Concord University Hosting Program About Coal And The Environment

For Immediate Release: 
Feb 27 2015

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,         





ATHENS, W.Va. – The Concord University Appalachian Studies program will be presenting the second installment of the 2015 Coal Heritage Lecture Series on Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. The event will take place in Beckley at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Room E 10. This event is free and open to the public.

“The Impact of Coal on the Environment” will feature two presenters, Keely Kernan and Elise Keaton. Keaton is the Director of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation and an independent filmaker. Kernan is an award-winning freelance photographer who has worked and exhibited her photography all over the world. Together they will discuss extreme forms of extraction, and how it impacts communities and the environment.

The event will showcase a short film depicting aerial photography of fossil fuel extraction, and a discussion on how coal is being replaced by natural gas.

The Coal Heritage Lecture Series is in its sixth year now. It is part of a class at Concord called “Coal Culture in West Virginia” taught by Karen Vuranch. Vuranch has taught at Concord for more than 20 years, and is a full-time storyteller and actress. She is best known in the theatrical world for her one-woman play “Coal Camp Memories.”

The first program of the lecture series was “Music of the Coalfields.” The event featured the voices of Julie Adams, Colleen Anderson, and guitar player Josh Barrett. There are two more programs to expect on the first Tuesday of every month. “The Impact of Coal on the Economy” on April 7, which portrays the other side of the pro-environment/pro-coal debate, and “Labor in America Today” on May 5, which will address current issues that workers in all fields face in West Virginia.

Free transportation will be provided for Concord students at the Athens campus by Student Activities and The Office of Housing and Residence Life for each event. Sign up should occur any day prior to the events at the Student Affairs Office on the second floor of the Student Center. The van will leave by 6 p.m. the day of the event from the front entrance of the Student Center.

This event is co-sponsored by Concord University’s Beckley location and the National Coal Heritage Area Authority. For more information on the 2015 Coal Heritage Lecture Series, contact Karen Vuranch at, or call Concord University in Beckley at (304) 256-0270.


This press release was written by Bridgette Morris. Bridgette is a Communications major at Concord University with an emphasis in Speech, and lives in Beckley, W.Va.


Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086

if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.