Here’s a roundup of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside:
UVA Wise student wins national scholarship
Isabella Maggard of Pound is the first University of Virginia’s College at Wise student to win a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. A first-generation college student majoring in environmental science, Maggard will graduate from UVA Wise in May 2024. She was chosen for the Goldwater scholarship from a pool of more than 5,000 potential applicants from across the U.S. Only 413 recipients of the scholarship were named.
Updated April 14: UVA Wise advises that Maggard is the first student to win the award as a UVA Wise student but a previous student won when the school was known as Clinch Valley College. Kevin Williams earned his Ph.D. at Emory University and completed his post-doctoral work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Currently, he is a professor and chair of the chemistry department at Western Kentucky University.
The Goldwater Scholarship Program is one of the oldest national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in the U.S. It helps identify, encourage and financially support college students who show exceptional promise of becoming the next generation of research leaders.
Goldwater Scholars receive an amount equal to the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, books and room and board minus the amount of support provided for by other sources, up to a maximum of $7,500 per full academic year.
Maggard has been a part of undergraduate research at UVA Wise. The NSF S-STEM program funded studies she completed in environmental genomics in fall 2021 and 2022, which Maggard says helped her gain valuable skills in performing DNA extractions, DNA amplification using PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis. Through this work, she was also able to gain experience analyzing data using bioinformatics platforms such as Qiime2, Geneious and R Studio. Maggard presented about this research project at the Association of Southeastern Biologists in 2022 and 2023 and the American Society of Microbiology conferences.
Additionally, Maggard worked with Buchanan Endowed Chair of Biology Bruce Cahoon testing the dietary preferences of freshwater mussels and a U.S. Department of Agriculture-supported evaluation of the soil microbiome of healthy versus diseased ginseng to understand if microbial communities correlate to ginseng health. She presented on both of these projects at the Association of Southeastern Biologists conference.
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Tesla executive to speak at Radford graduation
Tesla executive Laurie Shelby ’83 will deliver the keynote address at Radford University’s 110th Spring Commencement on May 5 and 6.
Since 2017, she has served as the vice president of environmental, health and safety (EHS), sustainability and security at Tesla Inc. She leads worldwide EHS, sustainability and security for over 130,000 employees in the automotive, energy, and sales and service delivery operations.
Previously, she was the EHS vice president for Alcoa Inc., where she led global environmental health and safety across mining, refining, smelting and rolling operations. Prior roles at Alcoa included EHS director for United States primary aluminum operations and EHS global audit manager.
Shelby graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Radford University. She earned her master’s degree in industrial hygiene/biomedical engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia. She also has credentials as a Certified Safety Professional and Certified Industrial Hygienist.
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Ferrum ag program hosts annual plant sale
The Ferrum College Agriculture Program is hosting their annual plant sale on Saturday, April 15 from 10:00am to 1:00pm, Sunday, April 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m, Saturday, April 22 from 10:00am to 1:00pm and Sunday, April 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. They will have annuals, house plants, hanging baskets, vegetables, herbs and seed annuals in cell packs. All of the proceeds will support Horticulture within the Agriculture program.
The event will be at the Titmus Agricultural Center at Ferrum at 370 Ferrum School Road.
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New River CC professor named to NEH summer institute
NRCC English Professor Megan Doney was recently selected as a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities’ summer institute “Revisiting Religion and Place in Light of Environmental, Legal, and Indigenous Studies.”
Doney was one of only 26 people chosen to join the NEH program this summer.
The three-week residential institute for higher education faculty will be held at the University of Virginia from June 5-23, 2023, and organized by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy Demands Wisdom and the Religion, Race & Democracy Lab (RRD) at UVA.
Doney has taught at NRCC since 2008. Her writing has been published in “Earth & Altar” and “Creative Nonfiction” and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is currently working on an essay collection. She currently teaches ENG 111 College Composition I, ENG 112 College Composition II, and ENG 275 Women in Literature.