Olivia McCuskey

Program Coordinator, Inspire West Virginia

Olivia is a West Virginia native and grew up in St. Albans. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with a minor in History in May 2014 from Ohio University. Throughout her undergraduate years she was also a member of the Ohio University Women’s Basketball Team, her career spanning from 2010-2014, and became involved with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She was a member of the Ohio University Archaeological Field School Program, surveying and excavating Patton’s Cave in Summer 2013 and completing lab analysis and data tracking of the site throughout her senior year. Olivia was the recipient of the Ohio University Department of Sociology and Anthropology Outstanding Graduating Senior Award 2013-2014. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, she spent the summer of 2014 studying at Columbia University in their Post-Baccalaureate Philosophy Program in New York City.

During Olivia’s senior year at Ohio University and her first year following graduation she was the student leader of the Appalachian Population History Project (APHP). She, along with two professors in the Anthropology Department and other students, researched and analyzed several coal mining towns in the Hocking Hills region. The study focused on the historical demographics of the region, ancestry, migration into and out of the region over time, population, census data and access to health care in the isolated mining towns.

Olivia’s first work with Inspire West Virginia involved being a program mentor to student leaders after she completed her undergraduate degree. She learned about the program through her younger sister, Elizabeth, who was an Inspired Leader in West Virginia from 2015-2016. When she heard about the program and its mission she was extremely excited to work with the program and its student leaders in her home state. As the year progressed, Olivia’s role with Inspire blossomed from that of a mentor to being a full-time Program Coordinator as both Olivia’s interests and passions expanded simultaneously with West Virginia’s program.

Throughout her undergraduate studies, her involvement with the APHP and her early time spent with Inspire West Virginia as a mentor, Olivia developed a passion for helping those with limited access to resources and education, both in the United States and internationally, and further deepened her passion for protecting the environment. She believes that the only true way to help the areas she is passionate about is through education, awareness and changing legislation to reflect these concerns. Olivia’s goal is to help each person develop their own passions along with an understanding of how to use their rights, ideas and resources to make a difference in their communities, reach their full potential as an individual and allow each person to experience the fullness of the world that extends beyond our Wild & Wonderful state of West Virginia.

As a Program Coordinator for Inspire West Virginia, Olivia connects with local partners, recruits and mentors student leaders, and oversees program development. In her spare time she enjoys reading, working out, hiking, traveling and spending time with family and friends.  

 


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