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West Virginia State University announces new energy management concentration

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West Virginia State University announced Nov. 12 it has added a concentration in energy management to its Bachelor of Science degree in business administration to help graduates excel in several aspects of the oil and gas industry.

"Oil and gas industry leaders have shared with us the need for individuals who possess the knowledge and skills to communicate with geologists and engineers in operations as well as possess the business expertise to properly manage personnel and accounts in the office," said Katherine Harper, WVSU College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. "This new program will bridge these two vital aspects together for the next generation of business leaders in the energy industry."

The new concentration was developed after a January 2013 meeting that included WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill and industry leaders that included Appalachian Power President and Chief Operating Officer Charles Patton and Triana Energy President and CEO Henry Harmon. Participants noted the need for a core curriculum in higher education that includes financial markets in the energy sector as well as technical or applied knowledge.

"Having employees who understand the financial markets around energy is a huge benefit to many companies in the field of energy, business and strategic management," Patton said. "I'm thankful WVSU not only listened to our industry's needs but has developed an answer in the form of this new concentration."

The new energy management concentration will be collaboration between the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the College of Business and Social Sciences, and it will start in January. A post-graduate certificate in energy management also will be available to allow students gain expertise in the support industries related to oil and natural gas.