Five women and five menincluding a formerJeopardycontestant, future pediatrics nurse practitioner, Mountaineer Maniacs director and student body presidentare competing for the 2006 Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer titles at West Virginia University.
The winnersalong with the Most Loyal West Virginian, Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer, Most Loyal Faculty Mountaineer and Most Loyal Staff Mountaineerwill be announced at halftime of the Nov. 11 WVU -Cincinnati football game at Milan Puskar Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.
Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer candidates, all WVU seniors or professional students, must be nominated by a student organization and complete an application and essay about what makes a Mountaineers spirit unique.
The diversity, as well as the outstanding academics and commitment to greatness among this years candidates, put forth superior examples of what it is to truly be a Mountaineer,said Robby Queen, vice chair of public relations for Mountaineer Week.
The finalists for 2006 Ms. Mountaineer are Kelley Burd, Bristol; Lisa Costello, Weirton; Christal Kirk, Clendenin; Sarah Lovell, Martinsburg; and Hannah Swecker, Beverly.
Mr. Mountaineer candidates include Jason Gross, Morgantown; Jeremy Hatcher, Cottageville; Wesley Page, Westerville, Ohio; Jason Pizatella, Fairmont; and Matt, Schessler, Charleston.
MS. MOUNTAINEER CANDIDATES :
Answer: Kelley Burd . Question: Who is the Ms. Mountaineer candidate from Bristol who became aJeopardycollege championship semifinalist in 2004?
Her stellar appearance on the TV quiz show came as no surprise to her classmates. This Honors College student is well rounded with three majorsinternational studies, history and womens studiesand she has logged more than 350 community service hours during her college career.
Burd has been involved with the Debate Team, Young Democrats, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key and Mortar Board honor societies and Mountaineer Maniacs.
She has also held several leadership positions in the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, including first vice president of service.
Last year, Burd was named to the WVU Homecoming court. Her other honors include being a Presidential and Eberly Scholar.
She is sponsored by Alpha Phi Omega.
During the past three years, Lisa Costellos name has become synonymous with
humanitarian efforts on the WVU campus.
The biology major from Weirton has coordinated relief efforts for victims of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, as well as helped launch a University-wide project in memory of the miners who died in the recent Sago Mine tragedy.
She has also served as president of the Student Health Advisory Board and chief-of-staff for the Student Government Association, assisting with the planning and assessment of numerous student initiatives.
Costello also devotes time to the Institute for Human Dignity, Mountain Honorary, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Italian American Organization and National Exemplary Scholars in Service.
She has been named a Distinguished West Virginian by Gov. Joe Manchin and was a recipient of the prestigious Kenneth D. Gray Student Leadership Award.
Costello is sponsored by the Student Health Advisory Board.
Christal Kirks love of helping others is evident in her career aspirations and community service work.
The graduate student from Clendenin is studying to be a pediatric nurse practitioner, and her volunteer activities have included helping to develop a water safety program for children, raising money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation and preparing meals at the Ronald McDonald House.
Kirk completed her undergraduate degree at WVU last year, graduating summa cum laude.
Her many accolades include being named a 2006 WVU Outstanding Senior and West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships Fellow.
She is a member of Chi Omega sorority and an officer of the Panhellenic Council, the governing body for the Universitys Greek sororities, in addition to participating in the Golden Key Society, Student Nursing Association and National Exemplary Scholars in Service.
Kirk is sponsored by the WVU School of Nursing Alumni Association.
Few college students can say they have worked in the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, much less interned with the Department of Defense, but senior Sarah Lovell from Martinsburg has done both.
The biometrics systems and computer engineering major has held leadership roles in the Student Government Association as treasurer and Secretary, along with secretary of Dadisman Hall Council.
She is a member of Mountain Honorary, Mortar Board Senior Honorary, Tau Beta Pi and the University Honors College.
Other activities include the Society of Women Engineers, Lane Department
Student Advisory Council, Student Society for the Advancement of Biometrics, National Exemplary Scholars in Service, Alpha Phi Omega and Gamma Beta Phi.
Lovell has volunteered as a Chemistry Learning Center tutor and Mountaineer Visitation Day tour guide.
Her honors include the Bucklew Scholarship, TMC Technologies Scholarship and National Honor Society Scholarship.
She is sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ.
Senior Hannah Sweckers resume reads like two or three entries inWhos Who Among College Studentsput together.
WVU Collegiate 4-H, the Mountaineer Week Committee, Colleges Against Cancer, Mountain Honorary and Mortar Board are just the tip of the iceberg.
