BUCKHANNON, WV, January 18, 2013 /Worldwide Who's Who/
-- Phyllis K. Coston, Professor Emerita and Director of the Learning Center Emerita for West Virginia Wesleyan College and an ordained Deacon for the United Methodist Church, has been named a Worldwide Who's Who Professional of the Year in Special Education Curriculum Development. While inclusion in Worldwide Who's Who is an honor, only a small selection of members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, years of service, and the credentials they have provided in association with their Worldwide Who's Who membership.
Dr. Coston became a pioneer in educational services for college students with learning difficulties. In 1963, she founded the West Virginia Wesleyan College Learning Center to help students who were having problems with reading and study skills. In 1982, she developed one of the first college programs specifically to help students with learning difficulties, in particular dyslexia. She also taught courses in Christian Education and Reading Education. Dr. Coston has gained expertise in learning disabilities, college-level developmental programs, brain research and Christian Education. She is writing a book entitled Celebration of Success, due to be published in 2013, and continues counseling, presenting programs and providing individual help with a focus on dyslexic students. Her 56 years of professional experience includes 48 years as a professor and 15 years as an ordained deacon.
Dr. Coston received a BA in Education and Christian Education from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1953, an MA in Education and Christian Education from Northwestern University in 1958, and a Doctor of Humane Letters from WV Wesleyan in 1998. As a professional, she maintains association with the American Association of University Women, the Learning Disability Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, Developmental Educators, Christian Educators Fellowship, United Methodist Association of Scholars in Christian Education, the Orton Society and the International Reading Association. She also serves as the Deacon at the First United Methodist Church in Buckhannon, W.V. and a board member for the Upshur County Parish House and chair of the board of the Sweet Trees Retreat Center. Furthermore, Dr. Coston attends the West Virginia Annual Conferences regularly as a Deacon and the former Chair of the Board of Diaconal Ministers and former Chair of the Order of Deacons for the conference.
A distinguished member of the Church and the learning community, Dr. Coston is the first ordained Deacon to receive the Garret Evangelical Seminary Alumna of the Year Award in 2011. She also received The Francis Asbury Award for fostering United Methodist ministries in higher education in 2010 and was recognized by Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 2005.
Additionally, she received the Athena Award for accomplishments by women from the Buckhannon Chamber of Commerce in 2002. She was awarded an Exemplary Teaching Award by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church in 1998, Distinguished Reading Educators Award of West Virginia in 1996 and the West Virginia Educator of the Year Award from the West Virginia Association for Development Education in 1993. Although she has already acquired over five decades of success, Dr. Coston intends to publish a book based on the stories of successful students who had been told that, due to learning difficulties, they would never succeed in college. She would also like to continue to preach, and to continue with speaking engagements. She enjoys traveling with her husband, Dr. Herbert Coston, Professor of History Emeritus of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The Costons are parents of two successful children, Robert and Susan.
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