The Honors College of West Virginia University recognized the 2011 Outstanding Honors student and faculty members during the Nath Lecture presented as part of the WVU David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas on Feb. 1.

WVU Honors scholar Chelsea Richmond, a senior political science and history major; Kenneth Blemings, associate professor of nutritional biochemistry and genetics and developmental biology ; Presha Neidermeyer, associate professor of accounting and Lisa Di Bartolomeo, foreign languages assistant professor, received awards.

Richmond received the Joginder and Charlotte Nath Outstanding Senior Award. She currently serves as a resident assistant for Honors Hall, and is the summer programs coordinator for the Honors College.

As the summer programs coordinator, she helps plan and manage the West Virginia Governor’s School for Math and Science and the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. Richmond is a member of both Sigma Alpha Lambda and Phi Sigma Alpha, and was named an Eberly Scholar in 2009. Recently, she presented at the 2011 National Collegiate Honors Conference, and represented Portugal in the National Model United National Conference in October.

Richmond was nominated based on her academic ability, campus and community involvement, leadership skills, study abroad experiences, conference experiences and high level of engagement.

“I was so excited to hear that I had been named Outstanding Senior. I never expected to win anything like this, and am extremely grateful for the honor,” she said.

Blemings was recognized as the Honors College Outstanding Advisor for 2011. Students who nominated Blemings said that he was a fantastic academic advisor who spends time helping his advisees.

“Dr. Blemings was a great help to me in deciding what classes to take in order to prepare for the MCAT and medical school. He would meet with me several times over the semester to help update my four year plan,” said one student.

Neidermeyer and Di Bartolomeo were recognized as 2011 John R. Williams Outstanding Teachers.

Neidermeyer directs an honors capstone course that teaches students how to use their business skills for service in their community or around the globe. She has led several groups to Africa to work with not-for-profit organizations.

A student who nominated Neidermeyer said, “Dr. Neidermeyer was a phenomenal teacher and was incredibly helpful in laying an excellent base for my future accounting classes. I feel incredibly fortunate and so well prepared because of her.”

Di Bartolomeo instructs many popular honors courses including courses on vampires, science fiction, Russian literature, Russian folklore, Polish cinema and Holocaust literature and film.

“Dr. Di Bartolomeo is the reason I attended WVU. After experiencing her passionate teaching and genuine care for her students as an ACCESS student, I knew WVU was the University for me,” a student wrote.

After the awards were delivered, professors Duncan Lorimer and Maura McLaughlin riveted the audience with jokes, dances and chair-spinning antics to explain complex science in simple metaphor. Lorimer and McLaughlin delivered “Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony” using “music” produced by rapidly spinning pulsars to explain how pulsars can be used in the detection of gravitational waves. The audience laughed and learned at the same time.

The Nath Lecture is sponsored by the Honors College and is funded through an endowment by Drs. Joginder Nath, a WVU genetics professor, and Charlotte Nath, a WVU professor in family medicine. The Nath Lecture Series has been occurring each year since 1994 as the result of a friendship between the Nath family and the Honors College faculty.



CONTACT: Marie E. Leichliter, Honors College