Graduating seniors receive awards for theses, research and arts projects

The winners of the 2011 Firestone Medals for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, the Robert M. Golden Medals for Excellence in Humanities and Creative Arts and the David M. Kennedy Honors Thesis Prize represent the full spectrum of disciplines and interests.  Their project titles ranged from "Let them eat yellowcake," to "Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 3 & 4."

Forty graduating seniors recently received awards for their undergraduate thesis or honors projects. They are the 2011 recipients of Firestone Medals for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, the Robert M. Golden Medals for Excellence in Humanities and Creative Arts and the David M. Kennedy Honors Thesis Prizes.

The Firestone Medal recognizes graduating seniors nominated by their academic programs or departments for undertaking honors projects in engineering and the social, physical and natural sciences. Thirty-two recipients were chosen for the Firestone Medal this year.  The Golden Medal similarly distinguishes students completing honors projects in the humanities or creative projects in the fine arts. Eight seniors received a 2011 Golden Medal.

In addition to winning a Golden or Firestone award, four students received Kennedy Prizes. This award is given annually for outstanding honors theses in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. Recipients of this award have accomplished significantly advanced research in the field and have demonstrated strong potential for publication in peer-reviewed scholarly works. The prize was established in recognition of Professor David M. Kennedy, professor emeritus of history, and his longstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate writers.

The students were honored during Commencement weekend at an awards ceremony hosted by Martha Cyert, senior associate vice provost of undergraduate education and professor of biology.  Winners each received an engraved plaque and check.

The awardees, their majors, honors projects and faculty sponsors are as follows:

The Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts

Rachel Cristy, philosophy; "The evolution of W.E.B. Du Bois's philosophy of race," Lanier Anderson, philosophy; Allen Wood, philosophy; and Michele Elam, English.

Donovan Ervin, comparative studies in race and ethnicity; "We shall overcome: The anti-apartheid movement and its effects on the Stanford community," James Campbell, history; and Allyson Hobbs, history.

Sarah Grandin, art and art history; "Chardin's tables: Painting the substrate of eighteenth-century Paris," Morten Steen Hansen, art and art history; and Michael Marrinan, art and art history.

Justine Kao, symbolic systems; "A computational analysis of poetic craft in contemporary professional and amateur poetry," Daniel Jurafsky, linguistics; Lera Boroditsky, psychology; and Christopher Potts, linguistics.

James Lipshaw, art and art history; Performance in Art and Art History.

Juliann Ma, music; "Chopin Etude Op. 10, No. 3 & 4," Thomas Schultz, music; and Jonathan Berger, music.

Simon Neely, religious studies; "Sacramental experience and the theory of friendship in the late years of Simone Weil," Charlotte Fonrobert, religious studies; and Brent Sockness, religious studies.

Miles Osgood, English; "Superepiphany: Joyce, Woolf, the 1920s, and the invention of the modernist multipersonal moment," Hannah Sullivan, English; and Martin Evans, English.

The Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Gabrielle Russo Barsh, biology; "The role of the kinase tricornered in instructing projection neuron dendrite targeting in the Drosophila olfactory system," Liqun Luo, biology.

Lauren Bell, biology; "Behavioral ecology of the Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas: insights from an animal-borne video and data logging system," William Gilly, biology.

Valentin Bolotnyy, economics; "The government-sponsored enterprises and the mortgage crisis: New perspectives on the debate," Michael Boskin, economics.

Van (Mimi) Chau, anthropology; "Brighter and whiter: The desire for lighter skin among Vietnamese women," Paulla Ebron, anthropology; and Miyako Inoue, anthropology.

Danny Crichton, science, technology and society; "Academic revolution and regional innovation: The case of Computer Science at Stanford 1957-1970," Barton Bernstein, history; and Rebecca Slayton, science, technology, and society.

Teri Diaz, sociology; "Gender and juvenile delinquency: An investigation of how family risk factors vary for delinquent boys and girls and relate to their propensities to commit violent crime," Tomás Jimenez, sociology.

Shelley Gao, international relations; "The China menace: U.S. preventive-war thinking towards the emerging Chinese nuclear weapons program in the 1960s," Barton Bernstein, history.

Anna Hauswirth, biology; "Mechanisms of lifespan regulation by histone methyl-transferases and demethylases in C. elegans," Anne Brunet, genetics.

Temple He, physics; "Chaos and noise in dynamical systems with applications to measurement," Alexander Fetter, physics; Hideo Mabuchi, applied physics; and Shamit Kachru, physics.

