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For immediate release: June 3, 2002

Contact: Steven Schultz (609) 258-5729, sschultz@princeton.edu

Class Day awards honor service and achievement

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Class of 2002 gathered on Princeton's Cannon Green Monday to celebrate their coming graduation, reflect on their last four years and receive honors for their achievements and service.

Laura Kaplan, a sociology major from Ridgefield, Conn., received the Harold Willis Dodds Achievement Award, recognizing the senior who best embodies the qualities of Princeton's 15th president, Harold Dodds, "particularly in the qualities of clear thinking, moral courage, a patient and judicious regard for the opinion of others, and a thorough devotion to the welfare of the university and the life of the mind."

Kaplan has been "a most active proponent of civic engagement among her fellow students, both on and off campus," said Kathleen Deignan, dean of undergraduate students. She has been a leader in progressive student organizations and chair of the Student Volunteers Council, and has been very involved in promoting AIDS education and advancing race relations on campus, among other activities.

Michael Martinez, a psychology major from Edinburg, Texas, received the Allen Macy Dulles '51 Award, which goes to the senior whose activities "best represent or exemplify Princeton in the nation's service and in the service of all nations." For four years, Martinez worked with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, mentoring his own "little brother" as well as coordinating the program for other Princeton students. He worked to design a job-skills program for patients at a Trenton psychiatric facility to ease their entry into the workforce. And when a home in the community burned down, Martinez spent much time working with the family to help them clean up and get settled again.

The Frederick Douglass Service Award was given to twin sisters Maisha Tamar Robinson and Nuriya Desta Robinson, who both majored in ecology and evolutionary biology and are from Memphis, Tenn. The award recognizes seniors who have exhibited "courage, leadership, intellectual achievement and a willingness to contribute unselfishly towards a deeper understanding of the experiences of racial minorities, and who, in so doing, reflect the tradition of service embodied in education at Princeton." The Robinson sisters have been active members of Community House as well as numerous student organizations, including the Black Arts Company, Akwaaba, and the Black Student Union. They were founding members of Echoes D'Afrique, a drumming and dance troupe, which performed both on campus and in the community. During their junior year, they arranged a service trip to Ghana, in which they and other Princeton students renovated an elementary school.

The Class of 1901 Medal, which goes to the senior who, in the judgment of his or her classmates, has done the most for Princeton, was awarded to Joseph Kochan, a chemical engineering major from Liverpool, N.Y., who served as president of the Undergraduate Student Government. Under his tenure, the USG authored reports on minorities and women at Princeton.

The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize, awarded to the senior who, in the judgment of classmates, has done the most for the class, went to Spencer Miller, a psychology major from Scottsdale, Ariz., who served as class president. Miller was one of eight civilians across the nation selected for the Navy Seals training program.

Renu Ouseph, a molecular biology major from Bedford, Texas, received the Priscilla Glickman '92 Memorial Prize, which honors "independence and imagination in the area of community service." Ouseph founded and served as project coordinator for STEP UP, an after school homework club designed to help young people in the John Witherspoon Middle School. She also has been an active member of the University's Community Based Learning Initiative and a leader of the Student Volunteers Council's Community Action program.

Athletic awards:

The Princeton Varsity Club Award for special achievement by a Princeton athlete went to Tora Harris, a mechanical engineering major from College Park, Ga., who won the 2002 NCAA championship high jump title on June 1.

Peter Kingston, a member of the men's soccer team, won the Class of 1916 Cup, which goes to the varsity letter winner with the highest academic standing. Kingston, an economics major from Moorestown, N.J., was a member of the men's soccer team.

The William Roper Trophy, which honors "a Princeton senior of high scholastic rank and outstanding qualities of sportsmanship and general proficiency in athletics," was given to Matthew Behncke. A soccer player, Behncke is a politics major from Williamsburg, Va.

The Otto von Kienbusch Sportswoman of the Year Award was shared by Brie Galicinao, Lauren Simone and Lauren Simmons. The award goes to "a senior woman of high scholastic rank who has demonstrated a general proficiency in athletics and the qualities of a true sportswoman." Galicinao, a history major from Stockton, Calif., played softball. Simone, a psychology major from Delran, N.J., played lacrosse. Simmons, a psychology major from Nashville, Tenn., ran for the track team.

Catherine Casey, Jessica Collins, Mary Mulcare and Peter Kingston shared the Arthur Lane '34 Citizen Athlete Award, which is given by the Princeton Varsity Club to honor selfless contribution to sport and society by undergraduates. Casey, a sociology major from Maplewood, N.J., ran for track and field. Collins, a religion major from Trenton, N.J., played for the women's soccer team. Mulcare, an ecology and evolutionary biology major from Greenwich, Conn., was a member of the diving team.

Honorary class members

The Class of 2002 also named eight people as honorary members: James Baker, Joseph Handelman, Roger McLean and Harold Saunders, all members of the Class of 1952; Lemon Edwards, a staff member in building services; Kenneth Grayson, a staff member in facilities; Richard Williams, associate dean of the college; and Christina Weiner, twin sister of Matthew Weiner, who entered Princeton as a member of the Class of 2002 but died of a heart attack his freshman year.

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