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WVUToday on the Radio




Rural Communities Opioid Response Programs radio spot
Dec. 1, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. The West Virginia University Institute for Rural and Community Health will use $1 million to continue expanding resources across West Virginia through the Rural Community's Opioid Response Program. Amy Snodgrass is the project director and she's here to tell us a little more about it. Amy, this is the second time that the institute has received this funding. How's that money being used?

Amy Snodgrass: We're able to expand into three additional rural counties, which is Tyler and Doddridge counties, as well as expanding more into Jackson County.

April Kaull: What's new this year with the program?

Amy Snodgrass: The need for accessing those services right in the county where they live is a huge need that we're able to help. We have, through our grant, peer support specialists that come alongside a person and help them as they recover in their journey to recovery.

April Kaull: It sounds like this is really making an impact on people and communities where this program is in place. Talk a little bit about why that is so important, especially in a state like West Virginia.

Amy Snodgrass: As a land grant institution, WVU supports staff and students to create a diverse, inclusive culture, that advances education, healthcare, and prosperity for all by providing access and opportunity. And I think that this grant supports that fully. You're transforming communities.

April Kaull: So, let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


Veterans agriculture radio spot
Nov. 11, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. Veterans and community members are gaining career knowledge and tools through agriculture. It's all part of a cooperative effort between West Virginia University Extension and Operation Welcome Home. It's a project designed to support military members moving from active duty to civilian life. Lewis Jett is an extension professor and commercial horticulture specialist, and he's here to tell us a little more about this project. So how does it work, Lewis?

Lewis Jett: It's a great project focusing on horticulture and growing food crop. We primarily focus on the veterans as our core group, and we just have a series of classes on growing fruits and vegetables in high tunnels, which are basically solar greenhouses.

April Kaull: Why is this such a great fit for veterans and Extension and West Virginia University? What makes it all work so well?

Lewis Jett: Operation Welcome Home has been a great partner with WVU Extension, and we want to help people and we want to grow local food and have more local food here in West Virginia.

April Kaull: What's the best way to learn more?

Lewis Jett: Contact Operation Welcome Home, their website. It has information on enrolling in the program. You can turn farming into a business, and you don't need a lot of equipment. You don't need a lot of capital. You can start out with a small greenhouse, and you can produce tremendous amounts of food for sale but also for your own groceries, so people can offset their grocery costs this way, too. Earning a living farming in West Virginia.

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


Mountaineer Week 2022 radio spot
Nov. 9, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. West Virginia University's annual celebration of Appalachian heritage is kicking off. Mountaineer Week is celebrating a major milestone, 75 years. Rachel Johnson with Arts & Entertainment is here to tell us a little bit more about what's in store for Mountaineer Week this year.

Rachel Johnson: We have so many exciting things in store for Mountaineer Week this year. It's a great time for the students at West Virginia University to come together and learn about who we are as mountaineers, our Appalachian culture. We're really excited to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mountaineer Week and still really highlight a lot of these student-focused events.

April Kaull: What are some of the events happening during Mountaineer Week?

Rachel Johnson: We have our beard-growing contest, and then, of course, we have our arts and craft fair.

April Kaull: While this is a great opportunity for our students, faculty, and staff on campus to celebrate Appalachian heritage, it's also a really good opportunity for the community to get involved. Right?

Rachel Johnson: We are so excited to invite our community members onto our WVU campus. It's also a great time on campus for our students to interact with members of the WVU community.

April Kaull: All right, and if people want more information about all things Mountaineer Week, just visit the website mountaineerweek.wvu.edu. So let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


President Gordon Gee State of the University radio spot
Oct. 27, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. President Gordon Gee delivered his annual state of the university address on October 3rd.

Gordon Gee: I see the possibilities for our great university. I see the enormous potential in our students and the commitment of our faculty and staff who teach and guide them. I observe the extraordinary research we conduct and the healthcare we deliver. I am fortunate to bear witness daily to the myriad of ways in which we lift our communities. The national narrative of high cost and low value has fueled distrust and encouraged the debate of whether college is worth it. Now, I want you to know that I am happy to end that debate today. The answer to the question of whether college is worth it is an emphatic, "Yes!" Let me just say that again, "Yes!"

