College Meeting April 2017
President Biddy Martin and students at College Meeting 2017. Photo by Maria Stenzel

Dean Epstein Praises Students for “Going the Extra Mile.”

“Today’s gathering is special by virtue of its intimacy,” Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein said in her introduction to the annual College Meeting in Cole Assembly Room on Thursday.

“It’s special for the achievements that we are recognizing: extraordinary work done by students in the midst of their Amherst careers—not just at the end,” she said. “With this awarding of prizes, we are honoring what Amherst does: It makes education a transformative experience.”

College Meeting, the annual awards ceremony for undergraduates of Amherst College, recognizes the outstanding work of first-years, sophomores and juniors throughout the year. Prizes are awarded in more than a dozen areas of study, as well as for scholarship and citizenship. The majority of awards are named in honor of notable alumni and faculty, whose enduring legacies continue to shape the College today.

Epstein commended the assembled students on the dedication they had shown throughout the year, and on their innovation, creativity and ability to "go the extra mile." 

“Having students such as yourselves is incredibly special for professors. It’s part of what makes teaching such a wonderful profession,” she said. “You bring your professors enormous pride.”

The following is a list of the awards and their 2017 recipients. 

An awards ceremony for graduates, known as Senior Assembly, will be held April 28 in Johnson Chapel. 


The Samuel Walley Brown Scholarship, established by Samuel Walley Brown of the Class of 1866, is awarded to that member of the junior class who shall, in the estimation of the Trustees, rank highest in his or her class in character, class leadership, scholarship and athletic ability.

Divided between: Anri Chomentowska '18 and Mohamed Ahmed Ramy '18

The Charles W. Cole Scholarship is awarded each year to the undergraduate with an established financial aid need, who, after two years at Amherst, stands highest in the academic rank of the sophomore class. The recipient will be designated “Charles W. Cole Scholar” and will carry the award for the junior and senior years at Amherst.

Jonathan Tso Che '18

The Gordon B. Perry Memorial Award is awarded to a first-year in good academic standing whose participation and attitude in first-year athletics and other activities are outstanding.

Colin Robert Minicus '20

The John Sumner Runnells Memorial, established in memory of John Sumner Runnells of the Class of 1865, is awarded to that member of the junior class who shall, in the opinion of the Trustees of the College, be preeminent in zeal for knowledge and industry to attain it.  

Divided between: Sarah Jacqueline Nessen '18 and Spencer James Quong '18


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 Department of Art and the History of Art, has created an outstanding work of art.

Jonathan Mark Jackson, Jr. '19

The Frederick S. Lane ’36 Fellowship For Creative Artists is awarded to students using historical and rare source materials from the archives and special collections towards projects in the arts.

Divided between: Darya Avaline Bor '18 and Chloe Melissa Tausk '19E


The Porter Prize, established by the late Eleazer Porter of Hadley, is awarded for prociency in first-year astronomy. 

Mark Joseph Schoen '19


The James R. Elster Award, created in memory of James R. Elster of the Class of 1971, by his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Samuel K. Elster, provides support in the summer months for a research project to be undertaken by an undergraduate in the Department of Biology.

Divided Between: Sarah Jacqueline Nessen '18 and Jingwen Zhang '18

The Sawyer Prize is awarded to that second semester sophomore who, in the opinion of the Biology Department, has shown the most promise as a student of biology. 

Divided among: Rachel Olivia Cohen '19, Sean Randy Garcia '19 and Leah Jungwan Kim '19

The Harvey Blodgett Scholarship was established by Frederick H. Blodgett in memory of his grandfather, Harvey Hlodgett 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.

Charles Matthew Inabinett '18


The David R. Belevetz ’54 Memorial Award in Chemistry, established by family and friends of David R. Belevetz ’54, is awarded to support the work of an Amherst student engaged in preparing a senior honors thesis, as determined by the Chemistry Department faculty.

John Champlin Strahan '18

The White Prize is awarded by the Chemistry Department to that chemistry major in the junior class who seems most likely to benefit from a summer’s research experience at Amherst. It consists of a summer research fellowship. 

Divided between: Bailey Alice Plaman '18 and Leonard Heekyu Yoon '18


The Economics Department Junior Class Prize is awarded to that member of the junior class who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has achieved a record of excellence in the study of economics at Amherst.

Tobias Schwed '18

The Hamilton Prize, established by his former students in memory of Professor Walton Hale Hamilton, distinguished member of the Department of Economics from 1915 to 1923, is awarded to that rst-year student who ranks highest in the economics courses he or she has taken. 

Divided among: Peyton Alan Lane '20, Grace Elizabeth Orr '19 and Morgan Frances Yurosek '20


The Armstrong Prize, established in part by Collin Armstrong of the Class of 1877 in memory of his mother, Miriam Collin Armstrong, is awarded to members of the first-year class who excel in composition.

Tara Guo '20

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.

