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Wheeling Women Named To West Virginia University’s Order of Augusta

Emma Blair, left, and Amelia Jones, right.

MORGANTOWN — Two Wheeling natives — Emma Blair and Amelia Jones — are among eight West Virginia University seniors awarded the Order of Augusta, the university’s highest student honor.

Also, Adam Craig of Wheeling is one of 42 other WVU seniors to be honored by the WVU Foundation as “Outstanding Seniors.”

“Each spring, WVU recognizes its top graduates with the Outstanding Senior award and the Order of Augusta,” said Maryanne Reed, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “These students have already become leaders, innovators and change-makers in their communities and beyond. I have no doubt that they will continue to ‘go first’ in everything they do.”

This cohort comes from a variety of backgrounds but shares impressive academic achievements, a passion for discovery and a desire to serve.

“The students chosen for the Order of Augusta and as WVU Foundation Outstanding Seniors are truly exceptional and embody the Mountaineer spirit, bringing our Mountaineer values to life,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said.

Blair, a member of the Honors College, will graduate with a degree in exercise physiology with an emphasis in health professions and a minor in psychology. She serves as a member of the first cohort of Presidential Student Ambassadors and member of the PSA Speakers Bureau and a student ambassador for the School of Medicine and the Honors College.

In addition to her rigorous coursework, Blair is a student in the Honors Experiential and Engaged Learning Program, serves as an undergraduate researcher and volunteers her time for community service including producing and donating more than 700 homemade face masks to local nursing homes and homeless shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blair describes her Honors EXCEL project, under the guidance of Exercise is Medicine, as one of the most rewarding experiences during her undergraduate studies. Her project aims to reduce the frequency of prescribing and prolonged use of medication by instituting an exercise prescription system.

She leads the initiative to integrate and educate rural physicians on evidence-based exercise treatment plans and works with patients at the WVU Medicine Internal Medicine Clinic to help make physical activity screenings and counseling a priority.

Ultimately, she hopes to pursue her doctorate in physician assistant studies advocating for the need for physical activity assessment and referral in clinical settings.

Jones, also a member of the Honors College, will graduate with a degree in English with an emphasis in literary and cultural studies and minors in theatre and German. She serves as president pro-tempore in the Student Government Association, a Mountaineer Guide with the WVU Visitors Center and the founder and co-chair of the Student Service Advisory Board.

A first-generation student who has devoted much of her college career to help connect disadvantaged students with educational resources, she is also WVU’s 2020 Newman Civic Fellow and serves as the speaker chair of TedxWVU and editor for Calliope.

A two-term senator-at-large, she reports her involvement in SGA has been one of the most rewarding experiences during her undergraduate career. During her involvement, she has collaborated with units across the University to improve first-year student retention, worked with the WVU Faculty Senate to address college affordability and led an initiative to encourage at-risk youth in West Virginia to pursue higher education by sending them branded care packages.

A student in the Honors Experiential and Engaged Learning Program, she studied the work of German author and playwright Marieluise Fleisser. Unable to travel to Germany to study her work amid the pandemic, she pivoted and served as an intern with MT Pockets Community Theatre where she cast local community members and WVU theater students to perform Fleisser’s Pioneers in Ingolstad in translation, a play that gave voice to underrepresented communities during the Weimar Republic.

After graduation, she will pursue her master’s degree in English education at Columbia University.

Other inductees into the Order of Augusta include Shannon Brunzo-Hager of Rupert; Cherish Heard of Morgantown; Nicholas Miller of Hedgesville; Anne Roth of Annandale, Virginia; Abby Sine of Core and Nicolas Uribe of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Established in 1995 to signify the 40th anniversary of the WVU Foundation, the Outstanding Seniors award recognizes students for their contributions and achievements in scholarship, leadership and service.

The Order of Augusta further recognizes the students’ superior scholarship, demonstrated leadership and record of community and public service. The award is named for its historical significance in the state. Augusta was among the original names considered by Legislature when the state seceded from Virginia in 1863.

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