Scholarship, Award and Grant Recipients

We’ll post scholarship and award recipients here on a rolling basis. We started publicly announcing and documenting these awards in the 22-23 academic year. All those who earn these distinctions will also be recognized at the appropriate Honors Convocation for their award. Details on these opportunities can be found on our Scholarships page.

Jean McAlister Albarran Scholarship

The recipient of the Jean McAlister Albarran Scholarship shall be a full-time undergraduate student who is a member in good standing of the Honors College. First preference to West Virginia natives and students majoring in the College of Science. Second preference to students majoring in the College of Education and Professional Development.To apply for the scholarship, students must submit documented evidence of outstanding achievement in their area of study. All honors students may apply, but as stated in the fund agreement, first preference in each review cycle will be given to students majoring in the College of Science or the College of Education and Professional Development.

Nicole Liang – Biological Sciences, College of Science

Nicole will graduate in Spring 2024, having earned her degree in Biological Sciences, with minors in Chemistry, Pre-Professional Healthcare Studies, and Psychology. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA and achieved her degree with three minors in three years as a Pre-Med student in the Accelerated BS/MD program. The honors seminar “Civil Rights and the Silver Screen,” focuses on civil rights through the study of law and history, using films to illustrate and reflect upon how the law impacts people’s lives. While unrelated to her major or career plans, Nicole dives deeply into complex issues regarding law and history to explore the role that the law plays in effecting outcomes for every citizen. Her intellectual curiosity is reflected by her deep engagement with the subject matter. Nicole’s written work demonstrates not just mastery of concepts, but also deep consideration of the meaning of the history and the impact of the law and policy on individuals. She goes above and beyond on every assignment, often writing extensively to answer a question on multiple levels, as she plumbs the depths of differing perspectives on an issue, and the possible meanings of each. She is wise beyond her years and has deep empathy for the people historically marginalized in this country’s history regarding civil rights–African Americans, women, Native Americans, immigrants, and the LGBTQ community, as well as those negatively impacted by the criminal justice system. We spend a great deal of time considering where our country’s justice system succeeds and/or fails and how it reflects societal values and also shapes them. Nicole is an ideal participant in the seminar setting, speaking thoughtfully and encouraging her fellow students to reflect and engage. Her ability to clearly communicate complex ideas and nuanced understandings–often raising relevant ideas that we would not otherwise explore–is impressive.

Erin Roberts — International Business, Lewis College of Business (Spring 2023 Award)

In February 2023, Erin Roberts, a Marshall University Honors College Student, participated in a conference led by Beta Gamma Sigma and the Fellowship for Environmental Stewardship. Roberts, on behalf of the Lewis College of Business, placed second along with her teammates. Beta Gamma Sigma is a business honor society within AACSB accredited schools that accepts 7% of juniors, 10% of seniors, and 20% of graduate students. In this conference, students learned about the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). The competition had 17 teams comprised of international students from varying universities. Roberts was required with four other students to make a written action plan strategy and a B impact assessment. This measures social and environmental aspects of an imaginary corporation they created. Placing second in a competition on such a large scale is a great honor, and Roberts owe a large portion of that to the Honors College. It promotes the type of creative thinking that was required to excel in this competition, and the tactics she learned throughout her seminars gave her an advantage over students who had only taken traditional courses. As she plans to attend law school upon graduating in Spring 2024, presenting a plan with explicit detail is beneficial to her future studies.

Gabriella Sevilla — Video Production, College of Arts & Media (Spring 2023 Award)

Sevilla was a 2022-2023 intern in the Honors College’s TEDxMarshallU internship experiential learning opportunity. Sevilla directed the TEDx MarshallU live stream at the event on February 25, 2023. She was also able to create eight individual TEDx talk videos using video from the event. As one of two freshmen on the team, Sevilla thrived despite the pressure. This experience allowed her to test her video production skills in a way that that Sevilla had not expected during her freshman year. Working on this project gave her hands-on experience that has made it possible for her to begin working with HerdVision.

Kacey Poe — Biological Sciences, College of Science (Fall 2022 Award)

Kacey Poe, a student in the Honors College at Marshall University, was selected to the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Early Assurance program in September of 2022. This program allows Poe to matriculate into the medical school upon completion of her undergraduate degree and all program requirements without taking the Medical College Admissions Test. Poe plans to complete her undergraduate degree in biological sciences and continue to medical school with the intent of becoming a pediatrician. In addition to being an student in the Honors College, Poe is also a Resident Advisor in the Honors House located in the Freshman South dormitory. Poe is a recipient of the Jean McAlister Albarran Scholarship for Fall 2022 as an outstanding student in the College of Science who has achieved distinction and served the college and its community admirably.

