Former professors and alumni are among those named in 2016 class of the West Virginia University Order of Vandalia, which honors tireless supporters of the University.

This year’s group includes:

  • Ronald L. Lewis, former WVU professor emeritus of history and Historian Laureate of West Virginia.
  • Deborah Smyth Green, an educator who has formed a strong relationship between the Chicago area and WVU.

The latest inductees will be honored at a luncheon Saturday at the Erickson Alumni Center.

Deborah Smyth Green
Green has promoted a strong relationship between the Chicago area and WVU for more than 30 years as a leader of the Chicago Metro Alumni Chapter, member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and member of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Visiting Committee. A lifetime member of the Alumni Association, Green spearheaded more than 165 events that connected Chicago alumni with the University and state of West Virginia, with guest speakers ranging from WVU presidents to distinguished alumni. Her tireless and creative efforts to provide relevant programming have benefitted the University through individual member donations as well as important Chicago chapter contributions to WVU.

She has hosted visiting Mountaineers, recruited students to WVU and now serves as the chapter’s president emeritus. She is a lifetime member of the WVU Alumni Association and in 2002 received the John F. Nicholas Jr. Award, which recognizes outstanding service to an alumni chapter.

Green earned a bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in counseling from WVU. She began her career as an educator in her hometown of Morgantown, where she taught West Virginia history to 8th graders. She continued to teach in Colorado, Florida and Naperville, Illinois, where she was a counselor in a large suburban high school for 25 years. Her work with learning disability students led her to be a key witness in the landmark case of Ganden v. NCAA. She also served as the school district’s liaison for armed service representatives, including the academies. She received several commendations from the military.

She led two efforts in support of the U.S.S. West Virginia, including securing artifacts saved by a sailor stationed on the ship prior to the Pearl Harbor attack during World War II. These include 50 photos taken aboard the ship and a 1939 telegram that announced that Great Britain and France were at war with Germany. This collection is now housed at WVU Libraries. She conceived a collaboration between the Chicago chapter and the College of Creative Arts where 24 WVU art students painted their own interpretations of the U.S.S. West Virginia for display at the Erickson Alumni Center.

She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Kappa Kappa Gamma and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago. She has served on Bowling Green State University’s Board of Admissions Advisors. She and her husband established the Garret W. and Deborah Green Fund in Eberly College and are members of the Irvin Stewart Society. They have a son, daughter and five grandchildren. They reside in Sugar Grove, Illinois.

Ronald L. Lewis
Lewis received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in 1966, and a master’s degree and PhD in American history from the University of Akron in 1971 and 1974 respectively. He began his academic career at the University of Delaware from 1974-85, and became professor of history at WVU in 1985 where he remained until he retired in 2008. At WVU, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in West Virginia and Appalachian history, and served as department chair for six years. He was appointed Eberly Family Professor of History in 1993, and Stuart and Joyce Robbins Chair in History in 2001, a position he held until his retirement.

He has published extensively in his field, including 43 scholarly journal articles and book chapters, 80 reviews and essays, and 14 co-edited books. In addition, he has authored six books including “Black Coal Miners in America: Race, Class, and Community Conflict, 1780-1980” (1987), “Transforming the Appalachian Countryside: Railroads, Deforestation, and Social Change in West Virginia, 1880-1920” (1998), “Welsh Americans: A History of Assimilation in the Coalfields” (2008), “Aspiring to Greatness: West Virginia University Since World War II” (WVU Press, 2013), and most recently “The Industrialist and the Mountaineer: The Eastham-Thompson Feud and the Struggle for West Virginia’s Timber Frontier” (WVU Press, 2017).

His research has been widely recognized. At WVU he was the recipient of the Eberly College of Arts and Science Outstanding Research Award (1988), the Claude Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award (1991), and the Regional Research Institute’s William Miernyk Award for Career Scholarly Achievement (1995). In 2000, Gov. Cecil Underwood presented him with the Governor’s Award for West Virginia History and Literature. He was the recipient of two prestigious nationally-competitive awards, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Independent Study for 1980-81, and a Fulbright-Hayes Commission Award for Research and Lecturing, Cardiff University, United Kingdom, for 1999. In 2010 Governor Joe Manchin appointed him Historian Laureate of West Virginia.

