Six W.Va. students receive Hazel Ruby McQuain Graduate Scholarship
MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The Hazel Ruby McQuain Graduate Scholarship is helping six students continue their graduate studies because of their dedication to bettering West Virginia.
The scholarship program honors the legacy of its late namesake, Hazel Ruby McQuain, a businesswoman and benefactor devoted to community development in Morgantown and the surrounding area.
West Virginia residents chosen for the scholarship receive up to two years of financial support applied to the cost of a graduate degree program at any accredited institution of higher education within the United States.
Recipients must be committed to scholarly study or professional work with the potential to address the greatest needs of West Virginia and its residents.
This year’s honorees include Cassandra Stewart, Erinn Victory, Juliana Perdue, Isabella Hawkinberry, Lexie Mullen and Taylor Kennedy.
“We are thrilled to recognize these outstanding young leaders with the Hazel Ruby McQuain Graduate Scholarship,” said B.J. Davisson, executive vice president and chief development officer for the WVU Foundation. “Their diverse interests and dedication to the Mountain State will undoubtedly benefit future generations of West Virginians by improving education, health care and much more. Mrs. McQuain would be proud of their shared commitment to build upon her legacy of giving back.”
Hawkinberry is a Bridgeport native who now lives in Martinsburg. She is committed to bettering West Virginia through a career in public education. She is pursuing a master’s degree in teaching from Shepherd University, where she completed a bachelor’s degree earlier this year.
“My goal is to show students that West Virginians can be successful and to instill within them a more cohesive understanding of our state that they can clearly see themselves in,” Hawkinberry said. “If students are given role models, as I had, that show them the turbulent yet beautiful truth of West Virginia, and if we are able to convince students of their own worth and capabilities, we will create passionate West Virginians looking to improve our state for generations to come.”
Stewart is pursuing a master’s degree in design and merchandising from WVU, where she previously earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion, dress and design, along with a minor in disability studies.
Victory, of Huntington, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Marshall University in May 2020 and works as a research coordinator for WVU’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Lab.
Perdue, a first-generation college student from Boone County, is pursuing a master’s degree in human resource management from WVU.
Mullen, of Marietta, Ohio, is pursuing a master’s degree in speech language pathology at West Liberty University.
Kennedy, of Evans, earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in May from Fairmont State University and will begin working toward a master’s degree this fall. She plans to complete a doctorate’s degree at WVU and teach at the college level.
“Continuing my research during my master’s degree will help me dive deeper into the effects that unhealthy eating has on West Virginia residents,” Kennedy said. “Increasing knowledge and awareness of health-related topics could help better my home state by potentially reducing physical inactivity, obesity and obesity-linked diseases, which can all assist in developing a healthier and happier lifestyle.”
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