West Virginia State University Recognizes Alumnus of the Year, Young Professional Achievement Award Winner

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
Sept. 27, 2019
West Virginia State University Recognizes Alumnus of the Year,
Young Professional Achievement Award Winner
INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) will honor its Alumnus of the Year and Young Professional Achievement Award Winner at an awards dinner and class reunion, Friday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Charleston Marriott Town Center.

Being recognized as the 2019 Alumnus of the Year is Dr. R. Charles Byers, a 1968 graduate of WVSU who is currently serving as the University’s interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Dr. R. Charles Byers
After earning a bachelor’s degree in education from WVSU, Byers earned a master’s in fine arts degree in art education from The Ohio State University, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Kent State University. 

Byers’ career has included three years teaching high school, 22 years of college teaching and 23 years in higher education administration. He has served WVSU as vice president for planning and advancement, Title III director, and executive director for the WVSU Research & Development Corporation. Although he retired as Provost and Vice for Academic Affairs in 2014, he continued to serve WVSU in a variety of roles, authoring “A Place We Love So Dear: A Collection of Campus Drawings,” teaching part time in the Masters of Education in Instructional Leadership program, and consulting with the WVSU Research & Development Corporation. In July 2019, he returned as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Byers is also involved in a number of community and civic groups including board membership of the Central West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Council for Agriculture, Research, and Teaching for the American Public and Land-Grant Universities, The Booker T. Washington Foundation, and he serves as chair of the Board of Trustees at the First Baptist Church of Charleston.  He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished West Virginian Award.    

The 2019 Young Professional Achievement Award Winner is Jamila Price, a 1998 graduate of WVSU.

Ms. Jamila PriceShe currently holds the position of director of digital investment for Starcom USA where she has helped to create and lead all three domestic automotive companies to success through regional and national efforts in media planning/ buying and ad technology. She is a 2007 Ad Color nominee as an Ad industry multicultural Change Agent and serves on the Board of Directors for the Organization of Minority Marketing & Advertising Professionals.

Price is a life member and currently serves as the WVSU National Alumni Association Parliamentarian.  In May 2019, she participated in the Alumni Leadership Summit and WVSU Commencement.  She is a 2018 recipient of the Glover Smiley 110% award. 

She is an active member of the WVSU Detroit Alumni Chapter, where she serves as a program chair having responsibility for community outreach and social events.  Price designed and developed the Detroit Alumni Chapter’s social media page to help promote awareness of WVSU and Detroit Chapter initiatives.
She is a member of Empowerment Church, where she works actively with mission outreach, youth and greeter ministries. 

Price is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  She was initiated into Nu Chapter at WVSU in fall 1994 and currently active with Pi Tau Omega in Southfield, Michigan.

The awards dinner and class reunion are taking place as part of Homecoming activities for WVSU, which run Oct. 3-5. The dinner is open to the public and tickets are $70.

For more information, and a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit https://connect.wvstateu.edu/pages/events/wvsu-homecoming-2019 or call (304) 766-3387.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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