Professors and Students
Meet Our Professors
Dr. Joseph Wiest is founder and consultant of the program. Dr. Wiest is professor and former chairman of the Department of Physics and Engineering at Wesleyan. He has taught physics and mathematics to gifted children from third grade to high school. His wife, Dr. Jeanie Wiest, is a pediatrician. They are the parents of two gifted sons.
Dr. Katharine Antolini offers courses in American History and Gender Studies at WVWC. She is a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan and holds a M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in History from West Virginia University. She specializes in the field of women’s history and has published articles on the role of Confederate women in the American Civil War and the history of American holidays. She is one of the featured speakers of WV Humanities Council’s 2014 Sesquicentennial Speakers Bureau commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Her talk, “Mothers of Martyrs: Woman and Civil War Commemoration,” highlights the role that women played the creation and celebration of Memorial Day, Emancipation Day and Mother’s Day in the wake of the war. Her book, Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Struggle for Control of Mother’s Day, was published by the West Virginia University Press in Fall 2014.
Dr. Kim Bjorgo-Thorne grew up in Florida, and came to WV in 1999 to pursue a PhD in fisheries ecology. Her undergrad degree is from University of Florida. She has worked as a research diver with the Florida Regional Reef Project and also worked for the Florida Marine Research Institute. She earned a M.S. degree from Clemson in fisheries, with a minor in statistics. In 2006, Kim completed her PhD dissertation on the spatial ecology of fish in the Kanawha River, and began teaching at WVWC in 2006 in the department of Biology and Environmental Science. Kim’s childhood experiences with Florida’s diverse plant and animals life were the biggest factors in her pursuing a career in environmental, especially water-related, issues. Her passion is teaching, with a focus on the remarkable resilience and innate fragility of this small island we live on: planet Earth.
Dr. Tracey DeLaney has her Ph.D. in Astrophysics and is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Wesleyan. For her research, she studies supernova remnants, which are the remains of exploded stars, i.e. star guts. Dr. DeLaney is also director of our planetarium and gives general astronomy shows to audiences of all ages.
Dr. Eric Waggoner is co-director of the camp. He is also Associate Professor of American Literature and Cultural Studies at WVWC. His academic publications have appeared in several journals and book collections. In addition to his academic writing, for several years Dr. Waggoner has written film and music journalism for a variety of publications. He is currently a contributing writer for Magnet magazine and Blurt Online.
Mark Leadingham II is a recent graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College with a bachelor’s degree in both Mathematics and Physics. He served as a tutor in the learning center for two years and covered subjects such as calculus, differential equations, and discrete mathematics. He will begin a PhD program in Applied Mathematics this fall. Mark loves finding math in daily life and helping others understand how it affects their own life.
Meet Our Past Program Participants
Alia King, from Morgantown, WV, will be attending her second year of WSGP. She is going into 8th Grade at Suncrest Middle school, where she is involved in the Cross Country team as well as the marching and concert bands. She enjoys Future Problem Solving and Creative Writing through her TAG classes. She is a Cadette Girl Scout having earned her Bronze Award and planning for her Silver Award. She loves playing piano, reading and watching insightful TV programs. She is looking forward to seeing returning members of last year’s program and meeting new members as well!
Hi Everybody, I’m Chloe Treible and I live in Germantown, TN. I go to Houston Middle School and will be in 7th Grade next year. my favorite subject is Language Arts, but also enjoy Math. Outside of school, I participate in drama, dance and play basketball on the school team. An interesting fact is that both of my grandparents went to WV Wesleyan and my Dad lived in Buckhannon when he was really young. I look forward to seeing everybody.
My name is Sophia Shumway and I am a rising sophomore. I guess you could call me one of a kind. I love to read anything I can get my hands on, I love to sketch, have the desire to be an author or animator/ graphic designer, love to play volleyball and basketball (even though I am not the best) and have been told that I am VERY talkative. But on top of all of that, I love to learn. Learning is a passion of mine. I believe that you should learn at least one new thing every day. Other kids don’t really get that. And then I went to the Wesleyan’s Summer Gifted Program.
For the past two years, I have attended Wesleyan’s Summer Gifted Program, and I have to say that I have never had as much fun as I did there. All my life, no matter where I lived, I have always a little different than other kids. I never really had the chance to make friends with kids with the same intellectual level as me, and that is even after I lived in Germany, New Mexico, and North Carolina.
I learned about the Wesleyan program through my gifted teacher, and I’m glad I did. Not only did I learn so much and have a blast, but I also made a lot of life-long friends. The classes are always interesting and an actual challenge and the camp makes the two weeks fun. In those short two weeks, your mind will be challenged, you’ll make amazing friends, and have a blast while learning and having fun.
I think a part of me has been shaped by this program. If I never went to this camp, I would never have had many of the great experiences I experienced. At camp, I learned about the United Nations, how to program a (old) computer, learned a great deal about physics, met my best friend, won Capture the Flag with people who are experts at strategy, and played Glow-in-the-Dark Dodge Ball.
Wesleyan’s Summer Gifted Program is the best camp I have ever been to. I can say with confidence that I am looking forward to going there again!
I have quite a varying amount of activities, and an array of interests. Activities first: I like to draw, or play video games in my spare time. Hearing that someone is a gamer shouldn’t be surprising, considering how popular they’ve been getting. Consider how many kids brought some sort of game to camp last year! Sometimes, I watch some TV or online videos, too. I’m involved in Robotics, too. Then there are my interests: I really like school. I’m sure I will go to college, but I don’t know yet what my job or career choice will be. I like education, especially Math and Science. I’m also fairly good in History and Geography.
What I am interested in is soccer, swimming, music, and robotics. I like soccer because I am not good with my hands in sports, but I am good with my feet in soccer. I like swimming because I like the strokes that we do on the FAST swim team. They are freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. I do piano lessons, and I’m interested in doing band next year and I am going to play either the trumpet or saxophone. I like to do Lego Robotics because I like the challenge it gives me, and it is fun to be part of the team and going to the competition.