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Alumni Awards

In mid-April, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences honored alumni at its Alumni Awards Banquet — these alumni are making important contributions in their community and within their professions. The honorees represent the change agents who have graduated with degrees in the liberal arts and sciences and gone on to find success professionally, through civic engagement and through their intellectual and cultural pursuits. The awards recognize the Distinguished Alumni, those who graduated more than 10 years ago; the Outstanding Alumni who are handpicked by their home departments; and the Rising Stars who graduated within the last 10 years and show great promise in their careers. 



Vice President, Member Relations | Associated Electric and Gas Insurance Services, Inc. 

Distinguished Alumni Award

Growing up in the Pittsburgh area and having worked summer jobs during college in the steel industry, William Powell aspired to pursue a career in the environmental, health and safety industry. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Science in safety management at WVU, Powell realized he had chosen the right career path on the first day of his first job as a safety engineer at Union Carbide Corporation, where he began as a field safety coordinator and eventually became the manager of risk management and environmental services. He felt like he could apply what he had learned about implementing safety management techniques and contribute to the quality of life of his colleagues. 

With over 30 years of experience in insurance, risk management, loss control, and environmental compliance and claims, Powell is currently the vice president of member relations at the Associated Electric and Gas Insurance Services, Inc. in East Rutherford, New Jersey. As a nationally recognized risk management professional, Powell is actively involved in industry organizations, such as the Energy Insurance Mutual, where he has been on the Insurance Advisory Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. 

Powell also serves on the Risk Management Advisory Committee with the Associated Electric and Gas Insurance Services, and is on the board of directors at the Arizona Captive Insurance Association. He previously served on the board of trustees at the Arizona Science Center and the board of directors for Workshops for Youth and Family. 

The education Powell received at WVU propelled his career in the occupational safety, health and environmental field. Powell’s Mountaineer pride encouraged him to establish the Safety Management Alumni Award Fund to support safety management students at WVU. Through this endowed fund, Powell hopes these graduate students will develop rewarding careers in the profession. Powell credits the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences for providing him with a solid foundation of knowledge, intellect, skills and inspiration to be successful in life. 



Owner and Founder | Beacon Barn Therapeutic Farm 

Rising Star Award

Molly McCartney is a licensed independent clinical social worker, certified trauma therapist and adoption therapist providing trauma-informed mental health therapeutic services to adults, children and families. Her unrelenting drive and creative vision led her to start a private clinical practice, Beacon Barn Therapeutic Farm in Taylor County, West Virginia. McCartney’s innovative therapeutic center provides unique and specialized services to an underserved, rural area of north-central West Virginia. 

Beginning her adult life as a high school dropout due to difficulties through her education, at age 20 she attended the Kentucky Equine Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. There, she gained the knowledge and experience of working within the equestrian industry. Following this experience, she moved back to West Virginia and began working at a horse farm where she sustained a riding injury, forcing her to consider what type of education she would pursue for her next career. McCartney decided to embark on an education at WVU as a nontraditional student and would eventually obtain a master’s degree in social work. Her experience with animals coupled with her compassionate nature led her to pursue a career in assisting abused children with the aid of farm and domestic animals. McCartney’s ambition led her to intern at one of the premier trauma-informed clinics in the country, where she was eventually employed. 

McCartney continues to explore new ways of serving and reaching her current and potential clients. She strives to balance the practical needs of maintaining a sustainable business model while pursuing creative, yet evidence-based therapy methods toward her personal and professional goal of improving the lives of others. Beacon Barn is a way for McCartney to offer a unique healing environment to victims of abuse or trauma. Recently, she completed the prestigious training for adoption center competency at the Center for Adoption Support and Education, and is in the process of collaborating with other specialists to develop a nonprofit organization focused on bringing awareness to the importance of trauma-informed care. 

Outstanding Alumni Award



Vitreoretinal Surgeon | The Eye Associates

Attending Physician | Manatee Memorial Hospital

Joshua Mali is a vitreoretinal surgeon at The Eye Associates, a private multi-specialty ophthalmology practice in Sarasota, Florida, and an attending physician at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida. After graduating from the WVU School of Medicine and receiving the West Virginia Medical Scholarship Award, Mali went on to Albany Medical College for his residency, specializing in ophthalmology. During his medical and surgical vitreoretinal fellowship training, Mali became one of the first retinal specialists in the United States to use Illuvien, a new steroid implant for diabetic macular edema. In his practice today, he utilizes advanced surgical techniques and technology to deliver high-quality retinal surgery for his patients. He has published research in esteemed medical publications, presented at national and international research meetings, and given lectures across the country. Mali has participated in mission trips all over the world, most recently in Mexico and Nicaragua, and has given his time and contributed his medical expertise to organizations such as Medical Ministry International, Georgia Lions Camp for the Blind, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, and Health and Humanity. 



