Jean Snedegar

Independent Producer based in Elkins, West Virginia

Jean Snedegar got her start in radio at age 13.  As an 8th grader she helped produce school programs for WDNE in Elkins, but didn’t start her professional career in radio until she was nearly 30 and living in England.

For more than 20 years she worked as a freelance reporter on BBC Radio’s national speech network – Radio 4, and their international radio network, the BBC World Service – at the time one of the few North American voices on the BBC. 

But after more than 25 years in London, she started to hanker for the mountains of West Virginia.  In 2002 she returned to her home state.  Though she sometimes misses the excitement of walking into Broadcasting House in London, she is grateful every day when she looks out her office window overlooking Elkins.

Since 2010 Jean has been producing Inspiring West Virginians, profiles of West Virginians who are global leaders in the sciences and in business.

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Inspiring West Virginians
3:01 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Ex-Marine Now On A Very Different Mission

Preston County native Jake Harriman heads an organization attempting to eradicate poverty.
Credit Jean Snedegar

Jake Harriman is a Preston County farm boy who grew up to become a leader in the fight against one of the world’s biggest problems:  extreme poverty. 

Harriman is one of three leaders in science and business profiled in the upcoming documentary Inspiring West Virginians, airing Dec. 29 at 8 PM on West Virginia Public Radio.

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An Inspiring West Virginian
2:51 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

She Has One Million Patients

Bluefield native Patrice Harris, MD, is one of the nation’s leading psychiatrists and an inspiring West Virginian.
Credit Jean Snedegar

Patrice Harris, MD, a native of Bluefield, WV,  is one of the nation’s leading psychiatrists.

Harris and 3 other leaders in science and business will be featured in the broadcast of Inspiring West Virginians, airing Dec. 29 at 8 PM on West Virginian Public Radio.

Harris is currently the District Health Director for Fulton County, Georgia, which includes the city of Atlanta, and is responsible for more than a million patients.

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An Inspiring West Virginian
12:16 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Moundsville Native Is A Pioneering Astrobiophysicist

Pioneering scientist Adrian Melott says his curiosity stems from the chemistry lab he was allowed as a child in his Moundsville, WV home.
Credit Jean Snedegar

During his distinguished career, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Adrian Melott has been a pioneer in two completely different fields of space science – and he credits his focus and curiosity in large part to his grandfather who read a lot about science, and his father, a machinist who allowed him “free reign” in a chemistry lab in the family basement.

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An Inspiring West Virginian
4:09 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

Clinical Pharmacologist Left Duke to Conduct World-Class Research at WVU

Clinical Pharmacologist Bill Petros of Wheeling left Duke University and its leading cancer center to return to WV to continue his work.

Not many pharmacists do cutting edge research in developing new drugs, and how drugs affect different patients differently.

But 53-year-old clinical pharmacologist Bill Petros of Wheeling, WV studies how cancer drugs react differently from one patient to the next.

For more than a decade Bill Petros led his own research lab at Duke University Cancer Center, one of the top cancer research centers in the United States. 

Then he got a call from West Virginia University, and was thrilled to return home.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
11:23 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The Ice Hunters

Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie Thompson
Credit Ellen Mosley-Thompson

Follow two of the world's leading paleoclimatologists to the top of the world and both poles!

Using ice cores they drill themselves, Marshall graduates Lonnie Thompson, from Gassaway, and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, from Charleston, study the history of climate at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University.  Lonnie was the first scientist in the world to drill ice cores on glaciers in tropical regions.  And he has spent more time above 20,000 feet than anyone in history.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
11:12 am
Fri May 2, 2014

In Search of Meaningful Work

Caroline and Holmes Morton
Credit Jean Snedegar

Travel to Amish country to hear about one of the most unusual medical clinics in the United States -- the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, founded by Dr. D. Holmes Morton, of Fayetteville, and his wife, Caroline, from Beckley.  Here doctors and scientists diagnose and treat rare genetic disorders in children from Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
10:45 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Sylvia Mathews Burwell – HHS Secretary

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Credit Jean Snedegar

Meet Hinton-native Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services in Washington.  Previously she was the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Burwell is the past President of Global Development at the Bill & Linda Gates Foundation in Seattle, the world's largest charitable organization. At the Foundation Mathews Burwell was responsible for giving away $750 billion a year to help some of the world's poorest people have access to better agricultural techniques, financial services and clean water and sanitation.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
10:08 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Brad Smith – Using a Moral Compass

Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit
Credit Brad Smith

Hear why co-workers of Brad Smith, President & CEO of the global financial software giant, Intuit, say he's the best ambassador West Virginia could ever have.

With Marshall memorabilia in abundance in his office, this Wayne County native boldly declares that everyone in the company knows about his alma mater, Marshall University, and his hometown, Kenova, West Virginia.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 2
1:07 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

John Ochsendorf – The Accidental Professor

M.I.T. professor John Ochsendorf
Credit Jean Snedegar

Elkins-native John Ochsendorf, 36, is a professor of structural engineering and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  At 26 – eight years after he graduated from Elkins High School – he became one of the youngest professors ever appointed at the world’s top technical university.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 2
11:57 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Geoffrey Cousins – Heart Pioneer

Dr. Geoffrey Cousins
Credit Jean Snedegar

Dr. Geoffrey Cousins, 42, is one of West Virginia’s most innovative heart surgeons and a pioneer of robotic-assisted heart surgery in the United States.  He lives with his wife and four children in Charleston and practices cardio-thoracic surgery at the Charleston Area Medical Center. 

