Alberto Santos-Dumont Awards Announced
** Seven campus innovators receive 2nd Annual Alberto Santos-Dumont Award**
Seven campus innovators have been named winners of the 2nd Annual Alberto Santos-Dumont Award, which honors undergraduate students and organizations for their unique and positive contributions to campus life. The award recognizes students and student groups who have imagined and implemented a new co-curricular opportunity to strengthen the undergraduate student experience over the previous academic year.
This year's winners were selected by a committee of students and administrators. The award is sponsored by the University's Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.
The 2012 winners are recognized for the following accomplishments:
By combining his passions for running and community service, Joe Benun ’15 mobilized and trained a group of 60 students to complete a half-marathon. In addition to their athletic accomplishments, the runners raised funds for Shoe4Africa, an organization that is committed to building a children’s hospital in Kenya. This effort, mobilizing college students to make the world a better place by running, inspired Joe to start an organization dedicated to this cause. This past year, Joe founded TeamU, and opened the first chapter at Princeton. In the near future, Joe looks to expand this organization and bring this model of running, service, and awareness to college campuses across the country.
Over the past year, Miriam Geronimus ’12 has helped enhance and sustain a vibrant community of Jewish LGBTQ students, allies, and friends. She created various new traditions and opportunities during a number of religious holidays, and she organized a Lunch & Learn series led by Rabbi Julie Roth focusing on “What Does Passover Have To Do with Being Queer?” Miriam also organized another panel discussion that explored the Jewish LGBTQ community on multiple levels, and she organized a trip for undergraduate students to a LGBT synagogue in New York City. In order to continue her work building a strong Jewish LGBTQ community, Miriam founded a new student organization called LBGTQ*J.
Ruey Hu ’13 helped transform the activities, scope, and impact of the Princeton Premedical Society. He spearheaded the planning and implementation of the Get to Know Your Professor dinner series and the Princeton Freshman Premedical Mentoring Program. He worked together with his peers to launch a new medical alumni letter to connect current students with alumni physicians, and helped establish the Women in Medicine Program and the Premeds without Borders group. As part of his interest in medicine, Ruey found unique ways to connect medicine with music. He led a BreakOut Trip to Boston to explore music as a medium for healing, and co-founded an organization called Music in Mind, through which he organized the Art of Science dinner discussions and a conference trip on Music, Mind, and Invention.
In order to provide a more economical and accessible option for undergraduates to store items on campus over the summer, Haebin Kim ’13 worked to create the Undergraduate Student Government Summer Storage Initiative. In its first year of operation, a total of 500 students stored 2,000 boxes at a cost of $9.50 per box. Now in its second year, Haebin has expanded the program to include 1,500 students and a total of 4,000 boxes. It has been so successful that students from other colleges and universities are exploring how they can replicate Haebin’s model at their institutions.
The Taiwanese American Student Association (TASA) reimaged the scope, impact, and design of a traditional, common campus initiative—the book drive—through the “Read, Record, Replay” initiative. After collecting over 150 children’s books from libraries, bookstores, and toy stores, TASA invited members of the Princeton community to an event where individuals recorded themselves reading their favorite books. The recordings, along with the books, were sent to children in Taiwan to help them learn to read and speak English. Participants were also able to inscribe notes in their chosen book for the schoolchildren. With over 130 participants, the event is an example of how creative thinking can enhance and improve a conventional project.
In order to build a sense of upperclass dorm culture, Ben Schmechel ’12 conceptualized and initiated the Lockhart Breakfast program in the fall of 2011. His concept was that preparing and eating breakfast together can help create community within an upperclass dorm. Sharing breakfast allowed the students in Lockhart, many of whom did not know each other and were members of a wide variety of eating clubs and organizations, the opportunity to meet one another and to create a new social environment.
In an effort to expose students to the opportunities and realities of start-up companies, the Entrepreneurship Club (E-Club) developed and offered a program for 22 undergraduate students to travel to Silicon Valley during Fall Break. Through company visits, networking opportunities, and an alumni event, the E-Club provided an opportunity to explore the center of the United States’ entrepreneurship community. In addition, the E-Club has worked to create a central hub of entrepreneurship activity at Princeton through the implementation of the first East Coast Startup Summit, held in April of 2012. The program worked to build a stronger “student startup ecosystem,” which helped students “unite over today’s growth in east coast tech.”