Nine Receive Fairmont State Alumni Awards
As part of Homecoming 2017 for Fairmont State University, nine exceptional alumni will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards Brunch at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. This year’s Homecoming theme is “Fairmont Flashback 1967” in honor of the 50th anniversary of Fairmont State’s NAIA National Championship Football team.
Sponsored by Thrasher Group Inc., the Alumni Awards Brunch will be held in the Falcon Center third floor conference rooms. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door. Visit www.fairmontstate.edu/homecoming to purchase tickets or to view a complete list of events and additional information.
“Each year the Fairmont State Alumni Association receives countless nominations for their Homecoming awards. This year we are proud to present awards to nine remarkable alumni,” said Amie Fazalare, Alumni Association President.
Outstanding Alumna – Deborah Haught Prezioso, Class of 1973
On May 12, 1973, Deborah M. Prezioso graduated from Fairmont State College with a BA in education. She went on to obtain a MA in education from West Virginia University and earned graduate hours from Marshall University in career education. After teaching for 34 years, Deborah retired in June 2007 from the Marion County School System.
Upon graduation, Deborah was hired by Marion County Schools and began teaching at East Dale Elementary. During her time at East Dale, she became certified to supervise education students from FSC and WVU. She continued to supervise student teachers throughout her career. After her retirement, through the Center of Professional Development, Deborah became trained as a Master Mentor. While at East Dale, she coauthored “A Bulletin Board Book for All Seasons.” The book for elementary teachers was published in 1980.
Throughout her career, she held memberships in the National Education Association, the Marion County Education Association, WVU chapter of Phi Delta Kappa and is still an active member of Mu chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, a teaching honorary.
During the 1997-98 school year, Deborah was selected to be FSC’s Public School Teaching Fellow. For that year, she was a clinical professor in the School of Education. In the fall of 1998, she continued teaching at FSC as an adjunct professor. In the spring of that year, she assisted with a Case Study for Instruction at the University of Virginia.
After finishing her fellowship, Deborah became more involved with the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts. She was a presenter at yearly state conference and attended national conferences. She was selected twice as a state level winner for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics. She participated in the WVU Writing Project and was selected as a Marion County Language Arts Teacher of the Year.
Deborah resides in Fairmont with her husband, Roman Prezioso, who is a 1971 FSC graduate. She currently serves as a member of the FSU Board of Governors. She is a member of the FSU Alumni Association, the WVU Alumni Association, P.E.O Chapter D, and Life Long Learners. Debora’s son, Christopher Prezioso, graduated from FSC in 2000 and currently practices law in Wheeling where he resides with his wife, Julie Shank.
Deborah volunteers as a driver for Meals on Wheels in Marion County. She is a member of Holy Spirit Church where she serves on the Pastoral Council and is a Lector. Previously, she served as a member of the Marion County 4-H Foundation Board, the West Virginia Public Theatre Board and the HOPE board.
Outstanding Alumnus – Richard Forren, Class of 1980
Richard T. Forren is a registered architect and senior principal in charge for Omni Associates - Architects since 1984. He received his Master of Architecture degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in 1983 after previously receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree, Civil Engineering Technology in 1980 from Fairmont State University.
Richard is a long-time member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the West Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects. He is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, NCARB Certified #53567, which through reciprocity allows nationwide registration and licensing.
As the senior principal-in-charge, Richard’s responsibilities include the development of client relationships and guiding the management of the overall firm. As the senior architect he is responsible for the development of concept designs by performing technical tasks which include: Project space programming; Aesthetic design development; Schematic layout of functional spaces; Concept and coordination of building systems such as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. He oversees the preparation of bidding documents, material specifications; and construction management and administration. His experience spans a wide range of commercial projects that include health care, business, recreational, educational, religious, municipal and military construction (MILCON) with single project construction budgets in excess of $65 million.
Richard’s public client list includes: United States General Services Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Division, West Virginia General Services Administration, West Virginia Army National Guard, West Virginia University, Fairmont State University, West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation, City of Fairmont, City of Morgantown, City of Bridgeport, City of Weirton, Marion County Board of Education, and Harrison County Board of Education.
Mr. Forren retired as a colonel in the United States Army Reserves. He was last assigned to the Fifth United States Army as the Army’s Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer for West Virginia. He worked with FEMA’s Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Homeland Security to provide Department of Defense support in the event of a regional or national emergency. Throughout his career in the Army Reserves, Richard served as an engineer officer and commanded a Combat Engineer Company, a Combat Engineer Battalion, and one of DOD’s new Army Liaison Teams. He has performed multiple missions in Panama, Honduras, El Salvador and Korea. His military education includes: Engineer Officer Basic and Advance Courses; Combined Arms Service and Staff School; Battalion & Brigade Pre-Command Course; and Command & General Staff College.
