WVU Tech announces distinguished academic alumni award winners

Beckley, W, Va. – In preparation for its annual homecoming celebration, West Virginia University Institute of Technology has announced its academic alumni award winners for 2023. This year’s awardees are Richa Dubey’96, Kevin A. Highlander ’01, Dr. Nathan L. Galinsky ’11, and Dr. Gifty Osei Prempeh. More information about the awardees is provided below. 

Honoring the alumni awardees
WVU Tech’s Homecoming celebration begins on campus on February 6 and ends on February 11. Alumni winners will be honored at a reception and dinner at The Resort at Glade Springs on Friday, February 10, 2023. The reception is being sponsored by the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association. They will also be featured in the homecoming parade, beginning at 11:00 a.m., and during the basketball games at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the Raleigh County Convention Center on Saturday, February 11. 

Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will also be honored during these events and those awardees will be announced soon.

Tickets and sponsorships are available by contacting Jen Wood at or by calling 304-929-1400. For more information, visit Questions can be sent to

Alumni of the Year
Richa Dubey, ‘96 is the recipient of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences Alumni of the Year award. Dubey graduated from West Virginia University Institute of Technology in with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Dubey was born in Jabalpur, India, and moved to Montgomery, West Virginia when she was fourteen. She graduated from Valley High School in Smithers before attending Tech. Since graduating from Tech, Dubey has served in various product management and product strategy roles at Oracle, Intuit, Workday and FinancialForce. Dubey completed her master’s degree in business administration at the University of California Berkeley in 2003. Currently, she is the Senior Director of Product Strategy and is responsible for the strategic direction of financial solutions and gathering, prioritizing and defining product vision. Dubey lives in California with her husband and two sons, Rohan and Rohit.

Kevin A. Highlander, ‘01  is the Alumni of the Year award recipient for the College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences. Highlander graduated from WVU Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. He is currently a partner in Baker Tilly U.S., LLP. Highlander also serves the accounting profession by being active in the West Virginia Society of CPAs where he currently serves as the Chair of the Tax Committee. He is a member of the West Virginia Tax Institute and the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and presents on a variety of tax topics through the Society and the Tax Institute. Outside of professional endeavors, Highlander spends his time giving back to the community through board service. He is currently a board member of TechConnect West Virginia, whose focus is advancing science, technology and economic development in West Virginia. Highlander served for nine years as a board member of the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN), a group dedicated to fighting child abuse in West Virginia. WVCAN is still an organization he cares greatly about and continues to support their work. Highlander is a West Virginia native and resides in Charleston with Sarah and their two sons, Zach and Dylan.

Nelson Distinguished Young Alumni
Dr. Nathan L. Galinsky, ‘11 graduated from WVU Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. After graduation, he spent five years pursuing his master’s and doctoral degrees at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. After completing his graduate work in 2016, Galinsky furthered his studies under the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education program as a post-doc at the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia. Galinsky fell in love with teaching and began to pursue a future in education. In 2019, Galinsky accepted a job to join the department he once graduated from at WVU Tech. As a professor at WVU Tech, Dr. Galinsky has developed his passion for getting students into engineering and sciences and has been the Camp STEM coordinator since 2021. Galinsky was born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia. He loves teaching and seeing the excitement of finding a student’s “I understand” moment.
Golden Bear Empowerment Faculty Award
Dr. Gifty Osei Prempeh is a Professor and Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at WVU Tech. was born and raised in Ghana. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1999 from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. Osei Prempeh came to the United States in 2000 as a student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she graduated with a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 2002. She obtained her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2007 from the University of Kentucky. She began teaching at WVU Tech in 2010 as an Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering after a post-doctoral position at the University of Kentucky. She has spent the last twelve years at Tech guiding students in the classroom, research and career advising. She has also been involved in several K-12 outreach programs in West Virginia and Kentucky. Osei Prempeh lives in Beckley with her family. She enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her three children during her free time.