A boy who saved prom. Another who brightened hospital
patient's days with corny jokes. A girl who helped an
ailing stroke patient. Another who raised $3,000 in honor
of a teacher's daughter who passed away.
These are just some of the things West Virginia University's newest
class of Bucklew scholars have accomplished as high school
students. Now, they'll continue their education at
The University has awarded 20 of the state's top-performing
high school seniors the esteemed Neil S. Bucklew
Scholarship to attend WVUin the fall.
The scholarship, valued at more than $26,000, provides each
student with more than $6,600 per year toward educational
costs during his/her four years at WVU.
Neil S. Bucklew, the scholarship's creator, served as
WVU's 20th president from 1986 to 1995. The
scholarships are part of the University's comprehensive
awards program and are supported, in part, by the WVU Foundation, the private
non-profit corporation that generates, receives and
administers private gifts for the benefit of
The 2012 Bucklew scholars are:
Emma Dolan, Wheeling, Wheeling Park High School; Rachel
Elkins, Hamlin, Lincoln County High School; Ryan Gellner,
Glen Dale, John Marshall High School; Jessica Griffith,
Morgantown, Morgantown High School; Nicholas Gutmann,
Morgantown, University High School; Maggie Jones, Elkins,
Elkins High School; Eric Kinney, Bridgeport, Bridgeport
High School; Andrew Maloney, Morgantown, Morgantown High
School; Tess McCloud, Bluefield, Bluefield High School;
Varun Menon, Martinsburg, Martinsburg High School; Philip
Mickinac, New Manchester, Oak Glen High School; Hannah
Moore, Morgantown, University High School; Rachel Morgan,
Beverly, Elkins High School; Clara Novotny, Falling Waters,
Hedgesville High School; Michael Phillips, Coalton, Elkins
High School; Savannah Sims, Fairmont, Fairmont Senior High
School; Ariel Thomas, Greenville, James Monroe High School;
Emily Vandevender, Smoot, Greenbrier East High School; Joy
Wang, Charleston, Capital High School; and Muhammad Yousaf,
Charleston, George Washington High School.
The students are now eligible for WVU's top
academic award, the Foundation Scholarship, which is
awarded to five of the Bucklew scholars and valued at more
than $70,000 when paired with the
PROMISEScholarship. The Foundation scholars
will be announced in May.
The Bucklew scholars:
Emma Dolan, of Wheeling, has a personal stake in what has
inspired her dedication to work with young people who
exhibit physical or mental handicaps.
"My sister has a physical handicap, and not once in her
life has she allowed herself to use this as an excuse,"
said Dolan of Wheeling Park High School. "She has inspired
me to look at the bigger picture and find out how I can
While attending WVU, Dolan plans to study
abroad at the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston,
England to study under director Dr. Joe McCleery in their
Autism Research Program.
"My goal is to perform research in order to find improved
treatments for mental illnesses and to discover more
effective methods of correcting physical handicaps," Dolan
said. "My main focus will be on autism in children."
Dolan is a Governor's Honors Academy Scholar, member of the
National Society of High School Scholars, a part of the
City of Wheeling Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program, an
attendee of Rhododendron Girls' State and a nominee for
West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Female
Athlete of the Year. She is also the recipient of a George
E. Stifel Academic Achievement given by her high school.
Her extracurricular activities include student council,
cross country team, volleyball team, swimming team, track
and field team, student ambassador program, concert band,
jazz band and marching band.
She has taken advanced courses in calculus, chemistry,
English language and composition, English literature and
composition, U.S. government and politics and U.S. history.
She is the daughter of Stephen and Mary Dolan.
Rachel Elkins hopes to study the roles of women in society
at WVUstarting this fall. She is curious about
how women across the world support their cultures and how
To do so, she would like to travel to Uganda.
"Ugandan women have just recently begun their journey in
being able to bring in enough money to stabilize their
homes," she said. "By journeying to Uganda and interacting
with these women, I could better understand not only their
culture, but how they are revolutionizing their roles in
Elkins, a Hamlin native from Lincoln County High School,
will major in political science and women's studies this
fall at WVU.
