WVCIA Higher Education Summit | Summit Agenda | Speaker Bios
Amelia Arria, PhD
Director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development – University of Maryland School of Public Health
Amelia M. Arria, Ph.D. is a Professor and the Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Her research focuses on understanding the origins of risk behaviors and how to promote resilience among adolescents and young adults. Her most recent work has clarified how substance use, particularly excessive drinking and marijuana use, adversely impacts academic achievement. She is the co-leader of the Maryland Collaborative, which provides training and technical assistance to a network of 18 colleges to align their substance use prevention and intervention strategies with scientific evidence. She has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed publications, numerous white papers, and book chapters, and is the recipient of several grant awards. She is passionate about translating science for parents, communities, educational professionals, and policy makers. She completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh and postdoctoral training in Psychiatric Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins University.
Ericke S. Cage
President, West Virginia State University
Ericke S. Cage is the 13th president of West Virginia State University. He was unanimously selected for the position on March 31, 2022, by the WVSU Board of Governors, having served the university previously since September 2021 as interim president. A native of Halifax County, Virginia, Cage joined the university in July 2021 as vice president and chief of staff and was subsequently appointed by the Board as the university’s chief operating officer on July 30, 2021 with responsibility for managing the day-to-day operations of the university.
Prior to joining WVSU, Cage most recently served as executive advisor to the president and Board of Visitors at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. Cage is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He holds a juris doctorate from the Rutgers University Law School and a masters of law degree in litigation and dispute resolution from the George Washington University Law School.
Student, West Virginia University
Avery Conner is a sophomore political science student at West Virginia University. On campus, she serves as an At-Large Senator in the Student Government Association and as the Communications Director for the Mountaineer Fentanyl Education Task Force. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a law degree.
Barri Faucett, MA
Director, Prevention Suicide WV
Barri Faucett, MA currently serves as the Director of Prevent Suicide WV, overseeing and implementing directives designed to address suicide prevention and intervention for all West Virginians. Her work involves: managing and developing program objectives, activities, procedures and protocols for effective suicide prevention and intervention efforts; oversight and technical assistance in implementation of evidence-based practices and increasing capacity building initiatives for statewide suicide prevention efforts across systems and agencies. Her clinical experience includes direct service in intensive outpatient programs related to children and adolescents with mental health and substance abuse issues, covering a broad array of diagnoses. A nationally certified trainer and facilitator, Barri Faucett’s experience includes suicide prevention and intervention from both a clinical setting and as a director in implementing programming statewide. Her work is a passion beyond profession in serving as a mental health advocate for those who fight to stay alive as well as those who’ve lost their loved ones. Founder of The Sky’s No Limit and co-founder of You Matter I Matter, Barri uses her own personal experiences as well as her professional life’s work to help change and support the lives of others pertaining to loss and trauma.
Pharmacy Student, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy
Allison Given is a first-year pharmacy student at University of Charleston School of Pharmacy. Allison has worked as a certified pharmacy technician since her undergraduate education and has been exposed firsthand to the effects of the opioid crisis in the community. Volunteer efforts with WV’s Save a Life Day and WVDII’s SmartRxU Program have helped Allison further understand the importance of medication safety in creating a happy and healthy community. When not studying pharmacy, Allison can be found playing with her dog, hanging out with her 5 siblings, or enjoying nature.
Kaye Godbey, MSC-CYD, WVCIA Co-Chair
Coordinator, Marshall University’s Wellness Programs
Kaye Godbey, Coordinator for Marshall University’s Wellness Programs, has degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Human Services Administration/Community Youth Development. She has had a rich work background in group facilitation processes, non-profit / foundation work, AOD prevention, substitute teaching and higher education.
Kaye’s secret powers are sheet folding and public speaking. She loves travel, music, food, cooking, reading, storytelling, walking, collaborating, streaming international shows, spending time with family and volunteering in her neighborhood.
Student, West Virginia State University; Vice-President, CHOICES Peer Educators
Mr. Darren Goodwin from Saint Albans WV is the Vice-President of the CHOICES Peer Educators. He is a nontraditional college student majoring in Education, specializing in elementary K-6. As President of the National Society in Leadership and Success WVSU chapter, he helped organize the “Cards and Letters for Veterans” community service project that brought 200 cards and nearly 50 letters to Red Cross to deliver to local veterans dealing with PTSD throughout our state. In addition, he is a member of the WVSU WV Reading Association and a WVSU Student Ambassador for the Annual Black & Gold Gala.
