West Virginia University is recognizing 36 top seniors with the WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior Award. Seven of those students are also being honored with the University’s most prestigious student honor – the Order of Augusta.

The students will be formally recognized during Commencement weekend at the WVU Honors Convocation at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 11. The event will be held at the WVU Creative Arts Center.

Established in 1995 to signify the 40th anniversary of the WVU Foundation, the Outstanding Seniors award recognizes students for their contributions and achievements in scholarship, leadership and service.

The Order of Augusta further recognizes the students’ superior scholarship, demonstrated leadership and record of community and public service. The award is named for its historical significance in the state. Augusta was among the original names considered by the Legislature when the state seceded from Virginia in 1863.

The 2012 Order of Augusta scholars are: Colleen Beatty, Upper Tract; Amy Burt, Salem, Ohio; Michael Gnegy, Oakland, Md.; Tina Hoggarth, Petersburg; Alanna Markle, Parkersburg; Steven Robison, Charles Town; and Grant Shulman, Morgantown.

The remaining 29 WVU Outstanding Seniors come from as far away as California and Italy and as close as West Virginia. They are:

West Virginia
Jason Bailey, Ripley
Brittney Benchoff, Morgantown
Jennifer Buch, Wheeling
Jamie Chapman, Sutton
Molly Drescher, Charleston
Adrienne Duckworth, Grafton
Valerie Guido, Clarksburg
Crystal Harper, Morgantown
Megan Hott, Keyser
Ahna Lewis, Morgantown
Jedson Liggett II, Huttonsville
Michael Lynch, Beckley
Nicole McKitrick, Wheeling
Andrea Miller, Shepherdstown
Christopher Smith, St. Albans
Arwen Stewart, Morgantown
Katlin Stinespring, Culloden

Grayson Lewis, Roseville

Abigail Monson, Centennial

Niccolo Campriani, Sesto Fidrentino

Brittany Bowman, Walkersville
Drew Proudfoot, Oakland
Christian Roper, Hanover

Steven Neff, Johnstown

Amy Cheung, Camp Hill
Katrina Lawrence, Carmichaels
Jessica Lear, Pittsburgh
Sarah Lemanski, Carlisle
Alison Mols, North Huntington

Order of Augusta:

Coming from a small high school in Upper Tract, Colleen Beatty was challenged to make the most of her experience at WVU in a pool of more than 28,000 students.

Beatty can now say without a doubt, she has done just that.

“Looking back over my college career, I am amazed by all that I have accomplished and experienced,” said Beatty. “I have conducted scientific research. I have charged onto Mountaineer Field with my trombone to the roar of thousands of cheering fans. I have gone scuba diving and spelunking. My loyalty to West Virginia is forever sealed because of my experience at WVU.”

She has served as president of WVU’s chapter of Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honorary, an officer in all three of WVU’s class honoraries and community service chair of Alpha Epsilon Delta National Health Honorary. She is a member of WVU’s MedBOUND program, as well. She is a recipient of the Bucklew Scholarship, Eberly Scholarship, Gribble Scholarship, Valedictorian Scholarship and John M. Murphy Biology Scholarship, among others.

Beatty will graduate this May with a degree in biology, a history minor and a 4.0 GPA. She will start medical school at WVU in the fall. Her long-term goal is to make a difference in healthcare in West Virginia by advocating for prevention of diseases.


Amy Burt, of Salem, Ohio, has worked an average of 20 hours per week during the semester and full time every summer to pay for her education. Burt will graduate with a 4.0 GPA in mining engineering and agribusiness management and rural development.

“I made it a point to know the curriculum and requirements which I would need to complete along with the order in which they needed to be fulfilled,” she said. “The degree program that I have created has forced me to diversify my education. The curriculum I have chosen gave me the broadest range of topics possible while still allowing me to specialize in surface mining systems.”

She has been active in the Society for Mining Metallurgy and Exploration. In addition, she was a Davis College of Agriculture Natural Resources and Design Student Ambassador and member of the Rifle Club, among her other pursuits.

Burt has been involved in several leadership positions ranging from committee member to president in the Davis College’s Student Council. As president, she coordinated multiple events for students like the Fall 2012 College’s Welcome Back Barbecue.