April Kaull: Nationally, the average federal debt of public university, four year degree graduates is $33,000. At WVU, 41% of May 2022 graduates earning baccalaureate degrees graduated with zero debt, and private giving has increased financial aid and scholarship funding for students and their families.

Gordon Gee: But while the cost of attending West Virginia University is still lower than many peer institutions on average, by the way, lower by 15%, cost will be an ongoing concern for students, and aid will be an ongoing priority for the WVU Foundation. Educating our people is our central purpose, and it has never been more critical. An educated citizenry will lift us above our current challenges. We must continue to share the importance of higher education and higher learning. And as a university, we must continue to provide and showcase the value of what a college degree can do. I'm certain that with shared effort, we will go forward with purpose, with pride, and with the timeless rallying cry of all Mountaineers, which of course is, "Let's go."

April Kaull: So, let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


Kevin Berry Homecoming radio spot
Oct. 19, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: Homecoming week on the campus of West Virginia University is just about underway. Kevin Berry is here with us to talk a little bit more about what homecoming means. Kevin, thanks for being with us and tell us a little bit about what people can expect during homecoming week.

Kevin Berry: So this year for homecoming we're going to have plenty of opportunities for both students and alums to engage with West Virginia University in person, on social media. We've got a mascot reunion, which is taking place. We've got a bunch of different activities starting off with some activities on the Monday of homecoming week leading all the way, of course, through some of those traditions that everybody loves like the Homecoming Parade and Game versus TCU on Saturday. If you want to learn a little bit more about those, you can visit homecoming.wvu.edu.

April Kaull: Homecoming week obviously brings to mind a lot of the ways that alumni can stay connected with West Virginia University, but the Alumni Association really provides some great opportunities year round for alumni to engage with WVU.

Kevin Berry: And one of the easiest ways for people to engage in their local community is to join one of our alumni chapters. We have more than 60 around the country. It's a local presence with local programming. I'd also encourage individuals to check out our website, alumni.wvu.edu, whether you're interested in a social activity, mentoring or helping to recruit a student, just looking for an opportunity to engage with other alums, WVU Alumni Association is certainly a way for you to remain active in the life of West Virginia University. Let's go Mountaineers.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


Fall Family Weekend radio spot
Oct. 12, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University Mountaineers Go First. Fall Family Weekend is technically underway, although it's really happening this coming weekend. Here to tell us a little more about it is Lisa Hanselman, who's with the WVU Parents Club. So tell us a little bit about Fall Family Weekend and how it's a little different this year.

Lisa Hanselman: What we're doing a little different this year, making sure that families have a lot more time to hang out with their student. They probably haven't seen them since move in. Attend our event, show their families around campus, have parents meet friends.

April Kaull: There are a lot of ways that parents can be involved with West Virginia University through the WVU Parents Club. Talk a little bit about who can participate and how to get some additional information if interested.

Lisa Hanselman: There's nothing better than to be able to have parents stay connected with their students while they might be away from home. So our families can join at any point, no charge at all to join, you just go to the Mountaineer Parents Club website. Our parents are able to receive emails from us twice a month. If we have an event near them or an event on campus we make sure they're invited. And we actually have clubs. We're able to do really great events back home where families live. For all of you parents who are visiting campus this weekend, look for me while you're there, and look for all of us who work with the Mountaineer Parents Club. We'd love to meet as many parents as possible and will be happy to answer your questions or make your visit here on campus as wonderful as possible.

April Kaull: So let's go, follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


Divorced Parents Communications radio spot
Sept. 28, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. When it comes to keeping the lines of communication open after a divorce, West Virginia University researchers say you can have far too much of a good thing. Jonathan Beckmire from the College of Applied Human Sciences is here to explain.

Jonathan Beckmire: In a recent project we were looking at the ways in which divorced parents communicated with each other and what they communicated about potential influences on how well children were adjusting to parents' divorce. When parents focus their communication around their shared parenting paths, what we often call co-parenting, children evidence better wellbeing.

April Kaull: I know that your study really talks a lot about establishing some boundaries and how important that can be. What advice do you have for parents who maybe are struggling to make that happen?

Jonathan Beckmire: Thinking a little bit ahead and then maybe thinking about the actual tools that you're using to communicate with your former spouse might help you establish those boundaries. Parents coming together to decide that what might be best for them and their children is a different kind of family system. And by understanding what helps families make that decision or helps their children adjust following divorce we can put in place programs and resources that'll help families as they're going through the transition.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on WVUtoday.wvu.edu.