Richard has been appointed by the Governor of West Virginia to serve on two statewide boards. They include the West Virginia Design Build Board and the West Virginia Board of Architects where he currently serves as the President. He served as an instructor of Architecture at Fairmont State College and served on the Fairmont State University Faculty Advisory Committees for both Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering. Mr. Forren also served as a member of the Architectural Review Committee for the I-79 Technology Park and served 18 years as a member and past President of the Bridgeport City Planning Commission. He currently serves on the City of Bridgeport’s Emergency Services Council.
Richard is married to Meredith Forren and has five children; daughter Leah Forren, Columbus, Ohio; daughter Amy Forren, Columbia, South Carolina; son Brad Forren, Manassas, Virginia; and stepdaughters Samantha Freels and Amanda Freels, both of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Alumna of Achievement – Sandra Ross Rosenberger, Class of 1963
Sandra L. Rosenberger graduated from Fairmont State College in 1963 having been a recipient of the West Virginia Board of Education Scholarship in Elementary Education. She was one of the first Head Start teachers in Marion County and was chosen Outstanding First Year Educator after one year of teaching elementary school.
After a brief hiatus to begin her family, she returned to teaching in 1971 and began her 32-year career in adult education. She was employed as a full time Adult Education Learning Center coordinator to develop and expand the Adult Basic Education program. She wrote the first Adult High School Preparatory and College Preparatory curriculum outlines for the Veteran’s Administration which were adopted throughout the state of West Virginia.
In 1973, she became editor of the West Virginia Adult Basic Education Association’s newsletter and served on the association’s board of directors.
In 1977, she earned her Master’s Degree in Adult Education and was named Adult Educator of the Year in the state of West Virginia.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, she became a grant writer for the program while performing her duties as Learning Center Coordinator. She wrote a grant for English as a Second Language and the Adult Performance Basic Skills Survival Levels. She also joined with other local educators and interested citizens to form Literacy Volunteers of Marion County to help raise the literacy rate. She served on that board for more than 10 years and received the Star of Literacy Award from the governor’s wife and the International Reading Association and Marion County Reading Council’s Celebrate Literacy Award for her services in the promotion of literacy.
She also was named a member of the Alpha Delta Kappa teachers’ honorary.
Throughout her career, she worked for the West Virginia Department of Education as a professional Adult Basic Education trainer at state and local conferences and workshops. She was appointed a Peer Trainer to prepare new Adult Basic teachers for their positions. She was also chosen to write the Language Skills and Reading objectives for all the Adult Learning Centers in West Virginia which later became models for many other states in the nation. She also taught graduate classes for Marshall University.
Sandra was named Director of the Marion County Adult Basic Education Program for one year. During that year, the Marion County ABE Program was nominated to receive the Secretary’s Award for the Outstanding Adult Education Program in the United States. The program received a certificate for its high standards and achievements that year.
Before retiring, Sandra developed a computer literacy skill component within the basic skills program and was named a Workplace Trainer for RESA VII. This involved training groups such as The Courtesy Patrol and writing curriculum for various workplaces in the community.
She now attends Lifelong Literacy classes through Pierpont Community College, which offers classes four months out of the year to stay true to her belief in lifelong learning. She plans to teach a class in meditative art in the fall.
Alumna of Achievement – Dr. Roberta Atha Strosnider, Class of 1967
Dr. Roberta Atha Strosnider, Professor Emerita in Special Education, Hood College and Towson University (TU) works as an educational consultant in learning disabilities, executive functioning, and teacher preparation. Roberta graduated from Fairmont State “College” in 1967 with a major in secondary education. She earned her master’s degree in special education from West Virginia University and her doctorate in special rducation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has taught general and special education in P-12 schools.
Roberta received a fellowship to study HIV Prevention Education for Students with Disabilities and served as a national trainer for the Co-Teaching HIV Prevention Program. She directed an off-campus TU teacher preparation program and received the Nasim Dil Award for her service to Small Special Education Programs. Roberta served as a reviewer and auditor of special education teacher education program reports for the Council for Exceptional Children. Additionally, she has made significant contributions to the field through publications, presentations, grants, and as a consultant to the Maryland State Department of Education, creating several online teacher professional development resources.
Roberta continues to be an active advocate for students with disabilities, having served as a board member and champion for several organizations. Her work with the Frederick County, Maryland, Arc was recognized with the prestigious STAR Award. The Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD) awarded her the Floyd G. Hudson Award for her outstanding contributions. Roberta serves on several public policy groups, such as the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities.
Roberta and a colleague cofounded Project Boost, for which they developed a curriculum that provides executive function skill training for K-12 students by building skills through a 7 Step Model. Teachers from around the country have been trained to use the program, and the pair is writing a book on the model and accompanying strategies.