Director of Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Services | Norton Children’s Hospital

After earning bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry at WVU, Julie McWhorther completed her medical degree at the WVU School of Medicine. She has since advanced her career to become the director of the congenital cardiac anesthesia services and attending pediatric anesthesiologist for Pediatric Anesthesia Associates at Norton Children’s Hospital. She has completed subspecialty training in pediatric anesthesiology and provides quality anesthetic care for the children of Appalachia. Three years ago, she led Norton Children’s Hospital’s anesthetic team for the successful separation of conjoined twins. McWhorther has also led multiple medical mission trips abroad to Ecuador and has been a part of several research endeavors at WVU and the University of Kentucky. She has been recognized by the city of Louisville in the book, “100 Most Fascinating Women of Louisville.” McWhorther has always loved spending her time working with children, getting to know patients and their families, and helping them through difficult times.



Assistant Adjunct General and Commander | West Virginia Air National Guard

Brigadier General Paige Hunter is the assistant adjutant general and commander of the West Virginia Air National Guard. In this role, she provides command and control over all Air National Guard forces assigned to the state, and is the principal adviser to the adjutant general on all matters related to the Air National Guard, which has over 2,000 members and two flying units. Hunter was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1983 upon graduation from the Academy of Military Science. Prior to her assignment as the assistant adjutant general for air, she served as chief of air staff. She also worked as the human resource officer and the director of military to support civil authorities, joint forces headquarters and the West Virginia National Guard. At the 130th Airlift Wing, she served as the mission support group commander, mission support flight commander and the chief of intelligence. She also worked as the secretary of the National Guard Association of West Virginia for four years. Hunter served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.



Senior Vice President | Virginia Wesleyan University

Mort Gamble is the senior vice president at Virginia Wesleyan University, where he oversees all external affairs, including advancement and communications. Gamble also serves as the primary adviser to the president and chief of staff. His lifelong love for writing led him to write several essays, articles, book reviews, chapters and features on various topics that have been accepted for regional and national publication. Recently, he has become a freelance writer, composing academic book chapters. He contributed an article based on research for a forthcoming book, “Little Caesar: The Secret Life and High-Flying times of Art Concello,” to Bandwagon magazine. While obtaining a Master of Arts in English at WVU, he produced the University’s second novella, entitled “A Hillbilly Under the Big Top.” Gamble previously served as executive assistant to the president at Bethany College, director of donor relations at George Washington University, vice president for institutional advancement at Hood College and Waynesburg University, vice president for institutional advancement and director of the Fairmont State Foundation at Fairmont State University, and director of college relations for West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he also served as a member of the English and humanities faculty.



Director | WVU Forensic Science Academy for Professionals

Clinical Instructor | WVU Department of Forensic and Investigative Science

Kelly Ayers serves as the director of the WVU Forensic Science Academy for Professionals, where she is responsible for planning and instructing training and education workshops and courses. Ayers was the first graduate of the WVU forensic identification program. Prior to coming to WVU in 2010, she was employed as a forensic services technician with the Asheville, North Carolina, police department. In addition to teaching continuing education courses, Ayers is a clinical instructor as part of the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science faculty. She also teaches in the forensic justice LLM program at the WVU College of Law. Ayers is an International Association for Identification certified senior crime scene analyst and serves on the editorial board of IDNews, the official publication of the IAI. She is currently president of the IAI’s Chesapeake Bay Division, a 600-member professional forensic organization that serves West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C.



Director, Independent Evaluation Office | UN Development Programme

Indran Naidoo is director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and vice chair of the UN Evaluation Group. As the UN’s largest evaluation office, the IEO completes country level and corporate evaluations across 170 countries and territories. Naidoo is responsible for sustainable development goals, gender, culture, humanitarian and system-wide evaluation. Over the past 22 years, he has advanced evaluation internationally by providing thought leadership through management, networking, teaching and developing evaluation approaches and systems. Naidoo has moved the office toward a fully independent unit with enhanced credibility and a wider operational scope. During his tenure, the IEO has presented to governments, donors and stakeholders across the globe and created over 80 publications, including corporate and country level evaluations. This work has produced the largest repository of development intervention evaluations in the UN, resulting in changes to UNDP policies and operations. He holds graduate and post-graduate degrees in English, geography, education and evaluation, and has participated in executive development programs at Oxford, Harvard and Wits Business School.



