Glenville, West Virginia – Glenville State College’s newest Faculty Award of Excellence recipient is Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Jeremy Keene. Keene was recognized at the annual Faculty and Staff Appreciation Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 9.
“I was shocked to win this award, and it was a surreal experience,” said Keene. “I guess the best way to say it is that I did not anticipate winning this award. I am appreciative that my work has been recognized by my colleagues, students, and the college.”
A nomination from a faculty member said that Keene, “epitomizes excellence in teaching, research, and service to the College and the profession.” Faculty members also noted his contagious enthusiasm for science, excellent rapport with students, and a combination of approachability and high academic standards.
A current student stated, “As a student and advisee to Dr. Keene, he has changed my entire college life and ability to learn immensely over the three years that I have been at Glenville State College.”
Keene has been a faculty member since Fall of 2015. He received both his bachelor of science and master of science degrees in biology from Missouri State University and his Ph.D. in environmental and plant biology from Ohio University.
His research focuses on understanding of the evolution and conservation of plant populations/species. Keene has been a board member of the Gesneriad Society, an all-volunteer international society devoted to the identification, culture, propagation, and conservation of gesneriads (a family that contains over 3,400 species of plants and innumerable hybrids), since 2014.
He currently serves as the co-chair of conservation. Keene was also invited to China last fall where he conducted research that led to the discovery of a new species of plants in the family Gesneriaceae.
Outside of his research, Keene devotes much of his time and efforts to his involvement with the campus community. He is an advisor for both the Student Government Association and the LGBT+ Alliance, allowing him to interact with a large portion of the student body.
He is also a member of the Internalization Task Force on campus that serves to support international students. Last year, Keene led a research trip to Panama with two GSC students and will be returning this year with another group of eight students for an embedded Tropical Ecology research experience.
“I love teaching at GSC because I know all of my students like family. I like being able to offer an almost one-on-one experience for everyone. I also have been fortunate to have many dedicated research students while I have been at Glenville,” said Keene.
Each spring, the campus community is invited to nominate an outstanding faculty member for this award. Faculty Award of Excellence recipients must be full-time and have taught at GSC for at least two years to be eligible. Names of the honorees are displayed on a permanent plaque in the Heflin Administration Building.