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Presidential Leadership Nominees

May 2022 

Bios of the nominees for 2022 Presidential Leadership Awards for all three colleges are shared below. The 2022 awardees will be announced during the campus meeting on April 14, 2022. 

College of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences

Andreas Jönsson is a psychology major with a minor in sociology from Solna, Sweden. During his time at Tech, Jönsson has been very involved on campus as a resident assistant, member of the psychology club, rock climbing club, Psi Chi, and the international student organization. He is the current president of the psychology club and a peer mentor for GEARUp, which helps provide tutoring and helps students on campus. He previously was an Upward Bound summer peer mentor and taught students Swedish. He has also been a teaching assistant to Dr. Cynthia Hall in developmental psychology. In addition to his involvement on campus, he has been part of the Golden Bears men’s basketball team for six years and holds the record for most three-pointers made in WVU Tech men’s basketball history. He has maintained higher than a 3.0 GPA for his entire college career. Off-campus, Jönsson has volunteered with the Mount Hope Youth Basketball League and has participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Kyle Saunders is a business management and public service administration major from Beckley, West Virginia. Saunders has been very active on and off-campus while at WVU Tech. He has completed service projects during new student orientation and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. In his first year at Tech, Saunders was a field representative for the Susan B. Anthony List, a national conservative policy advocacy group. His interest in politics led him to be a founding member of the WVU Tech Conservative Political Committee. He was a senator and communication director for the WVU Tech Student Government Association, and secretary of the Tech Entrepreneurship Club. He was also president of the WVU Tech College Republicans from 2019 to 2020. Saunders served as an intern for the U.S. House of Representatives for Congresswoman Carol Miller from 2019 to 2020 and as executive director for the Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates Caucus Campaign Committee. He continues to work with the West Virginia Republican Legislative Committee. Saunders says he has a heart for service and helping others and wants to continue to do that in his professional career.

Tess Terry is a psychology major from Mount Hope, West Virginia. Terry is a member of the Psychology Club and was a member of the Gardening and Agricultural Club in 2021. As treasurer of the Psychology Club, she maintained all the financials, helped work on a grant proposal, organized community events and helped plan the club’s trip to the Southeastern Psychological Association conference. Terry also worked with the WVU Tech Launch Lab, connecting students and faculty to resources for their business ideas, and managed social media to promote the Launch Lab. She has been a teaching assistant with Dr. Jemma Cook and was instrumental in getting the psychology animal lab operating. She helps care for, train and collect data from the animals in the lab, and assists with the class that accompanies it. Off-campus, she helps teach children in the community the importance of raising and growing fresh food. Terry says this is a mission that is important to her because rural areas do not always have access to fresh foods, and a skill they can use for life.

Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences

Antonio Fernández Castaño is majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in math and is from Seville, Spain. He is currently the president of the WVU Tech Fluid Power Club, and president of the Delta Theta chapter of Pi Tau Sigma, a mechanical engineering honor society. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and is an orientation leader on campus. Castaño has helped Dr. Panta as a research and teaching assistant and helps tutor students in the Student Success Center in engineering and math. Castaño is also a resident assistant. In addition to his academic achievements, Castaño has been on the men’s soccer team for eight semesters. Castaño was the youngest contestant of the Google Startup Battle in Spain in 2015 and has already had many research credits and work experience in the engineering and energy sector in the United States and Spain.

Shawneha Fennimore is a civil engineering major from South Charleston, West Virginia. She is the current president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vice President of the Christian Student Union, and was a member and president of the Student Activities Board. She has participated in many community service projects during her four years at Tech and served as an orientation leader in the fall of 2021.  While a student, Fennimore worked as a student library worker, assisting students and doing data entry. She has worked with the West Virginia Department of Highways as a cooperative education intern.


WVU School of Nursing - Beckley Campus

Emily Harrah is from Beckley, West Virginia. She has been part of the WVU Tech women’s soccer team since 2018 and has been active with the Student Nursing Association and the Student Activities Board. Since May 2021, Harrah has been a nurse extern at Charleston Area Medical Center. She regularly volunteers at the Beckley VA Hospital and a local soccer club. While at Tech, she helped with COVID vaccine and testing clinics and participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service for three years. Harrah has logged over 200 hours of community service and health promotion activities at local schools while maintaining higher than a 3.8-grade point average. Harrah says she has developed resilience, empathy and a passion for nursing through the School of Nursing.

Felicia Seabolt is from Summersville, West Virginia. She’s currently a member of the Student Nurses Association, TRIO Student Support Services and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Alpha Rho chapter. Seabolt previously was active with the pre-health professions club. Since May 2021, Seabolt has worked with the Nicholas County Health Department as a nurse extern and contact tracer. She has helped to provide care to patients and assist with vaccine clinics. Her community service projects are numerous. Many of her community service projects focused on helping community partners during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether health-related or helping with school lunch distribution for local children. She is working on being trained in mental health first aid and is dedicated to being an advocate for those who have experienced trauma.

Petra Vasale is from Charleston, West Virginia. Before enrolling at the School of Nursing Beckley campus, Vasale owned and operated her own custom cake business for several years. Though Vasale was a nontraditional student at WVU Tech, she joined the swim team, earned a scholarship and competed with the relay team at the national level. She has been active with the Student Nurses Association and assisted with COVID testing, vaccine clinics and contact tracing. In addition to completing nursing school as a nontraditional student in the middle of a pandemic, she has raised her daughter all while being very involved in on and off-campus community service projects and helping fellow students.