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Six faculty named to Honors College Faculty Fellows program

Faculty Fellows

During the 2023-24 academic year, six Honors College Faculty Fellows will help WVU students grow their knowledge in areas of climate change and the environment, communication, youth development and collective violence. 

Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


“The Faculty Fellows program is a great opportunity for faculty to develop and teach special topics classes aligned with their areas of expertise,” said Damien Clement, associate dean of the Honors College. “Fellows push students to seek out new knowledge and connections, explore diverse ideas and apply what they learn to real-world problems — all while earning General Education Foundations credits.”

The fellows and their courses are:

Atheer Almasri, teaching assistant professor for Fundamentals of Engineering, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources 

In "Climate Change via Excel," students will study climate change and global warming through data analysis using Microsoft Excel. The first part of the course will concentrate on pieces of evidence that the Earth is warming, while the second half of the course will address the science and data analysis of climate change. Students will perform quantitative analysis and connect basic mathematics formulas to Excel to analyze, investigate and predict climate change phenomena.

Jonathon Beckmeyer, assistant professor, College of Applied Human Sciences 

“Youth and Societal Change” explores contemporary positive youth development within the context of our evolving society. This course focuses specifically on showing how youth demonstrate hope, optimism and purpose as they make positive contributions to society. Using an intersectional perspective, students will consider how social positioning and privilege impact positive youth development.

Cari Carpenter, professor of English, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

An interdisciplinary course rooted in Native American Studies, English and Ecocriticism, “Indigenous Ecostudies” focuses on the different techniques Indigenous people bring to studying the environment. Throughout the class, students will discover how knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous communities differ from dominant methods of environmental studies.

Jason Manning, associate professor of sociology, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences 

“Collective Violence” will explore America’s largely forgotten history of collective violence, including execution by lynch mobs, rioting against minorities, rebellions against the government and small-scale wars between settlers and natives. Students will gain detailed knowledge of historical incidents and how the people involved understood the actions of themselves and their adversaries. The course will also cover dynamics of human conflict and the social conditions that make such spasms of violence more or less likely.

Brianne Taylor, assistant professor of voice, College of Creative Arts 

Examining the anatomy of accents, the social impact of speaking with an accent, and the responsibility of artistic application in mainstream media is the primary exploration of “Artistry in the Accent.” Play through anatomy and various acquisition tools will lead students into performance of multiple accents. Viewings of accent and conlang performances in popular media will also be discussed and analyzed in detail. Bias and its role in art will be defined on a personal and global level.

Dan Totzkay, assistant professor of communication studies, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences 

“Communication and Health Disparities” applies social science and public health communication research and theory to understand health disparities. Students will learn how public health terms are defined, how social science can be used to better address health disparities and potential public health communication interventions that can address health disparities.

Find more information on the program. 


Contact: Paige Nesbit

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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Phone: 304-293-4135