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Scholarships and Awards

The Center for Women's and Gender Studies is pleased to offer awards and scholarships to WVU students, faculty, and staff. For more information, visit the Award Applications page!


Outstanding WGST Graduate Teaching Assistant 
Perhaps there is no better way to describe Tré Thomas’ approach to teaching than in the words of their students.  As one Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies student noted, “I Enjoyed this course so much and have recommended to many people. I [ . . . ] will carry my newfound knowledge with me for my lifetime.” Other students express their appreciation for Tré’s student-centered approach, explaining, “What helped me learn and become more aware was the professor. They were able to help students and me understand hard topics but kept it real and raw. I think that they created a good learning environment because they were able to let us talk and be heard.”  It is not only their students who speak highly of them, but fellow graduate teaching assistants as well, remarking that Tré has “given so much of their knowledge and time to support every other GTA” and that “they are a true joy to work with.”    

Outstanding WGST Senior 

Lilly Runion is an enthusiastic and dedicated double major in Women’s and Gender Studies and Dance. This path has enabled her to make surprising and profound connections across fields and colleges during her time at WVU.  Throughout her WGST coursework, in which she has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, Lilly has been an engaged, active and thoughtful contributor in class discussions and group projects. Lilly’s outstanding WGST capstone project explores the history of dance as activism through the work of composers like Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham among others. She brings the dedication of a dancer and the keen insight of a WGST scholar into everything that she does.

Velma Miller / West Virginia Alliance for Women's and Gender Studies Graduate Scholar Award
Savannah’s coursework as a graduate student in Education focuses on the study of critical literacy and theory applications in K-12 settings. She is concurrently pursuing the graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies, and serving as a WGST Graduate Teaching Assistant. As Savannah explains in her application for this award, one of her goals as a teacher is help her students recognize how systems of power operate so that they may become more engaged and empowered global citizens.  As Savannah’s nominators for this award points out, she clearly embodies this teaching philosophy in the classroom.  Savannah’s leadership skills and mentoring practices are “beyond outstanding.”

Winifred South Knutti Graduate Scholarship in Women's Studies 
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Morgan McMinn is a PhD student in history with a focus on medieval history at WVU and uses she/her pronouns. Morgan has maintained a 4.0 GPA in her graduate work. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in history from WVU in 2018 and began her graduate work that same year. Morgan has worked as a research assistant in the history department as well as in volunteer positions at the Folger Shakespeare library and the WV women’s suffrage project. She is also the president of the History Graduate Student Association. This award will help to support Morgan’s research travel to several archives in the UK during the Fall term of 2022. Her dissertation “interrogates what equity meant for women and men wishing to pursue a religious life.” She is particularly interested in the ways that gender affected punishments for violating monastic rules and aims to demonstrate the role of gender in the “interpersonal relationships that impacted monastic daily life.”

Alma and Claude Rowe Excellence Through Equity Award 

Jana is currently pursuing research for her dissertation that focuses on facilitating social justice advocacy in rural elementary classrooms through empowering female teachers. Among her goals are to create an adaptable, free curricular source that can be used in any rural community, and to help address inequities in schools and communities for students and families from the LGBTQ+ and non-White communities. This award will support her research, and through her research will help facilitate social justice advocacy in rural communities. As Jana notes in her application for this award, “Empowering rural elementary teachers in West Virginia to become leaders advocating for equity” is a resource that will benefit all Appalachian. communities.  

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Destiny is an undergraduate senior majoring in Psychology and planning to attend graduate school here at WVU this fall in Master of Social Work/Master of Public Administration dual degree program. She is a first-generation college student from West Virginia who is already giving back to her home state. Destiny has consistently demonstrated her commitment to the success of other young West Virginians through her work with many organizations, including Salem University’s TRIO Upward Bound Program, the Appalachian Prison Book Project, The Mountaineer Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and special events such as the 2021 Women’s March for Reproductive Rights.

Carrie Koeturius Scholarship

Alysse’s letter writers commend her for her persistence in pursuing her education despite the sacrifices she has had to make along the way to get here. They praise Alysse not only for her inspiring journey, but also for how she consistently creates supportive learning spaces for others. One letter writes that Alysse is a “driving force” towards a better future. Another commends her for her intellectual prowess, explaining that Alysse has an exceptional ability for translating complex theoretical concepts into truly relatable explanations.

Sallie Lowther Norris Showalter Award for Excellence in Mathematics 
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Katilyn is an undergraduate majoring in Computer Science with an emphasis in Cybersecurity and uses she/her pronouns. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is enrolled in the honors program at WVU. Katilyn has been awarded numerous scholarships including the West Virginia University & National Science Foundation Cybersecurity ACCESS scholarship since 2020. She has been on the President’s list every semester since 2019 and was invited to join the Upsilon Pi Epsilon and Alpha Lamda Delta honors societies. Katilyn is a member of WVU Student Speakers Bureau, is a Certified Tutor, a certified Student Leader, and a Presidential Student Ambassador. She has competed in the NATO Locked Shields Cyber Defense exercises since 2021. In 2022 she founded a chapter of Women in Cybersecurity at WVU. Katilyn also serves as the VP of CyberWVU and in several different leadership roles in the Society of Women Engineers student chapter. She is passionate about closing the gender gap in comp sci and cyber security by encouraging educational participation and by supporting women already in the field.  She anticipates graduating with her BS degree in May 2023.


Rylan Tampoya is pursuing a BS in Math along with a certification in adult mathematics education and uses she/her pronouns. She maintains an overall GPA of 3.3. In addition to her hefty responsibilities as a student, Rylan has been financially self-supporting since she was 18, often working multiple jobs for more than full-time hours. She is a passionate advocate for inclusive mathematics education and is actively engaged in social justice work. She hopes to show students that math can be a great home for women and people of color. She has received numerus scholarships and awards during her time at WVU. After graduation in December 2022 Rylan hopes to continue inspiring “the next generation to pursue their passions and to whole-heartedly believe that no person is incapable of succeeding in mathematics or in any other endeavor.”

Helen E. Almasy Academic Enrichment Award

As a sociologist, anti-racist, and feminist, Leah’s research, teaching and advocacy work range from helping to organize and facilitate events that support WVU student athletes to investigating issues of social inequality in sports. In addition to pursuing her PhD, Leah currently serves as the Assistant Editor of the academic journal, Sociological Focus. The Almasy award will help enable her to take part in the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, which in turn will provide her with new tools for conducting her research and addressing intersectional issues of inequality.  Leah’s nominators for this award sing her praises as feminist/anti-racist inclusive leader and peer-mentor in classroom contexts as well as the broader WVU community.