Charles B. and Mary Jo Locke Hedrick Scholarship

Recipients of the Charles B. and Mary Jo Locke Hedrick Scholarship are known as Hedrick Scholars and are required to complete the curriculum of the Honors College in addition to their major requirements and be active participants in the college’s community of learners. The Hedrick Scholar who remains in good standing will enjoy all the privileges and opportunities associated with membership in the college. The Hedrick Scholarship may be renewed for a total of four academic years (eight semesters).

Gracie Bumgarner — Humanities, College of Liberal Arts

Gracie comes to the Honors College from Charleston, WV, where she graduated from Charleston Catholic High School. She was captain of the cheer team at her school, leader of the Junior Classics League, and heavily involved with the Drama program, among others. She’s very excited to explore a new side of the world of academia and help contribute to the larger community.

Sydney Vaught — Biological Sciences, College of Science

Sydney comes to the Honors College from Beckley, WV where she graduated from Woodrow Wilson High school. She participated in soccer for 15 years of her life, the last four at Woodrow. She is the President of Student Council and heavily involved in National Honor Society at her school.

Mika McCormick — Pre-Nursing, College of Health Professions

Mika comes to the Honors College from Prichard, West Virginia as an outstanding student in academics with a broad commitment to contributing to the welfare of the communities of which she is a part.

Ava Taylor — Biological Sciences, College of Science

Ava comes to the Honors College from Maysel, West Virginia as an outstanding student in academics and student government. Ava has a strong commitment to the open-minded exchange of ideas and to becoming a leader championing equality in the field of health care.

Mayer Leadership West Virginia Scholarship

The recipient of this one-year award shall be a West Virginia resident and a full-time student in their junior year (a student’s 3rd year at Marshall, not based on credit-hours) in a four-year program with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or better during the semester in which they receive the award. The recipient must have demonstrated leadership during their college career in a significant way. The following are examples: holding office in an organization, student government, and/or civil government; being in a leadership position in athletics ( e.g., team captain) or other extracurricular activities; being involved in the community in a meaningful way and/or showing initiative in community activities.

Taylor Erin Poe — Business Management, Lewis College of Business

Virgil and Irene Hazelett Hodges Memorial Scholarship

Recipients of the Virgil and Irene Hodges Memorial Scholarship are known as Hodges Scholars and are required to complete the curriculum of the Honors College in addition to their major requirements and be active participants in the college’s community of learners. The Hodges Scholar who remains in good standing will enjoy all the privileges and opportunities associated with membership in the college. The Hodges Scholarship may be renewed for a total of four academic years (eight semesters).

Brooklyn Rood — Media Production, College of Arts and Media

Brooke comes to the Honors College from Elizabeth, West Virginia as an outstanding student in academics and athletics with a commitment to pursuing a degree at Marshall that will allow her to contribute to the greater good by fostering greater diversity and inclusion.

The Honors Council Grant

Students in good standing in the Honors College may apply to the college for funds to support research, creative work, community engagement activities, and travel (including, for example, to present a paper at a conference or study abroad). Grantees will have excellent applications (that include a letter of faculty support) that fully describe and justify the project and all expenses for which support is requested.

2022-2023 Academic Year

Madeline Watts — Biological Sciences, College of Science [Study Abroad in Italy].

Watts has wanted to study abroad for as long as she can remember and now it is finally happening! Watts will be attending the KIIS study abroad experience “Chemistry and Art in Italy” at the end of 2022. Speaking of the Honors College, Watts says “being a part of the college has been such a wonderful experience throughout my time at Marshall. I have supported the Honors College mission through my level of engagement in every one of my honors classes and seminars and I have learned how to apply the knowledge acquired in work for a greater good. I have spread this knowledge in many different parts of my life. The Honors College has definitely prepared me for my future endeavors!”

Madeline Watts in Italy for study abroad, partly funded by the Honors Council Grant.Post-Grant Report: “I was awarded the Honors Council Grant in the Fall semester of 2022. The generous funds that I received from this grant helped make it possible for me to study abroad in Italy in the Winter of 2022. I took a class while in Italy that taught me about the chemistry behind art restoration. This study abroad experience was life-changing, and I could see the world from a whole new perspective! The Honors College provides students with excellent opportunities to enhance their education at Marshall University, and I am so grateful that I had the chance to do this! I strongly encourage each student who is a part of the Honors College to apply for one of the several funding opportunities they kindly offer!”

