Senior Prizes and Awards 2016

Held the evening of the last day of classes, Senior Assembly is a traditional ceremony in which the Amherst College faculty honors the graduating students, celebrating their accomplishments and their bright future.

The following prizes were awarded by President Biddy Martin to members of the Class of 2016.

(An awards ceremony for undergraduate students, known as Class Meeting, was held on May 5 in the Cole Assembly Room.)


The Addison Brown Scholarship from a fund established by Addison Brown of the Class of l852, is awarded to that senior who, being already on the scholarship list, has attained the highest standing in the studies of the freshman, sophomore and junior years.

Divided between: Michael Humes Borkowski and James Thomas Liu.

The Charles Hamilton Houston Fellowship is an annual gift awarded to a graduating senior who best personifies a commitment to realizing his or her humane ideals, much in the way Charles Houston ’15 devoted his life to the struggle for equal protection under the law for African-Americans in the United States.

Divided between: Stella Temitayo Oyalabu and Jessi Danielle Wilcox.

The Howard Hill Mossman Trophy, awarded annually to the member of the senior class who has brought, during his/her four years at Amherst, the greatest honor in athletics to the Alma Mater--the word “honor” to be interpreted as relating both to achievement and to sportsmanship.

Thomas Calvin Bull

The Psi Upsilon Prize was established by the Gamma Chapter of Psi Upsilon in l941 on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the founding of the Chapter.  The prize is awarded to that member of the graduating class who is considered preeminent in scholarship, leadership, athletics and character.

Divided among: Rachel Lenore Abernathy, Nico Pascual-Leone and Cheyenne Samantha Madeline Pritchard.

The Stonewall Prize, established by David L. Kirp ’65 and other alumni, is awarded annually to that student who produces a work of exceptional intellectual or artistic merit pertaining to the gay, lesbian or bisexual experience.

Robert Edward Neel.

The Thomas H. Wyman 1951 Medal, established in 2003 by his classmates, is awarded to that member of the senior class who best represents the highest standards in scholarship, athletics, and/or extracurricular activities, community service, integrity, character and humanism. 

Mercedes Morgan Macalpine.


The Doshisha American Studies Prize, a gift from Amherst House, Doshisha University, is awarded for the American studies honors thesis judged by the Department of American Studies as most likely to stimulate interest in and understanding of America overseas, with a view toward possible publication in Japan.

Divided between: Holly Anne Burwick and Micayla Rae Tatum.

The George Rogers Taylor Prize is awarded to the student who, in the opinion of the American Studies Department, shows the most promise for creative and scholarly work in American Studies.

Micayla Rae Tatum.


The Donald S. Pitkin Prize in Anthropology-Sociology, established in honor of the founder of that department on the occasion of his retirement, is given to that student whose honors thesis best exemplifies the humane values to which Professor Pitkin committed his research and teaching.

Divided between: Sunil Humrigar Suckoo and Jesus David Zelaya.


The Architectural Studies Prize is awarded to the honors thesis judged best by the Program for its qualities of clarity and originality in affirming the interdisciplinary richness of architecture.

Divided between: Robert Macdougall Croll and Russell Thomas Einbinder.


The Hasse Prize, established in memory of Adrian H. Hasse ’43, is awarded for the best submitted work having a human figure as a theme.

Divided between: Tess Michaela Banta and Zoe Hope Vayer.

The Anna Baker Heap Prize, established by Arnold N. Heap of the Class of l873, is awarded to that senior who submits the best essay in the field of “Art”.

Kiko Aebi.

The Athanasios Demetrios Skouras Prize, given in memory of Mr. Skouras of the Class of l936, who died in l943 in Athens as a result of Nazi reprisal killings, is awarded to a student who, in the opinion of the Fine Arts Department, has created an outstanding work of art.

Alicia Maria López.


The Doshisha Asian Studies Prize from the income of a gift from Amherst House, Doshisha University, is awarded for the best undergraduate honors thesis pertaining to Asia.

Gabriela Robin Espinosa.


The Manstein Family Award, given by Carl ’72, Mark ’74 and Joanne Manstein ’83, is presented to the outstanding senior varsity athlete who has been accepted to medical school and plans a career in medicine.  The prize is awarded by the Department of Physical Education.

