An international student who has immersed himself in the “cultural heartbeat” of his new community, a first-generation student graduating with a cumulative 4.0 grade-point average who had no access to high school college-prep courses and a Black woman who aspires to bridge the gap between research and clinical care to improve health disparities are among the graduating seniors to receive West Virginia University’s highest student honor, the Order of Augusta. WVU Photo
An international student who has immersed himself in the “cultural heartbeat” of his new community, a first-generation student graduating with a cumulative 4.0 grade-point average who had no access to high school college-prep courses and a Black woman who aspires to bridge the gap between research and clinical care to improve health disparities are among the graduating seniors to receive West Virginia University’s highest student honor, the Order of Augusta. WVU Photo

WVU’s top seniors named, eight honored with 2021 Order of Augusta

An international student who has immersed himself in the “cultural heartbeat” of his new community, a first-generation student graduating with a cumulative 4.0 grade-point average who had no access to high school college-prep courses and a Black woman who aspires to bridge the gap between research and clinical care to improve health disparities are among the graduating seniors to receive West Virginia University’s highest student honor, the Order of Augusta. 

These eight students are among 50 named WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors. 

“Each spring, WVU recognizes its top graduates with the Outstanding Senior award and the Order of Augusta,” said Maryanne Reed, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “These students have already become leaders, innovators and change-makers in their communities and beyond. I have no doubt that they will continue to ‘go first’ in everything they do.” 

This cohort comes from a variety of backgrounds but shares impressive academic achievements, a passion for discovery and a desire to serve. 

“The students chosen for the Order of Augusta and as WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors are truly exceptional and embody the Mountaineer spirit, bringing our Mountaineer values to life,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said. 

“As the top 1% of their graduating class, their academic achievements and their leadership and service to the WVU community and beyond is unparalleled. We look forward to their future successes, knowing they will represent West Virginia University well no matter where their path leads them.” 

Emma Blair, a member of the Honors College from Wheeling, will graduate with a degree in exercise physiology with an emphasis in health professions and a minor in psychology. She serves as a member of the first cohort of Presidential Student Ambassadors and member of the PSA Speakers Bureau and a student ambassador for the School of Medicine and the Honors College.

Read more about Blair.

Shannon Brunzo-Hager, a member of the Honors College from Rupert, will graduate with a degree in biochemistry and a minor in mathematics. He is the founder and serves as president HOSA-Future Health Professionals at WVU and president of the National Society of Leadership.

Read more about Brunzo-Hager.

Cherish Heard, from Morgantown, will graduate with a degree in psychology and minors in Spanish and sociology. She serves as a member of the Gerontological Society of America, a student affiliate with the American Psychological Association and Gerontological Society of America.

Read more about Heard.

Amelia Jones, a member of the Honors College from Wheeling, will graduate with a degree in English with an emphasis in literary and cultural studies and minors in theatre and German. She serves as president pro-tempore in the Student Government Association, a Mountaineer Guide with the WVU Visitors Center and the founder and co-chair of the Student Service Advisory Board.

Read more about Jones.

Nicholas Miller, a member of the Honors College from Hedgesville, will graduate with a degree in immunology and medical microbiology and minor in medical humanities and health studies. He is a member of the WVU Mortar Board, WVU American Society for Microbiology and has served as teaching assistant in the Department of Biology.

Read more about Miller.

Anne Roth, a member of the Honors College from Annandale, Virginia, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies, a master’s degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish. She has served as an ambassador for the Honors College and a four-year member of the Mountaineer Marching Band where she served as the saxophone section leader and woodwind rank leader.

Read more about Roth.

Abby Sine, a member of the Honors College from Core, will graduate with a degree in mathematics and minors in economics and statistics. She has served as the vice president for the Association of Women in Math, a mentor in the Student Support Services Trio Program and is a Presidential Student Ambassador.

Read more about Sine.

Nicolas Uribe, from Guayaquil, Ecuador will graduate with a degree in management with a focus in international business and minor in leadership studies. He serves as a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Theta Kappa.

Read more about Uribe.

The remaining 42 WVU Outstanding Seniors are:

  • Fatemah Alsharaf; Rumaithiya, Kuwait
  • Christopher Anderson; Terra Alta
  • Hannah Belt; Thurmont, Maryland (Honors College)
  • Payton Brown; Berkeley Springs (Honors College)
  • Sarah Cain; Hookstown, Pennsylvania
  • Parker Carte; Connellsville, Pennsylvania (Honors College)
  • Sarah Cokeley; Harrisville (Honors College)
  • Adam Craig; Wheeling (Honors College)  
  • Laura Curry; Bay Village, Ohio (Honors College)
  • Peter Dreher-Pozo; Washington, D.C.
  • Elizabeth Escott; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Honors College)  
  • Rachel Gritsko; Scottsville, Virginia
  • Joshua Gross; Wilmington, Delaware (Honors College)
  • Joseph Gutmann; Morgantown (Honors College)
  • Mackenzie Halliday; Washington, Pennsylvania (Honors College)
  • Jessica Hammersla; Martinsburg (Honors College)
  • Andrew Henthorn; St. Albans (Honors College)
  • Jessica Hogbin; Hedgesville (Honors College)
  • Heather Hughes; Ridgeley
  • Sarah Jenness; Baldwin, Maryland
  • Jordyn Johnson; South Charleston (Honors College)
  • Raegan Kvadas; Surfside Beach, South Carolina (Honors College)
  • John Maltby; Cresskill, New Jersey (Honors College)  
  • Aerianna McClanahan; Morgantown (Honors College)
  • Brandon McCoy; Washington, D.C. 
  • Wilson McNeil; Morgantown (Honors College)
  • Taylor Miller; Fairmont (Honors College)
  • Faith Myers; Plain City, Ohio (Honors College)
  • Thomas Ogershok; Morgantown (Honors College)
  • Molly Powney; Vienna (Honors College)
  • Kaitlyn Rexroad; Parkersburg (Honors College)
  • Margaret Rice; Union
  • Morgan Rush; McHenry, Maryland
  • Meagan Seaton; Mullens (Honors College)
  • Anurag Shrestha; Chicago, Illinois 
  • Noah Spencer; Morgantown (Honors College)
  • Madison Starcher; Reedsville (Honors College)
  • Jillian Swauger; Niles, Ohio (Honors College)
  • Gillian Wanosky; Parkersburg (Honors College)
  • Abigail Waugh; Bruceton Mills
  • Christina White; Morgantown (Honors College)
  • Heather Woolridge; Chesapeake, Virginia

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

The Order of Augusta further recognizes the students’ superior scholarship, demonstrated leadership and record of community and public service. The award is named for its historical significance in the state. Augusta was among the original names considered by Legislature when the state seceded from Virginia in 1863. 

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