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Senior Spotlight: Justin Hickey


Justin Hickey stands in front of Life Sciences Building on WVU's campus

Justin Hickey, a biology major with a minor in addiction studies, will graduate this May from West Virginia University and the Honors College. Hickey will be named an Honors Laureate, having completed both Honors Foundations and Honors EXCEL, during a special breakfast on May 12.

As an undergraduate student, he conducted research in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was a member of the WVU Division 1 men's hockey team and worked more than 800 hours as a clinical associate - nursing assistant.

He plans to attend WVU School of Medicine in the fall of 2023.

Share with us one of your most impactful Honors College experiences.

My favorite Honors College experiences was the time that I got to spend in the Honors courses. Within these courses I was able to meet many individuals from completely different walks of life, with many of them studying completely different subjects. I was able to meet like-minded individuals who conducted molecular wet-lab research; however, I was also able to meet individuals who conducted their research in music composition and dance, which introduced me to a lot of new knowledge.

What is your favorite memory of your time at WVU?

My senior night hockey game. I played on the D1 ACHA Men's Hockey team for the four years of my undergraduate schooling here at WVU. During my senior night, I had many friends and family attend my game in support of me. The overwhelming feeling of love and support was one of the greatest emotions that I have ever felt in my life, and that alone made my time here at WVU worthwhile and meaningful.

What are your points of pride, accomplishments or the skills you developed that you are proud of most?

Throughout my time at WVU as an undergraduate, I have shown myself that I have a strong sense of determination, time-management and compassion. I set my mind toward earning a spot on the hockey team roster, and I was able to achieve this as a freshman. I dreamed of pursuing medical school and I knew that I needed good metrics to accomplish this goal. My determination and adoption of time-management techniques allowed me to be able to graduate summa cum laude. I also was able to demonstrate compassion and service throughout my time here, working over 800 hours as a clinical associate - nursing assistant at Ruby Memorial Hospital, helping coach youth hockey, and volunteering within the community.

What is one thing you learned about yourself during your time at WVU?

One thing that I learned about myself here at WVU is that hard-work and determination can allow me to accomplish anything. I never thought that in four years I would be able to work hundreds of hours researching in the lab while playing hockey, maintaining my grades, working in the hospital, volunteering, and making life-long friends. However, WVU provides extraordinary opportunities that allow for this to come true.

What advice would you give to future WVU students?

The biggest advice I would give to future WVU students is to take advantage of all the opportunities that the university provides undergraduate students! While it may take a little research, the university offers opportunities for nearly any discipline that you can think of. The Honors EXCEL program and Undergraduate Research Office both help provide resources for research, there are intramural sports and Adventure WVU which allow you to get outside and participate in activities, and so much more that are provided to students. All it takes is a quick search!