As vice president for strategic initiatives at West Virginia University, Rob Alsop is responsible for identifying, developing and managing sustainable resources and initiatives that support academic, research and service excellence. He was appointed to his current position in August 2017. His expanded responsibilities included financial, budgeting, talent and culture, and facilities while still maintaining oversight of corporate and government relations and continuing innovation and entrepreneurship efforts. Rob earned his political science degree from WVU in 1999 and law degree from the WVU College of Law in 2002. In addition to working in private practice for Bowles Rice LLP, and Jackson Kelly, PLLC, Rob has extensive state and federal government experience. From November 2010 through May 2013, he was the chief of staff to West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, where he focused on a host of legislative initiatives, including the Marcellus Shale regulatory structure, OPEB reform, primary education reform and other economic development and budgetary matters. From January 2005 through November 2007, Rob served in a number of roles for former Governor Joe Manchin, including deputy general counsel, general counsel for the Department of Revenue and secretary of revenue. During his tenure with former Governor Manchin, he was his designee as chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, working on privatizing that system. He also served as chief of staff for Senator Carte Goodwin in Washington, D.C., and clerked for the Honorable Robert King, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, in Charleston, West Virginia, and Richmond, Virginia.
Cynthia Sweet is the associate vice president of the WVU Corporate and Government Relations Office. She is responsible for leading operations and strategic direction for corporate engagements and government relations. Prior to this, she served as the founding director of the WVU Corporate Relations Office. The office’s mission is to build WVU’s capacity for corporate engagements and foster and facilitate mutually beneficial relationships with executives and representatives from corporate partners. Cynthia moved to Morgantown in 2015. She was with the University of Wisconsin-Madison for nine years and has a total of 22 years of economic and business development experience in the private and public sectors. She holds an MS degree in planning and economic development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed her BA in economic development at St. Cloud State University.
He has extensive litigation experience at the trial and appellate levels in civil and criminal law, and has been an assistant prosecuting attorney and an assistant attorney general. He has held high-level positions for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. He also held the positions of general counsel, deputy secretary for programs, commissioner of the Bureau of Children and Families and acting cabinet secretary. Rocco Fucillo holds a political science degree from Fairmont State, graduated from the WVU College of Law in 1987, and earned an LLM in trial advocacy from Temple Law School in 1996.
Ron Justice received two WVU degrees: a bachelor’s degree in history in 1985 and a master’s degree in educational administration in 1990. Ron has worked for the University since 1985, serving in various roles, including Greek advisor and assistant dean of students before becoming director of student organizations. He also served as mayor of Morgantown from 2002-2009, helping to strengthen town and gown relationships. Previously he served as deputy mayor for seven years and as a member of Morgantown City Council from 1991-2009.
Travis Mollohan advocates on behalf of WVU with the WV State Legislature and the WV Governor’s Office, as well as state, county and local officials across the Mountain State. Prior to joining WVU, he served as a long-time aide to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. He previously worked for Manchin in campaign, gubernatorial and senatorial roles, where he last served as director of outreach initiatives and constituent services for the Senator’s state operations. Travis earned a B.A. in Political Science from West Virginia University in 2005. Locally, he serves on the Empty Bowls Monongalia board of directors.
Mary Ditmore develops and manages the University Federal Relations program with an emphasis on policy and funding priorities. Mary leads the advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and with Federal agencies advising the University leadership on relevant federal developments related to higher education. Mary is active in the National higher education associations, and currently serves as Secretary-Elect for the Council of Government Affairs of the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. Prior to her service at West Virginia University in 2005, Mary practiced law as a general litigation attorney in Washington, DC. Mary earned her Juris Doctorate from the West Virginia University College of law and her undergraduate degree from Wheeling Jesuit University.
Sarah Wheeler is the federal relations associate within the WVU Office of Corporate and Government Relations. Her current work focuses on assisting with priority federal projects, initiatives, and advocacy efforts and leading internal projects related to the West Virginia Congressional Delegation. Sarah has been with WVU’s Federal Relations Team since 2013. Prior to joining WVU, she received her Master of Arts degree in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University where her research focused on political rhetoric and discourse and political speech in the media. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a concentration on professional writing and a minor in political science from Waynesburg University.
Suzanne serves as the Director of Federal and State Higher Education Initiatives. Based in Washington, D.C., Suzanne works in collaboration with the WVU Federal Relations team in advocating the university’s federal policy and funding priorities to the West Virginia delegation, with strong focus on the appropriations process and increasing WVU’s visibility in Washington, D.C. She also acts as a liaison to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission on federal R&D and student support programs, as well as collaborative initiatives. Prior to joining WVU, Suzanne served as U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller’s Director of Appropriations and Legislative Aid for higher education issues. From 1999 through June 2010, Suzanne served on the Senate Appropriations Committee, overseeing the development and advancement of West Virginia-based appropriations initiatives for the former Senate Appropriations Chairman/Ranking Member Robert C. Byrd. Suzanne began her Capitol Hill career in Senator Byrd’s personal office, advancing from a Staff Assistant to Projects Assistant and ultimately, to the position of Projects Director. Suzanne earned a B.A. in International Studies from West Virginia University, and is an At-Large Board Member of the WVU Alumni National Capital Area Chapter.