At his State of the University address delivered Monday (Oct. 11) to the Faculty Assembly at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy, Clements recounted the story of Holly Mitchell.
“Our University is more than an institution,” Clements said. “Our University is all of us and each person whose life we improve.
“One of those people is Holly Mitchell.”
Like many WVU students, Mitchell is a first-generation West Virginia college student. But with backing gained through the Health Sciences and Technology Academy a high school program founded at WVU to help students prepare for careers in health and science she was able to earn two WVU degrees and launch a career at the Pittsburg-based Center for Organ Recovery and Education.
Clements noted that WVU and HSTA are both transformative, as he reflected on the University’s recent successes and outlined a proposal for the University’s strategic plan for the future.
HSTA has served more than 1,300 students, and 96 percent of them have gone on to college, compared to the state average of 61.5 percent. Additionally, 90 percent have graduated from college, compared to about 44 percent statewide.
Click below to hear Holly Mitchell, a graduate of the HSTA program, tell how HSTA together with WVU helped her graduate from college and give back to her state as a worker in the organ donor program.
“It is no wonder HSTA is now in the top three finalists for a national award from the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities,” Clements said.
“In so many ways, this HSTA program is an emblem of our strategic plan for the future it enhances our academic and research environment, fosters diversity and touches lives in West Virginia,” Clements said. “Through this vision, it is time to re-imagine our land-grant mission.”
Mitchell, a graduate of East Bank High School in Chelyan, said, “The program gave me so much more than academics. You really started to see: ‘you know, I think I can do this!’”
“HSTA reflects the true Mountaineer spirit: love of family and love of state,” she said.
The originators of the land-grant system “may not have imagined the day when the world would be linked by computers and the marketplace would literally be global, but they certainly envisioned progress and created land-grant universities not only to respond to such advancement but to drive it,” Clements said.
Displaying the original document creating WVU in 1867, Clements said, “WVU has proudly served West Virginia since this historical document was signed, and will be a driver of progress through teaching, research and outreach like never before.”
CONTACT: WVU University Relations/News
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