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Retired WVU professors establish scholarships to enhance student experience

Dr. Lynne and Andy Ostrow

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Drs. Lynne and Andy Ostrow understand the value of education. As West Virginia University faculty members, the duo each spent 35 years helping students achieve their dreams at the University. Now, they are taking that passion for education one step further by providing $50,000 for scholarships at WVU.

The Ostrow International Achievement Award ($25,000) will provide financial support to enhance study abroad and international travel experiences for undergraduate students in the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences (CPASS). Additionally, the funds may be used to support students’ participation in faculty-led overseas travel.

“My dad was a world-wide traveler who instilled in me a passion for meeting new people from different cultures. It is my belief that the world is better served when walls are not built between nations, and to achieve this, it is essential that young people experience the values and cultures of those who live in other countries,” said Andy Ostrow. “When I get off of a plane in another country, I feel energized and excited to learn about a new culture and its people. It is my hope that, through this scholarship, students will find that same passion and take advantage of the wonderful experiences provided by these cultural exchanges.”

For Lynne Ostrow, helping graduate students balance the demands of work, academic study and personal life is critical. “During my 35 years of teaching – at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – I was always impressed with students who were studying to become Nurse Practitioners (NP). Many were doing this while continuing to work and raise families. The stress of all these demands must be overwhelming. That moved me to want to help future students. It is my hope that others will see this and say, ‘She’s talking about me’ and want to also give back to help these future NP graduate students.”

Through the Ostrow Graduate Student Scholarship at the School of Nursing ($25,000), she hopes to reduce some of the stress for students pursuing their advanced nursing degrees by providing financial assistance for tuition, fees and books. If more financial assistance is available, perhaps graduate students can reduce the number of hours they work in order to focus more deeply on their study.

Dr. Andy Ostrow began his career with CPASS in 1973 where he taught courses in research methods, statistics, foundations of sport and exercise psychology, and doctoral dissertation proposal seminar, among others, before retiring in 2008. He was the founding program coordinator for the sport and exercise psychology program at CPASS.

Dr. Ostrow, a native of Brooklyn, New York, received his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College. After a brief stint living with his wife Lynne on the South Island of New Zealand, they began teaching at West Virginia University in 1973. He and his colleague, Bill Alsop, launched Fitness Information Technology (FIT) in 1984, a successful publishing company for textbooks, scholarly reference books and trade books in sport management, sport and exercise psychology, physical education, and athletic coaching fields. In 2004, they donated the assets of FIT to establish the International Center for Performance Excellence at CPASS to promote the internationalization of academic programs while promoting and supporting cultural exchanges for faculty and students.

Dr. Lynne Ostrow, a native of Ottawa, Canada, joined the School of Nursing as a faculty member in 1973. Dr. Ostrow received her doctorate in education from WVU, a master’s degree in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Ottawa. She came from Stanford University Hospital, where as an ICU nurse, she cared for the first heart transplant patient in the USA. Her teaching career focused on critical care nursing, advanced pathophysiology, research methods and guidance of graduate students’ master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. She served as chair of the Department of Health Restoration at the School before retiring in 2008 after 35 years of service.

The gift was made in conjunction with “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University” which runs through December 2017. For more information, visit


Tara Curtis, WVU School of Nursing



Kim Cameon, WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences



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