Three West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) members have been elected to the school’s board of governors, the body that oversees the financial, business and educational policies under which the school operates. The new board members appointments became effective July 1.
Peter Ward, Ph.D., was elected as a faculty representative; Marlena Dunbar was elected as a staff representative; and Abdulrahman Al Halak, WVSOM Class of 2023, was elected as a student representative.
Ward is an anatomy professor in WVSOM’s biomedical sciences department and has been a WVSOM faculty member since 2005. He has served on numerous WVSOM faculty committees, was faculty chair from 2018 to 2020 and operates the school’s plastination facility, which produces anatomical specimens for educational use. Ward also has worked with Bone Clones, a company that casts simulated human and animal bones from polyurethane resin, to create commercially distributed models illustrating bone injuries.
Ward spent three years as the association secretary for the American Association of Clinical Anatomists. He is the sole author of Clinical Anatomy Explained: Netter’s Musculoskeletal System, an Integrated Anatomical Text, for use at medical schools that, like WVSOM, use an integrated curriculum.
He received a Ph.D. in anatomy education at Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Carnegie Mellon University.
In addition to serving as WVSOM’s staff representative, Marlena Dunbar was also named secretary of the WVSOM Board of Governors. She is a paralegal in WVSOM’s Office of General Counsel. Dunbar received an Associate of Science degree in legal studies, a Bachelor of Science degree in business studies/human resources management, and a Master of Business Administration in public administration.
Abdulrahman Al Halak was elected to join the WVSOM Board of Governors as a student representative, replacing Aaron Byczynski, Class of 2022. Al Halak received a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and a Master of Health Science from West Virginia University.
Additionally, Robert Holstein, D.O., was named the board’s chair and Thomas Cole and Sharon Hall were appointed as new board members by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.
The WVSOM Board of Governors consists of nine lay members appointed by West Virginia’s governor and three elected representatives, one each from the school’s faculty, staff and student body.