Ann Booth serves as Associate Vice President - University Communications. She provides leadership, vision and administrative supervision for communications, marketing, public relations and creative services for Fairmont State across a variety of cross-functional areas, as well as supporting the President. Booth has more than 18 years of experience in strategic communications, crisis communications, marketing and public relations. She previously served as Marketing Director for the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences-West Virginia and as Field Marketer/Sports Marketing SME for AT&T Wireless-West Virginia/Ohio Valley.
Booth graduated from Concord College in Athens, West Virginia, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in English/Education. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Corporate and Organizational Communications from West Virginia University, in 2000. She is a member of PRSA. She is active in the community, currently serving as a Board member and past-President of Sacred Heart Children’s Foundation and as a Board member of the YMCA-Harrison County.
Van Dempsey is the Vice President for Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness at Fairmont State University. He provides leadership to assessment of learning and academic programs, and assessment and evaluation of strategic initiatives and organizational effectiveness across the University.
From 2006 through 2013 he served as Dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Performance. While Dean FSU led the state in the implementation of new state standards for teacher practice including a complete, campus-wide revision of undergraduate and graduate programs, making them more clinically intensive, performance based, and rigorous. The School established a data system to analyze candidate performance at the course, field/clinical experience, and program levels, and to assess program design and effectiveness against a comprehensive set of national and state standards. The School, in collaboration with public school partners in forty schools and six school districts, built and now supports West Virginia’s largest school-university partnership. The School also created the “Destination Education” initiative to provide student support to successful academic and social transitions into and through college. To support these initiatives, the School and Partnership secured over $1,250,000 in external funding (foundation, state, and school district support).
Prior to coming to Fairmont State, Van was at WVU for fifteen years. As a faculty member he worked with undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students, and taught in areas including teacher leadership, the social and cultural contexts of schooling, and qualitative research methodology. As Director of the Benedum Collaborative he led WVU’s nationally recognized school-university partnership and Five-Year Teacher Education Program. In 2003 the US Congress cited the Benedum Collaborative as an innovative partnership in the US Secretary of Education’s Report to Congress on the Quality of Teacher Preparation. The National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future twice recognized the Collaborative’s work at national summits on teacher education and partnerships. In 2005 the Collaborative was invited to join the Carnegie Learning Initiative. Van also provided leadership to the creation of a statewide network of partnerships between ten institutions of higher education and over 150 public schools. During his tenure the Benedum Collaborative secured over $3.5 million in funding, and a $1.7 million US Department of Education technology grant.
From 2009 through 2012 he also served as Interim Dean of Graduate Studies at Fairmont State, providing campus-wide leadership to programs in Education, Business, Criminal Justice and Liberal Arts. His leadership with graduate programs at FSU and WVU was recognized by the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools through their 2013 Outstanding Contributions Award.
He has served in positions of leadership in several venues at the state and national levels. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Professional Development Schools. He served on the Executive Committee of the National Network for Education Renewal. He served on the WV Commission for Professional Teaching Standards for seven years, serving as chair for three years. He currently serves on the WV Board of Education’s Higher Education High Quality Educator Stakeholder Committee.
His primary areas of scholarship have included school desegregation, school-partnership development, education policy, and social class. His research has been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences for its impact on children, youth and families, and for warranting the attention of national decision makers on scientific grounds and for its relevance to policy makers.
Van holds a Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Foundations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a former high school Social Studies teacher and high school football coach. He and his wife Jaci (who also serves on the FSU faculty) are the parents of three daughters: Tara, Mary Van and Tyler. They are also the parents of two Scottish Terriers: Lady Bug and Ramsey.
Christina Lavorata serves as Fairmont State University’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She earned an Ed D in Curriculum and Instruction from West Virginia University, an MA in Elementary Education with Reading Emphasis from WVU, and a BA from Fairmont State College in Elementary Education with Social Studies concentration. She previously served Fairmont State University as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and as Professor of Education.