Katherine Hyder; environmental science and technology; "To intensify or not to intensify: The future of Brazil's beef industry," Walter Falcon, food security and the environment/economics; Roz Naylor, food security and the environment; and Donald Kennedy, environmental science.

Rebecca Johnson, psychology; "Beliefs about depression's controllability of onset and potential for improvement: Effects on stigma and allocation of funding for mental health," Carol Dweck, psychology.

Stephanie Lee, economics; "Compulsory licensing and domestic invention: Evidence from the World War II Trading with the Enemy Act," Petra Moser, economics.

Lauren Linsmayer, earth systems; "Physiological determinants of invasive success: Linking distribution patterns to metabolic physiology in native and invasive blue mussels (genus mytilus)," George Somero, biology; and Kevin Arrigo, environmental earth system science.

Leander Love-Anderegg, human biology; "In dry times: Linking aspen ecohydrology, drought characteristics and forest mortality," Joseph Berry, biology; Carol Boggs, human biology; and Rodolfo Dirzo, biology.

Ariel Marcy, biology; "Soil clay, bulk density, and shrink swell capacity determine boundaries between morphologically distinct groups of pocket gophers (Thomomys spp.)," Elizabeth Hadly, biology.

John Melas-Kyriazi, engineering physics; "The effect of hole transport material pore filling on device performance in solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells," Michael McGehee, materials science and engineering; and Bruce Clemens, materials science and engineering.

Connor Mooney, mathematics; "An introduction to curve-shortening and the Ricci flow," Simon Brendle, mathematics.

Shannon Moskitis, urban studies; "'It's a Catch-22': The intersection of homelessness, domestic violence and the shelter system's response," Doug McAdam, sociology; and Kathleen Coll, anthropology.

Cassandra Nader, School of Education; "Putting language minority students' reading development into context:  New evidence from the ECLS-K," Sean Reardon, School of Education.

Dana Sarabeth Neel, biology; "MLL fusion partner AF10 antagonizes gene silencing:' Gerald Crabtree, pathology.

Ron Pomper, human biology; "How children build word meanings by linking actions to objects," Anne Fernald, psychology; and Ricardo Bion, psychology.

Emily Stark, computer science; "The case for prefetching and prevalidating TLS server certificates," Dan Boneh, computer science.

Charles Syms, feminist studies; "Kwieo futures: Congruences and contentions of the Korean LGBT rights organizing movement," Stephen Sohn, English.

Jaclyn Tandler, Center for International Security and Cooperation; "Let them eat yellow cake: Understanding the history of France's sensitive nuclear export policy," Michael May, Center for International Security and Cooperation; and Scott Sagan, Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Hiyabel Tewoldemedhin, ethics in society; "The ethics of foreign aid in Africa," Joshua Cohen, political science/law/philosophy; Moussa Blimpo, economics; and Joseph Mazor, ethics in society.

Yihana Von Ritter, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law; "Between hope and despair: An assessment of HIV/AIDS policy in Papua New Guinea," David Abernethy, political science; and Francis Fukuyama, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Nancy Wang, biology; "Differential expression of chemokine receptors and adhesion molecules on neural stem cells (NSCs) influences NSC functional migration and therapeutic potential," Raphael Guzman, neurosurgery.

Mike Wei, biology; "Characterizing a mutation (T387P) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae calcineurin to better understand calcineurin-substrate interaction and calcineurin activation," Martha Cyert, biology.

Darius White, African and African American Studies; "Too young to ‘know, old enough to tell: An analysis of youth mentoring from the perspective of youth of color," Samy Alim, education; and Paulla Ebron, anthropology.

Emily Wyatt, chemical engineering; "Utilization of a virus-like particle scaffold for improved ex vivo detection of cancerous cells using cell-free synthesized protein bioconjugates," James Swartz, chemical engineering.

Charles Zaffaroni, Latin American Studies; "Integrated Water Resources Management and Chilean private water markets in the context of growing scarcity and climate change," Zephyr Frank, history.

Elisa Zhang, human biology; "Faster-ageing strain of the fish Nothobranchius furzeri regenerate a greater length of tail tissue upon partial injury than slower-ageing strains," Anne Brunet, genetics; and Russell Fernald, biology.

The David M. Kennedy Honors Thesis Prize

Sarah Grandin, art and art history
Leander Love-Anderegg, human biology
Cassandra Nader, School of Education
Emily Wyatt, chemical engineering