Recognizing Our 2023 Scholarship Award Recipients

November 28, 2023
2023 scholarship awardees with university officials

The recipients of Soka University of America’s top academic honors—the Ikeda Scholarship, the John D. Montgomery Scholarship, the Soka Merit Award, and the Academic Excellence Award—met with President Ed Feasel, Dean of Students Hyon Moon, and Dean of Faculty Robert Hamersley and took a commemorative photo on September 14 in Founders Hall.

The Ikeda Scholarship, SUA’s most prestigious academic award, covers full tuition, 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 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

  • Miroslava Peregud ’26
  • Devin Weber ’25
  • Mukesh Bastola ’24

John D. Montgomery Scholarship

  • Arnav Pandey ’25

Soka Merit Awards

This year’s Soka Merit Award covers $5,000 in tuition and was presented to three students in the Classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026.

  • Class of 2026
    Muhammad Hannan Aslam
    Hiroshi Nonaka
    Masashiro Uchida
  • Class of 2025
    Sarah Johnson
    Hannah Schneider
    Siena Taylor
  • Class of 2024
    Kiyoshi Morita
    Atsushi Saito
    Takuto Yoshii

Academic Excellence Awards

Academic Excellence Awards were presented in five categories. Faculty members nominated students for the awards, which were granted to undergraduate students who excel in the following areas.

  • Excellence in Academics: Arnav Pandey ’25
  • Excellence in Creative Arts: Satoshi Nishizaka ’25
  • Excellence in Community Service: Karly Sierka ’25 and Gabriella de Paiva Barbosa Marttuci ’26
  • Excellence in Mentoring: Miki Koyama ’25
  • Excellence in Research: Miroslava Peregud ’26

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
    Flor Mejía Mendoza ’24

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
    Jackie Jiang ’24

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

  • Brian Daisaku McCloskey Memorial Scholarship
    Takuto Yoshii ’24
    Yinka Aduloju ’24
    Sakura Okayasu ’24
    Quang Pham ’24
    Jun Sawada ’26

The Carole Ann Lee Aloha Scholarship is designed to provide funding to undergraduate students who aspire to be a force for positive change.

  • Carole Ann Lee Aloha Scholarship
    Allison Etrata ’24
    Khurshid Engineer ’26