HSS Home  /  News & Events  /  Honors and Awards  /  Student Prizes

Student Prizes

On behalf of Caltech and in recognition of students' achievements, HSS faculty select undergraduate and graduate students to receive the following awards and honors. Prize recipients from the last 5 years are listed below.

David M. Grether Prize in Social Science

The prize rewards outstanding performance and creativity by a Caltech undergraduate who completes one of the social science options. The prize was established by Susan G. Davis in recognition of David M. Grether's contributions to econometrics and experimental economics and his service to the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The prize is awarded annually by a committee of social science faculty.

2021 James (Jamie) Vinson
Anthony (Tony) Kukavica
2020 David Fager
2019 Noah Huffman
Akshay Srivastava
2017 Nishant Desai

Alexander P. and Adelaide F. Hixon Prize for Writing

The Hixon Prize for Writing was established in 2000 by Alexander P. and Adelaide F. Hixon. The prize will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student for the best composition in a freshman humanities course. The prize is administered by the writing center, and the winner will be chosen by a committee from the humanities division.

2021 Bradley (Kaulana) Chun
2020 Elsa Palumbo
2019 Diego Olaya
2018 Galilea von Ruden
2017 Crystal Liang

John O. Ledyard Prize for Graduate Research in Social Science

The prize rewards the best second-year paper by a graduate student in Social Science or Social Decision Neuroscience. The prize was established by Susan G. Davis in recognition of John O. Ledyard's dedication to developing graduate students as independent researchers and his service to the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The prize is awarded annually by a committee of social science faculty to a sole-authored work and carries a cash award of $1,000.

2021 Po Hsuan Lin
2020 Meng Jhang Fong
2019 Joanna Huey
Jeff Zeidel
2018 Shiyu Zhang
2017 Alejandro Robinson-Cort├ęs
Hamed Hamze Bajgiran

Mary A. Earl McKinney Prize in Literature

The Mary A. Earl McKinney Prize in Literature was established in 1946 by Samuel P. McKinney, M.D., of Los Angeles. Its purpose is to promote proficiency in writing. The terms under which it is given are decided each year by the literature faculty. It may be awarded for essays submitted in connection with regular literature classes or awarded on the basis of a special essay contest.

2021 Hrishika Basava Shiva Mudide
Honorable Mention: Maggie Sui
2020 Melba Nuzen Karen Pham
Honorable Mention: Andrew Chan
2019 Mohar Chatterjee Maria De Angelis
2018 Timothy Liu Laura Hu
2017 Daniel McAndrew Karen Pham

Rodman W. Paul History Prize

The Rodman W. Paul History Prize was established in 1986 by some of his many colleagues and friends to honor Professor Paul's 35 years of teaching and research at the Institute. The prize is awarded annually to a junior or senior who has shown unusual interest in and talent for history.

2021 Anirudh Rangaswamy
2020 Margaret (Maggie) Anderson
2019 Nivetha Karthikeyan
2018 Tristan Murphy
2017 Jessica Du Li

Eleanor Searle Prize in Law, Politics, and Institutions

The Eleanor Searle Prize was established in 1999 by friends and colleagues to honor Eleanor Searle, who was the Edie and Lew Wasserman Professor of History at Caltech. The prize is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student whose work in history, or the social sciences exemplifies Eleanor Searle's interests in the use of power, government, and law.

2021 Myra Cheng
2020 Nivetha (Niv) Karthikeyan
Leonardo (Leo) Balestri
2019 Rona Yu
2018 Roohi Dalal

Hallett Smith Prize

The Hallett Smith Prize was established in 1997 to commemorate Professor Smith's long career as one of this century's most distinguished Renaissance scholars. The cash prize is given annually by the English faculty to the student who writes the best essay on English literature.

2021 Andrew Chan
2020 Nivedita Kanrar
2019 Brendan Hollaway
2018 Reeti Gulati
2017 Gauri Shastri
Suchita Nety

Gordon McClure Memorial Communications Prizes

This prize is awarded to undergraduate students for excellence in written and oral communication skills. Awards will be given in the following fields: English, history, and philosophy.

2021 Victoria Liu Saehui Hwang Ryan White
2020 Victoria Liu Karen Pham Lucca de Mello
2019 Crystal Liang George Daghlian Nishad Maskara
2018 Maitreyi Nair Tara Shankar Jonathan Chan
2017 Zofii Kaczmarek Christina Lin
Honorable Mention: Mark Gillespie
Kshitij Grover