Harvey Mudd College recently recognized five students with awards for excellence in academics, writing and community service.
Platt Freshman Prize
Priya Donti ’15 received the Jean and Joseph Platt Freshman Prize, which honors first-year students who exhibit academic excellence and who contribute substantially to the College community. Her award included a $1,000 cash prize and three books of her choice, signed by the authors.
Donti has served as a tutor for Homework Hotline and summer math reviews, has developed and taught lessons for Science Bus and serves as co-president of the Science Bus program. She is a member of ESW/MOSS (Engineers for a Sustainable World/Mudders Organizing for Sustainability Solutions), an Honor Board Class representative, a performer in “DUCK!” improvisation club and a volunteer for Mudders Making a Difference.
First-Year Writing Prize
Kathleen Schaefer ’15 received the First-Year Writing Prize, which is awarded annually to the author of the best paper in HSA 10, a humanities core course offered to first-year students in the spring. Prize recipients receive $300 and an inscription on a plaque displayed in the Department of Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts.
Schaefer’s paper, “Socratic Dialogues,” explored Socrates’ moral philosophy—as presented in some of the early dialogues of Plato—on whether it can ever be just for a citizen to disobey the law. She sifted through volumes of secondary literature, because scholars still debate the philosopher’s exact views on the issue.
Dean Sundberg Prize
The Dean Chris Sundberg Prize was awarded posthumously to Benjamin Huppe ’14, who died July 13 from injuries sustained in a car accident near his home in Seattle. The $500 award recognizes a rising junior who demonstrates exceptional leadership and makes a positive impact on the HMC community. His parents, Maggie Lewis and Bob Huppe, accepted the award.
Dana Mohamed ’06 established the award in 2009 to honor Dean Sundberg and to encourage student involvement in campus life. Huppe’s involvement included serving as co-president of the Class of 2014, as advisory board member for the new teaching and learning building, and as co-founder of DrySHMC. He was also a member of the 5-C Men’s Ultimate team, The Claremont Braineaters.
Spacapan Memorial Scholarship
Brianna Posadas ’13 was awarded a Shirlynn I. Spacapan Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $5,067.45.
Established by family and friends in memory of HMC humanities professor Shirlynn Spacapan, who died in 1995, the scholarship recognizes students for their community service.
Posadas’ service includes volunteer work with Uncommon Good, a local organization committed to breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. She served three summers as a mentor for HMC’s Summer Institute, which prepares first-year students for academic and personal success. In 2012 she became the program’s head mentor. Posadas also tutors HMC dining hall and facilities staff members in English, and she helped one staff member prepare for her citizenship test.