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WVUToday on the Radio

Celebrating the Graduates Radio Spot
May 10, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. Thousands of new WVU alumni are starting to make their way in the world following May Commencement ceremonies. Here are a few members of the class of 2024

Madison Cesnick: Hi, I'm Madison Cesnick from Frostburg, Maryland, and I major in global supply chain management and with a minor in military science. What's next for me is I commission as an active duty Army officer, and then I go to my follow-on school. And then I'll be stationed at Fort Cavazos, Texas for the next three to four years. I'm only from 50 minutes away and I was always a mountaineer fan and I came in straight away doing ROTC and I fell in love with it and fell in love with the Army and WVU. So this is exactly where I wanted to be.

Nathan Edelman: My name's Nathan Edelman. I'm from Akron, Ohio and my degree is agriculture education. My graduation cap is a bunch of chickens. After graduation, I plan on moving out to Iowa Farm at a hen farm. It's an egg breaker and it's also a shout-out to the WVU poultry department here. They are wonderful, they are welcoming, and I've been working with them now for four years. My entire time here. This is my way of giving big thanks to them.

Morgan Castile: I'm Morgan Castile. I'm from Butler, Pennsylvania and my major is biomedical laboratory diagnostics. I'm planning to work as medical laboratory scientists at Ruby Memorial Hospital, in the clinical laboratory there. It was pretty hard at the beginning. I was pretty scared. It gets better. The four years I never thought I'd be where I am today and I'm proud of myself.

Noah Trimmer: My name is Noah Trimmer. I'm from Uniontown, Pennsylvania and I'm majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering. I'll definitely remember being a part of the WVU experimental rocketry team. I've been out to the Spaceport America Cup out in New Mexico two times, and we're getting ready to go again end of June. Had memories with that team I'll never forget and I'll continue to be involved post graduation. It's been a long time coming. Excited, but also sad to be leaving. Moving on to the next stage and really, really excited.

Emma Coiner: My name is Emma Coiner. I am from Williamstown, West Virginia and I am a double major in political science and philosophy. These four years have been some of the best of my life and I'll always cherish these memories that I've made here and the people that I've met, definitely.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go. Follow our stories at

Commencement Preview Radio Spot
April 26, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. It's time to celebrate the graduates in gold and blue. Commencement weekend will include nine ceremonies over three days beginning May 10th at the Coliseum. Kelly Flanagan is the Director of University Events.

Kelly Flanagan: This is our favorite event that we do all year. We get to do a lot of fun things in University Events, but this is definitely our favorite.

Shauna Johnson: Thousands of graduates from 13 colleges and schools are expected to cross the stage to cheers from family members and friends.

Kelly Flanagan: You walk across, your dean is there, President Gee, Provost Reed, Chancellor Marsh are there as well, depending on your degree path, and ready to do those handshakes and the smiles and the hugs and the end of photo moments, which is great.

Shauna Johnson: Among the honorary degree recipients this year, US Senator Shelley Moore Capito, 84 Lumber and Nemacolin owner and CEO Maggie Hardy, award-winning television writer Don DeNoon, and Cynthia Bissett Germanotta, president and co-founder of Born This Way Foundation. US Senator Joe Manchin is one of the scheduled commencement speakers. For those who can not attend in person, ceremony live streams will be available online at

Kelly Flanagan: My favorite part is just seeing the families and the graduates so excited. It's been four years or longer depending on your degree or your path. So it's been a long time coming for them, and they're all just really excited. So it's a great time.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go, follow our stories at

Rugby Celebrates 50 Years Radio Spot
April 5, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. For 50 years now, WVU students have been playing rugby, making it the oldest recognized club sport on campus. Twenty-fourteen graduate. Trevor Stiefken from New Jersey is one of them.

Trevor Stiefken: It was a sport that I knew that I would find success in, mainly from my wrestling background, but also because there is a position for everybody. Generally, your bigger, heavier guys are going to be up front in the scrum and your smaller faster guys are going to be in the backs.

Shauna Johnson: More than 120 former men's and women's rugby players are joining Stiefken, along with 50 current players, in Morgantown, April 19th and 20th. To mark the milestone anniversary, a reception is planned at the Erickson Alumni Center. Alumni rugby matches with varying degrees of contact will be played on the rec center fields.

