As a senior in high school, George McGarry knew he’d attend West Virginia University.
“One of the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources professors gave me the time for a full meeting to go over what the major is composed,” he said. “After that I was sold, knowing that it was the perfect fit for my abilities and interests.”
Four years later, the Youngstown, Ohio, native is not only graduating with his bachelor of science degree but also as the outstanding senior for the Davis College’s Division of Forestry and Natural Resources.
While at WVU, McGarry was involved extensively with Adventure WV, Coopers Rock Foundation and Student Sierra Coalition. He was also the founder and president of the WVU Outdoor Club and vice president of the Professional Recreation, Parks and Tourism Society.
He is CPR certified, a ‘Leave No Trace’ trainer and a certified Wilderness First Responder.
McGarry will be moving to Jackson Hole, Wyo., to work with Austin-Lehman Adventures, a company specializing in family-style trips through the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
Angela Martinez has always had an interest in societal and industry use of natural resources.
“I was looking for a program that would allow me to specialize in the field of economics while also allowing me to explore my interest in science and the environment,” she said. “I feel as though I am equipped with a well-rounded set of knowledge and skills to take what I have learned and apply it in the business or science field.”
As part of the McNair Scholars Program, she developed a pilot study to research aging in West Virginia as well as the effect of transportation on the quality of life of senior citizens.
During the summer of 2011, Martinez interned with the US Department of Transportation where she studied how sustainable design principles could be used to improve quality of life and health in port-adjacent communities.
Her outreach efforts included organizing a Shift Your Shopping event for Focus the Nation, a national non-profit that promotes and facilitates clean-energy education through student organizations, and volunteering for the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the WV DOH Adopt-A-Street Program, Bartlett House Homeless Shelter, and DC Kitchen.
Martinez plans to continue her education at the University of Maryland where she will study city and regional planning with an emphasis on land use and transportation planning.
Dillon Muhly-Alexander will have completed more than nine AP courses and two courses through Fairmont State University before he graduates from Doddridge County High School.
Muhly-Alexander has already begun to lay the groundwork for ridding the world of hunger, starting with his own high school. He partnered with his local 4H County extension agent and implemented a backpack program that supplies food to children who are deemed “at risk” of not receiving nutritious meals over the weekend. The backpacks are filled food and discreetly picked up at the end of the school day on Friday, then returned on Monday morning.
Muhly-Alexander hopes to study international studies and agribusiness management and rural development and thinks WVU will give him the opportunities for his ideas to come to life.
He hopes to travel to Geneva, Switzerland, and work with the World Health Organization to gain a more comprehensive understanding of global agricultural problems.
“Fifty million people are hungry on a daily basis. How do we feed them? How do we address that?” Muhly-Alexander asked.
His lifelong goal is to have a monumental achievement, so that his hometown will be proud of the “little Doddridge County kid that did something big.”
“I’ve always tried to be the best. My work ethic is what I’m most proud of. I want to excel and be good at whatever I undertake. I feel that I embody what WVU is about, and that I represent the University very well,” Muhly-Alexander said.
Described as ambitious, versatile and fun, as a Foundation Scholar, Muhly-Alexander is looking forward to everything WVU has to offer him.
He is the first Foundation Scholar from Doddridge County High School.
He is the son of Matthew Alexander and Linda Muhly.
Visit WVU Today for profiles of all of this year’s Foundation Scholars.
Do you own (or want to own) a scarf, tie or blanket created from the West Virginia University Tartan? If so, thank Maria Belcher.
As part of her impressive academic resume, Belcher participated in a project through the Division of Design and Merchandising to create what would become WVU’s official gold and blue tartan.
That’s just one of the reasons the interior design major from St. Albans, W.Va., was named a 2013 outstanding senior for the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.
Belcher is a four-year member of the WVU Honors College and received both the PROMISE and Mountaineer Scholarships.
As a junior, she spent a semester studying abroad in Brno, Czech Republic.
To gain practical and leadership experience in her field, Belcher served as president of the WVU Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, and worked with Habitat for Humanity.
Likewise, during her senior year, she interned with WVU Facilities Planning and Scheduling.
Under the direction of interior design manager Shelley Johnson, Belcher was able to combine educational and real-world experiences to create a solid foundation for her professional career.
“I chose interior design because I wanted to be able to work in a field that challenges both my technical and creative sides every day,” she said. “I hope to obtain a job in the field of commercial design upon graduating this May and I am looking forward to growing as a professional and a designer based upon the opportunities I was given during my undergraduate studies at West Virginia University.”
One of Loren Clevenger’s goals as a West Virginia University undergraduate student was to get into medical school.
The future pediatrician knew the academic road would be paved with rigorous courses; however, she found the support she needed in the Davis College to navigate successfully.
This year’s outstanding senior for the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences will begin her medical school journey in August at WVU.
