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Featured Stories

Dr. Joan Pendergast

Chair, Department of Social Work and Title IX Coordinator

When Dr. Pendergast was finishing her Ph.D. in Social Work Education at the University of South Carolina, she dreamed of teaching at a school like Concord. “I have wanted to live in the mountains for as long as I can remember,” she says. In 2007, she accepted a tenure-track position at CU and has found a home here. “The campus community is welcoming and accepting,” she says. Before completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Pendergast was a practicing social worker, valuable experience she shares with her students. “When I speak with students about social work, I explain that this is the best job and worst job you can have,” she says. “It’s very rewarding to see how people can change their lives, and it can be discouraging when these changes do not come.” Dr. Pendergast is dedicated to preparing her students for the realities they’ll face after graduation, and says she enjoys “being a small part of their journey.”
 

Faculty

Dr. Joan Pendergast

Chair, Department of Social Work and Title IX Coordinator

When Dr. Pendergast was finishing her Ph.D. in Social Work Education at the University of South Carolina, she dreamed of teaching at a school like Concord. “I have wanted to live in the mountains for as long as I can remember,” she says. In 2007, she accepted a tenure-track position at CU and has found a home here. “The campus community is welcoming and accepting,” she says. Before completing her doctoral degree, Dr. Pendergast was a practicing social worker, valuable experience she shares with her students. “When I speak with students about social work, I explain that this is the best job and worst job you can have,” she says. “It’s very rewarding to see how people can change their lives, and it can be discouraging when these changes do not come.” Dr. Pendergast is dedicated to preparing her students for the realities they’ll face after graduation, and says she enjoys “being a small part of their journey.”
 

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

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