West Virginia

Dr. Deanna Schmitt Named Finalist for West Virginia’s Professor of the Year

West Liberty, W.Va., February 1, 2023 – The faculty of West Liberty University can once again claim a finalist for the 2022 West Virginia Professor of the Year award, presented annually by the Faculty Merit Foundation.

Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Deanna Schmitt was among the five finalists named in a letter dated January 23, 2022.

Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Deanna Schmitt

“This is wonderful news for Deanna, the College of Sciences and the entire university. I congratulate Deanna on her nomination and her outstanding teaching and am proud to say that this is not the first time we have had a finalist,” said Dr. Cathy Monteroso, interim president of WLU. “We all wish her all the best as the final selection process progresses.”

In the past eight years, WLU faculty members have been selected seven times as finalists in the state-wide competition and three times as state professor of the year.

The Dean of the University of Sciences, Dr. Karen Kettler, Schmitt suggested for the award.

“DR. Schmitt is an exceptional faculty member, researcher and student mentor,” said Kettler.

The next step in selecting a Professor of the Year is in-person interviews to be held on Tuesday, February 21 in Charleston, W.Va.

Schmitt has been a faculty member at West Liberty University since 2017 and serves as both a professor of biology and an adjunct professor in the Physician Assistant Studies program.

Before that, from 2012 to 2016, she spent four years as a postdoc at WLU in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Horzempa, who was named West Virginia Professor of the Year in 2017.

Schmitt received his PhD in Immunology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and his Bachelor of Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University in 2005.

Student researchers in Schmitt’s lab are working to uncover the mechanism of action of a new family of antibiotics called resazomycins. These antibiotics are effective against a select group of bacteria including Francisella tularensis and the causative agent of gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Schmitt, a resident of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and her husband Matthew have two daughters, Ally, 10, and Hadley, 7.

The Faculty Merit Foundation was established in 1984 to recognize and reward innovation and creativity among the faculty of West Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities.

The “Professor of the Year” program makes the outstanding achievements of these people public.

The nominee selected as Professor of the Year will receive a cash prize of US$10,000, with the other finalists receiving smaller prizes. Traditionally, finalists are honored at a spring banquet in Charleston, where Professor of the Year is announced.

West Liberty University is West Virginia’s premier public university and offers more than 70 undergraduate programs and a growing number of graduate programs, both online and on campus.

For more information, please call 1.866.937.8542 (WESTLIB), visit westliberty.edu or follow WLU on social media. To learn more about WLU, please visit westliberty.edu/youtube.

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