26 Sep

This fall, the School of Design and Community Development in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design will host viewings of the film series “Living Architectures.” The series of eight movies is devoted to exploring the daily life of contemporary architecture as it is inhabited and experienced. By focusing on the lived experience of architecture, authors Ila BÍka and Louise Lemoine’s show the way in which buildings operate after the design process, belonging to and shaped as much by the people who inhabit them as by the renowned architects who created them. The series schedule is outlined below:

“Living Architectures”
7:45 p.m. in G06 Agricultural Sciences

  • Sept. 29
    Living Architectures
  • Oct. 6
    Koolhaas Houselife
  • Oct. 13
    Xmas Meier
  • Oct. 20
    Gehry’s Vertigo
  • Oct. 27
    Pomerol, Herzog & De Meuron
  • Nov. 3
    The Submarine
  • Nov. 10
    The Power of Silence
  • Nov. 17
    The Little Beaubourg

For more information, e-mail Stefania Staniscia, assistant professor of landscape architecture, or Sofija Kaljevic.

22 Sep
Blair Snyder With the desire to promote positive influence and honor his family’s longstanding tradition in the agricultural industry, West Virginia University alumnus Michael “Blair” Snyder has established the Snyder Family Scholarship.

This endowed scholarship fund will benefit undergraduate West Virginia resident Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design students who are pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field. First preference will be given to Preston County students, or students who are descendants of Preston County natives, who are affiliated with the National Future Farmers of America Organization or 4-H.

Snyder hopes that support from this fund will “help promote the positive influence of an agriculture-related lifestyle on family, ethics, community support and character, consistent with individuals involved in ag-related businesses.”

Click here to read the full story.

9 Sep
32332 MGE S00032 The West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design began a new chapter today (Sept. 9), formally dedicating the latest addition to WVU’s Evansdale Campus – the new Agricultural Sciences Building.

“The new Agricultural Sciences Building and the revitalized Evansdale Campus are ushering in a new era,” President E. Gordon Gee told the more than 300 students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends gathered for the ceremony. “It is an era of cutting-edge learning and discovery for 21st century Mountaineers. And, true to our land-grant heritage, it is an era of redoubled service to West Virginia and the world.”

The special occasion was marked by a ribbon-cutting and the inclusion of live music, provided by Davis College alumnus Nat Frederick, food, and building demonstrations and tours.

“This new building, which is truly state-of-the-art and, without a doubt, the most advanced academic building of its kind, is a historic turning point toward the future of food, clothing and shelter – the fundamentals of life – as the university further embraces the state of West Virginia and all the good things that we can contribute toward our shared future,” said Davis College Dean Daniel J. Robison.

West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue, who is also chair of the Davis College Visiting Committee, acknowledged the role the new facility will fulfill in continuing to develop successful graduates.

“This is a very meaningful day for all of us,” he said. “I am in awe of this new facility. The opportunities it will afford its students will be bountiful.”

“It’s the nurturing, attention, tenderness and knowledge we share with each other that is the true foundation of this College and is the very reason our students become strong leaders,” he added.

In addition to enhancing the student experience, the new facility will help reinforce service and collaboration across the state.

“This building is more than brick and mortar and more than classrooms and laboratory space,” WVU Extension Service Dean and Director Steve Bonanno said. “It represents the opportunity to fortify areas that make our programs viable to West Virginians through increased research and strengthened partnerships.”

Also attending were West Virginia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick and the WVU Board of Governors and Chairman Tom Flaherty.

The groundbreaking for the new Agricultural Sciences Building was held in September 2013. This addition to Evansdale campus is part of WVU’s multi-year, $159.5 million building plan that was approved in June 2011 by the WVU Board of Governors. Construction was completed earlier this summer and faculty, staff and students began occupying the space in August.

The new facility is a five-story building with 207,000 gross square feet and located adjacent to the site of the original Agricultural Sciences Building that was completed in 1961. It has an unfinished space of 11,000 square feet for future completion. 32332 MGE S00001

The building includes six general purpose classrooms, two computer labs and numerous departmental teaching and research laboratories that support animal and nutritional sciences, entomology, genetics, human nutrition and foods, landscape architecture, reproductive physiology, resource management, and soil science.

In adherence to WVU design standards which dictate that all buildings be built to LEED-equivalent standards, a long list of sustainability features are incorporated into the building’s sleek, innovative design.

