Fifty of West Virginia Universitys top graduating seniors will be honored with the WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors Award during the WVU Commencement Honors Convocation at 7 p.m. Friday, May 16, at the WVU Coliseum.

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

Eight of the seniors will go on to earn the Universitys most prestigious student honor, the Order of Augusta, that same evening. The Order of Augusta further recognizes the studentssuperior scholarship, demonstrated leadership and record of community and public service. The award was named for it historical significance in the state. Augusta was among the original names considered by the Legislature when the state seceded from Virginia in 1863.

The 2008 WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors hail from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.

They are:


  • Ellicott City: Kristen Hunter-Cevera

New Market: Michael Koehler

Oakland: Christopher Lantz

Thurmont: Julie Roop


Franklin: Erica Reib

Portersville: Chelsea Becker

Wexford: Nicole Canterbury


Fredericksburg: Lisa DuCote

Stephens City: Jessica Morning

West Virginia:

Beckley: Omer Zulfiqar

Bridgeport: Ann Wilson, Megan Leight and Emily Renzelli

Chapmanville: Amy Baisden

Clarksburg: John Guido

Cross Lanes: Anna Phoenix

Delbarton: Kimberly Wallace

Elkins: Seth Gainer

Elkview: Erica Trump

Fairmont: Matthew Delligatti

Grafton: Joshua Austin

Grantsville: Barbara Shock

Hurricane: Robert Leonard and Daphne PringleKingmont: Traci TannehillLewisburg: Hannah Godbey

Martinsburg: Christopher Glover

Morgantown: Neil Buzzard, Chinenye Dike, Angela Dial, Gwyndaf Garbutt, Jason Gross, Corey Miller, Sean Pompa and Tiffany Summerlin

Nimitz: Darren Crook

Parkersburg: Lindsey Daugherty and Rachel Kennedy

Pine Grove: Anna Bickerstaff

Ripley: Alison Spiker

Scott Depot: Jessica Young

Star City: Melanie Davis

St. Albans: Patrick Hanley

Terra Alta: Jason Likens

Walkersville: Mollie McCartney

Wallace: Lauren Dembeck

Weirton: Kerri Phillips

Wheeling: Tara Melgary and Chad Wilcox

Brief biographies in alphabetical order follow:

For *Joshua Austin , of Grafton, a future in journalismpreferably in Moscow, is on the horizon. He will graduate with a 3.93 GPA and Bachelor of Science degrees in political science and journalism.

Austin feels his time spent at WVU has prepared him to traverse the world and expose human rights injustices.

I have concluded that WVU teaches more than just material from textbooks and writing on a chalkboard,he said.Life lessons and values are the heart of this university. Charity, humbleness and objectivity, among other positive character traits, are what define a true Mountaineer.

Austin earned several significant academic awards: the PROMISE , Ronald E. McNair, Harry C. Hamm Family and Loyalty Permanent Endowment Fund scholarships. He also received the Robert E. DiClerico Scholarship in Democratic Institutions and Public Leadership and has been a member of the National Deans List, as well as the WVU Presidents and Deans lists.

Recently, he earned a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship which will permit him to study for one year at the University of Glasgow, where he hopes to teach a class about human rights issues and international affairs.

Austin is a contributing reporter for The Dominion Post, Wonderful West Virginia magazine and, a nonpartisan, student-run political Web site covering the 2008 presidential campaign.

He is the son of Sandra Johnston.

Amy Baisden , of Chapmanville, feels her greatest accomplishment has been helping the Colleges Against Cancer student organization grow on the WVU campus.

I am exceedingly proud of how that organization has grown over the years, particularly with the ever-increasing success of our annual Relay for Life,she said.

She is also pleased with her efforts to help students impact legislative issues and her work as the organizations advocacy chair.

Baisden will graduate with two Bachelor of Art degrees in political science and philosophy. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend law school and develop a career in public international law or litigation.

She is a member of the Honors College and has received the PROMISE , WVU Presidential and Neil S. Bucklew scholarships. In addition, she earned a place on the WVU Presidents List and received the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Certificate of Achievement three years in a row.

Baisden has been a part of the Phi Kappa Phi, Golden Key International, Alpha Lambda Delta freshman, Chimes junior and Mortar Board senior honor societies, as well as the Delta Phi Alpha national German and Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honoraries.

She is the secretary and treasurer for the WVU German Club and is active in the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. She is also the co-founder and vice president of the WVU Students for the African Medical and Research Foundation.

Her parents are David and Janice Baisden.

Chelsea Becker , of Portersville, Pa., will graduate with Bachelor of Science degrees in biochemistry and English and a 3.97 GPA . Although some might think the two fields are an odd pair, Becker feels that an understanding of science and language provides many benefits.

I plan to pursue a career in medicine,she said.No doubt, my sciences classes will aid me in this endeavor, but I feel that my literature classes have provided me with a strong framework on which to develop my skills as a doctor.

