Seven students win awards for accomplishments in the arts


Seven students won awards for their accomplishments in the arts at MIT at the MIT Awards Convocation on May 13.

Filmmaker Kevin Choi , a senior in management from San Jose, Calif., received the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts, presented to a graduating senior who has demonstrated excellence or the highest standards of proficiency in music, theater, painting, sculpture, design, architecture or film. The prize is made from a fund established by Louis Sudler, a performer and arts patron from Chicago.
Choi has used his filmmaking "to enrich the MIT community's understanding of complex personal and cultural issues," said Dean Ayida Mthembu. Associate Provost for the Arts Alan Brody called him "one of the most promising, and most genuinely interesting undergraduates I have ever known."

Nathan Fitzgerald of Hyannis and Christopher Rakowski of North Arlington, N.J. (both seniors in aeronautics and astronautics) won Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Awards, which honors the Wiesners for their contributions to the arts at MIT. Established in 1979 by the Council for the Arts at MIT, the annual awards go to students, organizations and/or living groups for achievement in the creative and performing arts.

While at MIT, Fitzgerald performed with the Festival Jazz Ensemble and the Listen/Silence Ensemble, collaborated with the MIT Wind Ensembles and MIT Symphony Orchestra, and played with several small ensembles, including his own Nate Fitzgerald Experience. Professor Marcus Thompson described him as "probably the most talented drummer to have come through our scholarship/fellow program in its 19-year history," and Frederick Harris, director of the MIT Wind Ensembles, praised Fitzgerald's "outstanding ability to listen, the most coveted trait of a musician, which has enabled him to experience enormous growth as a musician, person and citizen ... He is one of the most gifted jazz improvisers at MIT in recent memory with the ability to spontaneously create solo pieces."

The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts recognizes artistic talent and creative concepts based on a body of work and written personal statements. First prize was awarded to architecture graduate student Jacquelyn A. Martino .Augustine Urbas , a graduate student in materials science and engineering from Westfield Center, Ohio, won second prize, and freshman Cecilia Ramos from Concord won third prize. For the first time, an honorable mention was awarded--to Nicole Vlado , a senior in architecture from New York.

The winning works are on view through June 28 at the Wiesner Student Art Gallery on the second floor of the Stratton Student Center.


In a separate ceremony on May 17, students who made outstanding contributions to the cultural life of MIT were recognized by the music and theater arts section.

Gregory Tucker Memorial Awards in recognition of exceptional ability in composition, performance or music-historical studies and overall contributions to the music and theater arts section went to Mary Tsien , a senior in music from Watertown, and David Foxe , a junior in music from Sussex, Wis.

The Ragnar and Margaret Naess Award for exceptional talent and commitment to private performance study went to Rahul Sarathy , a junior in management from Newton; Percy Liang , a senior in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) from Portland, Ore.; Andrew Pak , a senior in management from New York; Andrew Wong , a sophomore in physics from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; and Jeremy Baskin , a sophomore in chemistry from Bloomington, Ind.

Naess certificates of appreciation were awarded to graduate students Graham Wright of Florence, S.C. (chemistry); Ahmed Ismail of Danbury, Conn. (chemical engineering); and Yukiko Sekino of Lexington (biology).

Philip Loew Memorial Awards for creative accomplishment in music went to Anand Sarwate of Newton and Frederick Choi of Louisville, Ky., both seniors in EECS. Sarwate also won the Joseph D. Everingham Award, which recognizes a single creative outstanding performance or notable creative accomplishments in theater arts by a graduating senior.

Loew certificates of appreciation were awarded to two EECS graduate students: Benjamin Ruedlinger of Wadsworth, Ohio and Jeremy Nimmer of Mequon, Wis.

Danielle Smith , a senior in chemical engineering from Mena, Ariz., won the Brad and Dorothea Endicott Award in recognition of distinguished service and musical contribution to the program in world music at MIT.

The Epstein Memorial Fund Award was presented to Philip Springmann , a sophomore in aeronautics and astronautics from Racine, Wis., in recognition of distinguished service and musical contribution to the MIT Symphony Orchestra.

The Edward S. Darna Award, presented to a graduating student who has demonstrated excellence in theater arts and made a substantial contribution to the health of theater life on the MIT campus, went to Joshua C. Randall of Longmeadow (EECS).


The Vera List Prize in Art and Writing, presented by the List Visual Arts Center for exceptional expression on some aspect of contemporary art, was won by architecture senior Tina Lin of Irvine, Calif., for her essay on "Chiaroscuro Effects."

The Austin Kelly III Essay Prize, awarded to undergraduates for scholarly or critical essays judged to be outstanding in one of the humanities fields or some interdisciplinary combination, went to Joycee Lee , a senior in literature from Libertyville, Ill., for an essay on Virginia Woolf, and Lin for her chiaroscuro essay.

The Richard Douglas Traveling Fellowships, presented to juniors for travel which supports study in the humanities or arts, were awarded to Eugenia Trusova , a computer science major from Fort Lee, N.J.; Beto Pelkis , a mechanical engineering major from San Francisco, and Rebecca Clinton , a brain and cognitive sciences major from Seattle.

Juniors David Foxe ,Dore Kelle and Marissa Raymond have been named 2002-03 Ronald H. Cordover Scholars in the Arts. The award, given to those who have financial need and are active in the arts, was established in 1996-97 by Ronald H. Cordover (S.B. 1964). Foxe, an architecture major from Sussex, Wis., plays percussion with the MIT Symphony Orchestra and the MIT Wind Symphony and serves as assistant composition director to MIT's Young Composers Ensemble. Kelle, an architecture major from Baton Rouge, La., is involved in theater at MIT as well as the visual arts. Raymond, majoring in brain and cognitive sciences and minoring in writing and humanistic studies, has trained in classical voice and drama and focuses on exposition and rhetoric in her writing. She is from Albuquerque, N.M.

Two students were named winners of the MIT Symphony Concerto Competition: Amanda Wang , a graduate student in EECS from Timonium, Md., will perform Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra on Friday, Oct. 25 and Daniel Stein , a freshman from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., will perform Ibert's Flute Concerto on Dec. 12.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 2002.

Topics: Arts, Awards, honors and fellowships

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