WLU Professor A Finalist
for WV Professor of the Year

West Liberty University’s faculty can once again claim a finalist for West Virginia’s 2022 Professor of the Year award, presented annually by the Faculty Merit Foundation.
Associate Professor of Biology Deanna Schmitt, Ph.D., was among the five finalists named for the honor.
“This is wonderful news for Deanna, the College of Sciences, and the entire university. I congratulate Deanna on her nomination and her excellence in teaching and I am proud to say that this is not the first time we’ve had a finalist,” said Cathy Monteroso, WLU’s interim president. “We all wish her well as the final selection process continues.”
Over the past eight years, WLU faculty members have been selected seven times as finalists in the statewide competition and three times as the state’s Professor of the Year.
Dean of the College of Sciences Karen Kettler, Ed.D., nominated Schmitt for the honor.
“Dr. Schmitt is an exceptional faculty member, researcher and student mentor,” Kettler said.
The next step in the process of selecting a Professor of the Year is personal interviews which are scheduled to take place on Feb. 21 in Charleston.
Schmitt has been a member of the West Liberty University faculty since 2017 and serves both as a biology professor and an adjunct professor in the Physician Assistant Studies program.
Prior to that she spent four years doing postdoctoral work at WLU from 2012 – 2016, in the laboratory of Joseph Horzempa, Ph.D., who was named the 2017 West Virginia Professor of the Year.
Schmitt earned a doctoral degree in immunology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 and a bachelor’s of microbiology at Pennsylvania State University in 2005.
Student researchers in Schmitt’s lab are working to uncover the mechanism of action of a new family of antibiotics called resazomycins. These antibiotics are effective against a select group of bacteria including Francisella tularensis and the causative agent of gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
A resident of Canonsburg, PA, Schmitt and her husband, Matthew, have two daughters, Ally, 10, and Hadley, 7.