Alan Gnegy, of Oakland Md., will walk out of his commencement ceremony with a degree in accounting as well as a job waiting for him in Pittsburgh at Pillar Innovations.

“The countless and varied academic opportunities that were available to me as an undergraduate have enhanced my value as an employee and helped mold me into the person that I have become,” Gnegy said.

Gnegy was the founder of a student organization on campus, the 21st Century Business Scholars, and served as a member of Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honorary.

He was a recipient of the Richard Gardner Scholarship, Phi Sigma Delta S. Robbins Scholarship and Professor and Mrs. Enoch Howard Vickers Scholarship, among others. He was a co-author of “Education & Entrepreneurship: Implications for Contemporary Microfinance” which was later published in American Journal of Business Education.

“I have been nothing but impressed with his academic performance, service to WVU and its community, his pursuit of leadership positions on and of campus, his loyalty as a Mountaineer and his passion for helping others,” said Joseph Seiaman, assistant dean at the College of Business and Economics. “The one word that best describes Alan is ‘remarkable.’”


Hailing from Petersburg, Tina Hoggarth has successfully met the challenge of balancing her work as a teaching assistant, a tutor and volunteer work at the Monongahela Animal Shelter along with her studies.

Hoggarth, a member of Alpha Lambda Delta majoring in animal and nutritional sciences, will graduate with a GPA of 3.9 in May.

Her decision to enter veterinary science came after a summer volunteering with an animal shelter. She later volunteered in local veterinary offices. After that, there was no question what major she wanted to pursue.

“More challenging courses never intimidated me, because I always knew I had the ability to perform to a higher level if I dedicated myself and let nothing stand in my way,” Hogarth said. “I have never been able to say no to great opportunities. Therefore, I was always involved in volunteering, internships and working a part-time job.”

Hoggarth spent much of her free time during her senior year honing her research skills to find ways to kill internal parasites by culturing her own specimens from sheep’s wool.


Alanna Markle, of Parkersburg, devoted her time to the student organization Fair Trade 2.0. She was asked by her faculty advisor to represent the group as the student ambassador in Nicaragua and in 2011 was elected president of the organization.

The international studies and political science double major will graduate with a 3.96 GPA.

“During my time at WVU, I have been solely responsible for my managing my finances and pursuing professional development opportunities, like internships and study abroad,” Markle said. “Though it has been overwhelming at times, I feel that as a result I have gained a combination of academics, work and travel experience has given me the necessary independence, confidence and professional aptitude to graduate with minimal anxiety about the future.”

Markle was active in an unpaid summer internship with The Working World. She was also an intern with Campus Coordinator and tutored student-athletes while at WVU.

She volunteered with the Amizade Annual Water Walk, Conversation Partner program and Appalachian Prison Book project.


As a junior at WVU, Steven Robison had the opportunity to study abroad at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. For a semester, he refined his Arabic and French language skills under international professors.

In addition, he has had a West Virginia legislative internship in 2009 and another with U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller in 2011. He was also a security policy intern at the Federal Aviation Administration.

Robinson, a Charles Town native who will graduate with a dual degree in international studies and foreign languages, is the vice president of Sigma Iota Rho, the national honor society for international studies.

“My academic experiences at WVU have been diverse, but more importantly, they have been practical,” he said. “These are the opportunities that have fostered my ability to think critically and innovatively.”

He is a resident assistant member of the Pierpont Hall Council and a resident assistant advisor to the Pierpont Student Conduct Board. He has been a member of Student Connections, Students for Barack Obama and Mountaineer Maniacs.
Robison has also volunteered at the Bartlett House, through the Dadisman/Stalnaker Halls Community Service Club and with other events on campus over the last four years.


Grant Shulman found a love for psychology all the way back in high school following his first course in the subject. After a research assistant position at WVU as a senior in high school, that love continued to grow.

“I highly doubt most faculty members at any other university would allow a senior in high school to assist in the research process without even having a basic research methods course ? I have experienced the kindness and openness of the faculty here at West Virginia,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to assist on an incredible amount of research projects during my undergraduate career and find each experiment equally enlightening.”

Shulman, a Morgantown native who will graduate with a degree in psychology, is the president of Psi Chi International Psychology Honorary, Psychology Club and Holding Every Life Precious, a mental health awareness program at WVU.

