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2024 WVU Bucklew Scholars vie for Foundation Scholarships

The 2024 Bucklew Scholars are shown in a grid alongside the title 2024 Bucklew Scholars.

Each year, the Bucklew Scholarship is given to 20 high-achieving West Virginia students accepted to WVU. It qualifies them to be considered for the Foundation Scholarship, the University’s highest academic scholarship. (WVU Graphic)

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(Editor’s note: This news release has been revised since its initial publication to include Connor Dorsey from John Marshall High School and Riley Moore from Fairmont Senior High School as Bucklew Scholarship recipients.)

Some of the brightest high school seniors from across the Mountain State who have demonstrated an impressive commitment to academic excellence and community service while balancing extracurricular activities are eager to represent West Virginia University as the new cohort of Bucklew Scholars.

Each year, the Bucklew Scholarship is given to 20 high-achieving West Virginia students accepted to the University and qualifies them to be considered for the Foundation Scholarship, the University’s highest academic scholarship.

Not only do these future change agents excel in the classroom — they are also talented athletes, artists, musicians, dancers, mentors and farmers, and include a juggler and a unicyclist.

Several of the scholars will pursue careers in engineering and computer science.

Isaac Lane from Ravenswood High School and Christian Packer from Brooke High School will major in chemical engineering.

Lane, president of his FFA team and a goat farmer who is minoring in biomedical engineering, has keen interests in chemistry and medicine, including the use of synthetic molecules in drug discovery and development. Although he is uncertain of the focus, he plans to eventually pursue a doctoral degree in research.

The captain of his soccer team, a tennis and pickleball player, and an aspiring nuclear engineer, Packer is looking forward to working on a frontline research and development team while championing the advantages of nuclear energy. (Editor’s note: Packer declined the Bucklew Scholarship after the initial publication of this release.)

Colin Addie from Morgantown High School will major in mechanical engineering and minor in political science, and Samuel Keeney from Midland Trail High School is planning for a dual civil engineering and mining engineering major.

Addie is a trumpet player and Esports enthusiast who enjoys deconstructing and rebuilding things to make them function more efficiently, including used Nerf guns. His plans include teaching and/or law school.

Inspired by the generation of miners in his family, Keeney, a pianist and athlete who grew up on a beef cattle farm, is excited to join a renowned engineering program as a path to working as a mining or engineering consultant close to home.

Planned computer science majors include Alana Chen from Bridgeport High School who will minor in business cybersecurity, Helen Honecker from University High School who will minor in art and Brian Ngo from Notre Dame High School who will double major in cybersecurity.

An aspiring information security analyst, Chen is the co-president of her high school’s Girl Up organization and a four-year tennis team member. A computer science course during her junior year sparked her passion for coding, while attendance at the West Virginia Governor’s Honor Academy ignited her interest in cybersecurity.

Honecker, a violinist and member of her cross country and track teams who has a passion for robotics, shared fond memories of driving around campus with her father to collect and repair “junk” left behind by students. Although she is unsure about her career, she is confident it will bridge her love for computers and art. (Editor's note: Honecker declined the Bucklew Scholarship after the initial publication of this release.)

Senior class president and an all-around athlete who plays keyboard and guitar, Ngo said he believes computer science and cybersecurity experts will play a crucial role in ensuring a safe and secure future for generations to come. He plans to pursue a career as a cybersecurity architect or ethical hacker.

The following scholars plan to pursue careers in medicine.

Ama Ackon-Annan from Woodrow Wilson High School and Callum Lorimer from Morgantown High School will begin their journeys at WVU as biomedical engineering majors.

Ackon-Annan, a soccer player and track and field athlete who grew up attending STEM camps facilitated by her engineer mother, decided at the age of 4 that she wanted to work in the health care industry. Now, she is bridging her passion for biology and technology as a path to becoming a family physician.

A unicyclist and pianist who had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall, Lorimer’s longtime interests in medicine and technology were solidified last summer while participating in the Health Careers Academy. He is looking forward to a career that will allow him to continue challenging himself while helping others.

Pratham Bhanushali from Morgantown High School, Kassie Gorby from Oak Glen High School and Zadie Worley from Liberty High School will major in neuroscience.