Becker has served as vice president for the Mortar Board senior honorary and held several leadership positions in the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. Other campus activities have included resident assistant for Arnold Hall, service committee member for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, secretary of Chimes junior honorary and educational outreach chair for the Institute for Human Dignity.

Active in extracurricular activities, Becker is a member of WVU s Orchesis Dance Ensemble, and she has participated in numerous community service activities.

She is also a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Gamma Sigma Delta national agricultural honorary. She was named to the WVU Presidents and Deans lists and received the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Science Certificate of Achievement, William B. Maxwell Scholarship and the Academic Excellence L2 Waiver.

She is the daughter of Daniel Becker and Jody Christophe.

A nnaBetsyBickerstaff , of Pine Grove, will graduate with a degree in business administration and plans to take the CPA exam. She carries a 4.0 GPA and has already secured a position with a Virginia-based accounting firm.

In addition to her exemplary leadership qualities, Betsy is a serious student and career-oriented,said David Pariser, WVU professor of accounting.I particularly admire Betsys positive attitude, strong sense of personal responsibility, her commitment to help first-year students adjust to college live and succeed academically and socially

Bickerstaff has served as a resident assistant in Dadisman Hall for two years, where she helped mentor business students; representative on the Resident Hall Student Conduct Board; and adviser in the Dadisman/Stalnaker Community Service Club.

Appointed to the Huntington Bank Junior Board of Directors, she developed knowledge of the banking and financing industries.

Her academic honors include the PROMISE and Mountaineer scholarships. She is a member of the WVU Honors College and was awarded the Willard H. Erwin Jr. Memorial Award by the WVU College of Business and Economics. She was also named to the Helvetia sophomore, Chimes junior and Mortar Board senior honoraries.

Her parents are Walter and Judy Bickerstaff.

Morgantown native Neil Buzzard says the academic achievement he is proudest of is being accepted into the direct bachelors-to-masters degree program in mechanical engineering at WVU . He will receive his bachelors degree in May.

I have no doubt that Neil will be a leader and a visionary in improving the human condition,said Nigel Clark, professor of mechanical engineering.He is a truly outstanding student, with a formidable appreciation for engineering science and an unusual breadth to his vision.

Buzzard got involved with research as an undergraduate, studying vehicle exhaust emissions and exposure to pedestrians at the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions. Drivers along Evansdale Drive may remember seeing Buzzard and his fellow student researchers engaged in this work with the help of a dummy last year.

Buzzard has maintained a 4.0 GPA , a feat he attributes to an extreme distaste for missing anything, especially class. He stays busy outside of class too as a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary, as well as the Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.

He has received numerous academic awards including the Outstanding Freshman Scholars Award and the PROMISE , Mountaineer, J. Jackson Pauley, Bjornson, Chester A. Arents and Conpenhaver scholarships.

Buzzard has also been active in helping his hometown, most notably through Tau Beta Pis annual bike drive, in which he and other members collect and repair used bicycles and donate them to area children and adults in need.

He is the son of Melvin Buzzard and Judy Pincus.

Starting her own student organization is only one of the great achievements made by Nicole Canterbury , of Wexford, Pa., during her time at WVU . She anticipates graduating with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in political science and German and a 3.93 GPA .

Canterbury is the founder and president of Students for the African Medical and Research Foundation at WVU . She is also involved with the National Exemplary Scholars in Service, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity.

Canterbury has held several key positions in Colleges Against Cancer and the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and she was co-historian of the WVU German Club. She is a member of the Delta Phi Alpha national German honorary society and the WVU Honors College.

Although she has not sought the limelight in these endeavors, others have been more than willing to follow her leadership,said Graeme Donovan, adjunct professor in womens studies and international development.Nicole has that rare ability in leadership to persuade others to work hard while she remains largely out of sight to the public.

Canterburys awards include a certificate of achievement for academic excellence from the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and being named to both the WVU Presidents List and Eberly College Deans List of Outstanding Scholars.

She is the daughter of Susan Canterbury.

Darren Crook , of Nimitz, is a team player in and out of the classroom. Apart from the many groups and community service activities he is involved in, he is also the team captain for his intramural flag football, basketball and dodge ball teams. He will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a 4.0 GPA .

Darren is an exceptionally bright student who is motivated and accomplished,said William Trumbull, director of the Division of Economics and Finance, in his recommendation letter.He is well-rounded, active in sports and community service. He is respectful, courteous and pleasant. In a word, he is professional.

Crook has received PROMISE , WVU Presidential, Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp. College of Business and Economics, and Schroder Family College of Business and Economics scholarships. He has been named to the WVU Presidents List along with the Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Gamma Sigma International Business honor societies.

Crook has served as class treasurer for the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity and a state legislative intern as part of the Frasure-Singelton Legislative Internship. He is a member of the Huntington Banks Junior Board of Directors and is active in the Finance Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Economics Department as a research assistant. He studied European economics while abroad in the Czech Republic.

Outside the classroom, Crook is a volunteer at the Bartlett House, McLane Avenue Street Cleanup, American Red Cross and Summers County High School boys basketball camp.

His parents are Roger and Sue Crook.

