West Virginia Executive Summer 2014 - Page 87

The students were recipients of a 10-week-long Public Interest Advocates (PIA) Fellowship awarded by the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest. PIA fellows work at nonprofit legal services organizations and help those living in poverty with complex legal issues in family matters, consumer law, housing and protection from abuse. “There is a grave need for public interest lawyers in West Virginia and the nation,” says Jennifer Powell, director of WVU’s Center for Law and Public Service. “Our public interest fellowships give law students a feel for what the work is like while they are helping those in need. Over the years, students have often made public interest law their career choice because of this program.” Since 1987, more than 320 WVU law students have received public interest fellowships from the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest. The fund is supported, in part, by the PIA student organization at WVU Law. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Recognized as a Great Employer The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) continues to be recognized as one of the best schools in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. For the fourth consecutive year, WVSOM has been listed as one of the great colleges to work for by The Chronicle’s annual report on academic workplaces. This year, the school was also selected for the Honor Roll, which is awarded to institutions that were most highly recognized within their size category. Results were based on a survey of 278 colleges and universities, along with independent surveys of employees at participating schools. WVSOM received honors in seven categories: compensation and benefits; facilities, workspaces and security; job satisfaction and support; professional/career-development programs; respect and appreciation; teaching environment and tenure clarity and process. WVSOM President Michael Adelman credits the sense of community among the school’s employees for the recognition. “WVSOM has a unique identity compared to most medical schools that are part of larger universities or health systems,” says Adelman. “The faculty and staff, even the students, are part of a tightly-knit, mountain community. People look out for each other, and we take personal pride in the student physicians who pass through our halls on their way to professional lives of care and compassion.” Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, says the schools listed in the survey not only offer outstanding workplaces but also innovative educational experiences. “The Chronicle’s reporting shows that more colleges and universities are seeking ways to improve their workplaces,” she says. “The formula for success continues to evolve, yet there are certain common features among institutions that achieve significant levels of worker satisfaction. The Great Colleges to Work For program allows our readers to learn about the colleges that seem to be getting it right.” Survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit and a survey administered to faculty, administrators and staff. The primary factor in deciding recognition was employee feedback.  www.wvexecutive.com summer 2014 87