 Katherine Dell Stanton '18

The Harry Richmond Hunter Jr., Prize, established by H. R. Hunter and Emma Louise Hunter in memory of their son Harry Richmond Hunter Jr., of the Class of 1929, is awarded to that member of the sophomore class who presents the best essay on a topic approved by the English Department.

Julia Clemens Pike '19

The James Charlton Knox Prize, established by the friends of Jim Knox of the Class of 1970, to honor his memory and recognize his abiding interest in English Literature, is given to the outstanding English student who demonstrates the greatest integration of scholarship, interest and creativity in the study of English. 

Rebecca A. Houedjissi '18

The MacArthur-Leithauser Travel Award from an income of a gift by the MacArthur Foundation to the College in 1985 at the request of Brad Leithauser, MacArthur Fellow and Visiting Writer at the College from 1984-85, is given annually by the English Department to a sophomore or junior of creative promise who might most benefit from exposure to a foreign landscape, for the purpose of enabling the student to travel outside the continental United States.

 Divided between: Irisdelia Marie Garcia '18 and Katherine Dell Stanton '18

The Laura Ayres Snyder Poetry Prize, endowed by a gift from Jeffrey F. Snyder, Class of 1960, in honor of his daughter, Laura Ayres Snyder, Class of 1989, is awarded to a member of the junior class and is intended to subsidize a student-poet during the summer between his or her junior and senior years. The judges of the prize are one faculty member each from the departments of English, Philosophy and Physics. 

Kayla Elizabeth Balda '18


The Jeffrey J. Carre Award, established in 1983 by Professor Carre’s family, friends, professional colleagues and students, is presented to a sophomore or junior who has demonstrated excellence in the French language. The Prize is to be used toward travel in France during the summer following the award.  

 Sarah Jacqueline Nessen '18


The Belt-Brophy Prize is awarded to that undergraduate who, in the judgment of the staff of the Department of Geology, has shown the greatest promise for success as a geologist. The prize is given in honor of Professors Edward S. Belt and Gerald P. Brophy who, through their combined 78 years of teaching, brought Geology at Amherst College into a 21st-century study of the earth and environment. The prize consists of a Brunton compass with field case, the most versatile field tool of the geologist.  

 Natalie Wigger '19


The Consulate General Prize For Academic Achievement, 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, has written the best paper as part of a German course.

Gregory Carroll '19

The Consulate General Prize for German Studies is made available by the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Boston, and is awarded to that junior or senior who, in the judgment of the Department of German, has made a superior contribution to any aspect of German studies at Amherst College.  

Mujin Benedict Choi '19


The William C. Collar Prize, established by William C. Collar of the Class of 1859, is awarded to the member of the first-year class who shall make on a written examination the best version in English of a previously unseen page from some Greek author. 

Divided between: Jacob Avram Gendelman '20 and Craig Johnston Smith '20


The Billings Prizes were established in memory of Parmly Billings of the Class of 1884. Two prizes are awarded for general excellence in the Latin courses of the sophomore year together with the best essays on special topics connected with the authors read in that year.

First divided between: Jackson Hugh Crawford Wrigley '19 and Chenxi Zhang '19
Second: Aizhen Debbie Wen '19

 The Crowell Prizes were established in memory of Edward Payson Crowell of the Class of 1853. Two prizes are awarded—one for the highest scholarship in the first-year Latin courses and the other to the students who, together with attaining a high average in the Latin courses of the junior year, present the best essays on some approved topic connected with the junior Latin course. 


First: Josephine Carroll '18
Second: Noah Thomas Tager '18

First Year:  

First: Paul Edmond Alexandre Denize '20
Second: Craig Johnston Smith '20


The Walker Prizes, established by William J. Walker of Newport, Rhode Island. Two prizes are awarded for proficiency in mathematics of the first year, and two prizes for proficiency in mathematics of the second year. In each case the award is determined by an examination.  

The Walker Prizes in Problem Solving are awarded for proficiency in mathematics of the first year, and two prizes for proficiency in mathematics of the second year.  In each case the award is determined by an examination.


First: Jamie Roo Tucker-Foltz '19
Second: Gregory Carroll '19

First Year:          
First and second combined and divided among: Alexander Mangiafico '20, Jekabs Mezinskis '20 and Ralph David Skinner '20

The Walker Prize In Mathematics & Statistics is awarded to a student who has demonstrated initiative, creativity, perseverance, and achievement in mathematics and statistics.

Divided among: Jonathan Tso Che '28, Hui Xu '18 and Bowen Yang '18

The Walker Teaching Award is awarded to a student for accomplishment and promise in teaching and tutoring of mathematics or statistics.

Divided between: Yariana Gezer Diaz '18 and Obinna Adrian Ukogu '18


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. 

Jonathan Mark Jackson, Jr. '19


The Bassett Physics Prizes were established by Preston Rogers Bassett of the Class of 1913. Two prizes may be awarded each year to those students who have distinguished themselves by the excellence and maturity of their performance in the class and laboratory work of the first course in physics.  

First: Jekabs Mezinskis '20

Second: Emily Grace Flaherty '19