In his time on campus, he has helped the Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services to write a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant for the development of a suicide prevention and awareness program at WVU.

Outstanding Seniors:

Jason Bailey, of Ripley, took on many tasks during his five years at WVU, from entering in 2007 as a Foundation Scholar to graduating this May with two degrees, 330 completed services hours and a 3.93 overall GPA.

Another task to add to the list included leading the student body as president of Student Government Association.

“Uniting a student body of almost 30,000 while handling the internal workings of our organization made up of 19 elected officials, 25 appointed executives and 20 interns seems daunting,” Bailey said. “Place that on top of handling a six-figure budget and representing the students as a voting member of the institutional Board of Governors, and my days go from dawn to dusk.”

Bailey was a member of the Mountaineer Marching Band for four years. He also serves as a member of College Republicans, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Student Advocates for Legislative Advancement, among others. He was a Truman Scholarship National Semifinalist in 2010 and was selected as a Mr. Mountaineer finalist in 2011.

Bailey will graduate with a dual degree in international studies and political science with a minor in economics.


Brittany Benchoff is one of just 10 students ever at WVU to maintain a 4.0 GPA in industrial engineering.

“One point I always make to new students is that personal motivation is the best way to succeed academically,” said Benchoff, a Morgantown native. “I strongly believe that if you hold the desire to learn and expand your knowledge base, the ‘good’ grades will follow naturally.”

As a member of Mortar Board Honorary, Alpha Phi Mu Industrial Engineering Honorary and the current president of Tau Beta Phi, Benchoff succeeds in balancing extracurricular activity with schoolwork, including several study abroad trips to Australia and Italy.

Benchoff is a student in the Honors College who has received the Presidential Award for Excellence and various scholarships such as the Bucklew Scholarship and the Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Scholarship. She was also a National Merit Scholar.

During her time at WVU, she served as a lab instructor which inspired her to pursue a career in academia. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in operations research and industrial engineering in order to work in academia post-graduation.


Brittany Bowman, of Walkersville, Md., said she has achieved more than she dreamed and gained a lifetime of friends and professional contacts at WVU.

Along the way, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and continued to be a well-rounded individual who is active in the community.

She transferred to WVU in the fall of 2010 to complete her undergraduate degree in agriculture education and extension and participated in many Future Farmers of America events during her short time at the University.

“My many work experiences have contributed to my overall development in time management and organizational skills,” Bowman said. “These experiences have also assisted me in becoming more responsible and confident to be anything I set my mind to.”

Bowman also worked as a program assistant at the Frederick County Young Farmers Quarter Auction. She is a recipient of the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design Outstanding Junior Award.


Jennifer Buch, a Wheeling native, spent some of her time at WVU as a campus tour guide to prospective students.

“Working with the New Student Orientation office allowed me to brush up my public speaking skills while learning how to cooperate with large groups of people and parents,” she said. “I really enjoyed giving tours of the campus and helping ease students into a new phase of their lives.”

Buch, who is graduating with a degree in multidisciplinary studies (concentrations in advertising, art history and foreign literature in translation), identified her interests early on at WVU, which helped her find the right career path.

She participated in Adventure West Virginia, the WVU Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Buch worked as a web and graphic designer, production designer, photo assistant and was the head of student guides.

During her college experience she was an art commissar for the Russian Club.


Niccolo Campriani combines innovation and world-class athletic skills to excel as a Mountaineer.

Thanks to Campriani, a Sesta Florentino, Italy native, WVU has one of the best in the world in its community. He was a participant in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and transferred to WVU in 2009 from the University of Florence after two years of studying industrial engineering. Campriani graduated in December with a GPA of 3.9 while majoring in industrial and management systems engineering.

During his time in Morgantown, Campriani has been a member of the WVU rifle team and an assistant coach for the Rifle Club of Morgantown. He has also combined his passion for sports and engineering while working for the Italian sport pistol firm Pardini, where he designed a new air rifle that uses magnetic absorbers to reduce recoil.

“I discovered that life is not about good luck or bad luck, it all depends on the opportunities you create,” he said. “More opportunities mean a higher probability to succeed. That’s simple math.”

