History Professor Makes Himself at Home in Prichard Hall

By making himself at home in Prichard Hall, a popular History professor has made his own place in campus history. For the past three years, Dr. Ken Millen-Penn has been the first faculty member to live in a residence hall full-time as part of a pilot program to break down barriers to learning. This first began when Dr. J. Robert Baker, Director of Honors; Dan Gockley, Director of Residence Life; and Millen-Penn chatted about the need to involve professors in a more direct way in students’ campus experience. A 25-year teaching veteran and a winner of Fairmont State University’s most prestigious faculty award, the William A. Boram Award for Teaching Excellence, Millen-Penn has his own teaching style that connects with students. Living in Prichard Hall makes Millen-Penn even more approachable. It doesn’t hurt that he has a popular roommate–his brown and black striped cat Raja. “It is a great experience living in the dorms with a faculty member such as Dr. Millen-Penn because it is a wonderful opportunity to engage in meaningful and powerful discussions about various topics. It is an extension of a classroom where a student can talk directly to a professor to discover and answer questions about projects for classes or debate on current events,” said Prichard Hall resident Gustavo Fernandes.