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UPDATE: WVUP to hold virtual ribbon cutting for new Market Street location in Parkersburg

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT
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UPDATE: 9/17/20

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for WVU Parkersburg’s new Center for Civic Engagement, located on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg, will be held on September 23 at 3 P.M. via Facebook Live.

The Center is intended to offer a location for community members to come together -- once the COVID-19 situation allows -- and collaborate on a range of projects. It will also provide opportunities for WVU Parkersburg students to work with the local business community.

“The downtown center provides an opportunity for students to connect with the arts and business communities for experiential learning,” said Torie Jackson,Vice President for Institutional Advancement and President and CEO of the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation.

“We plan to work with Mid-Ohio Valley Arts Collaborative and with other projects to help build the community and to give those students in business and marketing opportunities to have some real-world experience with projects,” Jackson added.

Jackson said the location will serve as an incubator for entrepreneurs, as well. For example, one communications and media studies student recently took advantage of the Center’s resources to feature a number of arts groups in a series of Facebook Live videos, Jackson said.

“It was a really good experience for that student to have an opportunity to complete a project of that caliber while still in college,” Jackson said.

Additional details about the ribbon cutting can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

ORIGINAL STORY: 8/06/20

PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - West Virginia University at Parkersburg has opened a new office in the 400 block of Market Street in downtown Parkersburg.

Nicknamed “WVUP on Market” the branch’s actual name is “Center for Civic Engagement.”

It is an extension of the university’s presidential office, and has its own dean, Senta Goudy. She will be the on-site authority.

Goudy says she wants to see the space become a center for conversation and collaboration in the downtown area.

“The whole place is designed to be inspirational, aspirational,” said Goudy.

The extension is filled with local art and multiple community organizations have found a home in its office spaces. The West Virginia Center for Civic Life and a local substance abuse coalition are using offices there. The Arts Collaborative of the Mid-Ohio Valley will also run its programming from the center.

As for students, there won’t be any classroom opportunities for them at WVUP on Market. Instead, they will have many “experiential learning opportunities” through the center. There are already two interns working in the offices. Like it says in its name, the Center for Civic Engagement aims to get students involved in their community.

“Students will be working here primarily as part of our experiential learning program to provide support to the Arts Collaborative of the Mid-Ohio Valley. We’ll have communications students building websites for them, business students creating marketing plans for them, things of that nature. This will be an experiential learning hub for our students,” said WVUP President Dr. Chris Gilmer.

Gilmer says his goal has been to increase WVUP’s presence in the community ever since he became its president. He’s happy to see the center open up.

“The most important word in community college is community. Obviously. What we are devoted to at WVU Parkersburg is being both a community college and being the university in the Mid-Ohio Valley,” said Gilmer. “We want this to be an accessible space, where people from the community can come in and see this as an extension of the university and use the facilities for whatever needs they might have.”

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