The two winners of the PYNE HONOR PRIZE, the University’s top undergraduate award, were honored at Alumni Day.
Yessica Martinez ’15, a comparative literature major. A first-generation college student originally from Colombia, she is a 2013 recipient of a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship and a 2015 winner of the $30,000 Labouisse ’26 Prize, which funds an international civic-engagement project. For her senior thesis, Martinez is writing a book of poetry that reflects on her experience as an undocumented immigrant.
Jake Robertson ’15, a Slavic languages and literatures major. His academic honors include Phi Beta Kappa, the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2012 and 2013, and the Nicholas Bachko Jr. Scholarship Prize in Slavic Languages and Literatures. He is a member of the improv troupe Quipfire!, the Triangle Club, Theatre Intime, and the Princeton Shakespeare Company, and co-host of the student late-night talk show All-Nighter.
There were four winners of the University’s highest honor for graduate students, the JACOBUS FELLOWSHIP, which supports the final year of study.
Yu Deng, mathematics. Professor of Mathematics Alexandru Ionescu said, “Yu Deng is not only a brilliant student, he is already an accomplished researcher, whose work has already had significant international impact.”
Evan Hepler-Smith, history of science. He hopes to pursue a career in academia focusing on teaching the history of science and technology in the modern world, the history of chemical sciences and industry, and the history of information technology. “He moves from nuanced technical concerns to grand philosophical questions, grounding those in the nitty-gritty of factional politics, in the three languages of 19th-century chemistry (German, French, and English),” said history professor Michael Gordin.
Catherine Reilly, comparative literature. Her dissertation, which makes use of rare primary sources, explains the multiplicity of German classification systems for mental illness that developed under the aegis of urban university clinics during the second half of the 19th century.
Kimberly Shepard, chemical and biological engineering. She studies the physics of glasses and hopes to pursue a career in academia “to inspire a lifelong enthusiasm for science in my students, which will serve them well regardless of their intended major and profession,” she said.
The Class of 1989 won the Class of 1926 Trophy for raising $9,013,889 in celebration of its 25th reunion.
The Harold H. Helm ’20 Award for sustained service to Annual Giving went to R. Kelly Doherty ’81 of Bernardsville, N.J.