West Virginia University students who have demonstrated exemplary academic performance and extracurricular involvement will compete in one of Mountaineer Week’s oldest traditions—the title of Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer.
The group of 10 represents a wide range of disciplines, but shares impressive academic achievements and experiences. The students, from West Virginia, New York and India, are all members or former members of the WVU Honors College.
“Since 1962, one high-achieving man and woman have won the title of Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer,” said Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week advisor. “This year’s winners will join a host of distinguished alumni who have earned the title over the past five decades.”
Distinguished alumni such as Lisa Costello, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at WVU; Emily Calandrelli, an Emmy-nominated science TV host; and W. Dean Baker, a 1964 alumnus who has held a variety of executive positions in the aerospace and defense industry, have held the title of Mr. or Ms. Mountaineer.
This year’s winners will be selected by a review panel and announced during halftime at the WVU football game against Baylor on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Mr. Mountaineer finalists are:
Andrew Jemiolo, a physics major minoring in mathematics from Orchard Park, New York, serves as a resident assistant for the Honors Hall and section leader for the WVU Drumline. Jemiolo also conducts undergraduate research in plasma physics and plans to work for the US Naval Research Laboratory over the next year designing new laser diagnostics for plasma physics research. Jemiolo is a Jury Award co-winner of Campus Movie Fest. He is sponsored by WVU Plasma Physics.
Praveen Majjigapu, a doctoral student in civil engineering from Hyderabad, India, serves as the president of Structural Engineering Institute Graduate Student Chapter and is a Collegiate Inventors Competition Bronze winner. He is the recipient of the Outstanding Merit Fellowship for Continuing Doctoral Students and the Kenneth D Gray Leadership Award. Majjigapu has also been honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. He is sponsored by the Structural Engineering Institute Graduate Student Chapter and Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
Alexander Martin, a computer science and computer engineering major from Charleston, serves as vice president of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, an international organization that recognize academic excellence in the computing sciences, and the American Collegiate Esports League. Martin also serves as the regional business conference chair for the Central Atlantic Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls and has been inducted into the WVU Resident Assistant Hall of Fame. He is sponsored by the WVU Residence Hall Association.
Adam Roh, a civil and environmental engineering major from Morgantown, serves as the president of the civil engineering honor society Chi Epsilon, an ambassador for the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and emergency communication coordinator for the WVU Amateur Radio Club. Roh is also a member of and Engineers Without Borders. He is sponsored by Chi Epsilon.
Stephen Scott, a graduate student majoring in political science and multidisciplinary studies from Shepherdstown, serves as president of the Student Bar Association, an executive notes editor for the West Virginia Law Review and secretary/treasurer of the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest. Scott has been honored with the prestigious Order of Augusta and endorsed by WVU for the Rhodes Scholarship. He is sponsored by WVU College of Law and the ASPIRE Office.
Ms. Mountaineer finalists:
Mia Antinone, a biochemistry major from Weirton, serves as a student tour leader for the WVU Visitors Center and vice president for Mountaineer Guides. She has been on the President’s List and serves as an annual volunteer for the West Virginia Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference. Antinone is sponsored by the WVU Visitors Center.
Morgan Goff, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from Weirton, serves as a graduate assistant for WVU University Relations. She recently earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from WVU and has been honored as a Foundation Outstanding Senior. She is a former vice president for the WVU Panhellenic Council of Recruitment and Philanthropy, senator for the Student Government Association and WVU Greek Woman of the Year. Goff is sponsored by the WVU MBA Program.
Emma Harrison, a political science and multidisciplinary studies major from Morgantown, is a 2018 Truman Scholar and a 2018-2019 Newman Fellow. She serves as an intern for the West Virginia Innocence Project and a volunteer teacher for prison education at the Federal Correctional Institution Morgantown, FCI Hazelton and United States Penitentiary Hazelton. Harrison also volunteers her time to the Appalachian Prison Book Project. She is sponsored by the WVU Honors College.
Karen Laska, an international studies, Slavic and Eastern European studies, and world languages French major, from Wheeling, serves as an ESL tutor with the Literacy Volunteers of Monongalia and Preston Counties and a volunteer with the WVU Intensive English Program Conversation Partners. Laska is a recipient of the Boren Scholarship, has been endorsed by WVU for the Mitchell Scholarship and a three-time recipient of the Eberly Scholarship. She is also a member of WVU Mortar Board She is sponsored by the ASPIRE Office.
Virginia Thrasher, a member of the WVU Rifle Team, is a biomedical engineering major from Springfield. She won a gold medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and she is a four-time NCAA Champion Rifle team winner and nine-time All American champion. Thrasher has also been endorsed by WVU for the Rhodes Scholarship and was invited to be a speaker in the inaugural TEDxWVU event. She is sponsored by the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.