Students involved in Outdoor Action excel both in academics and in campus activities from varsity sports, to student government, and student organizations. The leadership skills they develop through Outdoor Action serve the larger Princeton campus and beyond as these students go on to be leaders throughout their careers. Here are some of the awards and prizes received by Outdoor Action Leaders.
Outdoor Action Leaders are strongly encouraged to apply to fellowship programs after graduation as well as seek out the many internship programs offered during your four years at Princeton. These are great ways to put your leadership skills to work and enhance your education both at Princeton and beyond. For information on post-graduate fellowship programs see the Office of International Programs - Fellowship Advising office.
Katie Tyler '18 receives New Jersey’s Jefferson Award for service
June 1, 2018. Princeton University senior Katie Tyler will be among the 2018 honorees for the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award. The award highlights civic engagement and volunteer service in the state.
June 1, 2018. Katie Tyler, from Rye Brook, New York, will be recognized with other winners at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 2, during a ceremony at the War Memorial in Trenton. The Jefferson Award is a national volunteer recognition program established in 1972 by the American Institute for Public Service in cooperation with the U.S. Senate and the White House. State awards are given by community partners in regions across the country.
Tyler, a Near Eastern studies major with a focus in Arabic, has been involved in a number of service activities while at Princeton. The Jefferson Award recognizes, in particular, her work leading CONTACT Princeton, a student-organized branch of the crisis and suicide prevention hotline CONTACT of Mercer County. Princeton students provide free and confidential support to people from across the country who call, chat or text CONTACT.
CONTACT Princeton is among the more than 35 volunteer projects overseen by the Student Volunteers Council, which is part of the Pace Center for Civic Engagement.
“Led by her values, Katie’s undergraduate career has been fully dedicated to justice issues and how the campus can best mobilize to make a difference in people’s lives,” said David Brown, assistant director at the Pace Center.
Since joining CONTACT in 2016, Tyler has volunteered over 300 hours as a creative advocate, hotline and crisis chat responder, apprentice trainer, and administrative organizer. She was named volunteer of the year by CONTACT of Mercer County.
“Katie’s motivations to serve CONTACT come from her sincere generosity and helpfulness toward others who are struggling with difficult mental or situational crises,” said Eleanor Letcher, executive director of CONTACT of Mercer County.
As a co-leader, Tyler significantly grew CONTACT Princeton’s volunteers and the number of hours that volunteers serve during the past two years.
“She creatively added organizational structure and ran a very successful volunteer recruitment effort, which has yielded 120 new student volunteers in 2017-18,” Lechter said. “Katie’s motto is active service to others.”
Tyler also developed “mentor families,” where Princeton students who have completed the required 40 hours of hotline training help new volunteers by meeting regularly for dinner and offering consistent support.
She wrote a field guide for student leaders, developed a policies and procedures manual for CONTACT Princeton, produced a special guide for Princeton volunteers in training, and developed a CONTACT Princeton volunteer recruitment campaign.
In anticipation of her upcoming graduation, Tyler expanded the CONTACT Princeton student executive board and recruited two new student leaders.
Aside from her leadership of CONTACT, Tyler has served on the Student Volunteers Council executive board, overseeing and supporting projects that focus on teaching in prison. She has volunteered as a tutor in prisons with the Petey Greene Program.
She also was an Outdoor Action leader and a head fellow in the Writing Center. She was a tour guide for Orange Key and the Princeton University Art Museum and is a member of Wilson College.
Next year, Tyler will work in Morocco in an anti-poverty program through the University’s Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize for international civic engagement.
Kenji Cataldo '20 Named Mellon Mays Fellow
May 16, 2018. Supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program facilitates funding for undergraduate research and graduate school studies to prepare students for professorial careers. The fellowship provides support, community, mentorship and other resources to students from underrepresented backgrounds and/or students who have a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship was established in 1988 as a way to address underrepresentation among college and university professors. The fellowship has grown to include 48 member schools and three consortia, including three South African universities and a consortium of historically black colleges and universities. As of 2017, over 5,000 students have been selected as fellows, more than 700 of whom have earned Ph.D. degrees and over 100 of whom are now tenured faculty members, according to the Mellon Foundation.
Kenji Cataldo is from St. Paul, Minnesota, majoring in history with a certificate in South Asian studies. He spent nine months in India through Princeton’s Bridge Year Program, where he learned Hindi and volunteered at a health and education center. Continuing his study of South Asian languages, he returned to India the summer after his first year to study Urdu through a Critical Language Scholarship. His research interests lie in the history of medicine in South Asia and Europe. Outside of academics, he enjoys playing piano and leads orientation trips in the Outdoor Action program.
Katie Tyler '18 receives the Labouisse Prize
April 9, 2018, Katie Tyler is one of three seniors who have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize to pursue international civic engagement projects for one year following graduation.Tyler’s interest in Morocco, where she plans to spend her fellowship year, was sparked as a teenager.
“When I was 17 years old, I was awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study a new language, Arabic, in Morocco for the summer of 2013,” she said.
“However, while I was studying Arabic in Morocco, I realized that I was more interested in how communication skills enabled me to learn more about a different culture and work for community impact,” said Tyler. “I lived with a host family for six weeks and studied the history and culture of Morocco alongside Arabic.
“As NSLI-Y Scholars, we engaged with different service organizations in Morocco that were engaged with preserving Moroccan culture and promoting grassroots poverty alleviation. I finished my summer experience in Morocco interested in studying Moroccan culture and working more closely with community-based development projects.”
Tyler intends to work with Dar Si Hamad, an organization that works to alleviate poverty, empower youth and promote sustainability. She will be expanding the RISE program, which prepares disadvantaged youth for employment, and the Water School program, which teaches sustainability across rural communities in southern Morocco.
“I am well aware that [Katie] has a real commitment to making the world a better place, whether in her home country or overseas; I keep being surprised by the new things I learn about her activities, and what I know is enough to indicate that she could be a very effective presence in an NGO working among disadvantaged youth in Morocco,” said Michael Cook, the Class of 1943 University Professor of Near Eastern Studies. Cook has taught Tyler, as well as advised her senior thesis.
In addition to many activities at Princeton, Tyler is pursuing a certificate in Arabic. She was awarded Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2016 and the F.O. Kelsey Prize for Best Junior Paper for “The 1960 Agadir Earthquake: A Case Study of Disappearing Jewish Communities in Morocco,” which was featured in the spring edition of “The Princeton Historical Review.”
Katie has been an Outdoor Action Leader and Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Maggie Pecsok '18 receives Pyne Prize
February 21, 2018. The Pyne Honor Prize, established in 1921, is awarded to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. Previous recipients include the late Princeton President Emeritus Robert F. Goheen, former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. This year's Pyne Prize recipients are John Parton '18 and Maggie Pecsok '18.
Maggie Pecsok, Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications
Pecsok, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, in concentrating in psychology and is also pursuing a certificate in cognitive science. She received the Howard Crosby Warren Junior Prize in Psychology in 2017. She is a member of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, a group of juniors and seniors who are committed to the study of humanistic inquiry and meet formally once a month with faculty members and distinguished guests.
Since her first year, Pecsok has been an undergraduate researcher in the Princeton Neuroscience of Attention and Perception Lab, under Sabine Kastner, professor of psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, who is also serving as Pecsok’s thesis adviser.
For her senior thesis, Pecsok is combining neuroimaging analysis with an extensive literature review and discussion about how some symptoms of children with ADHD can contribute to creativity. “My hope is that work like this will help people understand that individuals with learning differences are not stupid, and in fact can benefit from a unique perspective or problem-solving approach,” she said.
“Maggie is the most outstanding undergraduate student that I have had the privilege to mentor and teach in my (almost) 18 years at Princeton,” Kastner said. “In her junior paper and senior thesis, she has worked on exploring the behavioral and neural bases of neurodevelopmental disorders such as dyslexia, attentional deficit disorder or dyspraxia. Many of us have witnessed Maggie’s beautiful service in the name of humanity, trying to make the world a better place for children who struggle.”
Pecsok’s international experience includes a PIIRS Global Seminar in Kyoto, Japan, the summer after her first year, and a student-initiated internship at the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity in England in the summer of 2016, where she studied rhythmic fluctuations in visual attention.
After graduation, Pecsok will spend two years at Yale University researching multiple sclerosis in the neuroimmunology department. She plans to pursue a career as a physician scientist. She also has an interest in creative writing and hopes to write novels “that empower individuals navigating particular health challenges,” she said.
She is a member of Wilson College, where she has served as a residential college coordinator for the Wilson Peer Health Advisers. She also has been involved in Princeton University Chapel Choir and Princeton University Climbing Team.
For Outdoor Action — an orientation program for first-year students, led by returning students — Pecsok has served several roles: leader, leader trainer, committee chair, first aid instructor and technical skills instructor. As part of Outdoor Action, she is also a member of Peak Potential Princeton, a community service climbing program for children with disabilities, a commitment she said is particularly rewarding.
“Each Friday, I get to rock climb with a kid who is overcoming incredible challenges,” Pecsok said. “They’re really inspiring. One time, I was 30 feet up the wall with a kid who had cerebral palsy, who suddenly turned to me and said, ‘I do this because I have problems with my legs and I’m afraid of heights.’ I was blown away. Peak also connects with my interests in medicine and psychology because I get to see how non-pharmaceutical interventions can be so powerful.”
Receiving the Pyne Prize, Pecsok said, “is an indescribable honor to receive recognition from the school I love so dearly. Princeton has been my home, and has given me mentors, friends and countless opportunities to grow, learn and connect with others. I am so grateful to be a part of this community, and receiving this award warms my heart.”
Students selected for 2018 Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative
Established in 2006, SINSI is designed to encourage, support and prepare the nation’s top students to pursue careers in the U.S. federal government in both international and domestic agencies. Through rigorous academic training integrated with work experience, the goal of the highly competitive scholarship program is to provide students with the language and workplace skills needed to succeed in the public policy arena.
Caroline Jones '18
A senior from Princeton, New Jersey, Caroline Jones is a Wilson School concentrator focusing on conflict and cooperation and is pursuing certificates in Latin American studies and in history and the practice of diplomacy. Jones was the SINSI Intern Class of 2017 Tom A. and Andrea E. Bernstein ’80 Scholar and worked in New York City at the U.S. State Department’s Mission to the United Nations. During summer 2016, she interned at CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS as a recipient of the Ferris Grant for Summer Internships in Journalism. The previous summer, she worked at the Wilson School’s Innovations for Successful Societies research program on a variety of case studies about justice and security sector reform. Jones is a recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence. She sings with both the Princeton University Glee Club and Chamber Choir and is a member of Princeton’s figure skating team. Caroline has worked in the Outdoor Action Command Center managing groups during OA Frosh Trip and is a wilderness first aid instructor.
Mikaela Gerwin '19
A junior from New York City, Mikaela Gerwin is a history concentrator pursuing a certificate in global health and health policy. She is the Class of 2018 Dean’s Scholar in the Nation’s Service. Prior to starting at Princeton, Gerwin spent a gap year teaching English and working on community health programs in Urubamba, Peru, through a Princeton Bridge Year Fellowship. She speaks Spanish and Hebrew fluently. Gerwin has served as a student leader at Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life, a weekly ESL teacher at El Centro in Trenton, an intern for Princeton’s Women’s Center, a peer academic adviser at Forbes College and an Outdoor Action leader. She has acted in several campus performances, including a historical walking tour of race and protest at Princeton, which she helped write. In summer 2016, Gerwin interned with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, where she worked with doctors and case managers to ensure homeless individuals received primary care and housing services in both clinics and on the streets of Boston. Gerwin will be studying at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in spring 2018
Julia Herrle '19
A junior from Wexford, Pennsylvania, Julia Herrle is a Wilson School concentrator pursuing certificates in environmental studies and in values and public life. The Class of 2018 Frank C. Carlucci ’52 Scholar, she is passionate about improving global food security through sustainable agricultural development and emergency food assistance. Herrle spent the summer of 2017 interning in Nepal at Bioversity International, a global agriculture research-for-development organization, conducting research on the effects of agrobiodiversity on ecosystem services. The previous summer, Herrle taught English in Paris. On campus, Herrle is a mentor and the Big Sibs coordinator for Community House Big Sibs, a program that aims to foster relationships between local elementary students and Princeton undergraduate mentors, with the broader goal of working to close Princeton’s minority achievement gap. She also is a project leader and Friendly Visitors volunteer for Meals on Wheels. Herrle is a supervisor for TigerCall in the Office of Annual Giving, leads first-year Orientation trips as an Outdoor Action leader, and is involved in Princeton Women in Economics and Policy.
Suraj Kushawa '20 and Zinna Senbetta '17 receive fellowships for study in international affairs
Suraj Kushwaha, a first-year student from Huntington, Vermont, is a religion major earning certificates in environmental studies and South Asian studies. He will receive up to $30,000 for language study and international research to study abroad during the 2017-18 academic year.
The David L. Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provides opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad.
Kushwaha will study Hindi in conjunction with the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI), administered through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will participate in a summer program offered at UW-Madison through the South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI) and will then attend the American Institute of Indian Studies in Jaipur, India, for a semester of language and culture study.
As an incoming student, Kushwaha participated in Bridge Year, a tuition-free program that allows a select number of incoming freshmen to begin their Princeton experience by engaging in nine months of University-sponsored service at one of five international locations. Kushwaha spent his year primarily in the city of Varanasi, India. During his Bridge Year, he participated in an intensive Hindi program.
Kushwaha is a member of the Princeton University Climbing Team and is an Outdoor Action climbing wall staff member. He volunteers weekly as a prison tutor as part of the Petey Green Prisoner Assistance Program.
He aspires to be a public diplomacy officer in the Foreign Service’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. “Coupled with my studies of environmental science and Indian culture and religions, the SAFLI program will allow me to achieve the advanced proficiency in Hindi language that I will need to pursue a Foreign Service officer tour in India,” he said. “In this capacity, I would continue to build important bridges between the United States and India. This federal career path will empower me to engage ever more deeply with Indian and U.S. leaders over environmental issues in order to combat this international threat and its harmful impacts on U.S. national security.”
Zinna Senbetta is a senior majoring in sociology and earning a certificate in French language and culture. She is from Warrenville, Illinois. She will receive $34,000 annually for two years of graduate schooling in international affairs, plus support for enrichment study at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and internships in Congress and overseas.
Senbetta will be attending Georgetown University in the fall, where she will earn her master of science in foreign service with a concentration in global politics and security.
The Rangel Fellowship is a collaborative effort between Howard University and the U.S. State Department that seeks to attract and prepare outstanding young people for careers as diplomats in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State.
In 2016, Senbetta received an Ambassadors Walter and Lenore Annenberg Fellowship from the Council of American Ambassadors. She has also been a campaign intern in the Bureau of International Information Programs, a program of the U.S. Department of State Internship Program, and a communications intern at Union Internationale des Avocats in Paris.
While at Princeton, Senbetta has participated in Princeton Mock Trial and served as a peer academic adviser for Princeton University Peer Academic Advising Program. She has also been a member of the Princeton African Students Association and the University Student Life committee.
Among her other activities, she is a “Big Sister” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a student backpacking leader for the Outdoor Action Program, an undergraduate associate for the Program in Law and Public Affairs, and an information assistant at Firestone Library.
“I am eager to continue promoting and facilitating U.S.-foreign exchanges in culture, politics and economics professionally,” she said. “The Rangel Fellowship will provide me the opportunity to pursue my passion for public diplomacy through a unique career that allows me to best serve my country and the global community.”
Ava Hoffman '17 and Vidushi Sharma '17 awarded Labouisse Prize for international civic engagement project
Ava Hoffman and Vidushi Sharma, both OA Leaders, are two of the four recipients of the Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize to pursue international civic engagement projects for one year following graduation.
Hoffman, an independent concentrator in comparative urban development studies from San Francisco, will explore Brazil's favelas, low-income informal urban areas, to examine the relationship between low income and environmental injustice.
Ava became interested in Brazil's urban development challenges when she spent a gap year working in Salvador, a city of 2.9 million people in the nation's Northeast Region. She said the fellowship will enable her to explore the intersection of urban violence and environmental injustice in a group of favelas in the North Zone of Rio de Janeiro.
"After my gap year, I returned to Brazil for three consecutive summers, researching and writing about issues ranging from police violence to forced evictions to grassroots environmental initiatives in Rio's favelas," Hoffman said. "While many favelas do contend with poor environmental conditions, addressing these challenges must begin with their residents. This doesn't mean that public authorities should be excused for failing to provide basic services, but rather that we need to radically strengthen mechanisms of participation in urban planning."
Hoffman will work with Catalytic Communities, a nonprofit organization and grassroots think tank dedicated to supporting favela residents in Rio to advance these goals. She will explore how environmental practices and technologies cultivated in favelas can inspire citywide sustainable development practices.
"Ms. Hoffman first came into my office as a first-year student, when she wanted to discuss her experiences in Salvador," said Bruno Carvalho, an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Hoffman's junior paper and senior thesis adviser. "At the time, her intense interest in the social and cultural dimensions of urban development struck me as unusually well-grounded for an undergraduate. Since then, she has consistently exhibited boundless intellectual curiosity and a strong commitment to justice. The Labouisse fellowship will help her to continue to develop into a young scholar and urbanist of great promise."
