Six Alumni Award Winners Honored

As part of Homecoming 2016 six exceptional alumni were honored at the annual Alumni Awards Brunch on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Sponsored by Thrasher Group Inc., the Alumni Awards Brunch, was held in the Falcon Center third floor conference rooms.

“Each year the Fairmont State Alumni Association receives countless nominations for their Homecoming awards. This year we are proud to present awards to six remarkable alumni,” said Meagan Gibson, Interim Alumni Director.


Outstanding Alumna—Nancy J. Hoffman, Class of 1976

Nancy J. Hoffman of Fairmont graduated from Fairmont State in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Marshall University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Certified Social Worker.

Since 1983, she has served as State Coordinator of the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information Services. From 1983 to 2007, she was an adjunct faculty member in the FSU Department of Social Sciences. From 1980 to 2007, she was Executive Director and Director of Development for the Task Force on Domestic Violence, HOPE, Inc. in Fairmont.

During her career, she has served on a variety of national committees, including: the National Sexual Violence Resource Center Advisory Council; National Rape Prevention Education Strategic Planning Work Group, Centers for Disease Control; NSVRC National Rural Workgroup; Advisory Group to the “Enhancing Law Enforcement’s Response to Victims” project, International Association of Chiefs of Police; Rural Advisory Committee, End Violence Against Women International; and was part of a 15-member delegation from the United States to South Africa through the People to People Ambassador Program on violence against women.

She has served on the following state committees and task forces: W.Va. Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Commission; W.Va.  Governor’s Task Force on Sex Offender Management; W.Va.  Dept. of Health & Human Resources Injury Prevention; W.Va.  Division of Justice and Community Services – STOP Violence Against Women; W.Va.  Developmental Disabilities Council – sexual abuse; W.Va.  Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction; W.Va. Intercollegiate Council Against Sexual Violence; and the W.Va. SANE Advisory Board.

Hoffman has authored several newsletter articles for different publications, including The Resource, the newsletter of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center; Reshape, the newsletter of the National Sexual Assault Coalition Resource Sharing Project; and the W.Va. State Health Education Council. She also assisted in the development of the W.Va. Protocol for Responding to Victims of Sexual Assault and numerous resource materials. Hoffman has made many presentations on her work at a state and national level.             


Outstanding Alumnus—Dr. Stephen L. Lipscomb, Class of 1965

Dr. Stephen L. Lipscomb, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., earned a B.A. in Education from Fairmont State College in 1965. During his time here, he was a four-year letterman in football for the Fighting Falcons, 1962 leading scorer and 1964 All Conference (first team). In 2007, he was named a Letter Winner of Distinction by the Fairmont State Athletic Association. In 2014, Lipscomb and three other football alumni presented a statue of legendary football coach Deacon Duvall to the University to honor the accomplishments of their former coach and mentor.

Lipscomb went on to have a distinguished career in both theoretical and applied mathematics. He received an M.A. in Mathematics from WVU in 1967 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics (Topology) from the University of Virginia in 1973. He retired in June 2003 after teaching one year of high school, 20 years of full-time undergraduate courses and 16 years of half-time graduate courses. Lipscomb taught mostly topology, algebra, analysis, discrete mathematics and statistics. He learned applied mathematics at the Naval Surface Warfare Center from 1967-1983. For example, in 1982 Admiral Clark assigned him to chair a Tiger Team that included the Applied Physics Lab, VITRO, Lockheed Missiles and Space, and McDonnell Douglas. The goal, test the TOMOHAWK missile Track Control Group software.

He recently presented a generous donation to the Fairmont State Foundation to endow the LaRue Mathematics Award as a permanent remembrance of the dedication of Dr. James A LaRue, his former teacher, to his students and the Fairmont State Mathematics program.

Lipscomb was a six-time Fellow in the Navy-American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Faculty Research Program; served nine years as Department Chair, Departments of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Mary Washington (UMW); was UMW Eminent Scholar in Mathematics; an Associate Professor of Mathematics at UMW; an adjunct professor of mathematics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University; and senior mathematician at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Dahlgren, Va. He received 14 UMW Faculty Research Grants, 16 NSWC contracts and six Navy/ASEE senior fellow grants.

