Zublasing Earns WVU's Highest Honor

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • March 22, 2013 05:30 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University is recognizing 34 top seniors with the WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior Award. Eight of those students are also being honored with the University’s most prestigious student honor – the Order of Augusta.

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 the Legislature when the state seceded from Virginia in 1863.

These students will be honored during the Celebration of Student Honors on April 8 at 6 p.m. in the Ruby Grand Hall of the Erickson Alumni Center. The event is part of the University’s annual Week of Honors, a week of celebrations that takes place each April to recognize the outstanding achievements of WVU’s faculty, staff and students.

WVU’s honorary societies, Helvetia (sophomores), Chimes (juniors) and Mortar Board (seniors), a national organization, will welcome inductees for the 2013-2014 academic year. Students accepted into these groups have been recognized for their academic merit, leadership and community service.

In addition, students who have secured competitive national awards, such as the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, Critical Language Scholarship and Boren Scholarship, will be recognized for their success.

The 2012 Order of Augusta scholars are: Tonia Ahmed, Morgantown; Caroline Bailey, Belmont; Jessica Carr, Fairmont; Chelsea Hodgkins, Sudlersville, Md.; Surya Mannivannan, Morgantown; Miranda Miller, Morgantown; Byron Patterson, Philadelphia; and Petra Zublasing, Eppan BZ, Italy.

The remaining 26 WVU Outstanding Seniors are as follows:

West Virginia
Erin Bryant, Morgantown
Sarah Cordonier, Parkersburg
Jacob Frame, Maidsville
Jordan Hamric, Bruceton Mills
Heather Hill, Grafton
Jessica Kawalek, Bunker Hill
Chelsea Kuhn, Burton
Christopher McBride, Beckley
Cody McPherson, Parkersburg
Darrin Nichols, Walker
Meredith Orndorff, Morgantown
Alexandra Palmer, Morgantown
Amanda Pollard, Morgantown
Sara Rhodes, Washington
Charles Schuler, Scott Depot
Sripadh Sharma, Fort Ashby
Stanley Smith, Morgantown
Kendra Thorne, Petersburg
Jonathan Turner, Fairmont

Emily Lipscomb, Swanton
Lori McLaughlin, Aberdeen
Stephani Smith, Bel Air

John Hall, Cranberry Township
Kiley Sanders, Pittsburgh

Gbolahan Idowu, Victoria Island

Katrina Weimer, Akron


Petra Zublasing, of Eppan BZ, Italy, will graduate with a degree in civil engineering. She’ll also leave WVU with national titles. As a member of the rifle team, she led the team to its 2013 national title and won the air rifle and smallbore titles in the competition. She also won the smallbore title in 2012.

She is also the head of junior activities for the Italian Rifle Club, an assistant coach for the Rifle Club and Junior Club. Zublasing placed 12th in air rifle and smallbore at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

“In the future I might not remember how many As I got or how many hours I studied, but I will always remember the wonder for new knowledge that WVU created in me,” she said. “I would call West Virginia my gateway to the United States; it introduced me to the American culture and the American people with their lifestyle.”

Zublasing hopes to make it to the 2016 Olympic games and wants to start her post-undergraduate schooling in Italy for energy engineering.


Jordan Hamric, of Bruceton Mills, will graduate with a degree in exercise physiology. She is a member of the cross country and track and field teams at WVU, as well, and was a captain of both as a junior and a senior. She was named a first-team Academic all-Big 12 Conference member in 2012-13.

“Being able to compete in a sport, or in my case two sports, while attending WVU has been such a wonderful experience,” she said. “Competing for WVU at such a high level and against the best collegiate track and field athletes in the country has inspired me to work hard and stay determined, aiding in my path toward my future.”

As she attempts to become an optometrist, she has gained much-needed experience over the last three years through assistant positions with Optical 101 and Spectrum Optical.

Hamric is the third straight honoree to hail from the WVU cross country and track & field teams. Brittany Fink earned the honor in 2011, and Ahna Lewis was honored in 2012.