Included among the list of features: an energy recovery system that captures heat or cold exhausted from laboratories and HVAC system that reduces exhaust from unoccupied laboratories; occupancy and motion sensors in many rooms; and a green roof on the west side of the building, which helps with regulating building temperature, reducing maintenance and replacement of roof systems, and retaining more stormwater than a typical roof. The green roof also provides beautification and improves air quality.

Thoughtful consideration went into many of the finishing touches throughout the building. Featured on the wall of the main lobby is a handmade quilt made by interior design alumna Pamela Mann. Gat Creek, a West Virginia-based furniture manufacturer that works exclusively with locally-sourced domestic hardwoods, provided some of the custom wood furniture.

The architect for the project was HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. PJ Dick, a construction company headquartered in Pittsburgh served as the building contractor. WVU Design and Construction continues to oversee the overall scope of the project as many of the final details are completed.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity this new building represents,” said Robison. “It speaks to the confidence parents all across West Virginia and beyond have when they send their daughters and sons to WVU to study; it speaks to the research capacity of our faculty to discover, design and innovate and make the world a better place; and it speaks to our collective outlook that our future must be bright and the hard work it will take to get there. In this building will be people working hard, with sleeves rolled up, ready to help make that future.”

3 Jun
31833 S 0426 XX Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Joginder “Jo” Nath, who will be inducted into the 2016 class of the West Virginia University Order of Vandalia on Saturday, June 4. The WVU Order of Vandalia recognizes tireless supporters of the University and is considered WVU’s highest honor.

Nath, who retired in 2009, is professor emeritus of the Davis College genetics and developmental biology program. He attended Panjab University in India, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He left India is in his 20s to earn a doctorate in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the late 1960s, he and two other professors were hired to start a genetics and developmental biology program at WVU.

Nath has won many awards for his research and teaching, including the Hollaender Award from the Environmental Mutagen Society in 1997 for research in genetics and genetic toxicology. He has also been presented with the Outstanding Researcher Award and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Davis College, and the Environmental Mutagen Society Education Award in 2000.

In 2002, his alma mater, Panjab University, presented him with the P.N. Mehra Memorial Award for an outstanding career in human genetics, toxicology and tumor cytogenetics. Nath also received a special WVU Davis College Dean’s Recognition in October 2015 for his service to the college, university and state.

Nath’s generosity is spread throughout the university and Morgantown communities. In 2008, Nath made a significant contribution to the Art Museum of WVU to create the Joginder Nath Sculpture Garden and Courtyard that will feature an outdoor exhibit area. In 2013, Nath provided funding for the construction of the museum.

Nath also serves as member of the WVU Davis College’s and the WVU Eye Institute’s comprehensive campaign committees, assisting with helping to raise funds for “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University” and as a volunteer with the Friends of the Art Museum of WVU. He has also donated to local arts projects and hospitals in the region. Nath has also established the Nath Graduate Student Travel Award, which assists graduate students in the Davis College by providing travel fund assistance to attend conferences, present papers, conduct research or travel to enhance their education.

In addition to Nath, three other individuals will also be recognized: former WVU Professor Emeritus and Historian Laureate of West Virginia Ronald Lewis; Professor Emerita Anne Nardi; and Deborah Smyth Green, WVU alumna and educator. To read the full story, visit WVUToday.

25 May

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design held its 147th Commencement ceremony. Among the more than 300 graduates who walked across the stage that day were seven graduates who were named to the prestigious list of 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors.

Over the next several days, we’ll be featuring those exemplary graduates, whom we are pleased and proud to now call WVU Davis College alumni.

Graduate Spotlight: Clara Beth Novotny

CB Novotny Clara Beth Novotny, from Falling Waters, W.Va., is an Honors College graduate who received degrees in biochemistry and world languages, literature, and linguistics in Spanish. In addition to being named a WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior, Novotny was also honored with the 2016 Order of Augusta, WVU’s most prestigious student honor. She is a member of Sigma Delta Pi Honorary Delta Chapter, Phi Lambda Upsilon Honorary Tau Chapter, and a student leadership organization that serves students and administrators at WVU, among others.

She has worked as a teaching assistant in the Biology Department and as a laboratory assistant in the WVU Reproductive Immunology and Molecular Biology Lab, where she participated in the research and development of a new form of contraception using a protein found in turmeric.

