Recipients of these prizes have demonstrated intellectual leadership as well as exceptional creativity, breadth, and depth in their scholarship.

The Prize Scholarship of the Class of 1882 recognizes students with great potential for intellectual leadership and creativity. 

Mona Tavangar has distinguished herself in two very different disciplines. In Music, she is an accomplished composer, vocalist, and scholar. In the Psychology department, she is a well-trained scientist, researcher, and teaching assistant. Quite simply, Mona is a phenomenon.

The Class of 1898 Prizes are given to students with high scholarly ability and a wide range of intellectual interests.

Majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Computer Science, Marc Descoteaux is a highly motivated and productive researcher, with outstanding abilities for both experiment and theory. His publications include a study analyzing nanoparticles and a first-author article on mathematical modeling of neural networks.

Thomas Felt’s wide-ranging intellectual interests are reflected in his excellent academic record in two demanding STEM majors (Bio-Psychology and Computer Science) and enhanced by his active participation in the creative arts, especially music and dance. Thomas is deeply involved in the nonprofit Matriculate, the journal Breakthrough, the Tufts community music program, and many other programs.

Described by multiple professors as one of the best students they have encountered at Tufts, Varshini Ramanathan is truly committed to learning. A budding Biomedical Engineer, Varshini has been involved in multiple research projects dealing with brain tissue models and photon imaging. Her scholastic excellence expands beyond the confines of engineering, and she has excelled in classes ranging from computer science to American poetry.

Aidan Schaffert is an Anthropology major who demonstrates radical imagination and capacious insight in their examination of the human condition. Aidan’s exceptional intellectual ability shines through their Summer Scholars project on histories of neurology and their Senior Honors Thesis on aspects of visuality in the architecture and clinical practices of Massachusetts mental asylums.

The Class of 1942 Prize Scholarship recognizes those seniors most likely to become outstanding university teachers, counselors, or administrators. 

A student with diverse intellectual interests, Junxing Gu excels in courses in Economics, Mathematics, and Computer Science. She is simultaneously an outstanding writer, adept at independent research, and is quickly able to gain deep understanding of technical concepts. A wide range of her professors describe Junxing as the most talented Economics student they have encountered during their time at Tufts.

A major in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Kathryn Lazar has distinguished herself through both the excellence of her scientific work and her dedication to civic engagement activities. During her time at Tufts, she has served as a leader in the Society of Women Engineers, as a STEM Ambassador teaching in local high schools, as a chemistry laboratory teaching assistant, and as the recipient of the Karno Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence and Leadership.

Joshua Hochberg is, as one of his professors describes him, a “true intellectual.” A Political Science major dedicated to grasping the inner logic of social science research, Joshua has already published a single-authored research paper in a professional scholarly journal. Pursuing a career in law, and with a track record of civic service, Hochberg is noted by his teachers for exhibiting the unusual promise to succeed as a high-performing academic.

Leanne Loo is an excellent student who has developed a concrete and ethically informed scholarly and civic agenda. Beyond her scholastic achievements in Anthropology, Leanne possesses the rare ability to combine her academic pursuits with her community engagement outside of the classroom, involving herself in EqualHealth’s Campaign Against Racism Program, participating as a panelist at multiple conferences, and developing personal research. 

A remarkably wide-ranging intellectual, Nathaniel Orbach is an English major with significant scholarly interest and demonstrated excellence in Arabic language and Animal Behavioral Science. An unusually careful reader and writer, Nathaniel’s professors note that he is distinguished for both his dedication to probing ever-more-deeply into concepts, and his profound ability to elevate the rigor of discussion in all of the classes that he pursues.  

A committed scientific researcher with over three years of dedicated laboratory experience, Brooke Smiley is an exceptionally high-performing Biomedical Engineer. Her dedication to her field has allowed her to gain an impressive and unusually precocious understanding of advanced research techniques. During her time at Tufts University, Brooke has also distinguished herself as a teacher and mentor to her undergraduate peers.

The Ivan Galantic Special Achievement in Humanities Prize is awarded to students who reach for wisdom, not simply knowledge.

John Lazur is a remarkable student whose intellect is supported by a mature, steady thoughtfulness, a capacity to think broadly and carefully and to approach projects, problems, papers, and ideas in such a way that, on the one hand, each step is thoughtfully measured and, on the other, inspiration, creativity, and smart analysis emerge. Five of John’s professors have written with the greatest enthusiasm about John and the combination of humanistic intellectual creativity and care for community that characterizes all of John’s interactions at Tufts.

Described by professors as a remarkable student and a remarkable person, Ira Craig has performed broad and impressive research in visual art, dance, queer theory, and gender. A Combined Degree candidate majoring in Science, Technology & Society and minoring in Dance, Ira pursues a wide range of intellectual interest and has been a model of commitment, exploration, rigor, and respect paid to others. Motivated by a genuine enthusiasm for inquiry, Ira strives to interrogate the basic conditions of life more deeply.

The Charles F. Seymour, Jr., Prize honors participants in musical theatre with an interest in business.  

In the words of one of her professors, Rebecca Miller is “a highly engaged, creative, thoughtful, and insightful student who has been a campus leader in a wide variety of areas.” As President of Torn Ticket II last year, Becca focused on diversifying musical theatre at Tufts and welcoming students with a broader range of training and experience into the program. She also has demonstrated great promise as a freelance web developer, and we can’t wait to hear about the contributions she will make in the future.