Inspiring West Virginians

Dr. Geoffrey Cousins
Jean Snedegar

Since 2010, West Virginia Public Broadcasting has produced a series called Inspiring West Virginians, highlighting 29 leaders in health, business and science. In this week’s episode, we hear three of these stories- a kind of finale- because this is the final year of the Inspiring West Virginians series.

Inspiring West Virginians Ken Allman
Jean Snedegar

In 1995, when the internet was still in its infancy in terms of use in online commerce, 33-year-old Ken Allman started an online business in his one-bedroom apartment in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Allman, a native of Hinton, WV, designed the business as a link between physicians looking for a new position, and hospitals and other facilities looking for medical staff. 

Internet Entrepreneur Helps His Hometown

Dec 21, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, a preview of tonight’s premiere of our radio documentary “Inspiring West Virginians” and in the Eastern Panhandle, reporter Liz McCormick talks with the author of a new book about residents there.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

State Officials and Friends Remember Ken Hechler

Dec 20, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we hear some of the tributes given yesterday during a funeral service for statesman Ken Hechler and we’ll meet another inspiring West Virginian.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Inspiring West Virginian Justin Ellis
Jean Snedegar

One of the fastest growing fields in astrophysics is gravitational waves – what scientists call ripples in the fabric of space-time, first predicted by Albert Einstein in 1915. 

A hundred years later, in September 2015, they were actually detected by ultra-sensitive lasers.

But others are searching for gravitational waves with pulsars - the dead relics of massive stars. Astronomers detect pulsars by the radio pulses they emit at regular intervals.

Enter Justin Ellis, just 30 years old, from a rural area outside of Charles Town in Jefferson County, WV.

Inspiring West Virginian Dan Carder
Jean Snedegar

Remember when Volkswagen got busted last year for cheating on emissions tests? A settlement that could reach $20 billion is still being negotiated.

Well here’s the back-story - how a car-obsessed country boy from West Virginia became one of the world’s great emissions engineers, uncovering one of the biggest scandals in automobile history. 

Forty-six year old Dan Carder of Wood County, WV is a WVU graduate, a mechanical engineer, and runs the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions (known as CAFEE) at West Virginia University.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, reporter Benny Becker with the Ohio Valley Resource reports on one of the Kentucky coal miners who suffers from one of the deadliest forms of black lung disease and we’ll hear the story of Dan Carder, a WVU auto emissions expert and an inspiring West Virginian.  

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

The seventh and final season of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inspiring West Virginians radio series will premiere Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m., with encore broadcasts at 1 p.m. Dec. 30 and Jan. 2.

“It’s been quite a ride,” Producer/Host Jean Snedegar said of the series, which profiles outstanding scientists, engineers and business people from the Mountain State.

Discover our holiday line-up of radio specials. 

Remembering Phyllis Curtin - Opera Singer, West Virginian

Jun 13, 2016

Phyllis Curtin died yesterday at the age of ninety-five. You can't say her death was a surprise, but I'm sad all the same. It's good though, to remember who she was and what she was to American music.

Phyllis Curtin was an operatic and concert soprano. Summers were spent teaching at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony. She held important faculty positions at Yale, and later directed my alma mater, the School for the Arts at Boston University (sadly for me, after my time).

Jean Snedegar

Our newsroom recently teamed up with the producers of Inspiring West Virginians for a special episode of Inside Appalachia. The show features Mountain State natives who are leaders in business or a STEM field. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. 

Jean Snedegar

Keren Brown Wilson of War, WV says it all started with her mom, Jessie.  At just age 55, Jessie had a stoke that confined her to nursing homes for the next decade.

Civil War Era Christmas Celebrated in Harpers Ferry

Dec 24, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet Karen Brown-Wilson, an inspiring West Virginian from McDowell County.  Also, reporter Liz McCormick takes us back to 1864 for a Civil War Christmas in Harpers Ferry. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Jean Snedegar

Rod Van Meter strolls the halls at Duke University in Durham, N.C., knowing his very satisfying year here as a visiting professor on Fellowship is wrapping up.

Soon he’ll be returning to Keio University in Japan, and Shonan Fujisawa campus, about an hour southwest of Tokyo near the coast.

Forty-nine year old Van Meter of Williamson, WV is one of just a few thousand scientists and engineers in the world working on the future of Information Technology – quantum computers and networks. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet Rod Van Meter, an inspiring West Virginian from Mingo County who is on the cutting edge of information technology.  The story on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

West Virginian Empowers Women Around the World

Dec 22, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet another inspiring West Virginian, Marilyn Johnson of Kanawha County.  Also, the popular Christmas song “Frosty the Snowman” was written by another West Virginian.

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Jean Snedegar

She’s so beautiful that after retiring as a global executive for IBM, she was pursued by the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency as a mature model, appearing in numerous ads for national commercials.

But today Marilyn Johnson is one of the most high profile African-American businesswomen in the country.  She’s CEO of one of the most prestigious women’s organizations in the world – the International Women’s Forum headquartered in Washington, DC.

Inspiring West Virginians tells the stories of West Virginians who are exceptional leaders in science and business. We visit them where they are, learn about what they do, hear stories of their childhoods and the influence of a West Virginia upbringing.  Added to that are the perspectives of friends, relatives and colleagues.  

Coming from small towns or modest means, they’ve all overcome hardships and hurdles on their way to the top of their fields.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Clark Davis updates us on the needle exchange program in Huntington.  And we’ll preview the new radio documentary about inspiring West Virginians. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Jean Snedegar

He’s got a beautiful voice. 

In fact, he was once a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus - the house chorus for the Boston Symphony Orchestra – and he currently sings with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. 

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