Ephraim A. Takyi
Ephraim Amponsah Takyi embodies the Sullivan Award ideals of generosity, kindness and consideration for others. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Kinesiology & Health Sciences and Theatre, Ephraim has excelled through scholarship and performance with a spirit of love and consideration for others.
Bright and talented, Ephraim is a star who lights the way for others. He served in the Office of Undergraduate Admission as a Griffin Ambassador and Arts Panelist, showcasing art and promoting university values to prospective students. One nominator wrote that when working at the office’s front desk Ephraim’s“ consideration and joyful attitude can be felt even over the phone, drawing people in just like he does on stage.”
Ephraim has been heavily involved in the theatre department. He starred in “A Chorus Line” and “Bright Star”. He also attended the Stella Adler Studio for Acting Musical Theatre Intensive in New York and interned at the Weathervane Theatre. Upon his return to campus he shared his knowledge from the productions he participated in with his friends and colleagues. Ephraim also performed in the ICCA competition group No Ceiling, receiving the award for best choreography. In 2022, the Charles Center awarded him the Catron Grant for Artistic Development.
His peers recognize Ephraim for his exceptional talent and also his graciousness in lifting others to the stage. A nominator shared that Ephraim, “makes sure that every student that comes to our campus knows that there is a place for them within our community and a chance for them to express their gifts, talents and artistry.”
Encapsulating the Sullivan Award’s recognition of influence for good, much of Ephraim’s work is dedicated to amplifying social justice, including a 2021 performance in honor of Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved at a Lemon Project event. He later shared with the Flat Hat, “We need to keep fighting, so the norm isn’t even rightful conviction, but the end of discrimination, racism, and specifically police brutality…That’s why I sang ‘Glory’ by John Legend ft. Common because I wanted others to understand that it’s not over and we haven’t yet cried ‘GLORY!’”
When Michaela-Katherine Gabrielle Taylor first arrived on campus, a mentor recalled being “struck not only by her poise and her warmth, but also by the eagerness with which she approached becoming an active, engaged member of the W&M community.” Michaela-Katherine, known as Mika, is recognized by her colleagues, peers and professors for her hardworking and gracious character.
Mika graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies with a concentration in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, further focused on East Asian Studies. Raised across England, Germany, Korea and Japan, she has a unique perspective on the world and a desire to share it with others. Mika served in the Global Education Office as a peer advisor, guiding students through the study abroad process, conducting workshops and promoting study abroad opportunities on campus. She was selected as an International Student Advisory Board member and International Peer Leader, assisting international students as they transitioned to W&M.
Mika’s work ethic earned her colleagues’ deep gratitude: For Mika, no job is too small or too onerous. She has worked as a resident advisor, peer advisor and served on advisory boards for the Dean of Students and the Provost. She has also supported her department, volunteering to help with communications and social media, actively working to create feelings of comradery amongst students. Even during study abroad, Mika sought out ways to uplift others, including volunteering to help South Korean children learn English. Reflecting her intellectual curiosity and her spirit of helpfulness, Mika was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship.
One nominator described a phenomenon at the Reves Center as the “Mika Effect”: the simple mention of Mika’s name elicits a smile then a tiny pause of shared recognition and appreciation — and then the conversation continues. Her colleagues appreciate Mika for her empathy, caring and dependability — qualities that “make her a superb writer and a wonderful human being.”
A mentor put it simply: “Her heart, mind and conduct have marked campus and the world-at-large for the better.”