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Eberly Scholars

Our Eberly Scholars are committed to scholarship, leadership and service. Meet this year's cohort and learn how they've made the most of their college experiences.

Julianna Baibos

Major: International Studies and Political Science

Julianna Baibos is earning her bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Political Science. During her undergraduate studies she completed the First-Year Leadership Academy, received the WVU President’s List distinction from spring 2021 to spring 2023, and served as an Honors College Mentor. In addition to her academic achievements, she has been the WVU Women’s Ice Hockey Team Captain since August of 2022, will complete the Project 168 program and join the 168 Society, and held an internship at the Department of Justice since 2022. One of the experiences that had a lasting impression on Julianna was studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, where she learned about comparative law and politics. After graduation, she plans to work for the federal government in a position that allows her to serve the public while utilizing the skills and knowledge she developed as an undergrad.

Hayley Bockius

Major: Biochemistry, with minors in medical humanities and health studies

Hayley Bockius is earning a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, with minors in medical humanities and health studies. She is the current Managing Editor for the Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review, has over 500 hours of research experience, and currently holds the position of Volunteer Chair for the Biochemistry Club. After graduation, Hayley plans to attend medical school with the hope of becoming a retina specialist. She maintained the President’s List distinction every semester of college and received the Scholarship of Distinction Level 1 as an incoming freshman. Reflecting on her time at WVU, she is grateful for the incredible support from all her professors, advisors, and mentors. She says that the strong network of support she has built here at WVU will be what she misses the most.

Suraya Boggs

Major: Sociology and Anthropology, with a minor in law and legal studies

Suraya Boggs is earning bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in law and legal studies. She plans to become a lawyer with a focus on immigration so that she can aid people like her mother. Eventually, she wants to move onto human rights and nonprofit organizations, like the Southern Poverty Law Center. While pursuing an undergraduate degree, Suraya has engaged in volunteer opportunities at the Morgantown Stray and Feral Cats Inc., Appalachian Prison Book Project, and the WVU Davis College Diversity Mural Project. She has also served as the WVU NAACP Treasurer, interned at Erica Brannon Gunn’s Law Office, and worked as a tutor with the Academic Resource Center. One of her most memorable experiences at WVU was traveling abroad to Italy with her fellow Honors College students.

Emily Budik

Major: Psychology and Art Therapy with a minor in statistics

Emily Budik is earning bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Art Therapy with a minor in statistics. Upon graduation she will go to London for a master’s degree in Psychology of the Arts, Neuroaesthetics and Creativity. She hopes to become a neuropsychologist and spearhead the integration of using artistic creations as a neurological assessment tool to determine issues with specific areas of the brain. She’s held an internship at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, worked on several research projects, like the Children and Screens and Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale projects, and has worked in the WVU Cognition, Anxiety, and Treatment Lab with Dr. Shari Steinman. In addition to being named an Eberly Scholar, Emily has received the 1st place Mentored Research Award, Level 1 Scholarship of Distinction, and the WVU Creative Arts Scholarship, among others.

Carter Leadmon

Major: Mathematics and Computer Science

Carter Leadmon is a Mathematics and Computer Science dual major. He plans to enter the tech industry after graduating. Since his freshman year, Carter has been a member of the SGA, where he started as an intern and now serves as At-Large Senator. During his undergraduate education he also found time to volunteer at The Ranch Community Store, First Baptist Church of Hurrican Christmas Dinner Box Ministry, and WVU sponsored trail clean ups. One of the nonacademic accomplishments he is most proud of is being selected as an Orientation Leader, because it allowed him to share his love of the University and the State.

