They are scholars, ambassadors, researchers and volunteers – and they are competing for the prestigious title of Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer at West Virginia University.
The award honors one male and one female student each year that has exemplary academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. To be considered, all applicants have to be eligible for graduation by May 2010.
The awards are presented as part of WVU’s annual Mountaineer Week, scheduled for Nov. 7-15.
In the running for 2009 Mr. Mountaineer are: Masih Ahmed, Morgantown; Jonathan Caleb King, Charleston; Adam M. Sadowski, Beckley; Richard Michael Squires, Clarksburg; and Omar Wazir, Charleston.
In the running for 2009 Ms. Mountaineer are: Emily Calandrelli, Morgantown; Chelsea Cross, Ravenswood; Vanessa DeCesare, Toronto, Ohio; Maryn Shreve, Elkins; and Erica Sladky, Charleston.
A brief bio for each finalist follows:
Masih Ahmed, a biology major from Morgantown, is sponsored by the Student Health Advisory Board.
Ahmed will attend the WVU School of Medicine beginning in the fall of 2010. He has served as president of the Chimes junior honorary, and is currently treasurer of the Student Health Advisory Board and member of Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Honorary.
For the past three years, Ahmed has participated in a WVNano undergraduate research program. He has performed research on organic synthesis.
He is the son of Ifti and Salma Ahmed.
Jonathan Caleb King, a biology major from Charleston, is sponsored by the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society.
King has studied abroad and performed community service in Kagera District, Tanzania. He has also participated in research on aspen seedling populations in Canaan Valley, W.Va…
King is president of the biological honor society Beta Beta Beta – Kappa Mu Chapter. He has been active with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service National Geospatial Development Center at WVU and the Yellowstone National Park Co-op Recreational Coordinator Program.
He is the son of Roy and Mary Louise King.
Adam M. Sadowski, a chemistry and biology major from Beckley, is sponsored by the St. John’s University Parish Newman Club.
Sadowski is a member of the Mortar Board honorary and St. John’s University Health Ministry. He has been active in chemistry research and has served as chemistry and biology tutor. He is also a model for The Talent Group.
He is the son of John and Cecile Sadowski.
Richard Michael Squires, a speech pathology and audiology major from Clarksburg, is sponsored by the WVU National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association.
Squires served as the WVU Mountaineer mascot from 2008-2009. He is a cheerleader on the Gold Team, and a member of the WVU National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association and Mortar Board senior honorary.
He is the son of Richard and Jane Lynn Squires.
Omar Wazir, a biology major from Charleston, is sponsored by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
He currently serves as a WVU Gold and Blue Student Ambassador. He is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Health Honorary and the Mountainlair Student Advisory Council. He has also participated in research for WVU’s Department of Biology.
He is the son of Dr. Badshah and Karen Wazir.
Emily Calandrelli, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Morgantown, is sponsored by the Student Partnership for the Advancement of Cosmic Exploration (SPACE).
She has been recognized as a Goldwater Scholar, Truman Scholar and is member of USA Today’s All-USA College Academic First Team. She was a former team leader on the WVU Microgravity Research Team and was a co-founder of SPACE.
Calandrelli spent four years volunteering at the Morgantown Boys and Girls Club. She was also a member of the “Habitat for Humanity” Mexico Project Team through WVU Engineers Without Borders.
She is the daughter of Kimberly and Brad Calandrelli.
Chelsea Cross, a public administration major from Ravenswood, is a graduate student sponsored by the Student Association of Public Administration.
Cross has served as community service chair and currently serves as vice president of the Student Association of Public Administration. She is a member of Mountain Honorary, Golden Key International Honour Society and received the McManus Fellowship with the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Cross serves dinner once a month at the Ronald McDonald House, and has been active in the Adopt-A-Family and Adopt-A-Highway programs.
She is the daughter of Ronald R. and Sue Ann Cross.
Vanessa DeCesare, a speech pathology and audiology major from Toronto, Ohio, is sponsored by the WVU National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association.
She is a member of the WVU National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association and Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society. DeCesare is also a participant in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program and a volunteer at Morgantown Unity Manor.
DeCesare is also a resident assistant and community service advisor for Arnold Hall.
She is the daughter of Toby and Peggy DeCesare.
Maryn Shreve, a journalism major from Elkins, is sponsored by the Diversity in Media Association.
Shreve is a reporter for WVU News, president of DIMA and a building supervisor at the Mountainlair. She has also participated in Project Patagonia through 4-H and is a 2009 Mountaineer Idol contestant.
She is the daughter of Dr. John and Patricia Shreve.
Erica Sladky, a chemical engineering major from Charleston, is sponsored by the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Sladky is the founder and president of Students for Barack Obama, event committee co-chair of the WVU Young Democrats and previous president and design chair of the WVU Biodiesel Project.
She is also a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and an undergraduate assistant at the National Research Center for Coal and Energy.
She is the daughter of Anne and John Sladky.
All finalists were interviewed and winners will be announced during the WVU-Louisville football game on Saturday, Nov. 7.
For more information on Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer and Mountaineer Week, visit http://mountaineerweek.wvu.edu/.
CONTACT: Colleen DeHart, News and Information Services