Campriani has been training in Colorado Springs to prepare for the London Olympic Games this summer.


Jamie Chapman was not always sure what being a lawyer entailed but nevertheless pursued the path she dreamed of since childhood.

The double major in political science and economics from Sultan will graduate with a 3.98 GPA this spring. Driven by a strong sense of commitment to the local community, Chapman was actively involved in many leadership during her time in Morgantown. She served as the president and founder of the WVU United Way organization for the 2011-12 school year.

“When I moved to Morgantown in the summer of 2009, service and giving back to the community ranked among my top priorities,” Chapman said. “I consider Morgantown my home and truly believe that it’s a student’s responsibility to give back to the community they live in 9 months out of the year.”

Chapman studied abroad in Europe for the WVU Department of Political Science in 2009 and again in 2012. She has turned her sights to the energy side of the legal field and is leading a project to help the West Virginia Army National Guard in Camp Dawson extract gas from the Marcellus Shale and become more energy efficient.


Mountaineer musicians and rowers could learn a few things from the experiences of Amy Cheung.

A native of Camp Hill, Pa. and dual major in piano performance and Chinese studies, Cheung has been self employed as a piano accompanist since 2008 while demonstrating her leadership for the WVU rowing team.

Cheung has achieved near fluency in Mandarin after studying abroad in Taiwan and China, and she believes every undergraduate can benefit from studying abroad.

“I have learned that being able to laugh at myself is a valuable asset that not only keeps me humble but makes life interesting,” she said. “This is a very necessary personality trait, especially while my Chinese language skills are not quite fluent.”

Cheung spent her summers in Taiwan, China or Aspen, Colo., and opted to practice piano and Chinese characters in lieu of time in a lab doing problem sets. As an avid believer in cross-cultural relationship education, Chueng said her ultimate goal is to open an international music school in China.


Molly Drescher, of Charleston, began her experiences as a WVU student before ever walking into a classroom when she participated in the Adventure West Virginia program during the summer before her freshman year began.

“This experiential education program taught me valuable information about the university and forced me to admit to and overcome many of my initial fears about college,” Drescher said. “I found new passions for the outdoors through backpacking and hiking that I never would have discovered if not for this program.”

Drescher was inspired to become a leader for the following summer of the program.

Since her arrival to campus, Drescher has been active in the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association, Amizade Water Walk event planning committee and the Student Academy of Audiology. She has been honored with induction into Mortar Board National Senior Honorary.

Drescher will leave WVU in May with a 4.0 GPA and a degree in speech pathology and audiology as well as a certificate in disabilities studies. Her ultimate career goal is to work in a progressive children’s hospital as an audiologist with a specialization in pediatrics.


Adrienne Duckworth, of Morgantown, kept busy over the past four years being a nursing major, resident assistant, research assistant, tutor, straight-A student and published researcher.

By serving as a research assistant to her nursing professor Dr. Ilana Chertok, Duckworth was able to incorporate her leadership minor with her passion for nursing in an independent study course. This manuscript has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing.

“Adrienne proposed the idea of the scholarly topic of partner-focused prenatal smoking cessation programs, and was amenable to the guidance I provided her in the literature search, critical appraisal and synthesis required for composition of the manuscript,” Chertok said. “She possesses an intellectual curiosity that should serve her well in her future graduate studies.”

Duckworth is a recipient of the Hazel Johnson Nursing Scholarship, Thelma Bernadine Kinney Nursing Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship and Judy Kandzari Rural Health Scholarship, among others. She was a finalist for WVU’s 2011 Ms. Mountaineer.

Future plans for Duckworth include completing a master of science in nursing degree at WVU beginning this fall, and eventually switching roles in the classroom from student to professor.


For those who love to dance, the achievements of Valerie Guido show what dedication and optimism can do.

A passionate dancer with an equal desire to help others, Guido has performed in many concerts and fundraisers while using those skills to assist patients in physical therapy. The Clarksburg native will be graduating with a GPA of 3.8 in May. Guido is an exercise physiology major.

When she first came to WVU ,there were opportunities for students in the dance program beyond performances and choreograph. Working with Dr. Yoav Kaddar, Guido and her fellow dancers established the Orchesis-Student Dance Association. This year, Guido served as president of the organization, which has worked hard to raise money for AIDS research and other fundraisers.

