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While most students will spend today shopping classes and eating fly-by lunch, Dafna V. Hochman '00 will spend the afternoon being wined and dined by Glamour Magazine in New York City.
The trip to New York--along with a $1,000 prize--is the payoff for being chosen one of the "top ten college winners of 1999" by the magazine.
Hochman said she and her twin sister, Yale senior Dalia Y. Hochman, who also won the award, applied "as a joke."
"We thought it was really funny and never expected to hear anything back," she said.
Dafna Hochman said she sent in her application--including an essay and a letter of recommendation--during January, and did not hear back from the magazine for months, until the day before they wanted to take her picture for the story.
She thought the novelty of a Harvard-Yale twin pair helped her win the award.
"I think the magazine really liked the twin aspect," said Hochman, who is a social studies concentrator and an Adams House resident.
But Jonathan Small, the Glamour editor who was in charge of the project, said the editors were wowed by the pair's credentials.
"It helped that they were twins but they were both impressive in their own way," Smalls said. "It's just kind of cool that they were twins, especially that one went to Harvard and one to Yale--A little sibling rivalry," he said.
Of the more than 500 applicants from all over the country, only a handful made the cut.
"It was very hard to choose the 10," Smalls said. "If we have two women who excel in science, we have to choose one, since we want to keep it diverse."
"We were looking for women who have outstanding grades, who were making lots of contributions on and off campus, who have inspiring stories, who were real leaders," he said.
A brief profile in the magazine's October issue lauded Hochman's "kick-butt credentials" as an international relations student.
"At the ripe old age of 21, Dafna has excelled as a diplomat," the article said.
The article praised her for serving on the staff of the Seeds of Peace Camp for International Conflict Resolution, which brings students from Middle Eastern countries to Maine for a program aimed at promoting peace.
Hochman, who is a Crimson editor, said her summer at the camp inspired her to pursue a career in foreign relations.
"I became really excited about this idea of mediation and conflict resolution," she said.
The profile also included Hochman's words of wisdom to first-year women: "Don't let guys make or break your self esteem," she said.
Harvard students have fared well in previous Glamour competitions, with 8 of the last 11 years' awards including at least one student from Harvard.
"We have one just about every year," said Linda Laux-Bichane, Glamour's reader services editor. "Harvard's a popular choice."
Past winners from the contest's 42-year history include home decorating guru Martha Stewart, Cosmopolitan editor Kate White and speech-pathologist-to-the-stars Lillian Glass.
This year's winners will spend three days in New York and will be honored at a luncheon that features feminist Naomi Wolf as keynote speaker.
"We fly them into New York, we put them up, they meet Naomi Wolf, they meet the editors of Glamour," Smalls said.
And, of course, there's the $1,000, for which Hochman said she already has plans.
"I need a new computer to write my senior thesis," she said.
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