Inspiring West Virginians
A new series featuring West Virginia men and women who have made their mark in the sciences and business
West Virginia Public Broadcasting celebrates the state’s birthday by introducing the ongoing radio and television series Inspiring West Virginians - personal stories of West Virginians who have made significant contributions in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or business.
The series comes from independent producer Jean Snedegar.
Most are from small towns and modest means, overcoming hardships and daunting hurdles on the way to the top of their fields. These Inspiring West Virginians credit their Mountain State upbringing as a major factor in their achievements, and in return, they are giving back to their home state in various ways.
Carolin Morton and D. Holmes Morton, M.D
In Search of Meaningful Work - Travel to Amish country to hear about one of the most unusual medical clinics in the United States -- the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, founded by Dr D Holmes Morton, of Fayetteville, and his wife, Caroline, from Beckley. Here doctors and scientists diagnose and treat rare genetic disorders in children from Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities.
Newborn screening programs developed at the clinic have been adopted by Pennsylvania as a whole, and by many states across the country. And the Clinic is equipped to do sophisticated genetic testing rapidly and inexpensively for the communities they serve.
Next airing: Tuesday, August 31 at 9 p.m. on WV PBS & WV PBS.HD
Listen to the Mortons' Story
Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie Thompson
The Ice Hunters - Follow two of the world's leading paleoclimatologists to the top of the world and both poles. Using ice cores they drill themselves, Marshall graduates Lonnie Thompson, from Gassaway, and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, from Charleston, study the history of climate at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University. Lonnie was the first scientist in the world to drill ice cores on glaciers in tropical regions. And he has spent more time above 20,000 feet than anyone in history.
Ellen Mosley-Thompson was one of the first women to lead an ice-drilling expedition to a polar region, and recently returned from an ice-drilling expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula. Lonnie has received the nation's highest award in science -- the National Medal of Science.
Next airing: Tuesday, August 31 at 9:30 pm on WV PBS & WV PBS.HD
Listen to the Thompsons' Story
Sylvia Mathews Burwell
A Woman to Watch - Meet Hinton-native Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President of Global Development at the Bill & Linda Gates Foundation in Seattle, the world's largest charitable organization. Mathews Burwell is responsible for giving away $750 billion a year to help some of the world's poorest people have access to better agricultural techniques, financial services and clean water and sanitation. "I think I have the best job in the world", she says.
Using A Moral Compass - Hear why co-workers of Brad Smith, President & CEO of the global financial software giant, Intuit, say he's the best ambassador West Virginia could ever have. With Marshall memorabilia in abundance in his office, this Wayne County native boldly declares that everyone in the company knows about his alma mater, Marshall University, and his hometown, Kenova, West Virginia.
Smith said his life lessons from West Virginia include integrity, humility and teamwork. "You learn in West Virginia that life is a team sport. Communities stick together. Families stick together. Those things have stuck with me and they keep me grounded."
Listen to Brad's Story
Lonnie Thompson is one of the Ice Hunters
“One goal for the series is to inspire a new generation of scientists and business people - young men and women who will one day make their mark both here in West Virginia and around the world,” said producer Jean Snedegar.
Inspiring West Virginians is made possible by the generous support of the Myles Family Foundation - inspiring West Virginians to soar. Additional funding is provided by the National Science Foundation’s West Virginia Experimental Project to Stimulate Competitive Research - investing in West Virginia’s future by building infrastructure for scientific research.