West Virginia State University Student Receives National Leadership Award

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
March 9, 2018
West Virginia State University Student Receives National Leadership Award
INSTITUTE, W.Va. –West Virginia State University (WVSU) senior Edgar Lopez-Torres was one of 15 undergraduate students in the world to receive the 2018 Student Leadership Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS). The program recognizes emerging leaders in the ACS student chapter network and helps them prepare for leadership opportunities at volunteer organizations and in their professional career.

“Edgar is the first student from State to be selected for this honor,” said Dr. Micheal Fultz, WVSU chemistry professor and advisor to the ACS chapter. “He is an incredible student with limitless potential.”

It was Fultz who first suggested Lopez-Torres get involved with ACS. The University’s active, award-winning student chapter is known for its community outreach efforts and bringing chemistry education and activities to elementary-age students throughout the region.

“Interacting with the kids is great,” Lopez-Torres said. “The opportunity to get even one young person interested in science makes it all worthwhile.”

As a recipient of the Student Leadership Award, Lopez-Torres was able to attend the 2018 ACS Leadership Institute, held in January in Dallas, where he was able to meet other award winners and ACS leaders and participate in a variety of leadership courses.

Lopez-Torres hopes to bring back what he learned at the conference to strengthen WVSU’s ACS efforts, with a focus on recruiting additional members and retaining current ones. He is currently the group’s vice president.

“I want to get our students more involved,” he said. “We’re growing, and I want to keep that momentum going.”

A California native, Lopez-Torres’s family moved to West Virginia when he was a child. He graduated from Herbert Hoover High School before enrolling at State, where he first studied psychology before becoming a chemistry major. Slated to graduate in the spring of 2019, he is eyeing medical schools. He is planning to take the Medical College Admission Test soon, and credits WVSU with the strong foundation needed to get him there.

“There have been so many great opportunities provided to me thanks to being a student at West Virginia State University,” he said, acknowledging the familial atmosphere that exists on State’s campus. “The experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met and learned from would not have happened for me at a bigger school.”

Founded in 1876 and chartered by the U.S. Congress, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society. Its mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. ACS student chapters are organizations for undergraduate students with an interest in the chemical sciences. Members participate in a wide range of programs and activities that enhance their college experience and prepare them for successful careers. There are nearly 450 active student chapters throughout the nation and world.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multigenerational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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