A. Mervyn Tyson Honors Award

The A. Mervin Tyson Honors Award is presented to a student in an upper-division, interdisciplinary Honors seminar (HON 480) who best demonstrates the qualities of intellectual curiosity and clarity of expression. The recipient of the award is selected by the Dean of the Honors College through nomination by faculty participating in the upper division seminars.

2023-2024 Academic Year

Neil Loftus – Computer Science, College of Engineering and Computer Science

While pursuing a computer science major and several minors, at the same time as being active in the MU Chamber Choir, Neil has set himself apart in the honors seminar “Mything Persons,” taught by English professor Timothy Burbery, with his intellectual curiosity and impressive communication skills. The course focuses on famous persons, such as King Arthur and Helen of Troy, who made major impacts on the world, even though, paradoxically, they probably never existed. The first paper assignment was a biography of a “mything” person, and Neil chose the fictitious composer Piotr Zak, who supposedly hailed from Poland. In 1961, Zak’s composition, “Mobile for Tape and Percussion” was aired on the radio (as a hoax) by the BBC. Neil was able to delve into the basics of Zak’s “life,” as well as the backgrounds of his real-life creators. Neil went beyond mere reportage, and used this spoof to reflect on the nature of true art. Throughout the essay, his writing was assured and confident. Nonetheless, he was ready to work with professor Burbery to make his essay even better. In class discussions, his inquisitiveness is remarkable. He frequently asks questions that further the conversation. Neil’s manner is one of striking intensity, yet it’s balanced by kindness and sense of humor.

Josh Maddy – Computer Science, College of Engineering and Computer Science

Josh Maddy’s extraordinary dedication and intellect have marked his journey in the HON 480 Drawing and Visual Literacy class taught by the School of Art and Design’s Sandra Reed. Josh’s approach to the Personal Map assignment exemplified his exceptional curiosity and innovative spirit. He produced an animation that adeptly and compelling explored elements of his lived experience, integrating it with anamorphic text and a QR code in a manner that showcased his technical agility, emotional intelligence, and commitment to broad access. Utilizing multiple software applications, including some with which he’d not previously worked, Josh’s project surpassed the original assignment’s scope and demonstrated his adeptness at confronting uncertainty with creativity and resilience. His work, rich in gestalt principles and visual hierarchy, featured intricate illustrations symbolized with thoughtful color and tempo choices, embodying his outstanding ability to articulate personal experiences through technology. Moreover, Josh’s altruism shone when he voluntarily aided a peer with an augmented reality project, rapidly diagnosing and solving a critical technical challenge. This gesture of kindness, stemming from his passion and proficiency in new technologies, underscores his exceptional capacity for empathetic engagement and collaborative problem-solving. Josh Maddy embodies the qualities of a dedicated learner and innovative thinker, making his contribution to the academic and creative communities both invaluable and inspiring.

Darby McGinnis – Biological Science, College of Science

Darby has demonstrated a level of attention to detail and application of ideas into tangible objectives that has been exemplary. Darby took concepts in HON 480 Sustainability Strategies of Small Businesses and Non-Profits (James Westbrook) and showed how they can be applied in a real-world scenario. Darby had an amazing idea to create a mobile florist shop and articulated her idea in a way that was both realistic and ambitious. She took the concepts of entrepreneurship, market research, and implementation and curated an amazing and thought-provoking idea. Darby developed the idea, based upon market research, to create a mobile florist business to procure reasonably priced flowers. This idea was made real as Darby took it upon herself to reach out to a mobile trailer design firm to create a 3D rendering of what her mobile floristry business would look like and how her design made sense for long-term sustainability. I was sincerely awed at the thoroughness and subject matter expertise Darby exuded throughout her presentation. Her obvious entrepreneurial spirit and curiosity created a business idea that is truly feasible, fitting a market need not currently being met, and most importantly, sustainable in the long term.

Hannah R. Turner – Biological Science, College of Science

Hannah was deemed deserving of this recognition for her exceptional curiosity, content , creativity, communication skills, and confidence.Throughout the semester, Hannah was genuinely interested in the topic of HON 480 Love Across Cultures and Disciplines (Puspa Damai) and excited about the reading materials. Her enthusiasm for certain short stories or essays discussed was evident through her comments in class but also through her responses that she wrote on each of them without being asked. Even though it was not required, she unfailingly brought to class a two-page response to each reading with a substantive summary and a list of critical questions and comments. In the seminar, we read more than two dozen artifacts and Hannah had a written response to and an analysis of each of them. She produced approximately 100 pages of finely written analysis in this seminar (compared to a dozen pages in total required in the seminar). Hannah spontaneously produced these insightful written responses without being asked or required. Her final paper “Love as a Condition of Social Animality” is a unique interdisciplinary fusion of literature, science and philosophy in which she travels across continents, centuries and cultures to weave a powerful narrative of how love is discussed in Rumi, Shakespeare, biochemistry and in philosophy. Hannah challenged herself and amazed her instructor and classmates with an eloquent and thoughtful performance of Shakespeare’s Sonnet Number 116.

