Alumni Awards Brunch Set for Oct. 29; Hotsinpiller Family to Receive Citation

Thursday, October 13, 2011

As part of Homecoming 2011 “Let Your Dreams Become Your Reality” for Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College, six exceptional alumni will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards Brunch at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29.

The event will be held in Colebank Hall Gym. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The event is sponsored by Thrasher Engineering.

During the event, the family of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller will be presented with a Presidential Citation on behalf of the Fairmont State Alumni Association. Hotsinpiller, a 2009 FSU graduate, was killed in the line of duty on Feb. 16, 2011. While a student at FSU, Hotsinpiller was a member of the Falcons men’s basketball team and rugby club sports team and was an active member of Alpha Phi Sigma and Pi Gamma Mu.

A week of Homecoming 2011 events are planned for Oct. 24-29. To view a complete list of events, visit


Outstanding Alumnus
Lieutenant Colonel John “Pluck” Feather ’91

Lieutenant Colonel John “Pluck” Feather, a career Space and Missile Officer, graduated from Fairmont State with a Bachelor of Science in Management/Marketing and West Virginia University’s Air Force ROTC program in 1991. He then went on to earn his master’s degree in Aeronautical Science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 1994. In 1995, he completed the Air Force’s Squadron Officer School and, in 2006, earned his second master’s degree from the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College in Military Arts and Science at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

After assignments at the Pentagon and as a Recruiting Squadron Commander, Feather returned to Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., and is presently attending the Air Force’s Air War College. The school prepares Air Force senior leaders to lead in a joint, interagency and multinational environment at the strategic level across the range of military operations; to develop cross-domain mastery of joint air, space and cyberspace power and its strategic contributions to national security; and to advance innovative thought on National Security, Department of Defense and Air Force issues. Upon completion, he will receive his third master’s degree in Military Strategic Planning and Science.

Feather is a combat veteran of the Desert Storm war and has held a variety of positions at the Pentagon, Numbered Air Force, Major Command, Wing, Group and Squadron levels. His service has included duties as Squadron Commander, Deputy Division Chief, Executive Officer, Flight Commander, Crew Commander and Squadron Section Commander.

Feather has received several major awards and decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal with four devices, AF Commendation Medal with one device, AF Achievement Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award, AF Organizational Excellence Award, National Defense Service Medal with one device, Southwest Asia Service Medal with one device, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait.


Outstanding Alumna
Kimberly Cheuvront ’89 ’90

Kimberly Cheuvront, Ph.D.,  MBA, MT (ASCP, AMT), graduated from Fairmont State Community & Technical College (now known as Pierpont Community & Technical College) in 1977 with an associate degree in Applied Science MLT and earned two bachelor’s degrees from Fairmont State College. Cheuvront received a bachelor’s degree in Allied Health Administration in 1989 and, in 1990, graduated with a degree in Business Administration. Cheuvront has a master’s degree in Business Administration from West Virginia University. She earned a Ph.D. in Health Care Administration from Kennedy Western University.

Cheuvront’s research and dissertation involved bioterrorism preparedness in community hospitals with an emphasis on clinical laboratory. She has presented the findings at several state medical technology conferences. Cheuvront has also served as an adjunct lecturer at Fairmont State.

Cheuvront has been with Fairmont General Hospital since April 1979 and has held various supervisory and management positions at FGH. She was promoted to senior leadership in January 2002. Her responsibilities include the following departments: Clinical Laboratory, Pathology Laboratory, Radiology, Cardiac Rehab, Pulmonary Rehab, Electrodiagnostic Services, Physical Therapy, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Medicine, Marketing and PR, Sleep Lab, HealthPlex Facilities, Physician Recruitment and Practice Development.     

She currently serves on the National Board of Directors for American Medical Technologists as the Judiciary Councilor. She is a member of American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) and the Society for Health Care Strategy. She has received numerous awards for excellence in the field of Medical Technology and Marketing. She has served on many state and national task force, including an appointment by Gov. Gaston Caperton to serve on the Clinical Laboratory Quality Assurance committee. This committee established a licensure law for clinical laboratory personnel.

Cheuvront is active in the Marion County community, having served on both the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau boards.


Alumnus of Achievement
Dr. Kenneth Deahl ’65

Dr. Kenneth Deahl attended Fairmont State on a full academic scholarship and graduated with honors, receiving his bachelor’s in biology in 1965.

Deahl continued his education at West Virginia University, where he earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in plant pathology and agricultural microbiology. He was recruited by the United States Department of Agriculture out of graduate school because of his extensive work in biochemistry and the nature of disease resistance, and is currently a leading research plant pathologist/microbiologist with the USDA. 

He is the leader in recognizing serious problems in disease control when major problems occur consecutively in crops. His expertise has allowed him to discover that the root problem of these epidemics in crops is something called fungal pathogens.    

Deahl is the world’s leading expert in dealing with what is called Phytophthora Infestans. This fungus was also referred to as late blight and incited the Irish Potato Famine in the mid-1800s.  This epidemic caused the starvation of 8 million people.  

Deahl’s discovery has led him to implement new ways to control such epidemics both here in the United States and abroad. His research has contributed to indentifying food toxins and even mushroom toxins that cause fatal lung disease in mushroom workers.  

