Skip to main content

The Return to Campus website has updates about WVU's fall plans. Visit and for health resources related to the global pandemic.

2020 Recognition Day Awards

2020 Recognition Day Awards/Whitmore-Gates Scholars’ Wall Recipients Named

West Virginia University Potomac State College recently held its 80th Recognition Day Awards ceremony during which students were recognized and presented with various awards. Additionally, honorees were named to the Whitmore-Gates Scholars’ Wall.  

“The hard work, dedication, progress, and achievements of our students should never go unnoticed, and while we were unable to gather in-person this year, we were still able to share in the joy and excitement of honoring many of our students virtually,” stated Professor Sheri Chisholm, PhD, who also serves as the Honors Program coordinator.  Following is a list of awards and the recipients. 

Sites receives Jasper Morris Organic Chemistry award

Madison Sites, a biology major from Sugar Grove, W.Va., was presented with the Jasper Morris Organic Chemistry Award by Professor Ganesh Ghimire, PhD.  This award is named in honor of Professor Jasper Morris, a former professor of chemistry and physics at the College.  The student receiving this award must have the highest average in organic chemistry, both in lecture and laboratory, for the two-semester sequence. 

Clark receives Maurice Powell General Chemistry award

Ethan Clark, a pre-forensic & investigative sciences major fromRidgeley, W.Va., was presented with the Maurice Powell General Chemistry Award.  This award is named for Maurice Powell, who served for many years as chairman of the College’s chemistry department.  The student receiving this award must have the highest average in both lecture and laboratory for the complete two-semester sequence of Chemistry 115 and 116.  Professor Jay Badenhoop, PhD, presented the award.  

Crites receives History award 

Kista Crites, a Keyser resident earning her Regent’s Bachelor of Arts degree, received the Mauzy-Harris History Award, which was created by Pittsburgh Businessman Sydney Harris in honor of former history professor and dean of Potomac State College, Frank Mauzy.  The award was presented by Professor Cassandra Pritts.  

Four students receive Agriculture/SAGE awards 

Jacob Riggleman, a horticulture major from Buckhannon, W.Va., was the recipient of the Outstanding Agriculture Sophomore Student award. Joshua Corbin, a recreation, parks & tourism resources major from Keyser, W.Va., was the recipient of the Outstanding Forestry Sophomore Student award; Darrah Yerger, a sustainable agriculture entrepreneurship (SAGE) major from Mt. Pleasant Mills, Pa., was the recipient of the Don S. Starcher Outstanding Freshman Agriculture & Forestry Studentaward; and Laura Schroeder, a SAGE major from Hanover, Md., received the Outstanding SAGE Student award.  Professor Jeff Jones presented the awards.

Carder receives Dr. Henry Falkowski Survey of Chemistry award

Rebecca Carder, a BSN nursing major from Ridgeley, W.Va.,was presented with the Dr. Henry Falkowski Survey of Chemistry award by Professor Jay Badenhoop, PhD. This award is named in memory of Henry S. Falkowski, PhD, who taught chemistry at the College for 41 years.  The award is given to the student who achieves the highest overall average in the Chemistry 111 - 112 sequence, both lecture and laboratory.

Weatherholtz presented with General Biology award

Shawna Weatherholtz, a wildlife & fisheries resources major from Lahmansville, W.Va., was presented with the General Biology award by Professor Erin Cunningham. 

Sites presented with the W.E. Michael Biology award

Madison Sites, a biology major from Sugar Grove, W.Va., was the recipient of the W.E. Michael Biology award which is bestowed in memory of Professor Emeritus W.E. Michael, who taught at the College for 33 years.  This award is given to the student with the highest average in the complete biology major sequence and was presented by Professor Gerald Wilcox, PhD.  

Michael presented with Criminal Justice award

Morgan Michael, a criminal justice major from Rawlings, Md.,was presented with the Outstanding Senior Criminal Justice Student award by Professor Danielle Lessard.  This award is presented annually to an outstanding student in the criminal justice program.  In order to be considered for the award, a student must show exceptional academic performance, participate in the Criminal Justice Club as well as volunteer their services to the campus and the community.  

