Director, Humanities Center
Renée Nicholson is a known and celebrated writer, educator, mentor and expert in narrative medicine. Since 2013, she has made significant contributions in teaching, service and research and has undertaken additional efforts in academic advising, fundraising, grant writing and cross-curricular integration.
Nicholson’s interdisciplinary project, “The Value of Expressive Storytelling/Writing on Quality of Life,” funded in part by a Humanities Center grant, was a collaboration with WVU School of Medicine to capture the experiences of HIV patients in Appalachia. This project, as well as similar work with cancer patients in Appalachia, earned her the 2018 Susan S. Landis Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts at the West Virginia Governor’s Arts Awards and the 2019 Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Outstanding Public Service Award. She also is the 2020 Winner of the Nicholas Evans Award for Excellence in Advising (WVU). Her books include two collections of poetry, Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center and Post Script; a memoir-in-essays, Fierce and Delicate: Essays on Dance and Illness; and co-editor of the anthology Bodies of Truth: Personal Narratives on Illness, Disability, and Medicine.
In addition to her teaching and research, Nicholson has served as a board member for the Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, chair of the fundraising committee for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra series at WVU, a member of WVU’s Campus Read committee, and assistant director and director of the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop.
Nicholson received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from WVU and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Creating Writing from Butler University.