Skip to main content

Working in service: WVU embedded in fabric of West Virginia communities

President Gordon Gee Reads Aloud to School students
University President Gordon Gee visits Energy Express at Skyview Elementary School. (WVU Photo/Scott Lituchy)
Download full-size

In West Virginia’s hills and hollows, its larger cities along interstates and smaller communities on country roads, at ground levels and from broader 365-degree views, West Virginia University students, faculty and staff are working each day in service to the Mountain State.

Read the full story

WVUToday stories highlighting service to West Virginia:

Working in service: WVU research reaches all of West Virginia

Breakthroughs and research expertise nurtured at West Virginia University extend far beyond its labs, experimental sites and classrooms. These public research contributions will be celebrated during the fifth annual Research Week, beginning March 20.

Working in service: WVU enhances health and well-being throughout West Virginia

West Virginia University Health Sciences tackles important health issues plaguing the Mountain State through academics, research, clinics and partnerships extending to communities across West Virginia and the region, embodying the University’s mission to serve with purpose.

Working in service: WVU offers opportunities to explore other worlds close to home

West Virginia University is taking exploration into Mountain State communities with programs focused on driving interest in science, technology, engineering and math while encouraging people of all ages to examine their world and others.

Working in service: WVU takes the arts into Mountain State communities

From live theater and music performances to hands-on art projects, the WVU College of Creative Arts provides opportunities for residents in communities throughout the Mountain State to participate directly in artistic endeavors and express their creativity.

Working in service: WVU land use attorneys address fundamental needs of West Virginia communities

The WVU Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic is improving the quality of life for West Virginians across the state by contributing much-needed local government legal services to communities, while also providing meaningful educational opportunities for law students.

Working in service: WVU acts as community development catalyst

From building up outdoor recreation throughout the state, to crunching vital numbers for its small communities, to exploring ways that small businesses can best market their goods and services, WVU is serving as a community development catalyst in real time and making significant change at ground levels.

WVU’s Project TRAIN lays a new track to support children affected by addiction at home

One of every four children in the United States has a parent wrestling with drug or alcohol addiction, based on national data, and is at risk of developing a substance use disorder later in life. To break that cycle and give adults in those kids’ lives the tools to make a difference, West Virginia University’s Project TRAIN has expanded its program, originally focused on enabling K-12 teachers to support students affected by addiction, to youth camps statewide.

With little known about rising nutrient levels in small communities’ treated sewage, WVU researchers test the waters

Alarmed about rising levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in America’s water, the Environmental Protection Agency has invested $1 million in West Virginia University assistant professor Kevin Orner’s wastewater treatment research.

WVPEC announces 2022 Sparking Early Literacy Growth projects to help close the disparity gap in reading proficiency

To improve statewide literacy rates, the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative has announced nine projects across West Virginia will each receive up to $50,000 to strengthen West Virginia’s youngest learners’ reading and writing skills by the end of the third grade.

West Virginia rising: WVU partners with Coalfield Development Corporation, other coalition members to win $63M EDA grant

Thousands of acres of abandoned mining land in West Virginia will get new uses out of part of a large-scale development project Coalfield Development Corporation is leading

with support from West Virginia University. The project is among those to receive funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of the “Build Back Better Regional Challenge.”

Clouds part for solar energy’s prospects in West Virginia as WVU and partners build a solar-power test site in Fairmont

The launch of a partnership between West Virginia University engineers and the nonprofit and utility sectors could bring the region one step closer to integrating solar- generated power into the electrical grid.

WVU Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative celebrates new trail openings

Three miles make up the first phase of the West Run Woods Trail System which represents the beginning of a larger WVU trail initiative designed to improve health opportunities for community members, attract and retain talent, enhance quality of life and increase tourism. It's one of several cycling projects underway in Monongalia County.

WVU-led initiative engages West Virginia youth in their communities

The West Virginia University School of Public Health and Health Sciences & Technology Academy are collaborating on a project that will engage trusted individuals in rural communities throughout the state and provide experiential learning opportunities for the next generation of health care professionals to improve health outcomes.

