Seven students won awards for their accomplishments in the arts at MIT at the Awards Convocation on May 14.
Thomas Lada, a senior in chemical engineering from Rossford, OH, 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 was established by Louis Sudler, an arts performer and patron from Chicago. Mark Harvey, jazz musician and lecturer in the music section, called Mr. Lada a "fantastic instrumentalist" and described his compositions as "imaginative and technically assured, exhibiting an extremely high level of excellence and proficiency in the musical languages within the jazz idiom."
Laya and Jerome B. Wiesner Awards went to Anand Sarwate, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) from Urbana, IL; Laurel P. Smith, a graduate student in EECS from Oakton, VA; and Dawn Perlner, a senior in mathematics from Acton, MA. Established in 1979 by the Council for the Arts at MIT to honor Dr. and Mrs. Wiesner for their contributions to the arts at MIT, the annual awards go to students, organizations and/or living groups for achievement in the creative and performing arts.
Mr. Sarwate, a composer, singer, actor, chamber musician, playwright and director, was called "a bright light in both music and theater" by Institute Professor John Harbison, who added that it's rare to find someone so "truly open-minded, so willing to take risks. His classwork, his performances, his everyday spirit are infectious. As mercurial as the colors of his hair, he has been one of the truly enlivening experiences of my teaching career."
While at MIT, Ms. Smith was a member of the MIT Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society, Festival Jazz Ensemble, Gamelan Galak Tika, the MIT Wind Ensemble, the MIT African Music group and a jazz improvisation ensemble called Listen/Silence, performing as a violinist, violist, percussionist, mbira player and dancer. Professor Evan Ziporyn called her "the manifestation of a new breed of musician: intelligent and gifted but striving to connect the disparate worlds of music, to personalize and understand them, to energize her musical community and to try to make a music which reflects all her interests. She has left her mark on music at MIT."
As a violinist, violist and singer, Ms. Perlner has been a member of ensembles such as the MIT Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Chorus, the MIT Sinfonietta, the Aurelius Ensemble, the MIT Summer Philharmonic and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. Professor of Music Marcus Thompson said, "From her earliest weeks at MIT, Dawn has been curious, eager and even hungry for challenge and opportunity to express herself in study and performance on the violin. Dawn is not afraid to explore, does not settle on the familiar or the 'approved.' In all these pursuits her standards and intensity as an artist have gone with her and enlivened and enriched every situation."
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. The 2001 recipients are Marin K. Clark, a graduate student in earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences from Simi Valley, CA; Sloan A. Kulper, a sophomore in EECS from Morris Plains, NJ; and EECS graduate student Changhuei Yang of Singapore. The winning works are on view through Saturday, June 30 at the Wiesner Student Art Gallery on the second floor of the Stratton Student Center.
MUSIC AND THEATER ARTS
Seventeen students who have made outstanding contributions to the cultural life of MIT were recognized at the annual music and theater arts ceremony on May 21.
EECS graduate student Ole Mattis Nielsen of Tonsberg, Norway won the Epstein Award, presented in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the MIT Symphony Orchestra and the music and theater arts section.
Gregory Tucker Memorial Awards for exceptional ability in composition, performance or music-historical studies went to senior Ivan Middleton, a double major in mathematics and music from Adrian, MI, and Tara Rosenberger Shankar, a graduate student in media arts and sciences from Arlington, MA.
Ragnar and Margaret Naess Awards for exceptional talent and commitment to private performance study went to Nozomi Ando, a senior in physics from Belmont, MA; Nathan Fitzgerald, a junior in aeronautics and astronautics from Hyannis, MA; Mary Tsien, a nongraduating senior in architecture and music from Watertown, MA; Amanda Wang, a sophomore in EECS from Timonium, MD; and Rachel Levinson, a senior in materials science and engineering from Highland Park, IL.
Philip Loew Memorial Awards for creative accomplishment in music went to Peter Jung, a senior in mathematics from Lexington, MA; Christopher Rakowski, a junior in aeronautics and astronautics from North Arlington, NJ; Matthew Snow, a junior in civil and environmental engineering and music from Honolulu; and Manu Sridharan, a senior in EECS from Uniontown, PA.
Christine Southworth, a senior in mathematics from Portsmouth, NH, won the Brad and Dorothea Endicott Award in recognition of distinguished service and musical contribution to the program in world music.
The Joseph D. Everingham Award, which recognizes a single creative outstanding performance or notable creative accomplishments in theater arts by a graduating senior, went to Shanice V. Williams, a biology major from Indianapolis, IN, for her work as a member and president of the MIT Black Theatre Guild from 1997-2001, and to Jeanne H. Sun, a management major from Poughkeepsie, NY, for her work as an officer of the MIT Dramashop 1997-2001.
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 Teresa Hernandez, a senior in brain and cognitive sciences from Pueblo, CO, and Sarah McDougal, a senior in civil and environmental engineering from Rochester, NY.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 6, 2001.