Alumnus of Achievement – Ted Dreisinger, Class of 1973
Dr. Dreisinger graduated from Fairmont State in 1973 with a degree in physical education and language arts. He earned a Master’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and a PhD at the University of Missouri. The first 10 years of his career, he implemented and worked in hospital cardiac rehabilitation programs in Missouri. During that time he held a clinical instructor position in rehabilitative medicine at the University of Missouri and taught exercise science at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1987, he became involved in the assessment, treatment and management of chronic back and neck pain and has been this area of clinical work ever since.
Dr. Dreisinger is President of Therapy Advisors, a consulting firm that provides solutions for the management of chronic back pain and web-based clinical outcomes for medical practices. Over the years, he has provided successful venture funded injury prevention programs in Upper Extremity and Spine for Fortune 500 companies including Tyson Foods, United/Northwest Airlines and 3M. He has held executive positions in these ventures. He has owned two conservative care rehabilitation practices where he implemented innovative fully automated clinical medical records systems. He has served on a number of spine related foundations as an active member of strategic planning initiatives.
Dreisinger’s background spans nearly 40 years of clinical experience in rehabilitation, orthopedics and physical medicine. He has presented scientific papers both in the United States and abroad on topics related to the management of the chronic back pain patient and clinical outcomes. He has published articles in biomedical journals including Spine, Orthopedics, Journal of Rheumatology, Sports Medicine, Paraplegia, and the Journal of Cardiac Rehabilitation.
Dreisinger is a member of the North American Spine Society, fellow in the American Back Society and the American College of Sports Medicine. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the McKenzie Institute International, the Boards of the Vert Mooney Foundation and the North American Spine Foundation – a nonprofit arm of the North American Spine Society.
On the personal side, he has published three books of life observations accumulated over the many years of professional traveling. He lives with his wife Molly and their three cats in Oro Valley, Arizona.
Alumnus of Achievement – David Sago, Class of 1988
David C. Sago of Fairmont graduated from West Virginia University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and from Fairmont State in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology.
During his time at Fairmont State he was honored as a member of the Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honor Society for Professionals in Technology. He remains an active adjunct professor in the civil and safety engineering department since 2000 and is a member of the Civil Engineering Technology Advisory Committee. Sago also works in many partnership efforts with Fairmont State’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program to enhance water quality in our local rivers and streams.
Since 1994, he has been employed at the City of Fairmont Utilities and since 2002 has served as utility manager in administering all water, sewer and storm water operations for the utility. During his career he has served on a variety of national committees, including: National House of Delegates member for the Water Environment Federation (WEF) in Washington D.C., Secretary/ Treasurer National Wet Weather Partnership in Richmond, Virginia, Utility Management, Public Outreach and Communications and Safety/Security Committees (WEF) and the American Water Works Association in Denver, Colorado. On the state level he is president of the West Virginia Municipal Water Quality Association, which is an incorporated association of 30 statewide government utilities that own public water and wastewater treatment facilities and storm water utility conveyance systems, past president of the West Virginia Water Environment Association and the West Virginia Water Utility Council.
He has received the Water Environment Federation William D. Hatfield Award for outstanding performance and professionalism. This is the highest award that can be bestowed upon a manager of a wastewater treatment facility. He has also received the WEF Arthur Sidney Bedell Award for extraordinary personal service to the water quality profession.
He is married to his Rivesville High School sweetheart Sandy White who is employed by the Marion County Board of Education. Together they have a son Justin, a Fairmont State University Class of 2002 graduate and a real estate-right of way specialist with Sarasota County Government, Sarasota, Florida; a granddaughter Sydney, a student in WVU Medicine’s School of Radiologic Technology through Pierpont Community & Technical College and Kitty Finley “Fin.”
Outstanding Young Alumna – Dr. Mary Veltri Jordan, Class of 1998
Dr. Mary Veltri Jordan, a member of Fairmont State’s Class of 1998, earned her Doctor of Education from Nova Southeastern University with specializations in special education and higher education. The focus of her doctoral research included a study around nonacademic influences on postsecondary matriculation, transition and retention of special needs students.
Mary has a Master of Science in counseling from Johns Hopkins University, Highly Qualified Teacher designations in special education and reading education and the highest level postgraduate professional license in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Florida with endorsements in Administration and Supervision, School Counseling, Special Education, Family and Consumer Sciences, Physical Education, Reading Education and Health Education. Today, Mary is a Counselor Educator in the College Counseling Certificate program at UCLA Extension and a former Assistant Principal of Academic Advisement & School Counseling at the University of Florida's PK Yonge Developmental Research School. Mary served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Counselor Education & Supervision at Johns Hopkins University, & an Adjunct Faculty of Counselor Education & Human Development & University Supervisor for Special Education student teachers at George Mason University.