“From a very young age I had two passions in life-dancing and helping others,” she said. “By truly becoming involved with WVU and taking advantage of different opportunities that were presented to me, WVU helped me focus on both of these factions.”

Guido also studied abroad in Italy last summer and hopes to dance professionally before attending physical therapy school.


Whether championing banned books or searching for the house of Dracula, Crystal Harper strives to lead and inspire others.

Harper, a Morgantown native, is a member of the WVU Alumni Band and current vice president of Sigma Tau Delta with whom she organized a mock protest in celebration of Banned Books Week to raise awareness of ongoing literacy removal from schools and libraries. Harper is an English major and will graduate with a GPA of 3.9 in May.

She studied abroad in Romania and soon learned the importance of nonverbal communication when a language barrier exists. As an English major, she has also gained a glimpse of how culture has spread throughout the world by literature in all languages. Outside of class, Harper has also worked as an intern for WVU Arts & Entertainment.

She plans on continuing her education with a goal of obtaining a PhD in English.

“I know the road will be long but the prize is worth every mile,” she said. “I will continue to represent WVU in everything I do during and after this pursuit. I want to educate the next generation of thinkers. I want to open their minds to the wonderful things that surround them.”


For Megan Hott, her four years of college were not comparable to the average student.

“I was raised by my grandmother in Keyser and she always said to me, ‘the only way you can make it out of here is with an education, and the only way you can afford an education is if you earn it,’” Hott said.

As a first generation, financially independent college student, Hott’s college experience was a constant balance of school and work. Hott will leave WVU in May with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a Master’s degree in education, as she has completed the Five-Year Benedum Education Program in four years while adding a minor in Italian studies.

In her time at WVU, Hott was awarded the Darrell G. Collins Scholarship, Valedictorian Scholarship and Presidential Scholarship. She was a key member in both the WVU Council for Math Education and the Circolo Italiano: Italian Studies Club, and was also inducted into the Pi Mu Epsilon Math Honorary and Alpha Lambda Delta.


Katrina Lawrence of Morgantown is as a four-year senior in the Mountaineer Marching Band.

“Every year, we work harder than the last to earn the title of ‘Pride’ of West Virginia,” Lawrence said.

Additionally, Lawrence is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Xi Sigma Pi National Forestry Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key International Honor Society and Alpha Lambda Delta. She was awarded the Tom Clark Memorial Scholarship, Frank “Doc” Stevens Memorial Scholarship, Alpha Natural Resources Scholarship and the Presidential Scholarship.

Since Lawrence’s ultimate career goal is to become a lawyer, she chose the wildlife and fisheries resources program to provide herself with the necessary skills to excel in the legal profession specializing in environmental law.

“Such a university-wide reward and recognition as an outstanding senior further encourages one of our brightest students to succeed to even greater heights in one of the fields in which we need the brightest minds,” Merovich wrote in a letter of recommendation. “We need future leaders like Katrina to provide advice and guidance in the stewardship and conservation of our natural resources.”


Jessica Lear, of Pittsburgh, Pa., was surprised to finish her first semester as a biology student with a 4.0 GPA. She was even more surprised when it happened again the semester afterward.

For the next six semesters, she made it her personal goal to end with a 4.0 GPA and has done just that.

“I worked hard, sometimes making the impossible decision to not join friends for dinner so I could practice biochemistry problems or work on an English paper, but it was worth it,” Lear said. “Somewhere along the way I realized I love this. I love going to school and absorbing every piece of information I can. I love the slight peak of adrenaline I get when a test is passed out and the feeling of getting the grade I wanted so badly.”

Lear is a member of the Russian Club, tutor at the WVU Writing Center, researcher in the biology department and a science journalist for the Journal of Young Investigators. She also wrote for The Daily Athenaeum.

She has been recognized as a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.


Sarah Lemanski has demonstrated her WVU spirit with community volunteerism.

During her time in Morgantown, Lemanski, a Carlisle, Pa., native, worked diligently in service projects such as Sunnyside Up and the West Virginia Family Nutritional Health Survey in addition to her contributions as a member of the ultimate Frisbee team. She will graduate in May with her degree in acting with an overall GPA of 3.8.