2022-2023 Academic Year

Lauryn Poole — Dietetics, College of Health Professions

Lauryn demonstrates a work ethic and commitment to creativity that distinguishes her from her peers. HON 480 Cinepoems challenges students to create experimental films that express their original creative writing. Lauryn is a fearless writer and a methodical filmmaker. Despite working outside the world of creative writing and digital media with little instructor-led experience in either field, she took diligently to the work of creating her voice in film. Her poetic work focuses on confronting and examining the processes of nature and the world around while wrestling with her own philosophical questions and perspectives. In her writing, she isn’t afraid to explore big ideas and find the language to express them. As a filmmaker, Lauryn is careful and detail-oriented. She has a keen eye and patience required to edit tight, professional pieces. Lauryn excels at identifying the key tasks of a large creative project and dedicating the time and effort necessary to produce good work on a tight deadline. She is willing to learn and is unintimated by technology—excited to explore new tools and see what she can make with them. She pushes herself, takes chances, accepts criticism, and works hard to make the best product she can. She is self-directed and self-motivated in a way that creates good work.

Sydney Smith — Biological Sciences, College of Science

Sydney has demonstrated a level of scholarship and curiosity that distinguished her from her peers. Her term paper for HON480 Science and Science Denial covered the topic of homeopathic medicine. This work was exhaustively researched and extraordinarily well written. In Sydney’s term paper and throughout the course she was adept at relating science denialism and misinformation to her career goals in a biomedical field. Sydney was curious about the topic of science denialism not simply as an abstract, intellectual concern but as a tangible, real-world challenge that will impact her future ability to practice medicine. She articulated real concern for the impact of science denialism and misinformation on public health. In class discussions Sydney was judicious in her comments and always insightful and demonstrating sincere interest. Sydney shows a remarkable combination of studiousness, seriousness, and interest as in HON480, all the while juggling the responsibilities of a student athlete on the Marshall University track team.

2021-2022 Academic Year

Olivia Gilligan — Psychology, College of Liberal Arts

As part of the Honors 480 class, The Other Side of the ’80s, Olivia and her peers examined a wide range of countercultural American aesthetic works during the 1980s, including novels, films, popular and experimental music, and photography. As a psychology major, Olivia was not within her disciplinary home for any of the course content, but consistently offered insightful comments and connections throughout class discussions. In addition, Olivia’s written work was outstanding throughout the course, especially in her ability to analyze the finer points of textual patterns and nuance. For her final project, Olivia applied her background in psychology to the film Raising Arizona, looking at the ways in which the movie subverts, while also ultimately reaffirming, conventional conceptions of an American “ideal family.”

Mallory Stanley — History and Psychology double major, College of Liberal Arts

As part of the Honors 480 class, Trash or Treasure: An Introduction to Archives, each student selected an archives collection from the Special Collections department to work with for the entirety of the semester. Mallory selected a collection about the Owen Clinic Institute, a mental healthcare facility from the 1950s-1970s in Huntington. As part of the collection, students had to digitize an item from their collection and provide metadata for it. Mallory selected an item that comprised of newsletters written by the patients who were there at the time from 1955. This amounted to over 250 pages of materials that required creating metadata and making documents full-text searchable. She submitted this item and provided the appropriate metadata as required, but what was even more surprising was that she indicated an interest in digitizing this entire collection (which is estimated to be around 3500 pages, images, and ephemera). As a history and psychology student, her enthusiasm for this collection perfectly blends areas that spark her curiosity for a future career. Her instructors found that she knows what she wants and was able to craft her own niche area in which to work.

Undergraduate Creative Discovery and Research Awards

The Marshall University Research Corporation oversees the Undergraduate Creative Discovery and Research Awards. The program is open to qualifying students in the College of Science, College of Business, College of Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Media, College of Education and Professional Development, College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, College of Health Professions and the Honors College.