Trevor Stiefken: Rugby has always been near and dear to my heart. I grew up watching it, didn't start playing until I was in college. After I got out of college, I played for men's club for 10, 11 years before I joined the union. I took a little bit of a hiatus and this will be my first time stepping on a rugby pitch since the fall of 2019. So I'm excited to kind of get back into the swing of things.

Shauna Johnson: A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will benefit current players, helping to cover costs for equipment jerseys and other needed team items. More than anything though, Stiefken says he's hoping the Golden Anniversary weekend can help strengthen the ties that bind former and current players in a physical club sport that in his words, "You really have to love to play." So let's go. Follow our stories at

Adventure Opportunities radio spot
April 3, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. Now in its 20th year, Adventure West Virginia is offering all kinds of opportunities for members of the university and surrounding communities to connect in purposeful ways by getting outside and having fun. Emily Chapman is a program support specialist.

Emily Chapman: Adventure West Virginia strives to build community through outdoor recreation. We strive to challenge people's comfort zones and get them to try new activities.

Shauna Johnson: Adventure West Virginia is starting a new season at two recreational sites open to faculty, staff, students, and the public. The Outdoor Education Center offers aerial and custom group adventures in the WVU Research Forest near Cooper's Rock. Morgantown Adventure Outfitters provides equipment rentals and guided programs in downtown Morgantown with easy access to the rail trail system and the Monongahela River.

Emily Chapman: We have youth and child bicycles, as well as adult rail trail bikes. You can get a bike trailer to tow along your little ones. And then for on the water, we have single kayaks, double kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards.

Shauna Johnson: Adventure West Virginia runs the Walnut Street Site in partnership with the City of Morgantown.

Emily Chapman: This location lowers the barrier to entry for outdoor recreation. You don't have to take a kayak and drive it across town to get to Cheat Lake. You can just walk up, get on the equipment, and go for as little as 15 minutes. Or you can spend all day riding bikes, kayaking. It presents a much easier way for the community to access recreation.

Shauna Johnson: Find out more and make reservations for the two sites at These are sites that Chapman says tap into West Virginia's abundant natural outdoor resources.

Emily Chapman: I just haven't found anywhere like it yet.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go. Follow our stories at

Collegiate Recovery radio spot
Mar 25, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. To help improve community safety and break stigmas surrounding substance use, ONEboxes are now available on campus, kits containing Naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication. Collegiate Recovery Director, Olivia Dale Pape says the more than 25 Morgantown locations for the purple ONEboxes, including at all residence halls, the Mountainlair, and at the Student Rec Center were chosen with accessibility and visibility in mind.

Olivia Dale Pape: Overdose can and does happen regularly. It's not just reserved for people who are dealing with substance use disorders. It can be anyone. You can think that you're taking one thing and it's cut with something else. You can be a child getting into your parents' medication. There's all sorts of ways that this happens. We just want to make sure that people have the opportunity to keep living their lives no matter how overdose might happen.

Shauna Johnson: The ONEboxes include Naloxone, other supplies, and a training video detailing step-by-step, how to administer the medications.

Olivia Dale Pape: Naloxone's very easy to use. It comes in the form of a nasal spray. It is very simple to use, but in an emergency, you never know how you're going to respond.

Shauna Johnson: WELLWVU works with Collegiate Recovery on regular campus Naloxone trainings. The ONEboxes supplement that work as another preventive measure. They're the result of collaboration between WVU Collegiate Recovery, the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute, the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network, and the State Agency, formerly known as the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Olivia Dale Pape: We hope that you don't need it, but if you do, it's there and that should be normalized, that if an overdose were to happen, we want to make sure that everybody is taken care of. Everyone deserves to be revived in case of that, no matter how they experienced an overdose.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go. Follow our stories at

New Mountaineer radio spot
Mar 5, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first.

Shauna Johnson: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Braden Adkins: Let's go Mountaineers.

Shauna Johnson: The 70th Mountaineer mascot hails from Nicholas County.

Braden Adkins: My name is Braden Adkins. I'm a junior studying economics, and I'm from Richwood, West Virginia.

Shauna Johnson: Following a selection announcement in early March, Adkins will officially take over as the new Mountaineer mascot during an April 26th ceremony at the Mountainlair. During the event, he'll formally accept the rifle from Mikel Hager, the 69th Mountaineer mascot after a year serving as the alternate.

