Classroom Royalty: AB student wins Miss Morgantown

By Nikki Ellis

PHILIPPIi, W.Va. – If you took a psychology or biology-related class at AB, you may have been in the presence of royalty and not have known it. 

Peyton Lavallee, a senior Psychology and Biology double major at Alderson Broaddus, started competing in pageants her freshman year of college. In the four years she has been competing, Lavallee has participated in seven pageants and won three titles. Her titles held include Miss NorthEastern (2020), Miss Apple Valley(2022), and Miss Morgantown (2023). 

When coming into college as a freshman, Lavallee met Stan Taylor, a professor in the education department who connected her to the Miss America Organization, which significantly changed her life. 

“I ultimately made the decision to get involved because I had honestly been struggling to find where I fit when it came to college life and I wanted to do something that I felt had a bigger purpose,” Lavallee said. 

Diving into the Miss America Organization, Lavallee has found her purpose through being a spokesperson in the community and advocating for the organization, and for her social impact initiative that is derived from her own experiences. 

Lavallee’s “It’s a better World With You: Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness” Social Impact Initiative was born through her struggles with mental health. 

“ I specifically chose suicide prevention and mental health because of my own mental health battle and how silenced I felt by the stigmas I had to face in order to get the help I needed,” Lavallee said. 

Out of her four years of competing, Peyton says this year has been by far her favorite. 

“I finally know what I am doing and I have the footing to do the things I want to do,” Lavallee said. “I am really focused on trying to make this the year that matters.” 

For the things that  Lavallee wants to do, she is looking forward to partnering with the Brian O’Neil Jr. Foundation to support her social impact initiative on helping open up the conversation about mental health and what we can do to help those in need of resources and support. 

“I plan to continue my work with the Brian O’Neil Jr. Foundation in their suicide prevention initiatives as well as get involved within the community and bring conversations about suicide and mental health to the public as a way to normalize mental health and to end the stigma,” Lavallee said.

Lavallee will graduate from Alderson Broaddus University in May, and go on to compete for the state title for a chance to compete for Miss America..

April Calendar

By Tyreek Jenkins

With four weeks remaining in the semester, here are important reminders and events to remember. 

 April 12, 2023 is the final day to withdraw from classes.

That leaves three weeks of classes with the final week of April for finals. Be aware with finals coming up to speak with your advisors for next semester’s schedule, while also registering for housing through the Battler website.

 The Annual 2023 Skirmies Award will be held from 6pm – 8pm on April 26,2023

Get ready for AB’s Annual Baccalaureate  Spring Fling on April 27, 2023 on campus at the Apollo Quad from 2pm to 5pm. This event is hosted by the Office of Student Affairs.  

Food Trucks and games will be on hand for everyone to enjoy before wrapping it up for finals on April 28.

ARC Celebrates New Name and Look

By Nikki Ellis

PHILIPPI, W. Va. – From ACES to  ARC, it’s a whole new look. 

The Academic Resource Center, formerly known as the Academic Center for Educational Success (ACES), celebrates a remodel with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and pizza party on Burbick’s 3rd floor. 

On March 1st, Wednesday morning, at 11:30, Kellie McMillen, some of the AB Faculty and Staff, and students kicked off the open house of the newly-remodeled Academic Resource Center with a pizza party. 

“It was not a very warm and inviting area.” Kellie McMillen, Director of Career and Academic Services, said. “I wanted it to better suit student needs and not be as outdated.” 

Renaming the space of the Academic Resource Center was one of the steps to improving the center for students. Additional changes are the new carpeting and furniture donated by Ed Snively, the President of the Delphic Alumni Association. 

“We received the carpet last spring, and Ed Snively helped with donating new furniture this past September,” McMillen said. 

With the ribbon cutting and pizza party for students and staff, attendees compared the changes with a before-and-after experience. Photos were taped to the wall, allowing everyone to compare the old rustic orange carpet that was originally there when the building was built to the new modern grayish-black one that was put in last year. 

