Senator Shelley Moore Capito delivers Poundstone Lecture | Statler College Media Hub

Senator Shelley Moore Capito was the first female selected to deliver the Poundstone Lecture. (WVU Photo/Paige Nesbit)

West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito delivered the Poundstone Lecture in a private event on Monday, October 3, as part of West Virginia University’s Department of Mining Engineering’s William N. Poundstone Lecture Series at the Erickson Alumni Center.

Story by Brittany Furbee, Communication Specialist

Photos by Paige Nesbit, Director of Marketing and Communications


Senator Capito is a lifelong West Virginian from Glen Dale. She holds a BS in Zoology from Duke University and a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia. Capito was first elected to the United States Senate in 2014, and re-elected in 2020. She is the first female Senator in West Virginia’s history and was elected with the largest margin of victory for a Republican in state history—winning more than 70 percent of the vote and all 55 counties, surpassing the previous mark she set in 2014 when she won more than 62 percent of the vote and all 55 counties.

After serving West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the US House of Representatives for 14 years, and as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates for four years prior, Senator Capito decided to run for Senate to be an even stronger voice for the Mountain State . Senator Capito currently serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the Rules and Administration Committee, and the Environment and Public Works Committee as Ranking Member.

Monday’s event was historic, as Senator Capito was the first female selected to deliver the Poundstone Lecture.

“Since its interception in 2000, all Poundstone Lecturers have been males,” said Vladislav Kecojevic, the Robert E. Murray Chair and professor of mining engineering and Interim Chair of the Wadsworth Department of civil and environmental engineering. “Having such a distinguished lecturer plays a critical role in enhancing the educational experience and retention of our students in a male-dominated industry.”

Senator Capito’s lecture touched on the economic impact the mining industry has on the state and beyond. She commended mining engineers on the critical role they fill to provide invaluable energy resources in West Virginia and stressed the important impact they will have on the future of the mining industry.

“Senator Capito emphasized that minerals are of essential need for the state of West Virginia and the nation, particularly for US infrastructure, national security, green technologies as well as environmental sustainability,” said Kecojevic. “Having Senator Capito as a Poundstone lecturer acknowledges the importance of the WVU department of mining engineering in educating and training future mining engineers through high-quality and innovative teaching and research.”

Following the lecture, students and faculty members had the opportunity to ask questions and converse with Senator Capito and other industry professionals.

“The lecture was not only beneficial to students but also the state of West Virginia,” said Jared Morse, a senior mining engineering student from Earleville, Maryland. “It’s nice to have an update from somebody who holds an important office in the US Senate. The key takeaway is that our industry has the support of our government, not only in the state but also at the federal level, and that its importance extends beyond domestic use.”

“It was an honor to deliver the 2022 WVU William N. Poundstone Lecture, and see firsthand just how bright the future of mining is for our state and nation,” Senator Capito said. “In West Virginia, mining is a part of our heritage, and it touches nearly all of us in some way every single day. The students and faculty within the department of mining engineering are the ones who will not only continue our state’s proud tradition and as energy-producer, but also bring our nation’s economy and energy sector to levels we can’t yet imagine. I can’t wait to see how our bright young men and women shape that future, and I’m so proud it all starts right here at WVU.

The Department of Mining Engineering established the William N. Poundstone Lecture Series in 2000 to honor Poundstone, a distinguished alumnus of the Department, and to bring mining industry experts to campus to share their expertise with students and faculty. Poundstone, who passed away in 2015, was inducted into the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in 2016.



Contact: Paige Nesbit

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Telephone: 304-293-4135

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