July 15, 2015
Faculty Awarded Tenure and Promotions
As the school year came to a close, West Virginia Wesleyan College awarded several faculty promotions and tenure. Douglas Van Gundy, Dr. Debra Dean Murphy ’84, and Dr. Melanie Sal gained tenure and the title of associate professor; Drew Mason ’00 was granted tenure; and Ed Wovchko gained full professorship during this promotion.
Van Gundy completed his Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing/poetry in 1996 from Goddard College and his Bachelor of Arts in English from Davis & Elkins College in 1992. He began teaching at Davis & Elkins before working for Fairmont State University in 2007 and then Wesleyan in 2008. A regular seminar presenter for Wesleyan’s MFA program, Van Gundy has presented at numerous conferences on topics ranging from Appalachian Poetry and Fiction to MFA programs. Van Gundy has been published in the realms of books, anthologies, poetry and essays. He won the Class of 2013 Distinguished Faculty Award and the Student Senate Distinguished Faculty Award in 2014.
"When I first came to campus, I immediately fell in love with the place and the people,” stated Van Gundy. “I felt like I had found a home. Now, years later and as a tenured professor, I know that I was right, and my love for Wesleyan has only increased."
Mason ’00 completed his Masters of Science in health and physical education from Marshall University in 2002 after completing his Bachelor of Science in athletic training from Wesleyan in 2000. Mason is currently the athletic trainer for men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams and has previously worked with the baseball and women’s soccer teams. He was a physical education and health educator at Crest High School in Shelby, NC and worked as a contracted interim head athletic trainer for World Wrestling Entertainment RAW and SmackDown from 2001-2003. Mason also worked as the head athletic trainer for 44 sports teams and 800 athletes for Butler Area Schools in Pennsylvania. He was elected to Faculty Senate August 2012-May 2015 and held a position on the Assessment Council.
“I feel that obtaining tenure shows a true commitment between West Virginia Wesleyan College and myself,” Mason commented. “There is no greater feeling as an educator than being recognized by your peers. I am very glad to call Wesleyan home.”
Dr. Murphy earned her Ph.D. in theological and religious studies from Drew University in 1996, her Master of Theological Studies from Duke University in 1990, and her Bachelor of Science in biology from Wesleyan in 1984. Dr. Murphy worked as an instructor in religion at Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, NC, and a lecturer in Christian nurture and formation at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC. A published academic, Dr. Murphy has presented at numerous conferences, is the Chair of the Board of Director for the Ekklesia Project, and holds memberships in the Society of Christian Ethics and American Academy of Religion.
“I am grateful for the affirmation of my teaching, scholarship, and service that the awarding of tenure and promotion signals,” Dr. Murphy said.
Dr. Sal earned her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Biology and Ph.D. from West Virginia University. She has completed post-doctoral work in the Department of Microbiology at the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. She served as principal investigator for the WV-INBRE Grant for Wesleyan’s department of biology and environmental science and is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and Chlamydia Basic Research Society. Dr. Sal has served as a lecturer and laboratory instructor at East Tennessee State University, a teaching assistant and volunteer instructor for WVU’s School of Medicine, and a volunteer for the Adult Education Program at the Monongalia County Technical Education Center. An accomplished researcher, Dr. Sal has been published numerous times and has been a guest speaker at educational institutions around the area.
“I am delighted to have been granted tenure and promotion,” commented Dr. Sal. “It was important to me that the commitment I have to teaching at Wesleyan has been reciprocated by the College.”
Dr. Wovchko earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his Bachelor of Science from Saint Vincent College. Since being awarded tenure in August 2007, Dr. Wovchko has taught a wide variety of courses, implemented several new laboratories, acquired external grants and research support, and seved as chair of the Chemistry Department among many other responsibilities.
"This promotion demonstrates that the College recognizes my commitment to students and the many years of work toward advancing the field of chemistry,” said Dr. Wovchko.
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