For Lindsey Daugherty , of Parkersburg, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and graduating with bachelors degrees in French and Mathematics came as a result of hard work and dedication to her studies.

I have worked hard to be where I am,she said,and I take the time to meet the highest standards in detail. It is truly an honor to stand among this class of competitors.

Daugherty, a National Merit scholar finalist, came to WVU as a Neil S. Bucklew Scholar and PROMISE Scholar. She has since been named a WVU Math Department Betty Miller Scholar.

Other honors range from the WVU Presidents List and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences academic achievement award to induction into the Helvetia sophomore honorary.

Active in campus organizations, the Honors College student is a member of the WVU French Club, Golden Key International Honour Society and WVU Math Club. She spent six weeks in France studying the language and culture of the country as a result of being awarded the McBride scholarship.

She serves as a tutor in the WVU Math Learning Center and has been very involved in Campus Crusade for Christ as a student mentor and Bible study leader.

She is the daughter of Steve and Susan Daugherty.

A career in nursing awaits Melanie Davis , of Star City. She will graduate with a 3.88 GPA and Bachelor of Science in nursing from WVU . Her clinical experience has already made an impression on her patients and hospital administrators.

Her clinical performance goes above and beyond what is expected,said Jennifer Veshnesky, clinical assistant professor, WVU School of Nursing.Her bedside manner in the hospital is marvelous. She embodies the true art of nursing. I have seen her create bonds with patients that go beyond what a nursing instructor can teach.

Davis received the PROMISE , Mountaineer, June N. Satterfield and CONSOL Energy Inc. National Merit Special scholarships. She made the WVU Presidents and Deans lists and earned a Pi Kappa Phi Outstanding Freshman award.

Davis has been involved in a variety of professional and student organizations. She served as a governor for the Student Government Association, senior deans council representative for the Student NursesAssociation and secretary of the Mountain Honorary. She is also a member of the Chimes junior and Mortar Board senior honoraries and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

She is the daughter of Merv and Robin Davis.

Saying that Matthew Delligatti has an interest in politics is putting it lightly. The senior from Fairmont will graduate in May with a degree in political science and a 3.92 GPA .

Since the time that Matt was my student, I have watched him grow into a leader on campus and in his home community,said WVU President Mike Garrison, in his recommendation letter.On campus, Matt continues to be one of those students who can always be counted upon. Matt has distinguished himself on campus as someone who is both a thoughtful leader and a friend to all he encounters.

Delligatti was named a Harry S. Truman Scholar in 2007. He is a PROMISE Scholar and member of the Mountain Honorary, and he has been named to the WVU Presidents and Deans lists. Delligatti also interned for Delegate Mike Caputo through the Frasure-Singleton Student Legislative program.

His love for politics led him to become a member of the Fairmont City Council and Fairmont Planning and Zoning Commission. In addition, he is a member of the Executive Board of Directors Fairmont Senior High School Foundation, Fairmont State University Community Service Advisory Board and Young Democrats.

His community service includes Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, the Growing Up Fun handicap playground project and the Knights of Columbus and Marion County Meals on Wheels program. He has also been an instructor for American Legion Mountaineer Boys State.

At WVU , he has served as parliamentarian of the Italian-American Organization, and hes been a member of the WVU Sociology and Criminology Club.

His parents are John and Karen Delligatti.

In May, Lauren Dembeck , of Wallace, will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a 3.8 GPA . But her plans dont stop there. She hopes to earn her doctorate, become a professor of biology and remain dedicated to the education of others.

Lauren is in the process of interviewing at some of the top graduate schools in the nation,said David Ray, assistant professor of biology.I feel quite confident that she will receive more than her share of acceptance letters and offers of assistance as she continues her career as a scientist and scholar.

Dembeck has served as a research mentor to Ray, teaching laboratory techniques and concepts. She participated in two study abroad experiencesone in Puerto Rico, where she studied the rainforest and coral reefs, and another in Spain, where she attended the Universidad International Menendez Pelayo.

Dembeck has received the WVU McNair and PROMISE scholarships and was named an Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Scholar. She has been inducted into the Helvetia sophomore, Chimes junior and Mortar Board senior honoraries as well as Beta Beta Beta biology honor society. She has also been named to the WVU Presidents List and earned several Eberly College of Arts and Sciences certificates of achievement.

She is the daughter of Kevin Dembeck.

Angela Dial , of Morgantown, plans to attend graduate school in Milan, Italy, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in textiles, apparel and merchandising and 3.85 GPA .

I am driven and willing to do the necessary work to accomplish any task set before me,she said.I want and will work with my best commitment and passion to make WVU proud of me as one of their alumni.

Dial entered WVU with a PROMISE Scholarship, and during her college years, she earned many other honors including the Sloan Presidential; WVU Mountaineer; Ruth Weibel Memorial; and Agriculture, Forestry and Family Resources Alumni scholarships. She has also been on the Presidents and Deans lists and is a three-time award recipient from the state-level design competition for Fashion Illustrators.

Active in the Fashion Business Association, she has served as president, vice president and treasurer, and she helped coordinate several service-learning activities.

