Just a few days after saying goodbye to thousands of graduates, West Virginia University began the cycle again as the latest members of a select group entering in the fall were introduced by President Jim Clements: the 2011 Foundation Scholars.

Being a Foundation Scholar is not all about academic talent, although that’s noteworthy, but becoming one also requires a strong mix of leadership and commitment to community.

The newest Foundation Scholars, the University’s most prestigious academic honor, are:

  • Colin Frosch, Fairmont, Notre Dame High School.
  • Morgan Nowery, Parkersburg, Parkersburg South High School.
  • Nikul Patel, Huntington, Cabell Midland High School.
  • Morgan Riddle, Ravenswood, Ripley High School.
  • Katie Stricker, Charleston, Charleston Catholic High School.

Click below to hear President Jim Clements describe the bright futures of these newest Foundation Scholars.

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“Previous Foundation Scholars have earned Goldwater, Truman and Rhodes scholarships – and several have made the USA Today All-Academic first team,” Clements said. “They have established successful careers in science, medicine, law, education, public service and many other professions.

“Like their predecessors, our newest Foundation Scholars will be welcomed into a learning community that will challenge and excite them, open their minds to new ideas and prepare them to reach their goals.”

On hand for the announcement at Blaney House, home of the president, was Jason Bailey, himself a Foundation Scholar and current president of the Student Government Association.

Click below to hear previously named Foundation Scholar and current SGA President Jason Bailey describe what being a Foundation Scholar meant to him.

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“As a Foundation Scholar I have been presented with many opportunities the average student does not get,” Bailey said. “I had the opportunity to study abroad in France, receive four years of first-class education free of cost and the chance to network and build relationships with those in the University community that many students never get the chance to meet. It gave me the necessary connections and resources to eventually run for and be elected as the president of the student body.”

The award – which provides full tuition and fees, plus room and board and books for four years – is valued at approximately $70,000 when paired with the state’s PROMISE Scholarship. In addition, the scholarship includes a $4,500 stipend for academic enhancement, which is commonly used for study abroad, internships and other advanced learning opportunities.

The Foundation Scholarship is the most prestigious award offered by WVU’s undergraduate scholarship program, which annually benefits more than 5,500 students in excess of $10 million. Since the program was established in 1987, 125 of the state’s brightest high school students have been awarded the University’s most selective scholarship.

“On behalf of the WVU Foundation and those who support education through private giving, I congratulate these outstanding students and their families,” said Wayne King, Foundation president and CEO. “Each scholar has excelled in and out of the classroom, and is truly among the best and brightest of West Virginia’s high school graduating seniors. I am delighted that they will be attending WVU. The Foundation stands committed to providing scholarship opportunities for students through private support.”

The five WVU Foundation Scholars are chosen from a pool of 20 students awarded the Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship, valued at more than $26,000 for four years. After being offered the Bucklew Scholarship, students are invited to campus for a day of rigorous interviews.

The students must be from West Virginia, possess a minimum 3.8 GPA and achieve a minimum composite score of 30 on the ACT or 1,340 on the SAT college entrance exams.

Click here to download a roster of all the Foundation Scholars since 1987.

Meet WVU’s 2011 class of Foundation Scholars:

Colin Frosch, of Fairmont, likes to think of his life as a quilt or a salad bowl – he is not just focused on one thing, but many.

“I like having a new experience every day, something different,” he said.

The Notre Dame High School senior looks forward to studying civil engineering when he attends WVU in the fall. He wants to participate in the student organization Engineers Without Borders so he can help people around the world.

His interest in engineering began when he was little and played with Legos.

“I found out that I really enjoyed building things,” he said.

As he got older that interest led him to build a porch swing for his family, and participate in service projects around his community.

“I enjoy seeing the impact I can have on other people’s lives,” he said.

The drive to help is what caused Frosch to be active in his high school’s Key Club, Drama Club, National Honors Society and Student Council.

When he has free time, Frosch enjoys being outside. He plays soccer and swims. He enjoys passing a football around with friends, going bowling and to the movies.

He describes himself as a “leader,” “friend” and “dynamic” person. His experience in the U.S. Senate youth program has given him a new appreciation for political leaders.

“When we listen to media or read the newspaper, we see them in a light that they are not actually human and not on our level,” he said. “But when you are face-to-face with them, you realize they are really just like us. They put their pants on the same way in the morning. These people really make a difference in the world and then they can come down to your level and speak to you.”

He has been recognized as a Best Science Student, Most Enthusiastic Spanish Student, Outstanding Chemistry Student and Student of the Month. He has also been involved in WVU’s Engineers of Tomorrow program and the National Youth Leadership Forum.

Frosch has taken advanced courses in psychology, Spanish, English, science, geography, history, government and calculus.

He is the son of Julie and Kenneth Frosch.

Parkersburg native Morgan Nowery is one step closer to achieving her dream of becoming an oral surgeon.

“I have seen a lot of kids with horrible scars from cleft palate,” she said. “I want to help the surgeries to go smoother with less noticeable treatment.”

Nowery, a graduate of Parkersburg South High School, will major in biology when she attends WVU in the fall.