Abbi Carney (with Faculty Mentor, Cody Lumpkin) — Memoirs from the Mountains: Challenging Stereotypes Through Authentic Appalachian Narratives.
Ella Hiles (with Faculty Mentor, Lindsay Harper) — Archival Histories of Marshall University Past-Presidents: Documentation Through Administrative Papers and News Releases. See Ella’s final report.
Olivia Andrew-Vaughan (with Faculty Mentor, Lindsay Harper) — Diving into the Archives: Processing Histories of Marshall University. See Olivia’s final report.
Jacob Blizzard (with Faculty Mentor, Derek Kolling) — Using Mass Spectrometry to Determine the Presence and Function of Antimicrobial Proteins in Tardigrades

Yeager Scholarship

Recipients of the Yeager Scholarship are known as Yeager Scholars and are required to complete the curriculum of the Yeager Program in addition to their major requirements and be active participants in the Honor College’s community of learners. The Yeager Scholarship is the most highly competitive merit-based scholarship in the Honors College and the means for a select group of Honors students to participate in the most prestigious academic and leadership program at Marshall University. The Yeager Program provides a full-tuition with room and board scholarship to incoming Honors students who have proven themselves exceptional in both their academic work and through their willingness and ability to take on various leadership roles in the communities of which they are a part. The Yeager Scholar who remains in good standing with the Yeager Program and the Honors College will enjoy all the privileges and opportunities associated with membership in the program and the college. The Yeager Scholarship may be renewed for a total of four academic years (eight semesters).

The students, who come from West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, accepted full scholarships to attend Marshall, where they will experience a rigorous and supportive academic environment in the school’s Honors College, the opportunity to travel the world, and leadership and personal enrichment. The Yeager program includes a network of peers, alumni and mentors who guide the students during their time at Marshall. The cohort will be named the Gullickson Family Class of 2027, honoring the family of late Marshall professor and coach, Otto “Swede” Gullickson. Since Gullickson’s arrival at Marshall in 1930, four generations of Gullicksons have been members of the Marshall community, including Gullickson’s children, grandchildren, and his great-grandson, Alex Canfield, a 2020 alumnus of the Yeager program. The 37th class of Yeager Scholars named is as follows:

  • Brandon Anderson, of West Portsmouth, Ohio, attends Portsmouth West High School, where he is a four-year member of the football team. He plans to major in computer science.
  • Nicole Asamoah, of Beckley, West Virginia, attends Woodrow Wilson High School. At Woodrow Wilson, Asamoah is the president of the Diverse Students Organization (DSO), a student-founded organization that values and promotes diversity and inclusion in the school and community. She will major in nursing or biochemistry.
  • Abby Christian, of Catlettsburg, KY, also plans to major in nursing. Abby attends Boyd County High School and was selected as a 2022 Kentucky Governor’s Scholar.
  • Lauren Dunsmore, of Proctorville, Ohio, goes to Fairland High School, where she is a member of the band. Dunsmore earned second chair flute in the 2023 Ohio Music Education Association All-State Band. She plans to major in biomedical engineering.
  • Tyler Farley, of Huntington, goes to Covenant School, where he is currently preparing a thesis that addresses economic inequality and the idea of a more localized economy. His current plan is to major in mechanical engineering.
  • Indigo Graves, of Sinks Grove, West Virginia, attends Greenbrier East High School. Graves plans to major in biomedical engineering. She was selected as a Greenbrier Scholar, an award given by her high school to top students at Greenbrier East.
  • Cameron Mays, Huntington, attends Huntington High School, where he is a captain of the school’s debate team and the quiz bowl team. He plans to major in biology.
  • Sage Sigdel, of Huntington, also attends Huntington High School. He is a captain of the Highlanders’ speech and debate team and plans to major in biology.
These students were selected for the 36th class of Yeager Scholars after a rigorous process that included multiple interviews, an intensive seminar, and a weekend on Marshall’s campus. The class is named for Don and Doris Ferguson, Huntington natives, Marshall alumni, and ardent supporters of the Society of Yeager Scholars.

  • Asha Bora, Hurricane High School, Hurricane, West Virginia
  • Isaac Campbell, Paul G. Blazer High School, Ashland, Kentucky
  • Erik Cochrane, Man High School, Man, West Virginia
  • Kyleigh Hoey, Huntington High School, Huntington, West Virginia
  • Tyler Marcum, Cabell Midland High School, Ona, West Virginia
  • Ryann Province, Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg, West Virginia
  • Will Raines, St. Albans High School, St. Albans, West Virginia
  • Alexus Steele, Fairland High School, Proctorville, Ohio
  • Bella Thompson, South Iredell High School, Statesville, North Carolina
  • Connor Waller, St. Joseph Central High School, Ironton, Ohio