Dials design work has been chosen by the Division of Design and Merchandising to be featured in a display at the WVU Visitors Resource Center, along with the divisions program advising book and Web site.

She is the daughter of David and Jackie Dial.

With aspirations of becoming the minister of finance in her home country of Nigeria, Chinenye Nneamaka Dike will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, 3.88 GPA and the goal to earn her CPA license and Juris Doctor degree.

At the age of 11, I told myself I would one day head the central bank of Nigeria as its director,she said.It was a little joke back then, but as I have matured, I realized that it is my passion. I hope that everything I do today and all career paths I choose will one day lead me down the path of service to my home country.

During her time at WVU , Dike has been named to the WVU Presidents and Deans lists, and she was the recipient of the International Students Tuition Merit Award. She has also received the Professor and Mrs. E. Vickers Scholarship and a Mock Interview Competition Award from the WVU College of Business and Economics.

In addition, she is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Alpha Lambda Delta honor society.

As a residence assistant, Dike has been involved in providing academic support and personal counseling to residents of Brooke Tower. She also serves on the Brooke Tower Hall Council and newsletter committee.

She is the daughter of Chima and Alaezi Dike.

WVU womens soccer player Lisa DuCote , of Fredericksburg, Va., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise physiology and 3.8 GPA .

DuCote has been involved in soccer at the Division 1 level and was part of the WVU teams that won a Big East Championship in 2007, two regular season Big East championships and earned a place in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament.

She feels that the challenge of being a student-athlete, while overwhelming at times, has taught her valuable skills that will help her succeed in the future.

I believe the most invaluable skill that I have learned during my undergraduate experience is the ability to manage my time effectively and efficiently,DuCote said.I take great pride in playing on the womens soccer team, but with this honor comes the responsibility of missing classes while traveling to play various opponents. West Virginia University has taught me how to balance these competing influences.

Her academic honors include being named to the Big East and WVU Athletic honor rolls and the WVU Presidents and Deans lists. She has also received a Blue and Gold Scholarship and is a member of the Honors College.

Off the field, DuCote works to increase breast cancer awareness and teaches kids soccer skills. She has volunteered at the WVU Soccer School of Excellence along with the WVU womens and Northern Virginia soccer camps.

She is the daughter of Remy and Judi DuCote.

A career in government service awaits Seth Gainer , of Elkins, after he graduates with bachelors degrees in history and international studies and a 4.0 GPA .

Gainer has already started to build his experience in government operations. He is currently a research assistant for a member of the British House of Commons as a result of the WVU Parliamentary Scholarship awarded through the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Gainer has also been named to the Model Organization of American States activity, which simulates international affairs and foreign policy situations, and he has studied abroad at the University of Tartu in the Republic of Estonia, taking classes on the European Union and Russian foreign policy.

What I find so striking about Seth is that he has taken on each of these challenges carefully and ultimately gone on to thrive in these experiences,said Joe Hagan, chair of the Department of Political Science.He does not simply participate; rather, he immerses himself in the work of these activities and gets the maximum out of them.

Gainer has been awarded the John Maxwell Historical Research Prize; Joseph and Theresa Cody, Wunschel Memorial and PROMISE scholarships; and Eberly College Award for Excellence. He was also named to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Eberly College Deans List of Outstanding Scholars and WVU Presidents List.

He is the son of Phil and Tammy Gainer.

Gwyndaf Garbutt , of Morgantown, will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and 3.96 GPA . His plans include earning a doctorate in the history of science and teaching at the university level.

I look forward to researching and teaching for a living and the opportunity to pass on my love of history to the next generation of students,he said.As with all academics, my driving purpose is to help advance our general knowledge of history and significantly contribute to the overall understanding of the history of science.

To gain a different perspective on history, Garbutt also studied medieval history in Wales as part of an undergraduate academic enrichment program through the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Garbutt is a recipient of the PROMISE and WVU Mountaineer scholarships. The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences also awarded him three certificates of achievement for academic excellence, and he was named to the Helvetia sophomore honorary, WVU Presidents List, Eberly College Deans List of Outstanding Scholars and Alpha Lambda Delta National Academic Honor Society for freshmen.

Community service has been a key part of Garbutts college experience. As the Alpha Phi Omega memorial bell-ringing coordinator, he organized memorial services for WVU students who passed away and provided comfort to families.

His parents are Keith and Christine Garbutt.

Andrew Gillette , of Huntington, says the time he has spent at WVU has been filled with enriching academic experiences in and out of the classroom. He will graduate in May with a bachelors degree in industrial engineering and 4.0 GPA .

What is really impressive about Andrew is his combination of academic achievement and work performance,wrote Jack Byrd Jr., professor of industrial engineering.Andrew has excelled in both the classroom and in the practical world of engineering.

Gillette has been awarded the PROMISE , WVU Presidential, Robert C. Byrd Honors, Allstate Foundation, Bjornson and Lloyd Selby scholarships. He has also received the Industrial Engineering Outstanding Sophomore and Industrial Engineering Outstanding Junior awards as well as the Professor Robert Fowler Memorial Award in Human Factors.