Sparking Early Literacy Growth radio spot
Sept. 22, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. To help improve statewide literacy rates, the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative at WVU has announced that nine projects across the state will each receive up to $50,000 to strengthen the youngest learners' reading and writing skills by the end of the third grade. The WVPEC executive director Donna Peduto is with us to tell us a little bit more about Sparking Early Literacy Growth projects.

Donna Peduto: In collaboration with the Benedum Foundation, the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative is on its second round of the grants. Our idea is to help West Virginia's youngest learners with reading and writing. We're ever mindful about the lost opportunities for learning during the pandemic and be that there's a clear need to help students advance their comprehension in reading, spelling, grammar, and writing.

Donna Peduto: We want to be in partnership with hardworking teachers of West Virginia on this project. This year is exciting because not only do we have the eight funded by Benedum, but we have one additional that EQT Foundation is funding.

April Kaull: How important is it for you that the Public Education Collaborative at WVU in partnership with these foundations is able to reach into these communities?

Donna Peduto: A requirement of the grant is that you would have collaborative, educational, and community partnerships. We want these programs to be replicable models statewide. If the children cannot read by third grade, we know and research is pointing towards that that is the developmental milestone in every child's learning journey.

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


WVU Week of Purpose radio spot
Sept. 15, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: Visitors, faculty, staff, and students are all invited to take part in the inaugural Week of Purpose, September 18th through the 24th. The Week of Purpose is designed to deliver inspiring speakers, showcase university resources, offer diverse perspectives, and introduce student success tools. Starting on September 18th, more than 60 activities will be held across campus ending with a big celebration on September 24th, training sessions, exhibits, speaker panels, physical activities, and more, all covering a variety of topics. WVU students and employees alike are encouraged to utilize this opportunity to explore new perspectives, engage with others for self discovery. Events are free and they're open to the public, however some of the activities may require advanced registration, so be sure to check. You can learn more at purpose.wvu.edu. President Gordon Gee, introduced the concept of including purpose as part of the university's mission during his state of the university address last October.

President Gordon Gee: We do our work, just not for ourselves, but for others. That is different than other institutions. And I should know having that sense of purpose is special. Now is our time to fully embrace that feeling and turn it into action. While we are in the beginning stages, this initiative will bring together many facets of the university to elevate education, wellness, and service to our campus and our community all with the sense of positive intent.

April Kaull: WVU's Purpose Center, the first for a university campus, will open sometime at a later date. So, let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


David Martinelli radio spot
Sept. 8, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: A team from West Virginia University and the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium is working to turn small satellites into something big. David Martinelli is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Statler College and he's here to explain how all of this is going to work.

David Martinelli: WVU has a long and rich history of doing great work in the space industry. What makes this special? This has an economics component and brings us into the commercialization realm. We have outreach to K through 12 engineering and physics students. We will be having a special topics course. Undergraduate and graduate students both will be able to collaborate in the small sat lab that we're developing and be able to do hands on projects as part of their coursework. There's a supply side and a demand side. Small satellites are something that can be produced in places like West Virginia given the track record of research and talent that we have.

April Kaull: There's such renewed interest in space, space exploration, and the opportunities there. What does it mean for you and for the faculty at West Virginia University at this moment in time?

David Martinelli: We want to be able to bring the supply side and demand side together, that is bringing the innovation and the markets together so that we can really make an industry.

April Kaull: So, let's go. Follow our story on WVUToday.wvu.edu.


Mountain Scholars Program radio spot
August 30, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: West Virginia University is maintaining a sharp focus on the unique needs of rural and underrepresented students. Joining us to talk a little bit about this is Regan Bruni, the Director of the Office of Student Success at WVU. Regan, tell us a little bit about this new program, Mountain Scholars.

Regan Bruni: Mountain Scholars is designed to help West Virginia residents transition to West Virginia University. The first year on any college campus can sometimes be a little difficult and challenging, but until students get here and experience it for themselves, it's hard to really plan ahead. WVU has recently received the First-gen Forward designation which is based upon our commitment to support first gen college students. About 34 students in the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success opt into the program. They are in a cohort of a first year seminar together. They also have one other class in common so that at least when they go to two of their classes, they have familiar faces. We just wanna make sure students have all the support they need. We offer free tutoring every day of the week, success coaching, workshops.

