Princeton gives highest awards to undergraduate, graduate students

Princeton University recognized the winners of the highest honors it awards to students at Alumni Day ceremonies Saturday, Feb. 21.

Seniors Katherine Linder and Steven Porter received the University's Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, and graduate students Eric Brown, Min Hu, William Ristenpart and Jennifer Waldron were honored as co-winners of the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship.

The Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate, is awarded to the senior who has most clearly manifested excellent scholarship, strength of character and effective leadership. The Jacobus Fellowship, which supports the final year of graduate study, is awarded to students whose work has displayed the highest scholarly excellence.

Linder is concentrating in the history department and will earn a certificate in contemporary European politics and society. In the fall, she will study modern European history at Cambridge University. Eventually, she hopes to earn a Ph.D. and to pursue a career in teaching, diplomatic service or university administration.

Porter is an anthropology major, specializing in the study of medical anthropology. He is recognized by his department for his exceptional intellectual acumen and academic performance and for his critical engagement with health issues in the developing world. After graduation, he hopes to work with a nongovernmental organization or nonprofit specializing in reproductive health and HIV/AIDS epidemiology. Eventually, he plans to attend medical school and possibly to pursue a joint degree in public health or medical anthropology.

Brown is a doctoral student in the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics. He earned his bachelor's degree in engineering physics from the University of California-Berkeley. His broad interests in mathematics, biology and chemistry have led to his study of mathematical neuroscience. His dissertation focuses on mathematical models for the mechanisms of cognitive control.

Hu is pursuing a doctoral degree in chemistry. She earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Fudan University in China. She has a strong interest in the interdisciplinary field between chemistry and biology. Her dissertation research, which is centered on fighting cancer, deals with p53, the most important tumor suppressor known.

Ristenpart is working on a doctoral degree in chemical engineering. He earned his bachelor's degree in the same field from the University of California-Davis. His research has concentrated on a branch of fluid mechanics where the flow is generated by an applied electrical field. In his dissertation, he seeks to establish "electric-field induced colloidal crystallization," a fast and inexpensive procedure that could improve the fabrication of nanoscale devices.

Waldron is completing a doctoral degree in English. She earned a bachelor's degree in comparative literature from Oberlin College, then taught English literature at a high school in New York City. After receiving a master's degree in English literature from New York University, she enrolled at Princeton to study early modern literature. Her dissertation re-examines the cultural impact of the English public theater in light of Protestant Reformation debates over the sacramental and symbolic powers of the human body.

The full story is available in a news release.

Contact: Ruth Stevens (609) 258-3601