ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Dr. Pamela June, assistant professor of English at Ohio University Eastern, has made quite an impression at the St. Clairsville-based campus since arriving from Paine College in 2013.
During this time, she has taught American Literature, Women’s Literature, African American Literature, Drama & Poetry, Fiction & Nonfiction, and Writing courses to a multitude of students. In addition, she has made a number of national conference presentations, and published several peer-reviewed articles, as well as a book chapter publication.
According to June, her proudest accomplishment is a day-long visit and interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. Their conversation was published by the journal Women’s Studies in 2015.
In addition, she has been the co-faculty advisor of the Wallflower Alliance, a student club striving to support the LGBT community on and off campus.
But, June felt that she could do more. "Having lived in the area for a few years and grown to love the community, I wanted to help in some way," she said. "That’s when I saw that Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless (GWCH) needed an employment services volunteer, so I contacted the organization and began serving right away."
For the past two years, June has met twice a month with small groups of Wheeling’s homeless population to assist with job skills. The group meetings are typically geared towards resume writing and preparing for job interviews.
"I have greatly enjoyed my experiences at the GWCH," she said. "I have learned that many of the stereotypes of homeless people are simply false. Most of the folks with whom I have worked are motivated people who have simply had a spate of bad luck. I have worked with young and old, male and female, well educated, etc. With many of these folks, I have shared good humor and some genuine belly laughs."
June continued, "This has been an educational experience for me. The best news is when someone can’t make it to my session because they’ve found a job or a new home."
Lisa Badia, executive director of the GWCH, is most appreciative of the partnership that June and Ohio University Eastern has forged with her organization. "The goal of the GWCH is to find ways to permanently end a person’s state of being without permanent housing, access to and retention of employment opportunities and affordable housing," she said. "The employment program developed through the partnership with Dr. June and Ohio University Eastern has helped us to better achieve this objective by giving our clients an opportunity to prepare themselves for the workforce with individualized solutions to each of their own unique circumstances. We cannot thank Dr. June enough for her efforts."
Ohio University Eastern Campus Interim Dean Robert Klein was fully supportive. "The work of Dr. June and the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless is a great example of the positive impacts made possible when Ohio University Eastern partners with area organizations to address the issues facing our community. Her work inspires us to be better than we thought we could be and that’s what education should do."
The Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless is located at 84 Fifteenth Street in Wheeling, near the corner of Jacob and Fifteenth streets. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on the GWCH call 304-232-6105.