Kenneth Blemings of the West Virginia University intercollegiate undergraduate program in biochemistry and assistant director of the Division of Animal & Nutritional Sciences in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design been named interim academic officer for the WVU Honors College.
Blemings will step into the position effective July 1, the same date when the Honors College moves administratively under Elizabeth Dooley, associate provost for undergraduate academic affairs.
The Honors College was established in 2006 under the leadership of Keith Garbutt, who served as the college’s founding dean. Garbutt will leave WVU to become the inaugural dean of the Oklahoma State University Honors College this summer.
In the new role of interim academic officer, Blemings will provide academic leadership to honors programs and participate in a broader discussion about the best and most innovative future course for honors education at WVU.
“I’m excited about Dr. Blemings’ decision to lead the Honors College,” Dooley said. “He understands the academic and co-curricular needs of students and has been associated with the Honors Advisory Council for many years. With the support and assistance of colleagues from across campus, Ken will make a huge contribution to the growth and sustainability of the honors college.”
Provost Michele Wheatly echoed those sentiments, adding that, “Ken is really the whole package. He’s a gifted teacher, an active researcher, and an extremely able administrator. We’re delighted that he has agreed to take on this new role.”
Blemings came to WVU in 1999 as an assistant professor of nutritional biochemistry and of genetics and developmental biology in the Division of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. In 2010, he was named assistant director of academic programs for the division. He was a 2012 WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher and a recipient of an APLU/USDA regional teaching award the same year. He became chair of the WVU’s intercollegiate undergraduate program in biochemistry in 2013.
“I am thrilled to provide leadership to the Honors College. I have had the good fortune to interact with many honors students during my time at WVU and have always found the experience very rewarding,” Blemings said. “I am looking forward to working with the excellent staff in the Honors College and engaging the University community in a broad discussion about how honors can best serve the needs of our students.”
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