Student news

May 10, 2009

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Two Washington County residents were among 37 Shepherd University students named McMurran Scholars, the university's highest academic honor. An academic convocation was held Wednesday, April 29, to honor the new McMurran inductees.

Hagerstown resident Jennifer Renee Ferenz is a music major. A graduate of South Hagerstown High School, Ferenz is the daughter of George and Teresa Ferenz.

Sharpsburg resident Clara Gayle McCrossin is a biology major. A 2006 graduate of Boonsboro High School, McGrossin is the daughter of Gayle McGrossin, who also was named a McMurran Scholar in 2006.

McMurran Scholars must complete a minimum of 92 semester hours, maintain at least a 3.8 grade-point average, complete two consecutive semesters of study at Shepherd and be nominated by at least three faculty members. Nominees then must be approved by the faculty at large.


The award was created in 1961 in honor of Joseph McMurran, Shepherd's first principal.

PHILADELPHIA - Matt Amalfitano, 2006-07 North Hagerstown High School salutatorian and former Washington County Association of Student Councils president, recently was elected to a vice chair position on the University of Pennsylvania's Undergraduate Assembly (UA).

The UA is the student group umbrella of the university, allocating about $1.8 million to the university's student groups annually.

After serving as the committee chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee this year, Matt will serve as the UA's vice chair of external affairs, charged with connecting the UA to myriad administrators and student groups on campus.

In addition to being on the UA, Matt is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in health and societies and completing his premedical requirements. He also is a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and is the vice president of One-in-Four, an all-male group that educates other college men about sexual assault and rape prevention.

ANNVILLE, Pa. - Erque J. Lee of Mercersburg, Pa., a sophomore at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, was selected as a residence hall assistant at the college for the 2009-10 academic year.

Lee is studying psychology at Lebanon Valley.

ANNVILLE, Pa. - Alyssa A. Bender of Newburg, Pa., a junior at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, was honored this spring by winning the Agnes Boyle O'Donnell Literature Award in a recent awards ceremony at the college.

Bender is studying English at Lebanon Valley.

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Outdoor Writers Association Inc. (VOWA) recognized two students at Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, Lucy Adams and Holly Kays, for their first- and second-place entries in the association's fourth annual Undergraduate Writing Contest.

The awards were presented at VOWA's first joint conference with the Mason-Dixon Outdoor Writers Association in Hampton, Va. Virginia Tech students have been well-represented in the contest; this is the third consecutive year a Virginia Tech student has won first place.

VOWA holds its annual youth and undergraduate writing competition to encourage youth and young adults to cultivate their creative talents. The theme of the contest is to describe how experiences in the outdoors have influenced the writer's life.

Adams, of Ruckersville, Va., a sophomore wildlife sciences major, read her winning entry, "Summer of the Rattlesnakes," at the awards luncheon. Adams said she is interested not only in writing, but also in bringing people to a better understanding of and respect for how the natural world works by pursuing a career in outdoor education or field biology.

"I really want to get kids outside. That's my goal," she said.

Kays, of Fairplay, a sophomore double majoring in natural resources conservation and English, won second place for her entry, "With Notebook in Hand." Kays said she plans to pursue a career in writing, particularly for magazines dealing with nature, travel, and Christianity.

"As a magazine writer, I look forward to traveling to new places, talking to interesting people, and continuing to learn," she said. "Writing is fulfilling to me. It is a way for me to make a difference in the world."

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