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The Eberly College Magazine, Winter 2007

The Eberly College Magazine, Winter 2007


MountaineersTake TopAcademicPrizesby Allison Brown& Lauren PerettiMatt Delligatti,Truman ScholarAt a young age, she was fascinated with the environment,exploring the effects of carbon dioxide, measuringcountless tiny roots of plants, analyzing data andformulating results. In middle school, he passionatelystarted pursuing a successful career in politics when he waselected student body president. In college, she was invitedto study in Brazil; he was elected an important politicalfigure of his community, and they both became two of thenation’s elite students after receiving prestigiousscholarships.Winning a scholarship of a substantial value is desired bymany but achieved by few. Dedication and perseveranceare essential for success, and qualities of the Eberly Collegeof Arts and Sciences top students, Kellen Calinger andMatthew Delligatti, who are 2007 recipients of two premieracademic awards.When describing a 21-year-old senior at West VirginiaUniversity, it is rare that the title consists of Fairmont CityCouncilman and Truman Scholar; however, politicalscience major Matthew Delligatti is proud to say he is both.On November 7, 2006, Delligatti, then 20, was elected amember of the Fairmont City Council, beginning hiscareer in public service as the youngest councilman inFairmont history. Additionally, his decision to apply forthe scholarship resulted in his becoming WVU’s 18 thTruman Scholar.The Truman Scholarship, named after U.S. President HarryS. Truman, is awarded to students who plan to pursue acareer in public service. Dr. Robert DiClerico, professor ofpolitical science, suggested that the Fairmont, W.Va. nativeapply and submit a proposal for a change in government,nonprofit sector, or education.“When I was selected as councilman, I rededicated myselfto public service,” Delligatti explained. “It was themotivation I needed to take my standards to the next level.”Delligatti’s proposal for the scholarship was to level out theimbalance in mandatory minimum sentences fortrafficking powdered cocaine and crack cocaine.“Matt is a bright young man committed to improving thedaily lives of West Virginians by helping to shape publicpolicy. He is already serving as the youngest official everArts & Sciences | 20 | Fall 2007

Kellen Calinger,Goldwater Scholarelected to the city council of Fairmont, and aspires to begovernor of our state. Given his talents, that goal is wellwithin reach,” commented Dr. DiClerico.Many Truman Scholars who are awarded $30,000 towardsgraduate expenses have the opportunity to attend the toplaw schools in the nation. However, Delligatti plans toattend the WVU School of Law to retain his current office.Delligatti was the only student from a West Virginia collegeor university to be awarded the Truman Scholarship in 2007,and one of only 65 students from a field of 585 applicants.“This award is an honor for my city, my state, and WestVirginia University,” Delligatti commented. “I intend, likePresident Truman, to use the opportunities I have to give avoice to the voiceless.”Achieving success comes easy for Kellen Marie Calinger,whose list of accomplishments is already lengthy. Thedouble major in biology and chemistry now proudly acceptsthe title of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship recipient.“Winning the Goldwater Scholarship is a major step in beingaccepted to graduate school and ultimately achieving mycareer goals,” stated the junior from Wheeling.The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, named after theformer Senator, is a two-year award for up to $7,500 forstudents who excel and plan to pursue a career in science,math, or engineering.Calinger has worked with WVU Biology Professor Dr.Richard Thomas for two summers in the StudentUndergraduate Research Experience (SURE), an 8-weekprogram that provides participants with valuable researchexperience.“The SURE program has provided a forum for learningnew lab techniques and procedures which will make mecompetitive for future research programs,” Kellencommented.Currently, she is examining the effects of differing carbondioxide and nitrogen levels on leaf tissue, which isextremely relevant to her real passion: global warming.Following graduation, Calinger plans to pursue a doctoratein environmental biochemistry.“Most undergraduates who work in my lab are pre-medstudents,” stated Dr. Thomas. “Kellen is highly unusualbecause she is concerned about what climate change mightdo to our world. It’s very gratifying to have an undergraduatein my lab who is interested in this complexsubject and has the drive and ambition to conduct her ownresearch project.”Calinger is one of 317 students out of 1,110 applicants whowere awarded the Goldwater Scholarship in 2007, and theonly student from a West Virginia college or university,increasing the total of WVU recipients to 30.In addition to being honored as a Goldwater Scholar,Calinger is a WVU Foundation Scholar, a West VirginiaPromise Scholar, an Albert Christ Scholar, and an EberlyScholar. As the list continues, she has received an EberlyCollege Certificate of Achievement and been on the Dean’sList every semester. She is also a member of the NationalSociety for Collegiate Scholars, the National ExemplaryScholars in Service, the American Chemical Society, andChimes Academic Honorary Society.“The Goldwater Scholarship opens doors and hopefullywill help me as I try to better the environment through myresearch,” stated Calinger.The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences strives to mentorexceptional students; and with the outstandingaccomplishments of Kellen Calinger and MatthewDelligatti, the administration and faculty are proud to saythey are continuing to achieve this goal.Arts & Sciences | 21 | Fall 2007

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