Novotny has traveled to impoverished communities of Honduras twice, including her trip in 2013 as a healthcare volunteer with the WVU Global Medical Brigades to assist and translate for U.S. doctors performing dental and gynecological exams in mobile health clinics. This particular experience inspired her to pursue a global medicine career seeking long-term solutions to healthcare challenges, including affordable medicines and language barriers. Novotny has also volunteered with the WVU School of Medicine’s MUSHROOM Project to provide medical attention to Morgantown’s homeless.

She has had two opportunities to study abroad in Spain, where she studied the differences between the Spanish and American healthcare systems and took classes in medical interpretation and translation.

In addition to being named to the Dean’s List twice, Novotny was a recipient of the Foundation Scholarship, was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, and graduated as a Presidential Honors Scholar.

Novotny will attend the WVU School of Medicine in the fall, and ultimately she hopes to work as a physician and scientist to improve the efficacy and availability of reproductive health care in developing and developed countries alike.

Learn more about Clara Beth Novotny, in her own words below:

Why did you choose to attend WVU?
When I was considering colleges for undergrad, I came to WVU for an honors visit day. I was able to meet with my would-be advisor for several hours that day to tour campus and discuss the opportunities of studying biochemistry at WVU. I was really impressed with the program, and in comparison with the other schools I was considering, WVU promised the best experience. Fortunately, in-state scholarships added an irresistible bonus.

What made you want to pursue degrees in biochemistry and world languages, literature, and linguistics in Spanish?
I studied Spanish in elementary and high school classes, so I had already been introduced to the language. In my freshman year at WVU I joined a coalition of WVU students and West Virginia doctors on a medical service trip to Honduras for spring break. I helped to triage patients and translate for doctors with my (weak) Spanish background, so the trip inspired me to improve. I signed up for Spanish classes for the following semester and ultimately spent a summer and spring semester in Spain studying language and culture. Pursuing a language to balance all of the chemistry in my life has been extremely helpful for my sanity!

What has been the most valuable part of your WVU experience?
I’ve had a lot of really incredible opportunities here at WVU. One of my favorite of these was a summer spent working as a STEM ambassador for the Davis College at 4-H camps throughout West Virginia. I got to teach fun science to young students and talk with high school kids about how to get to and succeed in college. I learned a lot that summer—importantly, I learned about many problems with our current systems and I learned that I want to play a role in solution development. This, along with several other experiences at WVU, led to my application of the Rhodes Scholarship to study at University of Oxford. Applying for and ultimately becoming a finalist for Rhodes was a very rewarding experience that capped my undergraduate career and led me to find my true professional goals. It also allowed me to meet some truly incredible faculty and personnel at WVU that have been so supportive and encouraging of my education and goals.

What will you miss the most after you graduate with your undergraduate degree?
The PRT! (Just kidding.) I think I’ll miss most the diversity of my courses in undergrad. It’s a really wonderful thing to be able to learn about sciences, cultures, languages and philosophies all at the same time. I’m thankful that I will graduate from WVU with a much broader perspective than when I first enrolled.

24 May

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design held its 147th Commencement ceremony. Among the more than 300 graduates who walked across the stage that day were seven graduates who were named to the prestigious list of 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors.

Over the next several days, we’ll be featuring those exemplary graduates, whom we are pleased and proud to now call WVU Davis College alumni.

Graduate Spotlight: Hannah Clipp

hannah clipp (2) Hannah Clipp, an Honors College student from Bel Air, Maryland, graduated with degrees in wildlife and fisheries and multidisciplinary studies. She was a founding member and president of the Society for Conservation Biology, vice president of the WVU Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society and a member of the American Fisheries Society.

In addition to being named a 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior, Clipp was also named to the Order of Augusta, West Virginia University’s most prestigious student honor. This top recognition, named for its historical significance in the state, honors superior scholarship, demonstrated leadership and community and public service.

Clipp worked as a wildlife technician with the WVU School of Natural Resources and as a student researcher in the WVU Environmental Research Center. In 2014, she was selected to join the Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Kansas State University. In 2015, she interned at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington.

Clipp has been awarded 40 scholarships and in the spring of 2015, she became the first student in WVU history to be awarded both the Goldwater and Udall Scholarships. In the same year, she was one of three WVU students to be named a Truman Scholarship finalist.