Additionally, he has been inducted into the Alpha Pi Mu industrial engineering and Tau Beta Pi engineering honoraries.

Gillette spent two semesters as a labor analyst intern for Walt Disney World. He is an officer of the Universitys chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and helped coordinate the first Trunk or Treat event for area children.

He is the son of Ted and Joan Gillette.

Hannah Godbey , of Lewisburg, has maintained a 4.0 GPA and will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology and audiology and certificates in gerontology and disabilities studies. She hopes to attend graduate school to earn her masters in speech language pathology and become a speech pathologist in a highly populated bilingual area.

Her outstanding academic achievements, extensive community volunteer service and leadership skills make her very deserving of this honor,said Norman Lass, professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology.I am certain that with her intelligence, maturity and motivation, she will be very successful in her graduate studies and that upon attainment of her Au.D. degree, she will become very active, effective and a contributing member of her profession, serving the needs of children and adults with hearing disorders.

Godbey earned PROMISE and WVU Mountaineer scholarships as well as a WVU -National Student Speech Language Hearing Association scholarship. She has also been named to the Helvetia sophomore, Chimes junior and Mortar Board senior honoraries.

Mission work and community service have taken Godbey throughout the world. She has helped restore homes damaged by North Carolina hurricanes and Southern West Virginia flooding, rebuilt a church on a Navajo Indian reservation and helped convert an Irish pub into an afterschool community building. In addition, her work at an orphanage in Poland has enabled her to impact the lives of hundreds of children with mental and physical disabilities.

She is the daughter of Lee and Diana Godbey.

Christopher Glover , of Martinsburg, will complete his time at WVU with a 3.91 GPA and bachelors degrees in landscape architecture and geography.

He has delayed graduation at least two years to expand his formal education into several related areas,said Kenneth Martis, professor in the Department of Geology and Geography.He has crafted a curriculum which gives him unique gifts in environmental design, community design and urban revitalization.

Glover has participated in a Community Design Team project in Mount Hope and completed an internship with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, surveying land for abandoned mine projects.

His honors include the Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Sophomore and Junior awards. He has also been inducted into the Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. Recently, he was the winner of the Miller Creative Writing Award and Jack Paules Memorial Scholarship.

Glover has been involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, serving as president and vice president of the Student Society of Landscape Architects and president of Sigma Lambda Alpha Honor Society. He has also volunteered in flood relief efforts in Southern West Virginia.

He is the son of Wade Glover IV and Cecilia Glover.

Jason Gross has seen much of the world through his experiences at WVU . He has eaten lunch with astronauts, shaken the hand of the longest-serving U.S. senator in our countrys history, witnessed a space shuttle launch, floated at zero gravity, lobbied state government and gone skydiving over the Rocky Mountains with a group of students from around the world.

The Morgantown native graduated in December with bachelors degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering and is now a doctoral student in aerospace engineering.

As the 2006-07 student body president, he helped spearhead Mountainlair improvements, the launch of a library coffee shop and extended library hours, among other things.

Jasons style of leadership and sustained effort over many years cause him to stand out as an exemplary student leader who excelled both inside and outside the classroom,wrote David C. Hardesty Jr., WVU president emeritus.He is one of those rare students who is motivated both to provide leadership to organizations of which he is a part and to excel academically.

Jason maintained a 3.94 GPA and was honored with the PROMISE and WVU Mountaineer scholarships. He also was named a WV Space Grant Consortium NASA Scholar, and he earned a Robert H. Goddard NASA Academy Outstanding Researcher award in 2007.

He has also been recognized as a Society for the Advancement of Materials Process Engineering Student, and he received the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Lloyd B. Selby and Nancy Marshall Memorial scholarships. In addition, he is involved with the Tau Beta Pi engineering and Sigma Gamma Tau aerospace engineering honoraries.

His parents are Gary and Ginny Gross.

For John Guido , of Clarksburg, graduating with a 3.95 GPA and Bachelor of Arts in chemistry is just the start of a plan to attend the WVU School of Medicine and become a physician.

I have always wanted to spend the working years of my life as a physician,he said.This has been my unchanging dream since I began bandaging little cuts and scrapes on my siblings and parents at the age of 8 years old.

Guido had the opportunity to apply his academic experience in chemistry to a NASA -sponsored internship at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. One of only 11 students chosen, he completed literature on techniques to remove radioactive particles from contaminated particles.

His academic recognition includes the PROMISE and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences scholarships. He has been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Theta honor societies, and he was named to the WVU Presidents and Deans lists.

Guido is especially proud of learning to speak, read and write in Italian as a way to preserve his heritage. He feels that without the courses available at WVU , the language may have disappeared from his family forever.

His parents are Ben and Carolyn Guido.

Patrick Hanley will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He is well on his way to graduate school and a career in research. The student from St. Albans has completed three graduate-level courses and a soon-to-be-published paper, and he was accepted into three graduate programs in chemistry.

