64 Seniors Win Top Thesis Honors

Earlier this week, the College announced the names of the 64 Harvard students who will receive the Hoopes Prize this spring for outstanding senior theses.

The estate of Thomas T. Hoopes '19 sponsors the $2,500 prize for each student winner and $700 for each nominating Faculty member.

Hoopes prize candidates are nominated for the broad, potential significance of their topics.


Han Ping Davin Chor '00 wrote about the skilled and unskilled wages of the world's workers in the last 30 years. With a thesis that is so factually focused, Chor said, "It always takes longer than you'd expect it to."

Winning thesis writers stuck to their topics even when their results solidified in unexpected ways.

Patricia L. Santos '00 set out to write a thesis about the way prostitution undermines the status of women. But she found that in states where people buy the most pornography and hire the most prostitutes per capita--in California, for example--women earned the most money and participated more in the labor force.

Even though her review of literature pointed to the evils of pornography and prostitution, her advisor, Benjamin Freedman, encouraged her to continue with her pro-porn data.

The first thing Santos plans to do with her prize money, she said, is "take my advisor out to eat."

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