Taylor Kendra of Sellersville, Pennsylvania was presented with Lycoming College's Chieftain Award during Honors Convocation on April 19. First presented in 1952, the award is the highest honor given to a graduating senior and recognizes the student who has shown the utmost dedication and leadership qualities while at Lycoming, and whose academic rank is above the median of the preceding senior class.
“Being awarded Chieftain has been unbelievable, and it is difficult to put into words just how awestruck I have been by the recognition,” said Kendra. “Generally, I have tried to help Lycoming in many little ways and in doing so I have had the pleasure of interacting with many incredible student leaders, dedicated professors, and campus activists. They have been an inspiration and a constant force of enthusiastic progress here, and I am so lucky to have known them.”
Kendra is an archaeology and creative writing major with a certification in elementary and special education. She is the vice president of the Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society, the secretary of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society and a member of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. She has earned dean's list mention in each of her seven semesters at the college.
Her participation in extracurricular activities also earner her induction into the IRUSKA Honor Society, given to nine students annually for significant contributions to campus life. Kendra’s involvement has also earned her Panhellenic Women’s History Month Recognition and a Lycoming “Brick of the Week.” For her writing talents, she received a creative writing scholarship for all four years at the college and was a two-time recipient of the Tributary Fiction Prize.
Kendra has served as president of the Creative Arts Society; poetry editor of the Tributary, the Lycoming College student literary magazine; and secretary of Revolution Against Rape. She is also involved with theatre, the Black Student Union, Fencing Club, The Lycourier, and served as the Lycoming mascot for the 2014-2015 school year. She also serves as a student liaison, a tutor for archaeology and education, and has completed work study in both archaeology and religion.
In addition to her involvement in student organizations, she has also volunteered with the SPCA Puppy Kissing Booth Fundraiser, Race Across America, Lyco Hunger Games, Unity Day, Peace Walk, Odyssey of the Mind Judge, Neurofibromatosis Endurance Team, Take Back the Night and the Uptown Music Collective.
Upon graduation, Kendra plans to serve as crew chief for the Neurofibromatosis Team's Race Across America riders. After that, she plans to go to Cyprus to help Pamela Gaber, Ph.D., professor of archaeology and religion and director of the Cyprus archaeological field school at Lycoming College, with her research and publication in hopes of conducting her own research for a novel. She eventually hopes to pursue a master’s degree and to be involved in Cypriot archaeology.