Three West Virginia high school seniors have been selected as winners of Fairmont State University’s premier academic scholarship, the Charles J. McClain Presidential Scholarship. The recipients -- Joel Phelps of Spring Mills High School, Katarina Curry of Chapmanville Regional High School and Sara Adams of Independence High School -- will join the Falcon Family in the fall of 2021.
“The Charles J. McClain Presidential Scholarship recognizes the extraordinary hard work and dedication of these outstanding students,” said Mirta M. Martin, Fairmont State University President. “This scholarship will help them focus on becoming great students and, in time, proud graduates of Fairmont State who go on to become citizen leaders. But they’re not the only ones who benefit – Fairmont State will profit, too, as Joel, Katarina and Sara bring their bright, inquisitive minds to the Falcon Family.”
Phelps, who will be studying business administration with a concentration in finance, said he chose to pursue higher education at Fairmont State because of the institution’s welcoming environment and numerous internship opportunities.
“I look forward to being in the School of Business as well as the Honors Program this coming fall,” Phelps said. “The University offers many programs for internships and career placement after college and these programs are a big reason as to why I wanted to attend Fairmont.”
For Phelps, receiving the McClain Presidential Scholarship will alleviate a financial burden and allow him to pore his focus into his studies.
“Receiving the Presidential Scholarship has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders that many people struggle with for their entire lives. I will be able to concentrate on my studies and not worry about debt. I am so thankful to Fairmont State University for offering me this opportunity.”
Curry, who will study forensics with the goal of eventually pursuing a career with the FBI, said she has an interest in working with crime scenes and knew Fairmont State would provide her hands on experience and individualized attention.
“I was interested in Fairmont because of the family atmosphere and knowing that I will be a name and not just a number,” she said. “Knowing there will be no financial burden on me or my family is amazing. I am grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to joining the Falcon Family this fall.”
Adams is undecided on a major, but is leaning toward history education. She has an older sibling who is a current Fairmont State student and says she values the smaller class sizes that Fairmont State is able to provide. From a financial standpoint, the Presidential Scholarship will allow Adams to pursue her goal of graduating on to a career where she can help others.
“This scholarship was very important to me and I am proud to receive it,” she said. “The scholarship will help get me on the right track for figuring out my education and give me the connections and knowledge I need to succeed in a career of my choosing.”
The McClain Presidential Scholarship includes tuition, room and board and a book stipend. To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, students must be a Promise Scholarship recipient, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and possess a composite ACT score of 26 or higher or an SAT total score of 1260 or higher. First-year recipients must maintain an overall GPA of a 2.75 at the end of their first year. An overall GPA of 3.0 is required for renewal during subsequent years. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be obtained in a year of enrollment for renewal. The Charles J. McClain Presidential Scholarship can only be awarded up to eight semesters.