She is a three-year member of National Honor Society and
was selected as a senior to participate in the
NASAInspire Program. Elkins is a member of the
Junior Red Cross, student body president, president of
National Honor Society and captain of the speech and debate
team, among other responsibilities.
She has taken advanced courses in algebra, calculus,
English, environmental earth science, language and U.S.
government and politics.
She is the daughter of Greg and Joanna Elkins.
All Ryan Gellner needed was some help from a few teachers,
a Facebook account and some determination to save prom.
As he admits, "leadership is born of great necessity," and
that's exactly what his class at John Marshall High School
was dealing with. He, as class president, led an awareness
campaign to help raise $5,000 so that he and his peers
could have a senior prom.
"The new, larger student government was able to hold many
successful fundraisers over the following year which
allowed us to pay for the entire dance and become closer
friends in the process," he said. "The final result was a
memorable night which I enjoyed all the more knowing I had
played a pivotal role in making possible."
Gellner, a Glen Dale native, plans to study mechanical
engineering at WVUbefore moving on to either
civil or environmental engineering later on in college. He
would like to study in Spain or Switzerland while at
WVUin order to observe and participate in
another culture's method of discovery and work.
Gellner has been class president for the last three years.
He is also the vice president of National Honor Society and
plays on the baseball and ice hockey teams.
He has taken advanced courses in calculus, composition, and
English literature, English physics and U.S. government and
He is the son of Gregory and Cathy Gellner.
Jessica Griffith, of Morgantown, plans to take her study
abroad experience to a place she has already visited during
a high school exchange program.
"Traveling to Kamez, a small town in Saxony, was one of the
most eye-opening experiences of my life, and I fell in love
with the language and culture," Griffith said. "I would
love to travel there again for a study abroad program to
work on a more professional level in a university setting."
Griffith has been recognized nationally as a Presidential
Scholar nominee, AP Scholar, National Biology Olympiad and
National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. She placed second
in the West Virginia National German Test and was president
of the regional German Honorary Society. In her senior
year, she was named secretary of state at Rhododendron
She is active in the marching band, German club, social
studies club, cross country, student council, show choir
and jazz band at Morgantown High School where she will be
graduating this spring.
Griffith has taken advanced courses in biology, calculus,
English language and composition, English literature and
composition, European history, government and politics and
She is the daughter of Robert Griffith and Anne Johnson.
Nick Gutmann, of Morgantown, has been studying Italian
since receiving the language software for Christmas in
hopes of heading abroad to Italy during his college career.
"As a prospective engineer and someone who has an affinity
for history, being able to see some of the oldest buildings
ever constructed would not only be an enjoyable experience
but an enriching one," Gutmann said. "I have always
believed that by seeing the relics of history, modern-day
architecture can be inspired."
Gutmann stated a promise to use a stipend to its full
advantage and take every opportunity given to him in order
to come back with a renewed look at engineering and a
vision for the future.
"The University can be rest assured that they are sending a
student into an environment in which he will thrive,"
Gutmann is graduating sixth in his class at University High
School and has been recognized as an AP Scholar and
Governor's Honors Academy Scholar. He is in the National
Honor Society, Spanish Honorary and Mu Alpha Theta Math
Gutmann is active in varsity soccer, basketball and
football, orchestra, student council, ultimate Frisbee, the
Academic Bowl and Science Bowl.
He has taken advanced courses in calculus, English language
and composition, English literature and composition,
government and politics, human geography, physics and human
He is the son of Mark and Jamie Gutmann.
Maggie Jones, of Elkins, intends on using her scholarship
to broaden her perspective of the world by taking full
advantage of the study abroad opportunities offered at
"I have always been fascinated with other cultures - from
my experience with Scottish culture through Highland Dance
to my encounters with Spanish culture through four years of
high school Spanish classes," said Jones of Elkins High
School. "These experiences have fostered a curiosity of the
world and the belief that in order to understand our own
world, we must explore and seek to understand the worlds of
Jones said she plans on applying for summer internships to
work with local veterinarians and researchers to jumpstart
a career in veterinarian school.