With graduation now behind her, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in wildlife ecology and eventually earn her Ph.D. in wildlife biology conservation.

More about Hannah Clipp, in her own words:

Why did you choose to attend WVU?
I chose WVU because I was given a really nice scholarship (WVU Merit Scholarship), and I was impressed by the wildlife program.

What inspired you to pursue a degree in wildlife and fisheries and multidisciplinary studies?
I have always been interested in animals, so my original plan was to major in biology. However, when I discovered that majoring in wildlife and fisheries resources was possible, I knew it was the right choice for me. Through this major, I was able to learn about wildlife and fisheries biology, management and conservation, and I was able to transform my passion for wildlife into academic achievement and research experiences. As with wildlife and fisheries resources, I didn’t realize multidisciplinary studies was an option as a major at first. I came into WVU with 40 credits from high school AP classes, so I was originally planning to minor in conservation ecology, biology, and English. After talking with Robert Barricelli, the recruiter for the Division of Forestry and Natural Resources, I learned I could turn those three minors into the multidisciplinary studies major.

What has been the most valuable part of your WVU experience?
My WVU experience has prepared me well for graduate school and an eventual career. During my undergraduate years, I conducted three research projects, published two papers, and presented my research at 11 conferences/symposia, including 5 national conferences. Very few undergraduates have that research experience, so I am grateful for having those opportunities through WVU.

Within the Davis College, I have received so much support and advice from professors, graduate students, and upperclassmen (when I was a freshman and sophomore). I started out volunteering with graduate students, who generously let me help with their field work and gain the hands-on skills I needed to secure future research internships and positions. I know I wouldn’t have been able to get as much field and research experience without their help and guidance.

In summary, the best part about my experience with the Davis College has been the people who have helped get me to where I am today.

What do you think you’ll miss the most after you graduate with your undergraduate degree?
I will miss hanging out with the dead animals in Percival Hall, doing waterbird surveys at Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area, and seeing the friends I’ve made over the past 4 years on a regular basis.

23 May

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design held its 147th Commencement ceremony. Among the more than 300 graduates who walked across the stage that day were seven graduates who were named to the prestigious list of 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors.

Over the next several days, we’ll be featuring those exemplary graduates, whom we are pleased and proud to now call WVU Davis College alumni.

Graduate Spotlight: Amanda Hill

Amanda Hill2 Amanda Hill, from Washington, Pennsylvania, graduated with degrees in exercise physiology and animal and nutritional sciences and a minor in sports and exercise psychology.

In addition to being named a 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior, Hill was also named to the Order of Augusta, West Virginia University’s most prestigious student honor. This top recognition, named for its historical significance in the state, honors superior scholarship, demonstrated leadership and community and public service.

Hill was a member of the WVU women’s soccer team and was team captain her junior and senior years. She has served as a dog handler with Hearts of Gold since 2013 and volunteers her time to animal medicine at Cheat Lake Animal Hospital and the Avian Conservation of the Appalachia. Amanda Hill 4

She began undergraduate school as a physical therapy major, but a service dog training course in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design made such an impact that she changed her major to veterinary medicine. Soon after recognizing the positive impact that service dogs have on veterans and individuals with disabilities who rely on them, she was inspired to incorporate animals into her career.

Hill is the recipient of the Blue and Gold Academic Scholarship and the Louretta Beall and Earle L. Elmore Scholarship and is a member of the Academic All-American First Team.

With graduation now behind her, Hill plans to pursue a master’s degree in animal physiology at WVU, and upon completion of the program, she plans to attend veterinary school, with the ultimate goal of doing non-profit work specific to service dogs.

A note of thanks, from Amanda Hill:
I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has helped me achieve this great honor. I have developed both as a student and, more importantly, as a person as a result of the incredible experiences I have been presented with here at WVU. I am so grateful to have been a part of such an incredible program here in the Davis College, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me in my next two years here.

20 May

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design held its 147th Commencement ceremony. Among the more than 300 graduates who walked across the stage that day were seven graduates who were named to the prestigious list of 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors.

Over the next several days, we’ll be featuring those exemplary graduates, whom we are pleased and proud to now call WVU Davis College alumni.

