Honoring Our 2021 Scholarship Recipients

September 14, 2021
Soka scholarship winners with administrators

The recipients of Soka University of America’s top academic honors — the Ikeda Scholarship, the John D. Montgomery scholarship, Soka Merit Award, and Academic Excellence Award — met with President Ed Feasel and Dean of Students Hyon Moon and took a commemorative photo in early September in Founders Hall.

The Ikeda Scholarship, SUA’s most prestigious academic award, covers full tuition and room and board. The scholarship is presented annually to a second-year, third-year, and fourth-year student.

The John D. Montgomery Scholarship is a $20,000 award given annually to a student for achieving academic excellence and contributing to the university. The award honors the late Dr. Montgomery, a member of the Board of Trustees who helped guide SUA from its inception until his death in 2008. Dr. Montgomery also served as director of the Pacific Basin Research Center at SUA and director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

Ikeda Scholarship

  • Mark Okuda ’24
  • Daiki Arai ’23
  • Subina Thapaliya ’22

John D. Montgomery Scholarship

  • Ryohei Ishimura ’23

Soka Merit Awards

This year’s Soka Merit Award covers $5,000 in tuition and was presented to three students in each class.

  • Class of 2024
    Ray Hagihara
    Katelyn Grundy
    Quang Pham
  • Class of 2023
    Michelle Boralessa
    Hamza Ibrahim
    Akemi Terukina
  • Class of 2022
    Ninh Le
    Sophia Greco
    Maxine Xu

Academic Excellence Awards

Each year, Academic Excellence Awards are given in five categories. Faculty members nominate students for the awards, which are granted to undergraduate students who excel in these areas.

  • Excellence in Academics: Parik Chalise ’22
  • Excellence in Research: Erica Koyama ’23
  • Excellence in Creative Arts: Kofi Sarkodie ’22
  • Excellence in Academic Mentoring: Kevin Chen ’22
  • Excellence in Community Service: Kentaro Shintaku ’23

Honorary Scholarships

Each year, the Office of Development awards scholarships named in honor of members of the community. The Evelyn Hodes Wilson Memorial Scholarship honors a pioneer in chemistry, industry, and education. Her niece, Nancy Hodes, is a SUA professor emerita of Chinese language and literature.

  • Evelyn Hodes Wilson Memorial Scholarship
    Manal Atty ’23

The Kevin Hodes and Bob and Jane Hodes Memorial Scholarship was established by SUA Professor Emerita of Chinese Language and Literature Nancy Hodes to honor her son and her parents and their contributions to scientific research, the arts, world peace, and social justice.

  • Kevin Hodes and Bob & Jane Hodes Memorial Scholarship
    Kofi Sarkodie ’22

The Brian Daisaku McCloskey Memorial Scholarship honors a young man who turned his life around to becoming a role model for others and whose motto was to “Dream the impossible! Do the impossible.”

  • Brian Daisaku McCloskey Memorial Scholarship
    Zama Kunene ’24