Shockey presented with Outstanding Business Management Student award 

Emily Shockey, a business management major from Moorefield, W.Va., was presented with the Outstanding Business Management Student award by Professor Kevin Arjel.  This award is presented to a student who exhibits academic excellence, leadership and character.    

Cowgill, Sine receive Outstanding Business Technology Student awards 

Allison Cowgill, a business technology major from Romney,W.Va., and Adam Sine, a business technology major from Slanesville, W.Va., were presented with the Outstanding Business Technology Student award.  This award is given to students who exhibit academic excellence, leadership and character.  Professors Amy Weaver and JoAnn Burnett presented the awards.

Ritz presented with Human Anatomy and Physiology award

Benjamin Ritz, a nursing major from Springfield, W.Va., waspresented with the Human Anatomy and Physiology award. Thisaward is given by the Biology Department to students with the highest cumulative grades for Anatomy and Physiology I and II at the end of the academic year.  Professor Sheri Chisholm, PhD, presented the award.

Shanholtz and Spiker presented with Outstanding Student in Classic Calculus Sequence awards

John Shanholtz, an electrical engineering major from Chester, Md., and Kaitlynn Spiker, a mathematics major from Frostburg, Md., were presented with Outstanding Student in Classic Calculus Sequence awards by Professor Yelena Meadows, PhD.

Lucas receives Outstanding Student in Applied Calculus award

Dillion Lucas, a business administration major from Keyser, W.Va., was presented with the Outstanding Student in Applied Calculus award by Professor Yelena Meadows, PhD.  

Computer awards presented

Cody Shearer, a computer information system major from Winchester, Va., was presented with the Outstanding Student in Bachelor of Computer Information Systems award.

Dylan Corbin, a computer information system major from Augusta, W.Va., and Brandon Judy, a computer information system major from Romney, W.Va., were the recipients of the Outstanding Student in Associates of Computer Information Systems award.  Awards were presented by Professor Mary Beth Moore. 

Middleton presented with Outstanding Education award

Katlyn Middleton, an elementary education major from Ridgeley, W.Va., was the recipient of the Outstanding Education Student award.  Presenting the award were Professors Andrea Schafer and Ruth Upton.  

Five students receive Outstanding Student of Spanish awards

Five students were recognized as Outstanding Students of Spanish, including: Blane Fike, an electrical engineering major from New Creek, W.Va.; Stacy Fike, an electrical engineering major from New Creek, W.Va.; Abigail Gordon, a psychologymajor from Ridgeley, W.Va.; Brandon Schaeffer, a general studies major from Auburn, Pa.; and Savannah Long, a historymajor from Keyser, W.Va. Professor Natalia Garcia-Martinez presented the awards.

Duncan presented with the Willa Louise Cather award

Kristin Duncan, a secondary education major from Moorefield, W.Va., was the recipient of the Willa Louise Cather Award for Best Noncreative Essay.  Named after Professor Emerita Dr. Willa Louise Cather, this award is presented to a student whose essay represents the best noncreative work produced in all English classes at the College during the year.  Visiting Instructor Rachel Del Signore presented the award.

Burgess presented with the Orval Anderson award

Ashleigh Burgess, a BSN nursing major from Keyser, W.Va., was the recipient of the Orval Anderson Award for Best Creative Essay.  Named after Professor Emeriyus Orval Anderson, this award is presented to a student whose essay represents the best creative work produced in all English classes at the College during the year. Visiting Instructor Rachel Del Signore presented the award.

Sites presented with Keyser Rotary Club’s “Service Above Self” award

Madison Sites, a biology major from Sugar Grove, W.Va., received the Keyser Rotary Club’s “Service Above Self” award.

According to Rotary guidelines, the recipient of this award must demonstrate exemplary humanitarian service with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others. 

In addition to serving as a tutor in the Academic Success Center, Sites previously helped make blankets to donate to charity; was involved with trunk-or-treat by handing out candy and school supplies to youth in the community; helped teach youth about science at the 2019 STEM Festival, and traveled to Cash Valley School to give science demonstrations.

