Elkins grad named among WVU scholars | News, sports, jobs


MORGANTOWN – Elkins High School graduate Clare Talbott is among the new West Virginia University Foundation Scholars announced Thursday.

Five exceptionally talented West Virginia University freshmen, whose academic interests span the humanities, medicine and science, are eager to use their curiosity, creativity and problem-solving skills to generate new ideas and innovative solutions for a better future as WVU 2024- 25 Foundation Scholars, the highest academic scholarship awarded by the university.

The new cohort of scholars includes Talbott of Elkins High School, Ama Ackon-Annan of Woodrow Wilson High School, Isaac Brown of Clay County High School, Liam McCarthy of Musselman High School and Zadie Worley of Liberty (Raleigh) High School.

“Our five Foundation Scholars represent the best of West Virginia and I look forward to officially welcoming them to the West Virginia University family this fall,” President Gordon Gee said this. “During their time at WVU, Ama, Isaac, Liam, Clare and Zadie will be challenged as they pursue their passions. I am confident that they will all find success on their chosen paths of purpose.”

The group is among 20 high school students – all Bucklew Scholars – who competed last month for this prestigious scholarship for West Virginia students.

The scholarship covers tuition costs for four years of undergraduate study, including tuition and fees, room and board, and a book allowance. Each Foundation Scholar also receives a $4,500 stipend to help diversify their academic journey through study abroad, internships or research.

Ackon-Annan, a planned biomedical engineering major who grew up attending STEM camps facilitated by her engineer mother, was inspired to work in healthcare at a very young age. She said WVU feels like one “home away from home” and she looks forward to participating in intramural sports and getting involved in DEI initiatives. She is an avid fan of professional football and would eventually like to study abroad in England or France. Ackon-Annan is excited to bridge her passion for biology and technology as a path to becoming a family physician.

Brown, who discovered his career passion while volunteering his time on local political campaigns, will major in political science and mathematics. While exploring his college options, Brown decided to pursue his degree where he wants to make a difference: his home state of West Virginia. He plans to join the Student Government Association, Model United Nations and eventually work as a law intern in Charleston or study comparative law in Europe. His longer-term goal is to study law and/or teach mathematics.

McCarthy will study political science and jazz piano. He said he believes he will feel that way “a big fish in a small pond and thriving at WVU.” A French horn and pianist, he plans to join the WVU Jazz Ensemble, participate in youth music outreach programs and become a Presidential Student Ambassador. Ultimately, he would like to study politics in Germany and realize his dream of studying music in the Caribbean. He is a second-generation Foundation Scholar and hopes to become a music professor or go to law school.

Talbott plans to major in environmental, soil and water sciences. A project on global warming in elementary school fueled her passion for sustainable development aimed at protecting the ecosystems of the Appalachian Mountains. She would like to become an active member of the LGBTQ+ community and become involved in Sustainability at WVU. Talbott, who took a gap year to work on an organic farm in Italy, also has plans to study abroad in a country with strict environmental policies as a way to find innovative solutions to preserve the planet for future generations.

Worley will study neuroscience. After seeing a young family member suffer from epilepsy, she plans to use her degree to become a pediatric neurologist in West Virginia. Worley said her priorities align well with the top healthcare professionals at WVU, including generating innovative ideas and helping others while pursuing her passions. She plans to join the Medical and Dental Brigades and hopes to have the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking research at the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.

To qualify for the Foundation Scholarship, students must meet a strict set of criteria, including possessing residency in West Virginia, a minimum grade point average of 3.8, and achieving a minimum composite score of 30 on the ACT or the equivalent SAT score.

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