Panel to Discuss Environmental Awareness

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee of the Fairmont State University Faculty Senate will host a panel discussion on Environmental Awareness at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Multi-Media Room A in the Ruth Ann Musick Library. The event will be moderated by Dr. Tad Kato, Chair of the Instructor Exchange Ad-Hoc Committee. 

The panel of distinguished faculty, staff and community members, possessing unique and varying perspectives, will present and discuss important issues and concerns related to a variety of scholarly and personal perspectives and insights about Environmental Awareness. Topics will include general ecosystem ecology, environmental and energy impacts of fossil fuels, environmental psychology and physiology, romanticism view of human-nature connectivity and ecofeminism.

Since 2012, the Instructor Exchange Program has hosted four interdisciplinary panel discussions. This forum will be thematically coordinated with the collaborative installation art project, “Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek” at the Brooks Gallery in Wallman Hall. The gallery will be kept open for public viewing before and after the forum. 

Admission is free, and the event is open to the public. Students, faculty and staff from Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be available, and a question-and-answer session will be offered.

For more information, contact Dr. Tad Kato at (304) 367-4759 or via e-mail at

Panelists will be the following:

  • Dr. James Kotcon is an Associate Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences at West Virginia University. He teaches courses in Environmental Impact Assessment, Sustainable Living and Plant Science. His research is focused on sustainable agriculture, emphasizing biological pest control. He is also a volunteer with numerous environmental advocacy groups such as the West Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club, West Virginia Environmental Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists. At the panel discussion, he will be addressing “environmental and energy impacts of fossil fuels and renewable in a carbon-limited economy.”

  • Dr. Marian J. Hollinger is a Professor of Art History at Fairmont State University and the curator of the “Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek” at the Brooks Gallery. She received an M.A. at University of Tulsa, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. from University of Toronto. She teaches Art History from ancient period to post-modern era. Hollinger is also the Art Editor of Kestrel: A Journal of Literature and Art. In this panel discussion, Hollinger will be discussing the organic views of the human-nature connectivity that are found in Romanticism philosophy and art and will be also addressing the significance of the art exhibit, “Reflections: Homage to Dunkard Creek” at the Brooks Gallery.

  • Dr. Phil Yeager is an Associate Professor of Biology at Fairmont State University.  He earned his M.S. from University of Wyoming in Entomology and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in Ecology. He has conducted research in entomology, ecotoxicology and aquatic and microbial ecology, and has written papers and book sections covering techniques in soil microbiology. At Fairmont State, he teaches environmental science, ecology and invertebrate biology. At the panel discussion, he will discuss the general overview of the general ecosystem ecology.

  • Dr. Susan Kelley is a Professor of English at Fairmont State University, and she earned her Ph.D. at Boston College. Since she joined the faculty at Fairmont State, she had served as treasurer, vice president and president of the West Virginia Association of College English Teachers. She had also edited faculty magazine, Perspectives, and she had also presented and published papers on contemporary film, Virginia Woolf, Charlotte BrontÑ‘ and popular fiction. At the panel discussion, Kelley will discuss “Ecofeminism as Environmental Discovery.”
  • Dr. Tad Kato is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Fairmont State University. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Ohio University and currently teaches History of Psychology, Developmental Psychology and other psychology classes that involve both research methods and clinical skills. His research area is primarily psychophysiology with the specialized focus on environmental impact on human electrophysiological system, and he has approximately 20 academic publications in this field. At the panel discussion, Kato will be addressing “Environmental Psychology” based on his psychophysiological research data, along with Jungian perspectives on human-nature connectivity.