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Matter of Fact

CEHS students found chapter of Kappa Delta Pi

Four founding members of Kappa Delta Pi hold chapter banner and document

With the help of a crowdfunding campaign, four CEHS students in the Elementary Education Program were able to launch a chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honorary society for education majors, at CEHS.

The crowdfunding campaign that raised $1,500 was launched through Advancing WVU and provided the students with the money to pay the initial chapter fees, subsidize the cost of membership for interested students and host community events. The organization held its initiation ceremony for new members on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, where they welcomed the new members, swore in chapter officers and received their official charter.

Kappa Delta Pi provides members with access to professional development and networking opportunities, classroom resources, and scholarships and awards.

The CEHS chapter is advised by Stephanie Lorenze of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies and Ashley Martucci of the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development.

Meigh, Slocum selected as WVU Foundation Outstanding Teachers

Foundation Outstanding Teacher Recipients including Meigh and Slocum

Six West Virginia University faculty members were recognized with the University’s 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching, which honors exceptional professors who go above and beyond to inspire their students. This year’s honorees included Kimberly Meigh, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Audra Slocum, an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies.

Meigh teaches courses in speech science, anatomy and physiology, and topics related to medical speech-language. Her teaching philosophy centers on a hands-on approach directed at practical application in the field, including her clinical supervision of students in the WVU Speech Clinic. During her five years as director of the Speech Motor Control Lab, Meigh has worked with her students to explore speech motor learning, resulting in a number of national and international presentations, publications, and awards. In 2016, she was awarded the Advancing Academic-Research Careers Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which provided directed mentoring in research and teaching activities.

Slocum’s mission of preparing new secondary English teachers is centered around supporting teaching that is academically rigorous, culturally sustainable and critical of social injustice. She teaches undergraduate and graduate secondary English methods courses on the teaching of language, critical literacy and self-reflective practice. Since 2012, Slocum has supervised more than 40 student teachers. She also has taught graduate seminars on Appalachian identity, place, and literacy and on research in English Education. She has been the co-director of the National Writing Project at WVU since 2012, a role in which she co-designs and facilitates professional development for K-12 teachers on the teaching of writing and teacher leadership. Through the NWP and in partnership with the WV Council of Teachers of English, she started the annual West Virginia English Language Arts Teacher Conference.

College mourns the loss of Terence Ahern

Terrence Ahern

Terence Ahern, an associate professor of instructional design and technology in the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development passed away unexpectedly on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. He served as a member of the CEHS faculty for 13 years and took profound joy in teaching and scholarship.

“Terence was a jolly, deeply insightful, wonderful presence in the department, and I will miss him terribly,” said Reagan Curtis, chair of the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development. “We’ll remember Terence for the great energy and enthusiasm that he brought to tackling research questions with his students, and we will honor that memory as best as we can.”

Ahern received his bachelor’s degree from University of California Santa Cruz. He held master’s degrees from The University of Chicago, San Francisco State University and The Graduate Theological Union. He received his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in 1991. He devoted his career to teaching and was a professor at Texas Tech University and California State University Monterey Bay, ultimately joining the CEHS faculty in 2005.

CEHS researchers investigate the impact of the statewide opioid crisis on teachers

Left to Right: Frankie Tack, Sara Anderson, Jessica Troilo

When their family members struggle with substance use disorders, children bring experiences of neglect, trauma and often, mental health issues into the classroom, creating challenging environments for their teachers. CEHS researchers have evaluated the impact of the opioid crisis in classrooms across the Mountain State through a survey of 2,205 teachers in 49 counties.

The study, conducted by Sara Anderson, assistant professor in the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development; Jessica Troilo, associate professor in the Department of Learning Sciences and Human Development; and Frankie Tack, addiction studies minor coordinator and clinical assistant professor in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling and Counseling Psychology – blends Anderson and Troilo’s expertise in child development and family systems with Tack’s background in the field of addiction.

The study finds that while 70 percent of West Virginia teachers report an increase in students impacted by substance use in the home, only 10 percent of teachers feel confident in knowing how to support children with parents or caregivers who use substances. Most of the teachers’ survey responses indicated that they are experiencing emotional exhaustion, cynicism and a lack of personal accomplishment related to the changing classroom dynamics created by the opioid crisis.

Anderson, Troilo and Tack recommend additional training and support for West Virginia teachers to curb the downstream effects of the opioid crisis on West Virginia’s children. The goal of this study is to use these initial findings to develop and pilot a teacher training module around addiction in the classroom that Anderson, Troilo and Tack hope to implement statewide.

This report was supported by small grant funding from the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (2U54GM104942-02) and by generous support from Dr. Kim Horn. Read the full summary of this study’s findings.