She knew she wanted to study dentistry after spending time in dental offices, where her mother – and best friend – has worked for many years.

Along with her studies, Nowery is an avid Mountaineer fan and looks forward to attending sporting events on campus. She also hopes to explore study abroad opportunities that are offered on campus.

She describes herself as “outgoing,” “unique” and “funny.”

“My mom is my best friend, and it kind of shows. It made me who I am,” she said. “I don’t run with the crowd and do the same things as everyone else. I like to go bowling and cook, do Model United Nations and the science bowl.”

She was named a Coca-Cola Scholarship semi-finalist, placing her in the top 1 percent of the 75,000 students around the country that applied. She has been active on her school’s National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society.

Nowery has been recognized as an Ameridance Grand Champion, Ameridance Hip Hop Champion, Ameridance High Kick Champion and Student of the Game. She hopes to start a dance club on campus.

When she has free time, Nowery enjoys watching Harry Potter marathons and experimenting in the kitchen.

Nowery has taken advanced courses in English, biology, calculus, history and economics.

She is the daughter of Carol and Doug Nowery.

Nikul Patel, of Huntington, a senior at Cabell Midland High School, aspires to become a doctor, treating patients in third world countries as part of the Doctors Without Borders organization.

Unsure of what he will major in this fall at WVU, Patel does know that he wants his experience at WVU to prepare him to be able to give back to others.

“It would be an honor to assist in the process of giving the poor medical care,” Patel said.

Patel said becoming a Foundation Scholar and attending WVU is a tremendous and prestigious honor for him and his family.

“It will open so many doors for me, including opportunities to study abroad that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Also, it will relieve a lot of concern for my family knowing my education is paid for,” he said. “I am really looking forward to the independence and college atmosphere.”

Patel’s dedicated studies have paid off with recognition as a National Merit Semifinalist and Advanced Placement Scholar, and he has been a member of the biology, physics and Spanish honoraries. He has taken advanced courses in English, history, biology, civics, physics, calculus and psychology.

He has been active in the high school’s honors program, the Boy Scouts of America, Medical Explorers, Key Club, and National Honor Society. He also has played tennis and soccer.

In his spare time, you might find him reading a John Grisham book, or watching a football or basketball game on television.

Patel describes himself as determined, shy, and someone who “goes against the grain”.

Patel is the son of Shailesh and Jyotsna Patel.

Morgan Riddle of Ravenswood loves to travel, and is excited about the opportunities that await her as an international studies major at WVU.

The Ripley High School senior already has traveled through much of Europe as part of the Lion’s Club Youth Leadership Exchange program.

“WVU has an amazing international studies program, and will enable me to build upon the overseas opportunities I had while in high school,” Riddle said. Her dream job would be to someday work for the United Nations or Amnesty International.

Riddle, who describes herself as driven, energetic and hard-working, has been recognized as Spanish Student of the Year, French Student of the Year and an Advanced Placement Scholar with honors. She also has received an academic excellence letter each year.

She is president of her senior class and National Honor Society president, as well as active in volleyball, track, choir, Student Council, Foreign Language Club and 4-H.

When she has spare time, Riddle enjoys reading, hunting, running and fishing.

Riddle has taken advanced courses in history, English, statistics, government, psychology and science.

She is looking forward to getting involved in the Student Government Association, joining Mountaineer Maniacs, and using the Recreation Center when she comes to campus.

“I am absolutely excited about receiving the Foundation Scholarship,” Riddle said. “It will give me a wonderful jump-start and a push in the direction I want to go with my career.”

She is the daughter of Kristi Stanley and John Hays.

Click below to hear Foundation Scholar Katie Stricker describe the moment she found out she had received the honor..

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Kaitlin “Katie” Stricker of Charleston never quits. Being diagnosed with diabetes at age 3, Stricker did not let that fact hold her back. This fall, she will attend WVU, majoring in chemical engineering with a bioengineering emphasis.

“WVU has such a great engineering department. I’m really looking forward to getting involved in my classes and the related engineering organizations offered to students,” she said.

Stricker also is excited about being part of the Honors College, and plans to get involved in the Newman Club and play on WVU’s club volleyball team.

Graduating first in her class at Charleston Catholic High School, Stricker has earned several awards and honors, including being recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar, U.S. Presidential Scholar, 1st Team Volleyball Academic All-American, received the Dorothy Arthur Leadership Award and was a Wendy’s West Virginia Heisman Award finalist.

She also has been a member of back-to-back state championship volleyball teams, garnering PrepVolleyball.com All-American, ESPNRise West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year finalist and three-time 1st Team All-State honors, in addition to being a member of the Spanish and Drama clubs.

In her spare time, Stricker enjoys sketching, painting, piano and is an accomplished lap dulcimer performer.

She plans to use her academic enhancement stipend to study abroad, perhaps in New Zealand. “I’ve never traveled out of the country, so I’m really excited about the learning opportunities I will have. It will be wonderful.”

Winning the Foundation Scholarship means “everything” to Stricker, who uses the words “creative, competitive and carpe diem” to describe herself.

Her parents are Vincent and Carla Stricker.



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