Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Chieftain, departmental award winners announced at Lycoming College Honors Convocation

Chieftain, departmental award winners announced at Lycoming College Honors Convocation

(l-r) Dan Miller, Ed.D, VP student life; Iai; Kent Trachte, Ph.D., president

Download Image: Web

Lycoming College announced that graduating senior, Hiyori Iai, was named the recipient of the 2024 Chieftain Award during the College’s annual Honors Convocation ceremony on Sunday, April 21, at Williamsport’s Community Arts Center, to an audience of students and their families, as well as faculty and staff. Iai was recognized for her dedication to academic excellence, community service, cocurricular activities, and leadership.

First presented in 1952, the Chieftain Award is the highest honor given to a graduating senior who has contributed the most to Lycoming College through support of school activities, has exhibited utmost dedication and outstanding leadership qualities, has evidenced good moral character, and whose academic rank is above the median of the preceding senior class.

Iai, a computer science and psychology double major from Zushi, Japan, was named to the Dean’s list during all four of her years on the Lycoming campus. She is a past recipient of the Haberberger Fellowship and the Fundamentals of Physics Award. In addition, Iai, who is a sister and past president of Beta Phi Gamma sorority, received the Sorority Scholar of the Year Award as a junior. She also became a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Athletics Honor Society, and was a recipient of the Jack C. and Janet B. Buckle Endowed Leadership Scholarship. She interned at the Ashinaga Foundation and at the Research Center of Computational Mechanics, and was a WISE intern at RegScan. Iai also completed a research project on Lycoming College students’ psychological needs and campus resources.

Iai served as president of the Multicultural Awareness Group, and as secretary of the Student Senate, and has also been a member of the Black Student Union. She is a current member of the tennis team and prior participant in cross-country, and worked on campus as a math and computer science tutor, an IT service center worker, a computer science lab assistant, and as student manager for the office of student involvement.

Also active in community service, Iai has volunteered at CAPPA, a local academic non-profit, as a mentor and tutor, was an event leader for Relay for Life, aided brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha with local food drives, participated in Dr. Martin Luther King Dream Week events, and volunteered for numerous Service Saturday and 9/11 events.

Lycoming extends its congratulations to Iai and to all of the Chieftain nominees, including Rebekah Hromyak ’24, accounting major and business minor from Northampton, Pa.; Mahala Johnson ’24, business major and history and business minor from Oneonta, N.Y.; and Melissa Van Klingeren ’24, psychology major and Spanish minor with an education certification, from Byram Township, N.J.

During the ceremony, Lycoming College also recognized a number of remarkable students who attained high levels of academic achievement and scholarship during the 2021-22 academic year. Those recognized include:


  • Durant L. Furey III Award – Stevens Sanchez ’24
  • The Professor Logan A. Richmond Accounting Prize – Kevin Hernandez ’24
  • The Charles J. Kocian Award – Carlos Gonzalez ’24
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP Prize for Tax Accounting – Rebekah Hromyak ’24
  • Wehr Financial Accounting Prize – Rebekah Hromyak ’24


  • Durkheim Prize in Anthropology – Alicia Purcell ’24
  • Durkeim Prize in Sociology – Juia Ercolani ’24, Zoie McDermott ’24, Grace Vela ’24


  • Faculty Prize for Excellence in Archaeology – Erich Chase ’24, Becky Wisdom ’24


  • Alfred Kohler Studio Artist Award – Desirea Taylor ’25
  • Faculty Award for Achievement in Fine Art – Alexa DerGarabedian ’24
  • Roger D. Shipley Award – Cole Schaeffer ’24
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Photography – Samantha Wood ’24
  • Digital Art Award – Cesilio Coatl Miranda ’24


  • Q.E.D. Award for Department Service – Kaitlyn Sheriff ’24
  • Fundamentals of Physics Award – Gökçe Atacan ’27, Zoie Dodson ’26, Luis Otero ’27
  • Principles of Astronomy Award – Luis Otero ’27
  • Фυσίκα Award in Astronomy/Physics – Katherine Travis ’24


  • Freshman Biology Award – Emily Rakestraw ’27, Liliane May ’27
  • Biology Service Award – Amanda Burkey ’24, Deirdre (Daisy) Leblanc ’24
  • Biology Department Academic Excellence Award – Cailyn Miller ’24, Lily Saar ’24?
  • Byron C. Brunstetter Science Award – Cailyn Miller ’24