Rachel Nicole Passarelli.


The Biochemistry And Biophysics Prize is awarded to the student who, in the opinion of the faculty, has prepared the best thesis in the Biochemistry and Biophysics program.

Chanyoung Park.


The Oscar E. Schotté Award is given to that member of the graduating class who, in the opinion of the department, has done the best independent work in biology.

Noah Max Warach Lerner.

The Oscar E. Schotté Scholarship Prize is awarded to a member of the junior or senior class majoring in science to enable completion of a special project during the summer.

Ruth Zegeye Solomon.

The William C. Young Prize, established in memory of William C. Young ’21, is awarded to a talented student from the Biology Department to undertake a summer course, a specialized program at an advanced school or institute, a summer field program or research at a specialized laboratory.

Claire Lucia Castellano.


The Harvey Blodgett Scholarship, established by Frederick H. Blodgett in memory of his grandfather, Harvey Blodgett of the Class of l829, is awarded to aid student work in biology and geology in their educational phases as distinct from their more technical and strictly scientific phases.

combined with

The Phi Delta Theta Scholarship, established by the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, is awarded as a scholarship at the Woods Hole Marine Laboratory to a student for proficiency in biology.

Lindsey Lynn Bechen.


The Edward Jones Prize is given in honor of the College’s first black alumnus.  It is awarded by the Black Studies Department to a graduating senior for the best honors thesis which addresses a present or future issue of concern to black people in Africa and the Diaspora.

Divided between: Rachael Lenore Abernethy and Stella Temitayo Oyalabu.


The Howard Waters Doughty Prize is awarded to that member of the senior class who, in the opinion of the Chemistry Department, has prepared the best honors thesis.

Divided between: Hannah Kiren Tandon and Xiao Xiao.

The Frank Fowler Dow Prizes, established by Fayette B. Dow in memory of his father, are awarded to a senior preparing to enter medical school and whose undergraduate work indicates a career of distinction in medicine. 

Divided between: Gabrielle Mayer and Christine Anne Rehr.

The Everett H. Pryde Research Award is presented annually to a senior who has been an outstanding teaching assistant in chemistry and who shows great promise for carrying out research in science or medicine.

Jovan Damjanovic.


The Computer Science Prize is awarded to a senior who has completed an honors thesis and who, in the opinion of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, has achieved the best performance in the study of computer science.  The award is based on the thesis and overall achievement in computer science.

Divided between: Michael Humes Borkowski and Avery Rose Klemmer.


The Bernstein Prize, funded by a gift from the Bernstein family in honor of the work their son, Jeffrey ’91, did at Amherst College, is awarded to the senior who has done particularly outstanding honors work in economics.

Jason A. Premo.

The James R. Nelson Memorial Award and The James R. Nelson Prize were established from the income of a fund established by former students, colleagues and friends to encourage and recognize the scholarly and humane qualities that Professor Nelson exemplified and sought to foster in his students.

The James R. Nelson Memorial Award is presented to that senior who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has achieved excellence in the study of economics while pursuing a broad liberal education.

Divided between: Ningyue Christina Wang and Jenny Jie Xu.

The James R. Nelson Prize is awarded to the senior who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has written a distinguished honors thesis that applies economic analysis to an important question of public policy.

Divided between: Ningyue Christina Wang and Julia Ratekin Yates.


The Collin Armstrong Poetry Prize, established in part by Mrs. Elizabeth H. Armstrong, is awarded to the undergraduate author of the best original poem or group of poems.

Divided between: Aleksandra Burshteyn and Molly Elizabeth Pines '19.

The Elizabeth Bruss Prize is presented to that senior English major who in the judgment of the English Department best represents those qualities of breadth and imagination exemplified by Elizabeth Bruss.

Divided between: Alicia Maria López and Joy Yue Xu

The Corbin Prize, established by the estate of William Lee Corbin of the Class of 1896, is awarded for an outstanding original composition in the form of poetry or an informal essay.

Sangbo Nam

The G. Armour Craig Award for Prose Composition is awarded to that junior or senior who writes the best autobiographical essay on an experience of intellectual discovery.

Divided between: Daria Chernysheva and Jin Jin Xu '17.

