Thursday, July 29, 2010

Already a Mountaineer

On my second week of my new job I am quickly becoming a true Mountaineer. Last week I toured the football facilities, met a few football players and got my picture made on the flying WV. This week has been no different in my orientation to all things WVU. On Tuesday I met the actual Mountaineer (sorry no pics of that) and yesterday I met Coach Stewart. (For all my ACC fans, Coach Stewart is the head football coach here at WVU.)

Maybe next week I will meet Coach Huggins!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Job Update

As I begin the second week of my new job I am still learning what my title actually means. For some, I am the HSTA (Health Sciences Technology Academy) Program Coordinator, for others I am the Curriculum and Education Program Associate. I think these two title mean the same thing, but what do I actually do? Let me see if I can explain this amazing program and my role in it.

HSTA was developed in 1994 to provide math and science support and enrichment to minority and underrepresented students from West Virgina's rural communities. The goals of the program included shepherding these students through precollege, college and graduate training in health professions and programs and encouraging these students to return to practice their careers in an underserved area of West Virginia. Through school year club programs and summer campus programs at WVU, Marshall University, and West Virginia State all of the HSTA students are exposed to intensive academic enrichment emphasizing science and math for each grade from 9th through 12th as well as laboratory experiences where students work with scientists/clinical practitioners. Our ninth grade students participate in a Fun with Science camp, our tenth grade students participate in a Forensics science camp, and our eleventh grade students are involved with a Biomedical component.

Since the inception of this program the focus has been on relevant issues of WV Health. Currently the focus of our program is the obesity and Type II Diabetes epidemic in WV. Much attention has been drawn to the fact that WV ranks number one in the nation for percentage of the population that is obese and  the  prevalence of Type II Diabetes. HSTA students in our Biomed program (11th grade) are currently invovled in a Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) project in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh.  One of the goals of this project is to guide students and teachers in research projects involving life-style interventions in communities where they transmit their knowledge and understanding of research and clinical trials to their parents and community members in order to address critical barriers to progress in healthy lifestyles.

So, what does all that mean to me, and what do I do? In a very simplified answer:  I support the teachers in the clubs accross the state with their research projects related to our Diabetes Education project. I organize the summer Biomed component of this research project., and I act as a research associate on the diabetes research project. It all still seems a little fuzzy to me,  but I am learning everyday and LOVING every minute of it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Go Mountaineers!

I had my first experience with WVU Football today as I got to tour the facility as well as the Hall of Traditions. I must admit, I had goose bumps!! As a Clemson fan and graduate, I am well aware of the excitement and traditions of college football. WVU football has its own brand of excitement and traditions that I am so excited to be a part of.

My blood still runs orange and I will always be a Tiger at heart, but it won't hurt for me to get swept up in the Mountaineer fever and try out the Gold and Blue for a little while.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dorm Life

This morning begins my adventure in dorm life at WVU. I am living on the second floor of Lincoln Hall in a suite. While this room is MUCH nicer than my previous dorm experiences at Clemson, and probably nicer than some hotel rooms, it is still a temporary living space.

Not so bad. Of course I had to bring a few comforts to make it actually feel like a home for the next two weeks.

Monday, July 12, 2010


The time has come for me to say goodbye to my Carolina home and I am at a loss for words. I knew that this would not be easy, but it has been so long in the making that I really thought it would never happen. I leave tomorrow to begin my West Virginia adventure. Although I will be without DH and without a permanent home (I will be calling a dorm my home for 2 weeks), we are hopeful that this is only a temporary and minor speed bump on this crazy ride.

Words cannot describe the emotions that fill me tonight as I prepare to leave in the morning. South Carolina has been my home, my refuge, and my perfect Southern state. Not to mention the place I met my husband, married him and eventually settled into our first home. It is because of all those reasons and so many more that this move is particularly difficult.

So, farewell to my Carolina. And farewell to all the wonderful friends I have met while I have been here. You have held me up in some of the most trying days of my adult life. Without your friendship and support I could have never made it to this point.

As I left my sweetest neighbors tonight Miss Kat sang me this song:

Tho' goodbye means the birth of a tear drop, 

Hello means the birth of a smile. 
And the smile will erase the tear blighting trace, 
When we meet in the after awhile.
Ev'ry tear will be a memory 
So wait and pray each night for me 
Till we meet again.

Though this song was originally intended for lovers facing separation due to the first World War, the meaning still rings true... We will meet again and this is definitely not goodbye. My WV porch will always be waiting for your company at the close of the day.