Deahl has led international teams in Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Russia, UK, Uruguay and Taiwan that characterized the novel fungal pathogens that were causing the severe epidemic in these countries. He led workshops at the World Vegetable Center at Tainan Taiwan, R.O.C., National Chungshin University (Taichung) and National Taiwan University (Taipei).

Deahl has studied molecular biology, because it deals with the molecular basis of biological activity and this field overlaps with his interest and experience in microbiology, pathology and biochemistry. His initial experiments in molecular biology chiefly concerned the understanding of the interactions between the various systems of the cell, including the interactions between the different types of DNA, RNA and protein biosynthesis, as well as learning how these interactions are regulated in the diseased environment.

Deahl is the author of over 100 scientific manuscripts and papers, and books chapters. He holds three patents on disease resistance genes. Theses professional contributions in education, research, professional practice and service are recognized for their quality and depth.

Deahl lives in Maryland with his wife, Rebecca. He enjoys spending time with his wife, his children and grandchildren and feels that his greatest reward in his life is family.

Alumna of Achievement
Judy K. McCauley ’81 ’82

Judy K. McCauley earned an associate degree in Retail Management from Fairmont State Community & Technical College (now known as Pierpont Community & Technical College)  in 1981 and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fairmont State in 1982.

McCauley was appointed West Virginia District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2004. As District Director, she is responsible for the delivery of SBA programs and services statewide, including guaranteed lending, government contracting, counseling, training, disaster assistance, international business opportunities, compliance; and oversight of the Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Center and SCORE Chapters.   

Prior to her appointment, McCauley served as procurement center representative, commercial marketing representative and contracting officer for SBA in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, overseeing the release of procurement opportunities and contract awards. 

 She was recently appointed to the 2011-2012 Affiliate Leadership Council for the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Small Business Development Centers, West Virginia Export Council, Glenville State College Department of Business and Vision Shared Entrepreneurship Committee. She is the SBA point-of-contact for the West Virginia FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons and the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters. McCauley is actively involved in the statewide collegiate business plan competition and is a recipient of the West Virginia Women in Business Champion Award. 

McCauley recently served on the SBA Administrator’s National Advisory Council, representing the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia. She served on the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Small Business Committee and the Regional Contracting Assistance Center Board of Advisors. McCauley was instrumental in the creation of West Virginia’s premier federal procurement conference, Teaming to Win, and served as chairman of the board and conference director.

As a member of the Northern West Virginia Chapter of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), McCauley served as chapter president and national director. She is a recipient of the chapter’s “Award of Excellence,” the national “Blanche Witte Award,” a contributor to NCMA’s national magazine and a featured speaker at the national conference. McCauley is an NCMA Fellow.

She currently resides in Fairmont with her husband, Matt, and her daughter, Lauren.

Outstanding Young Alumnus
Clinton Cooper ’94

Clinton Cooper earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management with minors in Psychology and Finance in 1994 from Fairmont State. As a student, Cooper was actively involved in campus life. He participated in Student Government, Freshman Counselors and was engaged as a member of Sigma Pi.

Cooper started his career at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network as a financial representative, where he earned the title, Rookie of the Year. The impressive resume led him to take an entry level position at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. After several years with Morgan Stanley, an opportunity arose in 1998 to relocate to San Diego. He began networking with the investment community in San Diego and soon accepted a position as the Investment Specialist back at Northwestern Mutual. He has been in this position ever since, becoming one of San Diego’s most trusted Wealth Managers. He has achieved MVP – most valuable producer– every year since 2005. He specializes in planning retirement, tax reduction options, trusts and estates and 401Ks.  

In 2004, he purchased a home overlooking San Diego harbor, and in 2007 he and his wife, Tara, welcomed their first child, Jackson Lawrence. Just two years later in 2009, they were blessed again with a second, Emmy Katherine. Cooper enjoys spending time with his family exploring all that San Diego has to offer, golfing, traveling, fishing and playing softball.


Outstanding Young Alumna
Dr. Jennifer Knight ’98

Dr. Jennifer Knight graduated magna cum laude from Fairmont State in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. While a student at Fairmont State, she was a Freshman Counselor, was active in Student Government and was elected as vice president of Student Government. Knight started medical school at West Virginia University in the fall of 1998 and completed her surgical residency in 2008.

Knight is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at WVU. She is board certified in General Surgery and is board eligible in Surgical Critical Care. She teaches surgery to residents and medical students and has the opportunity to take care of injured and critically ill patients from West Virginia and the surrounding areas.

In 2010, she received a large grant, through the Benedum Foundation, to improve the care of trauma patients in West Virginia through the development of an electronic patient transfer system. She was selected by the American College of Surgeons and the Association of Women in Surgery to be part of its Mentoring program. She received the Leadership Scholarship from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (EAST) for the next three years. She has presented some of her original research at the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma and was named to a National Committee for EAST. She is a founding member of the WVU Health Sciences Center Faculty Advisory Council and was recently elected to WVU’s Faculty Senate.

She lives with her husband and son in Morgantown and enjoys travelling, gardening and doing “mom stuff.” She says she loves living in West Virginia.