Emma Pfortmiller, a senior at William Woods University (WWU) and native of Littleton, Colorado, was recently honored with two prestigious service and activity awards from the University as part of its year-end Co-Curricular Awards. At the end of each academic year, WWU recognizes a select group of graduating seniors who have achieved excellence in academic, co-curricular and service projects during their time at the University.
Pfortmiller, who graduated this spring with a degree in Biology with a pre-medicine concentration plus minors in Social Work, Chemistry and Physics, received the Academic Service-Learning and Cockrell Awards from the University. During her time at WWU, Pfortmiller has been involved in a variety of research projects, work experiences and activities while earning distinguished honors.
The Academic Service-Learning Award is presented to the graduate with a minimum grade point average of 3.40 who, in the estimation of the faculty of the University, has best exemplified an exceptional commitment to service-learning.
The Cockrell Award is presented to the graduating senior who has participated in a variety of campus activities, serving as an officer or chair and who has held membership in honorary groups. The student must exemplify outstanding campus citizenship, contribute to society, exhibit loyalty to the University and its policies and have a genuine regard for others in personal relationships.
A 3.86 honors student, Pfortmiller research projects included searching for a VES-3 mutant within a population of the Arabidopsis thaliana plant, studying the plant in hopes of locating a double mutation in the VES-3 gene in an initiative that included working with graduate research assistants at the University of Missouri Biochemistry Department. Another project involved Pfortmiller creating a rapid detection tool for Streptocaccus equi equi from infected horses, making it easier to quarantine affected horses efficiently. She also worked as a lab assistant in the Biology department and as a student worker in Dulany Library for all four of her years at WWU.
Pfortmiller’s activities and honors include membership in the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honor Society, and president of the Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. A member of the Chi Omega Fraternity/Tau Theta Chapter, she served as president in 2019-2020 and director of campus activities in 2018. She has also found time to serve as vice-president of the Pre-Med Club, on the policy committee for Greeks United in Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (GUIDE) and as a member of the Biology, Astronomy and Recycling Clubs. A Dean’s List student since the Spring 2018 semester, Pfortmiller achieved a 4.0 GPA during the Fall semesters of 2019 and 2020, received the Outstanding All Greek Freshman, Sophomore and Chi Omega member awards, and has been a member of President’s Twenty since 2019. Pfortmiller will continue her education at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, where she will pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology and Toxicology.