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Meet the HSS Prize Winners

Every June, Caltech recognizes a select group of outstanding students and faculty with prizes in honor of their accomplishments.  The Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences is thrilled to recognize the following undergraduate students:

The Gordon McClure Memorial Communications Prize is awarded by the humanities faculty to undergraduate students for excellence in written and oral communication skills.  This year's winners are freshman Leo Balestri (history), senior Wlliam Hoza (philosophy), and junior Suchita Nety (English). 

The Mary A. Earl McKinney Prize in Literature was established in 1946 by Samuel P. McKinney to promote "proficiency in writing." This year, the humanities faculty awarded the McKinney Prize to juniors Sirus Han (for prose fiction) and Matthew Lim (for poetry).

Sophomore Arjun Goswami was chosen by the humanities faculty to receive the Alexander P. and Adelaide F. Hixon Prize for Writing based on an essay he completed last year. The Hixon writing prize, established in 2000 by Alexander P. and Adelaide F. Hixon, is awarded annually to an undergraduate student for the best composition in a freshman humanities course.

The social sciences faculty awarded the David M. Grether Prize in Social Science to Ellora Sarkar, who is graduating with a BS in economics. The prize rewards outstanding performance and creativity by a Caltech undergraduate who completes one of the social science options.  The prize was established by former HSS Division Administrator Susan Davis in recognition of David Grether, the Frank J. Gilloon Professor of Economics, Emeritus, for his contributions to econometrics and experimental economics and his service to HSS. 

Lucas Núñez, who just completed his third year in the social sciences PhD program, won the John O. Ledyard Prize for Graduate Research in Social Science. The Ledyard Prize is awarded by the social science faculty to the best third-year paper by a graduate student in the HSS PhD programs. Susan Davis also established this prize, in recognition of the service of John Ledyard, Allen and Lenabelle Davis Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, and in particular his dedication to developing graduate students as independent researchers.

HSS also congratulates Keith Pluymers, the Howard E. and Susanne C. Jessen Postdoctoral Instructor in the Humanities, and Ben Saltzman, the Weisman Postdoctoral Instructor in Medieval British Literature, on their ASCIT Teaching Awards.  The awards are presented once a year by the Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology (ASCIT) to faculty members who have been nominated by the students for their ability to inspire and motivate students through teaching. 

Congratulations to Leo, William, Suchita, Sirus, Matthew, Arjun, Ellora, Lucas, Keith, and Ben!