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Cohort 6 - Fall 2021

Presidential Student Ambassadors are student leaders who exemplify Mountaineer values. They come from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines, yet they are united in their passion to make a positive impact on and for West Virginia University.

  • Alexandra Benyola

    Why did you choose WVU?

    As a senior in high school, I visited over 14 colleges and universities to try to determine where I wanted to go to school. When I visited WVU, the atmosphere and the opportunities really blew me away. With everything I could accomplish coming to WVU, there wasn’t any other option. I am so thankful and grateful for everything that I have experienced in my short time at WVU. Trust me when I say there is no place like Morgantown where the whole town is the college. I know this was the best choice and I can’t wait to see what the future holds here!

  • Jillian Blair

    Why did you choose WVU?

    I chose WVU because the university could give me the guidance to learn a growing and new field, while giving me the independence to construct my education in a way tailored to my future career plans; no other program or university gave me that dual sense of security and freedom. Additionally, I felt the belonging of the Mountaineer community as early as my first visit to campus in seventh grade and knew this was a place I could call home, during and after my years as a student.

  • Michael DiBacco

    Why did you choose WVU?

    As a West Virginia native with ties to the Morgantown area, WVU has always felt like home. The sense of shared purpose and passion for pursuing the common good that I felt upon coming to WVU was unlike anything that I had ever experienced. One of WVU’s great strengths is that the knowledge produced and disseminated here directly benefits the people of our state and beyond, in ways that are hard to comprehend until you’re immersed in the Mountaineer family. I wanted to help create the kinds of meaningful impacts that flourish in every facet of WVU’s culture.

  • Olivia Dowler

    Why did you choose WVU?

    West Virginia University truly is a university with limitless opportunities. Since the moment I set foot on campus as a sophomore attending the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, I knew this was where I belonged. No college I toured gave me the same feeling of welcome and warmth in my heart like WVU did. As a first-generation student, I was especially pressured to go out of state; however, I feel that as an R1 research institution, as a land grant school, as a community of diverse students, West Virginia University has so much more to offer than is realized. Additionally, I love the opportunities to give back to the people of our state and beyond. The “Go-First” mentality among Mountaineers is something that cannot be found anywhere else.

  • Michael Fiala

    Why did you choose WVU?

    Growing up, I always dreamed that one day I would be experiencing the world at WVU. Some of my favorite memories were during middle and high school summers when I would attend soccer camp with the WVU team and get to stay in Towers with my friends for a few weeks. Although I could not participate in higher education directly after graduating high school, I continued working hard to make my dream a reality. I moved to Morgantown in my early twenties, and after living in the Mountain State for a few years, I decided to make West Virginia my home. Studying at WVU has always been a goal, and after getting an opportunity to apply for schools, WVU was the first and only option on my mind.

  • Caitlyn Kinsey

    Why did you choose WVU?

    I initially decided to look at WVU because it was affordable, close to home, and a family tradition. I later discovered so many more reasons to fall in love with this University. WVU is truly made of pioneers who go first, welcome new ideas, serve others, build community, and encourage curiosity and innovation. Amazing scholars, discoveries, research, and milestones have come from WVU and I wanted to be part of that. The opportunities at this university are endless – there is a community for everyone and a million ways to elevate yourself and your career here. I felt that WVU would provide me all the tools I would need and a wonderful community that would help me successfully pursue my dreams.

  • Emma LaBombard

    Why did you choose WVU?

    The people and opportunities. On some visits to campus, I found a lot of kind-hearted and like-minded people who would help me grow both professionally and individually. These people have become my friends, mentors, and professors. They helped guide me to opportunities, such as the Career Readiness Program in the Chambers College and the Presidential Student Ambassador Program, that will give me the tools to strengthen my technical and durable skills before my career. WVU is here to prepare students for their future, and that is why I decided to become a Mountaineer.

  • Zachary Machinga

    Why did you choose WVU?

    I chose WVU for many reasons. During my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful campus and learn about the Army ROTC program. The beautiful campus, extensive opportunities, and team/school spirit are just some of the amazing qualities that WVU has to offer. It was the perfect place to attend college and grow as a scholar, athlete, and leader. I am happy to be home. Let’s Go, Mountaineers!

  • Jacob Payne

    Why did you choose WVU?

    Growing up as a military child I have had the privilege of living all over the world, including seven different states and three different countries. The nature and outdoors, kind-heartedness of people, and sense of pride is second to none here in the state of West Virginia. It is often said here that “country roads will lead you home” and WVU simply provides a sense of home that no other place has been able to provide.

  • Camila Romero

    Why did you choose WVU?

    WVU was on my list of possibilities, but it was never my first option. At the time, I had heard about the stories of WVU being a party school and never a serious academic school. However, during my junior year of high school, I took the summer brain camp at WVU. I toured the WVU buildings, built amazing friendships, and found out neuroscience is what I wanted to do for my future career. After that experience, I realized maybe I judged WVU too harshly. I started looking more into the academics and found out about the Honors College as well as WVU being an R1 institute. Learning about WVU’s passion for research motivated me to join a research lab my senior year of high school. All these experiences pointed me towards the conclusion that WVU was the place I am meant to be and will be able to succeed.