Shepherd University develops Appalachian leadership institute

Shepherd University develops Appalachian leadership institute
McMurran Hall at Shepherd University fronts East German Street in historic Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

The Shepherd University Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities is accepting applications from teachers and community leaders in Jefferson and Berkeley counties for a new community leadership institute.

Titled “Voices from the Misty Mountains, Reclaiming Our Story for a New Appalachia,” the institute will take place will take place February 4-April 28 on Tuesdays from 5-6:30 p.m. January 24 has been set as the deadline for applying.

The center received a $10,000 Building-Resources-In-Diverse-Geographic-Environments grant from the state’s Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs to conduct the institute. The grant program is a pilot program that aims to improve community health and economic development in Kanawha, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties.

Content will specifically target underserved communities in order to enrich and enhance the curriculum, in this case through an understanding of the history, culture, and literature of Appalachia and specifically telling West Virginia’s story.

Teachers and community leaders from underserved institutions who apply for a position will be given the highest priority for admittance. Participants will receive a $500 stipend for their work, which they can apply toward materials or professional development or graduate credit.

For a copy of the institute application form and calendar, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities, at, or call 304-876-3119 or 912-655-2380.

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