West Virginia University Elects Its First Black Female President


History has been made at the University of West Virginia. Amaya Jernigan has been elected student government president at the Big 12. She is the first Black woman to serve in this role.

“I would like to thank every Mountaineer who has made it possible for me to hold this position,” Jernigan said.

“I am beyond grateful and will be forever thankful that you all were brave enough to pave the way for me.”

Jernigan is a Waldorf, Maryland native and an active member of the West Virginia University community. She is a member of RISE WVU and M-Power at her school. Adding on, she is the president of the Eta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Prior to taking office, she served as a senator-at-large within the student government association.

Jernigan is joined by her running mate, Hunter Moore. Moore is a junior mechanical and aerospace engineering major hailing from Clarksburg, West Virginia. Moore also serves as student senator within the university's Staler College.

“Hunter and I, as well as everyone else elected today, have been asked to bring change to campus,” Jernigan added.

“We won’t let you down.”

Beyond the student body, West Virginia University faculty members have also applauded Jernigan's efforts. Student Engagement and Leadership Director Thanh Le believes that Jernigan can energize the campus.

“Seeing the students energized with their campaigns has been amazing,” Le explained.

“All the candidates are focused on creating a safer, more inclusive campus while focusing on an equitable student experience, student mental health, accessibility, and community outreach and engagement."

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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