Working alongside former president Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach at Fairmont State University, Mary researched and analyzed data around the university's at-risk student population and possible retention efforts and advocated for this population requesting funding to support efforts through the West Virginia Legislature. Mary began her love of postsecondary Student Affairs work under the leadership of Michael Belmear where she served as a Student Director of Fairmont State University’s New Student Orientation Program as well as when working under the direction of Bill Bailey, Della Huffman, Charlie Endicott and Sally Fry in the Career Services office.
Mary continues to strive for academic, social, and emotional success for each and every learner as the opportunities afforded to her as a core faculty member and counselor educator at Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, University of Florida and UCLA Extension, which have allowed for continued research around but not limited to post-secondary successes and at-risk populations, the work of school and college counselors, the impact counselors have on nonacademic preparation and the postsecondary matriculation, transition and retention of special needs students, the counselors social justice positioning, mental health counseling and counselor administration and supervision. With the support of core faculty, she has authored and facilitated school counseling/college counseling coursework at George Mason University and UCLA Extension.
Married to former Falcon football player and Fairmont State University Alumnus, Glenn Jordan, Mary believes being a mommy to Vincent Angelo and Ava Bella is her greatest accomplishment!
Outstanding Young Alumnus – JP Miller, Class of 1998
After graduating from college, JP Miller left the hills and his family in West Virginia and headed for the Smoky Mountains to work at the Southern Gospel Music Association in their gift shop to get his foot in the good of following his dream to be a gospel singer. It wasn’t long before JP made his way into the industry and the Southern Gospel family. His first “gig” was co-hosting a weekly talk show on Gospel Music Television with Gospel Music Hall of Famer, Lou Wills Hildreth. JP and Lou were headliners on GMT for three years. Their success led them to do shows from Bill and Gloria’s Family Fest, Backstage at The Dove Awards, The Ryman Auditorium, and the National Quartet Convention.
During his time on GMT, JP began to tour as a soloist for The Church of God Children’s Home and traveled with a choir made up of residents from this organization. JP recorded solo albums during this time and began another television show with Amanda Crabb taping shows at Gospel Music Week, Crabb Fest and TBN.
At last it was time for JP to join Troy and Katy Peach to form the trio, “First Love” a trio that made a big impact in the Southern Gospel Music Industry in only a short time being nominated for new group of the year by the fans of Singing News Magazines and receiving rave reviews from credits and charting on national radio play.
At the close of First Love, JP shifted his focus to his family and centered much of his work in Sevierville and the surrounding areas and began singing at Dollywood, hosting various television shows and community events, while continuing to record and do a limited touring schedule all while working at his home church, Parkway Church of God as the Youth Pastor.
Today, JP continues to center his ministry on his two children (Macee and Micah) where he is the vice president of their school’s parent’s association. JP also hosts a weekly television and radio show, The Smoky Mountain Gospel Jubilee. “The Jubilee” broadcasts from The Ogle Furniture Outlet in front of a live audience and has become a staple on Monday nights for the past five years. More than 10,000 people have attended in person to watch the show in person. It continues to grow and be a favorite for locals and tourists in the Smokies. JP has become a regular singer at Dollywood, conferences and concerts in the East Tennessee area.
JP does limited concert appearances and more recently has become a popular emcee for national gospel music concerts, events and cruises.
Lifetime Legacy – Dr. Maria Bennett Rose, Class of 1969
Maria Rose was born in Fairmont and has lived in Fairmont most of her life. Dr. Rose was named Fairmont State University’s 14th president in April 2012 and she has served Fairmont State for more than 25 years. As a faculty member, she taught developmental writing, developmental reading and study skills and coordinated the campus-wide peer tutoring program. Dr. Rose also served as director of retention and vice president of academic services. Prior to being named president, she served as interim president and provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Dr. Rose received her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Fairmont State College and a Master of Arts degree in reading from West Virginia University. From WVU, she also earned an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on family and community literacy issues as they relate to higher education. In addition, she earned a Developmental Educator Certification through the Kellogg Institute of Appalachian State University. Dr. Rose served on a task force for the Higher Education Policy Commission Adult Learner initiative and on the Commission’s College Completion Task Force.
From starting as a grade-school teacher in a two-room schoolhouse in Idamay to serving as Fairmont State’s president, Dr. Rose has dedicated her career to providing meaningful and life-changing educational opportunities.
Maria has been married to Tom Rose for almost 48 years and they have one son and daughter-in-law, Alex and Tanya Rose who reside in Jupiter, Florida. Also residing in Jupiter are granddaughter Shelby, her fiancé Ryan, and great-grandchildren, Juliett and Jackson. Tom and Maria are currently splitting their time between Hobe Sound, Florida, and Fairmont.