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The Honors College Office is open, but our staff members are teleworking. We are available for student advising and meetings using Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or phone. Please email us at honors@mail.wvu.edu or call us at 304-293-2100 to contact our staff. We are here for you!

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Getting to Know ASPIRE Staff Member Eric Myers

By Stephanie Golden, Honors Student Ambassador

Eric Myers

This semester is unlike anything we have experienced before at West Virginia University, but it will be an experience that we all remember for the rest of our lives. During times like these, it is crucial to stay positive and support one another. The Honors College often works closely with the team from the ASPIRE Office, and we miss them dearly! 

The mission of the ASPIRE Office is to assist WVU students in achieving their goals of winning nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, as well as gaining admission into graduate school. Our university has seen great success throughout the years when it comes to students being awarded these honors. Among WVU’s winners, there are 25 Rhodes Scholars, 24 Truman Scholars, 65 Fulbright Scholars and 45 Goldwater Scholars. 

How Eric Got to Where He Is Today

Eric Myers began working as the program coordinator for ASPIRE in January 2020, but he has been involved at WVU since 2013. 

Myers grew up in Sidman, Pennsylvania. He attended St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He then went on to Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned his first masters in public affairs. Then, he came to WVU where he earned his masters  political science. Myers is currently in the PhD program in political science at WVU.

Before working for the ASPIRE Office, Myers worked as a graduate assistant for Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Studies in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. He managed experiential learning, particularly service learning. During the summers, Myers worked as the head mentor at WVU’s Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) camps. HSTA is a one-of-a-kind mentoring program in West Virginia that helps participating high school students enter and succeed in STEM-based undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Myers has also played a major role in WVU’s Model United Nations (UN) team for the past three years. The Model UN program at WVU operates as both a class and a club under director of the international studies department, Dr. Clarissa Estep. The team travels and competes in conferences in Washington, D.C., New York City, and internationally. 

For each conference, students from our university are assigned to represent specific countries. Students are partnered up and assigned to specific committees within the UN. Unfortunately, the conference in New York was cancelled this year, but students from WVU would have been competing as France and Bosnia. Myers works closely with Dr. Estep to prepare the teams for conferences.

At ASPIRE, Myers handles the outreach to students about the types of nationally competitive scholarships available. He works with students applying for those scholarships as they create applications. 

Life During the Coronavirus 

Due to the coronavirus, Myers has been spending much of his time working on public relations and outreach initiatives for ASPIRE, especially with their social media.

“I actually have a new series I’m working on called “ASPIRE 25” where I interview people who have gotten a scholarship and ask them questions about academics, working with ASPIRE, or about the scholarship they received.”

When asked how he has been staying busy during quarantine, Myers said, “I’ve been talking to students and having Zoom meetings. I also go out and walk every day. I probably walk between 10 and 20 miles a day. It just depends! Yesterday I was only at 14 miles.”

Only 14 miles? It’s safe to say that he has been staying pretty active during lockdown! Myers has also been talking to the people he works with frequently. He has been in contact with Dr. Estep, his coworkers from ASPIRE, and the team here at Honors.

Why Students Should Consider Applying to Scholarships Through ASPIRE

When asked what he would tell students who are hesitant to apply to scholarships through ASPIRE, he replied, “There are tons of different types of scholarships. The scholarships we work with are trying to expose students to different things happening in the world. There are scholarships where a 4.0, service, and research are going to be important, but there are also scholarships where is isn’t necessarily GPA that matters. It’s what the student is hoping to gain out of it. Not all scholarships are related to academic performance. There are some scholarships based solely on financial need. I would definitely encourage people to just schedule an appointment with us! We can look through different options. I would encourage students to go onto our website and look at the opportunities available and see what they’re interested in.”

To learn more about ASPIRE or to schedule an appointment, check out the ASPIRE website here.

Life Outside of Work: Disney, Disney, Disney

When he isn’t busy with work, Myers loves to travel, especially to Disney World. For the duration of our Zoom interview with him, he had a Finding Nemo and a Beauty and the Beast Zoom background on his screen! Myers has been to Disney World in Orlando, Florida 17 times. He has also been to Disneyland in Paris! He is a passholder at Disney, so he essentially has a season pass to the parks.

Eric Myers at the Star Wars area in Disney World.

Eric at the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge themed area within Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.

“I’m obsessed with Disney.”

His favorite traditional Disney movie is  Beauty and the Beast, and his favorite Pixar film is The Incredibles.

Aside from Disney, Myers loves travel in general. He really enjoys planning trips for both students and for his family. He has taken students to Switzerland, Lithuania, China and Germany. He also just recently took some of his family members to Niagara Falls.

Eric Myers in front of hot air balloons.      Eric Myers standing in front of Niagra Falls.

Left: Eric in front of the hot air balloons in Morgantown, West Virginia.  Right: Eric standing in front of Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada.

Obviously Myers is excited to return to Disney World again after life goes back to normal, but he said what he is most-looking forward to is “working with students again in person.” 

Meet with ASPIRE Virtually

Even though campus is closed currently, the ASPIRE team is still available for student meetings and advising via Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or by phone. Use ASPIRE website  to schedule an appointment or email them at  aspire@mail.wvu.edu

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