By Daniel Morgan, Editor
As the 2016 spring semester comes to a close, West Liberty University students, along with some staff and faculty members, are collecting awards and scholarships as well as scoring achievements in numerous academic areas.
The Spring Honors Convocation was held on April 28 in Kelly Theatre, and numerous students received awards, which included some substantial monetary scholarships.
As previously covered, senior English Education major Rachel Wurster received the Robert W. Sledge Fellowship from the national honor society Alpha Chi. The fellowship comes with a $3,500 award, and she was recognized at the convocation.
“We are very proud of Rachel and pleased to have another West Liberty University student’s work recognized on a national scale,” said Dr. Linda Cowan, a faculty sponsor of Alpha Chi. “It proves the fact that when our students enter national competitions, they excel.”
“I was very excited to get the news,” Wurster said. “It feels great to be recognized for my hard work and research.”
Senior biology major Adam Kenney was also honored at the convocation. He was selected for the University Fellowship at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Roger Seeber presented him with the $30,576 award, which Kenny interviewed for in January.
“I always wanted to go into biology but started out as pre-pharmacy,” Kenney said. “I switched to biomedical sciences graduate school over the past few years.”
Faculty and Staff of the Year awards were announced at the convocation as well. Both of these awards were voted on directly by the student body.
Student Government Association President Allyson Ashworth presented Marketplace employee Ethel Scherich with the Staff of the Year award.
“I was surprised by the honor and thank the students for their kindness,” Scherich said. The dedicated Sodexo cashier has worked at WLU since 1989. “I like everything about it,” she said. “The students, the people I work with. The bosses. Sodexo is extra nice to me.”
Dr. Joseph Horzempa was the recipient of this year’s Professor of the Year award. He is an assistant professor of biology who joined the university faculty in 2011. Horzempa continues to offer his students with research opportunities, one of which was featured in a January 2016 issue of Frontiers in Microbiology.
“I discovered that I received this honor just moments after the ceremony and was totally shocked,” Horzempa said. “I am grateful for the students’ confidence in me and am humbled by this award.”
Aside from these recent awards, the WLU student body excelled throughout the semester.
The 22 graduating Dental Hygiene seniors completed their clinical exams in April with completely perfect scores.
“We are very proud of our 22 graduating seniors who passed the grueling four-hour clinical portion of their CDCA exams with flying colors,” said Dental Hygiene Program Director Stephanie Meredith. “Although our students usually do quite well, 100 percent clinical board passing hasn’t happened for some time and we share our students’ excitement as they near graduation day and begin their careers as dental professionals.”
The 2015-2016 academic year has been eventful for West Liberty University, and students, staff, and faculty are finishing up with success. Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 11 a.m. in the ASRC.