When she became involved in ultimate Frisbee the girls’ team was not recognized by the University as a club sport and only had 10 players. After Lemanski became captain during her sophomore year, she helped the team establish itself as a club sport and now has more than 25 members.

For her capstone Lemanski played the role of Elvira in “Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward. She has played nearly 50 different roles during her time at WVU.
“I do theatre because it gives voice to people who cannot share their own; it tells important stories and opens eyes to new understanding about life,” Lemanski said. “I believe that expanding personalized arts education into our West Virginia communities will help culutural awareness both within our state and outside of it.”


With a strong work ethic and concern for others, Ahna Lewis, has helped build up others as well as entire teams.

Lewis has been a member of the WVU cross country and track teams since 2007 and has served as captain last year. She has also volunteered with AmeriCorps and worked as a counselor with the West Virginia Youth Cross Country Camp. The Morgantown native is a double major in secondary education and English.

In November she was selected for the Elite 89 Award, an award given to NCAA Division I student-athletes with outstanding GPAs. Lewis was the first student Mountaineer to receive the award.

“I have always loved working with young people,” Lewis said. “In fact, this desire to be a positive influence in young lives is one of the reasons I decided to pursue a degree in education. My summer work experiences at youth camps and running camps have helped me to develop my mentoring and counseling skills.”

Lewis plans to continue her education and has applied to the University of Oxford in England to pursue a Master’s degree in English Language.


Grayson Lewis’ contributions to the Mountaineer community can be seen in his humanitarian projects.

Lewis, a psychology major from Morgantown, has demonstrated his devotion to helping others in Morgantown and around the world through his participation in various humanitarian and charitable campaigns such as Human Wrong, Habitat for Humanity, and the WVU Engagement Conference.

While still a sophomore, Lewis founded Project Unity, a service organization that worked to synchronize the various campus religious groups to increase humanitarian efforts. Project Unity partnered with World Orphans to raise awareness on campus about modern day slavery and how Mountaineers can help reduce it. He has also served as the president of Chi Alpha for the last year and worked as a therapist intern at the Intensive Autism Services Delivery Clinic.

“I have had the opportunity to work beside and for those who are cold, hungry, and poor fostering in me compassion and humility,” he said on his application. “Studying alongside my peers has impacted my value of teamwork and emotional support. The passion, drive, commitment, honor, professionalism and excellence shown by my mentors here at the faculty at WVU I cannot comment on enough.”


Jedson Liggett II aspires to serve and lead not just those in his community but his country as well.

An active member of the WVU Honors College, Liggett, a Huttonsville native, also holds the position of vice president for the Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society and the Alpha Epsilon Delta National Pre-Health Honor Society. He will graduate in May with GPA of 3.94 with a major in animal and nutritional sciences.

Liggett was instrumental in helping the Laurel Chapter of the Mortar Board become much more active in the community by doing projects like the “Hail, West Virginia” Wall and the “Mortar Bee” spelling bee.

“My overall experience at WVU has been nothing less than extraordinary,” Liggett said. “Not only have I gotten a great education, become a better-rounded person and effective leader but I have also had the time of my life.”

After graduation Liggett plans to go to the medical school at WVU and then obtain a general surgery residency in a United States Navy hospital. Liggett said he would like so serve a tour of duty with the Navy upon completion of that residency.


College students could be inspired by Michael Lynch who searched for the opportunity and challenged himself for a well-rounded learning experience.

Lynch, a chemistry major from Beckley, is the vice president of the American Chemical Student Affiliates. The success with that organization earned it an honorable mention from the Society Committee on Education from the National American Chemical Society.

Lynch was an IT specialist and civil engineer intern with Alliance Consulting before his traveled abroad to Pisa, Italy. He found that experience invigorating, and it had enhanced the growing idea that he knew more than he thought about the world.

Lynch had applied for the WVNano SURE program. Lynch plans to receive his Ph.D. in physical or organic chemistry or an M.D. specializing in oncology.

“I am grateful for all the personal adversity I faced. It has prepared me not only for the next step in my life but for anything that will come my way,” he said. “Therefore, my experience as an undergrad in this regard has been invaluable.”


