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Student Spotlight

Honors College students are representative of our bigger West Virginia University community — from 40 states and multiple countries, our students can be found in every college at the University. 

Read more about some of our students below.

Mackenzie Halliday

Mackenzie Halliday headshot.

Mackenzie Halliday is the president of the Honors Student Association for the 2018-2019 school year. 
Hometown: Washington, Pa.
Major: Management with an Area of Emphasis in Entrepreneurship & International Business
Quirky Fact: When she gets really excited about something, she dances no matter where she is
Favorite Experience at WVU: Planning and executing a benefit concert for the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center through her Introduction to Business (BCOR 199) class.  
What She's Excited for This Year: Working with other Honors students through HSA to partner with the Morgantown community to help make it a better place."It's already wonderful — let's make it better!" 

Alexa Harris

Alexa Harris photo in princess costume.

Alexa Harris is the president of the Honors Student Association for the 2018-2019 school year. 
Hometown: Morgantown, WV
Major: Public Health and Spanish
Quirky Fact: I am named after a Billy Joel song.
Favorite Experience at WVU: Last year I joined WVU's chapter of A Moment of Magic, a nonprofit organization that facilitates sending college students to dress up as characters and visit and put on events for kids with serious illnesses. I have met so many amazing people and had so many magical experiences with this club! 
What She's Excited for This Year: Attending CureFest, a huge event for pediatric cancer awareness held in Washington, D.C. Sept. 15-16. 

Kathryn Wolfe

Kathryn Wolfe photo, in nature.

Name: Kathryn Wolfe
Hometown: Morgantown, WV
Major: Biochemistry and a minor in Human Nutrition and Foods
Quirky Fact: I share a birthday with John Lennon.
Favorite Experience at WVU: I traveled with a group of students this past summer to Santarém, Brazil. We had the opportunity to engage with the culture, provide service work for the community, and experience the true nature of healthcare in the area. 
What She's Excited for This Year: More travel, getting involved with new orgs, and watching the Pride play during home games! 

Jessica Hogbin

Jessica Hogbin, holding "The First Line" magazine.
Jessica Hogbin published her short story, "Fell Into Darkness" in The First Line magazine in Winter 2017.

Name: Jessica Hogbin
Hometown: Hedgesville, WV
Major/Minors: Major in History, as well as World Languages, Literature, and Linguistics—Italian Studies, and minors in Religious Studies and Medieval Renaissance Studies
Quirky Fact: I can make balloon animals!
Favorite Experience at WVU: I loved going to Italy this summer to study the language while being immersed in it. Also, getting to eat a different kind of gelato everyday for six weeks was an unexpected perk!
What She's Excited for This Year: I am excited to begin doing research with the History department.  

Hannah Coffey

Hannah Coffey hiking in Alaska.
Hannah Coffey on a recent trip to Alaska, where she spent several days backpacking in Denali National Park & Preserve.

Name: Hannah Coffey
Hometown: Hedgesville, WV
Major/Minors: Sociology
Quirky Fact: I have a cat named Walter who's a polydactyl, and I'm absolutely obsessed with him.
Favorite Experience at WVU: Going on a service learning trip to Brazil during the summer after my freshman year.
What She's Excited for This Year: Finishing up data analyses on my Honors thesis and presenting my findings at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies annual national conference! 

Oriana Ovide

Oriana Ovide at Randyland in Pittsburgh, in front of multicolored steps.
Oriana Ovide visiting Randyland in Pittsburgh, PA.

Name: Oriana Ovide
Hometown: Columbia, MD
Major/Minors: Double major in Forensic Investigative Science and Chemistry
Quirky Fact: I am related to one of the reality stars from the TV show "Basketball Wives" 
Favorite Experience at WVU: This summer I participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). I got to experience real research working with gunshot residue under the direction of Dr. Tatiana Trejos. At the end of the summer, I presented a poster on my results at the Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium!
What She's Excited for This Year: Creating fun events as part of the fundraising committee for Alpha Omega Epsilon, and going to home football games! 

Brice Shumate

Brice Shumate is on the Honors College Walk to End Alzheimer's team.
Brice Shumate is on the Honors College Walk to End Alzheimer's team. Learn more about how you can help.

Name: Brice Shumate
Hometown: Premier, WV
Major/Minors: Accounting
Quirky Fact: I’m named after both of my grandpas.
Favorite Experience at WVU: I don’t believe I have a favorite experience at WVU. I have great experiences every day, and it’s too difficult to pick one!
What He's Excited for This Year: I’m excited to make lifelong friends. 

Ineke Knudsen

Ineke Knudsen at the 2018 Arts Walk.
Ineke Knudsen pictured in front of her painting, "Garden of a Nervous Child," at the fall Arts Walk on Friday, Sept. 28 this year.

Name: Ineke Knudsen
Hometown: Morgantown, WV
Major/Minors: Major in Painting with Minor in Art History
Quirky Fact: I ALWAYS have food with me, whether it be curry or a fruit cup. 
Favorite Experience at WVU: My favorite experiences at WVU have been hanging out with artists in other disciplines, like music, poetry, philosophy and visual arts. The community of creators I've found at school has really inspired me to push harder in my own artistic practice.
What She's Excited for This Year: This year I am very excited to be involved in community projects, like teaching middle school art lessons and working with my artists collective, The Bench. The Bench runs cross-disciplinary shows of music, poetry, and visual art at local venues, and our next show is on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 123 Pleasant St. We are accepting submissions of any artistic medium through Oct. 25. Submissions and questions should be emailed to