Brandon Henderson Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
Dr. Henderson is an Associate Professor with Tenure in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Brandon received a BS (with distinction) in Chemistry at The Ohio State University. There he started research, initially as an Analytical Chemist in the lab of Dr. John Olesik. He then received his PhD in Pharmacology at The Ohio State University in the lab of Dr. Dennis McKay. He then continued his development as a NIDA-NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology in the lab of Dr. Henry Lester. Before starting his faculty position at Marshall University, Dr. Henderson also trained as a visiting postdoctoral fellow at Yale University under Dr Nii Addy and Dr. Marina Picciotto. In addition to his responsibilities at Marshall University, Dr. Henderson is now one of two co-Chairs for the Basic Science Network in the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (www.SRNT.org).
Student, West Virginia State University
Kristi James, a non-traditional student majoring in Social Work at West Virginia State University, aspires to obtain her MSW. Passionate about working in addiction and recovery, she started school in 2020. She has been in recovery since 2018, having lost a close friend to overdose in 2012. While on the Dean’s list, Ms. James is a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, a member of the WVSU WV Reading Association, active in the Collegiate Recovery Community and is President of the CHOICES Peer Educators. She is Nationally certified in Peer Education, QPR Suicide Prevention, Tips for University, Ally and Fentanyl training, First Aid & CPR, and serves as a trainer in Naloxone and Step UP! Bystander Intervention. Her goals are to complete the Safe Space for LGTBQ+, and Peer Recovery Support Specialist certification. She believes in the fight against addiction, because people do recover.
Student, West Virginia University
Azeem is a junior at West Virginia University studying political science and business cybersecurity. Azeem serves as the Co-Chair of the Mountaineer Fentanyl Education Task Force. He is passionate about doing everything he can to protect all Mountaineers.
Student, West Virginia State University; CHOICES Peer Educator
Ms. Grishma Madaliya, an international student from India, is a freshman and Membership Chair of the CHOICES Peer Educators. She is majoring in sports studies and preparing to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She is interested in serving people and assisting them to be healthy and fit.
Susie Mullens, MS, Licensed Psychologist, LPC, AADC-S
Program Director, West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network
Susie Mullens has worked in the mental health and substance use disorder field for more than 31 years and worked in different fields throughout recovery. She’s a licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor, certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor and supervisor.
Susie is the Program Director for the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network, a project of the Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern West Virginia housed at Marshall University. She is also the Treasurer for WV Association of Addiction & Prevention Professionals. Susie hosts a show on the WV Library Commission Network called “Solutions, Service and Serenity,” which helps raise awareness for recovery programs across West Virginia. To learn more about the WVCRN visit: https://www.wvcollegiaterecovery.com/ or visit them on Facebook at @CRNWV.
Student, BridgeValley Community and Technical College
Jimmy is from the West Side of Charleston but spent 7 years in Los Angeles attempting to get sober. His story: “After years of being homeless on Skid Row and LA streets, I ended up in prison. While in prison I made up my mind about changing the direction of my life. After prison, I got a sponsor and started working on the steps. I also started teaching groups in rehabs and am now a case manager and group facilitator for a treatment facility in California.” His dream is working through the Keep Your Crown On Foundation, which will be a multi-lateral approach to family issues. He currently teaches the Keep Your Crown On Project, which teaches emotional intelligence through creative expression for adjudicated youth and this is just the beginning. His is passionate about helping others become the victors and not the victims of their stories. Keep Your Crown On!
Dan Pickens, MS
DUI Simulator Program Coordinator, West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration
Daniel Pickens is a graduate of the University of Charleston with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine/Athletic Training and Marshall University with a Masters Degree in Cardiac Rehab. Dan is currently the DUI Simulator Program Coordinator at the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration. Dan has been with the WVABCA since 2013. Prior to working for the WVABCA, Dan was employed by The HIT Centers Inc. and served as a certified athletic trainer and executive director for more than 10 years.
Nursing Student, West Virginia State University
Maurice Porter is a nursing student at West Virginia State University. He serves as the Student Leader for the C-SPF and the SmartRx Ambassador for the University. In these roles he works to prevent drug usage and promote a drug free lifestyle. Maurice is first generation college student and his goal is to continue to promote healthy lifestyles as a nurse.
First Sergeant Jay Powers
Director of Professional Development, West Virginia State Police Academy
First Sergeant Powers enlisted in the West Virginia State Police in 1995 and was stationed at the South Charleston Detachment. He later spent a few years as a Community Liaison Officer until he was transferred to the Office of Public Affairs in 2000.
