Wheeling Jesuit University

Wheeling Jesuit Alumnus to Lead Federally Sponsored Programs

A 1966 Wheeling Jesuit University graduate is coming home to lead several national centers impacting economic development, education, and mine safety.

Davitt McAteer, Esq., a native West Virginia and 1966 graduate of then-Wheeling College, has been named Vice President for Sponsored Programs, a new position at the campus. McAteer will set strategic direction for University programs that receive federal funding, namely the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center and the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies, which houses the NASA sponsored Classroom of the Future.

"The work that is done in the University's federally sponsored programs is of tremendous value to the region and the country, both in terms of educating our young people in the sciences and in bettering our quality of life through technological innovations," McAteer says. "I am honored to be involved with these efforts and look forward with great enthusiasm to maintaining their excellence through federal support."

The programs receive funds from NASA, with the National Technology Transfer Center also receiving funds from the Missile Defense Agency and the Mine, Safety and Health Administration.

McAteer is director of the University's Coal Impoundment Project, which identifies and develops ways of stabilizing or removing coal impoundments throughout Appalachia, and consultant to the University's Clifford M. Lewis, S.J., Appalachian Institute, which addresses issues of importance to residents of Appalachia.

"We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Davitt's experience and knowledge leading our federally sponsored programs. As a fellow West Virginia native, I have worked with Davitt for years in providing new opportunities for empowerment and hope," says Rev. Joseph R. Hacala, S.J., President, Wheeling Jesuit University. "I have confidence that he will guide these programs with the same wisdom he shows with our Coal Impoundment Project and Appalachian Institute."

McAteer's involvement with mine health and safety issues began when he worked alongside consumer and environmental advocate Ralph Nader on efforts to enact the landmark 1969 Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Acts. During the 1970s, McAteer led the safety and health programs of the United Mine Workers and founded the Occupational Safety and Health Law Center. In 1984, McAteer visited South Africa at the request of the National Union of MineWorkers to study health and safety issues, and during the Clinton administration he served as Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health at the United States Department of Labor. He also served for two years as the chief lawyer for the Department of Labor, the second largest law firm in the federal government at that time.

McAteer received his Juris Doctorate degree from West Virginia University and is a member of both the West Virginia Bar and the District of Columbia Bar.

Wheeling Jesuit University integrates the Jesuit traditions of intellectual excellence with the best of advanced technology to help students develop lives of success, service and significance. The University's mission is to educate students for life, for leadership, and for service with and among others. U.S.News & World Report ranks Wheeling Jesuit University 15th in the "Best Masterís Universities in the South," making it the highest ranked institution in West Virginia in that category for eight consecutive years, and the highest ranked school in the Ohio Valley. Wheeling Jesuit University is profiled in The Templeton Guide: Colleges that Encourage Character Development, which profiles exemplary college programs that inspire students to lead ethical and civic-minded lives. Wheeling Jesuit--the only Catholic institution of higher education in West Virginia--offers more than 30 undergraduate programs of study and six graduate degrees to about 1,500 students. It has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to1, and 18 intercollegiate NCAA Division II athletic teams. The 65-acre campus located in Wheeling, W.Va., includes 15 modern buildings, the multi-million dollar Acker Science Center, residence halls and a modern recreation and athletic facility that includes a soccer/track and field complex. The campus is home to the Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center, the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies, the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future, a Challenger Learning Center and the Clifford M. Lewis Appalachian Institute.

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