Five students named WVU Mountaineers of Distinction


MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) — Five West Virginia University students were recognized Saturday for their exemplary academic achievement and extracurricular involvement.

The following students were named to WVU’s 2022 Mountaineers of Distinction:

  • Matthew Hudson
    • Hudson, from Scott Depot, is an immunology and medical microbiology major who 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.
  • Giana Lorette
    • Loretta, from Shinnston, is a political science, philosophy and communications major who has 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.
  • Sonia Frida Ndifon
    • Ndifon, 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.
  • Trevor Swinger
    • Swiger, a first-generation Grafton student, is a communications and interdisciplinary studies major who has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. 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.
  • Callyn Zeigler
    • Zeigler, from Charleston, majors in computer engineering and computer science. 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 winners were chosen by an interview selection committee from a pool of nearly 80 students who were nominated across 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.

Here are the Mountaineers of Distinction finalists:

  • 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 student from Williamstown.

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