Associate Professor of History | Chatham University

Louis Martin is an associate professor of history at Chatham University. Martin teaches American, Latin American and African-American history, including courses on oral history, industrialization, the working class, and Vietnam and America. He is the author of “Smokestacks in the Hills: Rural-Industrial Workers in West Virginia,” a depiction of how industrialization transformed the American countryside. Throughout his career, Martin has published numerous peer-reviewed publications and book reviews. Martin is a founding board member of the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum in Matewan, West Virginia, and is an honorary member of the United Mine Workers of America. His current research examines the different understanding and values of place in the coal industry in the 1950s and 1960s as the coalfield economy collapsed. Martin has presented at the North American Labor History Conference, the Working-Class Studies Association Conference and the Appalachian Studies Association Conference.



Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy | University of St Andrews

Justin Snedegar is a senior lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews. He is the director of postgraduate studies for St Andrews and Stirling’s joint graduate program and serves on the editorial board for Philosophical Quarterly. Snedegar’s research interests include ethical theory, with an emphasis in metaethics and practical reasoning, as well as the philosophy of language and epistemology. He studies the structure of normativity, including the nature of central normative concepts like reasons, ought and requirement and the relationship between them. Snedegar has written a book entitled “Contrastive Reasons” with the Oxford University Press and published articles in several peer-reviewed journals. He has won multiple awards, including grants from the Mind Association, British Society for Aesthetics and the Scots Philosophical Association. Prior to earning a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, Snedegar studied mathematics and philosophy at WVU.



Inertial Confinement Fusion Program Manager | Los Alamos National Laboratory

John Kline is the inertial confinement fusion program manager at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a Department of Energy laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, that strives to solve technology and biothreat issues. Kline has a long history with the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He started as a postdoctoral research associate and eventually transitioned to the acting deputy director for the science programs before becoming a technical staff member. He also served as the inertial confinement fusion project leader and the hydrodynamics and radiation hydrodynamics team leader. Kline has also spent time as an adjunct faculty member in electrical and computer engineering at the University of New Mexico and an offsite technical staff member on change of station at the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, D.C. Kline has published many publications and currently serves on a peer review panel for the Joint National Security Application Committee for the National Ignition Facility. Kline was named a 2016 American Physical Society Fellow and has received the Defense Programs Award of Excellence and the Los Alamos Distinguished Performance Award multiple times.



Counsel | Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC

A respected attorney, administrator, lecturer and trusted adviser in four gubernatorial administrations, Jason Pizatella rejoined Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia, after serving in various leadership roles in government and the nonprofit sector. Pizatella practices in the areas of corporate law, business expansion and economic development, administrative law, energy, public utilities, and government relations. He most recently served as deputy chief of staff to Governor Jim Justice after completing a term as the president and CEO of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce. Throughout his time in state government, Pizatella was a member of the Consolidated Public Retirement Board, Water Development Authority and Capitol Building Commission. Pizatella also served as chairman of the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council, Parkways Authority and State Personnel Board. He is a member of the adjunct faculty of the WVU College of Law and the WVU College of Law Visiting Committee, and he was recently reappointed to another eight-year term on the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners. Pizatella was chosen as one of The State Journal’s 2017 Generation Next 40 Under 40 and a 2015 “Young Gun” in West Virginia Executive magazine.



Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology and Psychology | Yale University

Robert Kerns is a professor of psychiatry, neurology and psychology at Yale University. He recently retired from VA Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) and service to the Department of Veterans Affairs following a nearly 38-year career. Over the course of his career, Kerns served as VACHS’s chief of psychology, founding director of the Pain Research, Informatics, Multimorbidities and Education Center of Innovation, and the VA’s national program director for pain management. Kerns is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education and the National Pain Management Strategy Oversight Panel that developed a national strategy for transforming pain care in America. Kerns is the recipient of the 2006 Leadership Award from the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders, the 2010 John and Emma Bonic Public Service Award from the American Pain Society and the Distinguished Psychologist for Scientific Achievement Award from VACHS. He also serves on the editorial board of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine and the Clinical Journal of Pain.