She has been nationally recognized as a member of the
National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, National
Thespian Honor Society and a National Merit Scholarship
semifinalist. She won first place in both the
GEAR-UP Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest
and the West Virginia Young Writer's Contest. She also
attended the West Virginia Governor's Honor Academy and
Rhododendron Girls State.
Her extracurricular activities include: theater, class
council, student council, National Honor Society, varsity
soccer, Young Democrats Club and prom council.
Jones has taken advanced courses in calculus, English
language and composition, English literature and
composition, Spanish, U.S. government and politics and U.S.
She is the daughter of Malcolm Jones and Catherine Johnson.
Eric Kinney, of Bridgeport, plans to participate in the
exchange program between the University of Strasbourg and
WVUfor more than just his pharmacy studies.
"My mother and grand-mère are originally from the region,
and we still have family living there," Kinney said. "An
internship in Strasbourg would be a wonderful opportunity
to enhance my career knowledge in pharmacy while learning
about my ancestry."
Kinney, hailing from Bridgeport High School and ranked
second in his class, has been recognized in the state as an
AP Rising Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society
and a recipient of the WVUPresidential
Scholarship. He was among those in his high school with a
Perfect Honor Roll record and a four-year Academic Letter.
He was awarded first place in the junior engineering team
in the region and state levels.
He is active in the student government, junior engineering
team, varsity soccer, jazz band, science bowl team, tennis,
track and West Virginia Olympic development soccer.
Kinney has taken advanced coursework in calculus,
chemistry, English and psychology.
He is the son of Jonathan and Patricia Kinney.
For Andy Maloney, of Morgantown, Alzheimer's disease hits
close to home, and finding treatment for it is a career
choice he'd like to follow.
"Both of my grandmothers suffered from Alzheimer's and I
would like to prevent this from happening to other people
by using nanotechnology to develop more effective drug
delivery systems," Maloney said.
Maloney, who is graduating in the top 1 percent of his
class at Morgantown High School, aims to study biomedical
engineering in order to prepare him for graduate studies in
He plans to spend a portion of his college years in Newton,
England to experience a different culture while pursuing
the field of nanotechnology.
"The field excites me because it is relatively new with the
potential to make a major impact on the world," he said.
He has been recognized as a National Merit Scholarship
semifinalist, Dominion Post Honor Student, winner of a
Siemens Award for AP, Presidential Scholar candidate, Boys
State Senator and an AP Scholar with Distinction, among
Maloney is active in the student council, Habitat for
Humanity, National Honor Society, Key Club, Science Honor
Club and Math Honor Club, among other things.
Maloney has taken advanced courses in biology, calculus,
chemistry, computer science, English, environmental
science, geography, history, physics, statistics and U.S.
government and politics.
He is the son of Daniel and Christina Maloney.
Tess McCloud has spent more than 200 hours at her local
community center volunteering with the aquatic physical
She remembers one event that changed her life. While
volunteering one day, a stroke patient started to feel pain
in his contracted arm muscles. Slowly, McCloud uncurled the
patient's fingers, straightened his wrist and elbow.
"I looked at him and realized tears were rolling down his
cheeks. Alarmed, I apologetically asked him if I had hurt
him. He told me that I had done quite the opposite- this
was the best he had felt in months," she said. "For the
first time, I felt I had truly made a difference for one of
the patients. It reassured me that physical therapy is the
career for me."
McCloud, a Bluefield native from Bluefield High School,
will study exercise physiology at WVUin the
fall and already plans of going to graduate school for
physical therapy in the future. She also hopes to study
abroad in Italy during her time at the University.
She is a four-year member of the National Honor Roll, the
cross country team and art club. She has also won three
different honors in the Laurel Leaves Writing Awards.
McCloud has taken advanced classes in biology, calculus,
chemistry, language, literature and U.S. history.
She is the daughter of Barry and Jean McCloud.
Varun Menon wants to learn of other cultures like those
from Wales, Peru and Nepal.
Menon, a Martinsburg native, will major in history in the
fall after graduating from Martinsburg High School. He also
plans to attend medical school.
"Learning the value of perspective is my motive, and
studying these complex pasts is my facilitator," he said.
