Greenberg of Leonardtown wins inaugural Morrill scholarship

West Virginia State University awards biology major Sarah Greenberg, second from left, with the inaugural Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship, a newly created competitive award program supporting students studying the food and agricultural sciences. Also pictured is WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins, left, Katherine Harper, chair of WVSU’s Department of Biology, and Vice President for Research and Public Service Orlando F. McMeans.

West Virginia State University biology major Sarah Greenberg of Leonardtown has received the inaugural Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship is awarded by the 1890 Universities Foundation to students studying food and agricultural sciences. Greenberg is not only WVSU’s first recipient of the Morrill Scholarship, but is also only the ninth student in the nation to receive the award, according to a release from the college.

The competitive scholarship is named in honor of the late Senator Justin Morrill, whose Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act established the 1890 Land-Grant University System. It was made available in the fall of 2018 to students studying at the land-grant universities, of which WVSU is one of 19 in the nation.

“This award program was very competitive,” Orlando F. McMeans, a WVSU vice president, said in the release. “We are excited to present Sarah with this scholarship, and we are confident that the program will be an annual occurrence at State.”

The scholarship was established by the Association of Research Directors and the Association of Extension Administrators, overseers of the 1890 Universities Foundation. Each of the land-grant universities were granted one recipient for academic year 2018-2019. An appointed committee at WVSU oversaw the award distribution.

“Sarah is so accomplished,” said Katherine Harper, chair of WVSU’s Department of Biology. “She has set the scale with quality and is a true leader.”

Greenberg, a native of Leonardtown, is working on a freshwater initiative research project at WVSU, studying water quality in the Kanawha River, with the goal of pursuing a graduate degree in marine ecology.