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Student Profiles

Portrait of Shaniya Jasper

Gateway to advocacy

Shaniya Jasper
Women's and Gender Studies

Shaniyah first became interested in women’s and gender studies in high school because she wanted to work with and for women’s rights. She aspires to practice law and be an active advocate for marginalized individuals.

“My major is preparing me for this because I am more understanding of intersectionality and inclusivity, which is important in any type of work. Women’s and Gender Studies is a gateway to advocacy, which is why I matched my major with the law and legal studies minor.”

Portrait of Quincy Hathaway
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Disrupting diabetes

Quincy Hathaway
Exercise Physiology

Doctoral candidate Quincy Hathaway has received an American Heart Association fellowship to study the effect of PNPase (a type of protein) on heart-cell mitochondria. His work is relevant to the heart problems that often accompany diabetes.

More About Quincy
Portrait of Savanna Brown

Changing lives and communities

Savanna Brown
Social Work

Savanna knew she wanted to help individuals in her community who struggled with poverty and substance abuse, but she didn’t know exactly how to pursue that goal. “Majoring in Social Work was the very first step in helping me realize what I was truly capable of,” Savanna says.

“The Social Work program at WVU really helps to highlight and challenge the beliefs people have about the profession. This program will educate you on what it means to look to a person or a community and truly see them for the sum of all their parts and to treat them with compassion and dignity.”

Portrait of Audrey Geise
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Returning to India

Audrey Geise
Agroecology

As one of a record 10 WVU students to earn Fulbright Scholarships this year, Audrey will return to India — where she previously studied as a Boren Scholar — and research agricultural soil contaminated via polluted irrigation water from the fabric and dye industries.

More About 2018-19 Fulbright Scholars
Portrait of Ashley Brandebura
Research and Innovation Student Profiles | Faculty Profiles

Investigating the calyx of Held

Ashley Brandebura
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

A graduate research assistant at WVU’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, Ashley is studying how certain cells affect the development of the calyx of Held, the largest nerve terminal in the brain.

Her National Institutes of Health-funded research could apply to autism, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions that stem from how the brain is “wired.”

More About Ashley
Portrait of Olivia Fidler

Beyond graphs and equations

Olivia Fidler
Mathematics

“Mathematics is so much more than graphs and equations. Now that I am past the calculus classes, I am gaining a much deeper understanding of math in research and when paired with logic,” Olivia says. “There is a world of mathematics outside of calculus. You learn to look at math differently.”

Participating in WVUteach has exposed Olivia to different mathematics careers. “Being a Mathematics major has allowed me to become involved in WVUteach, a program designed for STEM majors to add secondary education teaching certificates. WVUteach confirmed that being a math major is exactly what I need to achieve the career I want in the future.”

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.

More About Rodney
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 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 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 Annalice Mollica

Arabic immersion

Annalice Mollica
Political Science, Class of 2019

One of WVU’s four Boren Scholarship recipients in 2018, Annalice is spending the 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
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.

More About Jared