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West Virginia University's Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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MORGANTOWN, WV -

West Virginia University's Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has selected Katy Ryan, an associate professor of English at the school, as the 2014 recipient of the Neil S. Bucklew Award.

This award is traditionally bestowed on the individual who has demonstrated leadership, courage, and support on a continuous basis in the area of social justice, but now also includes an emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

Ryan is the founder of the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit organization that sends free books to women and men imprisoned in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland and Tennessee. 

Since 2004, the project's members have responded to individual letters from imprisoned women and men, and mailed more than 13,000 books. Her research focuses on matters of justice and human rights in 20th-century American literature. Most recently, she edited a collection of creative and critical writings on the death penalty, "Demands of the Dead: Executions, Storytelling, and Activism."

Later this month, she is co-organizing the Educational Justice & Appalachian Prisons Symposium at WVU, an event that will bring together those in prison and formerly imprisoned along with community members, activists, scholars, judges and prison officials to discuss the liberating potential of education.

In other news at WVU, Robert L. Taylor Jr. has been named as director of the school's Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences. The division is within WVU's Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

Taylor now is a professor of animal science at the University of New Hampshire, where his efforts have focused on poultry immunology and genetics. He has provided oversight to research farms, led an array of local, regional and national level initiatives for the university and USDA.

He also is president of the national branch of the World Poultry Association. He holds a bachelor's of science degree from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., as well as a master's of science degree from Auburn University. He earned his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in 1981.

In Morgantown, he'll replace Matt Wilson, who will continue to serve a professor of animal science and physiology.