Dean Epstein Offers Students A "Mammoth Welcome"

"For the first time, I can give a Mammoth welcome to this event!" Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein said in her introduction to the annual College Meeting in Cole Assembly Room on Tuesday.

"Today you are being honored for academic excellence, strength of character and extra-curricular undertakings," she told the gathered students. "These are not to be taken for granted, even at Amherst."

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 "hours of dedication" they had shown during their Amherst career, but also said she hoped they found their education "deeply rewarding on a personal level."

"I hope you are finding community in your intellectual and other endeavors," she said, "It takes a community to support you—and it takes you to be part of the community that will allow many others to succeed." 

The following is a list of the awards and their 2018 recipients. 

An awards ceremony for graduates, known as Senior Assembly, will be held May 2 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 among: Princess Adesewa Adedoyin '19, Samuel Amaka '19, Andres Pascual-Leone '19 and Samantha Elizabeth Salustri '19

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.

Jamie Roo Tucker-Foltz '19

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.

Lindsey Victoria Ruderman '21

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: Esperanza Chairez '19 (in absentia) and Mylinh Hoang Le '19 (in absentia)


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.

Mika Clare Obayashi '19


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

Divided between: Jea Iyanla Adams '21 and Dawit A. Wachelo '20


The William C. Young Prize, established in memory of William C. Young of the Class of 1921, 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.

Sean Randy Garcia '19 (in absentia)

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 among: Rachel Olivia Cohen '19, Fengling Hu '19, Angie Sunjeong Kim '19 and Leah Jungwan Kim '19 (in absentia)

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. 

Derek Jonathan Schneider '20

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.

Patrick Gillis Friend '20


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.

Emily Grace Flaherty '19

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. 

Laboni Hoque '19


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.

Divided between: Mujin (Benedict) Choi '19 (in absentia) and Simon Carl Essig Aberg '19 (in absentia)

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 first-year student who ranks highest in the economics courses he or she has taken. 

Divided between: Pedro B. B. Balduino Morais '21, Aaron James Bushnell '21, Jackson Z. Herrick '20 and Ahliaa Marie Moore '21


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.

Divided between: Hildi Kay Gabel '21 and Chun Tak Franklyn Suen '21

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.

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.

Elijah Koome '19

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.

Divided between: Abigail Cooper Douglas '20 and Hapshiba S. Kwon '20

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. 

Divided between: Annika Yasmine Ariel '19 and Julia Clemens Pike '19

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: Arthur J. Pero '19 and James Lewis Tripaldi '19

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. 

Molly Elizabeth Pines '19


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.  

Ellen Alexandra Von Zur Muehlen '20


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.  

Che Pascal “Pablo” Saunders-Shultz '19 (in absentia)


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.  

Ryan Beman McMillan '20


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: Gregory Mitchell Kaplan '21 and Joshua Hyunbin Whang '21


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: Craig Johnston Smith '20

Second: Paul Edmond Alexandre Denize '20

 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: Amelia Victoria Crawford Wrigley '19
Second: Sebastian Rutzi'il Saul Stiles-Sieracki '19

First Year:  

First: Gregory Mitchell Kaplan '21
Second: Olivia Gieger '21


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:  Alexander Mangiafico '20
Second: Jekabs Mezinskis '20

First Year:           

First: Kieran Liam Brookes '21
Second: Enes Kristo '21

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: James Herbert Corbett '19, Jocelyn Victoria Hunyadi '19 and Jamie Roo Tucker-Foltz '19

The Walker Award For Leadership is awarded to a student for outstanding leadership and for contributions to the mathematics and statistics community at Amherst.

Katherine Sueyeun Finnerty '19

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

Divided between: Fengling Hu '19 and Denise Guadalupe Noriega '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 and second combined and divided among: Kyle Michael Jones '21, Ying Tong (Margit) Liu  '21 and Rilla Clare Mckeegan '21