Hoffman is also pursuing certificates in Latin American studies, Portuguese language and culture, and Italian language and culture. In addition, she has served as a study abroad global ambassador, Outdoor Action leader and a member of the Princeton Gap Year Network, Green Princeton and Greening Dining.
Vidushi Sharma's project was inspired by her grandfather, or Nanu, who is an emeritus professor of electronics and telecommunications and the first in his family to earn a college degree. Their long conversations about the importance of education deeply influenced her decision to pursue her work and the fellowship.
"As I travel further on my own educational journey, I found myself reflecting increasingly on Nanu's path — and on the children in his community who did not benefit from the educational opportunities that changed his life," Sharma said. "I wanted to get involved with this project to make stories like his more common and to enable rural Indian students through education to tackle modern environmental and social issues."
Sharma plans to live in Mumbai during her fellowship to work with Knowledge Hub for E-Learning or KHEL, which means "play" in Hindi, to provide rural students with improved education in the state of Madhya Pradesh. KHEL will provide rural school districts with offline and online curriculum-based platforms that use modular, gamified and experiential lessons to ease teaching loads and enable self-paced learning.
"Ms. Sharma is exceptional in both mind and spirit," said Joshua Katz, the Cotsen Professor in the Humanities and professor of classics. "Although I have taught her in only one class, I have known her since her arrival on campus in 2013 and at this point consider her to be as much my friend as my student. She seems to me a truly excellent candidate for the Labouisse fellowship, especially in view of her wish to spend the year in India engaged in an important area in which she has already made substantial contributions — educational entrepreneurship."
In addition to her numerous on-campus activities, Sharma has been part of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows and the Human Values Forum. She has also won the University of Otago Logic Prize and the Princeton University 25 Under 25 award in STEM and entrepreneurship. She was successful in leading a reinstatement of Sanskrit as a Princeton language as well as serving as the main student contact for the creation of the cognitive science certificate program.
Alumnus Kemeny receives Hertz Fellowship for graduate study in geochemistry
March 22, 2017 - Preston Kemeny, a 2015 Princeton graduate, and Outdoor Action Leader is one of 12 college seniors and first-year graduate students nationwide to be named 2017 Hertz Fellows by the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. The fellows, who were selected from more than 700 applicants, will receive a stipend and full tuition support valued at more than $250,000 for up to five years of graduate study in the applied physical and biological sciences, mathematics and engineering.
Kemeny, who majored in geosciences and earned certificates in environmental studies and planets and life, is a graduate student in geochemistry in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology.
Kemeny plans to use the fellowship to continue researching the coevolution of life and climate throughout Earth's history. His work has a particular focus on reconstructing ancient environmental cycles, which will improve predictions in climate models and help combat the detrimental impacts of modern carbon emissions.
"The history of Earth's climate is intricately intertwined with the development of life, and interactions between geologic processes and the planet's biosphere are recorded in the stable isotope ratios of natural materials," Kemeny said. "I aspire to use isotope ratios to read Earth's biography, a story in equal parts elegant and confounding, but always utterly engaging."
Since graduating, Kemeny has explored his interests in unforgettable ways.
In July 2015, he participated in an oceanographic cruise aboard the South African icebreaker S.A. Agulhas II, traveling from Cape Town to the ice edge of Antarctica, serving as part of a team to sample seawater for nitrate and iron isotope analyses.
Then, Kemeny joined a team of scientists led by John Higgins, assistant professor of geosciences at Princeton, in Antarctica for seven weeks, searching for the world's oldest ice. "Antarctica has a lot to teach us about ancient climate and the origin of life," Kemeny said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have visited such a pristine environment and to be part of the search for older climate records."
After that expedition, Kemeny left Princeton for a summer of backpacking in Peru, Japan and Thailand before going to Iceland last August to conduct fieldwork with a team from Caltech and start his graduate studies.
As an undergraduate, Kemeny leapt at the chance to travel. In his junior year, he went to India with Princeton geoscientists Professor Gerta Keller and Associate Professor Blair Schoene, to conduct research on the rate of volcanic eruptions during the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction.
In the summer of 2011, he also sampled rainwater for isotopic analysis at the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya as part of an ecohydrology lab led by Kelly Caylor, now a professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara. "My research collecting rain required going outside in the middle of storms every few minutes, which meant I was nearly continuously saturated for a few hours most afternoons," Kemeny said.
As a freshman, he took his first geosciences course, led by associate professors Frederik Simons and Adam Maloof, which took Kemeny to Cyprus where he learned to use a magnetometer, among other skills of fieldwork.
"The Department of Geosciences was instrumental in shaping my academic experience at Princeton and growth as a scholar," Kemeny said.
He emphasizes the close working relationships Princeton undergraduates have with faculty, such as with his senior thesis adviser, Daniel Sigman, the Dusenbury Professor of Geological and Geophysical Sciences, who taught him how to measure and interpret nitrogen isotope ratios.
"Preston is a brilliant, creative intellect, a bundle of optimistic energy, and just an incredibly impressive person," Sigman said. "I don't want to make too bold of a claim regarding the origins of Preston's extraordinary potential and early successes. Still, I think Preston would agree that he has benefited from Princeton's unique level of support for undergraduate research, including research that puts the student shoulder to shoulder with faculty, postdocs, graduate students, research staff who are actively pursuing the frontiers of knowledge. Looking forward, I basically assume that Preston will drive major progress in our understanding of the Earth and the global environment."
"Danny remains and adviser and friend, and we are currently collaborating on a project using nitrogen isotope ratios to model glacial nutrient dynamics," Kemeny said.
At graduation, Kemeny received the Edward Sampson, Class of 1914, Prize in Environmental Geosciences for his thesis research, and was a 2016 recipient of the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.
At Princeton, Kemeny performed improvisational comedy with Lobster Club, a no-audition performance group he co-founded as a freshman, in addition to serving for two years as a leader in Outdoor Action. Kemeny was a peer academic adviser in Wilson College.
Students selected as 2017 Scholars in the Nation's Service
February 7, 2017- The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University has selected 10 students for the 2017 cohort of the Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative (SINSI).
Established in 2006, SINSI is designed to encourage, support and prepare the nation's top students to pursue careers in the U.S. federal government, in international and domestic agencies. Through rigorous academic training integrated with work experience, the goal of the highly competitive scholarship program is to provide students with the language and workplace skills needed to succeed in the public policy arena.
Sam Rasmussen, a sophomore from Salt Lake City, has yet to decide his major but is pursuing a certificate in East Asian studies. Prior to starting at Princeton, Rasmussen spent two years serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) in Taiwan, where he learned Mandarin Chinese. After spending the first part of the summer after his freshman year backpacking through Vietnam and Cambodia, Rasmussen participated in a global seminar at Peking University in Beijing. He will be studying abroad at Tsinghua University in Beijing in spring 2017. At Princeton, Rasmussen is a volunteer tutor with the Petey Greene inmate tutoring program, works in the Center on Contemporary China, is an Outdoor Action leader and is president of the Latter-day Students Association.
Caroline Jones, a junior from Princeton, New Jersey, is a junior in the Wilson School focusing on conflict and cooperation who is pursuing certificates in Latin American studies and the history and practice of diplomacy. During summer 2016, she had an internship at CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" as a recipient of the Ferris Grant for Summer Internships in Journalism. The previous summer, she worked at the Wilson School's Innovations for Successful Societies research program, working on case studies about justice and security sector reform. Jones is a recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence. She sings with the Princeton University Glee Club and the Chamber Choir and is a member of Princeton's figure skating team. Caroline served in the Outdoor Action Command Center during Frosh Trip 2016, and is also involved with OA's first aid program as a Wilderness First Responder.
Elizabeth Sell '17 selected as George J. Mitchell Scholar
Elizabeth Sell ‘17 was selected as one of the twelve George J. Mitchell Scholars nationwide in the 2018 class for the program, according to the US-Ireland Alliance.
The goal of the scholarship “is to provide tomorrow's leaders with an understanding about, an interest in, and an affinity for the island of Ireland,” according to its website.
Sell, concentrating in chemistry, is an Emergency Medical Technician with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and a Diversity Peer Educator. She previously worked as a research assistant at the Children’s National Medical Center and as an Outdoor Action Leader.
Seniors win Labouisse Prize for international projects
March 4, 2016 - Princeton University seniors Pelin Asa and Sean Treacy have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize to spend one year pursuing international civic engagement projects following graduation. Treacy, an OA Leader from Valhalla, New York, will return to Quito, Ecuador, an area he first visited as a high school junior, to develop and implement much-needed waste management and disposal technology for a poor community.
The Labouisse Prize, which awards $30,000 to each recipient, enables graduating seniors to engage in a project that exemplifies the life and work of Henry Richardson Labouisse, a 1926 Princeton graduate who was a diplomat, international public servant and champion for the causes of international justice and international development. The prize was established in 1984 by Labouisse's daughter and son-in-law, Anne and Martin Peretz. It is administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.
This summer will mark Treacy's third trip to Quito. He first visited the city in his teens on a service trip, and he returned the summer after his sophomore year at Princeton to teach English. Both trips were centered around work in Quito's Center for Working Families, the community center he hopes to help with his Labouisse project. He is working to create a sustainable toilet system for area residents, most of whom don't have sewage systems or clean drinking water.
"The center is really a remarkable place where children and their parents receive an education and learn useful skills so that they can support each other," Treacy said. "But they don't have basic services, like a sanitation system, in the area. I hope that this project of creating sustainable toilets can help people in the community live better lives."
The project developed in the course "EPICS: Engineering Projects in Community Service," where Treacy and his research team investigated various sanitation systems. Through his work and analysis, Treacy found that the breakdown of human waste through aerobic-waste composting provides safe, effective and environmentally friendly means for waste disposal. He and his team are working to refine the design.
"I have had the opportunity to work with Sean on EPICS," said Jay Benziger, a professor of chemical and biological engineering. "It is critical to develop technology that can address the needs of the developing world, such as refrigeration and sanitation. The solutions will not involve high-tech science or technology, nor will they attract venture capital or entrepreneurs. The solutions will take dedicated scientists and engineers to find inexpensive and simple devices. Sean Treacy is pursuing a call to be one of those scientists. With the assistance of the Labouisse Fellowship, Sean can pursue that calling."
When he is not in the lab, Treacy can be found playing Ultimate Frisbee — he is team captain — or organizing off-campus outdoor excursions as founder and co-president of the Princeton Wilderness Society. Treacy was also an Outdoor Action leader.
"My plan is to eventually go to graduate school, but I want to take this year after graduation and really apply what I have been learning in the lab," Treacy said. "I want to do something meaningful and useful and something that I wouldn't have time to do later in my career. I'm very grateful for this opportunity."
Princeton senior Barton awarded Rhodes Scholarship
December 2, 2015 - Princeton University senior Nicholas Barton has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford.
Barton, awarded the scholarship in his native Bermuda, joins four Princetonians awarded 2016 U.S. Rhodes Scholarships last month. The prestigious fellowships fund two to three years of graduate study at Oxford.
Barton, who is completing a bachelor's degree in astrophysical sciences, plans to pursue a master of science degree in mathematical modeling and scientific computing and an M.Sc. in applied statistics at Oxford.
"It's a huge honor to be chosen to receive the Rhodes, and I'm looking forward to continuing my studies at Oxford," Barton said. "I've always had a lot of help and support and I'm hugely thankful for everything my friends, family and professors have done for me over the years."
Growing up in Bermuda, Barton wrote in his application, he grew to close to nature through family camping trips, hours spent snorkeling above coral reefs and nights spent identifying stars and constellations. He has strengthened his connection to the outdoors at Princeton through the Outdoor Action program for incoming freshmen and his academic work.
"My love of the outdoors strongly influenced my decision to concentrate in astrophysics: the elegant models created from theory and confirmed through observation played to my innate curiosity and love of nature," Barton wrote in his application.
Barton is completing his senior thesis, in which he models the distribution of exoplanets in binary star systems. He has also conducted research on light pollution on campus.
As co-chair of the Leader Trainer Committee for Outdoor Action, which offers incoming students an opportunity for outdoor adventure, he has developed and taught leadership courses and led leader training trips.
Barton is also a member of the University's varsity squash team. He was selected most improved player in 2012-13 and was a member of the 2013 Ivy League champion team.
"With our mutual affinity for science we have had countless discussions on a wide range of physics topics, including astrophysics coursework and his summer research," said Neil Pomphrey, an assistant squash coach and a retired principal research physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. "Nic's critical thinking and ability to clearly present his points of view will stand him in good stead in the coming years at Oxford. On the squash courts Nic shares a strong work ethic and an abundance of energy and enjoyment with his teammates, his contributions to the team and gregarious nature accounting for his obvious popularity. Oxford will be enriched by Nic's presence."
Laura Harder '15 received Dulles Award at Class Day
June 1, 2015 - The Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award was presented to Laura Harder of Shanghai. The award is given to a senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University's informal motto, "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations." Harder is a major in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She has served for two years as chair of the Student Volunteers Council, overseeing more than 40 service projects. In addition, she is one of two students appointed to the University's Service and Civic Engagement Self-Study task force. Harder started the Prison Electives Project, designing and teaching a course on poetry and public speaking for 15 inmates. She also trained other student volunteer teachers in the program. Harder also was a co-founder of the "Ban the Box" student initiative. She was a site director, and then program director, of the Let's Get Ready SAT prep course for first-generation, low-income high school students. The weekly service project engaged more than 40 of her Princeton peers who taught and mentored high school juniors from several underserved local schools. She has also held several summer public service internships and has participated in a variety of other service projects.
Spirit of Princeton Award
Eight students have been named winners of the 2015 Spirit of Princeton Award, honoring Princeton University undergraduates for positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through dedicated efforts in student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts.
This year's winners were selected from a group of more than 60 nominees and were honored with a certificate and book prize during a dinner held on May 6. The Spirit of Princeton Award is sponsored by the Dean of Undergraduate Students Office and has been given annually since 1995.
Brandon Holt '15 (second from the left) is a senior from Old Hickory, Tennessee, majoring in history with a certificate in African American studies. He is an active member of Princeton Model Congress serving as the director of policy and director of program his freshman and junior year, respectively. Holt served as student president of the Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources and Education program and as a member of the editorial board of the Daily Princetonian. He also was a member of the University's Priorities Committee and the Faculty-Student Committee on Sexual Misconduct. He is an activist in the Black Justice League, a support team member for the Outdoor Action freshman orientation program and a former member of the Princeton Mock Trial team. Holt is a member of Whitman College.
Princeton names inaugural cohort of international Streicker Fellows
Nine Princeton undergraduates will intern and conduct research internationally this summer as the University's first Streicker Fellows.
The Streicker International Fellows Fund was established in 2015 to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to carry out substantive research or educational projects while immersed in a foreign culture. The fellows have designed their own projects or internships in conjunction with host organizations outside the United States. During their summer abroad, they will delve more deeply into their areas of study, expand their perspectives and improve their ability to speak another language.
Three OA Leaders or Leaders-in-Training have been selected as part of the first cohort of Streicker Fellows:
Douglas Bastidas, a member of the Class of 2017, of Little Rock, Arkansas. He is a Woodrow Wilson School major with a particular interest in the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) program and in computer science. Bastidas will be a solar energy intern with Thrive Energy Technologies in Hyderabad, India. The company develops and deploys commercial solar LED-based products and contributes to a number of nonprofit initiatives that bring LED portable home lights to those in need.
Hope Kean, a member of the Class of 2018, of Potomac, Maryland. Kean, who plans to study neuroscience, will be an intern in a lab in the neuroscience department at Seoul National University in Korea. The lab focuses on the AMPA receptor, a modulator for synaptic plasticity, and the associated proteins that affect its expression.
Sean Muleady, a member of the Class of 2017, of Fullerton, California. He is a physics major with particular interests in condensed matter physics and in French language and culture. Muleady will be doing quantum materials research at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, which has one of the leading condensed matter physics programs in Europe.
Princeton students win Davis Projects for Peace
Two teams of Princeton University students have received $10,000 grants from the Projects for Peace program, which supports new and creative ideas for promoting peace around the world. This summer, Haraya Buensuceso, a sophomore, and OA Leader Jacob Scheer, a senior, aim to bring together budding entrepreneurs to address the issue of climate change in the Philippines.
Merging projects for peace
Buensuceso, an economics major, and Scheer, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major, intend to bring together young entrepreneurs from across the Philippines to develop solutions to a broad spectrum of social and environmental problems. The students each have independently founded organizations designed to spur creative problem-solving in the Philippines; their Project for Peace connects their work.
Buensuceso co-founded the Watson Institute, an accelerator program for student innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs, after realizing that scant opportunities existed for youth from the lower strata of society to help create solutions to problems that directly affect them. At the same time, Scheer, as part of a Project for Peace in 2014 in the Philippines, co-founded Hack the Climate, which used a hackathon — an event in which software developers collaborate to build innovative web and mobile software — to encourage technology-based solutions to issues such as climate change, deforestation and mining.
"The problems of development, unemployment, environmental degradation and lack of education are intimately connected, and we believe that they cannot be fully addressed in isolation," Scheer and Buensuceco wrote in their project proposal. "Our three-day event will take a holistic approach to combating these issues by combining Hack the Climate's innovative eco-hackathon model with the Watson Institute's cutting-edge leadership development training." The three-day hackathon — called WatsonxHacktheClimate — will take place Aug. 7 through 9 during the final week of Watson Institute's eight-week summer symposium in Manila. "We're really looking forward to creating synergy," said Scheer. "To create a network of people that connects nongovernment organizations to youth as well as tech people, to bring everyone to the table."