Braden Adkins: Being the alternate Mountaineer, you get to have a lot of experience in this role. You get to step into the situations that you would be as the main Mountaineer. You get to go to community events, and you get to go to supporting events. And these types of things, they can prepare you for the role itself. And that experience is something that I've taken advantage of.

Shauna Johnson: During his time at WVU, Adkins has worked in the Division of Student Life and been a member of the Mountaineer Maniacs and WVU Pickleball Club.

Braden Adkins: Something that I want to do as the main Mountaineer is fully utilize my personality and my strengths and fully help the state of West Virginia and give back to the people of West Virginia.

Shauna Johnson: Replacing Adkins in the alternate Mountaineer mascot position is Justin Waybright, a junior, mining engineering major from Parkersburg. So let's go. Follow our stories at

WVU Day of Giving radio spot
Feb. 22, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. WVU alumni and friends are invited to come together on March 20th in support of the seventh WVU Day of Giving, an annual 24-hour university-wide fundraising effort organized by the WVU Foundation. BJ Davisson is the foundation's executive vice president and chief development officer.

BJ Davisson: My favorite part of the day is just the energy it creates here at the institution and among our donor base. Every single unit plays a role, and I think it speaks to the tremendous variety of the institution. It's land grant mission. Our medicine units, our clinical areas, Potomac State, W Tech, and Beckley, everybody's part of this.

Shauna Johnson: It's collective giving with a purpose. Leading the way support for student scholarships.

BJ Davisson: The scholarship aid, we know, will always be a high priority for the institution. Last year, the institution provided about $157 million in scholarship support, and quite frankly, it's never quite enough.

Shauna Johnson: During Day of Giving, watch for hourly challenges on social media, calls to action via email to support specific units, and more.

BJ Davisson: Every gift matters. Every gift makes a difference. We bring on new donors to the institution every year through Day of Giving. So sometimes it might be someone who's parting with their first $10 gift, for example. It adds up, and it makes a big difference.

Shauna Johnson: Find details at

BJ Davisson: I'm just continually amazed by how mountaineer nation gets behind this institution when we make the call and people answer.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go follow our stories at

The Rack radio spot
Feb. 21, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, mountaineers go first. Services through the rack. The WVU Student Food Pantry are expanding with the opening of a third campus location in Morgantown. The new snack rack site at the Mineral Resources building on the Evansdale campus has seen steady traffic since opening in January. The location joins the existing snack rack at the student rec center, along with the Maine Morgan House location on the downtown campus. Sydney Vega oversees the rack as a program assistant for student engagement and leadership.

Sydney Vega: We cater to students as a whole. You're a student, you're paying tuition. You can come and get food if you want.

Shauna Johnson: To address food insecurity among students, the sites provide perishable and non-perishable food items along with hygiene products at no charge.

Sydney Vega: Many people believe that food insecurity is just lack of food. There's much more to it. You can be food insecure if your daily diet doesn't have high nutritional value.

Shauna Johnson: The rack see students of all ages and demographics from their first years at WVU up to those in graduate and doctoral programs. Along with supplies, the rack provides lessons in food safety, food prep, budgeting, and more.

Sydney Vega: There is more to this than just feeding selves. There's an educational portion to it as well. And how to support yourself long-term rather than finding those quick fixes.

Shauna Johnson: The rack is funded through grants, donations, and purchases made through the site's Amazon wishlist. Details are at So let's go. Follow our stories at

Adventure WV first-year trips radio spot
Feb. 12, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. Registration is off to a strong start for Adventure West Virginia's first-year trips open to incoming students and scheduled for the coming summer months ahead of the start of the fall semester.

Marcedes Minana: The friends, the community, the solid support network is absolutely like where it's at.

Shauna Johnson: Program Coordinator, Marcedes Minana says trips offer a range of adventure levels with hiking, rock climbing, camping, and whitewater rafting programming for the general student population, or those with specific colleges, schools, units, and interests.

Marcedes Minana: The goal, three things. You're going to learn about the state. You're going to get to see things, learn more about the university, but you're going to learn that through the lens of upperclassmen, undergraduate students who have been there, they've jumped through these hoops so they can give you the tips and tricks. The best part, and the reason why I think everybody should do a trip or at least consider it, is the community. It's building that solid foundation of friends, of support, of just finding that place to belong. And that to me is the real benefit.

