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WVU faculty emeritus establishes endowment to support Celebration of Scholars keynote speaker

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Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab
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Dr. Ronald V. Iannone, faculty emeritus of the West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services, recently established the Ron V. Iannone and Family Keynote Speaker Endowment.

The endowment will provide support for the CEHS Celebration of Scholars keynote speaker each year (previously the CEHS Student Research Forum). 

“Our intention in establishing this endowment is to support a program at the college that will provide teachers with great ideas for research,” said Iannone. “Research they can put into action, helping teachers become institutional change-leaders.”

The keynote speaker for this year’s event will be Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, a nationally known scholar and social activist who studies college access and affordability. Goldrick-Rab’s talk will focus on findings from her recent book titled, “Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream.”

“With the serious economic challenges facing students and families across West Virginia, I’m looking forward to sharing lessons from my latest book Paying the Price and learning about their ideas for building a better higher education financing system,” said Goldrick-Rab.

A hard-working young person who pursues a college degree is assumed to be on a path to a good life, but according to Goldrick-Rab, this isn’t necessarily always true. In her speech, Goldrick-Rab will reveal the devastating effect of shortfalls, such as the expense of college and the confusing mix of available aid.

Goldrick-Rab will also offer a range of possible solutions, from technical improvements to the financial aid application process, to a bold, public-sector-focused “first degree free” program.

“The College of Education and Human Services is grateful to Professor Iannone for his gift in support of our annual keynote speaker series. His generosity ensures that our students will continue to be exposed to important ideas that influence our work in education and human services fields,” said Dr. M Cecil Smith, CEHS associate dean for research and graduate education. “We are particularly delighted to have Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab as our inaugural keynote speaker for the 2017 Celebration of Scholars. Her research on college access and affordability critically informs U.S. higher education policy and has significant implications for how to design local programs that will provide more West Virginians with greater access to a college education.”

Prior to the keynote speaker presentation, the event will showcase around 40 student research projects, followed by the inaugural Faculty Edtalks. 

The Faculty Edtalks will showcase seven CEHS professors presenting brief talks on researched subjects such as arts curricula, early childhood education, and divorced fathers.

“I hope this program and research exposure will help students to become more specialized in their own personal subject matter,” said Iannone. “Often too much stress is placed on the pedagogy and not on research and scholarship.”

The CEHS Celebration of Scholars will take place on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown. 

This gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University which runs through December 2017.

-WVU-

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CONTACT: Amy Lutz; Director of Advancement, WVU College of Education and Human Services
304.293.3261; amy.lutz@mail.wvu.edu

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