In 2006, he became the Southern Coordinator for the Commission on Drunk Driving Prevention (CDDP), where he served for 14 years. During his time on CDDP, he became a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Instructor. He has trained DUI detection to over 2,000 entry level students at the WVSP Academy.
First Sergeant Powers is currently assigned as the Director of Professional Development at the WVSP Academy and is also on the WVSP Legislative Detail and is the WVSP Historian.
Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, West Virginia State University
Brandon Proudfoot serves as a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (PRSS) at West Virginia State University through the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network (WVCRN), which is a project of the Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern West Virginia, housed at Marshall University Research Corporation.
Prior to WVCRN, Brandon worked at Jacob’s Ladder treatment facility as well as their Endocarditis Rehabilitation Center. He also worked at Valley Health Care as a PRSS offering support to the people in the recovery community of Morgantown, WV. Brandon also received his Associate Degree in Computer Science from Pittsburgh Technical College.
Gary “Gig” Robinson
Education & Public Information, West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration
Gig Robinson is currently the spokesman for the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) where he has worked for 21 years. Gig currently serves on the Governor’s Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Corrections Juvenile Justice Subcommittee. He is a charter member and first chairman of the WV Collegiate Initiative Addressing High Risk Alcohol Use. Gig was a founding member of the Partnership to Promote Community Well Being (SPF-SIG) and has worked with county prevention partnerships across the state for many years. Gig has delivered presentations to the National Liquor Law Enforcement Training Academy, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association Administrators Conference, and the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators. Gig was a master trainer for Health Communication Inc. (Tips) for nearly 20 years, training on alcohol laws and responsible alcohol beverage sales and service in 35 states and Canada. Gig served on the planning committee for the US Department of Education’s annual meeting on AOD Abuse and Violence Prevention in High Education. Gig attended West Virginia State University and he resides in Charleston.
Carrie Showalter, ESQ.
Assistant Dean and Executive Director, West Virginia University’s Campus and Community Life Office
Carrie Showalter is the Assistant Dean and Executive Director of West Virginia University’s Campus and Community Life Office. Her role includes serving as the chair of our Behavioral Intervention Team as well as providing oversight of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities; Office of Academic Integrity; the Advocacy Center; Student Legal Services; and Off-Campus Housing. She has worked in a variety of roles since starting at WVU in 2007. Prior to her tenure at the university, she practiced law in a small private firm in Morgantown.
Carrie graduated from the College of Wooster (OH) in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and in 2003 with a law degree from West Virginia University. She lives with my husband in Morgantown and has two children who currently attend college at WVU.
Chief Sherry St. Clair
Chief of Police, West Virginia University Police Department
Chief St. Clair is a 28-year veteran of the University Police Department. During her distinguished career she has progressively worked her way through the ranks developing many interpersonal relationships along the way. She achieved the milestone to her career as the first female chief of police in the department’s history in October 2021.
She began her career in 1994 as a patrol officer working in on-campus housing while obtaining her degree from Fairmont State College and graduation from the WV State Police Academy in 1995. As a student while working with students provided insight while developing relationships. In 1997 she transferred to campus patrol and later became the shift Sergeant beginning her supervisory and leadership experience. 2006 was the year she achieved the rank of Lieutenant both in patrol and later as a department Investigator. Her leadership and proven performance were recognized as she was promoted to the rank of Captain leading an entire division within the department in 2018.
Sherry is best known for her positive outlook, compassion for those around her and the genuine desire to serve the community. This makes her popular with students, faculty, staff and the many teams across the university. She is committed to the safety and security of the campus and the City of Morgantown who share many of the same goals and challenges.
Student, West Virginia State University; CHOICES Peer Educator
Ms. Abagail Stricklen, a Step UP! Student Leader, is currently in her third year majoring in psychology. She wants to help individuals who are struggling with traumatic life events, as well as veterans with PTSD. She has an interest in working with an animal shelter to have animals receive emotion support training to help these individuals feel less alone. She is passionate about wellness, prevention, and recovery because that is where the most help is needed, as she has seen the effects on the individual as well as on families firsthand.
Robin Tabor, MA
Robin has been employed at West Virginia State University (WVSU) as the Mental Health Specialist for 22 years providing confidential, personal and academic counseling to students. In addition, she serves on several county and state-wide councils addressing issues such as substance abuse and violence prevention. She is the faculty advisor to “CHOICES” Peer Educators and utilizes her students to assist her with educational outreach via residence hall programs, awareness campaigns and campus-wide events.
