Virginia Thrasher, a member of the Honors College from Springfield, Virginia, is one of eight students selected to receive WVU's highest student honor, the Order of Augusta.
“We are so proud to recognize some of our extraordinarily talented graduates with the Outstanding Senior award and the Order of Augusta each year,”said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joyce McConnell. “Not only have they already made a tremendous positive impact on our campus and in our community, they are poised to head out into the world and truly make it a better place, today and tomorrow.”
Thrasher will graduate with a degree in biomedical engineering. She is a member of the WVU rifle team, WVU Student Athlete Advisory Council, WVU Biomedical Engineering Club, Mountain Honorary and U.S. National Rifle Team.
Winner of the gold medal in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event at the 2016 Summer Olympic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a finalist for the 2019 Rhodes Scholarship, Thrasher is a powerhouse in and out of the classroom.
During her time at the University, she has developed a deep interest in the field of psychology and human performance through her experience on the rifle team and a passion for public speaking and travel.
“A convergence of passions,” she is the human subject in her growth mindset theory research with the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, a belief that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Although her study is specific to athletic performance, she looks forward to expanding her research findings to a larger arena to include addiction and leadership studies.
Thrasher was a featured speaker at the inaugural 2018 TedxWVU series entitled “Winning the Olympics – A State of Mind.” She also travels the country as an advocate for student-athletes in STEM education.
She is also grateful for her extensive travel abroad opportunities, visiting 14 countries for national team trainings and competitions she has enjoyed learning about the host countries and their cultures. She has visited Azerbaijan, India, South Korea and South Africa, among several other countries.
She has set the Olympic record in the women’s air rifle event, was named to the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association All-American Team in recognition of her GPA among college rifle athletes across the nation and is the recipient of the Engineering Excellence Scholarships.
She is overwhelmed with the pride that WVU, Morgantown and the entire state has taken in supporting her academic and athletic achievements, instilling a sense of pride in her that she will carry into future endeavors. Although she is a native of Virginia, she is very proud to be adopted member of West Virginia, a state she says take incredible pride in their heritage and successes.
It is her hope that as a member of the community she has been able to make a positive and lasting impact during her four years of college.
After graduation, she will move to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to pursue life as a professional athlete.
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