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Concord University Magazine Spring 2021
The mission of Concord University is to improve the lives of our students and communities, through innovative teaching and learning, intellectual and creative activities, and community service and civic engagement.

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Featured Stories

Karen Vuranch

Instructor of Theater and Communication Arts

Karen Vuranch brings decades of theater experience and extensive knowledge to Concord University. Vuranch has performed shows in every county in West Virginia, in 35 states and three foreign countries. She completed five performance tours of England and Wales, and toured China with 35 other storytellers. In 1982, she moved from Ohio to West Virginia to work for the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia as a storyteller. Here, she met her husband and together, the couple eventually founded their own theater company, WV Enterprises. Vuranch has written many performance pieces, including Coal Camp Memories, a play she wrote based on oral histories she collected. She also has 12 living history characters – remarkable women in history – that she researched and performs. “Teaching is a culmination of my years of work,” Vuranch says. “I have had years of being on stage and accolades. Now, I am ready to share what I know and to see my students flourish.”   
 

Faculty

Karen Vuranch

Instructor of Theater and Communication Arts

Karen Vuranch brings decades of theater experience and extensive knowledge to Concord University. Vuranch has performed shows in every county in West Virginia, in 35 states and three foreign countries. She completed five performance tours of England and Wales, and toured China with 35 other storytellers. In 1982, she moved from Ohio to West Virginia to work for the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia as a storyteller. Here, she met her husband and together, the couple eventually founded their own theater company, WV Enterprises. Vuranch has written many performance pieces, including Coal Camp Memories, a play she wrote based on oral histories she collected. She also has 12 living history characters – remarkable women in history – that she researched and performs. “Teaching is a culmination of my years of work,” Vuranch says. “I have had years of being on stage and accolades. Now, I am ready to share what I know and to see my students flourish.”   
 

Faculty

Dr. Thomas McKenna

Professor of Philosophy and History

Professor Mc Kenna is an interdisciplinary scholar in the history of philosophy, religion, and the arts. He is a poet and has edited the short run journal Holler: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, now part of the permanent collection of the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia. As a professor, Dr. McKenna says his goal is to help students understand that the answers to life’s big questions vary, but that it is important to understand everyone else’s answers to better grasp the rich diversity of our world our place in it. Whether it be Language, Literature, History, Philosophy, or Religion, the Department of  Humanities will prepare you for success in any field you choose by teaching you how to listen more carefully, to read with greater understanding, and how to write more effectively, all while acquiring a better understanding of the language, literature, history, philosophy and religion of the wider world.  "We live in a rich and diverse world. The more we know about the people in it, what they think about it, and why they think so, the better we’ll do…no matter what we choose to do for a living.” 
 
 

Faculty

Dr. Thomas McKenna

Professor of Philosophy and History

Professor Mc Kenna is an interdisciplinary scholar in the history of philosophy, religion, and the arts. He is a poet and has edited the short run journal Holler: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, now part of the permanent collection of the West Virginia Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia. As a professor, Dr. McKenna says his goal is to help students understand that the answers to life’s big questions vary, but that it is important to understand everyone else’s answers to better grasp the rich diversity of our world our place in it. Whether it be Language, Literature, History, Philosophy, or Religion, the Department of  Humanities will prepare you for success in any field you choose by teaching you how to listen more carefully, to read with greater understanding, and how to write more effectively, all while acquiring a better understanding of the language, literature, history, philosophy and religion of the wider world.  "We live in a rich and diverse world. The more we know about the people in it, what they think about it, and why they think so, the better we’ll do…no matter what we choose to do for a living.” 
 
 

Faculty

Dr. Michael Bean

Assistant Professor of Education

Dr. Bean is excited to be part of Concord’s Education Department, working with students he describes as respectful and ready to learn. One lesson Dr. Bean and our other faculty members teach Concord students is the reality of the profession. Through a variety of placements and teaching opportunities, or “in the fire” opportunities as Dr. Bean describes them, our students are prepared to enter the field.

“I have a passion for education. I see how that can open doors and create opportunities.”

Faculty

Dr. Michael Bean

Assistant Professor of Education

Dr. Bean is excited to be part of Concord’s Education Department, working with students he describes as respectful and ready to learn. One lesson Dr. Bean and our other faculty members teach Concord students is the reality of the profession. Through a variety of placements and teaching opportunities, or “in the fire” opportunities as Dr. Bean describes them, our students are prepared to enter the field.

“I have a passion for education. I see how that can open doors and create opportunities.”

Faculty