Speech Pathology and Audiology Student Picked for National Honor

West Liberty University first year student Stephanie Santilli was selected to attend the national 4-H Conference in our nation’s capital recently.
“I am so pleased to represent 4-H in Washington, D.C. I am excited to meet other 4-H’ers from around the country and to see the differences between their programs and our programs,” said Santilli, a Speech Pathology and Audiology student. The conference takes place from April 14-19, 2023.
Santilli plans on becoming a pediatric speech therapist after earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees here at WLU. She feels the national exposure is sure to assist her in her career and future.
“I am not surprised in the least that Stephanie would be selected for such an honor! She works hard at everything she does. She is always eager to answer questions in class and is active in class discussions. I am so proud that she will be representing WV 4-H in Washington DC!” said Sara Alig, CCC-SLP, CDP, who is an assistant professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology. Alig serves as Santilli’s student advisor.
Besides her studies and 4-H duties, Santilli is active in WLU Campus Ministry.
A native of Philippi, WV, Santilli received the award for Outstanding 4-H Youth Volunteer from the State of West Virginia in 2019. The busy student has met with Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Senator Joe Manchin, and Congressman David McKinley in their offices on Capitol Hill as she promoted her cause of securing additional research funding for pancreatic cancer.
Santilli lost an uncle to the disease in 2007 and her mother became a community advocate for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, this heightened her interest.
She has been a 4-H member in Barbour County for the past 10 years and served as the Mountaineer 4-H Club president. She has won the statewide 4-H Visual Presentation Contest five times, and state 4-H Poster Contest three times and was selected as Outstanding 4-H’er in Barbour County twice.
Santilli was originally supposed to go in April 2020 however, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented that trip. To reward 4-H’ers selected but unable to attend due to the pandemic, she attended the National 4-H Congress in the Fall of 2021.
The National 4‑H Conference is considered the pinnacle experience in 4‑H Civic Engagement, providing the opportunity for young people to connect, learn, engage, lead and impact their communities, nation and world.
At the conference, delegates have the opportunity to participate in round table discussions and present to federal partner agencies along with the opportunity for delegates to engage with their U.S. Senators and Representatives.
WLU has many students who have participated in 4-H during elementary and high school years, according to Student Activities Director Kate Billings.