2015 - 5th Annual Award Winners
Joseph E. Benun '15's passion for running, community service, and genuine social connection inspired countless students throughout his four years at Princeton. As a sophomore, Joe founded TeamU, an international intercollegiate fundraising endurance organization, "dedicated to improving global health and alleviating poverty." TeamU's mott of "anyone can run a half marathon" led Joe to personally coach a number of students through their races. He also brought Tea with Strangers to Princeton's campus and hosted a numerous conversations in is dorm room. Joe ended his Princeton career with the "Say Hey" campaign, designed to encourage students to say hi to one another. His commitment to civic and social engagement are truly commendable and impacted campus for the better.
Eamon Foley's senior thesis, Hero, was truly transformative. A dance-theater piece written, directed, and choreographed by Eamon, Hero utilizes indie music, aerial choreography, and dance to tell the story of young American soldiers who fought in Vietnam.This production demonstrated vision and fearlessness in pursuit of artistic excellence.
For the duration of their Princeton careers, The Orangemen were perhaps the most anonymously recongizable duo on campus. Dressed in orange morph suits, Michael Katz '15 and Ben Quazzo '15 attended as many home games as possible, cheering, chanting, and inspiring the Princeton players and crowds. The committee commends Michael and Ben for their limitless enthusiasm for all that is Princeton and their contagious spirit of camaraderie.
The Princeton Hidden Minority Council seeks to support, give voice to, and eliminate the stigma surrounding first-generation and low-income (FLI) Princeton students. One of the group's most visible projects was the #PrincetonIAmHere Facebook campaign that enabled FLI students to share their experiences on Princeton's campus through social media. Through its efforts, PHMC has successfully spurred dialogue, provided resources, and created a community for an historically under-recognized identity group.
2014 - 4th Annual Award Winners
Students for Prison Education and Reform (SPEAR), performed laudatory work on the 7x9 campaign and the inaugural conference Building a New Criminal Justice: Mobilizing Students for Reform. The group’s dedication to sponsoring such impactful programs that both broaden and deepen discourse of social justice amongst their peers stood out on a campus with increasing activity around social justice. The thoughtfulness and detail of SPEAR’s projects serve as a fine example of what students can accomplish in their extracurricular work.
Advertise This sponsored the REACH: Marketing & Advertising Conference. The two-day conference hosted over 20 speakers, including alumni such as Adam Goldstein ’81 (CEO & President of Royal Caribbean), and Lorraine Hansen ’87 (President, Global Snacks, PepsiCo). The organization’s commitment to expanding opportunities for students interested in the marketing or advertising field or skill set brought a unique experience to campus – one that will continue to expand.
The Ellipses Slam Poetry Team exploded onto campus’ radar with a third place showing at College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational 2014 as well as Ellipses’ recent catapult to international fame through the video of Patrick Roche’s poem “21,” which instantly went viral and has garnered more than 3.5 million views. Through its multiple shows per year and its guest artists, Ellipses has helped create opportunities for a never-before-offered type of performance and expression at Princeton. The Committee commends Ellipses for rapidly and successfully raising the profile of art at Princeton.
The Student Health Advisory Board’s public service announcement campaign against meningitis showed impressive dedication and imagination in reshaping the campus dialogue about meningitis and galvanizing the student body into taking preventative steps. Thanks in part to efforts like the “Beat Meng” and “Half Isn’t Enough” campaigns, Princeton was able to address an unprecedented threat to student health with widespread awareness, behavior change, and sky-high rates of preemptive vaccination.
The Princeton Traveler addressed a distinct lack of easily navigable information and personal touch in Princeton resources and study abroad experiences. Students may have written exceptional blogs and reflections on service abroad, but these are often lost in email threads and dusty binders. We believe that the Traveler will help integrate these experiences into our campus vernacular and allow your peers' adventures to live on past the airplane touching New Jersey soil. We also commend the sustainability of an online-only publication, which not only reduces publication costs and saves trees, but is also a format uniquely suited to your audience in which peers abroad can benefit. The website itself is polished, user-friendly, and visually stunning.
Ben Taub ’14 showed his dedication to advocate for Syrian refugees and shared his own experiences as a photojournalist through the photo gallery, Displaced. The innovative use of Campus Club as a space to showcase his work encouraged dialogue among students and opened the floodgates for a number of other artists to utilize the space in a similar manner. The gallery was a creative way to increase awareness for an international issue that made a memorable impact on campus.
2013 - 3rd Annual Award Winners
To greater showcase the talent and personality of professors and students, a group of writers, actors, and technical specialists created Princeton’s first, late-night talk show entitled All-Nighter with David Drew ’14. The show, inspired by hosts such as Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, consistently sold-out the Frist Campus Center, and was a fixture on the Friday evening social calendar throughout the year. A memorable highlight was the “pun-off” that took place between Adam Mastroianni ’14 and Professor Paul Muldoon.
Whig-Clio Summer Fellowship in Public Service Program is a new Whig-Clio initiative that provides financial support, up to $3,500, for a select group of students who are pursuing unpaid internships over the summer. Matt Saunders ’15 and Ryan Low ’16 led the implementation of the program as a way for the Society to support political engagement outside of the academic year. The two hope the program will continue to grow in scope and in impact and serve as a model for students supporting fellow students with funding for unpaid internships.
Over the spring semester, the Princeton Horse has been a key fixture at a number of campus events and activities. The Horse created its own Twitter account, and through this platform, has posted a number of photos enjoying both the challenging and fun parts of a Princeton experience, including some trips off campus! The Horse is recognized for creating and sharing images of spontaneity, frivolity, and humor throughout the spring semester. Neigh neigh neigh!