Various students agree with the new transition for the ARC and even have opted in studying in the space compared to before. 

“It is more organized and feels more aesthetically pleasing.” Caleb Frey, a sophomore, said. 

The ARC transformed from an intimidating office style to an open study space and resource for students wanting to do well academically. 

“It is a calmer environment and more easily approachable.” Nicole Grisso, a sophomore, said. 

The ARC is welcome to all students needing to study, needing study and test-taking tips, as well as additional resources regarding professional advancement, resume writing help, etc. 
For more information on what the ARC offers, contact Kellie McMillen, Director of Career and Academic Services at or stop by Burbick on the 3rd floor.

Record Still Stands After Lacrosse Goalie Stops 25

By Tyreek Jenkins

The women’s Lacrosse team started the season off with a statement to put in the history books.  Playing against Felician University on Feb 19, junior goalie Taylor Young nearly broke the record for saves in a single game with a 25-save effort. The record is 26 saves, held by Katie Laird. Young’s goaltending moved her into second all-time for saves. Third place is held by Paxton Boyers with record of 24 saves

“Going into the game I set high standards for myself and my teammates who worked hard and pushed me as well as we kept the pace the entire game,” Young said. 

Young faced 59 shots in the 17-9 loss. Although the Battlers fell short to Felician, Young was ecstatic about breaking Boyer’s mark of 24 saves.

“I want to thank my teammates, parents, and coaches for pushing me to become a better player every day,” Young said.

The women’s team are back at it again Thursday at 4 p.m. for their home opener for the season.

Watch Your Step: Dog Messes and Unregistered Pets Spawn Complaints

By Tyreek Jenkins

Complaints about dog feces around campus prompted Dean Michael Kochka to send out a mass email to students on January 9, 2023.

Kochka warned that owners of unregistered pets would face consequences. He also said that some faculty, staff and students were extremely upset about the messes left behind by dogs.

“There are so many people on campus who are super far from home and just want an animal to comfort them,” Freshman Acro and Cheer team member Sydney Gibson said. “It sucks that people who don’t know how to pick up after themselves ruin it for the rest of us.”  

Kochka is aware that unregistered pets are on campus but he also understands the need for pets.

“I wouldn’t have such a big problem with animals on campus if people took care and cleaned after their pet,” Kochka said. “I’m an animal lover too.” 

“The cleaning staff here shouldn’t have to clean up after someone else’s pet,” he said.

Kochka referred to the student handbook which states that pets must be registered. He also said if unregistered animals are not removed from campus, offenders would be charged for not following the handbook.

“Pets and unapproved animals are not allowed in the residence halls with the exception of fish kept in an aquarium (maximum of one 20-gallon tank or equivalent per room). Students with unauthorized animals must remove the animal immediately and will be charged $250.00 to their student account. Repeat offenders may be charged a higher amount. The responsible student will additionally be billed for extermination fees, cleaning services, and any damage caused by the animals,” according to page 29 of the Student Handbook.

Senior Matthew Cogar, who registered his dog two years ago, said that he respects the rules in the handbook, but he felt like the registration process took too long. 

Kochka said that it’s not up to him to change the rule based on pets but was open to the suggestion that students pay for their pet to be on campus instead of registering it as an Emotional Support Animal. However, he said that only the Cabinet and Board of Trustees have the authority to change rules within the handbook.

“I’m following the protocol I read when I was employed here. Every student should follow the handbook.” Kochka said

Johnson Leads Wrestlers to Back-to-back MEC Titles

By Nikki Ellis

PHILIPPI, W.Va –The Alderson Broaddus University Wrestling team secured 1st place in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) for the second year in a row.

Dwayne Johnson, a senior Exercise Science major from Baltimore, Maryland, won 1st place in the 197 weight class at the MEC Championship on January 28, 2023 at West Liberty. 

Having only officially competed as a  Battler for the  Wrestling team for two years, Johnson has a history and love of wrestling from his high school days. He’s continuing that love by training, practicing, and maintaining a friendly relationship with his teammates and coach throughout his college years as well. 

Coming in as a freshman, Johnson decided to focus on his academic work and put athletics on the backburner while he found his footing at the collegiate level. 

“I was three credits short of being eligible,” Johnson said. “I wanted to take that time to focus on school.”

Though Johnson did not formally compete that first year, he remained dedicated to training, practicing, and traveling with the team to support his friends and the program. 

He did not step onto the wrestling team officially until his junior year at AB, after playing for the football team his sophomore year. Johnson acknowledges his love for football waned, but his love for wrestling is what motivated him to talk with Sam Gardner, the Head Wrestling Coach, about formally joining the team and being able to compete. 

“God blessed me with the talent to wrestle and my love for football faded,” Johnson said. 

The decision proved to be a good choice for the athlete. In his first season wrestling, Johnson placed 4th at the Messiah Tournament, 2nd place at the Waynesburg Tournament, and 1st place at the JCU Tournament. 

This season, his last as an Alderson Broaddus Battler, Johnson aims to improve his weaker positions, becoming more attentive, honing in and sharpening the craft more, and just working hard. In response to winning the MEC Championship, Johnson is reflective and proud of the accomplishment. 

“It was a blessing, and a very humbling experience,” Johnson said. “It was a lot of hard work that finally paid off.” 

Sam Gardner praised Johnson and his performance in a post meet interview that was featured on

 “I’m so happy for Dwayne,” Gardner said. “He earned this championship with hard work and unshakable positivity. He lives the lifestyle of a champion, and it paid off with a championship. He’s getting better every week. We knew he had a tough opponent in the final, but we had him scouted and we had a plan, and Dwayne followed that plan exactly. The Roc is exactly the kind of student-athlete we want to be a Battler. I’m so proud of him.” 

Johnson is eager to move forward to compete in Regionals in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania on February 25th, 2023 and hopefully at Nationals in Iowa in early March. 

Animals in Kemper Redd Freeze to Death

By Nikki Ellis

While students were home with family and friends over the holiday break, the animals who lived on the second floor in Professors Matthew McKinney and Kristi Grassi’s lab rooms at Alderson Broaddus University froze to death amongst other problems in the building. 

On December 27, parts of Philippi fell victim to a power outage. The power outage unfortunately affected some of the buildings on campus. The hardest hit was Kemper Redd. 

According to weather reports, the average temperatures for Philippi in December are recorded as 46 degrees being the high, and the low at 26 degrees. 

Unable to stay warm, six fish, two birds, and a snake froze to death. 

Samantha Grimes, a senior Environmental Science and Natural Resource Management double major, entered the building with a security officer to find the deceased animals and additional damage. 

“When I went to feed the animals, I had to get a security officer to get into the building.” Grimes said. “We heard an alarm going off and there was an alert about smoke in the boiler rooms.”

Grimes is McKinney’s Teacher Assistant who undertook the care of the animals and is deeply saddened by the incident, as well as the whole Natural Resource Club. 

Adding to the chaos, the frozen pipes soon burst, flooding five rooms on the first and third floors of the building. 

Professors Adam Anderson and Sobha Priyadarshini Gorugantula are misplaced from their offices due to the water damage from the flooding. 

According to reports from professors in the building, there were no reports from the city about it being a planned power outage despite rumors. 

“From what I know it wasn’t a planned outage,” McKinney said. 

McKinney’s lab housed the fish and the snake that fell victim to the freezing temperatures, while the two birds were in Grassi’s room.

Men’s Hoops Come Close, But Drop Home Opener

By Lauren McMillen

It was a highly anticipated day at Alderson Broaddus University for the men’s basketball team this past Saturday. 

The Battlers men’s basketball team, led by a new head coaching staff, including alumni who took over as head coach, Stephen Dye, lost their home opener against the Seton Hill Griffins on November 16 at Rex Pyles Arena.  Continue reading “Men’s Hoops Come Close, But Drop Home Opener”