West Virginia Wesleyan College recognized seniors Laura File, Justin Frye, Molly Full, Gabrielle LaFata, Kimberly Stephens and Nathan Weaver as its 2013 Outstanding Seniors during the Academic and Leadership Awards Convocation and Banquet on April 20. The six were nominated by Wesleyan faculty and staff and chosen based upon academic performance and significant leadership in a variety of academic and co-curricular activities.
File, of Beckley, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies. She was a member of Wesleyan Engaging Leaders through Education and Development (WE LEAD), Alpha Lambda Delta, freshman national honor society, Phi Alpha Theta, a national honor society, and Phi Kappa Phi, an academic honorary. During her time at Wesleyan, she served as a First Year Seminar leader, resident assistant, Wesley Fellowship Chair and an EcoRep. She was active in the Honors Program and presented at the Mid-Atlantic Undergraduate Research Conference multiple times, winning first place in the Humanities division this past semester.
In spring 2012, File studied as an Irish American Scholar at Queen's University Belfast for a semester. She has been chosen to participate in the 24th corps for Teach for America and will be teaching middle school math in Philadelphia in the fall.
File also received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, Outstanding Senior History Major Award, Outstanding Senior in Religious Studies Award and the Sheridan Watson Bell Award. She also was named the Outstanding Senior History Major and Outstanding Religion Major.
Frye, of Clarksburg, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science. He was a member of the WE LEAD Health & Wellness Team and served as the academic affairs chairperson for Student Senate, a member of the Board of Trustees Facilities Council and as a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admission. He served as Wesleyan's representative to the WV Campus Compact Student Advisory Board, a member of the Landscape Committee and has been a member of the dean's list every semester. He was elected 2012 Homecoming King.
Full, of Vienna, a summa cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and environmental science, was a resident assistant and resident director in the Office of Residence Life. During her sophomore year, she interned as a writer for the Office of Public Relations. Full has served as a freshman seminar leader, the vice president of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, the Eco-Sustainability Coordinator for WE LEAD, secretary of the sophomore class and as president of the senior class. She also has served as the president and vice president of the Wesleyan Honors program and on the Vandalia editorial staff.
Full was a member of Concentus Vocum and Concert Chorale, and she participated in various college theatre productions. In the spring, she earned the prestigious and highly competitive Barbara Paul Robinson Scholarship through the Appalachian College Association.
Full also received the Outstanding Senior Environmental Studies Major Award and Outstanding Senior English Department Highest GPA Award.
LaFata, of Morgantown, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She has been named the college's 12th Fulbright Scholar. Active in scientific research, she studied the antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities of Mangrove propagules through the WV-INBRE program at Wesleyan during the summer of 2012. In the summer of 2011, she completed another WV-INBRE research project where she studied how mountaintop mining coal dust inhalation induces apoptosis with rat cardiac tissue. After the completion of both projects, she presented her research findings at the WV-INBRE Research Conference.
She studied abroad through the college's Bruhns Scholarship program at Hebrew University in Israel, where she participated in the Tel-Hazor archaeological dig. She has volunteered as a horse riding therapy assistant and has served as the co-leader of a nursing home ministry program.
LaFata has also participated in two Alternative Spring Break Trips: Katrina Relief in New Orleans and Habitat for Humanity Alternative Spring Break in St. Simons Island, Ga. She has served both as a resident director and resident assistant, as well as a freshman seminar leader and an environmental science lab assistant. She was the president of Alpha Lambda Delta, vice president of Residence Hall Council, a member of Beta Beta Beta, a leader and violinist in the Fellowship of Christian Students, a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Student Senate and the Wesleyan Track Team.
LaFata also received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award.
Stephens, of Mountain Lake Park, Md., is a magna cum laude graduate with Bachelor of Art science of public relations. During her time at Wesleyan, she was a member of the cross country and swim teams, as well as a co-coordinator for the WE LEAD Social Justice team, an AmeriCorps/Bonner leader, secretary for the Social Justice League, alumni relations chair and position programs vice president for Alpha Xi Delta, a student ambassador for the Office of Admission, Freshman Seminar student leader, campus representative for Invisible Children and the programming director for C92 FM.
Stephens also worked in the college's Office of Alumni Relations as a social media intern and at the Hourglass LCC as a social media intern and display designer. She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.
Stephens also received the Excellence in Applied Learning in Communication Award.
Weaver, of Weston, is a summa cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies. He served as president of Student Senate, a housing resident assistant, leader of Fellowship of Christian Students, Student Life chairman, coordinator of the Hanging of the Greens, Honors Executive Committee, freshman seminar leader, judicial board, Collegiate 4-H, Students in Free Enterprise, a member of the jazz band, a note taker for the learning center, a member of the college's percussion ensemble, Resident Life Council, the WVWC Landscaping Committee and Phi Kappa Phi Honorary.
In addition, Weaver was a summer intern with the WV United Methodist Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry at Duff Street United Methodist Church, where he preached sermons, taught Sunday school, and coordinated youth ministries. He also completed a summer internship with the Upshur Parish and worked as a student assistant in the Learning Center.
Weaver also received the Sheridan Watson Bell Award.