As the 2016–2017 school year draws to a close, the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to recognize the winners of its research and writing prizes.
The Mary A. Earl McKinney Prize promotes proficiency in writing and is awarded for the best original poetry and fiction. The humanities faculty selected freshman Karen Pham for her poem, "on loving a falling star," and senior Daniel McAndrew for his piece of prose fiction, "Insect Sisyphus."
Each year, the Gordon McClure Memorial Communications Prizes reward undergraduates for their academic writing in three categories: English, history, and philosophy. Seniors Christina Lin (history, "The Rhetoric of Change"), Zofii Kaczmarek (English, "Gaudy Night Essay"), and Kshitij Grover (philosophy, "Living with Sisyphus") earned high praise from the humanities faculty for their work. Mark Gillespie, a junior, received an honorable mention for his historical essay, "Motivating a Revolution: Unification of Rebel Groups in Colonial America."
The Hallett Smith prize recognizes outstanding essays related to the work of Shakespeare. This year, the prize was awarded to two seniors, Gauri Shastri and Suchita Nety, for their work, "The Women of Othello: Shakespeare's Reinterpretation" and "Objects of Interpretation in Othello," respectively. Nety also received the 2015–2016 Gordon McClure Memorial Communications Prize in English.
The Alexander P. and Adelaide F. Hixon Prize for Writing is awarded to an undergraduate student for the best composition in a freshman humanities course as determined mid-summer by the humanities faculty. Last year, the award went to Gideon Leeper, and this year's recipient is Crystal Liang.
The prize-winning writing essays are available to read on the Hixon Writing Center website (via the Caltech Library, which requires a Caltech login).
Senior Nishant Desai was selected by the social science faculty as the recipient of the David M. Grether Prize in Social Science. This prize is awarded annually to an undergraduate who displays creativity and an overall outstanding performance in one of the social science options.
The 2017 Rodman W. Paul History Prize was awarded to junior Jessica Du Li. This prize, established in 1986, recognizes a junior or senior with an unusual interest or affinity for the past.
The John O. Ledyard Prize for Graduate Research in Social Science recognizes the best third-year paper by a graduate student in the HSS PhD program. In late June, the committee of social science faculty members selected two winners: Alejandro Robinson Cortes ("Duration and Matching in Foster Care") and Hamed Hamze Bajgiran ("On Aggregation Rules Under the Convex Combination Axiom").
Congratulations to all the winners!
Updated July 10, 2017