Lavorata is the past president and vice-president of the West Virginia Association of Academic Administrators and currently serves as the organization’s treasurer. While teaching in Marion County Public Schools, she was named Language Arts Teacher of the Year and County Teacher of the Year.
Chris enjoys participating in Fairmont State Fine Arts activities and has performed with the Collegiate Singers and in Town and Gown productions of The Sound of Music and Oklahoma! She has served on the boards of two United Way agencies: Literacy Volunteers and The Connecting Link.
John Lympany began his tenure as Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Fairmont State in August 2014. John previously served as Chief Information Officer at Berea College, as Executive Director for IT at St. Bonaventure University, and as Associate Vice President for IT at Spalding University. Earlier in his career, he served as Director of Systems and Procedures at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where he oversaw a unique team of technical staff and work flow specialists engaged in process improvement activities across academic and administrative services.
John earned an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Spalding University with a research emphasis in instructional technology and blended learning. He maintains a blog at johnlympany.com that covers current topics involving technology and learning in higher education. John also earned his M.Ed. in Education Administration with a research emphasis in enrollment management at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a B.S. in Accounting with additional course work in management information systems at the Pennsylvania State University.
John served in various capacities on strategic planning and institutional assessment committees, co-authored an institutional assessment plan, oversaw institutional benchmarking and peer review, led research on the scholarship of teaching and learning and collaborated with faculty engaged in blended learning among other activities.
John’s son, Michael, attends Fairmont State and is pursuing various educational interests.
Rick Porto, Vice President for Administration and Fiscal Affairs, came to Fairmont State in 1995 as Assistant Vice President for Administration and Finance, acting as Chief Accounting Officer for the institution's annual operating budget of more than $65 million. Current oversight includes bond construction funds of $64 million. He has helped to implement a complete overhaul of the university's payroll and payroll budgeting systems including direct deposit of payroll checks. He has overseen a complete change in the way procurement of goods and services is accomplished and automation of student services provided by the student accounts office, as well as the installation of the Banner Finance Systems and Banner Accounts Receivable. He also has helped make budgets a stronger management tool and has helped strengthen benefits service and benefits accounting.
Porto was employed by West Virginia University for nearly 18 years, serving as an Accountant I/Assistant to the Controller, Bursar, Assistant Controller and Associate Controller-Systems and Production. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.
Porto is married to Janice Marie Porto, who works for Fairmont State University in School of Nursing as Administrative Assistant Senior. They have three children: Christina Marie Lopez, who is working at Ruby Hospital as a Speech Pathologist, Averial Madonna is a Doctor of Pharmacy and is a Pharmacist with Walgreens, and Saturno Joseph, a graduate of Morgantown High School, who enjoys new challenges and is exploring career and technical options across a variety of disciplines.
With almost 40 years of experience in higher education, Widney is an experienced supervisor and budget manager, having served as Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at West Virginia University and before that as Director of Financial Aid at Fairmont State.
Widney provides leadership, vision and administrative supervision for operations including financial aid; recruitment and admissions; registration and records; and student services. She participates in the formulation and success of FSU’s enrollment goals; develops and implements strong financial aid programs for students; implements student services policies which foster student learning and support FSU’s educational programs; and works collaboratively with the Pierpont Community & Technical College Associate Vice President for Administration in planning and implementing programs and services that serve the diverse needs of FSU and Pierpont students.
Widney served as Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at West Virginia University from 2004 to 2012. At Fairmont State, she was Director of Financial Aid at Fairmont from 1999 to 2003, Associate Director of Financial Aid from 1995 to 1999 and a Financial Aid Counselor from 1991 to 1995. Before coming to Fairmont State, Widney worked in financial aid at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. She has been a member of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Financial Aid Advisory Board since 2009; an active member of the West Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators since 1991; an active member of the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators since 1997; an active member of the Coalition of State University Aid Administrators since 2004; and a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.