April Kaull: If people want more information, where can they find it?

Regan Bruni: StudentSuccess.WVU.edu.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on WVUToday.WVU.edu.


Practice Based Ed & Service Learning radio spot
March 10, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: I'm here with Diane Gross from the School of Public Health. And Diane, thanks for being with us. You are in charge of practice-based education and service learning. What exactly does that mean?

Diane Gross: A program to let students interact and learn by doing out in the real world. We try and find projects that students can work with public health entities from the local, state, national health institutions, as well as charities and organizations that have a public health component as part of their work.

April Kaull: How is that different from maybe other public health programs across the country and why is that so important for public health education, especially right now?

Diane Gross: Two reasons. One, it is a way for our students in the university to give back to the communities. It also allows us to use this opportunity of COVID and the response as a teaching experience for students. Unfortunately, we will have emerging diseases on and on and public health has to respond to it. So students actually right now, have a great opportunity to just learn by watching what's going on around them.

April Kaull: What is public health all about and what would your advice be to someone if they think they're interested?

Diane Gross: It is about health for the public, from nutrition to occupational health, to outbreak investigation, to designing programs, to people to live healthy. Come on over to Health Sciences Center, we'll be happy to talk to you about the program and about all your options.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


Day of Giving radio spot
Feb. 25, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first.

West Virginia University's annual day of giving is March ninth. B.J. Davison from the WVU Foundation is here with me to talk a little bit about the day and the planning, but even more importantly, the results that come from an important day like this.

April Kaull: How excited are you for day of giving?

B.J. Davison: Oh my goodness. April, Here we are, our fifth time around, we've raised in our combined days of giving over $30 million for the institution. The giving is definitely important and makes a difference.

April Kaull: Talk a little bit about what day of giving means in terms of those results. Some of the projects, some of the initiatives, some of the scholarships and other support that have been made possible.

B.J. Davison: It's not unusual for people to want to really follow their passion and make their gift to one of those various funds during day of giving the scholarship support and particularly we are stronger together, which is our most general unrestricted scholarship effort is hugely important to the institution because it makes a difference in the lives of our students. Also encouraging folks to maybe make a gift unrestricted to that college or unit so that leader has the flexibility to use those funds in ways that maybe we can't see today as a need, but we might in a month from now.

April Kaull: So what are the ways people can participate on March ninth?

B.J. Davison: So the easiest way is to go online to of dayofgiving.wvu.edu and other people giving a variety of ways and day of giving is actually a celebration. We want to be there when people need us and we're there.

April Kaull: So let's go, follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu


CyberCom radio spot
Feb. 9, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first.

A partnership with the United States Defense Department is giving students at West Virginia University real-word cybersecurity experience.

WVU is one of 84 educational institutions that will work closely with CYBERCOM where students engage in applied research and innovation while gaining valuable cybersecurity workforce training.

This translates into a leadership advantage in the rapidly growing field of computer science and electrical engineering at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

Or for students majoring in cybersecurity at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics.

Both majors have access to CYBERCOM's academic partnership, including expertise from some of the country's most eminent cybersecurity experts and prestigious civilian internship opportunities. And learning labs allow teams of students to see how many ways a system can be compromised, find its vulnerabilities or weak spots and develop appropriate defenses.

The program also ties into cross-college experiences like the Locked Shields cyber competition. Last Spring, WVU students from engineering, business, law and media schools cooperated with the West Virginia National Guard and Polish allies to defend a fictional country. Their hard work led the U.S. team to its highest ranking in the exercise and put WVU on CYBERCOM's radar.

So let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


Extension radio spot February 2022 
Feb. 2, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. West Virginia's communities have seen elevated interest in tourism staples and a new national park, and along with the COVID-19 pandemic and work at home expansion, have experienced more visitors and new residents. I'm joined by Doug Arbogast from WVU's extension service to talk about sustainable rural tourism and a new webinar series.

