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William Turman

A portrait of William Turman who is wearing a camouflage and is sitting in front of several flags, including the a U.S. flag and West Virginia flag.

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William Turman, a member of the Honors College from Barboursville, will graduate with a degree in economics and minors in finance and military science.

He has served as a four-year cadet in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, a tutor for the Office of Student-Athlete Academic Services, and a member of the Project 168 Society and the Student Government Association. During his sophomore year, he founded the National Society of Pershing Rifles, the ROTC demonstration team that now has more than 30 members.

In addition to his academic coursework, this 2020 Bucklew Scholar has immersed himself in several ROTC leadership roles and trainings, and conducted experimental research focused on benefiting marginalized communities.

His purpose and longer-term goal is to use his understanding of economics to improve the lives of marginalized groups in West Virginia as a public servant or through entrepreneurship.

Turman studied the impact of identity — such as gender, race and sexual orientation — on decision-making through behavioral and experimental economic research in the Behavioral Economics and Situational Testing Lab. This research enabled him to hone his economic research skills, and he takes ownership in dubbing this John Chambers College of Business and Economics lab the “BEAST.”

For his Honors Foundation Program project, he worked with faculty as part of the Research Apprentice Program to investigate the impact of implementing Ranked Choice Voting on voter turnout through advanced synthetic-control research methods. His research won first place in the arts and humanities category at the 2022 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Last summer, he completed the Army ROTC Advanced Camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky, a 35-day leadership training designed to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to thrive in challenging conditions. Cadets must also meet established standards in physical fitness, weapons training, communication and combat patrols.

His proudest accomplishment has been serving as company commander for the ROTC Alpha Company. In this role, he led two platoons of freshmen cadets, overseeing initial training to achieve task proficiency and retainment.

Turman is the recipient of the USAA Spirit Award for his “warrior spirit,” and he was named an Outstanding Army ROTC Cadet his sophomore year, as well as tutor of the month.

After graduation, he will serve as intern for U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and enter the West Virginia Army National Guard as a Second Lieutenant and Quartermaster Platoon Leader.