Deciding to participate in Fairmont State University's Italian Exchange Program (UNICAL) was far easier than actually making the first-time trip 5,000 miles from home in Marion County, WV. Lindsay Menas, an English major, will spend one year studying at the University of Calabria-Consenza. Through e-mails, blogs and Skype communication, she describes many of her opportunities as first-time-in-her-life experiences. Just getting to the second largest campus in Europe, with an enrollment of 40,000 students, was a unique journey for the University junior.
Dr. Julie Sellers, assistant professor of Spanish at Fairmont State University, is West Virginia’s first certified court interpreter. The Mountaineer State is just beginning its interpreter certification program, and Dr. Sellers, a federally certified court interpreter, is granted certification through reciprocity. She is also certified in the states of Colorado and Pennsylvania.
A few years ago, Anup Poudel could not have imagined his higher education journey from Nepal to the United States. Born in Kathmandu, a city of nearly a million people, his familiar surroundings included structures obstructing the views and streets filled with cars. The rolling hills and winding roads of West Virginia were very unfamiliar on his drive from a local airport to his future home, the Fairmont State University campus.
English major and Michigan native Brad Riffee is creating a plan that could lead to the first rooftop gardens across the Fairmont State University campus.
For Riffee, who has family roots in West Virginia, a summer of high tech gardening was also a way of impacting his community. His inspiration came from Voltaire’s comic novel “Candide,” where the hero establishes a small farm on which he and his friends keep themselves from the three great evils: poverty, vice and boredom.
Two Fairmont State University seniors have been named finalists in the 2011 West Virginia Fiction Writing Competition. Michelle Yost, an English major from Shenandoah Junction, has been named one of the finalists. Her story is entitled “The Transformation of Acteon.” Shasta Gibson, also an English major from Buckhannon, is the other finalist in the competition. Her story is entitled “Waking the Bear.” These students are two of ten writers from across the state to be selected as finalists.