On June 4, 123 seniors who majored in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs graduated as part of Princeton University’s Great Class of 2019. Among them are members of Ivy League championship teams, class officers, college theater thespians, residential college council members, Pace Center for Civic Engagement volunteers, and Orange Key tour guides.
Within the School’s multidisciplinary liberal arts major, the seniors researched some of today’s most important policy issues, from mass incarceration and the persistence of poverty in the U.S., to the future of Syria and U.S.-China relations. Many were fortunate to study abroad in Oxford, Paris, Cape Town, Singapore, and Milan.
Congratulating seniors and their family and friends at a Class Day celebration on June 3, Dean Cecilia Rouse said, “We have prepared you to leave Princeton with a deep appreciation of service and an ability to think about public policy — indeed all issues — in a broader ethical framework. You have developed important skills over the past two years — a capacity to think analytically and critically, deliberate collectively, balance competing interests, communicate effectively, and cultivate leadership — all of which will serve you well as you head off to a myriad of career paths or additional education.”
The following Woodrow Wilson School seniors received distinguished awards and prizes during Class Day, which were presented by Undergraduate Program Faculty Chair David S. Wilcove.
Woodrow Wilson School Prizes and Awards
The Myron T. Herrick Prize — which is the highest thesis honor for an undergraduate at the Woodrow Wilson School — was awarded to Amanda Morrison for her thesis, “Feminism Under Firewall: A Media-Based Analysis of Policy Power and Regime Response in China.” Her adviser was Rory Truex, assistant professor of politics and international affairs.
This prize is awarded to the writer of the best senior thesis overall in the Woodrow Wilson School.
The Lieutenant John A. Larkin Memorial Prize was given to Austin Berman, whose thesis title was “Marrying State Capital: A Financial and Political Analysis of China's Mixed Ownership Reform (2014-2019).” Berman’s adviser was Rory Truex, assistant professor of politics and international affairs.
This award is given to a senior or seniors who has or have written the best thesis in the field of political economy or on a broadly interdisciplinary subject in which economics plays the most important part.
The Richard H. Ullman Prize was given to Isabel James for her thesis, “Life Under el Bloqueo: Cuban Public Opinion of U.S. Policy.” James’ adviser was Rena Goldthree, assistant professor of African American studies.
This award is given to the senior who writes the best thesis on United States foreign policy.
The Woodrow Wilson Senior Thesis Prize was given to Claire Nussbaum, whose thesis title is “Was Silver Loading Really the Silver Bullet? The Effects of CSR Non-Payment on Consumer Plan Selection in the ACA Individual Marketplaces.” Nussbaum’s adviser was Heather Howard, lecturer in public affairs and director, State Health and Value Strategies.
This prize is awarded to a senior/s who writes a thesis of unusual merit.
The Gale F. Johnston Prize in Public Affairs was presented to Marina Finley.
This prize is awarded to a senior who has shown both great improvement and achieved excellence in work at the Woodrow Wilson School.
The Class of 1924 Award went to Sophie Helmers.
This prize is awarded to senior(s) whose contribution to a policy seminar has been judged most outstanding.
The Donald E. Stokes Dean’s Prize was given to Maha Al Fahim and Christopher Kellogg-Peeler.
This award recognizes a senior or seniors who has/have displayed extraordinary leadership and made the most significant contributions to the Undergraduate Program and to the Woodrow Wilson School.
Prizes Awarded by Other Departments
The following Woodrow Wilson School graduates received prizes from other departments:
Samantha Chai and Carson Clay were co-winners of the Global Health and Health Policy Senior Thesis Prize.
Chai’s thesis was titled, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot: An Analysis of Maternal and Household Demographics on Child Immunization Status in India,” and her adviser was Ramanan Laxminarayan, senior research scholar at the Princeton Environmental Institute.
Clay’s thesis was titled, “‘We’re Closed, Call 911’: Community Effects and Perceptions of Rural Hospital Closures,” and her adviser was Heather Howard, lecturer in public affairs and director, State Health and Value Strategies.
This prize is awarded by the Global Health Program in recognition of the most outstanding thesis written by a student earning a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy.
The European Union Program Senior Thesis Prize went to Andrew Li for his thesis, “Seller Beware: Chinese Direct Investment and Political Cohesion in the European Union.” His adviser was Sophie Meunier, senior research scholar and lecturer in public and international affairs.
This award is given by the European Union Program to the best thesis on the European Union.
Maya Aronoff and Angela Wu both received the Center for Migration and Development Senior Thesis Prize.
Aronoff’s thesis was titled, “‘We Were All Once Refugees:’ The Battle Over Israeli Policies Towards African Asylum-Seekers,” and her adviser was Rick Barton, lecturer of public and international affairs and co-director, Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative.
Wu’s thesis was titled, “Towards a Nation of Neighbors: A Study of Immigrant-Welcoming Initiatives in Kentucky,” and her adviser was Anastasia Mann, lecturer in public and international affairs
The Center for Migration and Development gives this award to the student(s) who write the best senior thesis in the fields of migration and development.
The Program in Near Eastern Studies Senior Thesis Award went to Maha Al Fahim, whose thesis title was “Legacies of Revolution: Sources of Durability for the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Her adviser was Amb. Ryan Crocker, visiting lecturer and diplomat-in-residence.
This prize is awarded by the Program in Near Eastern Studies to the student who writes the best senior thesis on the Near East.
The East Asian Studies Program’s Leigh Buchanan and Henry S. Bienen Senior Thesis Prize went to Austin Berman, whose thesis title was “Marrying State Capital: A Financial and Political Analysis of China's Mixed Ownership Reform (2014-2019).” Berman’s adviser was Rory Truex, assistant professor of politics and international affairs.
This prize is awarded by the East Asian Studies Program to the student who wrote the best thesis on an East Asian topic based on extensive use of East Asian language sources.
The W. Sanderson Detwiler 1903 Prize was awarded to Christopher Umanzor.
This prize is given to a Princeton University senior who, in the judgment of the student’s classmates, has done the most for the class.