Julia Leyden

Major: History, Philosophy, and Political Science major

Julia Leyden is a triple History, Philosophy, and Political Science major. She values education and considers it one of her passions. As a WVU student, she served as a Research Apprentice through the RAP Program for Dr. Samuel Workman, and Dr. Herschel Thomas and studied Appalachian Budget Data. Their paper “County Budgetary Dynamics: Findings from Appalachia” was awarded 'Best Paper in Public Policy' by the APSA Public Policy Section. Julia credits the philosophy classes she has taken here at WVU for changing how she thinks about and perceives the world. They have made her a better, smarter, and more thoughtful person. One of her proudest accomplishments is working with South Middle School’s West Virginia History Bowl team, where she serves as an assistant coach. After graduation, Julia plans to either attend Law school or get a Ph.D. in order to become a professor.

Charlie Long

Major: Political Science and Philosophy

Charlie Long is a Political Science and Philosophy major who hopes to attend law school after graduation. His favorite place on campus is Woodburn Hall because of its beauty and the memories it holds. Charlie is President and Cofounder of the WVU Pre-Law Society and worked as a Congressional Intern for United States Senator Joe Manchin over the summer of 2023. The non-academic accomplishment that he is most proud of is landing the position of Chief of Staff within WVU's Student Government Association. While he values hard work, Charlie strives for balance and progress in all areas of his life, at all times. He makes sure to schedule time for fun, reflection and time with his family. His most memorable moment at WVU was speaking at the Spring 2023 TEDx event because it showed him that he is, in fact, a good public speaker. After his talk, Charlie was delighted to discover many of his best friends were in the audience, who showered me with hugs and flowers. It was that moment that he realized how lucky he was to have a close-knit group of friends on campus.

Christian Miller

Major: Political Science and International Studies

Christian Miller is a Political Science and International Studies major. During his time at WVU, Christian participated in the Henry Clay Center College Student Congress as an exclusive representative for West Virginia, among 51 students representing each state and Washington D.C. There, he received the "Outstanding Policy Position and Compromise Award." In the Fall 2023 semester, he worked as an Immigration Law Intern at Catholic Charities West Virginia Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services. In that role, he offered direct support and assistance to individuals as they navigated the immigration, refugee, and asylee application process. A pivotal experience that influenced his commitment to this cause was when he was welcomed into the home of his college roommate's family. The family immigrated from Bolivia when his roommate was a child. This act of kindness exposed Christian to their rich culture and inspired his commitment to assisting refugees and immigrants in the United States. What he will miss most about his time at WVU is the strong camaraderie and the welcoming atmosphere.

McKenna Moore

Major: Anthropology and Sociology

McKenna Moore is an Anthropology and Sociology major obtaining a minor in Native American Studies. At WVU, McKenna works in the Archaeological Training & Research Lab, and she serves as a Monongalia County 4-H Younger Camp Counselor. She began working at a lifeguard at the WVU Recreation Center her freshman year of college and quickly rose to the position of Head Lifeguard by the end of the year. She was then promoted to the position of Program Assistant where she helped manage the Aquatics department. McKenna’s current career goal is to work as a Forensic Anthropologist after she completes her education. She is also interested in using her forensic anthropology training to help communities that have been through catastrophic events by assisting in the identification of various remains left in the aftermath. In doing so, McKenna hopes to help preserve heritage and reunite people with their lost belongings and loved ones. Her favorite place on campus is the osteology lab in the Life Science Building because it was in this classroom that she fell in love with Forensic Anthropology and Human Osteology.

Vanessa Mueller

Major: Biochemistry

Vanessa Mueller is a Biochemistry major. She plans to attend medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a physician. Since her freshman year, she has volunteered more than 100 hours at Ruby Memorial Hospital in the NICU, Emergency Department, OR, and heart and vascular OR. Vanessa also crochets prayer shawls for donation to St. Andrews Lutheran Church, which gives them to hospitals for patients and visitors in need of comfort. At WVU, she has volunteered for the WVU Global Medical and Dental Brigades and at Pantry Plus More, which provides food to residents of Monongalia County. Her favorite WVU memory is singing Country Roads as a group for an indigenous community during a WVU Global Medical and Dental Brigades trip to Panama. In her spare time, Vanessa loves hiking and considers it an essential part of who she is. Learning how to pace herself as she hikes is a lot like college, she says, in that it involves spreading out the difficulties but taking them on in her own way.