Graduate Spotlight: Kaitlin “Katie” Stricker

Katie's preferred photo Katie Stricker, from Charleston, West Virginia, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in animal and nutritional sciences and a minor in computer science.

Stricker, also an Honors College graduate, accumulated a long list of achievements throughout her college career, including being named a WVU Foundation Scholar; National Merit Foundation Scholar; LPEF Valedictorian Scholar; Davis-Michael Scholar; Engineering Excellence Scholar; and a WV Promise Scholar. She was also named to the President’s list; WVU Mortar Board; and WVU Helvetia.

Stricker was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta; Phi Lambda Upsilon Tau Chapter; Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society; WVU Pre-Veterinary Club (vice-president); Type 1 Mountaineers (secretary); Society of Women Engineers (historian); Pets are Worth Saving (PAWS); and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

More about Katie Stricker, in her own words:

Why did you choose WVU?
I was born and raised a Mountaineer. I went to every Bowl game, every sweet sixteen, and every Mountaineer tailgate since I was six months old. So naturally, in that rebellion stage we all go through, I wanted to go to college anywhere but WVU.

When I received the WVU Foundation Scholarship, however, West Virginia University became the pragmatic decision. It’s not a very romantic notion, but five years later, I have grown to love WVU, am so thankful the Foundation provided me the incentive to attend WVU, and I consider my years here to be the best of my life.

What inspired you to pursue degrees in biochemistry and chemistry?
I initially majored in chemical engineering and computer science, but after I co-oped with Dow Chemical for a year, I decided I didn’t want to pursue a career in engineering. Upon some self-reflection, I realized my dream job was to be a zoo veterinarian, and so I began my journey through animal and nutritional sciences.

What are your post-graduation plans?
After graduation, I’m going on my honeymoon with my husband Michael Mallory! We’re going on a road trip to all 48 continental states. Afterwards, we’re moving out to Davis, California, to attend UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the top-ranked veterinary school in the world. My long term goal is to become a board-certified zoo veterinarian.

What has been the most valuable part of your WVU experience?
The most valuable part of my WVU experience has been my advisors. My path through college hasn’t exactly been straight, and any one of my professors or advisors I have turned to has been more than willing to help me on my way.

What will you miss the most after you graduate?
I’m really going to miss Mountaineer home football games. My apartment has a balcony overlooking the blue lot, and I hate that I have to lose my perfect tailgating spot!

19 May

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design held its 147th Commencement ceremony. Among the more than 300 graduates who walked across the stage that day were seven graduates who were named to the prestigious list of 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors.

Over the next several days, we’ll be featuring those exemplary graduates, whom we are pleased and proud to now call WVU Davis College alumni.

Graduate Spotlight: Nima Ronaghi

nima3 Nima Ronaghi, from Morgantown, West Virginia, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry. In addition to being named a 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior, Ronaghi was also a 2015 Barry Goldwater Scholarship nominee and received several WVU Honoraries from 2013-2016: Phi Lambda Upsilon Tau Chapter Honorary; Helvetia, the WVU sophomore honorary; and Chimes, the WVU Junior Honor Society.

Ronaghi is a soccer coach for Pro Performance Rx and Fury Soccer Club, based out of Morgantown, and serves as the assistant director for the Fury SC Youth Academy. He was a peer leader for Peer-Led Team Learning at WVU (PLTL), a peer-led chemistry tutoring group, and served as a teaching assistant for biology and chemistry courses. Throughout the summer, Ronaghi volunteers as a counselor for the American Legion Mountaineer Boys State.

During his undergraduate career, Ronaghi was afforded several research opportunities. He conducted inorganic and organic synthesis research, looking at ligand substitution of different imide and imine ligands with iron, cobalt, nickel, and copper; organic chemistry research, as he explored the role of gold as a catalyst for organic reactions; and research on sturgeon in the St. Lawrence River, in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of genetic diversity. He co-authored an article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, titled “Gold-Catalyzed Oxidative Cross-Coupling of Terminal Alkynes: Selective Synthesis of Unsymmetrical 1,3-Diynes.”

More about Nima Ronaghi, in his own words:

Why did you choose WVU?
I decided on WVU because my eventual goal is to be a practicing physician in West Virginia, so choosing West Virginia University for undergraduate studies and medical school was a no-brainer!