Sophomore Haraya Buensuceso, left, and senior Jacob Scheer, right, will use their grant to bring together budding entrepreneurs to address the issue of climate change in the Philippines. (Photo by Gwen McNamara, Pace Center for Civic Engagement)
Sophomores win Dale Summer Awards
Twelve sophomores are winners of this year's Dale Summer Awards, which provide a $5,000 stipend to pursue a summer project that provides important opportunities for "personal growth, fosters independence, creativity and leadership skills, and broadens or deepens an area of special interest." Three of the recipients are OA Leaders and the titles of their projects are:
- Ted Callon, "Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail Northbound Section Hike"
- Harrison Waldon, "An Exploration of Tuvan Throat Singing, Instrument Building and Nomadic Arts"
- Samantha Walter, "Between Two Worlds"
Damaris Miller '15 selected for Labouisse Fellowship
Damaris Miller is one of two Princeton University seniors that have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize to spend one year pursuing international civic engagement projects after graduation. Miller's award will assist her work to assess the environmental efforts of monasteries and help the institutions' residents identify ways to increase their environmental sustainability.
Miller, of Northampton, Massachusetts, is majoring in anthropology and pursuing a certificate in environmental studies. Miller, who participated in the Bridge Year Program in India before her freshman year at Princeton, has placed her academic focus on the intersections of religion and the environment, paying particular attention to Buddhism and the environment.
Her senior thesis examines the shortcomings of environmental education at a monastery and an exploration of how the monks there can have environmental practices that combine science and Tibetan Buddhism. Miller said her thesis represents a starting point for her Labouisse project.
She will travel to two clusters of Himalayan monasteries, one in India and one in Nepal. She will assess environmental practices at the monasteries and then work with monks to create strategies to improve those practices. Finally, she plans to help residents identify projects that are important to them and identify ways to make them successful.
"My greatest aspiration for both this fellowship and my career is to actively engage communities on environmental issues they find important through practices, religious or otherwise, which they find significant and helpful," Miller said. "I hope to pursue this goal while all the while learning, adapting and improving my own approach to environmental advocacy."
Miller will partner with Sacred Earth and Khoryug, two nonprofits working to build environmental sustainability through faith-based organizations. Dekila Chungyalpa, director of the groups, said Miller has already provided important data for the project through her earlier research and is well-suited for the project given her experience in the region.
"Damaris is passionate about her work, and has demonstrated a consistent commitment to the environmental issues that concern her," said Matthew Weiner, associate dean in the Office of Religious Life, who cited Miller's key role in planning aspects of the visit to campus of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in the fall and other activities on campus. Damaris has been a volunteer with Outdoor Action's Peak Potential Climbing Program for children with disabilities.
Laura Cooper '15 receives Gates Cambridge Scholarship
February 13, 2015 - Laura Cooper is one of three Princeton University seniors have been awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships. The awards give outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. The recipients are among the 40 U.S. winners of the Gates Cambridge Scholarships.
Cooper, of St. Louis, is an ecology and evolutionary biology major pursuing a certificate in global health and health policy. At Cambridge, she will study for a master's degree in veterinary science. Her research will focus on the effects of vaccination and meningococcal epidemiology of the African meningitis belt. After Cambridge, she hopes to attend medical school.
Cooper's senior thesis explores the variety of mosquito biting patterns and how this affects the transmission of malaria. Last spring, she was named a global health scholar by the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton.
"I'm delighted for Laura on this richly deserved award," said her senior thesis adviser Bryan Grenfell, the Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs. "She combines a very strong commitment to global health with a very sharp eye for the dynamics of infectious disease. She's joining a superb group in Cambridge and I'm sure will have a wonderful time."
Outside the classroom, Cooper is an Outdoor Action leader and tutors with the Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program.
Billy Beacom '15 receives Sachs Scholarship
December 12, 2014 - William Beacom, a concentrator in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs who is pursuing a certificate in East Asian studies, has been awarded the Sachs Global Scholarship. He will spend a year in five Central Asian nations studying the impact of Chinese influence on authoritarian regimes.
The Sachs awards are intended to enlarge each recipient's experience of the world by providing the opportunity to study, work or travel abroad after graduation. There are two types of awards. Recipients of the Sachs Scholarship study at Worcester College to pursue a specific Oxford degree program. The Sachs Global Scholarship supports an independent project at an established institution abroad to "engage in a transformative intellectual experience."
Beacom, of Calgary, Alberta, will begin his Sachs Global Scholarship this summer by attending the Middlebury Language School to study Russian. He is already proficient in Chinese. He will then live in five nations — Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia — studying how the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) acts as a conduit for Chinese influence in the region and exploring the identity, economic and security implications of this influence at the domestic level, an expansion of his senior thesis topic.
"I first became interested in the SCO when I wrote a paper on the organization for a Chinese class," Beacom said. "I noticed that connotations of key terms in the English translation of official declarations differed from the Chinese version. I started to wonder whether China is furthering an alternative set of international norms in the SCO. A statistical analysis of United Nations General Assembly voting records conducted for my spring junior paper provided evidence that this is likely the case."
In his academic pursuits at Princeton, Beacom has been a fellow in the Project on Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, which explores the influence of religion and religious beliefs on international diplomacy, power politics, crisis and conflict management, and other activities of state and nonstate actors. He has been a researcher in the Princeton-Humboldt Partnership on the 2013-15 project "Fortress Europe: How the Rest of the World Shapes European Integration." He is the recipient of the R.W. Van de Velde Award for outstanding independent work at the Wilson School.
Sophie Meunier, a research scholar at the Wilson School and a lecturer in public and international affairs, is Beacom's senior thesis adviser and, as principal investigator, supervised his work on the Princeton-Humboldt project. She commended his "great subtlety in evaluating arguments, [his] sharp comparative mind and … careful attention to detail, in addition to a friendly and helpful personality." Of his senior thesis, Meunier remarked: "I trust that his thesis will make a real contribution. Billy has the stuff of a scholar."
After the Sachs Global Scholarship, Beacom plans to join the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development, where he hopes to continue work on Central and East Asian issues. He also plans to take time away from the Foreign Service to work toward a doctorate in international relations.
He is the co-founder of Princeton Talks, a forum for student speakers on campus, and has served as an Outdoor Action leader and an LGBT peer educator. Beacom has run several marathons for charitable causes and enjoys backcountry skiing in the Canadian Rockies.
Joe Barrett '14 receives Rhodes Scholarship
November 25, 2014 - Princeton University alumnus Joseph Barrett, a member of the Class of 2014, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford. He is among the 32 American recipients of the prestigious fellowships, which fund two to three years of graduate study at Oxford.
Barrett, of Port Washington, New York, a concentrator in history who also earned a certificate in South Asian studies, plans to pursue an M.Phil. in economic and social history.
At Princeton, he focused on the study of systemic poverty, an area of interest sparked as an inaugural participant in the University's Bridge Year Program, which provides incoming freshmen with the opportunity to defer enrollment for a year to engage in University-sponsored community service abroad. Barrett worked for World Literacy Canada in Varanasi, India, where he assisted literacy initiatives, researched microfinance and taught in an afterschool program.
In his senior thesis, Barrett analyzed the origins of the Peace Corps and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), a domestic version of the Peace Corps, and the planning of the War on Poverty. In his Rhodes application, Barrett wrote: "In short, my research demonstrated that policymakers should be engaged historians, who understand the histories of the words and ideas used to make policy."
Taimur Ahmad '16, Rochel Rosenblatt '16, Jana Suriano '16 and Maggie Zhang '16 selected for Dale Summer Awards
April 11, 2014 - Fifteen sophomores are winners of this year's Martin A. Dale '53 Summer Awards, which provide a $5,000 stipend to pursue a summer project not connected to students' academic coursework. The recipients and descriptions of their projects are:
Taimur Ahmad will hike through the Sierra Nevada mountains for his project "In the Footsteps of John Muir." While he hikes, he will contemplate nature by reading classic works by authors such as Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
Rachel Rosenblatt will work with London Youth Rowing on their adaptive rowing program for her project "Allowing All to Tame the Thames." She will examine how rowing helps children and adults who have a range of neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries and learning disabilities.
Jana Suriano hopes to gain a better understanding and deepen her connections to Norwegian culture through her project "Cultivating My Cultural Heritage in Norway." She will live and work on an organic family farm to learn about agrarian Norwegian communities.
Maggie Zhang will study street art in Melbourne, Australia, for her project "Graffiti and the City: Photo Essays and Interviews on Street Art." She plans to talk to artists, bloggers, locals, tourists and city leaders to get a perspective on how street art works in Melbourne and its role in shaping the city's culture.
Joe Barrett '14 and Isabel Kasdin '14 receive the Pyne Prize
February 14, 2014 - Princeton seniors Joe Barrett and Izzy Kasdin have been named co-winners of the University's 2014 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate. The Pyne Honor Prize, established in 1921, is awarded to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. Previous recipients include the late Princeton President Emeritus Robert F. Goheen, former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Barrett, of Port Washington, N.Y., is a history major pursuing a certificate in South Asian studies. After graduation, he plans to work on an effort to develop volunteer-based GED tutoring programs for prison inmates. In the long term, he hopes to focus on policy issues related to domestic and international poverty, especially those tied to education and incarceration.
"I feel deeply honored and very lucky to have received this award," Barrett said. "I'm very thankful for the friends, classmates and professors who have pushed me to grow as a person and as a student during the past four years."
Before beginning his studies at Princeton, Barrett participated in the University's Bridge Year Program, which provides incoming freshmen with the opportunity to defer enrollment for a year to engage in University-sponsored community service abroad.
John Luria, director of the program, said he saw Barrett's passion for learning at work at the Bridge Year site in Varanasi, India.
"While in India, whether he was tutoring English, studying Hindi, spending time with his host family, striking up a conversation with the neighborhood "chai wala," or reading history books — a favorite pastime — Joe was actively engaged in a process of exploration and critical reflection," Luria said. "He is perhaps one of the most engaged, reflective and open-minded students I've ever come across."
In his senior thesis, Barrett is exploring government understandings of poverty and its role in working to reduce poverty in the 1960s.
"Joe Barrett is the kind of undergraduate that makes teaching at Princeton such a joy," said Sean Wilentz, Princeton's George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History and Barrett's thesis adviser. "Joe cares deeply about what he studies and its connections to the world we only think we know. His senior thesis already bears the marks of this kind of rooted enlightenment."
Barrett is a volunteer tutor with the Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program, an Outdoor Action leader trainer, a member of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, a co-founder of Students for Prison Education and Reform and a member of the club soccer team.
In addition to his Bridge Year experience, he studied at the University of Oxford as a participant in the Oxford-Princeton Exchange in History and returned to India to study in an intensive Urdu program. He also worked as an intern at the U.S. government's Millennium Challenge Corporation, both in Washington, D.C., and Maseru, Lesotho.
During his freshman year, he took a course on the 1857 revolt in colonial India taught by Bhavani Raman, an associate professor of history. Raman became a mentor to Barrett and advised him on his junior paper on the effects of British imperial ideologies on the interpretation of Indian history and artifacts.
"Joseph has a passionate interest in contemporary worlds and a deep commitment to know them through the frameworks of history," Raman said. "This wonderful quality makes for a creative and rigorous mind that draws out new and innovative ways to relate the past and the present."
Kasdin, of Princeton, N.J., is a history major pursuing a certificate in American studies. She plans to pursue a master's degree in archaeology at the University of Cambridge in the archaeological heritage and museums track through a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Kasdin ultimately hopes to work as a museum curator in a cultural heritage management role.
"Princeton has provided me with unbelievable support to pursue crazy dreams — to take a production to an international theater festival, to sing in Vienna on Mozart's birthday, to contribute to a museum exhibit, to interview screen actors for a term paper, to go to a Q-and-A with Stephen Sondheim — the list could go on and on," Kasdin said. "It's difficult to express how grateful I am for the opportunities Princeton has provided me, and I certainly don't think I could have earned this without Princeton's support along the way."
Jill Dolan, the Annan Professor in English and professor of English and theater in the Lewis Center for the Arts, has taught Kasdin in two courses.
"Izzy is one of the best students I've worked with, not only at Princeton but in my 30-plus-year teaching career," she said.
"She's a very synthetic thinker; she easily brings together her work in history with her studies in gender and sexuality, popular culture and theater, as she thinks across periods and disciplines with grace and elegance," said Dolan, who directs the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
In her senior thesis, Kasdin is examining the representations of the American past at world's fairs held in the United States in 1876, 1893, 1904 and 1915-16. She is focusing on how those expositions served as laboratories for American public memory and how historical conditions at that time influenced the ways fair organizers represented and discussed the past.
"Izzy is already a true historian, with the patience and curiosity to spend long hours in archives," said Martha Sandweiss, a professor of history and Kasdin's thesis adviser. "She has an eye for the telling document and odd detail that let her craft her papers with imagination and intellectual rigor."
Kasdin is president of Princeton University Players, co-president of the Princeton University Chapel Choir, an Outdoor Action leader, an Orange Key tour guide and a study abroad peer adviser in the Office of International Programs. She is also a major choices adviser in Rockefeller College and a member of the student advisory board in the Program in American Studies.
She spent a semester abroad at University College London and a summer studying archaeological field methods at the College of William and Mary. She also was a museum education intern at Ford's Theatre Society and a volunteer at the Historical Society of Princeton.
Penna Rose, director of chapel music, said Kasdin has been a key part of the Chapel Choir since her freshman year, as a performer and a leader.
"Izzy is important to the choir first and foremost as a singer," Rose said. "But she contributes her energy in a myriad of ways, each of which enhances the community and life of the Chapel Choir."
Kasdin also was co-director and co-producer, along with senior Lily Gold, of the Princeton in Edinburgh: Fringe Festival Project, in which the full-length musical "Assasins" was presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in 2012.
"It's wonderful that the prestigious Pyne Prize has honored a student whose excellent scholarship, strong character and accomplished leadership skills have been demonstrated in the arts," Dolan said.
David Abugaber '14, Isabel Kasdin '14 and Simone Sasse '14 receive Gates Cambridge Scholarships
February 10, 2014 - Three Princeton University seniors David Abugaber, Isabel Kasdin and Simone Sasse have been awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships.The three are all OA Leaders. The awards give outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. The recipients are among the 40 U.S. winners of the Gates Cambridge Scholarships.
David Abugaber, of San Marco, Texas, is an independent concentrator in linguistics and is pursuing a certificate in Latin American studies. At Cambridge, he will study for a master's degree in theoretical and applied linguistics. Abugaber said his interests in language and identity stem from his experience as a bilingual Mexican American. He hopes to conduct research in the psychology of language, with an emphasis on how to improve the teaching of second languages.
Abugaber was awarded the University's Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2011 and is a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.
"David perfectly fits the profile of a Gates Scholar," said Abugaber's senior thesis adviser, Christiane Fellbaum, a senior lecturer in computer science and linguistics. "He is an original thinker who needs to carve out his own path for research, one that marries his academic interests with his deep social engagement."
Abugaber volunteers as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro and teaches English to Hispanic immigrants at the El Centro program in Trenton. He also is a Spanish language editor and translator for the Princeton University Language Project, and is a coordinator for Pa'delante English as a second language classes in the town of Princeton.
He has taught English in South Korea and Brazil, as well as conducted linguistics research in Guatemala and Germany. He is president of the student Linguistics Club and was an Outdoor Action orientation group leader.
Isabel Kasdin, of Princeton, N.J., is a history major pursuing a certificate in American studies. She plans to pursue a master's degree in archaeology at Cambridge in the department's archaeological heritage and museums track. Kasdin ultimately hopes to work as a museum curator in a cultural heritage management role.
Assistant Professor of History Vera Candiani said Kasdin's approach to knowledge and learning is driven by "a need to understand and explain phenomena." She said Kasdin's junior paper about patriotism and segregation in Princeton during World War II was one of the best she ever read "because it did not merely teach me about the town where I live, but more importantly made me think."
Kasdin was awarded the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2012. She is president of the Princeton University Players and Princeton University Chapel Choir. She was an Outdoor Action orientation group leader, is an Orange Key tour guide, a major choices adviser in Rockefeller College and serves on the student advisory board of the Program in American Studies.
She spent a semester abroad at University College London and a summer studying archaeological field methods at the College of William and Mary. She also was a museum education intern at Ford's Theatre Society and a volunteer at the Historical Society of Princeton.
Simone Sasse, of Los Angeles, is an ecology and evolutionary biology major pursuing a certificate in global health and health policy. She plans to pursue a master's degree in pathology at Cambridge. She hopes to become a physician-scientist specializing in infectious disease and how to limit the transmission of tropical diseases.
"Simone is incredibly intelligent, hard working and an innovative thinker," said her senior thesis adviser Adel Mahmoud, a lecturer with the rank of professor in molecular biology and public policy.
Sasse's senior thesis stems from her fieldwork in Vietnam. She spent the summer in Ho Chi Minh City with the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit conducting research related to the insect-born disease dengue fever.
