Concord University Hosted Fifth Annual Student Leadership Conference

For Immediate Release: 
Mar 22 2006

Concord University Hosted Fifth Annual Student Leadership Conference

Athens, W.Va. - Concord University hosted the fifth Annual Student Leadership Conference for the West Virginia Association for Equal Opportunity Program Personnel (WVAEOPP) and the Mid-Eastern Association of Equal Opportunity Program Personnel (MEAOPP) at Pipestem Resort State Park and Concord University, March 3 to 5, 2006. Nearly 200 students and chaperones from TRIO groups in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia attended the event. Participating Concord TRIO programs were Classic Upward Bound, Math/Science Upward Bound, Student Support Services and McNair Scholars.

Conference attendees were invited to Charleston as guests of West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin where he proclaimed March 3, 2006, “TRIO Day” in the Mountain State. Next, attendees were invited to Concord University for a campus tour and proceeded to Pipestem where they participated in numerous workshops and activities.

The workshops featured topics including college preparation strategies, community service, learning a second language, preparing for the job market, time management, the effects of alcohol, peer pressure, online communities, leadership and overcoming cultural barriers.

Concord University faculty and administrators, along with their colleagues from West Virginia University, Salem International University, Marshall University, Bluefield State College and Southwest Virginia Community College, presented the workshops. Concord presenters included Michael Curry, vice president for admissions and financial aid and his wife, Debbie; Charles “Abe” Lilly, resident director and adjunct faculty member; Carmen Durrani, assistant professor of foreign languages; David Campbell, assistant professor of health and physical education; and Anthony Underwood, director of outreach services.

On March 4, President Jerry Beasley hosted a banquet featuring John Mendez, president and chief executive officer of First Community Bancshares, Inc., who delivered an inspirational keynote address. Four Concord students were awarded the Anne P. Crum Leadership Award from their respective TRIO programs. Amanda Wyatt from Bluewell (Classic Upward Bound), Tasha Allen from Athens (Math/Science Upward Bound), Christie Guthrie from Oak Hill (Student Support Services), and Amanda Woods from Charleston (McNair Scholars) received a $50 scholarship and certificate.

Other students who participated in the conference included Andrea Bell, Kimball; Akeya Carter-Bozman, Beckley; Ruth Clausen, Franklin; Natalie Greene, Beckley; Makiba Hopkins, Northfork; and Megan Sanders, Athens.

The conference concluded on March 5 with a breakfast cosponsored by Southwestern West Virginia Area Health Education Center, featuring a motivational speech by the Honorable Booker T. Stephens, circuit judge for McDowell County. Judge Stephens urged students to study hard and to take advantage of opportunities. Judge Stephens used the biography of world famous Dr. Ben Carson, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, to illustrate how someone can overcome adversity to achieve greatness.

TRIO programs are federally funded with the aim of increasing the college-going rate. In the 1960s, Congress established a series of programs to help low-income and first generation college students enter college, graduate and move on to participate more fully in America's economic and social life. The programs were funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and are referred to as the “TRIO” programs, because initially only three were launched. While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, TRIO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.


PHOTO: Concord University Student Support Services students and staff participated in the fifth annual WVAEOPP/MEAOPP Leadership Conference. Participants included (back row, left to right) Christie Guthrie, Oak Hill; Natalie Greene, Beckley; Akeya Carter-Bozman, Beckley; Terri Philpott, educational counselor; Megan Sanders, Athens; Makeba Sanders, Northfork; (front row, left to right) Ruth Clausen, Franklin; Marjie Flanigan, director; and Andrea Bell, Kimball.

PHOTO: Pictured are Doug Snuffer, research assistant to the McNair Scholars Program and Concord University McNair Scholar Amanda Woods from Charleston. Woods received the Anne P. Crum Leadership Award.

PHOTO: Representing Math and Science Upward Bound are (back row, left to right) Jason Justice from Pikeview; Tasha Allen from Pikeview; Darrick Scott, educational outreach counselor; Michael Bailey from Princeton; Darrell Taylor, director; Ashley Meadows from Pikeview (front row, left to right) John Spangler from James Monroe, Jamice Cooper from Pikeview; Portsha Dowell from Bluefield; Rayla Elston from Bluefield; Krystal Davis from Pikeview; and Bruce Vaughan from James Monroe.

PHOTO: Representing Classic Upward Bound are (back row, left to right) Thomas Bell from Mount View, Havaco; Brandon Smith from PikeView, Athens; Justin Smith from PikeView, Athens; (middle row) Barbara Rush, educational outreach counselor; Amanda Wyatt from Montcalm, Bluewell; and (front) Michael Craighead, educational outreach counselor.

CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Jesse Call, a student majoring in political science and history, contributed to this press release. His hometown is Pocahontas, Va.