Menon was the head of West Virginia Youth Government, a
student model of the state's government, and has been
involved in that organization since 2009. He is also a
member of the Science National Honor Society, HI-Y, Model
United Nations and National Honor Society among a long list
of clubs and groups.
He was also the student representative on the West Virginia
State Board of Education, in which he represented all
students in the state's education system. In addition, he
represented West Virginia at the National Youth Governors'
Conference in Washington D.C. last summer and was the first
West Virginian in 13 years to be invited to the Delaware,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Oklahoma Youth in
Government program as Youth Governor of West Virginia.
Menon has taken advanced courses in biology, calculus,
chemistry, English language, English literature,
composition, physics, psychology, Spanish, U.S. government
and politics, U.S. history and world history.
He is the son of Satish and Sujaya Menon.
Several years ago, Philip Mickinac was shown photos of the
grandiose Panama Canal by his grandfather. He had always
been fascinated with ancient and modern architecture and
He wants to see the Panama Canal in person while studying
civil engineering at WVUstarting this fall.
Mickinac hopes to join Engineers Without Borders and travel
to Panama to help local citizens.
"I believe that providing resources is only half of the
solution; providing education is equally, if not more,
important to ensure sustainability of the resolution,"
Mickinac said. "It is now my dream to travel to Central
America, traverse the Panama Canal, and use my ability to
impact others by providing resources and education to
perpetuate life changing improvements.
Mickinac, a New Manchester native from Oak Glen High
School, is a four-year member of his high school's Key Club
in which he has been district governor, Division One
lieutenant, governor and freshman director. He spends 60
hours per month on average with the club, attending
district board meetings and other community service
projects. He is also the student council president and
National Honor Society vice president.
He has taken advanced courses in calculus, chemistry,
probability and statistics, psychology and U.S. history.
He is the son of Dan and Lynn Mickinac.
Hannah Moore, of Morgantown, also has the desire to study
abroad and wants to learn about history through the
viewpoint of other nations, especially in regard to
"I want to try to see our country through unbiased eyes and
experience how the rest of the world views the actions of
'the world's most powerful nation,'" Moore said. "I want to
know what it is like to live in a country that relies not
on wealth and physical size for power, but must belong to
part of a union to keep strong, somewhere where history is
measured not in centuries but in millennia."
Moore, who is graduating third in her class at University
High School, hopes to become fluent in French and could see
herself participating in one of WVU's
International Student Exchange Programs programs, either in
Belgium or France, to stay on track with her normal studies
She has been recognized as an AP Scholar, a U.S.
Presidential Scholarship candidate and a National Merit
Scholar semifinalist. She is in the National Honor Society,
Mu Alpha Theta, WVUHonor Band, All-State Band
and Orchestra and participated in the Governor's School for
the Arts and the Governor's Honors Academy. She ranked
fifth in West Virginia in the National French Test.
Extracurricular activities include marching band, French
Honorary, Academic Bowl, Origami Club, Student Council,
science club, French club, pit orchestra and symphony
Moore has taken advanced courses in calculus, English,
human geography, literature, physics and U.S. history.
She is the daughter of Kevin and Heidi Moore.
Rachel Morgan has broken an interesting record at her high
school; she's taken the most foreign language classes in
the school's history.
Morgan, a Beverly native from Elkins High School, has taken
Spanish every year since eighth grade and has taken seven
Spanish classes alone in high school. She will major in
world language, linguistics and culture at
It's that type of passion that she hopes to continue at
WVUby traveling to Spain to put that immense
education to good use.
"College has been an inspiring moment in my life where I
will be able to study the subjects that enthrall me the
most, more precisely being Spanish," she said. "Having an
opportunity to travel to a Spanish-speaking country to
speak the language, be immersed in the day-to-day activity,
and be inspired by the local flavor of the region would be
the greatest experience I could ever imagine and would not
trade for anything."
In addition, Morgan is a member of International Highland
Dance, in which she has placed internationally throughout
her life and now helps teach younger girls better dance
technique. She is a member of her school's National Honor
Society and Spanish Honors Society.
