Students and faculty of the Program in American Studies gathered with friends and family on June 4 to celebrate graduating seniors and honor their achievements.
Nicholas Alexander Fernández and Isabel Jane Hetherington received the David F. Bowers Prize, awarded to the student(s) in the American studies program who do the best work in program seminars. Established in 1951 in memory of professor David F. Bowers of the Department of Philosophy, one of the faculty group which drew up the plan for the American studies program, the prize was endowed in 1955 by Willard and Margaret Thorp.
Katherine Elisabeth Shifke, for “A Phenomenal Presence that is Unequivocally Black and Beautiful: Redefining Beauty Through the Art of Kerry James Marshall,” and Zoë Anne Toledo, for “The Invention of Navajo Nature: Building, Heritage, and Land in the 1930s,” won the Grace May Tilton Prize in Fine Arts. The prize is awarded for an outstanding thesis by a senior in any of the departments collaborating in the American studies program. The thesis must deal wholly or principally with some aspect of the fine arts or crafts, past or present, within the United States or elsewhere in the Americas. The prize is a gift of Robert Schirmer ’21 in memory of his mother.
Katherine Elisabeth Shifke was presented with the Asher Hinds Prize for “A Phenomenal Presence that is Unequivocally Black and Beautiful: Redefining Beauty Through the Art of Kerry James Marshall.” This prize was established in memory of Asher Hinds, professor of English and one of the leaders of the Special Program in the Humanities, which later became the programs in American studies and European cultural studies. Hinds was remembered with particular affection by his students and colleagues, who established this prize. It is awarded to the student who does the most outstanding work in the humanities.
Mark Adi Goldstein received the Willard Thorp Thesis Prize for “Climate Change in American National Parks: Impacts, Management, Communication, and Public Perception.” The prize is awarded to the senior in the American studies program who prepares the most outstanding thesis of a clearly interdisciplinary nature. The prize honors Professor of English Willard Thorp, a founder of the program and for many years its director.
Anthony M. Sgro was awarded The Princeton Prize in Race Relations Senior Thesis Prize for “Litness Test: An Argument for Hip-Hop Music in Public Education.” The prize, endowed by the Princeton University Class of 1966, is awarded annually to a member of the senior class, irrespective of his or her academic concentration, whose senior thesis adds significantly to our understanding of issues of race and race relations in the United States, broadly defined. While a prize-winning thesis may rely on conventional research methodologies (in libraries and archives, using the research methodologies of the humanities and the social sciences), the Program in American Studies will look with favor on theses that also draw this scholarship into practical and experiential engagement.