Zoology – Outstanding Senior 2020

Kenyon Wilson.Kenyon Wilson

Anchorage, Alaska


  • Bachelor of Science in Zoology
  • Major in German for the Professions

Clubs, Organizations, Leadership, and Service

  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
  • Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage – volunteer
  • Hearts in Motion, medical mission – volunteer: Visited rural villages and helped test people for anemia and diabetes; assisted in the analysis of blood samples; and prepared meals for local people.

Internships and Employment

  • Human Anatomy Laboratory – teaching assistant
  • WSU Office of Admissions – University Ambassador and Team Leader: Led tour groups of prospective students; answered phones in the telecommunications center to help callers find answers to their questions about admission to WSU; worked large campus recruitment events.

Undergraduate Research

  • Honors Thesis: In Dr. Omar Cornejo’s lab, worked to understand how selection has influenced the genomic diversity of the bacterial species Gardnerella vaginalis and continuing to work to understand its evolutionary history.

Education Abroad

  • Guatemala: Hearts in Motion Medical Mission
  • Vienna, Austria: Faculty-led trip with Dr. Jolyon Hughes, for German major

Awards and Recognition

  • 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior in Zoology
  • Brelsford Housing Scholarship
  • Recipient of multiple academic scholarships
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
  • Honors Thesis Passed with Distinction

Faculty Comments

“While benchmarks such as a student’s GPA, completion of requisite coursework, and record of service are important indicators of student success, it is equally important to consider a person’s integrity, work ethic, and character. As an undergraduate student in the School of Biological Sciences, Kenyon’s numerous accomplishments and achievements throughout her undergraduate studies are truly outstanding. I am impressed with her thoughtful and enthusiastic approach to learning. However, her participation in the 10-day medical mission to Guatemala provided me with another opportunity to become better acquainted with her. Kenyon is a person with the passion, work ethic, dedication and commitment to help others. These core values will ensure her success. In recognition of Kenyon’s numerous accomplishments and contributions, congratulations!” School of Biological Sciences Faculty

Personal Statement

Choosing to come to WSU from Anchorage, Alaska, was the best decision I could have made for so many reasons. WSU has opened so many doors for me—from being able to travel to Guatemala with the Hearts in Motion medical mission trip, studying abroad in Vienna, Austria, being a teaching assistant for human anatomy, and recruiting future Cougs with my fellow Cougar Connectors. As I continue with my education, I will always look back on the experiences I have had at WSU with the “Cougs help Cougs” mentality and remember what an incredible place WSU is. I am so grateful to have been able to spend the last four years here. Without the support of my parents, my twin sister, and the Cougar community, I would not be where I am today. Thank you, and as always, Go Cougs!

Honored Faculty and Mentors

  • Omar Cornejo, assistant professor, School of Biological Sciences
  • Kathy Beerman, professor, School of Biological Sciences

Future Plans

Kenyon will take two gap years while applying to medical school and eventually preparing for a career in pediatric surgery or neo-natology.