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Advancement & Alumni

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Welcome to the Office of Advancement at Concord University

The Concord University Office of Advancement works to seek out and develop ways to engage individuals, groups, organizations, the business community and others by encouraging partnerships and worthwhile channels between those who wish to contribute to Concord through gifts of time, talent and/or finances.  Either through the receipt of a gift or through involvement, supporting the University provides a return on investment for our donors, creating deep and lasting ties to the University - as well as to the students we serve.

Our goal is to communicate efficiently with the more than 23,000 alums across our country and around the globe.  The Office of Advancement is responsible for the Concord University quarterly magazine, all interaction with media, including press releases, online publications, social media and the general management of the University's image.

We strive to highlight the accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff as well as the successes of our alumni.  We truly believe the Mountain Lion family is the foundation to Concord's 150 year history and the lifeline to everything our University has in store for its future.

Concord University Magazine


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Concord University Magazine

Concord University Magazine Fall 2021


Archived Publications


Campus E-News

2022 Alumni Spotlight

June 2022: Norma Acord '10

Congratulations to Norma Acord on being named Teacher of the Year for Wyoming County Schools for the 2021-2022 school year! Norma is a 2010 graduate of Concord with a degree in Studio Art and has taught at Wyoming East High School for the past three years. The one ceramics class at Concord that influenced her decision to pursue art has now touched the lives of many students in Wyoming County. We are Concord Proud of the many educators making a difference in their communities!

May 2022: Riley Fitzwater '21, '22

Fellow Mountain Lion, Riley Fitzwater, will be pursuing a professional basketball career after signing with BC Triple Threat in the Netherlands. The team competes in the highest level in the Netherlands as part of the Women's Basketball League. Riley becomes the first Concord women's basketball player to sign a professional contract once exhausting eligibility in the Maroon and Gray. Congratulations Riley, we look forward to cheering you on from Athens!

April 2022: Jennifer Polk '10

Congratulations to Jennifer Polk on being sworn in as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Mercer County. She says she could start by working in magistrate court, and possibly doing abuse and neglect cases. The past six years Jennifer served as a law clerk for Judge Wills. We wish Jennifer the best of luck in this new role as she serves the citizens in our local area!

March 2022: Chance Raso '15

The March alumni spotlight features Chance Raso '15 on his recent appointment as a Special Projects Coordinator with the NRGRDA. Raso was a former park ranger at the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and has joined the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (NRGRDA) to bolster its outdoor recreation capabilities and support coordination of gateway community projects.

February 2022: Erin Ellis-Reid '15

Congratulations to Erin on her recent appointment as Oak Hill's new Community and Economic Development Coordinator! In this role Erin will be seeking grants, engaging the community, and identifying ways to further promote and grow the city of Oak Hill. We wish Erin the best of luck in this new adventure!

January 2022: Robby Moore '03

January’s alumni spotlight features Robby Moore ’03 for his recent exhibit at Carnegie Hall celebrating February’s Black History Month. Robby is one of three artists who is featured in the exhibits that run through March 25. Robby is the Executive Director of the Beckley Arts Center and co-founded Treehouse Arts Ensemble in WV where he currently serves on the Board of Directors.

To read more about Robby and the Carnegie Hall exhibits click HERE.
2021 Alumni Spotlight

December 2021: Ashley Stover '14


Congratulations to Ashley Stover ’14 on being promoted to Director of Internal Audit at First Community Bank! Ashley is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and holds a Certificate in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) through the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). In addition to her professional duties she also serves as the Membership Officer for the IIA’s Southwest Virginia Chapter. Ashley is a Mercer County native, graduating as valedictorian of her class at Concord. Congratulations Ashley, we wish you the best in this new role!

November 2021: Samuel Lusk '20


This month’s Alumni Spotlight is Samuel Lusk for recently being named at the beginning of the semester the first Director of the newly formed Princeton Economic Development Authority! Samuel is a former member of Rep. Carol Miller’s staff and 2020 graduate of Concord. In his role he is working to help with economic development in Princeton alongside the PEDA Board of Directors.
To read the full release on Samuel’s position:
We wish Samuel the best of luck in this position and look forward to seeing all the great things he accomplishes for the area in this role!

September 2021: Fumika Nakamura ‘05


This month we wanted to spotlight Concord alum Fumika Nakamura for her participation in the Tokyo Olympics! Not only did she get to represent her home country of Japan on the tennis courts during the Summer Games, but she was also selected to carry the Olympic torch during the Opening Ceremonies.

Congratulations to Fumika on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!


August 2021: Charity Holman ‘99


Congratulations to Concord grad Charity Yates Holman on being promoted to General Manager of WVVA in Bluefield, WV! Charity has held a number of sales positions for the station since she joined WVVA in 2006. She has served as the station’s General Sales Manager since 2014, and she added the position of Station Manager to her responsibilities in January 2019. In her new role, Charity will maintain her role as General Sales Manager.