Doug Arbogast: We're bringing in guest speakers from around the state to talk about how tourism has impacted their communities and how we're addressing not only these opportunities, but some of the challenges that it brings. And so how we can create a roadmap for sustainable tourism future for the state. We know that people in these communities really value the sense of place and the authenticity that West Virginia has to provide. And we want to be sure to protect that while also capitalizing on these economic opportunities that these visitors are bringing to our state.

April Kaull: Registration is required. So where can people learn more information and sign up if they're interested?

Doug Arbogast: It's a free webinar series. And if you go to the extension service website and search for the sustainable tourism webinar series, you'll be able to find our registration page. And there's just a quick signup page.

April Kaull: Doug, thank you. We've also shared this information on our WVU Today website, wvutoday.wvu.edu. Just click on the extension tab.

So let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday. wvu.edu.


Dean of Students Corey Farris talks about the spring 2022 semester 
Jan. 13, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers Go First.

The spring semester is underway at West Virginia University. I'm joined by the Dean of Students, Corey Farris, to talk about a new semester, a new year, 2022.

Hi Corey.

Corey Farris: Hi April.

April Kaull: I am assuming you are excited to have our students, faculty and staff back on campus.

Corey Farris: I'm looking out the window at a class change now, watching them traverse in front of The Mountainlair. It's so good to see them.

April Kaull: Obviously with the pandemic continuing, there are still a lot of health and safety protocols.

Corey Farris : Our goal is to protect that classroom experience, but we also know that students are on a campus to be able to interact with each other. And so we've got lots of things on tap for them, whether it's WVUp All Night, clubs or organizations, fraternity and sorority. Recruitment's coming up. We've got Mountain State that's going to be at our Creative Arts Center, as well as other events that they will have. Our Refresh series and Campus Recreation. It's relaunch of Project 168, where we're going to help students track their out of classroom experiences, so we can eventually create a co-curricular transcript that will go along with their academic transcript. Employers and others who are looking at our students for that next step, that job, the military professional school they're telling us that out of classroom experience is really important. We're giving our students that little bit extra, that's going to make them a better employee selection.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu.


Bike Tech program radio spot 
Jan. 3, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. I'm here with Greg Corio from the Brad and Alys Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative at West Virginia University. Greg, thanks for being with us. And you have something really exciting to talk about and it's all related to bicycles.

Greg Corio: Yeah, I'm super excited about the donation that Rad Power Bikes did at Morgantown, West Virginia to build a project bike tech classroom in a modern county high school. The bike tech program is a STEM-based learning program for juniors and seniors in high school. The bike industry said we need young people to know how to work on bicycles. They started sprinkling in STEM education. The project bike tech classroom has all the tools you need to fix an entire bicycle.

April Kaull: The Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative has really been instrumental in facilitating a lot of these opportunities related to the outdoor economy. Talk about being at that intersection of making these connections to help young people move in new ways from an economic perspective.

Greg Corio: Part of the collaborative's goal is to find these opportunities, to invigorate our communities, tap into some of the resources that are here, but also to bring in new resources. This is a amazing place to live that, and especially if you love to get outside and recreate. They were looking at one town that 10 of the largest bicycling non-profits were going to come together to get more children on bicycles. They chose Morgantown, West Virginia. Something special's happened here.

April Kaull: So let's go. Follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu


Steam Tac program radio spot 
Jan. 3, 2022
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April Kaull: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first.

April Kaull: West Virginia University, the State Department of Education and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative have launched a new Technical Assistance Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Donna Peduto from the PEC is with us to talk a little bit more about these so-called STEAM TACs.

Donna Peduto: Any public school, middle school, grade six through eight can participate. It's free and open to all.

April Kaull: What exactly will students be doing in these STEAM TAC events?

Donna Peduto: STEAM Technical assistant specialist, fresh out of the classroom, their teachers with the wide variety of expertise in the STEAM field. They've designed personalized, engaging lessons that nurture critical thinking and interdisciplinary with real world relevancy and career exploration.

April Kaull: Why is this so critical? Especially right now?

Donna Peduto: The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that growth in the STEM occupations have grown 80% in the past 30 years and will continue to grow, but we have a gap in our country that only 20% of high school graduates are prepared for these STEM majors when they go on to post secondary. They are so excited about STEAM. They can register by going to our website steamtac.wvu.edu.

April Kaull: So let's go, follow our story on wvutoday.wvu.edu


WVUToday on the Radio 2021

WVUToday on the Radio 2020