In view of his outstanding academic accomplishments to date at WVU , I am certain that Pat will continue to excel in his academic studies and graduate in May 2008 near the top of his class,said Jeffrey Petersen, professor of chemistry.More importantly, Pat has personal drive and intellectual ability to develop into an outstanding and productive research scientist.

Hanley entered WVU as a PROMISE Scholar. He has received the WVU Presidential Scholarship and a scholarship from the Kanawha Valley chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS). He has also been awarded an Eberly College of Arts and Sciences scholarship as well as the ACS Outstanding Junior Chemistry Major and John A. Moore Trust awards.

As a chemistry laboratory assistant, Hanley has monitored the laboratory work of other undergraduate students and earned a Most Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant award from the WVU chemistry faculty.

Among his other activities, Hanley has participated in the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps as a trumpeter and section leader. The group will be going on national tour this summer.

He is the son of Steve and Cathy Hanley.

A research career in marine or biosciences awaits Kristen Hunter-Cevera . The senior from Ellicott City, Md., will graduate with a 3.97 GPA and bachelors degrees in biology and mathematics. She plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration and doctorate in marine sciences.

It would be a career goal for me to make a difference in peoples lives by doing research that can address societal needs on many fronts,Hunter-Cevera said.To be well prepared in ones chosen field is the object of an undergraduate education, and my instructors at WVU have provided me with a strong underpinning of educational experience.

Through her math capstone research, she has been trying to indentify patterns between the rate of ginseng population growth and climate data. The project has enabled her to combine her knowledge and skills from her two majors and see how applied math can relate to biology.

Hunter-Cevera has a lengthy list of academic accomplishments including a NASA Space Grant Fellowship, the Henry W. Hurlbutt Research and George W. Jackson Endowment for the Arts and Sciences awards and a Blue and Gold Scholarship.

Hunter-Cevera is a member of the Honors College, and she made the WVU Presidents List. She was recognized twice as an Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Scholar, a recipient of the Eberly departmental scholarship and a member of the colleges Deans List several times.

She is the daughter of Raymond Cevera and Jennie Hunter-Cevera.

Rachel Kennedy , of Parkersburg, will graduate with bachelors degrees in English and secondary education, and she hopes to obtain her masters and doctoral degrees in the near future.

My personal and professional goals have been shaped by my experience on this campus with these professors, and I will be forever indebted,she said.I only hope that as I go forward in my experiences, strengthen my education, broaden my world view and achieve my dreams, I can make an impact on other studentslives as this university has impacted me.

Kennedy has served as a resident assistant, providing leadership and academic counseling for WVU students living in Lyon Tower. As part of an internship, she researched resident assistant training programs at other institutions and developed a course for the program.

While at WVU , Kennedy earned several academic recognitions, including the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Academic Excellence Award and Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers VIP Scholarship, and she was a Lyon Tower Resident Assistant of the Year. She has also been named to the WVU Presidents and Deans lists, among other honors.

Her professional and technical writing background enabled her to publish a work with two of her professors,Case Study of the Relationship between Socio-Epistemological Teaching Orientations and Instructor Perceptions of Pedagogy in Online Environments,in a professional journal.

She is the daughter of Terry and Cassandra Kennedy.

Michael Koehler , of New Market, Md., will graduate with a 3.91 GPA and Bachelor of Science degree in public relations. Through his journey at WVU , he has learned much about himself and his aspirations.

The passion I have developed for this university has motivated me to unlock talents, excel in academics, build lifelong relationships and discover a sense of self-confidence I never knew I had,he said.I have become an adult at WVU , and I am now confident to go out into the world and find a similar passion for a career, relationships and all my future endeavors.

His academic accomplishments include being named to the WVU Honors College program and WVU Presidents and Deans lists along with earning the Blue and Gold and WVU Cary Journalism scholarships. He has also been awarded Maryland Delegate and Maryland Senatorial scholarships.

Koehler has been a member of thePride of West Virginiamarching band and basketball pep band, and he was a lifeguard at the WVU Student Recreation Center. For his four years of meritorious musical performance, he earned Mountaineer Marching Band senior recognition.

He is the son of Mark and Niki Koehler.

Christopher Lantz , of Oakland, Md., loves nothing more than solving a problem, an ability he credits to his professors and classes at WVU . He will graduate with dual bachelors degrees in computer engineering and electrical engineering. Upon graduation, Lantz plans to attend law school.

Chris quickly distinguished himself as a leader among leaders,said Wils L. Cooley, a recently retired professor from the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.I am convinced that he has both the ability and the motivation to succeed in law school and his future career.

With his 4.0 GPA , Lantz will graduate summa cum laude. He has been awarded the Robert C. Byrd, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems and National Foundation of Independent Business scholarships and Rotary International Service Above Self Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication.

Lantz was inducted into the Motor Board senior, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu honor societies. He is also a member of the National Honor Society.

Lantz has served as president of the Lane Department and College of Engineering and Mineral Resources student advisory councils. He also served as team captain of an intramural indoor soccer team.

