Geology Graduate Program Committee: Dorothy Vesper (chair), Kathleen Benison (co-chair),
Joe Donovan, James Lamsdell, Amy Weislogel, Shikha Sharma (Associate Chair)





Aug 9
9:00-11:00 new student welcome and orientation; photos @ 11:00 Vesper & Benison Brooks Hall, 325
1:00-2:30 Academic advising groups (20 min. meeting time assigned to each student) faculty Brooks, 324 and 325
1:00-2:30 PhD advising and discussion Benison Brooks, 411
Aug 10
7:30-2:30 WVU new GTA orientation WVU Ming Hsieh Hall, G20
2:30-3:30 GTA lottery (bring your course schedule) Benison & Vesper Brooks, 325
3:30-4:30 TA meeting for GEOL 102 Lebold Brooks, 105
Aug 13
9:30-10:30 G&G computer network orientation with Randy Crowe Crowe Brooks, 4th floor computer labs
Aug 15
Fall classes start
Aug 24
G&G Dept Picnic at Dorsey Knob (look for details in your mail box)

New Graduate Student Welcome Session

9:00-11:00, Thursday, Aug. 9, 325 Brooks Hall

Welcome to WVU Grad Program & Introductions Dr. Tim Carr (G&G chair)
Overview of orientation and agenda for the day Dr. Dorothy Vesper (Geology Grad Program Chair)
Meet the staff Ms. Lisa Lively and Hope Stewart; Mr. Randy Crowe
Brief intro to the research areas
Geochem/Hydro/Surface Processes Drs. Shikha Sharma, Tim Warner, Joe Donovan, Kathy Benison
Energy/Sed-Strat/Geophysics Drs. Tim Carr, Deng Gao, Tom Wilson, Amy Weislogel, Kathy Benison, Shikha Sharma
Tectonics, Petrology Drs. Jaime Toro, Amy Weislogel, Kathy Benison, Graham Andrews
Teaching faculty, lab supervisors Drs. Joe Lebold, Kenny Brown
Overview of Grad Program – Research, curriculum, advising.  Questions & Answers Drs. Dorothy Vesper and Kathy Benison
Intro geology lab announcements Dr. Joe Lebold
Group & individual photos Lisa Lively

M.S. Student Advising Meetings (Mandatory for MS Students)

Lamsdell, Donovan, Sharma, Weislogel, Kite 324 Brooks Hall

1:00 – 2:30 PM

Time Student

PhD Student Advising Meetings (Group session; Mandatory for PhD students)

1:00 – 2:30 PM

Benison, Vesper, Andrews, Sharma, Gao 324 Brooks Hall

Incoming PhD students to meet to discuss (1) degree requirements, and (2) what it means to be a PhD student.  All faculty members are invited and PhD advisors are encouraged to attend.


New Student Roster (*PhD students)

Name Primary interest Office Email


Introduction to Our Computer Network

9:30 – 10:30 am, Monday Aug. 13
Brooks Hall 4th floor computer suite
Randy Crowe (G/G Systems Administrator)

An orientation to the department’s computer facilities and policies. Get a network account, e-mail address, and key to the computer room.

TA Lottery (mandatory for all GTAs)

2:30-3:30 am, Friday, August 11
325 Brooks Hall (Benison & Vesper)

Want to win the Lottery?? Here we'll assign teaching activities (teaching labs, assisting profs in large lecture courses, etc). Bring your personal class schedule. Mandatory for all TAs.  If for any reason you do not show up at this meeting, your TA assignments will be made without your input. It will then be your responsibility to resolve any conflict between your own courses and TA assignment. 