"The choice of Simone to study in Cambridge is a natural outcome of her interest in infectious diseases and global health with clear emphasis on understanding basic mechanisms and innovative approaches to deal with these major global challenges," Mahmoud said.
As part of her academic work at Princeton, Sasse spent a semester studying tropical biology in Panama and a summer studying marine biology in Bermuda. She also has conducted research in the chemistry department at the California Institute of Technology.
Outside of the classroom, Sasse is a leader and trainer with the Outdoor Action orientation program; a French language editor with the Princeton University Language Project; a wilderness emergency medical technician; and an actress in French theater troupes, including Princeton's L'Avant-Scéne.
Amy Ousterhout '13 receives Hertz Fellowship
April 10, 2013 - "Three Princeton students were among 15 recipients of this year’s Hertz Foundation Fellowship, which supports doctoral research in the applied sciences. Amy Ousterhout ’13 was one of the three selected from over 700 applicants to receive the fellowship, which offers $250,000 to fund research leading to a Ph.D.
Ousterhout, a computer science major from Palo Alto, Calif, is the second in her family to receive the Hertz Fellowship, following her sister Kay, who received the award in 2011. Ousterhout will pursue her doctorate in computer science at MIT next year. In her senior thesis, Ousterhout studied computer vision and developed technology capable of recognizing physical objects in visual data, such as Google Maps. Her research at MIT will explore computer networks, which she also researched as a junior.
“I think they’re interesting because they affect a ton of people. Almost everyone uses networks on a daily basis,” she said. “I’m interested in improving networks and systems so they can accommodate the changes that have occurred over the last 20 to 30 years to devices that people use.”
Ousterhout was co-president of the Princeton Women in Computer Science, an Outdoor Action leader and a computer science lab teaching assistant. She is also a former web editor for The Daily Princetonian." - Daily Princetonian
Shirley Gao '13 and Courtney Crumpler '13 receive Labouisse Prize
March 13, 2013 - Three Princeton University seniors have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse '26 Prize to spend one year pursuing international civic engagement projects after graduation. The $30,000 prize will support a joint initiative by Shirley Gao and Raphael Frankfurter in Sierra Leone, and a project by Courtney Crumpler in Brazil.
The award to Gao and Frankfurter will aid their work to develop a maternal health coordination center in eastern Sierra Leone. Crumpler's prize will support her efforts to bolster community organizing in underserved communities in Rio de Janeiro in advance of the 2014 World Cup finals and 2016 Olympics there.
The Labouisse Prize enables graduating seniors to engage in a project that exemplifies the life and work of Henry Richardson Labouisse, a 1926 Princeton graduate who was a diplomat, international public servant and champion for the causes of international justice and international development. The prize was established in 1984 by Labouisse's daughter and son-in-law, Anne and Martin Peretz.
Focus on maternal health
Both Gao, concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School, and Frankfurter, concentrating in anthropology, are pursuing certificates in global health and health policy. They will partner with Wellbody Alliance — a public health care and social justice nonprofit co-founded in Sierra Leone's Kono District by physicians Daniel Kelly, a member of Princeton's Class of 2003 — and Bailor Barrie, to develop a coordination center for the organization's maternal health care program.
According to Gao, a native of Davis, Calif., and Frankfurter, from Durham, N.H., Kono is one of the poorest regions in West Africa; 20 percent of children die before the age of 5 and one in 20 women die during childbirth.
In 2012, one year after Wellbody Alliance initiated a project in Kono to combat those statistics, the duo reported, more than 5,000 women a month were seeking care through it. The response has overwhelmed the nonprofit, which only recently received funding to construct a permanent facility to house examination rooms, screening centers and a headquarters for the maternal health care system.
Gao and Frankfurter plan to hire an additional nurse to handle complex cases; create a center for periodic community health worker retraining; develop a curriculum and train emergency medical technicians; hire two case managers; develop an effective supervisory structure for the community health workers; create a 24-hour communication system for ambulance dispatch; and develop a centralized location for coordination among nongovernmental organizations on maternal health-related activities. The pair also plan to train project managers and head community health workers to assume responsibility for the center and hope to develop fundraising mechanisms to ensure its sustainability. In addition, they plan to pursue longer-term funding for the staff and project expansions.
At Princeton, Gao's coursework in health policy led to an internship last summer in Sierra Leone with the Wellbody Alliance. The experience helped her develop her senior thesis, which examines how the post-conflict Sierra Leone government can build a functional health care labor force. She won senior thesis funding to return to Sierra Leone in January to conduct fieldwork.
"I am thrilled to return to Sierra Leone and work in a field I am passionate about," Gao said. "The Labouisse fellowship allows me to gain valuable on-the-ground experience and build on what I learned last summer and this year as I've engaged in my thesis."
She plans to pursue a career in health policy.
Working in favelas
Crumpler is an anthropology major pursuing a certificate in global health and health policy. She is also earning certificates in Latin American studies, Portuguese and dance. The Labouisse Prize will support her work in Rio de Janeiro with Catalytic Communities. The nonprofit group, also known as CatComm, aims to change the public perception around unserved neighborhoods known as favelas and support community-driven initiatives in these neighborhoods.
According to Crumpler, who is from Raleigh, N.C., preparations for the 2014 World Cup finals and the 2016 Olympic games have the potential to marginalize further many of the 1.4 million people who live in Rio's favelas. CatComm and other community organizations are concerned about forced evictions being carried out in parts of the city marked for event-related development and about favela upgrade programs in neighborhoods closest to the public eye, rather than in those with demonstrated need.
As planned, her project will contribute to CatComm's goals by documenting community organizing initiatives throughout the city and developing strategies to increase participation in them, conducting workshops in targeted favelas, and producing educational materials and news articles for the organization. The basis for this work will be extensive research around the practices of existing community organizations.
"What I am most excited about for this fellowship," Crumpler said, "is the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from my future colleagues in Brazil, discovering the ways that people-centered research is being put into practice as Rio de Janeiro transforms in the coming years."
Crumpler's commitment to Rio and the issues facing its low-income residents began in 2010, when she traveled there as a recipient of a Paul E. Sigmund Scholars Award from the Program in Latin American Studies. The award enabled her to work with a youth theater group on HIV/AIDS-related issues.
In summer 2012, as a recipient of a Davis Project for Peace award, she and a colleague designed and implemented a gardening project at a preschool in Niteroi, a city situated across the bay from Rio. Crumpler also conducted research for her senior thesis on the connections between urban agriculture and health in Rio. An Adel Mahmoud Global Health Scholarship funded her summer research as well as a return trip to Rio in January to continue fieldwork for her thesis.
After her fellowship, Crumpler will pursue graduate studies that combine anthropology, public policy and global health, with a focus on Latin America.
David Kurz '12 selected as Gates Scholar
February 14, 2013 - Princeton University Class of 2012 graduate David Kurz, has been awarded aGates Cambridge Scholarship. The awards give outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. David is among 39 U.S. winners of the Gates Cambridge Scholarships. International winners will be announced this spring. A total of 90 scholarships are typically awarded each year.
Kurz graduated from Princeton in 2012 with an A.B. degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and a certificate in Spanish language and culture. He lives in the town of Princeton and is a ministry intern at Christian Union.
Kurz will pursue a master's in biological science in Cambridge's Department of Zoology. He eventually hopes to have a career helping to protect endangered fauna through work at an academic, zoological or nonprofit institution.
During his undergraduate studies at Princeton, Kurz took part in a number of scientific field projects in Maine, North Carolina, Panama and Costa Rica. His senior thesis research in Costa Rica focused on the ways reptiles and amphibians respond to agriculture-based land use change. He also is a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society.
"David is an exceptionally gifted conservation ecologist with a very sharp mind, a keen interest in natural history, and an abiding love of tropical forests and the creatures within them," said Kurz's thesis adviser David Wilcove, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and public affairs.
Outside the classroom, Kurz was treasurer of Princeton Faith and Action, a tour guide for Orange Key and an Outdoor Action trip leader. He also co-organized a charity race for the Bald Head Island Conservancy in North Carolina and spent a semester abroad at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain.
Sean Chen '14 selected as Woodrow Wilson School Scholar in the Nation's Service
Sean Andrew Chen '14, of Martinsville, New Jersey, an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar, is the Class of 2014 Frederick P. Hitz ’61 Scholar in the Nation’s Service. Sean began his Princeton career at the School of Architecture but, after a leave of absence to attend the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London, returned as a Woodrow Wilson School concentrator with certificates in environmental and urban studies. Sean had previously studied music at The Juilliard School before attending Princeton, where he is now a member of the Princeton University Orchestra. This past summer Sean wrote for the Philadelphia-based urban affairs magazine Next American City. For the summer of 2011, Sean received a Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award with which he pursued a photojournalism project centered on contemporary American identity. His key interests are in the idea of place – specifically urban planning, land use, transportation and infrastructure.
Maddy Case '12 receives T.A. Barron Environmental Leadership Prize
June 4, 2012 - The Thomas A. Barron Environmental Leadership Prize recognizes a member of the graduating class who has distinguished himself or herself by showing exceptional dedication to environmental concerns, not only in formal classes and independent academic work, but also by leading and encouraging activities among fellow students and in the community at large.
Shirley Gao '13 and Yu-Sung Huang '12 are Spirit of Princeton winners
Nine students have been named winners of the 2012 Spirit of Princeton Award, which honors undergraduates at Princeton University for their positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through dedicated efforts with student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts.
This year's winners were selected from a group of more than 80 nominations and were honored with a book prize at a dinner earlier this month. The award, which has been given annually since 1995, is sponsored by the University's Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.
The 2012 winners of the Spirit of Princeton Award are (left to right) Faaez Ul Haq, Christina Chang, Omar Carrillo, Lydia Arias, Yu-Sung Huang, Shirley Gao, Ben Cogan, Haley White and Jonathan Ford. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students)
Shirley Gao '13, a junior from Davis, Calif., is a Wilson School major with plans to earn a certificate in global health and health policy. Currently, she is a co-chair of the Pace Council for Civic Values, where she has helped establish and improve a number of community service initiatives. She has twice planned Reflections on Service, an annual orientation event that introduces incoming students to service opportunities, and she has been a participant, leader and two-time coordinator for Pace Center Breakout trips. In addition to her work with the Pace Center, she has twice served as a co-chair for the town-gown event Communiversity, and she is a member of the Wilson School's Student Advisory Committee as well as the Undergraduate Bernstein Gallery Committee, which reviews the exhibition schedule for arts shows in the lower floors of Robertson Hall. She was selected as a student representative to the University's Priorities Committee this year. A former chair of the Mathey College Council, she also has been a writer for the University Press Club, an Outdoor Action leader, and a HEART (Health Education and Rescue Training) and CPR instructor. She is a current member of Leadership for Change, an initiative to provide students with leadership development opportunities on campus. During her summers, she has participated in a University-sponsored Global Seminar in Ghana and England, traveled on a two-week trip to Cambodia through the Office of Religious Life and served as a finance intern for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. This summer she will serve as an intern for Wellbody Alliance in Sierra Leone through the International Internship Program and will travel to the former Yugoslavia with the Office of Religious Life to study conflict resolution and sustainable peace-building.
Yu-Sung Huang '12, a senior from Richmond, Va., is concentrating in operations research and financial engineering with certificates in the Wilson School, engineering management systems and finance. He served as the president of the Taiwanese American Student Association and is a member of Leadership For Change. He is a two-year residential college adviser in Rockefeller College and a three-year Outdoor Action leader. He has also served on a number of University committees, including the Priorities Committee, the Alcohol Coalition Committee and the Vice President for Campus Life's Orientation Working Group. With the Alcohol Coalition Committee, he has been part of the Prospect Dinners Working Group, a team that brings faculty, students and staff together for an open conversation about Princeton student culture around alcohol and how it impacts the student experience. Upon graduating, he will join the Chicago office of the Boston Consulting Group.
Maddy Case '12 selected as a 2012 Luce Scholar
Madelon Case grew up exploring the mountains, forests, and deserts of the Pacific Northwest. A botany research program in Idaho at the age of 15 inspired a passion for plant ecology and conservation biology that has guided her academic interests ever since. She went on to pursue a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. In her time as an undergraduate, her interest in ecology has taken her to spruce forests in Maine, coral reefs off the coast of Panama, and the mountain meadows in Oregon where she studied the effects of gopher mounds on plant communities for her senior thesis. She is also fascinated by theoretical approaches to biology and has enjoyed creating mathematical models of forest succession and the evolution of the mimic octopus for classes at Princeton. Outside of her academic work, Maddy is an avid hiker and rock climber. As a student at
Princeton, she has found many ways to practice leading and teaching others, from tutoring fellow students in the Writing Center to training new leaders for freshman outdoor orientation trips as a Leader Trainer in the Outdoor Action program. She also enjoys writing creative nonfiction, doing crossword puzzles, and cooking meals for dozens of people at the Two Dickinson Street Co-op.
Luce Scholars gain new perspectives and cultural insights on their host countries through immersive living and working experiences in Asia. A professional placement is individually arranged for each Scholar on the basis of his or her professional interest, background, and qualifications.
Jim Valcourt ’12 wins Hertz Fellowship
By Prerna Ramachandra
"Pyne Prize winner Jim Valcourt ’12 now has another laurel to add to his collection. Valcourt, a molecular biology major from Sterling, Mass., who is also pursuing a certificate in quantitative and computational biology, was awarded the Hertz Fellowship on March 22 to support graduate study in the physical, biological or engineering sciences.
One of the most prestigious fellowships in the applied sciences, the Hertz Fellowship awards $250,000 grants every year to 15 students working toward a Ph.D. degree in the applied sciences. This year saw an applicant pool of over 600 students. After submitting an application for the fellowship, 150 applicants are selected for a first round of interviews. These applicants are further narrowed to 50 candidates for the second round, after which 15 are selected for the prize. Matthew Edwards ’12, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major, was among the 50 finalists.
Valcourt cited Nobel laureate and molecular biology professor Eric Wieschaus as the person who introduced him to research at Princeton.
“I sent him an email even before I came to Princeton asking him if I could work in his lab, and he said I could,” Valcourt said.
Valcourt also said that Hilary Coller, his thesis adviser, and David Botstein, one of the professors who spearheads the Integrated Science curriculum, have been immensely important in guiding him through his undergraduate years. Professor Coller said that Valcourt is “an extraordinary student, a valued colleague and a dedicated scientist” who is “particularly unique in his ability to perform both experimental and computational molecular biology.”
Valcourt has conducted research for the past three summers, spending two of them at Princeton. He took the rigorous Integrated Science curriculum his first two years at the University and cited the program as “phenomenal preparation” for a future in scientific research.
Valcourt said he plans to take two years off before graduate school to work at a private research lab, D.E. Shaw Research in New York. According to its website, the lab conducts “basic scientific research in the field of computational biochemistry.”
Speaking about his unusual choice not to go directly to graduate school, Valcourt said he felt a private lab would give him an opportunity to learn a new research style and added that he “would value the experience of trying something new.”
After two years, Valcourt said he hopes to attend Harvard, Stanford or MIT but would like to wait to see the direction of his research before making a decision.
Apart from his academic work, Valcourt is involved with a variety of extracurricular organizations on campus. He is the current chair of the Princeton Tiger humor magazine, speakers chair for the Student Bioethics Forum and a leader trainer for the Outdoor Action pre-orientation program. He also works as an Orange Key campus tour guide and serves as a peer tutor and peer adviser in Wilson College.
“I view some of these activities as a way to stay sane when work gets crazy and use them as an outlet to work off stress,” Valcourt said. “I never thought being on Tiger Mag would be seen as something positive.”
Valcourt said he was “such a different person before coming into Princeton,” and added that he is graduating with more confidence and maturity.
“Princeton taught me how to do science and provided me with a valuable toolset which will help me going forward in life,” he said."
- The Daily Princetonian, Published: Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Jim Valcourt '12 receives Pyne Prize
February 22, 2012 - James Valcourt, an OA Leader and Leader Trainer, has been named co-winners of the University's 2012 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate. Valcourt, who is from Sterling, Mass., is a molecular biology major and a candidate for a certificate in quantitative and computational biology. He received the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2009 and is described by academic and administrative advisers as both a "gifted scientist" and "campus humorist."
"People simply love Jim," said Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne. "He is all that you would want an undergraduate to be — funny, passionate, and quietly determined and curious about the world around him."
Valcourt currently serves as chair of The Princeton Tiger humor magazine, speakers chair for the Student Bioethics Forum and as a leader trainer for the Outdoor Action preorientation program for freshmen. His other activities include working as an Orange Key campus tour guide and serving as a peer tutor and peer academic adviser in Wilson College.
"I'm incredibly excited and deeply honored to be selected as one of this year's winners," Valcourt said. "I'm especially honored because I've seen firsthand how many amazing people are in our class. I can't imagine trying to select a winner from such a talented pool of students."
Valcourt's junior and senior independent work has focused on molecular and systems biology and he plans to also pursue these fields in his graduate studies.
For his senior thesis, Valcourt is defining the extent of cooperation between two pathways that regulate protein levels, employing both biological and computational methods to conduct his studies.
Speaking of the larger scientific impacts of such research, Valcourt noted that each of these pathways, when disrupted, can contribute to developmental disorders and diseases, including cancer. He said this has driven his desire to understand how they interact.
