Dr. Erica Harvey named finalist for WV Professor of the Year

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Dr. Erica Harvey, a professor of chemistry at Fairmont State University, has been named one of five finalists for the Faculty Merit Foundation’s annual Professor of the Year award. Harvey was nominated by Academic Affairs for her work in and outside of the classroom. 

“I feel honored to be the nominee from Fairmont State this year, because I’m a representative for so many caring, innovative, and overall excellent faculty members here,” she said. “During the interview with the Faculty Merit Foundation Board of Directors in January, I enjoyed the chance to answer thought-provoking questions, and share some of the cool ways we are working to foster student success at Fairmont State and all across West Virginia.”

She joined the Fairmont State faculty in 1994 as an associate professor of chemistry and in 2002 was named full professor. From 2005-2007 she served as the interim chair of the department of biology, chemistry and geoscience and director of strategic planning and assessment from 2007-2010. 

“Fairmont State students are the best! I love getting to work with smart, creative, dedicated people on initiatives and learning that matter far beyond a given assignment or exam,” she said. “I love the small size and personal attention here – students come here because they want to be known as people, and our learning structures tend to encourage those kinds of personal relationships.”

Dr. Richard Harvey, provost, said her dedication to teaching and desire to develop personal relationships with her students make her an excellent candidate. 

“She is driven by the goal of helping her students and making Fairmont State University a better institution for everyone – students, faculty and staff,” he said. “Dr. Harvey has always impressed me with her vision, drive, enthusiasm, energy, compassion, and approach to teamwork and collaboration.” 

Erica Harvey received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology. On April 25, 2018 Harvey was awarded the 2018 Abelina Suarez Professorship. The endowed professorship is awarded every five years and is intended to recognize extended and continued excellence by a member of the University faculty. 

The Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia recognizes an outstanding faculty member at a West Virginia college or university every year. The finalists will be honored at banquet in Charleston on April 9, at which time the Professor of the Year will be announced. The Professor of the Year will receive a $10,000 cash award and a special handmade glass trophy from Blenko Glass Co., with smaller awards going to the other finalists.

The Faculty Merit Foundation was created in 1984 to provide a means to recognize and reward innovation and creativity among the faculties of West Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities.