MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As a part of Mountaineer Week, West Virginia University (WVU) seniors Matthew Hudson, Giana Loretta, Sonia-Frida Ndifon, Trevor Swiger and Callyn Zeigler were honored as WVU’s 2022 Mountaineers of Distinction.
The students were given their time in the spotlight during halftime of the WVU vs. Oklahoma football game at Milan Puskar Stadium on Nov. 12.
The honor is awarded after a pool of nearly 80 nominated students, all of whom represent exceptional academic achievement and extracurricular involvement, goes through an interview selection panel.
- Hudson, from Scott Depot
- An immunology and medical microbiology major.
- He serves as a Presidential Student Ambassador, health sciences college senator with the Student Government Association and a student ambassador for the School of Medicine Immunology and Medical Microbiology Program.
- Hudson also serves as president of WVU Global Medical, a member of the WVU Dental Brigades and volunteers his time facilitating mobile food pantries for the nonprofit Pantry Plus More.
- He has been accepted into the School of Medicine Early Decision Program and presented his research on antibody response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa germ infections in cystic fibrosis patients at the 2022 West Virginia Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.
- Loretta, from Shinnston
- A political science, philosophy and communication studies major.
- She serves as a Presidential Student Ambassador, an intern with the College of Law West Virginia Innocence Project and student ambassador for Admissions. Loretta is a 2022 Newman Civic Fellow, 2019 Neil S. Bucklew Scholar and two-year Eberly College Scholar.
- She has volunteered more than 300 service hours to organizations that address educational inequity in the state, such as Girls on the Run of North Central West Virginia and Literacy Volunteers of Monongalia and Preston Counties.
- As a member of the Honors College EXCEL Program, Loretta is spearheading an independent research project to evaluate charter schools in the state.
- Ndifon, a Cameroon native that calls Elkridge, Md. home
- A biomedical engineering major.
- She serves as the president of the African Students Association, a student ambassador for Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and a resident assistant. She is also a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Black Student Union and works as a MindFit tutor.
- Ndifon is the recipient of the Black Excellence Award, Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Service and the Office of Global Affairs Merit Award.
- She serves her community through medicine with WVU Medicine, Amedisys Hospice Care and Mon Health Medical Center.
- Swiger, from Grafton
- A communication studies and interdisciplinary studies major.
- He serves as a social media and marketing intern for Vantage Ventures and president and chair of the National Chapter Nominating Committee for the WVU Mortar Board.
- Swiger is a 2020-21 National FFA candidate finalist and an inductee of Lambda Pi Eta and Chimes Junior Honorary.
- He volunteers his time to mentoring youth in leadership and career success through the National FFA Organization, American Legion Mountaineer Boys State and the Mountaineer Mentors Program.
- Zeigler, from Charleston
- A computer engineering and computer science major.
- She serves as a Presidential Student Ambassador and teaching assistant and student ambassador for the Statler College. Zeigler is a Neil S. Bucklew Scholar and a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.
- She volunteers her time with outreach initiatives across the state that foster interest in engineering careers among young female students as a mentor for the Society of Women Engineers,
- She also volunteers her time to the Appalachian Prison Book Project, Empty Bowls Monongalia and WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.
Other Mountaineers of Distinction finalists included:
- Aubrey Cumberledge, a biology major from Wallace.
- Samuel Cyphert, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Morgantown.
- Michael DiBacco, a biology and English major from Elkins.
- Lydia Knutsen, an industrial engineering major from Glen Dale.
- Elizabeth Sexton, an accounting and finance major from Williamstown.