Kaitlyn McKitrick, an art major from Wheeling, had the opportunity to visit Italy and travel around the entire country for a week experiencing everything it had to offer during her WVU career.

She studied abroad in Strasbourg and was a section leader and flutist in the Mountaineer Marching Band.

While earning an overall 3.92 GPA, McKitrick also received the Bucklew Scholarship and was the first member in her family to go to college. She also was president of Alpha lambda Delta and Pi Sigma Alpha.

McKitrick spent an extended period of time outside of the United States as a National Merit Finalist, studying the institutions of the European Union.

“The fact that WVU cared enough about their National Merit Finalist to send up all to Italy for a week was an extreme draw to the University,” McKitrick said. “It shows that the WVU really cares about its students, something that I have continued to be shown throughout my time here.”

A member of the WVU Honors College, McKitrick is also on the Dean’s and President’s lists.


Andrea Miller, of Shepherdstown, achieved a 3.93 GPA as a Division I volleyball player while completing a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and more than 900 AmeriCorps volunteer hours.

“I always did my best work in college, because my thought process was that if I want to be an A-plus teacher for my students, I must first be an A-plus student,” Miller wrote in her application. “If I only take a C’s worth of knowledge from a class, I will only be able to teach that material to my own students at a C’s level.”

She will be graduating from the Benedum Collaborative Program for Education with certifications in middle and early childhood education.

Miller is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the EMERGE Planning Team for Chestnut Ridge Church. She has also volunteered for Christian Help, Relay for Life, WVU Benefit for Haiti Relief and the Children’s Hospital.

She has been recognized with induction into the Athletic Honor Roll and the Big East All-Academic Team, and is a recipient of the D.A.R.E. America National Scholarship, Rotary Club Scholarship, Benjamin Carson Scholarship and the William Joseph Sturgis Endowed Scholarship, among others.


Alison Mols, of North Huntingdon, Pa., had a whole lot more on her plate than the average student. Mols balanced her double majors in chemistry and psychology and double minors in biology and leadership studies with many extracurricular activities all over WVU’s campus. She is also the president of the Chi Omega Sorority.

Mols served as a Milan Puskar Leadership Scholar, a member of Mortar Board National Honor Society, Psychology Club, Stalnaker Hall Council, Mountaineer Association of Public Speaking and two years as governor for Student Government Association, among many other organizations and volunteering opportunities. She was also inducted into Mountain Honorary.

“After four years, I will walk through the stage at the Coliseum on graduation day, diploma in hand, yet my experience cannot be written down on a piece of paper,” Mols said. “Rather, I have gained life experiences, true friendships, increased self-awareness and a desire to make a change, all due to the fact that I bleed blue and gold.”


Abigail Monson, of Centennial, Colo., has proven in four years that she is far more than just a Division I athlete on the WVU volleyball team.

In addition to volleyball and completing a double-major in business management and Spanish, Monson served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as president, LeadWELL, Relay for Life as team captain, Code of Conduct Committee as a student representative and 21st Century Business Scholars as a committee board member.

“Not one day goes by that I regret my decision to clothe myself in blue and gold to represent my school. Not only do I clothe myself in the spirit, though. It has become an integral part of who I am inside,” Monson said. “The saying that we ‘bleed blue and gold’ is a perfect representation of the pride I have for my University. I will defend and cheer for my school and the people there for the rest of my life.”

Monson will continue to study at WVU past her graduation ceremony in May by attending the MBA program.

She has been recognized with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll and is part of the Big East All-Academic Team.


Steven Neff, a Johnstown, Ohio native, has spent much of his time at WVU in Boreman Hall. As a three-year resident assistant in the dorm, he’s had the opportunity to experience many of the activities that come with life in the residence halls.

“I learned how to manage my time between my academics, work schedule and social life,” he said. “Here, I came to learn that if I wanted to continue to maintain good grades and a strong relations with my boss and friends, then I had to learn how to split my time between the three areas.”

He will graduate in May with a Bachelor’s degree in criminology and investigations. His goal is to enter graduate school at WVU in sociology or forestry, agriculture and consumer sciences.

He has worked as a US Forest Service wildland firefighter and a mentor on the Adventure WV program among other experiences and organizations he’s participated in during his time at the University.


