West Virginia University students who have demonstrated exemplary academic performance and extracurricular involvement will compete in one of Mountaineer Week’s oldest traditions—the title of Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer.
The group of 10 students represent a wide range of disciplines but shares impressive academic achievements and experiences. The candidates, all senior and graduate-level students, hail from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
“This year’s Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer finalists exemplify the WVU vision and each of them are excellent representatives of, not only our University, but also the state of West Virginia,” said Kristie Stewart-Gale, marketing and advertising manager for WVU Arts and Entertainment.
Since 1958, one high-achieving man and woman have won the title of Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer and this year’s winners will join a host of distinguished alumni who have earned the title over the past five decades.
Distinguished alumni such as Dr. Lisa Costello, assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at WVU; Emily Calandrelli, an Emmy-nominated science TV host; and W. Dean Baker, a 1964 alumnus who has held a variety of executive positions in the aerospace and defense industry, have held the title.
This year’s winners will be selected by a review panel and announced during halftime at the WVU football game against Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Mr. Mountaineer finalists are:
Thaiddeus Dillie, a member of the Honors College from Weirton, is biochemistry major. He serves as the alternate Mountaineer Mascot, a Student Government Association senator for the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design and an ambassador for the WVU Honors College and Student Life. Dillie also serves as the vice president of the Global Business Brigades. He is sponsored by the WVU Honors College.
Nathanael Freeman, a member of the Honors College from Chillicothe, Ohio, is an electrical engineering and mathematics major. He serves as the president of the WVU Amateur Radio Club, a resident assistant with Housing and Residence Life and a member of Eta Kappa Nu. Freeman is the recipient of the Lane Department Academic Excellence Scholarship. He is sponsored by the WVU Amateur Radio Club.
John Kolar, a member of the Honors College from Morgantown, is an electrical engineering major minoring in music technology and physics. He serves as the president of Helvetia and a recording studio engineer with the WVU Creative Arts Center. Kolar is also the founder and president of the WVU Audio Engineering Society and has served as an acoustic and a software engineering intern with Bose Corporation. He is sponsored by the WVU Audio Production Society.
David Laub, a member of the WVU Honors College from Martinsburg, is a biology and English major. He is the founder and president of Mountaineer Mentors, alumni relations chair for the Mountain Honorary and an intern with the Immigration Law Clinic. Laub is a 2019 Newman Civic Fellow and has been endorsed by WVU for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He is sponsored by the WVU Honors College.
Patrick Orsagos, a journalism major for Avon, Ohio, serves as a student ambassador the Reed College of Media and student journalist for Women Beyond Bars. He serves as the president of WVU Friends of Literacy, president of the WVU Student Media Coalition and volunteers his time as an ESL tutor with the Literacy Volunteers of Monongalia and Preston Counties. Orsagos is sponsored by the WVU Reed College of Media.
Ms. Mountaineer finalists are:
Olivia Darby, a member of the Honors College from Charleston, is a biology major minoring in nutrition and foods studies. She serves as the president of the Tennis Club, vice president of the American Red Cross Club and an academic coach with MindFit WVU. She is a member the Global Medical and Dental Brigades and an Eberly Scholar. She is sponsored by sponsored by MindFit Academic Enhancement.
Kate Dye, a member of the Honors College from West Milford, is a chemistry major minoring in Spanish and nutrition and food studies. She serves as the student body president with the Student Government Association, a student ambassador for WVU Admissions and teaching assistant with the Biology Department. Dye is a member of the Mortar Board Honorary and a recipient of the Dominion Memorial Scholarship. She is sponsored by WVU Student Engagement and Leadership.
Caroline Leadmon, a member of the Honors College from Hurricane, is a biochemistry and animal and nutritional sciences major from Hurricane. She serves as a student ambassador for the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design and president of the Global Dental Brigades. Leadmon is a founder of the Synchronized Skating Club and member of the Mountain Honorary and a Foundation Scholar. She is sponsored by the Davis College.
Sydney Luther, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a secondary education major with specialization in English and minoring in special education. She serves as a graduate assistant with the Office of Student Success, the president of the National Council of Teachers of English and a resident assistant. Luther is a former member of the Student Government Association where she was named the 2019 Executive of the Year. She is sponsored by the Office of Student Success.
Lora McDonald, a member of the Honors College from Good Hope, is a psychology major minoring in communication studies and human services. She serves as the chief of staff of internal affairs for the Student Government Association, a peer mentor with the Honors College and undergraduate researcher with the Department of Psychology. McDonald is a member of the Mortar Board Honorary and an Eberly Scholar. She is sponsored by the WVU Psychology Department
CONTACT: Kristie Stewart-Gale
WVU Arts & Entertainment
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