The Rolfe Humphries Poetry Prize is presented to that senior who has achieved the greatest sense of poetic form in his or her undergraduate writing.  The award is made on the basis of three submissions to the English Department in the applicant’s senior year and may include writing produced during the undergraduate years.

Craig A. Velozo.

The Ralph Waldo Rice Prize, established by Mrs. Mary Rice Jenkins in memory of her brother of the Class of 1910, is awarded for the best essay on “The Liberal College and Christian Citizenship” or any subject named by the faculty.

Daria Chernysheva.

The Stephen E. Whicher Prize, established in memory of Stephen E. Whicher ’36 for the best essay by a senior in the interpretation of American literature in the Department of English or American  Studies.

Eliza Hendricks Hersh.


The Jan E. Dizard Prize in Environmental Studies, established on the occasion of his retirement, honors Prof. Dizard for his role in founding the department.  It is awarded to a member(s) of the graduating class, who in the opinion of the Environmental Studies Department, exemplifies the field of environmental studies in academic work.

Anna Alice Grace Berglund.


The European Studies Prize is awarded to the student who has writtena  thesis with great distinction that is dedicated to the analysis and exploration of cultures of Europe throughout history or in the present.

Kathryn Reynolds Warshaw.


The Film and Media Studies Award is awarded to an honors student in the Film and Media Studies Program for outstanding poetics in filmmaking.

Carl Elliott Lindstrom.


The Frederick King Turgeon Prize in French Literature was established by former students of Professor Turgeon upon the occasion of his retirement.  It is used for the award of a book to the student who has done particularly distinguished work in French during the year.

 Divided between: Daria Chernysheva and Celine Lim.


The Walter F. Pond Prize, established in honor of Walter Pond ’07, is awarded to the senior who has submitted the best honors thesis in geology.

R. William Brothers.

The David F. Quinn Memorial Award is awarded in memory of David Quinn ’80 to an outstanding senior who, during his or her undergraduate career, has made a positive contribution to geology at Amherst through character, leadership, enthusiasm, and participation in departmental activities.

Nicole Alexandra Rioseco.


The Consulate General Prize for Academic Achievement in German Literature, made available by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Boston, is awarded to that student who, in the judgment of the Department of German, has written the best paper as part of a German course.

Meryem Nur Yazir.


The Hutchins Prize, established by Waldo Hutchins of the Class of l842, is awarded to a senior for excellence in Greek.

Alexander Corey Vega.


The Asa J. Davis Prize is awarded to a student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the study of the History of Africa and the Black Diaspora and whose work best reflects the comprehensive interest of Asa Davis in historical and cultural contacts between Africa, the Old World and the Americas.

Alexis Teyie.

The Alfred F. Havighurst Prize, intended for the purchase of books, is awarded to that major in the Department of History who has in four years at Amherst best fulfilled the standards of excellence and humane scholarship exemplified by Professor Havighurst during his teaching career at Amherst College.

Divided between: Shiyan Chen and Demetrius Quinn Shahmehri.


The Samuel Bowles Prize, established by Samuel Bowles King ’02, to stimulate interest in journalism as a career, is awarded to a student who has demonstrated proficiency in journalism.

Matthew Alexander Randolph.


The Bertram Prizes, established by John Bertram of Salem, are two prizes awarded to students who, together with attaining a high average in the Latin courses of the senior year, present the best essays connected with these courses. 

Senior First: Alexander Corey Vega

Senior Second: Caroline Harnsberger Rose

The Dr. Ernest D. Daniels Latin Prize, established in honor of Dr. Daniels of the Class of l890, is awarded to the graduating senior who has submitted the best honors thesis on a Latin subject.

Alexander Corey Vega.


The Nasser Hussain Prize honors the memory of Nassar Hussain, a distinguished scholar and beloved teacher, who taught in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought from 1996 until his death in 2015. It is given annually to a graduating senior for distinguished achievement in that major.

Benjamin Edward Walker.


The Frederick S. Lane '36 Fellowship for Creative Artists is awarded to students using historical and rate source materials from Amherst College Archives and Special Collections toward projects in the arts. 

Divided between: Robert Macdougall Croll and Maria Elena Josefina Marione.


The Robert H. Breusch Prize is awarded to the senior who, in the opinion of the faculty in mathematics, has presented the best honors thesis in mathematics.

