West Virginia University’s Division of Forestry and Natural Resources has named its Outstanding Seniors for the 2009-10 academic year.

Recipients will be honored at the 75th Annual Alumni Banquet on April 17 at the Waterfront Place Hotel.

The Division Outstanding Senior is Melissa Stevens, who will be graduating from the Forest Resources Management program in May.

For the other three programs in the division, Outstanding Seniors are: Amy Everman, wood science and technology; Kristen D. Smith, recreation, parks and tourism resources; and Holly Morris, wildlife and fisheries resources.

Stevens, of Frostburg, Md., has been a distinguished student with an excellent record of academic achievement, leadership and service. She received the WVU Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship for a 4.0 GPA for the fall of 2008, spring of 2009 and fall of 2009 semester. She is currently a nominee for the WVU Order of Augusta and WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior Award.

During her tenure at WVU she has been an active member of the WVU student chapter of the Society of American Foresters and serves as this year’s president. She has been the most active president on record and has represented the student chapter at national, regional and state meetings. She has been a successful leader and helped raise $3,000-$4,000 from sponsors to support the professional activities of the student organization.

In the fall of 2009 she conducted an independent research project in Maryland to develop a management plan for a forest landowner to address invasive species occurrence, spread and possible control activities. In the spring of 2009 she was elected to Xi Sigma Pi national forestry honorary and has mentored undergraduates as a service to the division and the University. She has also been an active member of the WVU Forestry Club, the WVU Woodsmen Team and the WVU Archery Club.

Stevens has also been active in her home state. She participates in the Maryland Geocaching Society, the Allegany College of Maryland Forestry Alumni Association, the Allegany County Forestry Board, the Salisbury Elk-Lick Rod and Gun Club, the Big Savage Sportsmen Club, the Piney Mountain Sportsmen Association, the American Chestnut Foundation, the Allegany 4-H program, serves on the Allegany County Agricultural Expo Board of Directors, is a boy scout merit badge counselor and is a life member of the National Rifle Association.

She has served as a teaching assistant for the division’s Wood Science program and worked summers and weekends for the Maryland Forest Service at Green Ridge State Forest.

Stevens has received many scholarships and awards including the national Ben Meadows Natural Resource Scholarship for Leadership, the Divisional Asher W. Kelly Scholarship, the William A. Wayt Endowed Scholarship, the Maryland Senatorial Scholarship, among others.

Everman, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has an impressive record of student achievement. The scholarships she has earned include the Spitzer, Weyerhaeuser, Mill Operations Technical Advancement Group and George A. Myles awards. In recognition of her consistently high GPA, Everman has also been inducted into the honor societies Xi Sigma Pi and Gamma Sigma Delta and has been listed on either the Dean’s or President’s list every semester.

Everman has also held internships with Weyerhaeuser, where she performed research testing on the bulk density of the strands used in oriented strand board mats, and doing Geographic Information Systems research with Dr. Mike Strager. She has also served the division as a work-study in the front office.

“I have truly enjoyed my time here at WVU, and am proud of the education I have received,” Amy wrote in her application.

Smith, of Charleston, has been recognized on both the Dean’s List and President’s List multiple times.

Smith has been active in the Professional Recreation and Parks Society, currently serving as treasurer. She is also active in musical performance and leadership with the WVU African Drum and Dance Ensemble, the WVU Marching Band and the WVU Basketball Pep Band.

Smith has held internships and other professionally-relevant work or volunteer positions. She has been a member of the Wildlife Brigade of the Grand Teton National Park, working closely with grizzly and black bears and has volunteered for multiple projects with Friends of Deckers Creek and the Morgantown Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners.

Morris, of White Sulphur Springs, is a Davis College Vandervort Scholar, and a WVU Forestry Association Scholar and has been active as an officer of the Wildlife Society and is a member of the American Fisheries Society, Ducks Unlimited, the National Rifle Association, Mountaineer Maniacs and Friends of Decker’s Creek.


CONTACT: Chris Stewart, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources
304-293-7553, Christopher.Stewart@mail.wvu.edu