His thesis adviser Hilary Coller, an assistant professor of molecular biology, called Valcourt a scientist and student "of the highest caliber."
"Jim has a remarkable grasp of both experimental research and the quantitative analysis of large-scale datasets and genomic information," Coller said of his work with her lab group. "He is mature, respectful and honest. He is supportive of others, kind and a good labmate."
Coller said she was so impressed with Valcourt's work that she invited him to co-write a scientific review expected for publication in the journal Cell Cycle. Valcourt's research experience also has included summers as an intern at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the European Molecular Biology Laboratories in Heidelberg, Germany.
Valcourt credited the University's Integrated Science Curriculum for freshmen and sophomores — which combines instruction in physics, biology, chemistry and computer science — with giving him a strong foundation to become a scientist.
"The courses have totally changed the way I think about scientific problems, and some of my best friends have come from the bonds that the program forms," he said.
David Botstein, the Anthony B. Evnin '62 Professor of Genomics, said he observed Valcourt as "both very bright and highly motivated" when he taught him in several courses.
"He also has a talent for research (both at the bench and the computer) and extraordinary leadership skills," said Botstein, a professor of molecular biology and director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics.
Among his peers, Valcourt has been recognized for his sense of humor and school spirit. In 2011, he launched the first National Intercollegiate Humor Conference at Princeton, which drew attendees from universities around the country. His work resulted in receiving the Alberto Santos-Dumont Prize for Innovation, which honors students who create a unique and creative program that has a wide-ranging impact on the undergraduate community.
"Princeton is such a special place," Valcourt said. "It has incredible students, amazing professors and fantastic resources. I've enjoyed every second here, and I can't imagine going anywhere else."
Dan Barson '12 named Gates Cambridge Scholar
February 20, 2012 - Dan Barson '12 is one four members of the Class of 2012 selected as Gates Cambridge Scholars, which give outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. Barson, who is from Cross River, N.Y., is majoring in molecular biology and earning certificates in quantitative and computational neuroscience and global health and health policy. At Cambridge he plans to pursue a master's in clinical neurosciences. He then hopes to enroll in an MD/Ph.D. program in the United States, eventually pursuing a career in academic medicine, researching and applying treatments to promote central nervous system regeneration after injury and disease.
Barson received a Nancy J. Newman, MD '78 and Valerie Biousse, MD Senior Thesis Research Fund for Neuroscience award. He is working in the lab of David Tank, the Henry L. Hillman Professor in Molecular Biology and professor of molecular biology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. The research seeks to better understand cell responses by tracing the chemical trail from neuron clusters to a single neuron using a combination of the rabies virus and high-sensitivity imaging.
Throughout his undergraduate years, Barson has served on the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad. He also participated extensively with the Outdoor Action program as a trip leader, CPR instructor and coordinator of the HEART Wilderness First Aid Program. He has served as an academic peer adviser with Forbes College and has been active with the ski and snowboard team.
Maddy Case '12 Wins Becky Colvin memorial Award
In May 2011, Maddy Case ’12, an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major earning a certificate in environmental studies, received the Becky Colvin Memorial Award from PEI. The award was established in 1995 by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Colvin in memory of their daughter, Becky Colvin ’95. Becky was an ecology and evolutionary biology major who was very interested in field research. The annual fund supports summer environmental field research projects following the junior year, in support of the senior thesis. Last summer Maddy conducted research for her senior thesis in Oregon. Below, PEI speaks to Maddy about how the Colvin award made her research possible, her plans following graduation, and advice for this summer’s recipient.
Josh Franklin '11 named Fulbright Scholar
May, 2011 - Josh Franklin ''11 is one nine members of the Class of 2011 of who were selected as a Fulbright Scholar. Josh will be studying in Brazil. The Fulbright program was established in 1946 and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. The program provides funding for more than 1,500 American students to study, teach or conduct research abroad.
Ben Oseroff '11 wins Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award
May 30, 2011 - The Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award was given to Ben Oseroff of Buffalo, N.Y. The award is presented to a senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University's informal motto, "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations." Ben, a Near Eastern Studies major will also receive a certificate in Creative Writing. Ben won the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence his sophomore year. He is described by those who know him well as a generous person with a genuine commitment to helping others. He has made a significant difference in the lives of so many Princeton students not only through structured activities, but also informal interactions. His record of service is outstanding. Members of the Class may know him best as an Outdoor Action Leader Trainer where he has demonstrated not only a mastery of technical outdoor skills, first aid, leadership and group dynamics, but also the ability to teach and mentor others as they acquire and develop these skills. Ben is also a co-founder of "The Roundtable", a student group that comes together to discuss the morality and ethics of local, national and international topics. In this role, Ben has shown tact and sensitivity in discussing difficult and controversial topics. Off campus, his contributions have been equally meaningful. He has worked for several years as a tutor with The Petey Greene Prisoner Assistance Program in Trenton and has been a member of The Grand Challenges Global Health Research Collective which seeks solutions to the pressing problems posed by infectious disease around the globe, in particular, the AIDS epidemic. Ben worked in Jordan last summer on an international internship program for Endeavor Global, a non-profit organization pioneering a new approach to global development by stimulating and supporting entrepreneurship in emerging countries.
Courtney Crumpler '13 Named 2011 Adel Mahmoud Global Health Scholar
The Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has selected ten undergraduates as the 2011 Adel Mahmoud Global Health Scholars. The scholars, all juniors, will receive financial support for travel and research to pursue global health-related internships and senior thesis research.
Created in honor of Adel Mahmoud M.D., Ph.D., for his pioneering work in global health, the Scholars program was established in 2007, through a grant from The Merck Company Foundation, to foster new opportunities to engage Princeton undergraduates in global health policy.
“This program presents a unique opportunity for self-directed exploration of critical health and health policy issues, and it offers an excellent foundation for future global health leaders,” said Christina Paxson, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School. “Through the financial support of The Merck Company Foundation, these ten exceptional students will be able to conduct independent research on some of the most compelling global health questions.”
Courtney Crumpler ’13 is an anthropology major pursuing certificates in global health and health policy, Latin American studies and dance. Her independent work asks critical questions about evidence-making practices and systems of accountability in global health. She is exploring how particular approaches to monitoring and evaluation impact programmatic activity and local agencies, focusing on Mozambique and Brazil.
Lisa Tom '11 wins Martin Dale Fellowship
May 3, 2011 - Over the next year, senior Lisa Tom will combine her two academic passions at Princeton -- anthropology and creative writing -- by transforming fieldwork into fiction.
Tom spent last summer in Guatemala City interviewing patients at a medical clinic as her fieldwork for her anthropology major. The experience became the inspiration for her creative thesis, a novel about an epidemiologist working at a Guatemalan HIV/AIDS clinic. Next year, as the 2011 winner of Princeton's Martin Dale Fellowship, she will immerse herself in a community closer to home -- Chinese Americans living in her native Baltimore -- to write a collection of short stories or a novel about that immigrant community.
The $30,000 Dale fellowship is awarded annually to a graduating senior to allow him or her "to devote the year following graduation to an independent project of extraordinary merit that will widen the recipient's experience of the world and significantly enhance his or her personal growth and intellectual development."
"I thought, 'What would I do next if I could really do anything?'" Tom said of devising her Dale project. Her love of creative writing led her to the stories of her grandparents, who came to Baltimore from China in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. She realized that when grandparents and parents tell stories, "We're often half-listening when really we should be listening carefully."
To that end, Tom will spend several months in Baltimore, interviewing her grandfather, who is 83, as well as family members and others in the community. She also will live for part of the year in a writers' colony and travel to China to visit her grandparents' ancestral village in Taishan.
The fiction she writes will be about tradition and ethnicity in the Chinese American community in Baltimore, but also about "what it means to be a second- or third-generation American, like me," Tom said.
It was the semester she spent studying at Capital Normal University in Beijing during her junior year that really made Tom, who speaks Mandarin as well as Spanish, think about her Chinese roots.
"In China, people were really curious about my background -- I was talking about it a lot and thinking about it a lot," Tom said. "It's funny that being abroad was what really got me thinking about being Chinese American."
Her volunteer work at the University Medical Center in Princeton, where she has served as project coordinator for volunteer Spanish interpreters since 2008, also got her thinking about what it means to come to a new country and start a new life. "I really like helping Spanish speakers who come to the hospital," Tom said. "And it has provided a window into the current immigrant experience in the United States."
Tom's Dale research will be, in a sense, anthropological fieldwork. She will use her exploration of her Chinese American community as the springboard for her fiction, much as she did for her novel, which served as her thesis in the anthropology department and in the Program in Creative Writing, in which she is earning a certificate. In addition to the novel, which was advised by novelists and creative writing faculty members Joyce Carol Oates and Lorrie Moore, Tom wrote a critical section analyzing anthropological writing about fiction and ethnography.
"Lisa confronted technical and intellectual challenges different from those of most seniors majoring in anthropology and most students in creative writing," said Professor of Anthropology Rena Lederman, Tom's thesis adviser. "Most fiction writers do not need to face the ethical and analytical constraints that ethnographers take for granted. She has faced these challenges with courage and admirable energy and skill."
Tom has studied writing at Princeton with John McPhee, the Ferris Professor of Journalism and a well-known writer for The New Yorker, who noted that Tom wrote a nonfiction piece about organic chemistry that was "solidly informative" and "entertaining." In another composition, "she described her mother's bird's nest soup, traced the history of the dish and used the story as a window into her family's history," McPhee said.
Tom thrives on research, whether it is about her family or about patients in the Guatemalan clinic, she said. Asking the right questions -- a skill she honed in anthropology courses as well as while working as a freelance writer for The Baltimore Sun -- has led her to promising material for her fiction.
"I never would have written a novel taking place in Guatemala if I hadn't done research there," Tom said. "It started with my real-life experience, but the main character is not me. ... The beauty of fiction is that you have the freedom to invent."
To further develop her writing life on campus, Tom founded the Princeton Writers' Workshop in 2008. She has organized seminars with authors for fellow writers on campus, and held weekly workshops in which students exchange creative work.
"I wasn't able to take a creative writing class every semester," said Tom, who also studied at Princeton with fiction writers Jeffrey Eugenides and Amy Hempel, screenwriter Christina Lazaridi and poet Brenda Shaughnessy. "I thought that there must be other students like me who would be more motivated to keep writing if someone was going to look at their work."
After she completes the Dale Fellowship, Tom hopes to become a physician, with an eye toward a career combining medicine and writing.
"Medicine is full of amazing stories," she said.
[Lisa led Outdoor Action Frosh Trips her junior and senior year.]
John Pardon '11 named Valedictorian
April 25, 2011 - John Pardon, a mathematics major from Chapel Hill, N.C., will be the valedictorian for Princeton University's class of 2011. Pardon, who stands at the top of the class of 2011, will deliver the valedictory address at Princeton's Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 31. Shi, who stands seventh in the class of 2011, will deliver the traditional salutatory oration in Latin at Commencement.
Pardon and shared the Class of 1939 Princeton Scholar Award, which is given annually to the undergraduate who, at the end of the junior year, has achieved the highest academic standing for all preceding college work at the University. He has twice won the University's Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 2010.
In addition to prizes for outstanding achievement within the mathematics department, Pardon won the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, a national award recognizing outstanding potential in math, natural sciences or engineering. Among his research accomplishments, he solved a well-known problem in knot theory that will appear as a paper in the Annals of Mathematics, the top research journal in the field.
Excelling beyond the classroom
[The following is an excerpt from the complete article on John available on the University Archives] While Pardon said he appreciated the freedom he was given to take rigorous courses at all levels at Princeton, he also found time to enjoy life outside the classroom.
A key to his Princeton experience was "choosing what activities are important to me and putting a lot of effort into them," he said. "There were so many things I could do, ranging from math research to interesting classes to playing the cello."
Pardon, who has played cello since he was 6, has been a four-year member of the Princeton University Sinfonia student orchestra and twice won Sinfonia's annual concerto competition.
"John has always been my right-hand man -- literally, having sat at the front of Sinfonia's cello section to my right since his freshman year," said Ruth Ochs, the Sinfonia conductor and a lecturer in the Department of Music. "Early on I discovered how lucky I was to have his ongoing dedication to Sinfonia. He is a quiet yet thoroughly respected leader in Sinfonia. Admired by all for his technical prowess, he always is a team player. He uses his talents on behalf of the music and Sinfonia's interpretation of it."
Noting that Pardon has continued to take private cello lessons throughout his Princeton years, Ochs added, "He has marched through repertoire that you also hear from cellists studying at music conservatories."
Pardon has engaged in several other extracurricular pursuits in addition to music. His experience in the Outdoor Action freshman orientation program inspired him to serve as a leader for an orientation trip to the Green Mountains in Vermont prior to his junior year. He has been a member of the student Juggling Club, which includes a number of other math students. Pardon also chose to live in Butler College for all four years at Princeton, saying he enjoyed the friendly surroundings of the residential college.
As he looks ahead to graduate school, Pardon said he has not yet decided on a specific area of concentration within math and that a career in academia is a possibility. His main goal is to continue to pursue intellectual challenges and follow the independent path he has charted thus far.
"The freedom to do your own self-directed research is hard to come by," he said.
Claire Cole '12 and Jane Yang '11 recieve Spirit of Princeton Awards
Spirit of Princeton Award winners are (left to right): Kadeem Gill, Genevieve Ryan, Samuel Dorison, Claire Cole, Jennifer King, Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Elizabeth Borges and Jane Yang (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students)
April 27, 2011 - Claire Cole, a junior from Waco, Texas, is concentrating in psychology. She serves on the national team of Students for Education Reform (SFER), a nonprofit organization that was founded at Princeton in 2009. She coordinated SFER's three-day national summit and has served as the organization's communications director. Stemming from her personal interest in education leadership, she is committed to engaging with other students in learning how to affect change, and started a campuswide student leadership training program called Leadership for Change. She has interned with the Program in Teacher Preparation, a position that she proposed and designed. As a campus leader, she is a residential college adviser, an Outdoor Action leader and a Breakout Princeton coordinator through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. Last year she was the editor-in-chief of the Bric-A-Brac yearbook and president of the Texans Club. She has led a weekly project with the Student Volunteers Council, and served as a summer intern with the Princeton Internships in Civic Service program.
Jane Yang, a senior from Ypsilanti, Mich., is a chemical and biological engineering major pursuing certificates in engineering biology and sustainable energy. As a member of Engineers Without Borders -- an organization she has led as co-president -- she traveled to Ashaiman, Ghana, in 2009 to help build a community library. She also conducted a range of interviews with residents, and shared some of their stories visually through a photo exhibit in Rockefeller College. Her work in Ghana was supported by a Martin Dale Summer Award. In addition, she has helped inspire the next generation of engineers by co-coordinating programs for Princeton Engineering Education for Kids, an outreach program that teaches robotics and basic engineering principles to local students. She also co-founded Princeton's chapter of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy and helped develop a portable hydrogen generator. Beyond engineering, she is a head fellow at the Writing Center and was a co-leader of the Student Volunteers Council's American Red Cross and Hats for the Homeless organizations. She also has served as a member of the Pace Center's Student Steering Committee, the Steering Committee on Undergraduate Women's Leadership and Peak Potential, a mentoring program for children with disabilities. Additionally she participated in creating an online student guide with the USG and blogged for the class of 2014 admitted students website. After graduation she will work for the International Rescue Committee in Kenya through Princeton in Africa before joining Deloitte's federal consulting program with the goal of pursuing a career in international development.
Sean Sketch '12 named Goldwater Scholar
April 5, 2011 - Four Princeton juniors have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships, the premier undergraduate award for outstanding students interested in careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. Sean Sketch, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Durham, N.C. is an Outdoor Action Leader. The scholarship program honoring Sen. Barry Goldwater was created as part of the Goldwater Foundation, a federally endowed agency created by an act of Congress in 1986. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 77 Rhodes Scholarships, 108 Marshall Awards, 98 Churchill Scholarships and numerous other distinguished fellowships.
John Torrey '11 Receives ReachOut grant for public service
March 4, 2011 - John Torrey '11 received a special 1956 ReachOut International Fellowship Expansion Project to carry forward and expand the health-focused peer education program initiated in Sierra Leone by current ReachOut fellows Fatu Conteh and Katie Hsih, members of the class of 2010 who have been working with the Global Action Foundation/National Organization for Wellbody (GAF/NOW). Torrey, who is from Hanover, N.H., is a religion major and a certificate candidate in global health and health policy. He plans to evaluate and expand on the work at GAF/NOW of Conteh and Hsih in the eastern diamond-mining district of Kono, Sierra Leone. GAF/NOW was started by 2003 Princeton graduate Dan Kelly and Bailor Barrie, a local physician.
Torrey expects to focus on helping GAF/NOW scale up its HIV/AIDS home-based care program. He also will connect it to pregnancy education outreach, particularly by helping to establish peer education groups for youth to talk about reproductive and HIV concerns. One of his goals is to bring parents into the conversation as well, creating an "alliance of parents for HIV and early pregnancy prevention." Overall, Torrey said he hopes to "take the peer education program from wherever they [Conteh and Hsih] leave it, and evaluate it, add to and expand on the hard work they have put in."
Torrey will bring to his work insights that he gained from the past two summers in Tanzania volunteering for UKUN, a grassroots health organization that supports women living with HIV/AIDS. He also conducted ethnographic research for his senior thesis on how mosques and churches in Tanzania address HIV/AIDS.
