BETHANY, W.Va. –Taylor Elaine Sasak, of Berea, Ohio, is the recipient of the Oreon E. Scott Award as the 2018 valedictorian at Bethany College.

The award was announced by Dr. Joe Lane, Provost and Dean of the Faculty, at Bethany’s 2018 Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 19.

Ms. Sasak is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Todd Sasak, and is a 2014 graduate of Berea-Midpark High School.

“I have been consistently impressed with Taylor’s professionalism and leadership,” said Dr. Lane.

An Interdisciplinary Studies major with a focus on environmental science, Sasak was consistently on the President’s and Dean’s lists, passed her comprehensive examination with distinction, and graduated summa cum laude.

She held membership with Gamma Sigma Kappa Scholastic Society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society, and Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, and won numerous awards, including the Freshman Chemistry Award, Richard B. Kenney Freshman Leadership Award, Women’s Leadership Award, and Beta Beta Beta Prize.

She served on the search committee for a biology faculty position, as well as the search committee for a women’s soccer head coaching position.

She explored her interests as a member of Tri Beta, a biology club in which she organized and attended a trip to the Galapagos Islands. She was also a Kalon Scholar Service Leader and Kalon Philanthropy Committee Co-advisor.

In addition to her classroom studies, Sasak excelled on the Women’s Varsity Soccer Team throughout her four years at Bethany, earning a spot on the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Academic Honor Roll each year. She was a 2017 recipient of the PAC Sportsman Team Award and was nominated for 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year.

“She loves being outside in nature, and after graduation, she will be going to an internship testing water quality with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Association,” Dr. Lane continued.

“After working a gap year, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in environmental science, and we can only hope that in a few years, another Bethany Biology Search Committee may find her.”

About Bethany College

Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.