Lantz has also volunteered and raised funds for many organizations such as the Rotary International Charity Project, Relay for Life and the Southern Garrett Athletic Association. He has worked as a virtual client workstation project manager for Sycamore Services and done freelance computer repair and Web site design.

He is the son of Steven and Mary Lantz.

For Robert Leonard , a career as a research professor will allow him to apply his deep understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. The senior from Hurricane will graduate with a 3.88 GPA and Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and physics.

I aspire to one day give back to the community as a research professor,he said.I hope that as a professor, I will be able to set an important example so that future generations of physicists will see the intrinsic value in both their research and understanding.

During his years at WVU , Leonard has taken many advanced classes in his field, written research proposals for grants and presented scientific papers at colleges and symposiums throughout the country and in Nova Scotia. He has also worked as a research assistant for several programs at WVU and Duquesne University.

His academic honors include being named a Barry M. Goldwater honorable mention and NASA Space Grant Scholar and earning a NASA Space Grant Fellowship. He is a member of the WVU Honors College, Society of Physics Students, American Physical Society and Honorary Physics Society. Leonard has been awarded the William R. Totterdale and Edmund A. Rotter and Rose C. Rotter scholarships.

He is the son of Bob and Marge Leonard.

Jason Likens , of Terra Alta, will graduate with a 3.86 GPA and Bachelor of Science degree in biology in May. He plans to attend medical school.

My undergraduate experiences have significantly impacted who I am today and the career path I have chosen,he said.My experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, have fostered my strong determination and enthusiasm for pursuing a career in medicine.

Likens received the Ronald E. McNair, PROMISE , Mountaineer and Dr. Isaiah A. Wiles scholarships. He has been a part of the WVU Honors College and earned spots on the WVU Presidents and Deans lists. In addition, he received the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Certificate of Achievement six times.

Likens has also been a part of many research projects. He co-authored the article,Limb Regeneration and Molting Processes Under Chronic Methoprene Exposure in the Mud Fiddler Crab,and he presented a research poster at Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.

His activities include the Beta Beta Beta biology and Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical honoraries, National Society of Collegiate Scholars and American Chemistry Society, and he is a committee chair for the Planning for College Success organization.

He is the son of Clifford and Cindy Likens.

Megan Leight , of Bridgeport, will graduate summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 GPA and Bachelor of Arts degree in art history. Her plans include attending graduate school to work on her doctorate in arts management.

Throughout her years at WVU , she has combined a love of the arts with an interest in business principles.

I believe I have had two especially significant academic experiences at WVU my ability to link my mutual academic passions, both my love of the art world as well as my ongoing interest in business and economics, and the incredible support I have received from both the faculty and administration in carrying out my research investigation on city planning in ancient society,she said.

To develop her dual interests, Leight has compiled library research, studied French and the Biblical Greek language and traveled to Europe, spending time in Ireland, France and England. She won two Canady scholarships to help defray the costs and performed a comparative analysis of Roman town planning in Italy.

Leight has been awarded the PROMISE and WVU Mountaineer scholarships, and she is a member of the WVU Honors College. She is also a member of the Honors Study Abroad Committee, French Club and Art History Society.

Leight founded ArtWorks, a student art history organization which sponsors an annual, undergraduate symposium at WVU . The event has brought in students from throughout the eastern U.S. and provides an opportunity for the students to present and publish research papers.

She is the daughter of Victor and Susan Leight.

Mollie McCartney , a first-generation college student from Walkersville, is determined to break the cycle of poverty and improve communities like her own when she becomes a doctor. In May, she will be one step closer as she graduates with a 3.85 GPA and bachelors degrees in biology and history. She plans to attend medical school in the fall.

While it is nice to be recognized for hard work and achievement, my accomplishments are bigger than I am,wrote McCartney, who credits the encouragement of her family and community in her successes.I want to be a testament to the support Ive been given and to the support I hope to return one day as a physician.

McCartney has been honored with many awards and scholarships: the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Award for Academic Excellence, Ms. Mountaineer finalist, Presidents List, St. Patricks Church Mullady Scholarship, Henry Hurlbutt Research Award, PROMISE Scholarship and Deans List.

She has presented cancer cell research at the American Association for Cancer Research Conference and the Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol, and she participated in the Native American Studies Undergraduate Research Colloquium.

During her academic career, she has worked extensively at the Mary Babb Randolph Center as a research assistant and undergraduate researcher, studying the hormone leptin from fat tissue and its effects on gastrointestinal cancer growth. She has also traveled to Guatemala and Bosnia on student mission trips.

She is the daughter of James and Nancy McCartney.

Since Tara Melgary , of Wheeling, was 6 years old, she knew that she wanted to study medicine. She became fascinated with her physicians knowledge and ability to help others, and she immersed herself in the medical field by volunteering at health organizations and working at local hospitals. With a bachelors degree in biology and acceptance into the WVU School of Medicine, she is closer to her goal.

Melgary has always been at the top of her class, exceeding expectations on paper, through conversation and in the lab, doing extensive research projects and extra assignments.

