The scholarships were awarded at the 8th annual College of Science Celebration of Excellence, where students, faculty, and alumni were recognized for excellence in work and service. Haley Meade was awarded the College of Science Dean’s Roundtable Endowed Scholarship, and Carl Wepking was awarded the Roundtable Make a Difference Scholarship for Graduate Study in the College of Science.
“It is because of the generosity of our alumni and friends, including members of our Dean’s Roundtable Advisory Board that we can provide support for our students, such as Haley and Carl,” said Sally C. Morton, dean of the College of Science. “One of the privileges of serving as dean of the College of Science is meeting inspiring, hard-working students who share a passion for excellence in science, learning, discovery, and are intent on making our world a better place, and the faculty who serve as their mentors.”
Meade is a junior from Pound, Virginia, pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in biochemistry, with a minor in chemistry, both through the College of Science, and a bachelor of arts in Religion and Culture, with a minor in Appalachian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She has also conducted undergraduate research at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
She has shadowed doctors in emergency rooms and has served as a full-time volunteer at the Norton Community Hospital in Norton, Virginia. Her work experience includes being an undergraduate intern at the Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation of Whitesburg, Kentucky, and a Global Health Leadership Field Study Intern at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, also located in Blacksburg.
On campus, Meade is the co-founder and president of the Virginia Rural Health Association at Virginia Tech, has served as a teaching assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences, and is both a tutor at the Student Success Center and a peer health educator with the Health Education and Awareness Team of Hokie Wellness. She expects to graduate in May 2018.
The Roundtable Endowed Scholarship is given to an outstanding rising junior or senior in the college who meets rigorous academic standards. Finalists are interviewed by members of the Dean’s Roundtable Advisory Board, comprised of alumni and other key supporters of the College of Science.
Wepking, a Blacksburg-based doctoral student in the Department of Biological Sciences, received the Dean’s Roundtable Make a-Difference Scholarship for Graduate Study. This award honors an outstanding graduate student who will make a difference in the college and the world through research and devotion to scientific excellence.
Working under Assistant Professor Michael Strickland, Wepking focuses his research on agricultural antibiotics and their impact on microbial communities in soil. Wepking has shown not just that soil fertilized by manure from cows given antibiotics is more likely to show antibiotic resistance, but that this also changes how soils function. Wepking earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.
Wepking also has been highly engaged in teaching and outreach by working with undergraduate researchers, served as a science fair judge, has been involved in the Biological Sciences Graduate Student Association, and volunteered at the Virginia Tech Science Festival.