WVU expands rural opioid response programs with $1M grant

The West Virginia University Institute for Community and Rural Health will use the funding to continue expanding resources across the Mountain State through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program to address barriers to prevention, treatment and recovery services for substance use disorder.

WVU researchers counting on cow cooperation for improvements in soil health and carbon sequestration

Researchers in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design are working to improve soil health and increase economic gains for Appalachian cattle farmers by bringing nutrients, like carbon, to the soil while decreasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Ascend West Virginia expands into fourth community

Greater Elkins joins three other areas in West Virginia offering incentives to remote workers who want to make the Mountain State home, part of the Ascend WV program involving the WVU Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative.

With a generation’s literacy at stake, WVU joins schools and communities to combat COVID-19 learning loss

A statewide education initiative is bringing West Virginia University literacy consultants together with local schools and communities to reverse pandemic-driven early learning loss.

WVU Extension helping veterans learn about agriculture through partnership with Operation Welcome Home

Veterans and community members are gaining career knowledge and tools through agriculture as part of a cooperative effort between West Virginia University Extension and Operation Welcome Home, a project designed to support military members moving from active-duty service to civilian life.

WVU recognized nationally for community engagement through partnership with long-running prison book program

West Virginia University's partnership with the prison book program is one of four exemplary projects being recognized this year as part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Awards. Through the years, the project has created opportunities for people in prison to learn and has sent more than 50,000 free books to people in Appalachian prisons in six states.

WVU research helps gifted programs discover talented low-income students and bring STEM learning to kids of all abilities

Appalachian Coders provides resources and trainings enabling teachers to embed computational, STEM-related activities and thinking in core lesson plans for elementary students. The project tracks teacher confidence and student and parent engagement and analyzes alternative ways to screen who qualifies for gifted education.

WVU engineers aim to improve safety with autonomous robotic inspection system for coal waste storage facilities

Two West Virginia University engineers are developing new technologies for coal waste storage facilities that will detect and prevent potential failures like leakage of hazardous materials into the environment.

WVU launches prevention program to support at-risk youth, young adults

Research has shown that prevention programs are effective at reducing risk of substance use and addiction, and the prevalence of drug use increases rapidly during adolescence and the transition to young adulthood. To support this population through these critical development years, West Virginia University has launched Regional Transition Navigator services.

WVU’s STEAM TAC launches second year of engaging, interactive immersions for West Virginia public schools

With public schools back in session, the West Virginia Technical Assistance Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, housed at West Virginia University, is expanding its impact and reach during its second year of immersive, hands-on learning activities.

WVU launches program putting students from rural West Virginia on paths to success

Maintaining a sharp focus on the unique needs of rural, underrepresented West Virginia University students, the Office of Student Success welcomes its first cohort of Mountain Scholars this fall. The Mountain Scholars Program is designed to create a culture of support for incoming first-year students from rural areas of West Virginia as they work toward academic success while also preparing them for jobs in the Mountain State.

New WVU teacher education initiative brings coding to K-5 classrooms

A West Virginia University instructional design expert is looking to break the code of the traditional elementary school classroom. Ugur Kale, associate professor in the College of Applied Human Sciences, earned a National Science Foundation grant to prepare elementary education majors to use computer science as a tool in classrooms.

Dollars for Disaster support effort at WVU relaunches after flooding in several states

West Virginia University is stepping up to support residents affected by flooding in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia with the restart of Dollars for Disaster, a campus-wide disaster response effort organized through the Center for Community Engagement.

WVU researchers work to restore iconic West Virginia red spruce forests

Clearcutting and wildfires destroyed the red spruce which were once the dominant tree species in West Virginia. Today, only 10% of the state’s red spruce coverage remains and it faces a new threat in climate change. West Virginia University researchers are working toward restoring some of the original tree habitat by studying the long-term effects of climate change on red spruce and the surrounding environment.

