The five winners of the Mountaineers of Distinction awards stand on Mountaineer Field in the rain. They are wearing colors of gold and blue. Fans are visible in the stands.

WVU today | Five students named WVU Mountaineers of Distinction

The 2022 Mountaineers of Distinction, announced during the November 12 WVU game against Oklahoma, are (left to right) Callyn Ziegler, Giana Loretta, Trevor Swiger, Sonia-Frida Ndifon and Matthew Hudson.
(WVU Photo/David Malecki)

Recognized for their exemplary academic achievement and extracurricular involvement, Matthew Hudson, Giana Loretta, Sonia-Frida Ndifon, Trevor Swiger and Callyn Zeigler have been named West Virginia University Mountaineers of Distinction 2022, a mountaineer week tradition.

The recipients, representing a range of disciplines while sharing impressive academic achievements and service to their communities, were chosen by an interview selection committee from a pool of nearly 80 students who were nominated on campus.

The five seniors, all members of the WVU Honors College, were announced as this year’s honorees at halftime of the WVU vs Oklahoma football game today (November 12) at Puskar Stadium in Milan.

Hudson, from Scott Depot, is an immunology and medical microbiology major that has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. He is a Presidential Student Ambassador, Senator for the College of Health Sciences with the Student Government Association, and Student Ambassador for the Medical Immunology and Microbiology Program at the School of Medicine.

Hudson is also president of WVU Global Medical, a member of the WVU dental brigades, and volunteers his time to facilitate mobile pantries for the non-profit organization Pantry Plus More.

He was accepted into the School of Medicine’s Early Decision Program and presented his research on the antibody response to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in patients with cystic fibrosis at the Undergraduate Research Day of West Virginia 2022 at the Capitol.

Lorette, from Shinnston, is a political science, philosophy, and communication major that maintained a 4.0 grade point average. She is a Presidential Student Ambassador, Intern at the College of Law West Virginia Innocence Project, and Student Ambassador for Admissions. Loretta is a 2022 Newman Civic Scholar, 2019 Neil S. Bucklew Scholar, and a two-year Eberly College Scholar.

She has provided more than 300 hours of service to organizations that address educational inequality 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 leads an independent research project to evaluate charter schools in the state.

It’s a phone, originally from Cameroon who now resides in Elkridge, Maryland, is a biomedical engineering student. She is President of the African Students Association, Student Ambassador for the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, and 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 a recipient of the Black Excellence Award, the 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.

Swinger, a first-generation Grafton student, is a communication studies and interdisciplinary studies major who maintained a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. He is a social media and marketing intern for Vantage Ventures and chair and chair of the WVU Mortar Board National Chapters Nominating Committee.

Swiger is a 2020-21 FFA National Nominee Finalist and Lambda Pi Eta and Chimes Junior Honorary inductee.

He volunteers his time to mentor youth in leadership and career success through the National FFA Organization, American Legion Mountaineer Boys State, and the Mountaineer Mentors Program.

Zeigler, from Charleston, is a computer engineering and computer science major. She is a Presidential Student Ambassador and Teaching Assistant and Student Ambassador for Statler College. Zeigler is a Neil S. Bucklew Fellow and a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.

She devotes her time to outreach initiatives across the state that spark interest in engineering careers among young female students as a mentor for the Society of Women Engineers,

She also volunteers for the Appalachian Prison Book Project, Empty Bowls Monongalia, and WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital.

The other Mountaineers of Distinction finalists were: Aubrey Cumberledge, a biology major from Wallace; Samuel Cyphert, a mechanical and aerospace engineering student from Morgantown; Michael DiBacco, a biology and English major from Elkins; Lydia Knutsen, an industrial engineering student from Glen Dale; and Elizabeth Sexton, an accounting and finance major from Williamstown.

In addition to the presentation of the Mountaineers of Distinction, the University’s “most faithful” were honored during the halftime ceremonies. The 2022 winners are Harvey and Jennifer Peyton, the most loyal West Virginians; Lloyd Jackson, the most faithful climber of the alumni; Jennifer Williams, Most Loyal Teacher/Pro Mountaineer; and Cathy Martin, most loyal staff mountaineer.

The most loyal award recipients are chosen by a joint committee representing the WVU Foundation, Alumni Association, Staff Council, Faculty Senate, and the Mountaineering Week Organizing Committee.

Find out more about the 75th Mountaineering Week.



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