Shauna Johnson: Adventure West Virginia is marking its 20th year of these kinds of successful connection-building trips. Funding from the office of the Provost helps keep down costs for students. Those who are Pell-eligible attend at no charge.

Marcedes Minana: Success is often viewed as an individual pursuit, but when we look closer, we see that a huge part of somebody's success is that support system that they have in place. First-year trips are going to help incoming students to do just that. They're going to develop that support system that is going to help them to be successful in all aspects of their time at WVU.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go, follow our stories at

WVU Center for Black Culture radio spot
Feb. 7, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers to first. Black History Month continues at WVU with dozens of events being held university-wide that are designed to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions, successes, and experiences of African-Americans now and throughout history.

Javier McCoy: All Of our events are open to the public, they're open to university community members as well.

Shauna Johnson: Javier McCoy is interim director of the Center for Black Culture, where the achievements of African-Americans are marked not just in February, but all year.

Javier McCoy: Black history is American history, and I think when we think about it from that perspective, then Black History is every day. The month is just a celebratory month to acknowledge Black history and all that it is.

Shauna Johnson: On campus the Center for Black Culture serves as a hub for education and growth with a focus on making real connections with students.

Javier McCoy: I always say that students don't care about anything you say until they know that you care. And I think after they know I care, this office cares, the people in this office cares, other affecting staff care, that they're able to lean in more and do better at WVU.

Shauna Johnson: Read more about the work of the Center for Black Culture online at

Javier McCoy: The work is never done. We are always aiming to do better, be better, support students in all the ways that we can. It's a job that doesn't stop, but it's a job that's needed.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go. Follow our stories at

Student Legal Services radio spot
Jan. 23, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. For more than 50 years now, student legal services has been working to protect the legal rights and interests of WVU students. Patrick Brooks is the current managing attorney.

Patrick Brooks: I don't want ever want there to be a student who finds himself in a bind and they don't even think to come to us.

Shauna Johnson: Brooks and his team offer students legal counseling, education, advice, and representation with costs for legal and mediation services cover through student fees. Services include leases, contracts, landlord-tenant issues, consumer and insurance questions, wills and powers of attorney, debt collection, expungement of criminal records, employment grievances, family law, and domestic matters, and notary services.

Patrick Brooks: It's a really wide array of things that we'll meet with students about and we're just here. Sometimes that means representing the students in court. Sometimes that means offering some advice and guidance. It really is kind of a case by case to meet the needs of that student in that situation. There are a lot of students who don't know that the service exists, who don't realize that they can come here and ask questions, that they can get help, and a lot of the students' problems that I end up helping them out with on the backend could be avoided upfront.

Shauna Johnson: More information is available at

Patrick Brooks: I really do enjoy sitting down with students and talking through things with them and helping them understand their situation. Sometimes I'm not here to solve the problem. Sometimes I'm here to help them better understand their problem. Hopefully they never have to utilize the office. But if they need us, I want them to know we're here and how to get to us.

Shauna Johnson: So let's go. Follow our stories at

Mountaineer Meet Ups radio spot
Jan. 23, 2024
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Shauna Johnson: At West Virginia University, Mountaineers go first. And Mountaineers thrive on community. A driving factor in Mountaineer Meetups here. Support communities now open to WVU students for a second semester.

Sara DiSimone: Mountaineer Meetups are a really good opportunity for students to connect with other students who have similar interests or similar identities.

Shauna Johnson: Sara DiSimone is interim Assistant Director of Outreach and Engagement at the Carruth Center.

Sara DiSimone: A lot ff students classically connect with other people in a club scenario or Greek life, or different extracurriculars that they might participate in outside of academics. Mountaineer Meetups is an opportunity for students who might not find their fit in those areas, so we provide space for them virtually as well as in person to be able to connect with other students of similar interests.

Shauna Johnson: Groups include those for students of color, graduate students, students dealing with substance use in their families, and first year students who want to get together for meals. Along with those four, students interested in gaming or adventure and wellbeing.

Sara DiSimone: Research is showing that students are lonely. Research is showing that students don't feel connected on campus here at WVU, so we know that there's a big need for students to find that connection to do well academically and also to flourish emotionally here.

Shauna Johnson: Mountaineer Meetups are offered through the university's division of student life. So let's go follow our stories at

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