NASA-funded physics research at WVU aims to create new stars among local teachers and HBCU students

West Virginia University physicists are helping NASA measure light from distant stars and involving local high school science teachers in the process.

Crowdfunding effort aims to boost support for WVU Tech's Tomorrow is Mine Summer Camp

A crowdfunding effort launched in partnership with the West Virginia University Foundation aims to encourage middle-schoolers in southern West Virginia via Tomorrow is Mine, a summer camp held this week at WVU Tech in Beckley.

WVU partnership provides first responders with free online electric vehicle safety training

With more hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads, West Virginia University is helping first responders more easily train for emergencies. WVU Extension Fire Service and the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium at WVU have teamed up to produce a free online safety instructional course. 

Photo, video and audio resources:

Volunteers to help cleanup in Mannington, WV

Keandrae Johnson and journalism and geology major volunteers help with cleanup in Mannington after flooding, Aug. 2, 2017. (WVU Photo/Brian Persinger) Download photo

Master Gardener Willa Izzo poses in garden

WVU Extension Master Gardener Willa Izzo poses in the garden she created at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds, Aug. 16, 2018. (WVU Photo/Greg Ellis) Download photo

Students in Mrs. Mattern's third grade classroom participate in a day of CODE

Students in Mrs. Mattern's third grade classroom participate in a day of CODE at Mylan Park Elementary School in Morgantown. (WVU Photo/Greg Ellis) Download photo

WVU President Gordon Gee interacts with visitors at the WV State Fair

WVU President Gordon Gee interacts with visitors to the WVU demonstration building at the West Virginia State Fair, Aug. 17, 2018. (WVU Photo/Greg Ellis) Download photo

students help pack food for people in need

The Greek Day of Service event was held at the Student Rec Center, April 13, 2019. These students helped pack food for people in need. (WVU Photo) Download photo

Provost Maryanne Reed Reads - Aloud to WVU Nursery School students

Provost Maryanne Reed reads aloud to WVU Nursery School students. (WVU Photo/Greg Ellis) Download photo

Jordan Killebrew administers a COVID-19 test to student Tanner Nichols

Jordan Killebrew, left, administers a COVID-19 test to student Tanner Nichols from Elkview at the Student Rec Center, Sept. 30, 2020. Jennifer Goldcamp is at right. (WVU Photo/Jennifer Shephard) Download photo

School of Public Health student, Adrian Thomas

School of Public Health student, Adrian Thomas, volunteers at the COVID-19 Community Testing stations of the Student Rec Center, March 8, 2021. (WVU Photo/Brian Persinger) Download photo

Dr. Jason Hubbart, Director for the Institute of Water Security and Science, and Kaylyn Gootman

Jason Hubbart (right), director for the Institute of Water Security and Science, leads a group of incoming freshmen participating in the Summer Immersion Field program at the West Run Experimental Watershed, July 20, 2021. (WVU Photo/Brian Persinger) Download photo

Teacher and two young students in the classroom

The "Hour of Code" event facilitated by the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy, with the help of elementary teachers from around West Virginia, engages the public with coding activities, tutorials and lectures to celebrate computers science and demystify code at White Hall. (WVU Photo/Brian Persinger) Download photo

Nikki Byrne-Hoffman and Katrina Stewart along with the help of volunteers build their second garden bed at the Campus Food Garden

Nikki Byrne-Hoffman and Katrina Stewart with the help of volunteers build their second garden bed at the Campus Food Garden on the Evansdale campus, Oct. 7, 2021. (WVU Photo/Margaret Schiffer) Download photo

Music therapist Hannah Bush plays guitar while pediatric patient Christian Martin plays a harmonica

Music therapist Hannah Bush plays guitar while pediatric patient Christian Martin plays a harmonica solo at the former WVU Children’s Hospital in Morgantown, March 25, 2022. (WVU Photo/Matt Sunday) Download photo