At Princeton, Torrey has been a part of anthropology professor João Biehl's Grand Challenges research group on global AIDS treatment and the social determinants of health. He has been a member of the Chapel Choir and was an Outdoor Action trip leader four times.
Doug Sprankling '10 selected for Spirit of Princeton Award
April 28, 2010 - Eight students have been named winners of the 2010 Spirit of Princeton Award, which honors undergraduates at Princeton University for their positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes eight seniors who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through dedicated efforts with student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts. Doug Sprankling, from Davis, Calif., is an English major with a certificate in English and American literature. A gifted humor writer, he has used his talents to revitalize the Forbes College InnFormer newsletter and write the comical halftime shows of the Princeton University Band. Sprankling is a member of the Forbes College Council and also served as an academic peer adviser and the Forbes intramural chair. In the band he plays the trumpet and has been drum major. Sprankling has participated in Outdoor Action all of his four years at Princeton, serving as a leader, first aid instructor and finally as one of the four trip coordinators, coordinating 93 trips for 744 freshmen. He also leads Orange Key tours and has served as the group’s historian, writing the "Guide for Guides." A member of the Princetoniana Committee, he organized the second annual freshman step sing held during orientation week, which has become a new Princeton tradition. He now is coordinating the 250th senior step sing for this year's Commencement.
(Doug Sprankling on the right of the tiger)
Jessica Lanney '10 wins Marshall Scholarship
December 1, 2009 - Princeton senior Jessica Lanney, who is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and pursuing a certificate in urban studies, is one of 35 American college students awarded 2010 Marshall Scholarships.
The Marshall Scholarship covers the cost of living and studying at a British university of the recipient’s choice for two or three years. Lanney plans to use her award to earn two master's degrees -- one in social policy and planning and the second in urban and regional planning studies -- at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Lanney, of Concord, N.H., hopes to work in urban and social policymaking at the municipal and then the federal level. She has focused on urban development, health care and housing in her academic and extracurricular activities. Lanney also spent time in England during her undergraduate education, attending Hertford College of the University of Oxford in fall 2008.
"I studied abroad at Oxford last year and really liked the academic and social environment in the U.K. and liked comparing what I learned at Princeton to public policy models in Europe," she said. "As a person who wants to work in urban policy, it's important to have an international sense of what was going on in urban development. Over the last decade, the U.K. has been very successful in helping former industrial cities grow and prosper, and I want to learn from that experience."
For the past three summers, Lanney has gained practical experience in urban policy through internships. In 2007, she interned in the New Hampshire Governor's Office, writing about and researching public health policy. The following year, she was a policy intern at the City of New Orleans' Recovery Office, working on supermarket funding and other community development projects. She also has taken three service trips to New Orleans through Princeton's Student Volunteers Council.
This past summer, Lanney was an intern at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, and her work inspired her senior thesis examining how affordable and inclusionary housing programs in Massachusetts complement state policies aimed at ending family homelessness.
"I have become convinced that our government leaves too many people behind," Lanney wrote in her Marshall application. "In order to change the lives of the urban poor, the American policy community must change the way it looks at and responds to the problems that plague cities. This will require an infusion of new energy into the urban and social policy arenas: I plan to be a part of it."
Lanney is already contributing solutions to difficult issues, said Jim Verdier, a visiting lecturer in public affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School who co-teaches a policy task force on health care for low-income people with visiting lecturer in public and international affairs Stephen Somers. Lanney's paper for the project focused on options for expanding Medicaid coverage for low-income childless adults, and it has been used by the Congressional Budget Office as well as Colorado and other states exploring this idea.
"The combination of reality-grounded passion for social change and intellectual rigor and discipline that Jess demonstrated in our class and in other settings made her a strong candidate for a Marshall Scholarship," Verdier said.
Lanney won the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2008, and she has received summer public service funding grants from Princeton's Pace Center and the Princeton Internships in Civic Service fund.
"Jessica has demonstrated an abiding and authentic concern for equity, opportunity and social justice for the least among us," said Hugh Price, the John Weinberg/Goldman Sachs Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, who taught Lanney in a course on urban revitalization. "It is exciting that such a promising young leader will have the opportunity as a Marshall Scholar to deepen her knowledge, broaden her experience base and hone her skills prior to launching her professional career."
Lanney has been involved in a range of activities at Princeton. She serves as the chair of the editorial board of the The Daily Princetonian, the student newspaper. She has been an Outdoor Action leader, taking freshmen on six-day backpacking trips before orientation. She also has been a member of the Princeton Mock Trial team, a study abroad peer adviser, a Woodrow Wilson School Student Advisory Committee member and a participant in the race relations discussion group Sustained Dialogue.
The Marshall Scholarships were established in 1953 as a British gesture to the United States for the assistance received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. Financed by the British government, the scholarships are awarded to American students who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership potential. Up to 40 are selected each year.
There is also an article in the Daily Princetonian about Jessica.
Henry Barmeier '11 wins Rhodes Scholarship
November 23, 2009 - Princeton senior Henry Barmeier has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford. He is among the 32 American college students who won the prestigious fellowships, which fund two or three years of study in England.
At Oxford, Barmeier plans to continue his study of issues related to sustainable, locally grown organic food, with the goal of devising ways to localize food policymaking and change incentives to encourage conservation of fossil fuel, water and other resources.
"The U.K. government has articulated a very progressive food policy which looks at food as it affects the environment, the economy and human health," Barmeier said. "I want to study what lessons that policy has to offer the United States."
Barmeier, who is from Saratoga, Calif., is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and pursuing certificates in environmental studies and Spanish. He plans to earn a master's degree in nature, society and environmental policy at Oxford.
At Princeton, Barmeier has served as chairperson of the Greening Dining Committee, which has worked with Dining Services to increase the percentage of food purchased within 200 miles of campus and launched tray-free dining, which reduces utility and food expenses. As a leader of Outdoor Action, which organizes pre-orientation wilderness trips for students, Barmeier spearheaded the addition of organic farming as an outing alternative and led a one-week farm experience for five freshmen in rural New Jersey.
Xenia Morin, a lecturer in the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Princeton Writing Program, taught Barmeier in her freshman writing seminar "The Future of Food."
"He's a tremendously strong student with a deep passion for learning, analysis and inquiry," Morin said. "I predict he will find new ways to create a sustainable and healthy food system for all. The Rhodes will provide him with a new perspective and allow him to add to his investigations about food systems."
Barmeier worked in Rome last summer at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization on the role of fisheries in the food security strategies of developing countries. He has served as a summer intern at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity, doing research on flaws in the federal advisory committee system. He also has volunteered in Valparaíso, Chile, with the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program and the Hogar de Cristo Men’s Shelter.
At Princeton, Barmeier has served as vice president of Slow Food Princeton, organizing farm visits and lectures and helping to organize an "eat-in" at the spring farmers market to celebrate local, sustainable food. Under the auspices of the Pace Center, he planned and led a one-week service-learning trip to the San Francisco Bay area to study food access in low-income and racially-diverse urban areas. He also is a head fellow at the Princeton Writing Center.
A Udall Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Barmeier won the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2007 and 2008. He played roller hockey and ice hockey, and is a long-distance runner, finishing second in his age division in the 2007 New Jersey Marathon.
"Henry is a remarkable young man who possesses an impressive blend of intellect, passion and people skills," said Hugh Price, the John Weinberg/Goldman Sachs Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School. "The Rhodes Scholarship … will propel him down the path toward a major leadership role in society."
Barmeier was chosen for the Rhodes Scholarship from among 805 applications from 326 colleges and universities nationwide. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor.
There is also an article in the Daily Princetonian about Henry.
Elizabeth Dilday '09 selected for the Board of Trustees
June 10, 2009 - Princeton University has named six new members of its Board of Trustees. Elizabeth Dilday '09 of Long Beach, Calif., who graduated this year with an A.B. in history. She has devoted herself to the well-being of her peers through the Alcohol Coalition Committee, which she co-chaired last year, and Outdoor Action, which she served as a leader for three years. She played women's water polo for four years, guiding the team as captain for the last two. She also has been an officer of Cap and Gown Club, a class captain for Annual Giving, an Orange Key tour guide, a member of the Butler College Council and a peer health educator for the Eating Concerns Advisers. Next year Dilday will begin the Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program at Bryn Mawr College to complete her science prerequisites for medical school admissions.
Fiona Miller '09 receives the Harold Willis Dodds Prize
June 1, 2009 - The Harold Willis Dodds Award is an annual award, established in 1957, to be given to the senior who best embodies the high example set by Harold Willis Dodds during his tenure a fifteenth President of Princeton University; particularly in the qualities of clear thinking, moral courage, a patient and judicious regard for the opinion of others, and a thoroughgoing devotion to the welfare of the University and to the life of the mind.
Fiona Miller '09, one of this year's recipients, is a Comparative Literature major from Northampton, Massachusetts is an outstanding student and serves as the Head Undergraduate Fellow at the Princeton Writing Program. During Fiona’s years at Princeton she has been a strong and visible leader in the LGBT community and her commitment to activism has been unwavering. She has served as an officer in the Pride Alliance and has been a stalwart figure in that organization’s success. She has helped organize many of the activities that support LGBT students, such as Pride Week, the Film Festival and National Coming Out Day to name a few, and has been particularly attuned to the needs of LGBT students of color. She has been a central figure in the Peer Educator Program and has demonstrated outstanding leadership both in training new students for the program and in her presentations to freshmen. Perhaps her most significant contribution has been her informal leadership of the LGBT women’s community. She hosted a weekly gathering for students which served to build a strong sense of community for those who participated and provided a confidential space to discuss issues of identity. Fiona has also been active and committed participant in Princeton’s Outdoor Action program as both a trip leader and as a leader-trainer.
Chris Simpson '09 wins the Dale Fellowship
Chris Simpson, one of the key staff at the Outdoor Action Climbing Wall over the past four years, has been selected as this year's recipient of the Dale Fellowship.
by Jennifer Greenstein Altmann
May 14, 2009 - The summer after his freshman year at Princeton, Christopher Simpson returned home to South Kingstown, R.I., where he had lined up a part-time job at a hotel. But when he learned that a local art center was going to sit vacant all summer, he gathered some high school friends and, in a moment of impetuosity, said to them, "Let's do a play!"
The production of Neil Simon's "Rumors," which Simpson directed, was so successful that he established the nonprofit Courthouse Theater Company at the center and, serving as its artistic director and CEO, spent subsequent summers directing plays there. Now, as he nears the end of his senior year, Simpson is poised to direct again — the first time the theater will put on a full season — as the 2009 winner of the Martin Dale Fellowship.
The $30,000 fellowship is awarded annually to a graduating senior to allow him or her "to devote the year following graduation to an independent project of extraordinary merit that will widen the recipient's experience of the world and significantly enhance his or her personal growth and intellectual development."
"This is an opportunity most theater artists don't get," Simpson said. "Thanks to the Dale, we have the chance to do these shows without worrying, 'What if a play is a failure?' It's a great safety net."
Simpson always has loved performing in and directing plays, but it wasn't until he took a directing workshop with Tim Vasen, a lecturer in theater and dance and the Lewis Center for the Arts, that his approach to theater began to crystallize for him.
"The class confirmed for me that the way I think of directing — as a collaboration — is a valid approach that actually works," Simpson said.
To Simpson, a director's job is "is to take the good things that are happening among the writers, the actors and the designers and expand on them, pushing the group to greater heights," he said.
Robert Sandberg, a lecturer in theater and dance and the Lewis Center, said, "All over the country, theaters are laying off staff, downsizing their seasons and even going out of business. But here's Chris, with his Dale Fellowship, transforming a small summer theater into a full-fledged, year-round operation. ... It shows how gutsy, determined and forward-thinking he is. He's turning the Dale's generosity to him into a gift for his entire town."
In addition to directing 10 plays at the theater in Rhode Island, Simpson has directed several projects at Princeton, including a 2008 production of "Hamlet," the annual Student Playwrights Festival and the University's 24-Hour Play Festival, a theatrical event for which new work is written, rehearsed and performed in 24 hours. He also worked on productions with the Program in Theater and Dance, the Princeton Shakespeare Company, Theater Intime and the Black Arts Company: Drama.
"The toughest thing to do in the American theater is to set oneself up as a director," said Michael Cadden, director of the Program in Theater and Dance. "Now Chris will be able to do what it is a young director needs to do most — direct. And he'll be in the happy position of directing plays he has chosen for an audience he already knows, many of whom are already familiar with his work from the summer seasons he has staged."
Simpson is majoring in comparative literature and earning certificates in African studies and theater and dance. He has combined those interests in original ways, such as when he directed a Princeton production of the East African play "Amezidi," which originally was written in Swahili by Tanzanian author Said Ahmed Mohamed. The play explores the lives of two characters who embrace fantasy to help them in their struggle with poverty.
Simpson began studying Swahili as a freshman. While taking time off from the University during the 2007-08 academic year, he traveled for three months in Kenya, where he worked with development organizations and with a theater company that allowed him to direct a production of "Amezidi" in Swahili. After his return, he translated the play into English and directed a production on campus last October for his senior thesis.
In the coming year, Simpson plans to expand the mission of the newly renamed Contemporary Theater Company so that it eventually will operate as a community arts center, offering musical and visual arts programming, a summer camp and night classes for adults.
"I want to fill a need in the community and to help people find a means for self-expression in their everyday lives," said Simpson, who may pursue a master's degree in directing after the Dale Fellowship. He also hopes the theater company will demonstrate "that high-quality art is attainable on a local level, and can be available for everyone to enjoy, not just the wealthy and the elite." To that end, the top price for tickets to performances will be $10.
The seven plays Simpson will direct over the next year will be in a diverse range of styles and historical periods, all of them examining the theme of what happens when one's identity is tied up in material possessions that are lost. That subject will resonate with audience members during the current economic downturn, Simpson said. Among the plays he will direct are "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Little Shop of Horrors," "Melancholy Play" and "The Metamorphoses."
"I want to present real-world issues through these texts, but at the same time make it entertaining," he said.
Jacob Aronson '11 Wins Martin A. Dale Sophomore Award
Jacob Aronson '11 is one of the recipients of the Dale Summer Award which provide a $4,000 stipend to pursue a summer project not connected to their academic coursework. Josh's Project is “The Long Path Back to the Basics” a summer long 400 mile backpacking trip on the Long Path from Fort Lee, NJ, to Altamont, NY, near Albany. His summer travels will be documented on his Blog at www.longbrownpath.com.
"The Long Path is a trail that begins just a few miles from my house. Growing up, I would often go hiking on a short section nearby, but I was always intrigued by the possibility of hiking to the other end, 400 miles away. After spending last summer working long days in an overly air conditioned office, I decided that I wanted to do something different this summer. Last fall, I decided that I would hike the Long Path, spending some time to reflect and "get back to the basics." I was honored to win a Dale Award to allow me to fulfill my personal dream of hiking the Long Path as well as Vincent Schaefer's 75-year-old dream of hiking from New York City to Whiteface Mountain ."
Davion Chism '09 and Fiona Miller '09 selected for Spirit of Princeton Award
April 28, 2009 - The Spirit of Princeton Award recognizes students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the undergraduate experience through contributions to student organizations, athletics, community service, religious life, residential life and the arts.
Senior Davion Chism, a politics major from Lancaster, Calif., has been a student leader particularly serving the black student community, serving as president of the Black Student Union, co-president of the Princeton Association of Black Women and volunteer with the Black Student Union's Leadership and Mentoring Program. During her freshman year she helped establish the Pan-African Graduation ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of graduates from the African diaspora. She also served this year as the Class Day chair on the Senior Commencement Committee. In addition, Chism dances with the Raks Odalisque Middle Eastern dance troupe, and is a member of the Undergraduate Student Government U-Council, a building supervisor at the Frist Campus Center and a CPR instructor for the Outdoor Action program. (seated far right second row)
Senior Fiona Miller of Tucson, Ariz., is a peer educator on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, served as co-president of Pride Alliance and worked as the LGBT Center's undergraduate intern. Miller was an officer of the Black Student Union, a member of the Black Arts Company and an Outdoor Action trip leader. A comparative literature major, Miller is a head fellow at the Writing Center and was a recipient of the Martin A. Dale '53 Summer Fellowship, which she used to organize, archive and document the artwork and personal papers of artist-collagist Earl B. Miller. (seated far right bottom row)
Adam Hesterberg '10 receives Goldwater Scholarship
April 22, 2009 - Two Princeton juniors have been selected to receive Goldwater Scholarships, which are awarded to outstanding students interested in careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The scholarship honoring Sen. Barry Goldwater is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. The 2009-10 Princeton winners include Adam Hesterberg, a mathematics major and Outdoor Action Leader from Seattle. The 278 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,097 mathematics, science and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Carolyn Edelstein '10 and Simonne Li '10 selected as 2009 Scholars in the Nation's Service
February 23, 2009 - The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has selected five students to be the 2009 undergraduate cohort of the Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative (SINSI), a scholarship program designed to encourage and prepare students seeking to pursue careers in the U.S. government.
All Princeton juniors are eligible to apply for the competitive program. Selected students spend their final three semesters in college completing their majors along with courses in public policy, developing a familiarity with career opportunities in the federal government and spending the summer after their junior year in a federal government internship.
