Professor of the Year Finalists Selected

For Immediate Release: 
Feb 02 2000

Professor of the Year Finalists Selected

Athens, W.Va. - Professors from Concord College, Fairmont State College and the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine are the three finalists for West Virginia’s 1999 Professor of the Year.

The award, sponsored by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia, provides a $10,000 cash prize to the winner. The two other finalists will receive $1,000 each.

The Finalists

Joseph Manzo, a professor of geography at Concord College. Manzo has taught at Concord since 1978 when he earned his doctoral degree in geography from the University of Kansas. He also directs the Appalachian Studies program at Concord.

Manzo also organizes 160day summer geography institutes for West Virginia public school-teachers, and has set up trips for teachers to study in Thailand, and work with Native Americans in Colorado and Arizona. Manzo has won fellowships to study in Thailand, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Belize. During the past six years, he has obtained more than $100,000 yearly in grants to develop geography programs for deprived classrooms in West Virginia.

Erica Harvey, an associate professor of chemistry at Fairmont State College. Harvey has taught at Fairmont State since 1994. Before that, she taught at Mankato State University and Occidental College. She earned her doctoral degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1990.

Harvey serves as a consultant for Physical Chemistry On-Line, a National Science Foundation-funded effort to use the Internet to enhance education for students at small, rural colleges. She is also president-elect for the Association for Women in Science. Among other projects, Harvey has developed a college student-let ""whodunit""course to introduce girls in grades five through 11 to forensic science techniques.

James Nemitz, a professor of anatomy at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Nemitz has taught at WVSOM since 1984. Before that, he did postdoctoral research at the Yale University School of Medicine. Nemitz earned his doctoral degree in anatomy from the Medical College of Virginia in 1980.

Nemitz works with several groups designed to get rural West Virginians better access to health care. He has directed WVSOM’s Office of Physician Underserved and Rural Retention since it was created in 1998. The office’s goal is to figure out strategies to retain WVSOM graduates to provide primary care to rural, underserved areas.

Judging Criteria

Students, faculty and administrators from colleges across West Virginia nominated professors for the award.

To select the finalists, the foundation’s board considered the professors’ teaching, counseling, research, and contributions to the community.

The faculty Merit Foundation started the Professor of the Year award in 1984 to reward outstanding innovation and creativity among faculty. To pay for the awards, the foundation uses donations from individuals and corporations.

The winner will be announced February 17 at a banquet at the Cultural Center. Tickets to the banquet are $35. For tickets, call the Foundation at 1-304-345-7211.


Concord College Notes: The college’s faculty participated in a wide variety of activities including: publications, presentations, shows, research and graduate study. During the 1998-99 school year, the college’s faculty participated in 446 activities.

Digital photo of Dr. Joseph Manzo