“Graduation is always an exciting time for the faculty and staff of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences as it recognizes the achievements of our students and their hard work over the years,” said Gregory Dunaway, dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. “We are proud of all our graduates who have accomplished so much during their time in the Eberly College and at WVU. We look forward to celebrating their achievements and anticipate great things to come.”
As Commencement is upon us, several of these Eberly College graduates reflect on
their time at WVU.
Allie Diehl, a dual major in Spanish and industrial engineering, has accomplished a lot in her time at WVU. As a student athlete in cross country and track and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Alpha Omega Epsilon, Diehl has completed several internships, volunteered at the Shack’s after school program and has been named an Eberly Scholar. Diehl has also enjoyed traveling as a student athlete and has studied abroad in Murcia, Spain, for which she became a study abroad student ambassador.
“The past four and a half years have been a wonderful journey of self-discovery, self-reliance, growth in my confidence and in my leadership skills, and learning how to truly embrace my independence,” Diehl said.
Whether studying or spending time with friends, Diehl’s favorite places on campus include spots where she can view the entire campus, such as the top floor of Evansdale Crossing.
“I love to look out over the campus and see the windmills in the mountains,” Diehl said. “My other favorite place is the rail trail because it provides gorgeous views of the Monongahela River as well as the downtown campus.”
If given the chance to start her journey at WVU all over again, Diehl said she would get more involved with Adventure WV and the WVU Climbing Club.
“I have always loved the outdoors, and I had a blast on the Adventure WV orientation trip,” Diehl said.
From building a hovercraft and tracking a weather balloon as it traveled three hours away to storming the court after beating the number one ranked University of Kansas’s basketball team, Diehl has a lot of precious memories from her time in Morgantown.
“WVU has been my home for the past four and a half years,” Diehl said. “For me, being a Mountaineer means that you’re always climbing. You can look back and see how far you’ve come when you’re on the peak, but there’s also other peaks to climb.”
While Brooklyn, New York native Artur Wawrzak didn’t expect to study anthropology, he fell in love with the subject after taking one course and ended up changing his major. To further explore his interests, Wawrzak joined the WVU Anthropology Club.
“The best way to explain anthropology is the study of cultures of people in the world,” Wawrzak said. “You can study anything from physical anthropology, biological anthropology and cultural anthropology to archaeology.”
His advice to new students looking to thrive in anthropology is to read as much as you can about the subject.
“There’s actually a lot of material in anthropology, and it all delves into so many different things, so just reading all that is out there is a key to being good at it,” Wawrzak said.
For Wawrzak, the most difficult course he took during his time at WVU was Mesoamerican archaeology.
“The hardest class was actually the one I enjoyed the most because of how challenging it was,” Wawrzak said. “Mesoamerican archaeology was a lot of fun, a lot of reading and a lot of memorization, but it was great.”
After graduating, Wawrzak looks forward to most being out into the field. He got a taste of what a future career as an archaeologist would be like over the summer when he worked as an archaeologist.
“I’m mostly trained as an archaeologist, so going back out to digs is what I’m looking forward to the most,” he said.
To Wawrzak, a Mountaineer should always be striving and pushing themselves through tough times.
“To me, what makes a Mountaineer is the drive to succeed, to constantly keep pushing ourselves and to keep going when things are tough,” he said. “I think that’s what makes us different and special.”
In his free time, Wawrzak enjoys cooking and playing golf. His love for food pushed the Mountainlair Student Union at the top of his list for favorite places on campus. Wawrzak’s favorite memory affiliated to WVU was getting his acceptance letter.
“It has been the best time of my life,” Wawrzak said. “I never dreamed I would be at a university like this, but to actually be here was life-changing.”
If psychology major Brenna Leasor could start her journey at WVU over, she would choose to get involved in extracurricular activities even earlier than she did. During her time at WVU, Leasor has been involved in the Student Government Association, WVU Food Recovery Network, WVU Psychology Club and served as a University Relations social media ambassador and an Eberly College student ambassador.
“I have been involved in several amazing organizations and activities, made lifelong friends and genuinely feel as though I have positively impacted the University; however, the only thing I would change is that I would start getting involved on campus my freshman year,” Leasor said. “Two organizations, the Student Government Association and the Food Recovery Network, were incredibly impactful to my personal and professional development, and I think having an additional year or two within these organizations would have made an even larger impact on me.”
During her time at WVU, Leasor was able to serve as an undergraduate research assistant, an undergraduate teaching assistant, complete many internships and study abroad in Montpellier, France. She has received the PROMISE Scholarship, WVU’s Rhododendron Scholarship, the John Malcomb Endowed Scholarship, the Karen Logue-Ingle Memorial Scholarship and was also named to the Mortar Board honorary and Psi Chi psychology honorary, among other honors.
“My proudest moment at WVU was when I was selected as a finalist for Ms. Mountaineer,” Leasor said. “Walking across Mountaineer Field with my parents, while being recognized for all my hard work, was unforgettable and the culmination of my undergraduate experience at WVU.”
After graduating from WVU, Leasor is excited to begin her career at Deloitte as a federal business technology analyst in Washington, D.C. Although this is not a career she was originally planned to pursue, Leasor has had the opportunity to explore different applications of psychology.
“Over the past four years, I have become more independent, confident and driven,” Leasor said. “I credit my personal developments to the amazing mentors I have had the chance to work with in various organizations, research labs and internships, which have allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and become the person I am today.”
WVU’s 2,870 graduates will be recognized Friday, Dec. 15 at the WVU Coliseum during two Commencement ceremonies: the first at 9 a.m. for graduates of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Economics, and the second at 2 p.m. for all other WVU colleges and schools. Learn more about Commencement at graduation.wvu.edu.