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2022-23 Eberly Scholars: Allison Barr

Majors: Biology (B.A.) and Animal & Nutritional Sciences (B.S.)
Hometown: Moorefield, WV

  • Allison Barr with dog
  • Allison Barr behind Woodburn Hall
  • Allison Barr at WVU Football game

How did you choose your major?

I chose Biology as my primary major because I wanted to delve further into the wonders of the life sciences. Thanks to the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, I had many options as to what I wanted to focus my studies on within this broad major. I chose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Biology because it afforded me the flexibility I desire to explore both science and the arts, both of which I am extremely passionate about. Because it is both comprehensive and flexible, the program allowed me to take on a second major, Animal & Nutritional Sciences, to diversify my education experience even further.

How would you explain your major to a new WVU student? What advice would you give them?

The Biology major gives students the opportunity to prepare themselves thoroughly for their future goals pertaining to life sciences. It provides everything a student needs to succeed and thrive in a number of settings in and beyond undergraduate studies. My advice to a new WVU student would be to never be afraid to ask for help! The professors in the Eberly College have been nothing but understanding and helpful whenever I have had questions!

How has your major prepared you for your future career?

The Biology major is a great major option for a variety of future careers, including my goal of becoming a veterinarian. Not only has it given me a fantastic education, but it has also taught me practical skills, such as interpersonal, professional communication and lab techniques, that have bettered me as a student and as a person.

How have you changed since your first year at WVU?

I have become much more confident in myself and my abilities since my first year at WVU. I have learned that it is okay not to be perfect, but that should never stop you from doing your best! Finally, I better understand the importance of mental health and the impact it has on your performance in everything.

What was the hardest (Eberly College) class that you loved? Why?

The hardest Eberly College class that I loved was Biology 219: The Living Cell. This class went into great detail about cellular processes and functions. It was sometimes difficult to visualize these things at the molecular level, but they were extremely fascinating and interesting to learn about. I still find myself connecting real-life experiences to the things I learned in this class.

What do you want others to know about you that is not on your resume?

I can play eight different instruments, and I have been playing piano since I was six years old. Music has always been an integral part of my life, and I don’t know where I would be without it. 

What makes you feel connected to WVU?

Growing up in eastern West Virginia meant that everyone around me was a huge fan of WVU. Going to WVU basketball and football games were my family traditions growing up. However, it wasn’t until I started my freshman year here that I truly felt connected to WVU. I found myself surrounded by a strong support system of fellow mountaineers that help each other succeed. There is just something about the West Virginia hospitality that makes anyone feel at home, regardless of where they came from, and WVU is a prime example of it. Whether I am studying at the library, walking through Woodburn circle, attending a football game, or hiking at the Core Arboretum…I always feel at home at WVU. 

What does it mean to be a Mountaineer?

Being a Mountaineer means to give your best effort in everything you do. It means that when you fail, you get right back up and try again. You are empathetic and you build others up, never tear them down. You respect what it means to be a Mountaineer and the honor and privilege that this title entails. Mountaineer has no gender, race, or sexual orientation. Being a Mountaineer means that you have the ability to change the world, and I am proud to call myself a Mountaineer.

Why would you recommend WVU to a family member or friend? 

I would recommend WVU because it isn’t just a university – it is a culture, a family. WVU offers students the incredible opportunities that only a large school can have, but has the camaraderie of a much smaller school. WVU has taught me so much about my major and myself, and it has introduced me to friends that I now can’t imagine my life without.

Do you have a favorite professor or instructor? What makes them special? 

I have two favorite professors – Dr. William Morgan of the Spanish department and Dr. Stephanie Young of the Biology department. These two incredible individuals have taught me so much, and working closely with them has been an honor and a pleasure. Dr. Morgan introduced me to a culture that I had never had the chance to learn about nor fully appreciated until I came to WVU. Dr. Young is endlessly kind and patient, and she provided me the opportunity to fulfill a leadership role as a teaching assistant and share my love of biology with other students.

What was your reaction when you found out you were an Eberly Scholar? How has this opportunity made a difference in your life?

I was (and am) incredibly thrilled and honored to find out that I had been selected as an Eberly Scholar. I am so excited for this opportunity to represent the Eberly College and everything I love about it. The Eberly College is so special in that it gives me the ability to pursue both of my greatest passions – language arts and life sciences – and I am proud to be a part of it.  

About Eberly Scholars

In association with the ongoing generosity of the Eberly family, the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board established the Eberly Scholars program in 1988. Each year, up to 25 students majoring in the arts and sciences are designated as Eberly Scholars. They are provided with scholarship support in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement. This award is the Eberly College’s most prestigious scholarship honor for undergraduate students. 

Meet all of this year's Eberly Scholars.