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WVU hosts expert on college access and affordability as part of the CEHS Celebration of Scholars


Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab

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Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, a nationally known scholar and social activist who studies college access and affordability will be the keynote presenter for the West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services’ Celebration of Scholars.

The CEHS Celebration of Scholars will include a student research poster fair, five Faculty ED Talks, and the keynote presentation by Goldrick-Rab, which is supported by the Ron V. Iannone and Family Keynote Speaker Endowment.

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.  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.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab as our inaugural keynote speaker for the 2017 Celebration of Scholars,” said Dr. M Cecil Smith, CEHS associate dean for research and graduate education. “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, which will be followed by the inaugural Faculty ED Talks. 

The Faculty ED Talks will showcase five CEHS professors sharing ideas on topics within their research expertise. The Talks will include, Dr. Sara Anderson, presenting “Pre-K and Children’s Success: Beyond Sandboxes and Worksheets”, Dr. Carla Brigandi, presenting “Giftedness: Myths and Realities”, Dr. Stephanie Lorenze, presenting “Everyone Needs a Danceucation”, Dr. Nathan M. Sorber, presenting “Beyond Tax Havens, Budget Cuts, and Stagnation: Land-Grant Universities and Economic Engagement,” and Dr. Jessica Troilo, presenting “Helping Divorced Fathers Stay Involved with Their Children”.

The CEHS Celebration of Scholars will take place on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 9:00am – 3:00pm at the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown, WV. For more information visit



CONTACT: Amy M. Lutz, Director, Office of Advancement, WVU College of Education and Human Services


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