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Michael DiBacco

This is a portrait of Michael DiBacco who is wearing a white button-up shirt, light blue tie with a yellow plaid and a gold and blue cord. Michael has short, dark hair.

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Michael DiBacco from Elkins will graduate with a dual degree in biology and English

He has served as a Presidential Student Ambassador, the editor for Calliope, a tutor in the Eberly Writing Studio and vice president of the WVU Quiz Bowl team.

He is an Eberly Scholar who has maintained a 4.0 while immersing himself in projects that bridge his intellectual interest in fiction and creative passion for writing, conducting research and traveling abroad.

As a participant in the Research Apprentice Program, DiBacco worked alongside faculty from the Department of English to analyze 400 dime novels to identify and interpret the cultural evolution of Italian American stereotypes. He presented his findings at the 2022 Italian American Studies Association Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

DiBacco also co-wrote a “spotlight” on “The compact of death, or, Nick Carter’s singed hair clew” for the Northern Illinois University’s Library Nickel and Dime repository.

As a member of the Honors EXCEL Program, he wrote a collection of short stories that bring together Appalachian culture and magical realism as an original examination of present-day Appalachia — achieving his goal of writing a well-researched, polished fiction manuscript.

He also worked alongside faculty from the Department of Biology as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience to study the role of genes in cancer by using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism. To fulfill the requirements of his Honors thesis senior capstone project, he continued his research, delving deeper into this genomic study.

An avid outdoorsman, he also had an opportunity to travel to Bariloche, Argentina, with the Adventure WV Patagonia winter break trip. During this two-week trip, he learned about ecosystems and sustainable tourism practices while enjoying backpacking and kayaking.

After graduation, DiBacco will continue to hone his expository science writing skills on genetic and environmental topics while earning a master’s degree in science journalism.

He also looks forward to writing novels and short stories in his spare time.