The organizational leadership and business management major from Beverly has also taken part in several community projectsRead Across America,Project Linus, a cancer awareness program and nursing home activitiesand taken on leadership roles as chair of WVU s Mountaineer Week quilt show and WVU Relay for Life.
She has made both the Presidents and Deans lists at WVU and received the Kaiser Aluminum Award and Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant.
Swecker was also named a Mullendore and Mountaineer Scholar.
She is sponsored by WVU Collegiate 4-H.
MR. MOUNTAINEER CANDIDATES :
Walk down the Student Organization Services wing of the Mountainlair, and one can expect to find Jason Gross talking to fellow Student Government Association leaders about student concerns.
The Morgantown native serves as WVU s student body president. Under his watch, the SGA has worked on several successful projects, including Mountainlair improvements and a campus safety initiative.
Gross anticipates receiving bachelors degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering in December.
He is a member of WVU s Microgravity Research Team and participated in a zero-gravity flight this past summer at NASA s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
During summer 2005, he interned at NASA s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Hewas a research assistant forthe metrology of the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescope projects.
An Honors College student, Gross is a member of the Mortar Board and Tau Beta Pi honoraries and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He is also a Mountaineer and PROMISE Scholar.
Grosssponsor is SGA .
To say that senior Jeremy Hatcher of Cottageville is a die-hard Mountaineer fan is an understatement.
Sponsored by the Mountaineer Maniacs, the premiere student group for
Mountaineer athletics, the environmental protection major serves as the organizations executive director.
In 2005, Hatcher was recognized as the WVU Student Organizations Service Student Worker of the Year and the Mountaineer Week Spirit Award winner. During the previous year, he was named Pi Kappa Alphas Community Service Man of the Year.
Hatcher is an executive officer of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and Greek games coordinator for Mountaineer Week.
He has served as a volunteer for a variety of organizations and projects, including the Ronald McDonald House,Dollars for Disaster,Boys and Girls Club fund-raisers, Christian Help, Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners (BOPARC) softball league, Rifle Team Gun Bash and a Dorsey Knob community project.
Hatcher is sponsored by the Mountaineer Maniacs.
Wesley Page is one of two law school students in this years Mr. Mountaineer competition.
He hails from Westerville, Ohio, and is sponsored by the West Virginia Law Review, for which he currently serves as executive research editor and served as associate editor in 2005.
Page has also worked as a research assistant for WVU Professor of Law Gerald Ashdown and participated in the Brazilian Law and Politics Study Abroad Program. He is a member of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Republican Law Caucus, Christian Legal Society and Mens Law Caucus.
Prior to attending WVU , Page was a student at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, where he participated in varsity baseball, the honors program and Campus Ministry.
There, he also served as the college council president and class representative, an admissions ambassador and a research assistant.
His community service includes being an assistant junior varsity baseball coach at University High School and volunteering with the Young Life Christian Outreach Program.
Jason Pizatella follows a long tradition of academic excellence among student leaders from Fairmont.
A student in WVU s College of Law, he completed an internship with former Gov. Bob Wise and served as a summer associate for two law firms in Charleston.
Last year, Pizatella was a teaching assistant for Legal Research and Writing. He has also been an executive business editor and associate editor of the West Virginia Law Review.
Among his many honors have been the Order of Augusta and Outstanding Senior in 2004.
He is a member of Mountain Honorary and the Italian American Organization. His undergraduate leadership positions included SGA attorney general, Residence Hall
Association president, a teaching assistant in political science and Pi Sigma Alpha president.
Pizatellas previous volunteer work has included the Marion County Meals on Wheels and SGA Toy Mountain project.
He plans to graduate in May and is sponsored by the West Virginia Law Review.
As an incoming freshman at WVU , Matt Schessler of Charleston had the distinction of being one of only five students in the entire state of West Virginia to receive a Foundation Scholarship, an award reserved for those who have excelled in the classroom, while holding leadership positions in extracurricular activities and volunteering for community service.
Schessler, a chemistry major, is also an Eberly College Scholar. He has made both the Presidents and Eberly College deans lists, received the Eberly Certificate of Achievement for Academic Scholars and was selected as an outstanding freshman scholar for 2003-04.
Sponsored by the American Chemical Society-Student Affiliates, Schesslers other extracurricular activities have consisted of Phi Lambda Upsilon, the chemistry honorary; the Chemistry Learning Center, where he tutors; and Students in Free Enterprise.
He has served as Mortar Board treasurer; Chimes junior honorary treasurer, Helvetia sophomore honorary social chair; Stalnaker Hall Council president and Dadisman Hall council vice president and president.