She has taken advanced courses in biology, calculus,
critical thinking, English, English literature, government,
Spanish and U.S. history.
She is the daughter of Mark and Ruth Morgan.
Clara Beth Novotny, of Falling Waters, said she takes
delight in designing experiments for her science courses at
Hedgesville High School.
"The laboratory is my domain," Novotny said. "I truly
believe that my desire to delve into the world's medical
mysteries and my commitment to connecting and utilizing
knowledge I can allow me to greatly benefit humanity."
Graduating first in her 361-student senior class, Novotny
plans on earning a degree at in biochemistry to prepare for
a career devoted to medical research.
"I look forward to expanded opportunities with advanced
equipment and specialized classes at WVUin the
fall," she said.
She has been recognized with several awards for her work at
the WV State Science Fair in the Physics category including
a U.S. Army Award, and a CIAWinner title. She
competed in the National Junior Science and Humanities
Symposium and was also selected to participate in the
NASASummer Research Academy and the Governor's
School for Math and Science.
Novotny is active in the Kiwanis Key Club, National Honor
Society, Spanish National Honors Society, varsity cross
country team, varsity track and field team, Berkeley County
Business Partnership and the student newspaper, among other
She has taken advanced courses in biology, calculus,
chemistry, English language and literature, history,
Spanish and U.S. government and politics. She also
completed a WVUcollege algebra course.
She is the daughter of Michael and Beth Novotny.
Mike Phillips wants to change the world with cancer
research at WVU.
His great aunt passed away from cancer in 2007, and from
then on he realized his calling. Phillips wants to be an
oncologist who helps families battle cancer together.
"I believe the cure for cancer lies in identifying the
cause or causes, and ultimately, if cancer can be
prevented, we will not need a cure," Phillips said.
Phillips is a senior at Elkins High School from Coalton. He
will major in either pre-pharmacy or pre-medicine this
In 10th grade, he joined the Old Brick Playhouse
Apprenticeship Program as a shy, reserved boy. But, he
admits after two years in the program that he has matured
and now helps new students in Old Brick's theater classes.
In addition, he has been a member of the National Society
of High School Scholars and his school's Spanish National
Honor Society throughout high school. He has been a
committee chairman for the past two years on student
council and the vice president and president of class
council throughout high school.
He has taken advanced classes in calculus, English
language, English literature and composition, U.S.
government and politics and U.S. history. He has taken
college courses in algebra, biology and chemistry among
He is the son of William Phillips Jr. and Angie Shockley.
For many children growing up, working at
NASAis a dream job. Few can say they actually
accomplished such a dream, but Savannah Sims did so while
still in high school.
Sims, a Fairmont native from Fairmont Senior High School,
interned at NASAand worked on a project
related to software engineering evaluation. She will study
biomedical engineering at WVUthis fall and
hopes to make a positive impact on others throughout the
rest of her life.
"After witnessing family members encounter pain related to
heath issues, I gained the desire to improve health and
minimize suffering to others," said Sims, who would like to
travel to a European university to foster collaboration
with WVUrelating to biomedical technologies
over the next four years.
Sims has been part of 17 clubs her senior year and has been
involved in many more of the last four years in high
school. In addition, she has won first-place awards at Math
Field Day and the Social Studies Fair - Economics Division.
Sims is the vice president of National Honor Society at
FSHSand president of the Science Honorary.
She has taken advanced classes in algebra, calculus,
chemistry, English language and composition, literature and
composition, trigonometry, U.S. government and politics and
She is the daughter of Herman Sims and Stephanie
Ariel Thomas, of Greenville, has set her sights on
traveling to Germany to guide her on a path toward becoming
an attorney specializing in bioethical issues.
She plans on using her stipend during the summer of 2013 to
attend the German Academic Exchange Service
RISE(Research Internships in Science and
Technology) Program, a 3-month program that offers students
opportunities to work with the top research institutions
"As an aspiring attorney, the opportunity to obtain varied
perspectives from an entirely different culture could
provide valuable insight or even encouragement to expand my
career goals to an international level," Thomas said.