“Originally I was a chemistry major, until my sophomore year when I realized it was not for me. I made the switch to biochemistry through the Davis College my junior year and I could not have been happier,” she said. “The support and guidance I received through my advisors and professors was amazing, and I know through first-hand experience it is unique to the department.”
The Clarksburg, W.Va., native loved the variety of classes and their direct application to things she would be learning in medical school.
“The degree is really set up to help you learn and succeed,” she said. “The research I was able to partake in through the department was also very beneficial and will give me an edge in the professional world.”
Clevenger participated in undergraduate research under the direction of Kim Barnes, assistant professor of biochemistry.
She was among WVU student representatives at Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol in Charleston and also traveled to Boston to present at the Experimental Biology Meetings.
Actively engaged in a variety of outreach efforts, Clevenger volunteers in the Pediatric Unit at Ruby Memorial Hospital and at the Rosenbaum Family House.
While vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars she organized the March to College, a program in which WVU students visited area middle schools and talked with fifth graders about attending college.
As a junior she traveled to Honduras with the Global Medical Brigade to provide medical and dental care for low income residents.
As they finish their final exams as undergraduate students, five West Virginia University students can breathe a little easier knowing they have some financial support as they prepare for the next stages of their collegiate careers.
The Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design students recently received awards from the H.E. “Doc” Kidder Memorial Trust, which will provide them with thousands of dollars for each year of their post-baccalaureate instruction.
This year’s Kidder recipients are: Alexandra Bay, Princeton, W.Va.; Matthew Miller, Wheeling, W.Va.; Ryan Poling, Augusta, W.Va.; Jennifer Tonkin, Little Birch, W.Va., and Adam Younis, Charleston, W.Va.
The students, all of whom are seniors in the Davis College’s animal and nutritional sciences program, will each receive $2,000 annually during their continued studies.
“All five students did an exceptional job during their interviews and there was no student who was clearly more or less deserving than the others,” said Matt Wilson, interim director of the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences. “As a group, they had a better understanding of H. E. ‘Doc’ Kidder and his passion for supporting students both inside and outside the classroom. We’re confident they will represent us well in their future endeavors.”
For the full story and pictures of the recipients, visit WVU Today.
As part of its fundraising efforts, West Virginia University’s Collegiate Horsemen’s Association recently hosted a barbecue and donkey plop at the Reedsville Farm.
According to organization president Melissa Lloyd, an animal and nutritional sciences student, the event was a great way to not only raise money but also bring awareness to the farm and equine program.
“It gave students, members and faculty the opportunity to experience something different,” she said.
For the event, the arena was divided into a grid and individuals were able to choose and buy squares where they believed a horse would leave behind “droppings.” Squares for the donkey plop were available for purchase prior to and the day of the event for $5.
Megan Govindan, teaching assistant professor of human nutrition and foods, picked the correct square and won $100.
Lloyd says WVUCHA hopes to continue hosting events like this in the future.
If you’re interested in learning more about the club or the equine program, please click here.
Teams of student innovators got a leg up in their entry into West Virginia’s energy industry thanks to an entrepreneurship challenge sponsored by West Virginia University.
The inaugural West Virginia Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge, hosted by the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design with the support of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, recently awarded prize money to three student-driven technology enterprises.
The $20,000 first prize went to WINDPAX, LLC, created by Justin Chambers, a mechanical engineering student in the Statler College from Glen Dale, W.Va. WINDPAX is a design company that specializes in the development of recreational energy producing and energy storage devices. The core technology is based on portable power generating wind turbines for outdoor recreational use. The company currently has a patent pending unit and has other patentable units under development.
Visit WVU Today for the full story.
According to fashion design and merchandising senior Emily Dearth, “The right outfit can make a person feel beautiful, empowered and confident.”
The right internship can do that, as well.
That right internship may be Dearth’s own, with fashion designer Michael Kors on West 42nd Street in Manhattan. She will work in the accessories design department.
Kors is best known for designing classic American sportswear for women. His designs have been worn by Michelle Obama, Jennifer Garner and Jennifer Lopez.
Visit WVU Today for the full story.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting reporter Ben Adducchio recently spoke with members of the WVU Solar Decathlon team about building an energy efficient home and their upcoming trip to California:
The West Virginia University Solar Decathlon Team is starting its official practice trials of its home-building for this year’s competition.
WVU is one of 20 teams from around the world that’s competing in the 2013 Solar Decathlon, in October, in Irvine, Ca.
WVU’s team is building a home in the style of a rustic log cabin that utilizes energy efficient technologies.
Right now, the site is a cement pad. But soon the building will begin.
Andrea Argabright is the design team coordinator, working in landscape and interior design.
She is walking around the pad and pointing out where different rooms will actually be.
“Our Wood Science Department at WVU has provided us with the workshop and the training and we have volunteers from their program as well as our team; we are building our dining room table and chairs, all the living room tables,” she said.
“We are going to cut this log stump, and that’s going to be the counter top for our bathrooms. We are going to use their shop and build all of our kitchen cabinetry.”
To read the full story and listen to audio, please click here.
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