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 2
12:31 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Verna Gibson – She Broke the Glass Ceiling

Verna Gibson, first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company
Credit Jean Snedegar

Verna LeMasters Gibson, a native of Elkview in Kanawha County, broke the ultimate corporate “glass ceiling” in 1985 when she became the first woman CEO to earn the top spot at a Fortune 500 company, The Limited Stores.  She ran The Limited for six years and during that time it became the nation’s first billion dollar specialty retailing chain. 

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 2
12:22 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Mark Williams – “Mr. Fuel Cell”

Mark Williams
Credit Jean Snedegar

Randolph County native Mark Williams is a visionary engineer and scientist who was the first person to see the commercial potential of fuel cells to run everything from heart pacemakers to power plants. 

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 3
2:15 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Judy Sheppard – Businesswoman and Entrepreneur

Judy Sheppard, a dynamic West Virginia entrepreneur
Credit Jean Snedegar

  Judy Sheppard is currently West Virginia’s most honored businesswoman and entrepreneur.  In 2011 she was named the state’s Small Business Person of the Year as well as Distinguished West Virginian of the Year.  Sheppard is founder, president and CEO of Professional Services of America, Inc, a multi-million dollar business based in Parkersburg.   With more than 200 employees, PSA, as it’s known, provides services for some of America’s largest corporations – DuPont, GE, Pepsico, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mylan Pharmaceuticals and others – as well as 32 government agencies.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 3
1:15 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Lew Cantley – Harvard Biochemist and Cell Biologist

Dr. Lewis Cantley opened up entirely new fields in cell biology and cancer treatment.
Credit Jean Snedegar

Back in 1985 Dr. Lewis Cantley, a native of Big Chimney in Kanawha County, discovered an enzyme called PI3-Kinase.  At the time his scientific colleagues thought he couldn’t be right.  How could a chemist discover something so fundamental to biology?

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 3
12:50 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Kim Weaver – Astrophysicist and Pioneer in X-ray Astronomy

Kim Weaver - Global Pioneer in X-ray Astronomy
Credit Jean Snedegar

When Kim Weaver looked up at the stars from her father’s campground in Monongalia County, she was inspired to find out what was out there.  By her early 20s, this WVU graduate had already discovered a galaxy.  She was also among the first scientists in the world to study Black Holes, using an X-ray telescope built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.  Her discoveries helped to launch whole new fields of astronomy.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 3
12:15 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Homer Hickam – “Rocket Boy”

Homer Hickam - Rocket Boy, NASA aerospace engineer, writer
Credit Jean Snedegar

McDowell County native Homer Hickam, Jr. is best known for his book Rocket Boys, the story of how six teenagers in a 1950s West Virginia coal company town went on to win the National Science Fair in 1960.   One night in October 1957, Hickam’s life changed forever when the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1 – the world’s first artificial earth satellite – flew over his hometown of Coalwood.

“I knew at that moment that somehow, some way, I wanted to be involved in this movement into space.”

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 4
3:50 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Inspiring West Virginians: Season 4 featuring John Nash

John Forbes Nash, Jr, a 1994 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Nash grew up in Bluefield, West Virginia

The fourth series of Inspiring West Virginians  features one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century, John Forbes Nash, Jr, a 1994 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Nash grew up in Bluefield, West Virginia, and the town still holds an importance for him. Now 84, John Nash is currently a Senior Research Mathematician at Princeton University in New Jersey. 

 

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 4
4:39 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Beckley Native a Bio Engineer and Inspiring West Virginian

Beckley native Linda Powers in her bio-engineering lab.
Credit Jean Snedegar

Bio-safety-level-2 laboratories in the Bio5 Building at the University of Arizona Medical School is where Linda Powers has designed and built several impressive and important scientific instruments.

“Here we handle microbes that can make you sick, but generally not kill you,” said Powers on a recent tour.

But the 64-year-old Beckley native, now the Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Professor of Bio-Engineering at the University of Arizona, does handle microbes that can kill you.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 4
11:09 am
Wed September 25, 2013

He’s Keeping the Wild in West Virginia

Rodney Bartgis, West Virginia Nature Conservancy
Credit Jean Snedegar

Fifty-four-year-old Rodney Bartgis, state director of the West Virginia Nature Conservancy, stood atop Cave Mountain in Pendleton County, an elevation of 2,777 feet.

“It almost looks like the Rocky Mountains,” said Bartgis. “This is the biggest uplift of limestone in the eastern mountains of the United States, and a lot of the rare plants and animals in this canyon are associated with this limestone,” he said. 

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 4
1:19 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

She’s Small Business Person of the Year – and an Inspiring West Virginian

Diane Lewis
Credit Jean Snedegar

Action Facilities Management – or AFM – overlooks I-79 near Morgantown and employs more than 300 people in nine states. 

“In Fairmont we work for the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation and we do the security, maintenance and janitorial for all these facilities here,” said founder, president and CEO Diane Lewis. “It’s one of our commercial clients.”   

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