The West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services will honor four outstanding individuals during the 2016 CEHS Hall of Fame at 6 p.m Oct. 20 in the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown.

The purpose of the CEHS Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumnus Award is to recognize and honor alumni and other individuals who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields.

Those selected exemplify outstanding leadership qualities, possess strong community and West Virginia ties and have contributed to the vision and mission of the College of Education and Human Services.

“It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to see yet another outstanding group of individuals inducted into our College of Education and Human Services’ Hall of Fame,” said Gypsy Denzine, Dean of the College. “These individuals have made many important contributions to their communities and society, in both their professional careers and personal endeavors. It is gratifying to see such a diverse and loyal group of alumni receive recognition for their many accomplishments and successful careers. We are so honored to have such esteemed professionals as alumni of our College. Our Hall of Fame recipients have positively impacted the lives of children, adolescents, families, and communities.”

For 2016, the selection committee has chosen to induct:

Dr. Richard Cavasina
Dr. Richard G. Cavasina joined the Department of Psychology at California University of Pennsylvania in 1988, after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Duquesne University and an Ed.D. in counseling practice from WVU. During his 28-year career at Cal U, Cavasina served in many roles, including tenured professor of psychology, director of the school psychology program, interim associate director of the University’s Advising, Placement, and Testing Center, and interim chair of the Counseling Education department.

In 2005, Cavasina received one of Cal U’s most prestigious awards, the Presidential Faculty Award for Research, which was presented at the President’s Gala. He also reported on his research at the Oxford Roundtable at St. Anthony’s College in the University of Oxford, England. Cavasina was the recipient of the Deahl Honors Society Award for distinguished alumni at WVU in 2015.

Cavasina has been heavily involved in his community as the director of a mental health center. He also served as the school psychologist for the Hardy County school system for 10 years.

Dr. Catherine Perry Cotten: Distinguished Alumni
Dr. Catherine Perry Cotten has served in public and private education for 40 years. She has held teaching and administrative positions at the elementary, secondary, and university level. Cotten received one of nation’s first National Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching and was recognized at the White House by the President of the United States. In addition, she was selected for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Institute for Mathematics Teachers and joined other colleagues on the Princeton University campus to further her knowledge in the areas of mathematical modeling.

During her tenure in secondary schools, two-year colleges and universities, Cotten was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in state, federal, and private funds that helped support curriculum development, teacher education activities, and technology innovation. This includes awards from the National Science Foundation that established a multi-state consortium of post-secondary institutions that initiated two-year and four-year degrees in software engineering technologies. The American Association of Community Colleges, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Department of Commerce recognized these projects as exemplary.

She received her B.A. in Mathematics, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from WVU and earned her Ph.D. from The University of Southern Mississippi in Science Education with major areas in mathematics and educational research. She has taken additional graduate coursework in the computer science areas of robotics and artificial intelligence. She is married to Donald R. Cotten who is also a CEHS graduate.

Dr. Patricia Love
Dr. Patricia Love’s work has been featured on TV, and has included repeat appearances on Oprah, CNN, and The Today Show. She has also been featured on a number of websites, and in a number of popular magazines. She is a distinguished professor, licensed marriage and family therapist and a long-time clinical member and approved supervisor in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Her ever-popular books Hot Monogamy and How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It have taken her around the world to help people understand and improve their relationships. Her teaching is known for its humor, warmth, research-base and practicality. This fall, she is back in Morgantown serving as a visiting professor in the CEHS Counseling Department.

Dr. Patricia Obenauf
Dr. Patricia Obenauf attended Alverno College and Marquette University. After completing her degree, she began her professional career by teaching elementary and secondary math and science in schools in the Midwest and throughout the Mississippi Delta. After obtaining her Ph.D in science education and curriculum and instruction from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1973, she began her higher education career at WVU.

Obenauf began her tenure at the College of Education and Human Services in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies. She served as a professor, administrator, researcher, advisor and scholar for more than 40 years. She has chaired nearly 80 doctoral student committees and written several grants, including the West Virginia Department of Education Coordinated and Thematic Science (CATS) grant for $1.2 million and the National Science Foundation NRAO Green Bank Radio Astronomy Research Experiences for Coordinated and Thematic Science for $4 million.

She has conducted workshops for teachers, developed the Block Program and helped to develop the West Virginia goals for science education in elementary, middle and high schools. She was also instrumental in the development of the Five-Year Teacher Education program.

Obenauf is most known for her open and honest approach to students. She has always shown a genuine interest in her students’ hopes, dreams and ambitions and has been known to go above and beyond to inspire, mentor and assist aspiring teachers with embracing their full potential.

Full bios for each of the 2016 CEHS Hall of Fame inductees can be found at

This year’s selection committee consists of a group of CEHS faculty, students, alumni and alumni friends, including Jessica Troilo, an assistant professor in child development and family studies, Mary Kay Bond, a member of the CEHS visiting committee, Carol Muniz, the President of the CEHS alumni board, Isabella Alexandratos, a CEHS graduate student, and Tom Lombardi, a CEHS professor emeritus.

Nominations for the 2017 CEHS Hall of Fame are now being accepted. To nominate someone, follow the list of nomination guidelines at

Go to the CEHS Hall of Fame website at to view the list of past inductees.



Check daily for the latest news from the University.
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.