Skip to main content

Giana Loretta

This is a portrait of Giana Loretta who is wearing a gold turtleneck and navy blue jacket while standing in front of the Mountaineer statue.

Download full-size

Giana Loretta from Shinnston will graduate with degrees in political science, philosophy and communication studies.

She has served as a Presidential Student Ambassador, a student ambassador for the Office of Admissions, an intern for the West Virginia Innocence Project and was named a 2022 Mountaineer of Distinction.

She is a Newman Civic Fellow who has maintained a 4.0 grade point average while advocating and searching for solutions to educational inequity through research and outreach projects, volunteering more than 300 hours to organizations that directly affect education in West Virginia and studying abroad.

A staunch supporter of equitable access to education for K-12 students in West Virginia, Loretta worked alongside faculty in the Department of Political Science as part of the Honors EXCEL Program to conduct research on the educational outcomes of school choice and compiled a comprehensive policy brief regarding recent charter school development in the Mountain State. Her findings are published in the current edition of the Mountaineer Undergraduate Research Review.

Loretta participated in three additional research projects with the Department of Political Science as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. Projects included a study on the referral process for high school students with opioid use disorders, an assessment of United States mayors’ perceptions related to the World Health Organization and a National Science Foundation-funded project examining the Texas disaster response to the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri.

Loretta also served as the president of WVU Mountaineer Mentors, a student organization dedicated to improving college preparedness and professional development in West Virginia high schools. Through both in-person and virtual outreach, the group has reached approximately 15,000 students across the state over the past four years.

She also had the opportunity to study abroad this semester as a full-time student at the Université de Strasbourg École de Management in France.

Loretta was recently named a 2023-24 Fulbright Scholar and will work as an English teaching assistant in Bulgaria starting in September. She plans to eventually pursue a master’s degree in public policy focused on education.