Health & Wellness Expo and run at the Rec. Center

The Health Sciences and Technology Academy Student Ambassadors and the Minorities Association of Pre-Healthcare Students sponsor a health & wellness expo and run at the Student Rec Center, Sunday, April 24, 2022. (WVU Photo/Jennifer Shephard) Download photo

Tthe summits of Seneca Rocks

Hikers climb the summits of Seneca Rocks to enjoy views of the Appalachian Mountains, May 12, 2022. Seneca Rocks, in the Monongahela National Forest, is located in Pendleton County and is a popular destination for travelers and tourists. (WVU Photo/David Malecki) Download photo

President Gordon Gee visits Pocahontas County

WVU President Gordon Gee visits Pocahontas County during summer 2022. (WVU Photo) Download photo

Bethany Wagner conducts stream sampling on the Hemlock Trail of the Research Forest

Members of the Hartman Research Field Team join Goldwater Scholar Bethany Wagner to conduct stream sampling on the Hemlock Trail of the Research Forest, May 6, 2021. (WVU Photo/Brian Persinger) Download photo


Using Live Music To Help Young Hospital Patients

In a new study, Hanna Bush—an assistant professor in the School of Medicine—found that live music performed by a licensed music therapist lowered the heart rates of pediatric patients in critical care. Her study is unique because it focuses on live music intervention for children—rather than adults—on life support.

Be Wild. Be Wonderful. Be Healthy.

The be wild, be wonderful, be healthy project is a collaboration with the Center for Disease Control and prevention.

Our students are helping to *END* the COVID-19 pandemic

Our School of Pharmacy students have been vaccinating West Virginians all across the state, as well as here at WVU to eligible employees and clinical students. They join a network of pharmacists across the state helping to end the pandemic here in West Virginia and protect citizens from the global pandemic - all while still earning their degree.

Meet the students of the Adapted Physical Education Class

In the Adaptive Physical Education Practicum, students learn of a variety of ways to work with kids with a range of disabilities. Take a look at what the students learn while taking this course and the impact they are making on local school children.

Learn more about Kids Market @ the Store

Kids Market @ The Store is a new initiative by the West Virginia University Extension Family Nutrition Program, aimed at teaching kids healthy habits by allowing them to “shop” for free fruits and vegetables at participating retail locations in their counties.

WVU Extension Spotlight: Career Readiness Program

When Jackson Middle School Resource Officer Adam Jones was asked to teach a class in fall 2021, he immediately connected with West Virginia University Extension’s Wood County 4-H agent Jodi Smith to see how they might partner to deliver a course focused on careers.

WVU Extension Spotlight: Building Awareness, Becoming an Ally

West Virginia ranks near the lowest in the United States on many measures of diversity, including cultural, socioeconomic, linguistic, racial, ethnic, educational and income.


WVU Research Impact radio spot - Jan. 30, 2023
Download Audio File

April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. Fred King is the Vice President for Research at West Virginia University. Fred, thanks for being with us. WVU is an R1 or the highest level of research institution. What does that mean?

Fred King: By the analysis of the Carnegie Higher Education Group, we are among the top 146 research universities in the United States. When you're an R1 university, it means that your faculty are the ones who are leading the research and scholarship within their disciplines, and what that means from students is they get to work with individuals who are at the forefront of their disciplines. And so that really helps prepare them to be current with their skills when they go out onto the market for jobs.

April Kaull: You mentioned undergraduate research opportunities for students, and the university is unique in that regard, right?

Fred King: Although you may engage in undergraduate research at some other institutions, it's not the same as engaging in it at an R1 university, which really is the place where the new ideas are coming from, the new innovation is emerging from, and new startup companies are coming out of.

April Kaull: And at every level, they're really working in areas that make an impact in communities, local, state, regional, and beyond.

Fred King: Everything that we're doing with respect to research and scholarship circles back to help the State of West Virginia improve the quality of life for its citizens.

April Kaull: Let's go. Follow our story on