West Liberty University Staff Council raises thousands for scholarship


WLU Media Relations

Rick Gardner poses with his winnings at the fundraiser.

At the beginning of March, the West Liberty University Staff Council Scholarship Committee raised over $2,000 dollars for their scholarship fund. Their fundraiser awarded staff member Rick Gardner with $750 in prizes.

The staff scholarship started in 1994, and according to West Liberty’s News and Media website, “The West Liberty University Staff Advisory Council was created for the purpose of advocating for the best interests of all staff members; cultivating a thriving university community, fostering diversity, equity and inclusion, all the while supporting the strategic mission and vision of WLU.”

According to Committee Chairmen Eric Burkle, “Each semester, all staff members have the opportunity to apply for a need-based scholarship for themselves or their dependents, which our committee will decide who receives these scholarships. This year we awarded two scholarships per semester and were in need of raising some dollars to keep the scholarship going.”

The committee members Eric Burkle, Kelly Baker, Chris McPherson and Erika Rohrig met on March 1 for the official drawing of their fundraiser, selling tickets for $5 each. The winner received a $500 gift card to Jacob & Sons Meats in Martins Ferry, Ohio and a $250 gift card to Lowe’s, intended for the purchase of a freezer to store the meat. “It was nice to see a member of our team gain from the drawing,” said Burkle.

When asked about the scholarship, Chairperson Tasha Taylor said, “Showing appreciation creates a ripple effect in the workplace. It has been the goal of the Staff Advisory Council to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued. Hopefully knowing this option is available will make staff feel more appreciated and show them that we care about their personal enrichment, advancement and budget.”

The Staff Council meets regularly throughout the year, led by Tasha Taylor, Chris McPherson, Kelly Baker, Ryan Glanville (who serves as Staff Council representative to the Board of Governors) and Yodev Ocasio (the Staff Council representative to the State of West Virginia). Additional Group Representatives include: Bree Blum, Leanne Coen, Jason Coleman, Michelle Heath, Randy Hollingshead, Riley Schenk, Bob Saas and Michelle Stack.

“It is our hope that our efforts in raising this money for the Scholarship will show the staff that we are invested in them and in helping them to further their education or that of their dependents. The awards are need based and most of all, we just hope that these scholarships are able to help staff with the cost of higher education and lighten their burden,” Taylor said.

The Staff Council Scholarship is one of many scholarships provided by the WLU Foundation, to see others or to donate, visit wlufoundation.org. To see the application for this scholarship in the fall semester of 2022, visit this website.