After earning their bachelor's degrees, students are admitted into the Woodrow Wilson School's two-year master in public affairs (MPA) program. After completion of their first year of graduate study, students work for two years in the federal government before returning to Princeton to complete the final year of the graduate program. Scholars also have the opportunity for intensive language training in the language of their choice during one summer.
Two Outdoor Action Leaders were selected as 2009 Scholars in the Nation's Service:
Carolyn Edelstein, a Woodrow Wilson School major from Toronto, who is pursuing East Asian studies and environmental studies certificates. Edelstein, who speaks French and Mandarin Chinese, hopes to work on sustainable development and climate change adaptation at the U.S. Agency for International Development or the Millennium Challenge Corporation. This semester, she is participating in the Woodrow Wilson School task force in Cape Town, South Africa. (left)
Simonne Li, a chemistry major from Alpharetta, Ga., who is pursuing a certificate in environmental studies. She will intern at the Environmental Protection Agency on coordinated national and international efforts to combat global climate change and will pursue alternative energy research. (right)
Katie Lewis-Lamonica '08 wins the Dulles Award
Mary Katherine (Katie) Lewis-Lamonica of Lawrenceville, N.J., received the Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award, which is presented to a senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University's informal motto: "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations." A Woodrow Wilson School major, Lewis-Lamonica served as vice president of Engineers Without Borders, helping to design and implement a solar energy project in Peru. She also volunteered as an English as a second language tutor and as a youth mentor in the Trenton Bridge Lacrosse Program. In addition, she was an Outdoor Action trip leader.
On the lacrosse field, Katie Lewis-LaMonica ’08 was used to being the go-to girl. The midfielder from Lawrenceville, New Jersey, was the 2005 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and was named to the 2006-07 24-member U.S. national “Elite” team. She will also have the opportunity to compete for a spot on the 2009 World Cup Team.
It’s no surprise that she could handle pressure off the field as well. In the summer of 2006, Lewis-LaMonica went to Peru with the Princeton chapter of Engineers Without Borders to design and build a solar-energy system for a rural community. As a Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs major with a focus on education and child development, she left the engineering to others and concentrated instead on teaching community members how to use and maintain the system.
According to Lewis-LaMonica, she couldn’t have done it without everything she’s learned at Princeton, both in the classroom and on the playing field. “We gain not only academic knowledge and problem-solving skills from our classes, but also a more practical brand of knowledge from extracurriculars — an understanding of group dynamics and the communication skills necessary for successful collaboration with others. Lacrosse in particular has helped me develop these more practical skills,” she says.
It seems like every facet of her experience at Princeton overflowed into the next. For example, in her classes at the Woodrow Wilson School, she was drawn to issues of race and access to educational opportunities. Outside of class, she has volunteered once a week with the Princeton Justice Project, teaching English to Hispanic immigrants.
For a more personal, interactive encounter with race issues, Lewis-LaMonica participated in Princeton’s Sustained Dialogue program, where small groups of students from all racial and ethnic backgrounds met over meals to candidly discuss delicate issues that might otherwise seem unmentionable. “It creates a safe environment to talk about stereotypes and discrimination,” she says.
In addition, Lewis-LaMonica was a youth mentor in the Trenton Bridge Lacrosse Program and an Outdoor Action trip leader. Her efforts earned her several honors at the end of her college career: the Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award, presented to a senior whose activities while at Princeton best represent or exemplify the University's informal motto, "Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations," and the Arthur Lane '34 Award, given to honor selfless contribution to sport and society by an undergraduate athlete.
Josh Blaine '08 wins the Dale Fellowship
by Jennifer Greenstein Altmann
Princeton NJ — Through a deeply personal exploration of mental illness, senior Joshua Blaine hopes to use his Martin Dale Fellowship to illuminate a subject that many people consider taboo.
Blaine struggled with bipolar disorder — which causes severe shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function — midway through his college career. He spent 18 months battling the disease before gaining control of it with the help of medical professionals.
This year’s Martin Dale Fellowship winner, senior Joshua Blaine, will use the award to pursue an anthropological study of his own experience with bipolar disorder — hoping to help diminish the stigma associated with mental illness. (photo: Brian Wilson)
“There’s a Catch-22,” Blaine said. “Because there’s a stigma, people don’t talk about it, and because of that, the stigma continues.”
During the next year Blaine will undertake an anthropological study of his experience with mental illness, as the winner of the Dale Fellowship. The $27,500 prize is awarded annually to allow a graduating senior “to devote the year following graduation to an independent project of extraordinary merit that will widen the recipient’s experience of the world and significantly enhance his or her personal growth and intellectual development.”
In his Dale proposal, Blaine wrote: “I wish to return as a student of anthropology; as a young man in search of peace of mind; as a storyteller; and as a compassionate individual determined to destigmatize mental illness for the millions of fellow sufferers.”
Using the tools he learned as an anthropology major, Blaine will examine what happened to him by interviewing friends and family members, traveling to the hospital in Luray, Va., where he was treated for bipolar disorder, and studying his medical records. He also will analyze the poetry, drawings and music he created during that period. By reviewing his medical records in conjunction with his writing from the period, he will be able to contrast medical observations about his behavior with what he was feeling at the time.
“My goal is to reframe how I understood the experience and to explain it to others,” Blaine said. “I’m trying to construct a picture of an actual person out of this, rather than a patient.”
Associate Professor of Anthropology João Biehl, Blaine’s thesis adviser, said the study will shed light on an important subject.
“This is an extremely relevant project: to trace mental illness from the perspective of recovery,” Biehl said. “Josh is deeply committed to understanding bipolar disorder as one of the quintessential American medical experiences of today, to destigmatize mental illness, and to inquire into alternative pathways of care and recovery. He has all the methodological tools and theoretical concepts to bring this project to fruition, and I have no doubt that its outcomes will make significant contributions to public culture and to efforts to further humanize mental illness treatment.”
Blaine plans to travel to San Francisco to conduct interviews with his brother and with Princeton graduates who knew him during college. He also will visit Boston, his hometown, to talk to high school friends and family members. He hopes the interviews will shed light not only on what he went through, but also on the experience of dealing with a friend or family member with mental illness.
“I want to ask them, ‘What is it like to encounter someone you’ve known for 20 years in an altered state?’” Blaine said.
Blaine will employ the ethnographic interviewing skills he learned as an anthropology student and honed last summer in New Orleans, where he conducted research for his senior thesis. He did fieldwork with a not-for-profit organization that is helping to rebuild the health system. Blaine spent time observing and talking to mental health professionals, social workers, public health workers and policymakers. His thesis explored individual stories of mental health workers in New Orleans in the context of the social and economic situation in the city.
Using an ethnographic approach to studying his own mental illness should allow Blaine to capture what someone with the disease experiences, gaining insights that are difficult for anthropologists to reach.
“Mental illness in particular poses an interesting problem for the anthropologist,” Blaine wrote in his Dale proposal. “No ethnographer, no matter how good a ‘participant-observer,’ can ever enter fully into the subjectivity of a person undergoing an abnormal psychological experience.”
Blaine plans to assimilate what he learns over the next year by writing essays and fiction about his experiences. He also hopes to deliver lectures on college campuses across the country, and is thinking of attending graduate school for anthropology. He knows that delving into his past won’t be easy for him and those he interviews.
“A couple of friends I’ve mentioned it to said it would be really difficult (to talk about my illness), but they would do it,” Blaine said. “Getting this material out there — by doing this project and being open about it — will do a lot to create a dialogue and open avenues for other people to talk about their experiences.”
Anne Armstrong '08 wins ReachOut 56 Fellowship for public service
Princeton senior Anne Armstrong is one of the recipients of the 2008 ReachOut 56 Fellowships, which provide the winners with a $30,000 grant to undertake a yearlong public service project after graduation. Armstrong, who is from Weston, Conn., will work at a summer camp for children with special health needs, such as HIV, cancer and diabetes. ReachOut 56 is an effort by Princeton's class of 1956 to help nonprofit organizations perform valuable public service. More than 125 members of the class have contributed funds to the program, which is involved with a number of other public service activities in addition to granting the fellowships. The first fellowships were awarded in 2002. Candidates for the ReachOut 56 Fellowships find a public service organization that will create a position for them and work with that organization to devise a service project.
Armstrong, a chemistry major, will work as program director for Camp Holiday Trails, a summer camp for children with special health needs in Charlottesville, Va. She has worked at Camp Holiday Trails every summer since her freshman year at Princeton. In addition to organizing and overseeing the current camp programs, Armstrong plans to implement new programming to provide yearlong support for the children and to help the families of the campers.
"Camp Holiday Trails is a place that I keep going back to because it never fails to inspire, amaze and enlighten me. The children there challenged me to be better in my own life, and they've made me see my own power to make a difference in small but meaningful ways," Armstrong said. "The ReachOut 56 Fellowship has provided an opportunity to spend a year in service to a place that I am incredibly passionate about."
Armstrong won the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2004. Her extracurricular activities include serving as committee chair for the Princeton Model Congress and as a peer academic adviser for Wilson College. She also is undergraduate secretary for the Princeton Tower Club. She plans to attend medical school after her ReachOut 56 Fellowship is completed.
Laura Boyce '07 wins Harold Willis Dodds Prize
June 4, 2007 - The Harold Willis Dodds Prize was given to Laura Boyce of Belmont, N.C. The award recognizes seniors who best embody the qualities of Princeton's 15th president, Harold Dodds, "particularly in the qualities of clear thinking, moral courage, a patient and judicious regard for the opinions of others, and a thorough devotion to the welfare of the University and to the life of the mind." Boyce, a Woodrow Wilson School major and candidate for a certificate in the Program in Teacher Preparation, was a member of the College Democrats and P-Votes, a student-led initiative to promote student civic engagement. Boyce was also a peer educator on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, a volunteer with the Student Volunteers Council's Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, an Outdoor Action trip leader and an active member of her religious group."
Dustin Kahler '07 wins Spirit of Princeton Award
May 3, 2007 - Dustin Kahler '07 is one of nine students who has been selected for Spirit of Princeton award. The Spirit of Princeton Awards honors undergraduates who have positively contributed "to various facets of the University, including the arts, community service, student organizations, residential living, religious life and athletic endeavors," has been awarded to 10 students this year.
Tamara Broderick '07 wins Marshall Scholarship
November 27 , 2006 - Tamara Broderick is one of four Princeton students to win a Marshall Scholarship. The coveted scholarship provides recipients with the opportunity and funds for two years of graduate study in any field at any institution in the United Kingdom. The scholarship — named after former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall — was established in 1953 as an effort to give American college students an experience in the United Kingdom and to thus improve relations between the two nations.
Broderick, a mathematics major from Cleveland, plans to focus primarily on the intersection of probability theory, measure theory and machine learning, subjects she became interested in through her junior and senior year independent work.
She won the Goldwater Scholarship last year for her work in mathematics and physics and has spent past summers researching dark energy and gravitational lensing.
"There's just something exciting about spending two years in England," she said. "I always wanted to go abroad but was afraid to miss the opportunity to take math classes at Princeton."
Andrew Lapetina '07 received Class of 1978 Community Service Fellowship
May 5, 2006 - Six Princeton students have been awarded Class of 1978 Community Service Fellowships to support their work in a variety of service projects this summer. The winners receive awards ranging from $2,000 to $3,000. The fellowships were awarded by the Class of 1978 Foundation, which was created by members of the class shortly after their graduation in an effort to support community service.
One of this year's winners is an Outdoor Action Leader.
- Andrew Lapetina, a junior civil engineering major, will lead a group of eight students from Princeton's chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA to build and install an irrigation system in Kumudo, a small village in Ethiopia.
Krista Brune '06 wins Spirit of Princeton Award
May 3, 2006 - Krista Brune '06 is one of nine students who has been selected for Spirit of Princeton award. The Spirit of Princeton Awards recognize students whose positive contributions to the University have gone largely unrecognized. Krista has done extensive work with the prison justice system, helping to raise funds and create a workshop curriculum for a prison population. "I'm using creative arts and literature to connect to prisoners and to understand the power of literature as a form of healing," she said. "It's a very important field and it's a way to humanize it. We are all human. We all need art."
Tamara Broderick '07 wins Goldwater Scholarship
March 20, 2006 - Tamara Broderick along with three other juniors was selected as a winner of the 2006 Goldwater Scholarship on the basis of their academic merit in math, science or engineering.
The $7,500 award is designed to "provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in those fields," according to the scholarship's website. The prize money will go towards tuition and fees in the 2006-07 academic year.
Broderick has been conducting research since her senior year in high school, when she studied the physics of dark energy. In the summer after her freshman year, she worked with the Gravity Group in the physics department on a project about gravitational lensing.
Krista Brune '06 wins ReachOut 56 Fellowship for public service
February 14, 2006 - Princeton seniors Krista Brune and Derrick Raphael have been awarded 2006 ReachOut 56 Fellowships, which provide the winners with a $25,000 grant to undertake a yearlong public service project after graduation.
Brune, who is from Centennial, Colo., will conduct research for a book on arts and education programs in prisons. ReachOut 56 is an effort by Princeton's class of 1956 to help nonprofit organizations perform valuable public service. More than 100 members of the class have contributed funds to the program, which is involved with a number of other public service activities in addition to granting the fellowships. The first fellowships were awarded in 2002.
Daniel Gardiner, a 1956 Princeton alumnus who chairs the ReachOut 56 initiative, said, "The two fellows we have selected, Krista Brune and Derrick Raphael, are outstanding seniors with fine records of achievement and public interest activity. They have devised significant projects for worthwhile organizations -- projects that could not be undertaken without our funding."
Brune is majoring in Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures and pursuing a certificate in Latin American studies. She will work with Voices UnBroken, a Bronx-based nonprofit that helps New York correctional facilities and juvenile detention centers to provide inmates with resources for creative expression.
Brune plans to conduct research on arts and education programs in several states through interviews with directors, volunteers and inmates. Her goal is to write a book that records the history of these projects and analyzes the essential elements of successful programs.
"As a literature major, I have seen the power of words and creative expression. I am interested in learning more about how literature and creative expression have been used as healing tools within prisons and juvenile detention centers," Brune said. "While different individuals and groups have done this type of work across the country, the communication between these diverse projects has been lacking. I believe it would benefit nonprofit organizations and universities currently running arts programs in prisons and individuals interested in entering the field to have knowledge of what other groups are doing."
Brune's goals include earning a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese cultures and running creative arts, writing and literature workshops in the prisons while working in a university setting.
Brune won the 2005 Premio Maria Zambrano award for best junior paper in the Spanish and Portuguese department. Her many extracurricular activities include serving as secretary for the Princeton Justice Project and leading its prison reform group. She also has been an Outdoor Action leader, a writer for several campus publications and a translator and tutor for campus and community organizations.
Tamara Broderick '07 Receives George B. Wood Legacy Sophomore Prize
September 11, 2005 - This year's George B. Wood Legacy Sophomore Prize went to Tamara Broderick, a graduate of the Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The award is given to a member of the junior class in recognition of exceptional academic achievement during the sophomore year.
Broderick, who lives in Parma, Ohio, is an A.B. candidate majoring in mathematics. She also plans to complete a certificate in applications of computing. Since coming to Princeton, she has received the Quin Morton '36 Writing Seminar Essay Prize, the Manfred Pyka Memorial Physics Prize and the Eugene Taylor Prize in Physics. Later this month, she will receive the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence for the second time.
Broderick has conducted research in astrophysics since high school, when she contributed to a paper that was published in the Astrophysics Journal. She spent the summer of 2004 at Princeton working on a gravitational lensing problem. This past summer, she worked for the National Security Administration in the Director's Summer Program. After graduation, she intends to go to graduate school in preparation for a career as a college professor.
Broderick is a leader in Outdoor Action, Princeton's wilderness orientation program, and a member of both the math club and Princeton Engineering Education for Kids (PEEK), a program through which undergraduates visit elementary schools and teach children basic principles of engineering using Lego toys.
Azalea Kim '05 receives Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize at Class Day
May 30, 2005 - Azalea Kim, president of the Class of 2005 for the last two years, received the W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize, awarded to the senior who, in the judgment of his or her classmates, has done the most for the class. A Woodrow Wilson School major from Yonkers, N.Y., Kim served as a team leader for the Arts Alive program, a core member of the University Honor Committee and a leader of the Outdoor Action program.
Princeton Seniors win Fulbright grants to study abroad
May 26, 2005 - Ten Princeton seniors (including three Outdoor Action Leaders) have been awarded Fulbright grants to study abroad after graduation. The students and the countries in which they plan to study are: Jessica Aisenbrey '05, Argentina; Benjamin Good '05, Germany; Laura Jones '05, Germany; Nicholas Kessides '05, Greece; Steven Lauritano, Germany; Katharine Moore, Germany; Christopher Rizzi '05, Morocco; Evelyn Thai '05, Hong Kong; Yousefi Vali, Syria; and Emily Woodman-Maynard '05, Brazil.
The Fulbright program was established in 1946 to demonstrate U.S. commitment to democratic values worldwide. It is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. The program operates in more than 140 countries and awards approximately 4,500 new grants each year, including funding for roughly 1,100 American students to study or conduct research abroad.
