Radcliffe Institute Awards Fay Prize to Top Harvard Theses

Recognizes Harvard College Students Natalie Smith, Dennis Sun, and Eleanor Wilkinson
Natalie Smith, Dennis Sun, and Eleanor Wilkinson. Photo by Kevin GradyNatalie Smith, Dennis Sun, and Eleanor Wilkinson. Photo by Kevin Grady
May 20, 2015

Today the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study awarded the Captain Jonathan Fay Prize to three graduating Harvard College seniors who demonstrated exceptional and original work on their theses.

The 2015 Fay Prize recipients were chosen from 68 Thomas Hoopes Prize winners for outstanding scholarly work or research.

The winners’ areas of concentration include sociology, regenerative biology, and the history of art and architecture and English, respectively: 

  • Natalie SmithFamily Life after Incarceration in the Boston Reentry Study, who worked with the Radcliffe fellow and Harvard sociologist Bruce Western through the Radcliffe Research Partnership Program to discover how the penal system shapes parents and their relationships with their children during and following their imprisonment.
  • Dennis Sun, The Interface of Regeneration and Cancer in the Axolotl Brain, whose research investigates regeneration and cancer in the complex brain of a salamander.
  • Eleanor Wilkinson, Dangerous Visions: Idolatry as Metaphor in Late 19th-Century American Realism, who examines idolatry in the United States during a time of immense change in visual and consumer culture.

“These winners exemplify the very best of transformative thinking and innovative undergraduate research at Harvard,” said Radcliffe Institute Dean Lizabeth Cohen. "Their work not only enriches Harvard’s intellectual community but also contributes substantially to the world of academic scholarship."

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