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WVU Potomac State College students recognized as Whitmore-Gates Scholars

West Virginia University Potomac State College honored many of their students, faculty and staff with awards and recognition earlier this spring. Students Averi Smith, Madison Taylor, and Hunter Turner had their names 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 achievements of Potomac State College students, alumni, and faculty. Each year a faculty committee selects students who exhibit exemplary scholarship and the potential for continued achievement. 

Averi Smith poses for a photo

Averi Smith, from Keyser, W.Va., graduated this year with an associate degree in pre-occupational therapy and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management. She completed her directed internship experience at Keyser Nutrition 304 LLC, and job shadowed at WVU Potomac Valley Hospital and WVU Ruby Memorial Hospital in various departments and management areas.

Smith enjoys volunteering and has helped residents at the Keyser Healthcare Nursing Home with activities and crafts; assisted with the special needs St. Patrick’s Day Dance; and served as a young adult leader at the Keyser Assembly of God Church.

While a student at PSC, Smith participated in the College’s Rotaract Serves Club, serving as president in 2023 and as the social media coordinator in 2024. She was a member of the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society, participated in College Worship Nights at the Keyser Presbyterian Church and served as a mentor in local schools with the Nik Walker Ministries Compass Club.

Madison Taylor poses for a photo

Madison Taylor, from Short Gap, W.Va., graduated this spring with an AAS in business technology and will continue her education at Potomac State College, working toward a bachelor’s degree in business management.

She enjoys volunteering and is currently completing an internship as an administrative assistant at The Belt Corporation in Cumberland, Md. Taylor was also chosen as a Catamounts Climb Higher award recipient and received the Outstanding Business Technology Student award.

Additionally, she received the John Philip Spoerl Scholarship, which was created by alumnus John Philip Spoerl, Class of 1963. Spoerl created a perpetual trust, as part of his estate which funds scholarships for students enrolled in business administration at the College.

Hunter Turner poses for a photo

Hunter Turner, from Upper Tract, W.Va., graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science in business management. While a student, he served as president of the PSC Ag and Forestry Club, attended Baptist Campus Ministries, and was a member of the Tink Smith Collegiate Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

He also served as a student worker with PSC Athletics, conducting all livestream broadcasting and was ‘the voice of the Catamounts’ for all sporting events.

Turner was awarded the Outstanding Business Management Student award and was named a Catamounts Climb Higher award recipient as well. Additionally, he has served as a substitute teacher, volunteered as an assistant football coach, and owns a business.