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Mountaineers of Distinction

2023 Mountaineers of Distinction pose on field. Left to right: Natalie Wonsettler, Sophia Flower, Rachel Johnson, Thomas Williams and Olivia Dowler

2023 Mountaineers of Distinctions

Left to right: Natalie Wonsettler, Sophia Flower, Rachel Johnson, Thomas Williams and Olivia Dowler

2023 Finalists

Allison Barr

Allison Barr is a dual major in animal and nutritional sciences and biology from Moorefield, West Virginia. She has served on the officer team for WVU Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS) where she helped organize volunteers and fundraisers to support animal rescue and welfare organizations. Barr has also contributed as a co-author on a scientific journal publication in her zebrafish neuroscience lab, volunteered with the Spay Neuter Incentive Program of West Virginia and at the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia. She also worked as academic coach with MindFit WVU, working with neurodivergent students to develop study strategies and time-management techniques.

Olivia Dowler

Olivia Dowler , from Weirton, West Virginia, is majoring in history, S pan ish and philosophy. She is a WVU Foundation Scholar, a 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 Eberly Scholar. She serves as a Tour Leader for the WVU Visitors Center and as the Spanish Chair for Global Medical and Dental Brigades student organizations. Dowler also served as Student Government Association president pro tempore in 2021-2022 and as the legislative affairs liaison in 2022-2023.

Sophia Flower

Sophia Flower is a biology major from Fairmont, West Virginia. She is a Neil S. Bucklew Scholar, a Presidential Student Ambassador and a West Virginia 4-H All Star. Flower is currently the president of Global Medical Brigades student organization. She has also been a member of the WVU Student Government Association for four years where she served as executive secretary, chief of staff of internal affairs and apprentice coordinator.

Caroline Johnson

Caroline Johnson is an industrial engineering major from Hurricane, West Virginia. She is president of the WVU chapter of Alpha Pi Mu Industrial Engineering Honor Society. Johnson served as Girls' STEM Day co-chair for the WVU Society of Women Engineers where she helped STEM activities for elementary-aged females. She is also a Tau Beta Scholar and Connecting Champions mentor where she worked with young people who have or had cancer, helping them to achieve a brighter future. 

Rachel Johnson

Rachel Johnson  is a graduate student in journalism from Princeton, West Virginia. She is a member of the Collegiate 4-H Club and Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Honor Society. She has served as both president and editor-in-chief of the HerCampus, a student organization which seeks to empower college women while also providing a national platform for college journalists to have their work published. Johnson also served as an account executive for the Martin Hall Agency where she led a team of students to create a multifaceted awareness campaign to educate Morgantown residents on the struggle of people experiencing homelessness while facilitating empathetic conversations surrounding the complexities of poverty.

CJ Miller

CJ Miller, is a dual major from Wheeling, West Virginia, studying political science and international studies. He is an immigration law intern with Catholic Charities West Virginia Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services where he helps refugees and immigrants on their journey to residency. Miller has also served as the Judith A Herndon Fellow to the West Virginia Senate and West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. He is a full time volunteer with the Appalachian Prison Book Project and has previously held internships in the United States Attorney's Office Northern District of West Virginia. in Senator Shelly Moore Capito's office and with the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Adelle Pacyna

Adelle Pacyna is a biology major from Morgantown, West Virginia. She has been accepted into the WVU School of Medicine Class of 2028. She is member of the WVU Global Medical and Dental Brigades traveling to Panama last spring with a trip to Honduras planned for Spring 2024. Pacyna has been a Monongalia County 4-H Camp counselor for four years and is a WVU Medicine Child Life volunteer and NICU cuddler. Pacyna also works as a scribe in the WVU Medicine Emergency Department.

Lauren Sexton Lauren Sexton is a biology major from Williamstown, West Virginia. She is a Neil S. Bucklew Scholar, an Eberly Scholar, a WVU School of Medicine Early Decision Scholar and a Presidential Student Ambassador. She is one of four undergraduates accepted into the Robichaux Eye Research Lab where she is studying vision on a molecular level to discover how proteins are trafficked in the eye. Sexton is also part of the Research Apprentice Program and a co-author of a research paper pending publication.

Thomas Williams Thomas Williams is a exercise physiology major from Old Fields, West Virginia. He is an AHEC Rural Health Scholar, a program for health professions students interested in supplementing their education though meaningful experiences in rural and/or underserved urban settings. Williams is a WVU Presidential Student Ambassador, a Neil S. Bucklew Scholar and an FFA American Degree recipient for dedication to his chapter and state FFA association. He is also a member and past president of the WVU Pre-Dental Club.

Natalie Wonsettler Natalie Wonsettler is a biology major from Morgantown, West Virginia. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer serving foster children in Monongalia County and a writing consultant at the Eberly Writing Studio. Wonsettler is also a Girl Scout Troop adult volunteer and a No One Dies Alone (NODA) volunteer at WVU Medicine. She is exploring the intersection between medicine, the humanities and social work in her Honors EXCEL project on the emerging field of narrative medicine.

The 2023 Mountaineers of Distinction will be named during halftime ceremonies of Saturday's WVU versus BYU football game.