While a student at the College, Sites was a member of various organizations, including: The Life Science Club where she served as president; Circle K; The Film Club where she served as secretary; The Creative Writing Club, Sip and Stitch, Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society, The International Club, and Baptist Campus Ministries.  She also played on the women’s soccer team and was involved with other intramural sports.

Future plans include working in the medical field after completing a physician’s assistant degree or a doctorate of osteopathy.  The award was presented by Dean of Academic Affairs Gregory Ochoa. 

Cannon named E. William Noland Outstanding Student 

Nikki Cannon, a biology major from Fort Ashby, W.Va., was named the E. William Noland Outstanding Student of the Year for 2020. 

Cannon has been an active participant in college life, serving as vice president of Campus Ministries and arranging club visits to Piney Valley Nursing Home where she spent time interacting with residents.  As a member of the Life Science Club, where she serves as secretary, Cannon has taken part in several demonstrations to elementary-age children at Cash Valley school.  

She has also served as a student ambassador and as a residence assistant in Memorial Hall and University Place, as well as a math, chemistry and biology tutor in the Academic Success Center at the College.

Future plans include completing her bachelor’s degree in biology on the Morgantown campus followed by earning adoctorate degree in microbiology.  The award was presented by Campus President Jennifer Orlikoff.  

Whitmore-Gates Scholars recognized

Professors Amy Weaver and Danielle Lessard, PhD, announced the 2020 Whitmore-Gates Scholars whose names will be inscribed on the Duke Anthony Whitmore/Henry Louis Gates, Jr Academic Achievement Wall, also referred to as The Scholars’ Wall.  

The Scholars’ Wall was conceived as a way of recognizing the academic and scholarly activities of Potomac State College's students, alumni and faculty.  Each year a faculty committee selects students who exhibit exemplary scholarship and potential for continued achievement.  

The committee also selects a former faculty member of the College who has produced a scholarly work, publication or admirable performance in their field.  


Madison Anderson, a biology major from Keyser, W.Va., plans to pursue a dental career after graduation.  Campus activities included serving as a tutor for the Academic Success Center, and as a member of Circle K, the Life Science Club and the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society.  Anderson made First Team All-American while playing on the Catamounts softball team as well.  She also interned with the office of WV Senator Joe Manchin.  

Nikki Cannon, a biology major from Fort Ashby, W.Va., plans to earn a doctorate degree in microbiology after completing her bachelor’s degree in biology on the Morgantown campus.  Campus activities included serving as a tutor for the Academic Success Center, and as a member of the Campus Ministries Club, the Life Science Club and the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society.  She also interned at the National Cancer Institute the past two years.

Madison Sites, a biology major from Sugar Grove, W.Va., plans to pursue a doctor of osteopathy or physician’s assistant degree.  Campus activities included serving as a tutor for the Academic Success Center, as a member of Circle K, the Film Club, the Creative Writing Club, Sip and Stitch, the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society, the International Club, the Life Science Club, and Baptist Campus Ministries.   

Kaitlynn Spiker, a mathematics major from Frostburg, Md., plans to pursue a doctorate degree in mathematics.  Campus activities included serving as a tutor for the Academic Success Center and assisted with Math Field Day which involves interacting with different age levels from area schools.  Spiker wants to serve as a math teacher in the future.            

Former Faculty:

Gary Seldomridge, PhD, retired from the College in 2016 after serving 41 years as a mathematics professor.  He was involved with the establishment of STEM at the College and served as the coordinator for two years.  He also wrote the guidelines for and directed the Governor’s Honors Academy for middle-school students for two years and created the RESA 8 Honors Academy. He has volunteered his time helping local students with math problems as well as students in Kenya, Africa.  

Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society inducts new members

Sigma Phi Omega was founded in the spring of 1923 by the faculty of Potomac State College as a way of recognizing academic excellence and campus involvement.  New members inducted for 2020 include:

Madison Anderson

Jaclynn Carroll

Allyson Crowe

Grant Keller

Tyrin Musser

Natalie Phillips

Avery Shanholtz

Lauren White