Wesley Thomas, LGSW, WVCIA Co-Chair
Senior Health Educator, West Virginia University
Wes Thomas is a Senior Health Educator at West Virginia University, focusing on alcohol and other drug prevention and education for WELLWVU, a department within the Division of Student Life. He has been with WELLWVU since 2015, and since that time has become a certified trainer for Mental Health First Aid, safeTALK (suicide alertness) and TIPS (Training for Intervention procedures). He has also implemented several AOD-focused programs unique to WVU. Wes has been an active member of the WV Collegiate Initiative to Address Healthy Campus Communities (WVCIA) since 2016, previously serving as Treasurer and currently serving as Co-Chair for WVCIA. He is a licensed social worker (LGSW) graduating from WVU’s School of Social Work MSW program in 2014. He is a husband, and father of one daughter.
Founder, Brother Up
A nationally certified trainer and facilitator, Michelle Toman has delivered more than a 1,000 suicide prevention trainings and presentations in her journey as a multiple suicide loss survivor. Michelle serves West Virginia and beyond pertaining to suicide prevention, intervention and postvention support. Additionally, she has spent decades facilitating multiple bereavement support groups for survivors of suicide loss and grief in general as she was the sole survivor of her family after losing both of her parents in separate accidents as a child. A passionate and tireless advocate for change across her state and nation, she has proposed and successfully passed much needed legislation pertaining to mandatory suicide prevention education in schools (Jamie’s Law), as well as diligently used her voice at the national level for the 988 Suicide Prevention LifeLine Improvement Act in its earliest days and while advocating for Mental Health Parity. She serves on multiple national and state coalitions and foundations and has been a leader in the fight against suicide since losing her younger brother in 1994. She is the founder of Brother Up and co-founder of You Matter I Matter in her efforts to make communities stronger and safer, while educating individuals about mental health overall, but specifically about prevention and intervening with suicide. Named National Advocate of the Year and one of West Virginia’s Wonder Women, Michelle is a beacon of hope for countless individuals and families.
Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Ph.D.
Chancellor, West Virginia Higher Education
Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker is Chancellor of the WV Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) and Chancellor of the Community and Technical College System (CTCS). She is the first person to simultaneously hold these two roles – and the first woman to serve as CTCS Chancellor – that guide and oversee policies and initiatives for two-year community and technical colleges and four-year higher education institutions.
Prior to becoming Chancellor, Dr. Tucker served as Director of Planning and Research for WV Higher Education. She sits on numerous boards, including – Executive Committee of Fellows for Complete College America, WV Business Roundtable, WV Jobs Investment Trust Board, NASA EPSCoR Executive Board, WV Faculty Merit Board, Upper Ohio Valley Boy Scout Board, SHEEO, and the NC-SARA Board.
Dr. Tucker completed her doctorate at the School of Education at the University of Michigan in 2010. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University and a M.A. in Quantitative Research Methodology from the University of Michigan.
Student, Step UP! Student Leader, West Virginia State University
Ms. Sierra Williams, a Step UP! Student Leader and junior at WVSU, is from Boomer, WV. She is pursuing a career in Social Work and is a member of the Social Work Club and Phi Alpha, the Social Work Honor Society. She plans receive her LSW and apply those skills to helping those who have fallen ill to substance misuse. Her passion for prevention and recovery arose from that these issues are the most prevalent in her community.
Commissioner Fredric “Fred” L. Wooton
Commissioner, West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration
Mr. Wooton began his career with the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) in 1991, as an Inspector in the Enforcement Division. Mr. Wooton was promoted to an Enforcement Agent and later to Enforcement Supervisor. In January 2017, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice appointed Mr. Wooton to serve as Commissioner of the WVABCA.
Mr. Wooton currently serves on the Commission for Drunk Driving Prevention and is the chair-elect of the National Alcohol Control Association (NABCA) Board of Directors. His tenure as chairman of the NABCA Board of Directors will start in May 2023 and continue until May 2024. Mr. Wooton is secretary of the West Virginia Retail Liquor Licensing Board (RLLB). The RLLB successfully conducted bidding for the 2020-2030 licensing period and generated nearly $54 million for the WV General Revenue Fund.
Mr. Wooton is a 1984 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Mr. Wooton resides in Beckley with his wife Debra.