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Olivia Yost named Catamounts Climb Higher award recipient

Olivia Yost and Campus President Gilmer

Olivia Yost, a freshman pre-veterinary medicine major from Morgantown, has been presented with the Catamounts Climb Higher award at West Virginia University Potomac State College.

“Olivia is one of the most authentic students I’ve ever encountered in my role at Potomac State. She’s not afraid to hold true to her values while still being confident enough to try new things, which I find extremely admirable. I have no doubt that Olivia will succeed in whatever she chooses to do in the future and am exceptionally proud of the leader she is becoming,” voiced Kara Hotchkiss, who nominated her for the award.

Climb Higher recipients are recognized for their ability to bounce back despite encountering obstacles, for overcoming challenges, and for staying the course. Recipients are also recognized for their outstanding work ethic, kindness, and positive attitude. Although this award is not based on GPA, recipients must be in good academic standing.

According to Yost, she chose to attend WVU Potomac State College “…because of small class sizes and all the hands-on learning and overall skills obtained through the PSC programs.”

Since she began her college journey last semester, Yost has progressed from a shy and reserved observer to an active member of the campus community. She serves as a member of the Student Government Association, Diversity Council, Catamount Collaborative Club, and Agriculture and Forestry Club. She also works in the Student Union on campus.

“I didn’t talk to many people at first, but after I got involved in several clubs and activities on campus, I immediately felt welcomed here at PSC and am having a great time learning new skills and meeting amazing people,” Yost said.

Yost continues to be involved by attending nearly all campus activities and events and offering her assistance if needed.

She has a true passion for woodworking and her talent is apparent through each of her projects. To elaborate, she and Dave Miller, who serves as program coordinator of the College’s SAGE Innovation Lab, handcrafted 300 snowflake ornaments for the College’s annual Frosty Fest, which was a great addition to this year’s event.

She credits many faculty and staff members with playing a role in her success at Potomac State College. “Kara Hotchkiss, Dave Miller, Andy Walker, and so many more have mentored me and taught me so much already.”

Yost is described by others as reliable, kind and funny. She is always willing to lift others up through encouragement and supporting them in any way possible.

When asked what advice she would give to incoming students, Yost answered, “Get out and do something. There are so many things offered for students in and out of the classroom, new experiences to be had, and opportunities to grow closer to others. Don’t be all work and no play. Get out of your comfort zone and explore.”  

Story by: Emily Kimble, freshman English major, and student employee in University Relations at WVU Potomac State College.