Kyle Meng '05 wins Dale Fellowship
April 25, 2005 - The $25,000 Dale fellowship is awarded annually to a graduating senior to allow him or her "to devote the year following graduation to an independent project of extraordinary merit that will widen the recipient's experience of the world and significantly enhance his or her personal growth and intellectual development." Meng's project is titled "Unearthing the Dragon: Understanding How the Chinese Perceive Their Environment."
"The Dale fellowship is an unbelievable opportunity, and I'm still in a state of disbelief that I've been fortunate enough to receive it," said Meng, who is majoring in civil engineering with a focus on environmental engineering.
Now a resident of Chappaqua, N.Y., Meng emigrated to the United States from China when he was 6 years old to join his parents, who had moved here to pursue advanced degrees. While the family decided to stay in this country, the Chinese culture remained a significant part of their lives. Meng grew up speaking Cantonese and English, and has taken Mandarin at Princeton. He has returned to China with his family several times to visit relatives.
Last summer, Meng lived in Beijing and worked at the Tsinghua-BP Clean Energy Research and Education Centre. He conducted research on carbon dioxide emissions for his senior thesis, titled "Identifying Opportunities for Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Projects in China."
Carbon dioxide, which comes predominantly from burning carbon-based fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal, is considered the main contributor to greenhouse warming. Scientists are interested in capturing the carbon and sequestering it underground to prevent global emissions from rising. Meng and his advisers, Michael Celia, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Robert Williams, senior research scientist in the Princeton Environmental Institute, will present findings from this project in early May at a conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
While pursuing his engineering degree, Meng also has explored the arena of public policy in his academic and extracurricular work. He is earning a certificate in environmental studies, through which he has studied the political and humanistic -- as well as the scientific and technological -- aspects of environmental problems.
He has served as president of the Global Issues Forum, a student organization dedicated to improving the understanding of global affairs on campus. He organized a faculty-student China symposium that featured a keynote address by the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations as well as fund-raisers for relief efforts in war-torn Darfur, Sudan, and for tsunami victims in Southeast Asia. He spent the summer of 2003 in Thailand working as an intern with the International Rescue Committee.
Meng also has other diverse interests. He has played classical piano for 18 years, frequently performing at Princeton, and is completing a second certificate in music performance. In addition, he contributes biweekly columns on a variety of topics related to the Princeton experience to The Daily Princetonian student newspaper.
As he looks beyond graduation, Meng sees himself combining his passions for engineering and public policy. "I decided to be an engineer for the benefits of a technical background," Meng said. "But I'm now interested in applying that training into policy and service oriented work."
The Dale fellowship represents a significant step toward that goal, and Robert Williams, his thesis adviser, believes Meng will be successful in this endeavor.
"Although Kyle's primary training is in environmental engineering, I am confident that he can make an outstanding contribution in the area of his proposed research because of his keen intellect, his passionate love of both China and environmental problem solving, his strong writing and interpersonal skills, and the talent he demonstrated to me, as an adviser for his senior thesis, in learning what he needs to know outside of his field of basic training in order to solve a problem," Williams said. "Also, in the environmental analysis field I am constantly on the lookout for students who can both understand in detail technical aspects of an environmental problem and appreciate the broader societal and public policy issues. Kyle is one of those rare students who has the potential for doing both well."
The idea for the Dale fellowship project jelled while Meng was in China last summer. Through his research on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, he experienced firsthand the resistance to dealing with such issues and observed an environmental movement that is struggling to gain momentum.
He said that the Chinese government, under increasing international pressure, has become more environmentally friendly in its rhetoric. However, Meng noted, environmental regulations are rarely enforced locally.
"Overwhelmed by pressures to develop, local governments often neglect the principles of sustainability, conservation and accountability in order to achieve economic growth," Meng wrote in his Dale proposal. "Instead, what has proven to be the greatest impetus for change have been the Chinese people … [who] have protested successfully against polluting businesses and corrupt government officials. If change will come most effectively through a grassroots movement, it is highly important that we understand just how the Chinese perceive their environment."
He plans to focus primarily on how perceptions have changed in light of China's recent development and how they differ across China's geographical, socioeconomic and generational divides.
Meng has already begun his project by starting to familiarize himself with the relevant scholarship -- in English and Chinese -- on the topic. Once in China, he will collect qualitative and quantitative data through fieldwork and interviews. While in Beijing last summer, he contacted Professor Qi Ye, an expert on Chinese environmental policy in the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University. He will serve as Meng's mentor, helping him to gain access to government officials, environmentalists and members of nongovernmental organizations.
Meng plans to travel extensively, obtaining much of his information on perceptions about the environment from the people of China. "Much of my research will be done through conversations," he said.
Although excited by the thought of what's ahead, Meng said that he's also a bit daunted by his undertaking. Much of his work will be planned as he goes along, which he admits is somewhat unsettling.
"I feel fortunate because with the Dale fellowship I'll have so much freedom to explore and not be confined to a certain institution or a course of direction," he said. "But at the same time I know that with so much freedom I will be making decisions as things unravel and might even feel lost for a good portion of my time in China."
However, Meng said that he is looking forward to the opportunity for some additional self-discovery next year. "I've had so much exposure to so many things at Princeton," he said. "It's important for me now to sort out these experiences and to take time to internalize these new elements into my life."
He expects that graduate school will be part of his future plans and also has "a sense that China and the environment will play a very big role in my life."
Jennifer Albinson '05 wins Spirit of Princeton Award
April 21, 2005 - Since its inception in 1995, the Spirit of Princeton Award has recognized a select group of undergraduate students who have made positive contributions to various facets of the University, including the arts, community service, student organizations, residential living, religious life and athletic endeavors. This award acknowledges those students whose service has gone unrecognized by the greater Princeton University community. Recipients are honored at a dinner, where they are presented with a certificate and book prize.
Amy Saltzman '05 Receives 2005 Pyne Prize
February 26, 2005 - Amy Saltzman, an OA Leader and Leader Trainer trainer from Gates Mills, Ohio, was selected for the M. Taylro Pyne Prize, the highest award that the University bestows on an undergraduate. Amy is concentrating in anthropology and also has done a significant amount of work in molecular biology. As she has put it: “Although I have wanted to be a doctor from a very young age, anthropology has challenged me to look at my goal in a new way. ... Looking forward, I aspire to combine the practice of medicine with ethnographic fieldwork and teaching in social medicine, each enriched by anthropological understanding.”
Saltzman has assisted in research in the genetics department at Case Western Reserve University, at Athersys Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in Cleveland, in the social medicine department at Harvard University, and in the molecular biology and anthropology departments at Princeton. Anthropology professor João Biehl has compared her “intellectual excitement, social-mindedness, and all-too-rare capacity to integrate theory and observation” to that of the young Margaret Mead.
Like that famous anthropologist, Saltzman has traveled to Melanesia to do fieldwork. She spent last summer in Fiji, where she conducted research for her senior thesis on the postnatal experience, including postpartum depression, of ethnic Fijian women against a backdrop of rapid social and economic change. She has been a key organizer behind the University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and its Bioethics Forum.
Also active in extracurricular activities, Saltzman has participated in the Undergraduate Student Government since her sophomore year, first as a U-councilor, then as academics chair and currently as U-Council chair. She played an instrumental role in reinvigorating the University’s preceptorial system, helping to craft a guide for students, preceptors and course heads called “Inspired Conversations: The Princeton Precept.” She also served as a wilderness leader for Outdoor Action, a pre-orientation program for freshmen.
A graduate of the Hathaway Brown School, Saltzman is the daughter of Mark and Shelly Saltzman of Gates Mills, Ohio.
In recognizing her at the Alumni Day ceremony, Princeton President Tilghman predicted that Saltzman’s “blend of passion and compassion will carry [her] far and, in the process, humanize and elevate any field in which she works.”
Amy's Acceptance Speech
"When I first arrived in Fiji this summer to conduct thesis research on motherhood in the context of social change, adapting to life in a totally unfamiliar developing country was more difficult than I had anticipated. Not only were there ants trekking through my curried chicken and scabies wrapped in every child’s hug, but I had little previous experience conducting ethnography and had to figure out how to listen to and engage with people as an anthropologist. Almost immediately, I thought to myself: How would I ever feel comfortable in the field? And more pessimistically, how did I ever get into this mess?
The feeling was oddly familiar. When my parents dropped me off at 1938 Hall at the beginning of my freshman year, I was completely discombobulated. Nervous and unsure of what to expect, I showed up in front of Dillon gym to meet my Outdoor Action group wearing hiking boots and a backpack, only to find everyone else in normal clothes. Incredibly embarrassed, I raced back to my room to change. Caught off-balance, I wondered how I was going to make it through the next four years. How would I fit in here? What would be expected of me, and would I be able to fulfill those expectations? Would my strengths and confidences from high school carry over into college life, or would I be struggling in this new environment? Most simply, how would I ever feel comfortable at Princeton?
These fears didn’t last for long. Even on my Outdoor Action trip, I began to realize Princeton’s greatness. Greatness that lies in simple things: face-to-face contact, a sense of community, genuine engagement, honest curiosity, and intellectual and personal respect.
At Princeton, an incredible opportunity, experience, or person lies at every turn. There are days that I get dressed listening to explanations of foreign direct investment in India, have breakfast while learning about environmental planning and vehicle emissions, in seminar hear about a friend’s trip to China to investigate HIV/AIDS policy, and catch a four-thirty talk on the evolution of biochemical processes in apes. I am unbelievably fortunate to have been given the opportunity to experience this place.
Last week at a meeting of the Committee of the Princeton University Community, President Tilghman explained that rather than beginning to integrate professional training into its undergraduate curriculum, Princeton has chosen to remain dedicated to providing a liberal arts education to its undergraduates. It prides itself on teaching students how to ask questions not yet asked, apply theory and test its limits, and talk to people in other disciplines to devise new ways of seeing the world. This has made me think of my high school motto, non scholae sed vitae discimus - we learn not for school but for life.
My studies of anthropology have been the ultimate “education for life.” Having always wanted to be a doctor, I came to Princeton planning to be a molecular biology major. However, in my first semester in college, I took a course with my future thesis advisor, Joao Biehl, on Medical Anthropology, which challenged me to look at how our understandings of human life and the practice of medicine are changing.
With new knowledge about human life and new technologies that have the power to create, sustain, alter, and end that life, an interdisciplinary approach to studying humanness is essential. Anthropology has allowed me to connect my scientific interests and passion for medicine with examinations of how historical and political context shape human experience. It has helped me to study health not only from a molecular and scientific perspective, but as experienced by people in their daily lives. And one of the most exciting parts about studying anthropology here has been the tight-knit, supportive intellectual community that welcomed me. The Anthropology Department has provided a place for my intellectual passions to flourish.
All of this “education for life” proved immensely helpful to me this summer in Fiji. Thrown into a completely foreign environment linguistically, culturally, ideologically, and even gastronomically, I had to figure out how to interact with people and establish meaningful relationships while applying anthropological methodologies and theories in ways I had never done before. Through interviews with mothers and health professionals, I saw life in its complicated messiness. In writing my thesis, I am now trying to find some way to represent what I witnessed in Fiji that respects the dynamism and unfinishedness of life in transition.
It’s hard to capture my experience here at Princeton in five minutes. Last week at “This is Princeton,” an event showcasing Princeton talent, Emmet Gowin, a renowned professor of photography, talked about the “intellectual and spiritual kinship” that Princeton allowed him to share with his students. As soon as I heard it, his phrase struck me as particularly accurate in describing my “Princeton experience.” For me, the intellectual passions and interpersonal relationships I have formed here are almost spiritual in the deep fulfillment they provide me.
So thank you to my family, my advisors, my professors, especially Professor Joao Biehl and Professor Larry Rosen, numerous administrators, the Anthropology Department, Outdoor Action, and especially my friends, for everything you have done to help me find that fulfillment.
It is an unbelievable honor to be here today. I was told by those who have experienced it before that it would feel somewhat surreal…and they were definitely right. And to some extent, my entire Princeton experience has felt surreal in that it has far exceeded any expectations I could possibly have imagined four years ago. At the same time, the incredible part is that it has been real. Opportunities and personal growth that seemed unimaginable have become my reality.
Kyle Jaros '05 awarded Sachs Scholarship
February 21, 2005 -- University senior Kyle Jaros has been named the recipient of the 2005 Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship.
The award, one of the highest honors given to Princeton undergraduates, was established in 1970 to provide a senior with the opportunity to study, work or travel abroad after graduation. It will fund Jaros’ tuition and living expenses for next year as he travels to Nanjing University to continue Chinese language study and to research the relationship between Chinese nationalism and China’s foreign policy in the early 20th century.
A native of Palo Alto, Calif., and a graduate of Henry M. Gunn High School, Jaros is an A.B. candidate in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with a focus on politics and international relations. He intends to pursue an academic or policymaking career in international relations.
“I was incredibly surprised to learn that I had been selected to receive the award,” Jaros said. “I am very excited about the opportunities the scholarship opens up for me, and very humbled by the task of carrying on the legacy of Daniel Sachs ’60 and previous scholars. I owe many thanks to my family, my professors, my friends and my classmates for the encouragement they have given me.”
Classmates and friends established the scholarship in memory of Daniel Sachs, who starred in football and lacrosse at Princeton before attending Worcester College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He died of cancer at age 28. The award is given to the senior who best exemplifies Sachs’ character, intelligence and commitment, and whose scholarship is most likely to benefit the public.
“I consider Kyle Jaros an outstanding young scholar and leader — highly intelligent, well organized, very motivated, thoughtful and considerate — who leads by knowledge, service and example,” said Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, lecturer in public and international affairs and director of the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination. “He represents the best of what Princeton’s students should and do stand for.”
Currently, Jaros is completing a senior thesis on “Sovereignty Concerns and Multilateralism in Chinese Foreign Policy.” He conducted research in China on this project and also served as a research assistant for the Beijing-based publication, China Development Brief, in the summer of 2004. He attended the Princeton-in-Asia Beijing Intensive Language Program in the summer of 2003.
Recently elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Jaros is a recipient of the Wilson School’s R.W. van de Velde Award and two Shapiro Prizes for academic excellence from the University. Last spring, he co-organized a successful student-faculty colloquium on contemporary China titled “Keeping the Dragon Aloft.” He is a former vice president of the Princeton International Relations Council of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society and the current co-chair of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies Undergraduate Fellows Program. He has been an intern in Princeton’s International Center since 2003.
Jaros is a member of the non-staff editorial board of The Daily Princetonian, and has written a series of editorials and columns for the student newspaper. A backpacking trip leader for Outdoor Action (a University pre-orientation program), he also is a member of Topshelf, a student rock band that has performed in campus venues.
Laura Turner '04 wins Luce Scholarship to study bioethics issues in Asia
May 18, 2004 -- Princeton University senior Lauren Turner has been awarded a 2004-05 Luce Scholarship to spend a year either in Singapore or Japan working on issues related to bioethics.
Turner, of Berwyn, Pa., is an English major and a certificate candidate in American studies. Currently the president of Princeton's Student Bioethics Forum, she plans to use her Luce Scholarship to pursue research on "the legal, ethical and social implications of genetic technologies, especially embryonic stem cell research."
Turner said she will most likely choose from two possible assignments: to conduct research at a university in Singapore while also working with the Bioethics Advisory Committee of Singapore; or to work at a university in Japan with a leading expert on bioethics issues in Asia.
The Luce Scholars Program, administered by the Henry Luce Foundation, provides stipends and internships for 15 young Americans to live and work in Asia each year. Dating from 1974, the program's purpose is to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society.
Turner was chair of the Student Bioethics Forum's 2003 national conference, "Redefining Life: What It Means to Be Human," and also helped organize the group's 2001 conference, "The Ethics and Politics of Reproductive Technologies." The conferences brought together students from around the country with leading scholars, scientists and policy experts to explore major issues related to genetic research.
Turner said she wanted to pursue a postgraduate project in Asia to study the global consequences of the huge investments in genetic research being made in countries such as Singapore, China, Japan and South Korea.
"By experimenting with genetics and reproductive technologies, and by approaching the margins of life differently than most countries, Asian countries force the world to ask important practical and ethical questions," she said.
As an undergraduate, Turner has taken graduate-level seminars on bioethics and biotechnology with Professors Peter Singer and Lee Silver. Last summer, she worked as an intern at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. Turner eventually plans to go to law school to study genetic law and to possibly pursue a master's degree in bioethics.
"Lauren's interest in bioethics is strong, and she has the skills to play a leadership role in this increasingly important field," Singer said. "If we are to be able to navigate our way through the troubled waters of the new genetics, for example, we will need clear thinkers in the future with a talent for presenting issues to wide audiences, and I believe Lauren could, in a few years, be a real asset to such public debates."
Turner also has been a member of the Human Values Forum, Outdoor Action, Arts Alive and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. She has been a staff writer for the Princeton Alumni Weekly and The Princeton Spectator, and her writing also has been published in The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Princeton Journal of Bioethics.
Spirit of Princeton Awards
Since its inception in 1995, the Spirit of Princeton Award has recognized a select group of undergraduate students who have made positive contributions to various facets of the University, including the arts, community service, student organizations, residential living, religious life and athletic endeavors. This award acknowledges those students whose service has gone unrecognized by the greater Princeton University community. Recipients are honored at a dinner, where they are presented with a certificate and book prize.
2005 - Jennifer Albinson '05
2002 - Sarah Apgar '02; Jamie Bartholomew '02; Becca Jones '02;