74 Seniors Win Hoopes

Seventy-four undergraduates will end their year with an extra boost, with the announcement of the winners of the 2005-2006 Hoopes Prize yesterday.

The annual Hoopes Prize, established in 1982 and funded by the estate of Thomas T. Hoopes ’19, is recognized as one of Harvard’s most prestigious awards. It exists to reward “outstanding scholarly work or research,” and to promote “excellence in the art of teaching” as well as to enhance “the quality of education,” according to the entry form.

“I won’t say that [the Hoopes Prize] was the primary reason motivating my thesis but I think it’s a very important institution at Harvard as it keeps seniors serious about their theses,” said Oscar Hernandez ’06, who was awarded the prize for his thesis “A Theater of Harmony: Adamo Boari’s Project for the Teatro Nacional, Mexico.”

“If such a prestigious prize is being given away to students it shows that Harvard thinks students’ research is important,” Hernandez said.

Ian K.L Goh ’06, a senior whose thesis “To Make a Prairie: Bees as a Marker of Place in Greek and Latin Poetry” earned him a Hoopes, also mentioned the financial motivations—students who are awarded a Hoopes Prize receive $2500 each, and their advisers $700.

“Another facet of that is that the advisers get money too,” Goh said. “And especially since some of them are impoverished graduate students that money can be very useful both on the personal level and for research.”

“And of course if one’s written a thesis one always appreciates that some people who know something about the subject have read it and enjoyed it,” he added.

Many of the students also highly praised their advisers, reflecting the aspect of the award that is teaching-driven.

Amelia E. Atlas ’06 said of her adviser, Bass Professor of English and American Literature and Language Louis Menand, that “from the get-go he was the perfect person for me to be working with,” on her thesis entitled “At the Critical Crossroads: Lionel Trilling and the Transformation of the Public Intellectual.”

“He gave me the leeway to talk about my own opinions rather than just give dry academic research,” Atlas said.

Goh agreed, describing how throughout the “drama” of his thesis, with issues such as the loss of a chapter due to computer problems, he “couldn’t have had a more supportive adviser” than Richard F. Thomas, who chairs the Classics department.

The winning submissions this year ranged from research on progenitor cells and signal pathways to explorations of Pindar’s odes and creative writing, such as Elinathan N. Ohiomoba’s piece “Through a Mirror Darkly.”

The Hoopes Prize is “important because I feel that it’s very different from other prizes that are offered that focus on grades and coursework,” Ohiomoba said. “It’s an opportunity to make a significant contribution to a field, and I think the Hoopes Prize realizes this doesn’t necessarily correlate to grades.”

Of the Class of 2006 the winners from Adams House are Ian K.L. Goh, Matthew Guarnieri, Julian E. Kolev, and Philip W. Kreycik, from Cabot House Sarah L. Paiji, and from Currier House James Sawalla Guseh II, Steve Y. Lee, Pablo M. Ros, Gregory J. Valiant, and Danny F. Yagan.

Dunster House winners are William P. Deringer, Sarah E. Fawcett, Mary J. James, David M. Kaden, Iliana Montauk, Stuart J. Robinson, and William G. Woolston, and those honored from Eliot House are Amelia E. Atlas, Heather L. Brink-Roby, Annelisa H. Pedersen, and Rowena H. Potts.

The prizewinners in Kirkland House are Kristian J. Bergen, Robert L. Cohen, Christine S. Y. Kim, Om L. Lala, and Anica C. Law.

Leverett House had the most Hoopes this year with ten winners: Luke M. Appling, Stephen Y.M. Fan, Elizabeth W. Green, Jessica J. Kim, Shih E. Lu, Julian M. Rose, Lisa L. Shu, Kelly Shue, Daniel B. Williams, and Emily C. Zazulia, and Lowell House also has a strong showing in Maggie Cao, Caitlin A. Donovan, Oscar Hernandez, Elizabeth M. McMillen, Sandra L.C. Wong, and Xiaolong Zhou.

Mather House had nine successful applicants: Hana R. Alberts, Shelly S. Choo, Azzurra S. Cox, Johnhenry R. Gonzalez, Joseph A. Pace, Stefan T. Patrikis, Ian S. Polonsky, Eric S. Shroyer, and Anant A. Thaker, and Pforzheimer House’s winning residents are Michal G. Cohen, Mathias F.E. Crawford, James W. Honan-Hallock, and Elinathan N. Ohiomoba.

Christine M. DeLucia and Ariane I. Tschumi are Quincy House’s Hoopes success stories, and from Winthrop the same might be said of Inna Livitz, James R. Pautz, Raphael C. Rosen, and Adam N. Scheffler.

Other seniors honored by the award are Jenny Davis, Jessica M. Marglin, Michael P. Marotta, Bridget D. Samuels, and Han Yu, all from Dudley House, as well as Class of 2005 members Alexander J. Blenkinsopp, Melissa L. Dell, Philip Dreyfuss, David R. Ferris, Micah N. Fitzerman-Blue, Ryan M. Geraghty, Rebecca Kastleman, and Victoria Wobber.

Four students were given honorable mentions: Milena M. Andzelm from Winthrop House, Mark B. Geyer from Adams House, Caitlin W. Hicks from Lowell House, and Kierann E. Smith from Eliot House.

—Staff writer Alexandra C. Bell can be reached at