Charity has long been active in the local community. She has served as an Executive Board member on the Chamber of Commerce of the Two Virginias for the last five years. Charity also serves on the Board of Directors for the Mercer County Child Protect. She received the “Volunteer of the Year” award from the Princeton Mercer County Chamber of Commerce in 2011.

We wish Charity the best of luck in this new role!

July 2021: Jina Belcher '09

Congratulations to Jina Belcher on being recognized by the state business journal as one of its 2021 Generation Next “40 Under 40” recipients! Each year the WV News and The State Journal honor 40 West Virginians under the age of 40 who are “making a difference in their business and communities.” This year’s awards ceremony was held June 17 at the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center in downtown Clarksburg. Belcher currently serves as the executive director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.

June 2021: Kevin Garay '97

Congratulations to Concord alum Kevin Garay on his recent promotion to Superintendent of Kannapolis City Schools in North Carolina! Kevin has a more than 20-year career in education and has been serving as the Assistant Superintendent in that district since 2019. He has been named Principal of the Year for KCS and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in the past. He also led the creation of a strategic plan for the district and coordinated their pandemic instruction methods.

We wish Kevin the best of luck as he transitions to this new role this summer!

May 2021: Michelle Keeney Martin '04


Congratulations to Concord alum Michelle Martin on being selected as the 2022 Teacher of the Year for Mercer County Schools! Michelle teaches a 4th and 5th grade split at Athens Elementary School and was selected for the county award after being named Teacher of the Year at her school.
To read more about Michelle's recognition please visit:
Mercer County Schools announces 2022 Teacher of the Year (
As we celebrate teachers everywhere during Teacher Appreciation Week in May, we are proud of all the outstanding teachers out there, like Michelle, who call themselves Concord alums!

April 2021: Candace Justice '05


Congratulations to Candace Daniel Justice ’05 on recently being named the Community College Faculty Member of the Year by the Tennessee Board of Regents! Justice is the director of instructional design and associate professor of English at Walters State Community College, located in Morristown, TN. She is the first Walters State faculty member to receive this honor which was presented during a virtual ceremony on March 25.
To read the full release about her recognition please visit:

March 2021: Lindsey Reed Byars '03


This month we wanted to feature Concord alum and employee Lindsey Byars for recently having not one but two books published in which she is a contributing writer! “Unmasked: Reflections on Virus-time” is available on Amazon in Kindle format and “Humans in the Wild: Reactions to a Gun Loving Country” is also available in Kindle and paperback format on Amazon. Both books were released this past fall and have pieces written by Lindsey in them. Lindsey has worked on campus in the President’s office since December 2018 and is currently working on a Master’s degree through Harvard University.
Congratulations to Lindsey on having her first pieces published!

February 2021: Scott Noble '13


Congratulations to Concord alum Scott Noble for starring in a film that was featured during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival! Noble plays the role of Dennis in the film “First Date”, a comedy directed by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp.
We are proud of Scott for such an outstanding accomplishment!

January 2021: Becky Payton ‘96

Congratulations to Concord alum and Athens native Becky Payton ’96 on recently being selected as the winner of the 2020 Joan E. D. Kushnir Teacher of the Year Award for Adult Education by the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education (VAACE)! Becky is a teacher and career coach at the Thomas Jefferson Adult Career Education Center of Piedmont Virginia Community College, located in Charlottesville.
To find out more about Becky’s work in the adult education field and her journey from Athens to Charlottesville please visit:
We are proud of alums like Becky who are truly making a difference in the lives of others!
2020 Alumni Spotlight

December 2020: Brittany Puckett '07

Congratulations to Concord alum Brittany Puckett '07 on recently being elected Prosecuting Attorney for McDowell County, WV! This is a position that has been a goal for the McDowell County native ever since she decided to pursue a career in law and that goal became a reality during the November 3 election.

To read about Brittany's journey to the position and what she hopes to accomplish in this role, please visit:
We wish Brittany the best of luck as she takes on this new role!

November 2020: Allen Smith ‘05

Congratulations to Concord alum and employee Allen Smith on recently being named the 2020-2021 President-Elect of the West Virginia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (WVACRAO)! Allen currently serves as an Associate Director of Admissions at Concord and has worked in the Concord Admissions office for the past 14 years. The mission of WVACRAO is to serve and advance higher education by providing leadership in academic and enrollment services.
We wish Allen the best of luck in this professional leadership role!

October 2020: Robert “Ben” Crawford ‘58

Congratulations to Concord alum and longtime member of the CU Alumni Association Alumni Council Ben Crawford ’58 for recently publishing a book about leadership and volunteerism. “Volunteer Development and Leadership: The Fun, Joy and How of Volunteering” is an instructive and entertaining book of value for anyone interested in improving their leadership and organization effectiveness. Ben spent much of his career in volunteer service and leadership with the Boy Scouts, Ruritan and AARP, among others. To order a copy of the book you can contact Ben at  

September 2020: All Concord Alumni Working in Education


We know the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on everyone and has created a lot of uncertainty for many of us. One profession we know that has been through a lot of ups and downs this year is all the teachers out there. The month of September means back to school for most students so this month we wanted to spotlight all our alumni teachers. Whether you are teaching in-person, online, at home or virtually we commend you for what you are doing to continue to educate our students under these unusual circumstances. We wish you and all your students a great year and thank you for being the ultimate example of what a Concord-trained teacher is!