Lipscomb authored a number of academic publications and presentations, as well as the following books: “Incipit, Art Meets Mathematics in the Fourth Dimension,” “Fractals and Universal Spaces in Dimension Theory Series: Springer Monographs in Mathematics,” “Symmetric Inverse Semigroups (Mathematical Surveys and Monographs, No. 46)” and “My Best Friend Harley.” He was editor of “Duvall Football: Winning a National Championship by Deacon Duvall.”

Within mathematics Lipscomb is perhaps best known for introducing two new concepts, namely,  “Lipscomb’s Space,” a  space he used to solve a half-century old problem in dimension theory, and “Lipscomb’s Path Notation” in semi-group theory. One of his Springer books is based on his space, and his American Mathematical Society book is based on his path notation.  Circa 2005, Lipscomb obtained a U.S. Patent on “4-web structures” and then designed the medical “Lipscomb spine cage,” currently produced by 4web medical.


Alumna of Achievement—Dr. Beverly (Fulayter) Baird Boothe, Class of 1966

Dr. Beverly Baird Boothe, a life-long educator, working at all levels of education from elementary through college, graduated from Fairmont State University (College) in 1966. She often reflects upon her West Virginian roots for her success. From Barrackville High School with Principal Larney Gump taking time in teaching her class the advanced points of English to her college studies under Fairmont State’s Margaret Copeland, she marvels at the inspiration each gave her in wanting to teach English. When she met Fairmont State’s Suzanne Thralls and Jo Ann Lough, she knew Speech (Debate) and Drama had to enter her career path. Boothe’s first year of teaching began at Fairmont Senior High School where she taught English, Speech, Debate and Drama. She smiles when she thinks of “The Diary of Anne Frank,” the play she first directed with her group of talented students.

When she moved to Florida, Boothe continued her advanced studies at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., where she obtained her master’s degree, specialist’s degree and doctorate. Rounding out her teaching experiences, she soon became an administrator serving as a high school dean, assistant principal and principal. Before long, she moved from principal at Hollywood Hills High School to accept a position at J.P. Taravella High in Coral Springs, Fla., (a suburban area near Fort Lauderdale), to become its first and founding principal. Taravella became a National School of Excellence. Boothe’s college work at Seminole State College brought numerous awards including Florida’s Outstanding Curriculum Award, Disney’s Doers and Dreamers Award and a National Leadership Award in community colleges.

Currently, Boothe’s work is as a Florida Supreme Court Mediator certified in County, Family, Circuit, Civil and Appellate Court mediation. She continues her love for the “spoken” word and the arts. She is a Charter Board Member of the Helen Stairs Theatre (Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center) in Sanford, Fla.,where she resides. She’s the author of “Jacob’s Tears,” a fictional novel based on her mountain experiences.


Alumnus of Achievement—Robert Tinnell, Class of 1983

Robert Tinnell graduated from Fairmont State in 1983 with an A.A. in Liberal Arts and went on to earn a B.A. in Film from Columbia College in Los Angeles.

Tinnell is a writer/director/producer with experience in a variety of media. Tinnell’s initial claim to fame was as producer on the notorious cult classic “SURF NAZIS MUST DIE” and as a producer of music videos, including the class MTV Award-winner, “STRAIGHT UP” by Paula Abdul.

As time passed, he became better known for his work as a director and screenwriter on feature films including “KIDS OF THE ROUND TABLE,” “FRANKENSTEIN AND ME” and “BELIEVE,” as well as the writer of upcoming productions of “SACRIFICE,” for Cross Creek Pictures and “SIGHT UNSEEN” for Cartel Entertainment.