She participated in the Naval Academy Summer Seminar, and
received an honorable mention award at the Model United
Nations Conference in 2011. She was named a Distinguished
Westest Scholar by her high school and also received honors
in outstanding attendance and art achievement.
Thomas is graduating from James Monroe High School and is
active in the Future Business Leaders of America, Math and
Science Team, National Honor Society, Debate Team, Ju-Jitsu
Team, Track and Field and the school newspaper, among other
She has taken advanced courses in biology, English,
government and politics and U.S. history.
She is the daughter of Alan and Erika Thomas.
Emily Vandevender, of Smoot, realized a passion for South
American culture during her years of taking high school
level Spanish courses, which led her to participate in two
mission trips to Mexico.
"I discovered a tingling, itching, relentless desire to
travel through Spanish-speaking countries in Central and
South America," Vandevender said. "To me, South America is
one of the landscapes and cultures I regard with utmost and
unceasing curiosity - an opportunity to explore and immerse
myself in a Spanish-speaking country is enthralling."
She will graduate second in her class at Greenbrier East
High School and intends on majoring in biochemistry at
WVUin the fall.
Vandevender has been recognized in the state in 2011 by
placing first in management principles in the Concord
University Business Challenge, first in the psychology
competition at the Marshall University
SCORESAcademic Competition, and was selected
to attend the Governor's Honors Academy. She is a recipient
of an AP Scholarship, the 4-H Teen Citizenship Award and
Pin, 4-H Teen Leadership Award and National I Dare You
Leadership Award. She is a member of the National Honor
Society and the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society.
Activities throughout high school include the Central
Willing 4-H Club, Student Government Association, National
Honor Society, Science Quiz Bowl Team, Future Business
Leaders of America, Spartan Spirit Club, girl's track team
and soccer team, among other things.
She has taken advanced courses in biology, calculus,
composition, government and politics, language, literature,
psychology and U.S. history.
She is the daughter of John and RuthAnn Vandevender.
Joy Wang, of Charleston, got a taste for the medical field
while volunteering at a local hospital throughout her high
"I plan to become a doctor, and my volunteering has made me
more passionate and appreciative about my career choice,"
Wang said. "It gave me an inside look into the daily
routine of both doctors and nurses."
First in her class at Capital High School, Wang plans to
study abroad in South America to experience rich culture
and history, and to observe how other cultures are
Wang was recognized statewide as a representative to the
legislature at the Governor's Honor Academy, All State Band
member, MENSAmember, winner of the
MSACquizbowl and received first place titles
in world geography, history and Spanish at the S.C.O.R.E.S.
Competition. She was also nationally recognized as an AP
Rising Scholar with Honor this year.
Her activities include band, math and science quizbowl,
student council, swim team, West Virginia Youth Orchestra
and National Honor Society.
Wang has completed advanced coursework in biology,
calculus, chemistry, English, music history and
appreciation, Spanish, U.S. government and politics, U.S.
history and world history.
She is the daughter of Stuart and Angela Humphreys.
Muhammad Yousaf cherishes a special five minutes he has
ever so often in Thomas Memorial Hospital.
His favorite task when he volunteers at the hospital is
when he has the opportunity to transfer patients from one
room to another. He says it's his five minutes to brighten
up a patient's day.
"My character over the years has evolved from the days I
spent in the hospital. It has changed everything about me.
I know I have something that plenty of people of all ages
do not possess: empathy," he said. "It is only after a long
time spent helping the needy that one can come to
understand them on a whole new level. They aren't just
strangers asking you to go fetch some milk; they are human
beings, just like you and me."
Yousaf, a Charleston native from George Washington High
School, will major in biomedical engineering this fall. He
would like to travel to Syria while at WVU.
He has won first and second-place awards in the United
States Chess Federation and was the co-founder of his high
school's Chess Club. Yousaf is in more than 10 clubs this
year and was named an AP Scholar with Distinction as a
Yousaf has taken advanced classes in art history, biology,
calculus, chemistry, computer science, English language and
composition, English literature, environmental science,
government and politics, human geography, macroeconomics,
music theory, physics, psychology, Spanish, statistics and