A Mountaineer Area Robotics and high school tennis team member who plays the piano and guitar in his spare time, Bhanushali solidified his passion to study neurogenerative disorders last year while attending Brain Camp. He plans to become a neurologist or cardiologist.

Gorby, a talented artist who won first place in the drawing category at this year’s Oglebay Institutes Regional Student Art Exhibition, is an aspiring psychiatrist who aims to serve underserved communities while contributing to the eradication of mental health-related stigma and discrimination through education.

After watching a young family member suffer from epilepsy, Worley, a four-year volleyball and softball player, founding member of her high school dance team and juggler, plans to use her degree to become a pediatric neurologist focused on early detection and treatment of neurological disorders.

A swimmer and alto saxophone player, Jenna Casto from East Fairmont High School will major in nursing. An opportunity to shadow health care professionals at Ruby Memorial Hospital last summer as part of the Health Careers Academy inspired her to become a pediatric ICU nurse practitioner.

President of her high school’s DECA Club and a Career Technical Education business student, Sierra Menendez from Lincoln High School will major in dental hygiene. She is eager to help combat barriers to good oral health and educate communities on the connection between dental health and chronic illnesses.

The following students plan to begin building a foundation for careers in the arts.

A talented artist and multi-winner of the Stifel Fine Arts Center Regional Student Art Exhibition, Rachel Edinger from Linsly School will major in art and design with an emphasis in painting. She is an aspiring museum curator and commissioned painter who wants to preserve the history and capture the people of Appalachia.

A French Club and theater tech crew member, Kathryn Grace Frame from Charleston Catholic High School will major in fashion, dress and merchandising and business. Inspired by her father’s love of fashion and her own entrepreneurial spirit, she is excited to fulfill her longtime dream of owning a fashion boutique and online store. 

With a passion for telling untold stories, Riley Moore from Fairmont Senior High School, who has participated in musical theatre since sixth grade, will major in journalism and theatre. Cast in back-to-back lead roles her senior year, including Liesel in “The Sound of Music,” she hopes to become a producer-director for a broadcasting or musical theater company. (Editor’s note: Moore was offered and accepted the Bucklew Scholarship after the initial publication of this release.)

The remaining Bucklew Scholars will major in various fields of study.

An avid coin collector and badminton player from Clay County High School, Isaac Brown plans to major in mathematics and political science, a passion he discovered while volunteering his time to local political campaigns. He plans to bridge his love of political science and mathematics by eventually attending law school and/or teaching.

Connor Dorsey from John Marshall High School, who believes he possesses the academic ability and skills needed to become a successful data scientist focused on technological innovation and artificial intelligence, will major in data science. A violin and viola player who was named to the West Virginia All-State Orchestra, he enjoys fishing, golfing and managing his small landscaping business. (Editor’s note: Dorsey was offered and accepted the Bucklew Scholarship after the initial publication of this release.)

A four-year varsity soccer player, Paige Herfurth is a biochemistry major from Washington High School who found her niche in research last summer while participating in the Werner Student Internship Program at the National Cancer Institute. She plans to work as a doctorate-level research scientist. (Editor’s note: Herfuth declined the Bucklew Scholarship after the initial publication of this release.)

A two-year drum major who enjoys snowboarding, Liam McCarthy is a political science and jazz piano major from Musselman High School whose deep love for math and science has “made them feel like extracurriculars.” Potentially following in his father’s and brother’s footsteps as a Foundation Scholar, he plans to become a music professor or attend law school.

A master gardener-in-training and Highland dancer who took a gap year to work on an organic farm in Italy, Clare Talbott, an environmental, soil and water sciences major from Elkins High School, cited an elementary project on global warming that propelled her passion to pursue a science-based career advocating for sustainable development. 

The Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship is named after the 20th WVU president and is valued at $40,000, providing its recipients with $10,000 per year over four years to be used toward educational costs. All Bucklew Scholars have qualified for the WVU Honors College and the scholarship may be used in addition to the state’s PROMISE Scholarship.

The scholarships are part of the University’s comprehensive awards program and are supported, in part, by the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

-WVU-

ta/4/1/24

MEDIA CONTACT: Shauna Johnson
Director of News Communications
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304-293-8302; sjohns13@mail.wvu.edu

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