Newest class of Yeager Scholars announced

With roots that vary from Colombia, South America, to southern West Virginia, seven future scientists, doctors and engineers have decided to join the Marshall University family as the new class of Yeager Scholars.

The class, which will be known as the Stadelman Family Class of 2024, joins 23 current students and 30 classes of alumni in the Society of Yeager Scholars, Marshall’s top academic scholarship.

The students were selected after a competitive interview weekend on Marshall’s Huntington campus. Marshall President Dr. Jerry Gilbert personally called each student to extend the scholarship offer.

“Bringing in a new class of Yeager Scholars is always an occasion for celebration at Marshall,” Gilbert said. “I had the distinct pleasure of talking with each of this year’s scholars, and I am thrilled that we have such outstanding students joining the Marshall family. These scholars, along with other outstanding students at Marshall, will be our future leaders, and I am very proud of them all.”

The students in the Stadelman Family Class of 2024 average a 4.18 grade point average and a 32 ACT score. While undergraduates, the students will be members of Marshall’s Honors College, receive full tuition and other financial assistance, opportunities for international study, professional enrichment and leadership guidance. They also take a required curriculum of seminars that promote liberal arts, critical thinking and writing skills.

“Each fall, we welcome our incoming class of Yeager Scholars,” said Honors College Dean Dr. Nicki LoCascio. “There is always great anticipation from the Marshall community to meet and get to know these excellent students. I, again, am excited by these seven scholars who bring so many talents and interests to the Huntington campus.”

The seven students in the Stadelman Family Class of 2024 follow:

  • Melanie Clark, from South Charleston, West Virginia, will graduate from the International Baccalaureate program at South Charleston High School. She plans to major in biomedical engineering, leading to a career in medical research.
  • Sofia Garcia Arias, originally of Bogotá, Colombia, now lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, and attends Morgantown High School. She plans to major in biology and become a physician. She would like to be involved in projects that provide health care services for immigrants and others who lack knowledge of the English language.
  • Tyler Hebert, of Huntington, attends Cabell Midland High School. She plans to major in civil engineering and wants to inspire other girls to explore STEM fields.
  • Addison Leaberry of Huntington, will graduate from St. Joseph Central Catholic High School. She plans to major in biology and hopes to go on to an M.D./Ph.D., with a career in epidemiology.
  • Shawna Lockard, from Crum, West Virginia, attends Tolsia High School. She plans to study biology and hopes to one day join Doctors Without Borders.
  • Isabella Schrader, of Huntington, is the first Yeager Scholar from the Tri-State STEM+M school. She plans to major in biomedical engineering.
  • Allison Smith, of Wayne, West Virginia, attends Wayne High School. She will major in environmental engineering and hopes to start a large community garden in Huntington.

All classes are named after exceptional supporters of the program and this year’s class bears the name of Yeager alumnus Chris Stadelman. Stadelman, a 1992 graduate, died in 2018 after a lengthy battle with colorectal cancer. Mere weeks before his passing, Stadelman and his wife, Kelly, started the Stadelman Family Endowment for the Society of Yeager Scholars, supporting the program in perpetuity.

For more information on the Yeager program, please contact Coordinator Cara Bailey by phone at 304-696-2474 or by e-mail at More information can also be found at