WVU Parkersburg awards Chancellor Skidmore honorary degree at spring commencement

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Parkersburg, W.Va., 5/7/12 – West Virginia University at Parkersburg held its 41st annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. The college awarded 370 degrees to 311 students with 140 participating in the ceremony. The event speaker was WVU Parkersburg alumnus and president of The Arnold Agency’s Washington, D.C. office Michael Fulton.

WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage presided over the ceremony. Along with the presentation of certificates and degrees, other individuals were honored for their service to the college. James Skidmore, chancellor of the Community and Technical College System (CTCS) of West Virginia, was awarded an honorary degree.

Skidmore became the first chancellor of the CTCS in April 2004. Prior to the creation of the CTCS, he served as vice chancellor for community and technical college education with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. With more than 30 years of experience in higher education, chancellor Skidmore has served in positions at what now are known as West Virginia University Institute of Technology, West Virginia State University and the West Virginia Board of Regents.

He has been involved with the state-level administration of community and technical college education in West Virginia since joining the state-level central office staff in January 1986. Skidmore has been involved in the implementation of Senate and House Bills that set a new direction for community and technical college education in the State of West Virginia. In addition to his duties in the central office, he serves on numerous statewide committees and councils dealing with workforce development, economic development, and other issues relating to community college education.

Retired faculty member Robert Cordell received the honorary title of professor emeritus of social sciences to for his 22 years of service. Cordell was recently named a West Virginia History Hero. A retired U.S. Army veteran, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star. In his years at WVU Parkersburg, he taught American history along with geography and sociology.

Faculty member Dr. Phil McClung was awarded the Bernard P. McDonough Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year award. Often called a “champion for students,” McClung teaches courses in psychology, human development, personality theories, industrial psychology, ecological psychology, organizational psychology and psychological assessment.

In 2007 and 2008, he was named a runner-up for the Professor of the Year annual award sponsored by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia. In 2010, he received the Wayne Weiten Teaching Excellence Award, a national honor awarded by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology to the best psychology professor at one of the country’s community colleges. This past year, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education named McClung the 2011 West Virginia Professor of the Year. McClung was selected from nearly 300 top professors in the U.S.

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