August 2020: Andrea Bertrand Richter ‘14

This month we wanted to spotlight an alum who is a great example of resilience and perseverance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. After being laid off from her job at the end of March, Andrea Richter decided to focus her efforts on growing and promoting her small business. Through many hours of hard work and dedicating more time to her business she’s increased her sales by as much as 300%, recently signed a lease on a warehouse due to the need for more space for her business and was featured in the “How to support Black-owned businesses in Charlotte” article in June on the website.
We are so proud of alums like Andrea that put their education to work and keep pushing forward to pursue their dreams!

July 2020: Wes McKinney ‘13


Congratulations to Concord alum and employee Wes McKinney on recently receiving the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Excellence in Communication Award for Division II! Wes has been the Sports Information Director at Concord for 6 years and was a four-year athlete on the CU men’s track and field and cross country teams while he was a student at Concord. He is the first Sports Information Director in the Mountain East Conference to win this award.
To read the full story about Wes’ recognition visit:
Concord is lucky to have alums like Wes who give of their time and talents to their alma mater!

June 2020: Laura Lucas Messer ‘12


Congratulations to Concord grad Laura Messer for recently being named the recipient of the National Service Award from the WVU Center for Service and Learning! This award is one of the Excellence in Community Engagement Awards that the Center gives out each year across the entire WVU system. Messer is the Coordinator for Service and Outreach at the WVU-Tech campus in Beckley, where she has been employed since 2017. She has been working on community service projects and community partner building since starting at Tech.
To read the full story about Laura’s award visit:
We are proud to have alums like Laura who are able to live out Concord’s motto, “Come to Learn. Go to Serve.”, in their everyday lives!

May 2020: Melissa Powell '90, '92


Melissa Powell '90, '92 and her husband, Tim, along with the Jonathan Powell Hope Foundation recently established the Jonathan Powell Scholarship at Concord University.  This scholarship is named in memory of the Powell's son, Jonathan Powell who lost a courageous battle with Neuroblastoma in October 2002 when he was four years old.
Knowing firsthand the challenges faced by families with a child battling cancer, Tim and Melissa set up a foundation in Jonathan’s name to aid families struggling financially as they care for their loved ones.  In the spirit of the foundation’s work, the new scholarship at Concord is dedicated to assisting childhood cancer survivors, or parents or siblings of a childhood cancer survivor or cancer victim financially as they pursue a college degree.

April 2020: All Concord Alumni Working in Health Care


This month we are doing something a little different and highlighting all of our Concord alums who work in the health care field. As our nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic, these alums are on the front lines putting their own lives at risk in order to take care of the sick. They are working countless hours, under high-stress conditions with limited supplies because they care about their patients and the health of their communities.

To every doctor, nurse, EMT, paramedic, respiratory therapist, pharmacist, PA, NP, CNA, dentist, optometrist, physical therapist or other health care worker who is a Concord grad we applaud you, we salute you and we thank you for what you are doing during this uncertain time for us all!

March 2020: Katrina Kappen '10


Congratulations to Concord alum Katrina Stewart Kappen on being named Mrs. West Virginia America! Kappen was crowned in Charleston at the Civic Center on February 29, 2020 and advances on to the Mrs. America competition in Las Vegas this August. She is formerly Mrs. Putnam County and spent her year in that role raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on affected individuals and their loved ones. She will continue this work during her time as Mrs. West Virginia. Kappen has a BS in Education from CU and a MS in Communication Disorders from Marshall University.

We wish Katrina the best of luck at the Mrs. America competition this summer!


February 2020: Andrew Wright '04

Congratulations to Concord alum and former CU head Baseball coach Andrew Wright on taking his baseball talents to the next level! In 2019 Wright left WV and his head baseball coach position at the University of Charleston to work for the New York Yankees. He currently serves in their Development Department as the Director of Dominican Republic Baseball Operations and is based in Tampa, FL.
Coach Wright had a very positive impact on the baseball programs at Concord and at UC and we are sure he will continue to do great things in the major leagues!


January 2020: Virginia Martin ‘89

Virginia Martin
We wanted to kick off a new year and a new decade by recognizing one of our alums who embodies Concord’s motto, “Come to Learn, Go to Serve.” Virginia “Jenny Ann” Martin ’89 has been serving the WV county she grew up in since she graduated from Concord over 30 years ago. She has served in a variety of roles in the school system and currently serves as the child nutrition, anti-drug, wellness director for Wyoming County Schools. And in 2018 Virginia took on another role of service when she became the mayor of her hometown of Mullens.
You can read the full article about Virginia’s journey by visiting
We want to say thank you to Virginia for her service to her community, her county and her state—we are proud to call her a Concord alum!



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