Product Solutions Adviser | 3M Health Information Systems

Jill Devrick is a product solutions adviser for 3M Health Information Systems, which specializes in healthcare documentation technology. She is also involved in product strategy and development, client and industry relations, financial and operational analysis, and content marketing for the company. Devrick is a leader and advocate with the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), where she has previously served as president and director on the organization’s National Leadership Board. Currently, Devrick is on the nominating and ethics committees as well as organizational and educational strategy task forces. Her technical knowledge and broad perspective of healthcare documentation systems and processes helped the association to find a new voice and better promote its value to the healthcare industry. Having presented several times at both the AHDI and American Health Information Management Association’s national, regional and local events, Devrick is an experienced industry speaker. She also provides input and writes articles for industry publications, including the 3M HIS Blog, AHDI’s Plexus journal, ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals and For the Record.



Director of Accreditation | Council on Social Work Education

Stacey Borasky found her calling of working with junior high school students while on field placement at WVU. She had the opportunity to work at Clay-Battelle High School and was placed with the Clay-Battelle Community Health Center in Blacksville, West Virginia, where she realized she had a natural affinity for the age group. She has worked with teenagers ever since. She currently serves as the director of accreditation on the Council on Social Work Education, where she oversees and supervises the operations of the Department of Social Work Accreditation. Borasky was previously the chair of the Department of Social Work and Sociology and Criminology at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Other positions she has held include executive director at the Tennessee Center for Child Welfare and assistant professor and director of field education for the social work department at Middle Tennessee State University. She was a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award at St. Edward’s University and nominated for the Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professors of the Year award. Borasky also volunteers for Stand for Children, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, the Rutherford County Council for Children and Youth, and the Trinity Child Development Center.



Assistant United States Attorney | Northern District of West Virginia

Jarod Douglas is an assistant U.S. attorney who serves as the senior litigation counsel and the coordinator of the White Collar and Public Integrity Section for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. He works on white collar, civil rights and public corruption cases. In previous years, he served as adjunct professor and study abroad chaperone at West Liberty University and supervisor for the U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of West Virginia at Hendrickson and Long, PLLC. As a federal law clerk for U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey, Douglas realized he had found the right career path because he enjoyed finding solutions to complex issues. Douglas is a lifelong resident of West Virginia, having graduated from Clay County High School and obtained Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate degrees from WVU. During his undergraduate studies, he was a wide receiver on the football team, including the Sugar Bowl champion team. Douglas has been involved in many training seminars at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina. He also enjoys giving back to the community, including volunteering to help clean up in Clay County, West Virginia, after the summer 2016 floods.



Associate Attorney | Rose Padden Petty Taylor & Lilly, LC

Brandon Flower is an associate attorney at Rose Padden Petty Taylor & Lilly, LC in Fairmont, West Virginia, where he manages criminal defense cases in state and federal courts and civil litigation. He previously served as the assistant prosecuting attorney in Marion and Monongalia counties and the assistant U.S. attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of West Virginia in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Flower worked as a law clerk to Judge Tod Kaufman, circuit judge for Kanawha County. He received a Juris Doctorate from the WVU College of Law, where he was named to the Order of the Coif. Flower also received his undergraduate degree from WVU, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and history. While at WVU, Flower served two years as the Mountaineer Mascot. He currently serves on the visiting committee for the WVU Department of Sociology and Anthropology and as a member of the United Way of Marion County Board of Directors.



Managing Attorney | Ray Law PLLC

Amanda Ray owns her own law practice focusing on family law, landlord and tenant civil cases, and social security as well as court-appointed work in criminal law, juvenile defender services, abuse and neglect cases. Ray has been a member of the WVU Council for Women’s Concerns since 2015 and believes practicing law and teaching are equally important. She taught Introduction to Women’s Studies at WVU for six years and also designed and taught the First Wave of Feminism, 1848-1920 course in 2002 and 2005. In recent years, Ray has held positions as an of counsel at Hassanein Law Group and a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. She presented “The Final Push for the Vote” at the 2012 Women’s Equality Day Celebration and has volunteered with the Frederick County Commission for Women. She has served on the curriculum committee for the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, where she reviewed courses and helped compile a plan of study for the women’s and gender studies major at WVU.

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