Above: Dr. Michael Fultz, recently named associate provost and associate vice president for academic affairs at West Virginia State University, was awarded West Virginia Professor of the Year for his time teaching chemistry.

West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Micheal Fultz has been named the 2021 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia.

Fultz was named earlier in the year as a finalist among four other professors from colleges and universities in the state. This was his second consecutive year being named a finalist for the honor.

Fultz received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the University of Tennessee at Martin and earned his doctorate in chemistry from Indiana University. Since joining WVSU’s faculty in 2009, Fultz has taught organic chemistry laboratory and lecture classes at the basic and advanced levels, including courses for nonmajors and freshmen. He currently serves as the Department of Chemistry Chair, a position he has held since 2018. Fultz was promoted to full professorship in August of 2021. In June 2022, Fultz was named Associate Provost and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Fultz has been published in a wide variety of education-based and scientific journals, including International Journal of Technology and Design Education; Scholarship and Practice of Undergraduate Research; Organic Letters; Electronic Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis; and the Journal of the American Chemical Society. He has been awarded numerous externally funded research grants and is a frequent and in-demand presenter, lecturer, guest speaker and panelist, both regionally and nationally.

In addition to the 2021 Professor of the Year honor, Fultz has been presented with the WVSU Community Impact Award (2017); WVSU Excellence in Service Award (2016); and WVSU Professor of the Year Award (2013). In 2016, he was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

Fultz serves as the Faculty Advisor to the West Virginia State University Chapter of the American Chemical Society. Since 2009, the student group has won 12 Green Chemistry Awards, six Outstanding Chapter Awards, and an Insight into Diversity Award from the Society.

The Faculty Merit Foundation was created in 1984 to provide a means to recognize and reward innovation and creativity among the faculties of West Virginia’s public and private colleges and universities. Through the Professor of the Year program, the outstanding achievements of those individuals are brought to the attention of the general public. A $10,000 cash award is given to the candidate selected as Professor of the Year, with smaller awards to the other finalists.

The Faculty Merit Foundation conducted interviews with the finalists earlier in the year. A banquet announcing the Professor of the Year was held Thursday, September 8, at the Culture Center in Charleston.

The other finalists included Linda Cowan, a professor of music at West Liberty University; Dr. Michael Groves, an associate nursing professor at Shepherd University; Dan Hollis, professor of journalism and mass communications at Marshall University; and Dr. Paul Rakes, professor of history at West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

The Professor of the Year award is sponsored by: United Bank; Bowles Rice LLP; Greene Ketchum Bailey & Tweel LLP; The Maier Foundation; Graystone Consulting; and The Daywood Foundation, Inc.

From West Virginia State University