Orientation for GEOL 102 labs (mandatory for 102 GTAs)

3:30-4:30 pm, Friday, August 10
105 Brooks Hall, Dr. Joe Lebold

This is the first weekly meeting for TAs of Geol 102: Introductory Physical Geology.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Orientation: Introduction to Effective Teaching

As a new Graduate Teaching Assistant at WVU, you should complete both parts of the GTA Orientation:
  1. Face-to-Face Orientation  (Friday, August 10, 20187:30 am – 2:30 pm Ming Hsieh Hall G20)
  2. Online modules (Complete these modules by the beginning of Fall semester) (to access instructions, download


Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) As an instructor, you are responsible for maintaining confidentiality around students’ personal information, including their grades and performance in the course. This module will help you anticipate common FERPA issues that instructors face and will help you avoid FERPA violations.
Academic Integrity and Dishonesty The module explores several forms of academic dishonesty and provides information to prevent academic dishonesty and maintain WVU academic integrity code in the classroom.
Diversity and Accessibility When you teach, you will have a diversity of learners. This module shares ideas on how to teach diverse learners in your classroom and assist students with special needs and accommodations
Integrating School and Life This module will help you identify resources available at WVU that can help you and your students balance school and life.

Office of Graduate Education and Life University-wide Grad Orientation (attendance voluntary)

2:00-4:00 PM, Monday August 13, Evansdale Crossing 414 (Evansdale Campus)

if you do plan to attend, please complete the brief online survey at for planning purposes. if you have any questions, contact

Welcome Back Picnic 4-9 PM, Friday August 24
Dorseys Knob Park,

Social get-together so that old and new can meet informally. Bring a covered dish and whatever drinks you wish, but no drinks in glass. Significant others and families and well-behaved dogs are invited too. Watch your mailbox and department signs for details.

Things New Students Need to Do ASAP

WVU Email. Your e-mail address at WVU will be where the Xs are your initials and the #s are a sequence number.  If your name was John Q Public, your address might be MIX email uses a gmail client -- read about it at  The front part of your email is also your log-in username to the MIX WVU portal (, which authenticates you to a host of digital resources at WVU for advising, course management, and data systems.  It really works quite well - check it out! 

The default initial password for MIX has 6 digits: two digits for the day of your birth and the last four digits of your WVU ID. Ex: if your birthday is 05/03/1974 and your WVU ID is 800-45-6789, then your initial password is 036789. Be sure to log onto MIX and change your password.  NOTE: you can set your MIX account to forward to your own personal mail account, but you MUST read your MIX mail, where all official mail from the University and Department is directed.  A smart phone app is available, or you can also POP the mail to a 3rd party app of your choice.  See the link above for how-tos.

Getting on Payroll . See Lisa Lively in room 330 for a personnel form (if you want to be paid!!!). Bring your Social Security card (not just the number) and driver’s license. You must also have a local bank checking account for direct deposit of paychecks.  Bring a voided check.  Do this ASAP.

STAR registration. You register for courses on the web by logging into MIX and hitting the STAR tab (at the top) and then “click here to enter STAR”. You can register on STAR using the 5-digit CRN identification number for each course. Make sure that your total credit hours add up to 12 by “filling” your schedule with credits of GEOL 697— Research (for both MS and PhD students).

Get Your Student ID Photo Taken. You need this for ALL key access in Brooks and many other campus functions. Photos are taken in the Mountainlair, across from the Food Court, and in Brooke Tower, in the Evansdale dorms —  this requires that your student fees be paid and that you are registered for classes. NOTE: YOU SHOULD KNOW OR WRITE DOWN YOU 800 NUMBER -- IT WILL NOT BE PRINTED ON YOUR ID

Important online training modules

To be taken by all geology graduate students (mandatory!!):  

WVU Libraries plagiarism tutorial:

Take as a guest, take quiz, print results, bring printed results to Hope in the Department office and ask her to put it in your student file

In addition, students who will work in a chemical lab must take online lab safety training:  Take test and save and email results page to our chemical safety officer  (individual to be named) 


Access for GTAs See Hope Stewart in room 330 to obtain a code for the copy machine. Two codes should be for the copiers: teaching and personal.