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Andrew Barnes

Andrew in a garden holding a lotus flower.

If you weren’t working at WVU, what’s the most likely alternative?

I got two degrees there and now at this point the bulk of my career has been at WVU, too, which I never pictured that happening.


I imagined three or four different careers in my life before I actually got into development. Being a political science student, I pictured a career in politics. Then, I moved onto thinking about a career in journalism. Neither of those happened, so if I weren’t at WVU, I’d hope that I’d be in Vietnam or even Germany living the good life, teaching English or being immersed in a foreign culture.


Moment you knew what you wanted to study:

I got a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Masters in Journalism from WVU. I don’t remember picking a field to study where I’ve just always focused on that. I wanted to study just about anything. I think history, philosophy and culture are things that I’ve always been drawn to. So I’ve always had an interest in that stuff since I was a kid. I guess I kind of consider myself a student of the world.

Moment you knew your current role was right for you:

I don’t know that I can identify a singular moment. The moments that I felt like I could do this are when I’ve been able to match a donor’s passion to what we’re doing with the Davis College and help them fulfill that passion for them and reach a strategic objective for the college.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would love to be in Vietnam or Germany. My wife is Vietnamese, and I speak German. I spent a year in Germany, and I’ve always wanted to go back and stay there for awhile. Family is in Vietnam. I feel like those are fun adventures to have over there. But I wouldn’t trade a life in West Virginia for anything. It’s a unique place to be. I appreciate that I’ve had my childhood and young adulthood in West Virginia and how unique that is in the world.

Favorite part of social distancing:

The ability to stay at home with family and being with the family. The biggest challenge with development is all the travel you have to do and being away from the family. Right now being home and working and being there for my baby has been a real blessing. It’s kind of a weird fluke that I’d be able to do that because normally I’d be traveling under the pressure of getting out there and meeting people and being away from home and from the baby. That’s a silver lining and I wouldn’t change a thing about that.

Least favorite part of social distancing:

On the flip side, I don’t get to travel for work. I don't get to get out there and meet face to face with the donors for the college and see them in person. I think that's really hard and frustrating. It makes it harder for what we do.


Just for Fun

Favorite book: Tao Te Ching

Favorite movie/TV show: Pulp Fiction; Star Trek: The Next Generation

Favorite Spotify playlist/band/song: The Beatles, The Strokes, Weezer

Favorite local restaurant: Saigon Pho, Chaang Thai

Favorite local activity: Walking in White Park