Puzzles launched this year with the first annual campus-wide Puzzle Hunt. The competition, in which teams competed to solve a collection of puzzles that eventually lead to a final treasurer, brought together 150 students for an afternoon of fun in early April. The group hopes to continue this event and transform it into a signature event with even greater participation.
Speak with Style (SwS) is a new initiative that seeks to explore the art and science of effective communication. SwS aims to provide a medium for people to share their strategies in speaking with more confidence, and avails itself as a resource and platform for students to polish and perfect their presentation, pitching, and social communication skills. Their weekly workshops have been supplemented with themed practicums that seek to raise awareness about the importance of effective communication and public speaking.
In November of 2012, an anonymous senior launched a Facebook site Tiger Compliments. According to the Daily Princetonian, the project quickly became “one of the fastest-spreading complimenting projects compared to those on other campuses.” In addition, the project has created a platform for students to spread messages of encouragement and positivity and strengthen the sense of community among students.
Will Harrel ’13 won an online competition that asked students who could wear the most pieces of Princeton gear. Over the last year, he has shared his passion for Princeton in creative and fun ways. For example, he has managed to pull off getting President Tilghman, President-elect Eisgruber and countless others wearing a Snuggie! He is well-known across campus for his energy and enthusiasm in creating a fun and spirited Princeton community.
The Crooked Root Café introduced a Latin-inspired menu to campus every Friday from 11am to 2pm when it opened this year in Murray Dodge. Not only did it offer food such as empanadas and burritos created by student volunteers, but it also managed to flourish into a self-sustainable restaurant within a few weeks. All proceeds are donated to support a great cause in Colombia – Fundación Hogares Claret. This foundation provides homes for those who have been abandoned or whose families cannot properly care for them. With musical guest performers and partnerships with other student groups, the café has brought an innovative and impactful new lunch spot on campus.
To foster a relationship among the university and Princeton community, Princeton Splash sponsored a day-long event where high school students came onto campus to take a number of classes created and taught by Princeton students. The courses covered a wide array of interests including “Conceptual Quantum Mechanics,” “Improv Comedy with Quipfire!”, and “The Chemistry of Chocolate.” With a goal of supporting local high schools with non-traditional forms of education and fostering a love of learning in the community, Princeton Splash attracted over 100 high school students and 80 student volunteers.
The Princeton chapter of American Society of Mechanical Engineers hosted an Engineering Olympics competition for high schools students to help them get a better understanding of various engineering problems. Dedicated student organizers hosted teams from five different high schools in topics such as “Polymer Synthesis” and “Ship Design.” With 10 events from all six disciplines of the engineering school, this event also represented an effort of interdepartmental collaboration among Princeton students. The competition was a great success and is expected to continue in the future.
2011 - Inaugural Winners
In October 2010, Engineers Without Borders began a 12-week student-initiated informal course on sustainable development for freshmen and sophomores. The student initiators called this cohort of students and their program the Sustainable Engineering and Development Scholars (SEADS). The program’s aim is to initiate greater campus dialogue about sustainability in international development. In addition, through discussions, workshops, and hands-on activities, this group of students seeks to explore and define sustainability in today’s world, and to cultivate leaders who will impact the field of sustainable development on campus and beyond.
Bringing together two spiritual leaders, Princeton Hindu Satsangam sponsored a unique interfaith discussion titled East Meets West, featuring Dr. Cornel West and His Holiness Radhanath Swami. In front of a capacity crowd at Richardson Auditorium, these two shared their thoughts on the Divine, the values of love, understanding, and togetherness. As a result of this event, greater possibilities for both interfaith and intrafaith dialog here on Princeton’s campus have emerged. This event embodies the power of collaboration and serves as a model for how groups of differing viewpoints and beliefs may come together to better understand each other.
A week-long initiative led by Students for Education Reform, Education Week was a ground breaking awareness campaign that highlighted current issues in American public education. The program sought to empower undergraduates to take active roles in education reform. The week culminated in a panel discussion that featured New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein, Newark School Advisory Board President Shavar Jeffries, Leslie-Bernard Joseph '06, dean of students at Coney Island Prep and Teach for America alumnus, and President Shirley Tilghman who served as the moderator.
In an attempt to spark greater campus dialogue around innovation and entrepreneurship, Eden Full ’13 led the effort to host TEDxPrincetonU. The day-long event, which included presentations and discussions with President Tilghman and a number of Princeton alumni, brought together a wide range of students. Over the course of the day, artists, scientists, writers, and engineers engaged each other on issues of social change, innovation, and how students can get involved.
After identifying an opportunity to elevate the level of humor writing across college campuses, Tiger Magazine launched the First National Intercollegiate Humor Conference in April 2011. With over 90 participants from 14 colleges, the conference provided this group of humorists with a unique space to share their talents, to learn from industry professionals, and to create a national network of writers. Jim Valcourt ’12, Tiger Magazine’s president, initially pitched the idea, which ultimately transformed into a conference with significant reach and impact. Building upon the success of the inaugural conference, Tiger Magazine is already looking ahead to hosting a national gathering of humorists on an annual basis.
The original moderator of PrincetonFML, Raymond Hsu ’11 reshaped the way Princeton students communicate and connect with each other. With a passion for Princeton and an unfailing commitment to the site, Raymond effectively implemented a new online, communication tool that provided a Princeton specific platform for students to share their challenges, triumphs, tragedies, and successes. Through his unrelenting commitment to his position as the site’s moderator—a position which few knew he held—Raymond helped reveal the caring nature of the Princeton community.
In an attempt to raise the spirits of a fellow teammate who fell ill, the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team created a YouTube video that quickly went viral. With over 100,000 hits in the first two weeks of its posting, Get Better, Hasler became a symbol of camaraderie and care for a friend in need. Filmed with an iPhone, this video also represents a unique use of technology and social media.