School of Public Health recognizes top students, faculty and staff in end of year celebration

In keeping with the annual tradition of recognizing its outstanding graduating students and exemplary faculty, the West Virginia University School of Public Health held its annual year-end awards ceremony on Thursday, April 20, in the Health Sciences Center Fukushima Auditorium. 

“While we are gathered to honor several of you for your outstanding work in the school, many of you are about to embark on an even more important mission – that of improving the lives of those around you through public health practice, research and service,” said Sarah Woodrum, interim dean. "We can all agree, there are few things more important than ensuring our fellow citizens have access to healthcare, clean air and drinking water, and a safe place to live, work and play."

Professor Steve Davis and Executive in Residence Woodrum shake hands

Interim Dean Erik Carlton reinforced the significant role the School fulfills in the state.

"As the state’s flagship institution and a central driver for improving community health throughout Appalachia, we’ve been issued a tall order," he said. "But looking out at all the faces here today – and knowing all you have already accomplished and how much more you can do – we know we can fulfill that order. In fact, we ARE fulfilling that order. Our work is only beginning, but we are fully confident and hopeful for the future." 

Among those recognized included 17 first-generation college students and 32 B.S. students who will be graduating with honors. Awarded for the first time were the LEAD Award (Dr. Carmen Burrell) and Outstanding Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management and Leadership Award (Lydia Ferrel). 

Additionally, the leadership teams of Delta Omega Honorary Society the Health Administration Student Association were recognized, along with nine Delta Omega inductees and 14 Upsilon Phi Delta inductees. 

Selected by the student body, Ruchi Bhandari and Steve Davis were recognized with Excellence in Teaching Awards, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, respectively.

2 students chat with a professor.

"Whether you remain here in West Virginia or travel to the farthest corner of the Earth for a little while,” said Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Scot McIntosh. “You are now, and will forever be, a part of our family here at the School of Public Health. You will always have a home here in the Mountain State.” 

To view and download photos from the event, visit the School of Public Health SmugMug gallery page.

Following is a comprehensive list of 2022-2023 honorees: 

Cum Laude (means with honor)

  • Caylin Armentrout 
  • Taylor Bradley 
  • Audrey Castle 
  • Jenna Davis
  • Marleigh Davis 
  • Oliver Fletcher 
  • Paige Futey
  • Paige Hardison 
  • Androniki Horiates 
  • Norah Jack 
  • Maggie Milton 
  • Micah Vance 

Magna Cum Laude (means great honor)

  • Alec Edge
  • Jillian Fennelly
  • Audrey Hamrick
  • Lauryn Hockman
  • Hannah Ihnat 
  • Jenna Kahwash 
  • Morgan Krough
  • Melissa Paspalas 
  • Meaghan Richter
  • Kendra Scruggs

Summa Cum Laude (means highest honor)

  • Lauren Cox 
  • Mason Earl 
  • Lydia Ferrell 
  • Amara Garity 
  • Payten Harrison 
  • Patrick Landes
  • Mackenzie Meis 
  • Yusuf Mozahem 
  • Matthew Rivera
  • Megan Townsend

Gamma Mu Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society Inductees

Honorary Inductee

  • Dr. Megan Govindan

Faculty Inductees

  • Dr. Adam Baus  
  • Dr. Robert Duval 

Graduate Alumni Inductees

  • Dr. Thomas Bias  
  • Dr. Laura Davisson  

Undergraduate Alumni Inductee

  • Lauren Risser  

Graduate Student Inductees

  • Stephanie Prescott 
  • Megan Garland 
  • Madelin Gardner 

Undergraduate Student Inductees

  • Jordan Ceglar, BSPH  

Upsilon Phi Delta Inductees 

Undergraduate (B.S. in Health Services Management & Leadership)

  • Lydia Ferrell  
  • Payten Harrison   
  • Yusuf Mozahem   
  • Matthew Rivera  
  • Megan Townsend 

Graduate (Master of Health Administration)

  • Noah Collie
  • Brandon Gregory  
  • Trey Harvey  
  • Vincent Hornig   
  • Aaron Hunt  
  • Madison Katz  
  • Stephanie Prescott  
  • Ashley White 
  • Colton Young 

Faculty Inductees

  • Dr. Nicholas Castle
  • Dr. Heather Henderson
  • Dr. France Weaver

LEAD Award*

*First-time award. Recognizes graduating MHA student exemplifying four core values of the program: Learning, Engagement, Achievement, and Diversity.

  • Dr. Carmen Burrell

Outstanding Teaching Awards (selected by the student body)

  • Ruchi Bhandari, PhD, Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award
  • Steve Davis, PhD, Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award

Individual Student Awards 

  • Eric Lundstrom - Promising Public Health Investigator Award 
  • Jenna Kahwash - Junior Public Health Investigator Award 
  • Jessica Rubenstein - Promising Public Health Practitioner Award  
  • Patrick Landes - Junior Promising Public Health Practitioner Award
  • Emma Chua - Ruth E. Kershner Community Service Award 
  • Hunter Solaro - Junior Pioneering Spirit Award 
  • Lydia Ferrell - Outstanding Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management and Leadership Student Award 
  • Jordan Ceglar - Outstanding BSPH Student Award  

Departmental Awards 

  • Yuni Tang - Epidemiology and Biostatistics  
  • Dr. Carmen Burrell - Health Policy, Management and Leadership  
  • Fraz Haseen - Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences  
  • Sarah Young - Social and Behavioral Sciences