Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Fairmont State Women of Color Luncheon on Tuesday, April 18, honored three community members.

"The Women of Color Luncheon is an opportunity to honor women who have shown a commitment to treating everyone equally, regardless of color," said Persis Bates, Director of Multicultural Affairs. "Their passion for the uplifting of their community is also recognized. Women from the campus of Fairmont State are also recognized for their celebration of diversity."

Honored at this year's luncheon were Catherine Dooley Taylor, Ruth Smedley and Jennifer Goodson.

Taylor, a lifelong resident of Fairmont, is the daughter of the late Rev. James and Kittie Drake Dooley of Barrackville. She was married to the late Arthur James Taylor and has been a widow for 41 years. She has raised four children, Paul, Fred, Daniel and Mary, and has nurtured two nieces and one nephew in her home, as well as two grandchildren, who are currently living with her. Known to many as "Granny," she has 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She has two sisters, Rose and Betty, of Detroit, Mich., and one brother, James, of Milwaukee, Wis.

She is active in her church, Morning Star Baptist Church. She is the chairman of the trustee board, president of the missionary society, vice president of the Tygart Valley Baptist Women's Association and a member of the Church Women United of Marion County. Her focus is helping anyone in a time of need. She continues to take care of the elderly, visit nursing homes, cook meals and attend community events.

Each year a woman from the campus community is honored, and this year's campus honoree was Ruth Smedley, Supervisor of Student Accounts for the Business Office.

"This award is given to a person who gives of herself to Fairmont State in her work and shows kindness to her fellow person," said Rick Porto, Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Affairs. "This person is described by her fellow workers as: always willing to help anyone in need; a very sensitive person whose job and heart are at odds to one another; a person who if she had the means would provide free tuition, room and board to those in need; a person who helps students understand financial responsibility."

Only one month after graduating from Fairmont State, Smedley began her FS career in June 1964. She has performed many jobs for Fairmont State over the past 40 years. When she began in the Business Office, she processed payrolls manually on a worksheet, posted departmental expenses on a columnar pad, wrote by hand all tuition receipts and processed all refunds to students manually from a checkbook by state funds. She has worked as a cashier, accounting clerk and is currently Supervisor of Student Accounts. Smedley has participated in the Health Fair; Relay For Life; has done the sign-in sheets for parents and friends of the players for both football and basketball games; has notarized papers for faculty, staff and students; has telephoned alumni for contributions; has sold tickets for the Wheeling Symphony; and has given the ACT test. Smedley was honored as Fairmont State Classified Employee of the Year in 2002. She has given 42 years of service to Fairmont State.

Jennifer Goodson, a senior FS student majoring in education with a minor in special education, received the Horace and Geraldine Belmear Outstanding African-American Academic Student Award. The award is given to a minority student each year who excels in the academic world and school and community activities.

A native of Wheeling, Goodson attended Wheeling Park High School. She is the daughter of James and Debbie Goodson. She has been on the Dean's List, served as vice president of the Black Student Union, has been a New Student Orientation Freshman Counselor, a member of the Pay It Forward Mentoring Program, a counselor for Future Teachers of America, Project Isaac and America Reads. She is also a recipient of the Minority Mentoring Scholarship and the Flesher Scholarship.