Garrison Phillips

Major: Political Science and History with minors in Philosophy and Military Science

Garrison Phillips is a Political Science and History major with minors in Philosophy and Military Science. WVU Army ROTC and his experience within the Simultaneous Membership Program through the West Virginia Army National Guard have greatly impacted him, ultimately allowing him to become the best version of himself. He has led platoons of 40+ people, and he has spent considerable time pushing his mental and physical limits through obstacle courses, physical fitness tests, and a litany of other physically demanding tasks. While the military has been a major cultivator of his leadership skills, Garrison credits his academic career at WVU for teaching him many things about what it means to be a good leader. Over time, he has learned the importance of care, compassion, and empathy in helping, supporting, and leading others. After graduation, he will miss the late nights spent studying hanging out with friends, as well as the times spent in the WVU library or elsewhere on campus working and learning new things each day.

Bethanny Prascik

Major: Anthropology and Dance

Bethanny Prascik is an Anthropology and Dance major. She plans to further her education in graduate school by pursuing a degree in either Conservation or Museum Studies. Bethanny is working toward a certificate from the Global Mountaineers Program, which requires a combination of courses in global competency and intercultural knowledge, as well as a study abroad component. This past summer, she studied abroad for six-weeks in Sam Gemini, Italy. She also completed a tour of historically significant sites in Siena, Florence, and Rome during the Winter Intercession term. Bethanny also participates in several major dance performances each year. In Spring 2022, she choreographed her own dance piece titled “Bury a Friend” to the Billie Eilish song of the same name. She was a dancer in the Audacious Women project, an Honors Excel choreography and research project by two senior Dance and Theatre majors that explored the societal roles imposed upon women throughout history.

Madison Santmyer

Major: Political Science and International Studies

Madison Santmyer is a Political Science and International Studies major with minors in Spanish and Globalization. She participated in a Model United Nations’ Conference in Erfurt, Germany over Thanksgiving break for her international studies capstone project. During her time at WVU, she has developed a passion for public service. On campus, Madison founded the group Women in Politics and Government and served as president until last Spring. She has also served as a Senator-at-Large, Inclusion Committee Chair and member of the Bureau of Finance for Student Government Association. The non-academic accomplishment she is most proud of is serving as current Student Body President in SGA, which helped hone her leadership and conflict resolution skills. Madison recently began working as an English tutor for the Literacy Volunteers of Preston and Monongalia County.

Taya Sullivan

Major: Neuroscience and Spanish

Taya Sullivan is a Neuroscience (B.S.) and Spanish (B.A.) major with a minor in linguistics. She intends to combine these three fields and pursue a PhD researching auditory neuroscience, speech production and perception, and the neuroscience of language acquisition. She has worked as an Undergraduate Research Apprentice under Dr. Jonah Katz and Dr. Sergio Robles-Puente, examining various topics in acoustic phonetics, phonology, and cognitive science of English and Spanish. Her most memorable moment at WV is planning and executing a successful gender-affirming clothing drive for transgender students on campus as part of the Honors LGBTQ+ and Allies Affinity Group. Outside of academics, Taya is most proud of having taught herself to cook. She is also teaching herself Korean and has gained a modest level of fluency in the language so far.

Quinn Wooten

Major: Political Science and International Studies

Quinn Wooten is a Political Science and International Studies major. He is a West Virginia native and has always wanted to work in public service to help his home state. Last academic year, Quinn served as the Student Government Association’s Eberly College Senator. In this position, he helped pass legislation that helped create an Eberly College Student Advisory Board and helped spread awareness of community service opportunities to perspective and new students. The college class that has left the largest impact on Quinn is Empirical Political Analysis – one of his most difficult classes. The class showed him the importance of hard work and not giving up when things get difficult, because the skills he learned there have since served him well in many other classes.