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Ludlow named endowed professor in WVU’s College of Education and Human Services


Dr. Barbara L. Ludlow

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A West Virginia University professor who has dedicated her career to improving special education and disability services in rural communities says WVU is best positioned to make an impact in addressing critical shortages.

Dr. Barbara L. Ludlow, chair of the West Virginia University Department of Special Education at the College of Education and Human Services, was recently named the Chester E. & Helen B. Derrick CEHS Endowed Professor.

“There is a drive here to serve the state,” Ludlow said. “WVU is the best institution to help with the increasing challenges we have. I’ve stayed here because these resources give others the access to education they may not otherwise have.”

In the 1970’s Ludlow served as a part-time faculty member at CEHS, before being appointed to a full-time position in 1983 and gaining tenure in 1995. In 2005, she was appointed as the chair of the special education department, a role she still holds today.

By securing state and federal funding, Ludlow was able to explore new models of teacher education in special education, using the first field-based training at multiple centers around the state in the 1980s, then live television courses available at public viewing sites during the 1990s, and, finally, fully online programs accessible in the workplace or home beginning in 2001. In collaboration with her colleague, Dr. Melissa Hartley, she has also been involved in testing applications of 3D virtual immersive environments in teacher education since 2010.  

In addition to her doctorate, Ludlow has a master of arts from Cornell University and bachelor of arts from St. John’s University. She began her career serving as a special education teacher in public school systems in Wilmington, Delaware, and Buckhannon.

“Dr. Ludlow is an exceptional faculty member and is highly deserving of this recognition,” said Dean Gypsy Denzine of the college. “Her efforts are nationally recognized, especially her research on the innovative uses of technology. She continues to serve our college and our state through her impressive research and ability to put her research into action. We feel confident we have appropriately honored the Derrick’s intentions for their gift, given Dr. Ludlow’s extensive and impressive work in special education.”

The Chester E. & Helen B. Derrick Endowment supports a professorship for any program at the college, providing a broad range of support for research, teaching, and service. 

Chester E. Derrick passed in February of 2007. He received his master’s degree from CEHS in 1958. He began his teaching career at Hurricane High School in Hurricane, WV, was a principal at John Adams Junior High in Charleston, W.Va., and was a counselor at Charleston and George Washington High Schools, also in Charleston, W.Va.



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

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