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WVUP opens Center of Civic Engagement on Market Street

The downtown building on Market Street near the Blennerhassett Hotel holds an art gallery as well, that features artists works such as paintings and pillows designed by members of the Wood County Society’s Artbeat studio. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

PARKERSBURG — West Virginia University at Parkersburg is working to get people more involved with campus life.

As a way to bring new opportunities to the Mid-Ohio Valley, the college has opened new office space on Market Street near the Blennerhassett Hotel called the Center of Civic Engagement.

The office is meant to be a bridge between the school and the community, where all can work together to bring opportunities for students and area businesses to work together, according to college President Chris Gilmer.

Gilmer hopes that by building relationships with move area businesses, opportunities such as internships, portfolio building experiences and even newly offered courses to benefit businesses can arise.

On Tuesday one of those such opportunities arose, as 10 students were awarded scholarships by Constellium in Jackson County.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg President Chris Gilmer will be working in the downtown office on Market Street near the Blennerhassett Hotel at least once a week to strengthen community ties. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

“Constellium has given these students scholarships to get an associates degree in the programs of electrical reliability and maintenance and maintenance technology and has guaranteed them a job following their graduations,” said Gilmer.

The downtown building is also offered at no charge a conference room, training area and art gallery that organizations can reach out to Senta Goudy, who will be the dean of the Center of Civic Engagement, to utilize.

While continuing to grow partnerships is a great goal, WVU-Parkersburg also is working to bring alumni back to the campus and keep them involved in the college community.

This fall, according to Torie Jackson, vice president of institutional advancement, the college wanted to do something special for alumni and are offering alumni who have been out of school at least two years one course at no charge.

Jackson said some alumni only received certificates or associates and may want to continue their education, or may even be considering going back to school for a new degree.

The downtown building on Market Street near the Blennerhassett Hotel offers at no charge a conference room and a training area (pictured), that organizations can utilize. (Photo by Madeline Scarborough)

“We want to give them an opportunity to take a class and see if they are ready to or want to further their education, or just take a class that interested them, but was not offered in their program,” said Jackson.

Offered courses range from options such as Spanish to farm technology and drafting.

The university has yet to make a decision as to whether the opportunity will be available to alumni after the fall semester, but Jackson said it is something the school is open to considering.

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