Divided between: Rebecca Deanna Danning and Asa Kohlenberg Goodwillie.


The Wise Award for Studio Art is presented annually in the spring to a student in the College for distinction in the completion of an original work or works of art and the purchase thereof.  The prize-winning work of art will become the property of the Trustees of Amherst College.

Sarah Smith Jordan.


The Sylvia and Irving Lerner Piano Prize is awarded to that student who has demonstrated the greatest skill and musicianship as a pianist.

Divided among: Robert Macdougall Croll, Sonia Heesun Min and a first-semester senior.

The Lincoln Lowell Russell Prize, established by J. W. Russell Jr. of the Class of l899 in memory of his son, is awarded to the seniors who have done most to foster the singing spirit at Amherst.

Divided among: Asa Kohlenberg Goodwillie, Kalle Willing Liimatta, Jayson Paul and Xiao Xiao.

The Eric Edward Sundquist Prize, established in memory of Mr. Sundquist of the Class of l936, is awarded to that senior who has demonstrated excellence in musical composition and performance.

Demetrius Quinn Shahmehri.


The James Olds Memorial Neuroscience Award, established by the Swerdlow Family Foundation in recognition of the contributions made to the neurosciences by Dr. Olds of the Class of l947, is presented to the student whose research in the neurosciences is judged, by the faculty of the Neuroscience Program, to be of highest quality.

Divided between: Matthew Bonomo and Thomas Franklyn Sommers.


The Gail Kennedy Memorial Prize is awarded to a senior major in Philosophy in recognition of a distinguished honors essay.

Samuel Levin Pensler.


The William Warren Stifler Prize, established by Professor Stifler, is awarded to a senior who has majored in physics and especially excelled in the course on electricity and magnetism.

Divided between: Edward Kolbert Kleiner and Wonjae Lee.


The Densmore Berry Collins Prize in Political Science is given annually in memory of Mr. Collins, of the Class of l940, for the best honors thesis in political science.

Divided between: Juan Gabriel Delgado Montes and Samuel Matthew Rosenblum.


The Haskell R. Coplin Memorial Award, established in memory of Mr. Coplin, Professor of Psychology, recognizes that member of the graduating class who, in the opinion of the Psychology Department, displays the scholarly and humane qualities that best exemplify Professor Coplin.  The prize is to a senior who has shown distinguished work in psychology classes and in an honors thesis, and who has contributed to the life of the department.

Divided between: Marissa Gurrola Fierro and Cheyenne Samantha Madeline Pritchard.


The Moseley Prizes, established by Thomas Moseley of Hyde Park, are awarded to seniors for the best essays on a subject approved by the Department of Religion.

First: Gabriela Robin Espinosa

Second: Divided between Jacob John Greenwald and Robert Edward Neel.


The Mikhail Schweitzer Memorial Book Award, established by students, parents and friends in fond memory of Mikhail Schweitzer, survivor of the Soviet Gulag, author, and custodian at Amherst College, for the award of books to the student who, in the judgment of the Russian Department, most shares Misha Schweitzer’s love of Russian literature and culture.

Hannah Elizabeth Hummel.


The Rose Olver Prize is given each year to a senior who has demonstrated excellence in scholarly or creative work in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Divided between: Rachael Lenore Abernethy and Amira Naima Lundy-Harris.


The Pedro Grases Prizes for Excellence in Spanish is given by a member of the Class of l939 to honor a great teacher and cordial scholar.  It is awarded each year to that senior who has shown the greatest progress in the ability to read Hispanic literature with insight and to write and speak Spanish with intelligence and humane sensitivity.

Matthew Alexander Randolph.


The Five College Statistics Prize is awarded to a student for making an outstanding contribution to statistics and/or the statistics community in the Five Colleges. Contributions considered include an independent research, thesis or capstone course project; service to statistics on their campus (or across campuses); use of Five College statistics resources; and outstanding coursework and exploration of the statistics curriculum. 

Ningyue Christina Wang.


The Raymond Keith Bryant Prize, an annual gift from Robert E. and Ethel M. Bryant in memory of their son of the Class of l936, is awarded to that student who, in the opinion of the judges, gives the best performance of the year in a Masquers’ play.

Divided between: Mark Damon Hawkins and Lauren Horn ’17 (in absentia).