He was the founding editor of Journal of Appalachian Studies (1995-97), and editor/associate editor of West Virginia: A Journal of Regional Studies (2006-14). He was very active in the Appalachian Studies Association for many years, and served as its vice president (1993-94) and president (1994-95). A charter member of the North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History, he served as vice president (1997-99), and president (2000-02).

Anne H. Nardi
Nardi is professor emerita of educational psychology in the WVU College of Education and Human Services. She served the University for 43 years. A native of Houston, Texas, and a long-time resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, she received a bachelor’s degree in French from Trinity College, now Trinity University, in Washington, D.C., in 1964, a master’s degree in behavioral disabilities from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966, and a PhD in life-span developmental psychology from WVU in 1971.

Nardi served as chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at WVU from 1985 to 1996. She was associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Human Resources and Education, now the College of Education and Human Services, from 1997 to 2002 and was interim dean and dean of the college from 2002 to 2008. She continued to teach educational psychology until she retired in 2014. Her research interests and publications include the areas of problem solving, problem-based learning, decision-making, adult learners and perceptions of pre-service teachers about effective teaching.

In addition to her role as a long-time faculty member and valued instructor and mentor, Nardi served as the associate director of the Center for Guided Design, as a Fellow in the International Society for Exploring Alternatives to Teaching and Learning, and as a member of the board of directors for ISETL. Within the University, she served on the WVU Faculty Senate, the WVU Senate Curriculum Committee, the College Graduate Faculty Committee and the WVU Assistant and Associate Deans group. At the state level, she was an active member of the West Virginia Teacher Education Advisory Committee.

An early advocate of faculty development, Nardi was actively involved in these efforts at national professional meetings. She was a consultant providing faculty development at other institutions as well as at WVU. During her tenure as dean, Nardi oversaw the approval of the PhD program in education and established the College’s Hall of Fame recognition program. She supported the early development of the Five Year Teacher Education Program where graduates received a bachelor’s in their teaching field and a master’s in education. Her most significant accomplishment as dean was the establishment of financial stability in the college’s budget. Through her efforts a significant financial structural deficit was addressed and eliminated. This provided financial stability and ultimately provided resources and opportunities
for growth in college programs.

Nardi and her husband, the late Gabriel A. Nardi, professor emeritus of special education, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Joginder Nath
Nath is a professor emeritus in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and longtime chair of the genetics and developmental biology program who retired in 2009. Nath attended Panjab University in India, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He left India is in his 20s to earn a doctorate in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the late 1960s, he and two other professors were hired to start a genetics and developmental biology program at WVU.

Nath has won many awards for his research and teaching, including the Hollaender Award from the Environmental Mutagen Society in 1997 for research in genetics and genetic toxicology. He has also been presented with the Outstanding Researcher Award and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Davis College, and the Environmental Mutagen Society Education Award in 2000.

In 2002, his alma mater, Panjab University, presented him with the P.N. Mehra Memorial Award for an outstanding career in human genetics, toxicology and tumor cytogenetics. Nath also received a special WVU Davis College Dean’s Recognition in October 2015 for his service to the college, university and state.

Nath’s generosity is spread throughout the university and Morgantown communities. In 2008, Nath made a significant contribution to the Art Museum of WVU to create the Joginder Nath Sculpture Garden and Courtyard that will feature an outdoor exhibit area. In 2013, Nath provided funding for the construction of the museum.

Nath also serves as member of the WVU Davis College’s and the WVU Eye Institute’s comprehensive campaign committees, assisting with helping to raise funds for “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University” and as a volunteer with the Friends of the Art Museum of WVU. He has also donated to local arts projects and hospitals in the region. Nath has also established the Nath Graduate Student Travel Award, which assists graduate students in the Davis College by providing travel fund assistance to attend conferences, present papers, conduct research or travel to enhance their education.



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