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Student Profiles

Portrait of Emma Harrison

Advocating for Prison Education Reform

Emma Harrison
Political Science, Class of 2019

Emma found her purpose in public service through an internship with the West Virginia Innocence Project at the WVU College of Law and the "Inside-Out Prison Exchange" class with prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution in Hazelton.

A political science and multidisciplinary studies major, she is one of 59 Truman scholars chosen from 756 candidates for the award.

More About Emma
Portrait of Rodney Elliott

Exploring the cosmos

Rodney Elliott
Physics

As a child in Texas, Rodney Elliott dreamed of going to college and studying science, but it was a dream deferred because of family finances. He joined the Air Force and, after a 20-year career, enrolled at WVU and is the University’s latest winner of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarship in the natural sciences, mathematics and engineering — the Goldwater Scholarship.

His childhood fascination with space is now a serious exploration of supermassive binary black holes as a dual major in physics and Russian studies.

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Portrait of Scott Lopez

The Language of Space Cooperation

Scott Lopez
Chemistry, Class of 2019

An internship with NASA at the Langley Research and Goddard Space Flight centers inspired Scott to think about the possibilities of learning Chinese and working on bilateral space cooperation with China while advancing U.S. astronautics and space research technology.

Thanks to a Boren Scholarship, he’s on his way to the Beijing Language and Culture University this summer and will spend the next academic year at Tsinghua University.

More About 2018 Boren Scholars
Portrait of Jeevan Murthy
WVU in the Community Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Charity challenge

Jeevan Murthy
Public Health, Class of 2021

When Jeevan enrolled at WVU, he decided to challenge himself — not only academically, but philanthropically. Each year of college, he plans to raise money for a different project, starting with his freshman-year fundraiser for an orphanage in India.

He chose to major in Public Health so he could combine his interests in science, government and community service.

Q&A with Jeevan
Portrait of Ricky Rogers

A Natural Performer

Ricky Rogers
Dance

Known to fans as No. 85 on the Mountaineer football team, this wide receiver loves performing — at games, on the dance floor and in the classroom.

He’s got big plans. Mountaineer big. From playing in the NFL to starting his own dance studio — WVU is helping him get there.

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Portrait of Rachel Wattick

A holistic approach to health

Rachel Wattick
Human Nutrition and Foods, Class of 2018

Two key experiences helped Rachel define her academic and career goals: traveling to Nicaragua with WVU’s Global Medical and Dental Brigades, and conducting research in the Lifestyle Intervention Research Lab. She discovered not only the importance of a holistic approach to healthcare, but also her own passion for community-based research.

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Portrait of Joshua Gross
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Understanding Addiction

Joshua Gross
Cellular and Integrative Physiology

Between 2010 and 2015, the combined overdose deaths from cocaine and psychostimulants with abuse potential equaled the number of overdose deaths from heroin.

Working with his mentors at WVU, Joshua is investigating how a particular protein influences the brain’s response to such drugs. His recent findings on the protein RGS12 were featured in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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Portrait of Praveen Majjigapu
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Mending the nation’s infrastructure

Praveen Majjigapu
Civil Engineering, Class of 2018

Praveen’s doctoral research focuses on economical solutions to repair deteriorating infrastructure. Working with Hota GangaRao, director of the Constructed Facilities Center, Praveen has designed innovative, patent-pending fiber reinforced polymer composites – material that can be wrapped around existing concrete, timber and steel to strengthen structures.

More About Praveen
Portrait of Clara Haizlett

Learning the language of Morocco

Clara Haizlett
International Studies

Clara was one of three WVU students to win Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State in 2017. The highly competitive and prestigious scholarship provides a fully funded summer overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. Haizlett studied in Tangier, Morocco.

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Portrait of Marseille Mcbeam

A desire to care

Marseille Mcbeam
Nursing, Class of 2018

Marseille juggles the demands of nursing school while also being a high jumper on the WVU Track and Field team. Balancing the two is difficult, but the challenge has sharpened her communication, concentration and time management skills.

Q&A with Marseille Mcbeam
Portrait of Mary-Kate Barker
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Baking ideas into a business

Mary-Kate Barker
Human Nutrition and Foods, Class of 2018

With the help of the Young Innovator program, Mary-Kate launched her first product, Mary-Kate’s GranDelite granola. She has her sights set on owning her own nutritional business or pursuing her passion for clinical dietetics.