Tinnell has been equally successful creating commercial and image campaigns for a variety of clients (among them Florida Gulf Coast University, Kawasaki, Clearasil, Fairmont Federal Credit Union, Hardwood Alliance Zone, Total Gym), garnering both awards and critical acclaim, including work that was featured on the cover of Adweek. He is particularly proud of his current work on behalf of West Virginia Tourism’s REAL campaign. His West Virginia-based production company, Allegheny Image Factory, produces or offers production services for a variety of commercials, image films, music videos, documentaries, television shows and feature films, among them “THE HUNTED,” “CHILD OF GOD,” “FLY ROD CHRONICLES” and the West Virginia-centered Civil War web-series “1863.” Through AIF, Tinnell has also been creating new approaches to workforce training and culture modification, through dramatically engaging short films for clients such as Arjo Hunteigh and the West Virginia Hospital Association.

Outside of the film industry, Tinnell is a well-respected graphic novelist, known for such works as “THE BLACK FOREST,” “THE WICKED WEST,” “SIGHT UNSEEN,” “FLESH AND BLOOD” and the Eisner Award-nominated “FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES.” He is currently in post-production on a feature-length documentary on kids and horror movies called “THAT $#!+ WILL ROT YOUR BRAIN” featuring Joe Dante, Zacherle and Billy Bob Thornton among a host of others.

During his time at Fairmont State, he served as treasurer for Student Government and as the student representative to the Board of Advisors and was an active member in Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Tinnell is married to FSU graduate Shannon Colaianni with whom he has two children, Isabella and Jack.


Outstanding Young Alumna—Dr. Angela Rehbein, Class of 2002 and 2003

Dr. Angela Rehbein was born in 1979 in Beckley to Ed and Phyllis Rehbein. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1997 and began attending Fairmont State in the fall of that year as a K-12 Art Education major, adding a second major in English several years later. While at Fairmont State, Rehbein served as managing editor of Whetstone, the student-run art and literary journal. She also played the trumpet in the Fairmont State and Community Symphony Orchestra and the student brass quintet, performed in a number of theatrical productions and was a state finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2002 and a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 2003, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in English from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in 2005. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2011, where she was the recipient of the Mary Jo Purcell Fellowship in 18th-Century Studies. Upon completion of her doctoral studies, Rehbein accepted a position as Assistant Professor of English in the Department of Humanities at West Liberty University in West Liberty.

Since beginning her career at West Liberty, Rehbein has been the recipient of several nationally-competitive research fellowships: from the National Humanities Center in 2012 and the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2013. Her research focuses on British women writers of the Romantic period (ca. 1780-1830), particularly those who are lesser-known to modern readers despite success in their own time. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals such as 18th-Century Fiction and Women’s Writing, and has co-edited a special issue of Women’s Writing focused on “Reassessing British Women Writers of the Romantic Period.”

Recently, she was promoted to Associate Professor of English and nominated by her peers for the University’s Excellence in Professional Activity Award. She is currently co-editing a collection of essays for Liverpool University Press on the theme of women’s literary networks of the Romantic period.

In 2010, while living in Missouri as a graduate student, she began playing women’s flat track roller derby. She continues to play the sport and is currently co-captain of the Ohio Valley Roller Girls, a non-profit women’s athletic organization. OVRG routinely raises money for charitable organizations in the Ohio Valley while also promoting health and wellness in the community. In addition to playing roller derby, Rehbein is an avid runner who has completed numerous half marathons and two full marathons. In August 2013 she married Ryan McCullough, Assistant Professor of Communication at West Liberty University. They reside in Wheeling with their three cats: Dusty, Sidney Pawsby and Lucky.


Outstanding Young Alumnus—Andrew Fischer, Class of 2003

Andrew Fischer graduated from Fairmont State in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education with a concentration in Health and Wellness. While at Fairmont State, he was a member of the Fighting Falcons golf team. Fischer maintained high marks while participating in athletics.

After graduating, Fischer started his own golf fitness company “FishFit” and aggressively pursued working for top-ranked golfers on the PGA Tour. Fischer was able to assist Bubba Watson in nine PGA Tour wins worldwide and two major championship victories in a five-year span.

In early 2014 Fischer switched gears and started a mobile application company named RoyalRep. That company has since changed its focus to online educational classes and has been rebranded as FishFit Media. FishFit Media is a subscription-based media company that offers social media brand monetization strategies through a subscription-based content platform.

Fischer still visits the FSU campus once a year and still owns property less than a mile away from the main campus.

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