Abednego Soita to receive Young Alumni Award

Abednego Soita has come a long way from his native home of Kenya (Africa) to Potomac State College of West Virginia University (WVU) where he will be presented with the “Young Alumni Award” in recognition of his accomplishments. Abednego Soita

The ceremony will take place during the College’s annual awards banquet on Saturday, October 8 where the Alumni Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award will also be presented.

Soita graduated from Potomac State in 2005 with an associate degree in computer science.  He continued his education at WVU earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering.

Soita currently serves as a senior electrical engineer and project lead engineer with JLG Industries, with whom he has been employed since graduating from WVU.  According to their website, JLG Industries is the world’s leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of access equipment. 

He collaborates with project engineers in developing timelines and major design considerations for the completion of models, develops designs for engineering and function specifications from established parameters, as well as preparing design sketches, layouts and assembly drawings. 

The journey of how Soita became a student at Potomac State begins with Douglas Shaffer, MD, who serves as director of the Walter Reed Project-Kenya.  Dr. Shaffer is the youngest son of the late Dallas (faculty emeritus in political science at the College) and Jennie Shaffer.  While traveling to Kenya as a student, Dr. Shaffer met and became friends with Soita and his family.

“Soita wanted to come to America to attend college.  Sponsoring him was a wonderful opportunity to help a gifted young Kenyan achieve his dream of becoming an electrical engineer, and since Potomac State and WVU are part of the Shaffer family, it just made sense that he would start at Potomac, “said Dr. Shaffer. 

The Awards banquet will be held in the Davis Conference Center; social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. The deadline for making reservations is September 30. 

Reservations are required for the banquet and can be made by contacting Derek Artimez at 304-788-6870, 800-262-7332, ext. 6870 or at PSC-Alumni@mail.wvu.edu.  The cost is $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under.