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Portrait of Christina Murray

Building language skills

Christina Murray
Political Science, Class of 2020

Murray’s career goal is to work in intelligence. And even as a sophomore, she’s well on her way to that goal.

She was one of seven WVU students who earned prestigious Boren Scholarships in 2017. Boren Scholarships support language study in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests. In exchange, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

More About 2017 Boren Scholars
Portrait of Anna Gilpin
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Revolutionizing treatment with regenerative medicine

Anna Gilpin
Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2018

Anna is one of 44 WVU students to win a Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s most prestigious award in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Working alongside Yong Yang, assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, she has been conducting research in the area of regenerative medicine since the summer before her sophomore year.

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Portrait of Michaela Abam
WVU in the Community Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Giving back through sport

Michaela Abam
Athletic Coaching Education

Michaela was one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award in women’s soccer. Given annually, the Senior CLASS award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

Throughout her four years at WVU, Abam has visited WVU Children's and the Ronald McDonald House, assisted in the program's efforts to raise money for breast cancer research and spent a summer volunteering with Mountaineer United Soccer Club.

More About Michaela
Portrait of Garrett Burgess
WVU in the Community Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Advocating for veterans

Garrett Burgess
Political Science, Class of 2018

Named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow by the Campus Compact, Garrett plans to work with the Veterans Advocacy Clinic in the College of Law to help veterans who received less-than-honorable discharges due to misconduct arising from mental trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. These “bad paper” discharges make veterans ineligible for certain VA benefits, as well as make it difficult for them to secure private employment.

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Portrait of Sara Berzingi

Finding a passion for global health

Sara Berzingi
Medicine

Sara’s academic trajectory was transformed through international experiences that inspired her to pursue a career in global health.

As an undergraduate majoring in Biology and English, she spent four summers volunteering with aid organizations abroad, working to manage the Internally Displaced Persons crisis emerging from the siege of Mosul, volunteering in a labor and delivery ward in Erbil, Iraq, and teaching English to children in an Iraqi refugee camp.

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Portrait of Adam Craig

Inside Oman

Adam Craig
International Studies, Class of 2021

One of two WVU students studying abroad this summer as recipients of the highly competitive U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship, Adam will spend two months in Ibri, Oman.

“The Omani people are known for their traditional, conservative lifestyles, so I hope to better understand a perspective that most Americans never get to experience.”

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Portrait of Phil Chapman
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Connecting sense of smell and neurological disorders

Phil Chapman
Biology

Studying how insects’ wing movements affect their sense of smell has the potential to explain underlying causes of disorders like schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and shortness of breath, according to new research by Phil and his colleagues.

More About Phil's Research
Portrait of Jared Beard
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Engineering a personalized career

Jared Beard
Mechanical Engineering, Class of 2018

Jared’s interest in how things worked led him to mechanical engineering, but he was confused on what he might ultimately do with his degree. That all came into focus his freshman year when he had the opportunity to work in the Flexible Electronics for Sustainable Technologies (FEST) Lab under the direction of Kostas Sierros, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. That experience cemented his interest in materials.

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Portrait of Brandon Brown

Summer in South Korea

Brandon Brown
World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

One of two WVU students studying abroad this summer as recipients of the highly competitive U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship, Brandon is studying the Korean language at the Pusan National University in South Korea.

“Learning languages is my way of learning how to understand the universality of human life, learning to live as someone in another culture, and to look into my own culture from an outside perspective as much as possible.”

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Portrait of Morgan Menke
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Algorithms for exploration

Morgan Menke
Electrical Engineering

Morgan was one of 60 students selected nationally by the Council on Undergraduate Research to showcase work on Capitol Hill during the 2018 Posters on the Hill session.

Morgan discussed her research on creating algorithms for real-time analysis of isolated astrophysical pulses, which have been detected by many radio telescopes, including the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

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Portrait of Annalice Mollica

Arabic immersion

Annalice Mollica
Political Science, Class of 2019

One of WVU’s four Boren Scholarship recipients in 2018, Annalice will spend a year at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan, studying Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine Arabic dialect.

“The Boren Scholarship is providing me a rare opportunity to learn Arabic in an immersive setting. After law school, I’d like to join the U.S. State Department and work in humanitarian law in the Middle East.”

More About 2018 Boren Scholars