Early in my undergraduate career, I learned how willing professors and advisers were to work with and help me to succeed both in the classroom and in life,Melgary wrote in her Outstanding Seniors application.I feel as though I represent the essence of a WVU education and all the University has to offer students.

With the same dedication and enthusiasm, she was accepted into WVU s competitive exchange program and traveled to Australia to study environmental science.

Melgary has a 4.0 GPA and was named to the WVU Presidents list. She is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Rho Lamda National Panhellenic Honor Society, Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical and Beta Beta Beta biology honoraries and WVU Honors College.

She is the daughter of David and Adrienne Melgary.

Corey Miller was admitted into the WVU Nursing program directly from high school. This May, the senior from Morgantown will graduate with a 3.85 GPA and Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

For me, the value of my undergraduate experience is not the amount of money or time invested,she said.The true value of an education is in the experience of gaining that education. As I am approaching graduation day, I plan to take with me all the experiences of my undergraduate studies, from the minor to the most significant.

Miller has spent a great deal of time performing research instory theory,a concept created by a School of Nursing faculty member. She researched common themes of the theory and organized them into two research papers that she hopes to submit to a journal for future publication.

Her academic honors include spots on the WVU Presidents and Deans lists. She is a member of the WVU Honors College, and shes received the PROMISE , Governors Honors Academy, Mary Jackson and Stonewall Jackson W.M. Adler scholarships.

Her awards in the health care field include four nursing scholarships and induction into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and National Student Collegiate Scholars. She has served as junior vice president of the Student Nurses Association and a member of the National Student Nurses Association.

She is the daughter of Robert and Susie Casto.

For Jessica Morning , an opportunity to study forensic anthropology in Hawaii led to a change in career plans. The senior from Stephens City, Va., will graduate with a 3.96 GPA and Bachelor of Science degree in forensic and investigative science, and she plans to attend graduate school to learn about firearm forensics.

While an intern at the Central Identification Laboratory on Hickam Air Force Base, Morning helped identify U.S. military remains from previous conflicts, and she learned it was not for her. Since then, she has become interested in firearm and tool mark analysis.

I hope my research in the field of firearm analysis will be of service to the forensic community,she said.I wish to help my country through serving on gun control and legislation-related panels as a professional, sharing my expertise of the weapons capabilities and uses in criminal activity. I wish only that my work with help convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent.

Mornings academic recognitions range from being an Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Scholar and Eberly Undergraduate Academic Enrichment Program Grant recipient to earning spots on the WVU Presidents and Deans lists. Other honors include the Mountaineer Scholarship, several Eberly Certificates of Achievement for Academic Excellence and an American Society of Crime Lab Directors scholarship.

She has been a member of the WVU Honors College, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Beta Beta Beta national biology honor society and Forensics Club.

She is the daughter of James and Jill Morning.

Kerri Phillips , of Weirton, said she always knew she wanted to attend WVU and pursue a degree in engineering. In December, the dream came true when she graduated with bachelors degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering. But her WVU days are not over yet: Phillips was accepted into the doctoral program in aerospace engineering and began her graduate studies in January.

Im excited about this next chapter of my education,she said.The WVU community has had an everlasting impact on my life, and I look forward to my next four years as a Mountaineer.

In her junior year, Phillips was selected to be part of the WVU Microgravity Team, which allowed her to go to NASA to fly an experiment aboard the DC-9Weightless Wonderaircraft. She also received the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the nations premier award for math and science. Recently, she was named to USA Todays All-USA College Academic Team.

In addition, Phillips has received the NASA Space Grant Scholarship and NASA Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Among her other awards are the Sallie Lowther Norris Showalter Excellence in Mathematics, Gay R. Larsen Educational Trust, PROMISE and WVU Presidential scholarships. She is a member of the WVU Honors College, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Gamma Tau honor societies.

Phillips is active outside the classroom, getting involved in many student organizations, raising funds for an animal rescue shelter and working with middle and high school students to encourage them to pursue higher education.

She is the daughter of Jon and Darla Phillips.

Anna Phoenix , of Cross Lanes, has aspirations of becoming the interior designer for the White House. She will graduate in May with a 4.0 GPA and Bachelor of Science degree in interior design. She plans to obtain a job as a designer, receive professional certification and earn a masters degree in museum studies or a related field.

While a career is important to me, I know that it is not my only purpose in life,she said.Serving my community and ultimately the world is very important to me. I believe that people are the most important part of life, and I want my life to reflect that.

As a resident assistant in Bennett Tower, Phoenix has overseen floor programming, chaperoned trips and interacted with freshmen on a daily basis. She served as adviser to the Bennett Tower Community Service Club and coordinated monthly projects.

Phoenix spent a semester in Morocco studying Islamic art and architecture, the history of the Middle East and North Africa and the impact of globalization on women in Third World countries.

She has been awarded the PROMISE ; WVU Mountaineer; Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences Alumni; and Joan Oty travel scholarships. Phoenix has also been named to the WVU Presidents List and awarded the