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Academic Media Day is an opportunity for reporters and editors to connect with West Virginia University's top — and most topical — researchers. Hear about their work and why it matters, and come away with stories, ideas and contacts for the future.

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Audra Slocum

Audra Slocum studies adolescent cultural identity and literacy practices with particular experience in marginalized communities, including Appalachian communities. She also helps lead that National Writing Project at WVU, a partnership between the University and public schools in the state to support teachers and administrators to promote writing and classroom research, including the use of technology.

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Hota GangaRao

Hota GangaRao studies the design, development, production and implementation of fiber-reinforced polymer composites including recycled polymers for constructed facilities with emphasis on high structures, utility poles and underground structures. He also leads the Constructed Facilities Center, which fosters and conducts research and development activities in areas that can help reduce or remedy deterioration of our nation's facilities. The center is unique for its ability to convert existing technology into technologies that have an immediate impact on the nation's constructed facilities.

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Kirk Hazen

Kirk Hazen studies language variation in American English, primarily writing about Southern varieties and English in Appalachia. He promotes sociolinguistic goals by presenting dialect diversity programs to numerous communities, including future health professionals, social workers, and service organizations. He also leads the WV Dialect Project, which is dedicated to teaching and learning about language variation in Appalachia.

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Patrick Ma

Patrick Ma, M.D., M.Sc., is a clinician-scientist who specializes in thoracic malignancies including lung cancer, mesothelioma and neuroendocrine tumors and cancer genomics. He also helps lead the Allen Lung Cancer Research Center, cultivating and developing highly collaborative, multidisciplinary, integrative, clinical and translational lung cancer research that is science-driven, genomics-guided and patient-centered.

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Stephany Coffman-Wolph

Stephany Coffman-Wolph studies artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic, game theory and software engineering. She is also the advisor and one of the founding faculty members of the Association for Women Engineers, Scientists or Mathematicians Empowerment, or AWESOME. The organization brings together female students and faculty from a variety of STEM fields for mentoring, networking, outreach, and professional development.

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Walter DeKeseredy

Walter DeKeseredy specializes in issues surrounding violence against women and other social problems. He also leads West Virginia University’s Research Center on Violence, which is dedicated to conducting research and informing policy regarding the world's most compelling social problems, including sexual assault, physical violence against women, and homicide.

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