Though Drew Proudfoot, of Oakland, Md. was a psychology major, his curriculum included the use of lab rats – which ended up being his favorite experience at WVU.

“Most universities simulate behavior models using computer programs, but at WVU I was able to experience those models first-hand as we experimented with reinforcement schedules and the behavior of rats,” Proudfoot said. “Each day I looked forward to the rat lab and witnessing how a living organism can vastly change its behavior based on the schedule of reinforcement that follows its actions.”

Proudfoot served as president of Alpha Lambda Delta and as a member of Stalnaker Hall Council, Golden Key International Honors Society and Sigma Alpha Lambda. He has been recognized with the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2012, Eberly Scholarship in 2011 and a Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Scholar title, among others.

Proudfoot earned a minor in political science that will ease him into his law school studies this fall when he enrolls into one of 13 schools he has applied to continue his education.


For the last 11 years of his life, Christian Roper has known he wanted to be a law enforcement ranger with the National Park Service.

For that reason, he used his undergraduate career at WVU to help him to get closer to that goal.

Roper, a Hanover, Md., native who will graduate with a degree in multidisciplinary students (concentrations in recreation, park and tourism resources, forest resource management and equine management), is the vice president for the WVU chapter of the Society of American Foresters, which organizes many activities including forestry-related seminars.

“My undergraduate experience at WVU was truly an invaluable one. I had many great experiences across the state and nation, both inside the classroom and out,” he said. “While at WVU, many of my classes had hands-on labs, and these labs taught me real-life skills that are critical to getting a job and functioning in a job in that field.”

In addition, Roper is a member of the board of directors and a field team leader of the Mountaineer Area Rescue Group. He was also a three-year park ranger with the Maryland Park Service and a University Police Department cadet.


Christopher Smith can say he saved Circle K International on campus in his career at WVU.

He took the student organization that had folded years ago and brought it back to life. Now, it is the largest chapter of the organization in the state.

Smith, a St. Albans native who will graduate with a degree in philosophy, is the president of the Leadership Studies Student Association, president and co-founder of Mountaineer Association for Public Speaking and the president and re-charterer of the WVU Chapter of Circle K International.

“I have encouraged member to take their passions and develop projects around those passions,” Smith said. “As a leader ? I attracted student attention to the group, worked with several student to create an internal structure and reform the group’s constitution and served as the President.”

Smith has been a resident assistant, Mr. Mountaineer finalist, Homecoming candidate and is a two-year member of the WVU Ethics Bowl Team. He is a member of the Honors Student Association and an alumnus of the Honors Leadership Academy, as well.


Arwen Stewart spent her time at WVU teaching others and making them feel comfortable.

In her time as an undergraduate student, she has helped fellow international students assimilate to American and Morgantown culture.

“Through working in the Office of International Students and Scholars I have met so many international students and have become a confidant to many of them,” she said. “Outside of the office, they come to me with their problems, and I believe that I have done a good job giving them advice and helping them adjust to living in Morgantown and being a student at WVU.”

Stewart, a Morgantown native who will graduate with a degree in international studies, is the vice president and four-year member of International Students Organization. She is also the president of the Middle East and North Africa Student Association and a member of the Muslims Student Association.

She was one of seven students to attend an Education without Borders conference in Dubai in 2009 and is a recipient of the Senator Byrd Scholastic Recognition Award.


Katlin Stinespring came to WVU with the intentions to be a newspaper reporter. She already had three years of experience with the Charleston Gazette.

At WVU, she learned she would rather work in public relations, though.

“I took my foundation in print media and expanded it to public relations, taking a leap of faith as I changed my career goals for the first time in my life,” she said. “The prospect of this shift was unnerving ? however, with the support of my WVU professors, adviser and professional mentors ? it allowed me to develop and progress even further toward my goals.”

Stinespring, a Culloden native who will graduate with a degree in public relations, is a four-year member of the Mountaineer Marching Band and was an assistant section and rank leader. She was also on the School of Journalism dean’s advisory board and was an account executive for the WVU Center for Civic Engagement campaign in January.

Outside her newspaper experience, Stinespring has worked as an intern for the West Virginia State Legislature and U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito among others.



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