What inspired you to pursue degrees in biochemistry and chemistry?
I was always really interested in biology in high school, so I planned on focusing on this in college. When I started college, I realized how much I also love chemistry. Biochemistry combines biology and chemistry, so it was perfect for me!

What are your post-graduation plans?
I am pursuing my medical doctorate from West Virginia University, starting this August.

What has been the most valuable part of your WVU experience?
This is a very tough question to answer, as I have had many valuable WVU experiences. However, I think the most valuable would have to be all of the research I was able to do while I was here. I had the opportunity to work in three separate labs, which really gave me a great understanding of what research is all about.

What will you miss the most after you graduate?
Again, this is another very tough question to answer. I will no doubt miss a lot of things, including those I’m probably not even expecting to miss! Thankfully, I will only be heading to the WVU Health Sciences campus, so not too far away. I will definitely miss all of the great professors I’ve had. It’s clear to me that they all really love teaching, and they also make it a point to show how much they truly care about all of their students.

18 May

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design held its 147th Commencement ceremony. Among the more than 300 graduates who walked across the stage that day were seven graduates who were named to the prestigious list of 2016 WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors.

Over the next several days, we’ll be featuring those exemplary graduates, whom we are pleased and proud to now call WVU Davis College alumni.

Graduate Spotlight: Ashley Leslie

ashley leslie Ashley Leslie, from Martinsburg, West Virginia, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. This legacy Mountaineer didn’t waste any time during her college career. She was active with Phi Lambda Upsilon, which is the chemistry honorary, and a part of the West Virginia University Chapter of the American Chemical Society. Leslie served as a biochemistry student ambassador for the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and helped start the undergraduate chapter of the Association for Women in Science at WVU.

Among her many achievements, Leslie was named a Rhododendron Scholar; Presidential Scholar; Promise Scholar; Eberly Scholar; Robert L. and Patricia Miller Stultz Chemistry Scholar; Morrissey-Ropp Chemistry Scholar; and recipient of the Outstanding Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Assistant of the Year Award.

Her undergraduate career provided ample research opportunities. Research highlights include: researching the effects of oxidation on protein aggregation involved in Alzheimer’s disease; researching protein aggregation associated with Huntington’s disease; and presenting a poster titled “Seeding huntingtin aggregation with distinct huntingtin fragments” during the WVU American Chemistry Society’s Annual Poster Symposium in 2016 (received 1st place) and the WVU Biochemistry Poster Symposium. In her senior year, Leslie continued research on protein aggregation in Huntington’s disease, and was an author on the article “Cholesterol modifies huntingtin binding to, disruption of, and aggregation on lipid membranes” in Biochemistry in December 2015.

More about Ashley Leslie, in her own words:

Why did you choose WVU?
For me, attending West Virginia University was an easy choice to make. My mom and dad met while in school here in the 80s. My sister graduated from WVU in 2015. Next year, my brother will also be attending! Needless to say, being a Mountaineer runs in the family. I grew up under the assumption that West Virginia University would be my next step after high school.

What inspired you to pursue a biochemistry degree?
In high school, I knew that I loved chemistry and biology, and figured that biochemistry would be the best of both worlds. However, when I learned what biochemistry actually was, I loved it even more! Learning about how our bodies work on a cellular level is absolutely fascinating to me. Furthermore, being able to choose between two tracks gave me the flexibility to take a lot of chemistry classes, which I really enjoyed.

What are your post-graduation plans?
Once I graduate from WVU, I will be attending Carnegie Mellon University’s Ph.D. program in Biological Sciences. I am incredibly excited to begin my research there on G-Protein Coupled Receptors over the summer!

What has been the most valuable part of your WVU experience?
I have had many rewarding experiences while attending West Virginia University, such as performing research and being a chemistry laboratory teaching assistant. However, the most unique and valuable part of my WVU experience was studying abroad. The summer after my sophomore year, I studied Spanish grammar and culture in Santander, Spain. With my sister, and the friends I made during the trip, I traveled to Bilbao, Madrid, and Salamanca. We visited sites I had only dreamed of seeing, such as buildings by Antoni Gaudi and the Guggenheim. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity!

What will you miss the most after you graduate?
I am going to miss the friends I have made here at West Virginia University. Even though there is a high student population, one of the best parts for me is that WVU becomes a tighter-knit community, especially in the chemistry and biochemistry departments.