fond memories. “When I arrived in 1994 there was a lot of joking at the first department meeting I attended. There have been a lot of good times since then. That first impression was positive and welcoming and proved a good predictor of things to come.”

“We had a non-traditional student who participated in the Frasure-Singleton Legislative Internship Program. As a result of the connections she made there she was invited to attend the bill signing for the welfare reform bill in 1996, and ended up in the picture on the cover of Time magazine.”

“Also, I think of the graduation ceremony this year. A lot of students graduated who I particularly enjoyed having in class; some years there were only one or two. This was a bumper crop. For me it was going out on a high note.”

During his time at GSC, Smith served as the Social Science Department Chair, was the Faculty Senate president, and participated in various campus committees focused on curriculum, faculty development, internationalization, and assessment.

As he puts it, “Virtually all of this work involved group effort. What we accomplished, and I think that we accomplished a lot, involved the contributions of many faculty and staff.”

In his retirement Smith plans to travel, visit family and friends, and do some writing.

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Two GSC Students Elected to Public Office


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Public Relations & Marketing
Glenville State College
(304) 462-6390

GLENVILLE, WV-Conner Ferguson, a Gilmer County native, and Brianna McClain, a Lewis County native, are both students at Glenville State College who are getting involved in local politics at a young age. The pair were elected to the Democratic Executive Committees of their respective counties in the recent statewide election on May 13, 2014.

As filing day approached both students were in the midst of their midterm exams, so it was a huge decision for them to step up and take on another task. Both Ferguson and McClain ran unopposed in their districts, but were still willing to take on the task of a political campaign.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin at a campaign fundraiser with GSC sophomore Conner Ferguson

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin at a campaign fundraiser with GSC sophomore Conner Ferguson

Ferguson, a GSC sophomore marketing major and Gilmer County’s newly elected executive committee member out of the Dekalb-Troy district, said, “I’ve been around politics for many years; I joined the Young Democrats Club at Gilmer County High School and eventually became the President of the organization. I decided that it was time to get off the side lines and run for office myself!”

While in that organization he had the opportunity to meet many state lawmakers and even got to work with Senator Joe Manchin’s campaigns for Governor and United States Senator and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s campaigns. Ferguson also serves as the Publicity Director of GSC’s Student Government Association, is a Brother in the fraternity Sigma Omega Beta, a member of Greek Council, and is a member of Pioneers for a Cause.

GSC sophomore Brianna McClain with Delegate Meshea Poore (D-Kanawha County) at Lewis County’s Meet Your Candidate night

GSC sophomore Brianna McClain with Delegate Meshea Poore (D-Kanawha County) at Lewis County’s Meet Your Candidate night

McClain, a GSC sophomore computer and information systems major and Lewis County Freemans Creek district executive committee member said, “My past involvements have made me the person that I am today, being involved with the community is my heart and soul! I can’t get away from it, it’s everything to me! Helping others and watching the community grow in different organizations can really show one the right path in life!”

McClain is also very active in her community and on campus. She is involved in the Weston Rotary Club, Lewis County’s Democratic Women’s group, and the Alum Bridge Neighborhood Watch Program. She also works at Foster Feed in Weston and is very active in the Hidden Promise Consortium at GSC.

“I think it is an excellent example of how Glenville State College has leaders in the student body that are being true pioneers, not just on the campus, but also in our communities. These students will become lifelong leaders, and that is the kind of student and individual that Glenville State College wants to help provide to our communities,” said GSC’s Dean of Student Life Duane Chapman.

Both students will formally take office on July 1, 2014.

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