Harvard Honors 81 With Hoopes Prize

UPDATED: May 13, 2013, at 11:23 a.m.

Eighty-one Harvard undergraduates were honored with the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for outstanding scholarly work or research, Harvard announced Friday.

The winning projects, most of which were senior theses, were selected from a pool of nominations by students’ faculty supervisors. Hoopes winners are awarded $4,000 each and their nominators receive $1,000.

Aaron J. Deutsch ’13 was among the many recipients who expressed pride at the recognition.

“It is certainly a big honor, and I’m just really glad that all of the hard work I put into it was recognized by this committee,” he said.

After learning that his roommate was selected, Andrew K. Cohen ’13 checked his email and realized that he had won as well.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all, so I was completely floored. It was awesome,” he said.

After learning of his award, Christopher A. Devine ’13 emailed his principal investigator and postdoctoral advisor.

“There were lots of exclamation points involved,” he said.

Reflecting on the Hoopes recognition, Cohen said that the process of writing his thesis was even more valuable to him than the award.

“It was first the time in my academic year I enjoyed the process of doing a rigorous assignment,” he said.

William M. Rafey ’13 also mentioned the rigors of writing a thesis.

“The hardest part about thesis-writing is not the fact that it’s so long but that you realize it’s senior year and you realize you won’t see your friends in the same place again,” he said. “The opportunity cost is high.”

Deutsch nevertheless recommended that every undergraduate write a thesis.

“As long as you find a project you’re excited about and an advisor you’re comfortable with, and who you can maintain good relationship with...it’s definitely a rewarding experience,” he said.

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