Business Administration

  • The General Management Award – Chloe Troup ’24
  • The Marketing Management Award – Alyssa Morgan ’24
  • The Financial Management Award – Zachary McDaniels ’24
  • The Charles J. Kocian Award – Mahala Johnson ’24, Evan Unser ’24

Corporate Communication

  • The Department Award in Media Literacy – Jocelyn Rega ’24

Criminal Justice/Criminology

  • Criminal Justice Society Prize – Johnathon Day ’24
  • Hoover Memorial Prize – Maleah Culp ’24


  • The 2024 Robert W. Rabold Economics Excellence Award – Logan Rakestraw ’25
  • The 2024 Roger W. Opdahl Economics Excellence Award – Nidhi Ramburuth ’24
  • The Charles J. Kocian Award – Nidhi Ramburuth ’24
  • The John A. Streeter Memorial Award in Economics – Dominick Philip ’24


  • Leadership Award in Education – Melissa Van Klingeren ’24


  • The Metzler Prize – Sarah Lanphear ’25
  • Dan Gustafson Award – Marcus Helminiak ’24
  • The President's Prize in Poetry – Marcus Helminiak ’24
  • The Phoebe R. Lyon Prize – Elizabeth Shaffer ’24
  • The G.W. Hawkes Prize in Prose – Elizabeth Shaffer ’24

Film and Video Arts

  • Faculty Excellence Award – Achilles Wice ’24, Nonni Human ’24
  • Film and Video Arts Award – Addison Angstadt ’24

Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies

  • Holly Elizabeth Hurlbert ’97 Endowed Fund in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Prize – Erich Chase ’24


  • Richard L. Mix '51 and Miriam S. Mix Research and Writing Prize in History – Brendon Blackson ’24
  • Robert Ewing Senior Prize in History – Naomi Rintelman ’24
  • Larson Morris Piper History Fellowship – Amanda Charowsky ’27, Andrew Hines ’26

Humanities Research Center

  • Meghan Andrews Award – Amanda Charowsky ’27

Mathematical Sciences

  • The Charles J. Kocian Award – Hiyori Iai ’24
  • The Benjamin C. Conner Prize in Mathematics – Mavin James ’24
  • The Frances K. Skeath Award in Mathematics – Mavin James ’24
  • The Elisha Benson Kline Prize – Kaitlyn Haefner ’24

Modern Language Studies

  • Paul A. MacKenzie Discovery Prize – Chloe Shendge ’26
  • Phil G. Gillette Prize in Modern Foreign Languages (French) – Alexandra (AJ) Marusko ’25
  • Phil G. Gillette Prize in Modern Foreign Languages (German) – Dominick Philip ’24
  • Phil G. Gillette Prize in Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish) – Kaitlyn Mangrum ’25
  • The Emilia Pardo Bazán Prize in Critical Writing – Katryn Yocum ’25


  • The Williamsport Civic Chorus Award – Kaitlyn R. Haefner ’24
  • Dr. Will George Butler Band Award – Adin N. Hinojosa ’25
  • Michelle Bohlin Award in Theater & Music – Lydia Krizan ’26


  • W. Arthur Faus Memorial Prize – Dominick Philip ’24

Political Science

  • Richard L. Mix '51 and Miriam S. Mix Prize in Political Science – Hayden Burke ’25
  • The C. Daniel Little '53 and Jeanne Louise Little '82 Award in American Politics – Emily Wolfgang ’24
  • The Charles J. Kocian Award – Nidhi Ramburuth ’24


  • J. Milton Skeath Award in Psychology – Addison Angstadt ’24, Hiyori Iai ’24
  • Psi Chi Service Award – Brooke Myers, Melissa Van Klingeren ’24


  • Eduardo Guerra Prize in Biblical Languages – Cole Clark ’25
  • Faculty Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Religion – Becky Wisdom ’24


  • Overall Excellence in Theatre Award – McKayla Cobb ’24
  • Theatre Performance/Directing Award – Thatcher Gunnells ’25
  • Theatre Design/Technical/Management Award – Nevaeh Wertman ’24