Fifteen Princeton sophomores win Dale Summer Awards

Fifteen sophomores are winners of this year's Martin A. Dale '53 Summer Awards, which provide a $5,000 stipend to pursue a summer project not connected to students' academic coursework.

The recipients and descriptions of their projects are:

Taimur Ahmad will hike through the Sierra Nevada mountains for his project "In the Footsteps of John Muir." While he hikes, he will contemplate nature by reading classic works by authors such as Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

Ross Donovan will explore the hip-hop dance scene and local hip-hop culture in Shanghai for his project "Exploring Chinese Hip-Hop." He will attend workshops, practice sessions and hip-hop events in the hope of becoming a better dancer and learning about the unique quality of hip-hop culture in China.

Victoria Gruenberg will travel to several U.S. cities for her project "Food USA: The Identity, the Community, the Story." The project will look at the ways modern-day Americans are connected to — or possibly disconnected from — each other by a "collective obsession with extreme nourishment patterns." She hopes to turn her research into an original, full-length play.

Aliisa Lee will illustrate and write about her childhood adventures of living in Hawaii and the Middle East as one of six children for her project "Cheaper By the Half Dozen." She will be based in New York City and take classes in digital art.

Erin O'Brien will travel along the Silk Road through Central Asia for her project "An Exploration of the Central Asian Silk Road From a Feminist Perspective." She will interview women, take photos and blog in an attempt to paint a picture of the feminist experience in countries that were largely shaped by the male-dominated trading route.

Rachel Rosenblatt will work with London Youth Rowing on their adaptive rowing program for her project "Allowing All to Tame the Thames." She will examine how rowing helps children and adults who have a range of neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries and learning disabilities.

Amani Rush will spend the summer in Detroit and Paris for her project "When Priceless Has a Pricetag: A Study of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the City of Detroit." She will study art history at the American University of Paris and spend time at the Detroit Institute of Arts to understand the non-economic value the artwork has to the museum and to the progress of Detroit.

Daniel Shum will spend the summer in gyms and urban settings in New York, California and the United Kingdom for his project "Urban Arts and Movement." He will train in a number of "urban arts," including breakdancing, tricking and parkour.

Anthony Sibley will investigate his grandfather A.H. McCoy's efforts in the Civil Rights movement for his project "Discovering My Own Civil Rights Legacy and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and Confederacy in the Modern South." He will be based in Jackson, Miss., where he will research the legacy and historical accounting of the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement.

Jana Suriano hopes to gain a better understanding and deepen her connections to Norwegian culture through her project "Cultivating My Cultural Heritage in Norway." She will live and work on an organic family farm to learn about agrarian Norwegian communities.

Thuy "Phoebe" Tran will travel to France for her project "French Gastronomy 101: From Farms to Table." She will work on farms to learn about the production of wine, cheese, jam and bread, and to explore the close relationships between local produce suppliers and restaurants and consumers in urban areas.

Katherine Wadman will follow ancient Christian pilgrimage routes for her project "Following El Camino de Santiago." She will travel on the route called "Camino Frances," which traces northern Spain from the French border to the Atlantic coast.

Louisa Willis' project "Museums and Their Passionate Champions" will explore small museums in Amsterdam, Berlin and Rome. She will visit museums with obscure objects and interview the people who are the driving forces behind sustaining the museums.

Lillian Xu will spend the summer in China for her project "Writing My Father's Story." She will trace her father's life journey from China to America and create a compilation of photography-inspired vignettes, which will blend fiction, biography, cultural history and reflective narrative.

Maggie Zhang will study street art in Melbourne, Australia, for her project "Graffiti and the City: Photo Essays and Interviews on Street Art." She plans to talk to artists, bloggers, locals, tourists and city leaders to get a perspective on how street art works in Melbourne and its role in shaping the city's culture.

Seniors Vivienne Chen and Natasha Japanwala were previously announced as Martin Dale Fellowship winners, which supports students to spend the year after graduation on an independent project.