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WVU Foundation awards scholarships to 10 grad students

Composite of 10 scholarship winners.

Ten WVU grad students have earned scholarships that will further their research.

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West Virginia University graduate students provide valuable research and teaching services to the West Virginia University campus and the greater Morgantown community. Ten graduate students have been selected to receive scholarships that will defray the costs of their education and promote the dissemination of their research to a broader audience. 

WVU Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship Awardees

Kate Allen

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Hometown: Frenchtown, New Jersey

Ph.D., Biology

“This award will be a huge help as I finish my PhD. It will allow me to offset my educational expenses such as college tuition, as well as travel expenses as I present my work at conferences and to potential employers, and the general life expenses that can derail a graduate education. Having extra support at this stage of my education will give me the security to really launch the next stage of my career.”

Matthew C. Arias

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Hometown: San Bernardino, California

Clinical Psychology 

“The WVU Foundation Distinguished Doctoral Scholarship will provide me the opportunity to investigate the preferences patients hold about treatments that target fears/phobias. The award will help assess ways to improve established treatments, and has the potential to increase overall utilization and adherence to psychotherapy treatment. Personally, receiving this award provides me the ability to carry out my research goals and will make me more of a well-rounded researcher.”

Praveen K.R. Majjigapu

Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering 

Hometown: Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Ph.D., Civil Engineering (Structural)

“I am extremely honored to receive this prestigious scholarship. The award has boosted my confidence as a researcher and further motivates me to pursue my dreams of advancing the nation’s infrastructure. I am extremely thankful to the awards committee for bestowing me this honor!”

Katelyn Romm

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Hometown: Chester, Maryland

Ph.D., Psychology, Life-Span Development

“This award will support my dissertation work, which examines adolescents' beliefs about and approval of negative parenting behaviors as protective factors against the influence of negative parenting. Through this work, I hope to better understand the individual characteristics of the adolescent that may buffer against the negative influence of family processes on adolescents' engagement in health-risk behaviors. This work aims to inform interventions that seek to intervene at the level of the adolescent by identifying modifiable characteristics that can be targeted to reduce engagement in health-risk behaviors among adolescents who experience various aspects of negative parenting.”

Carl del Signore Foundation Scholarship Awardees

Gordon Dimmig 

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

Hometown: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Wildlife & Fisheries Resources

“As I begin the last semester of my master's degree, this award will help me conclude my thesis and begin writing publications. Easing the financial side of things means that I have more time to focus on my bird research, in both analyzing data and writing.”

Savannah Lyn Haines

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

Hometown: Westport, Massachusetts

Plant Pathology

“Higher education can be expensive, but without it, I will not be able to be the professional forest pathologist I aspire to be. With this scholarship I will be able help defray the cost of my graduate education while continuing to work on my master’s research which is observing the extent and distribution of Diplodia spp. and its contribution to oak decline in the mid-Atlantic region. The knowledge and skills that I gain during my graduate time here will help me in obtain jobs in the future and shape me into a better researcher.”

Ilana Haliwa

Eberly College of Arts & Sciences

Hometown: Miami, Florida

Ph.D., Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience)

“The extra financial support from the Carl del Signore will support the completion of my Master’s thesis project by defraying research costs such as participant payment and the purchasing of materials.” 

Rachel Newman

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

Hometown: McClellandtown, Pennsylvania

Combined MS in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship program

“I am honored to have been selected to receive the Carl del Signore graduate scholarship and am thrilled for the support to my career development. In addition to becoming a registered dietitian after the completion of my dietetic internship this year, I plan to continue with my research and pursue a PhD in nutritional science. This scholarship will allow me to continue to stay focused on finishing my master’s research project, which will prepare me for a successful doctorate degree and career.”

Michaela Reardon

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Hometown: Mt. Airy, Maryland

Life-span Developmental Psychology 

“This award will help me to continue my research on decision-making processes and outcomes in adults. Previous research shows that cognitive abilities are important for predicting decision-making outcomes. Research also shows that affective components, such as task difficulty and importance, are influential in decision-making; however, this area of research is less well established. This award will help to support this line of research and bridge the gap in the literature.”

Alaina Tiani

College: Eberly College of Arts and Sciences

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Clinical Psychology 

“This scholarship will positively impact my work as a graduate researcher by assisting with educational costs, as well as providing funds towards the equipment necessary for the execution and completion of my master's thesis project.”

Target Audience

Prospective graduate students

Prospective employers and researchers



High School students



CONTACT: Allison Dagen

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