FSI faculty advise Firestone winners

Just as they were marking the end of their undergraduate careers, 33 graduating seniors had something else to celebrate. They were recipients of the 2015 Firestone and Robert M. Golden medals and the David M. Kennedy Honors Thesis Prize.

Four of the Firestone winners had FSI scholars as their advisers, and one of those students was also awarded the Kennedy honor.

The Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research recognizes theses written in the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering and applied sciences. The medalists each received an engraved bronze medal, citation and a monetary award at a ceremony in June, hosted by Harry J. Elam Jr., vice provost for undergraduate education.

The Kennedy Thesis Prize is awarded annually to the single best thesis in each of the four divisions of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering and applied sciences. Recipients of this award have accomplished significantly advanced research in the field and have shown strong potential for publication in peer-reviewed scholarly works.

The prize was established in 2008 in recognition of David M. Kennedy, professor emeritus of history, well known for mentoring undergraduate writers. Each Kennedy winner received an engraved plaque and a monetary award, and the historian was on hand to present the prizes.

Jeremy Majerovitz was advised by Pascaline Dupas, an FSI senior fellow, for "Does Ethnic Fractionalization Matter for Development?"

Taylor Grossman was advised by Amy Zegart, an FSI senior fellow and co-director of CISAC, for "The Problem of Warning: Homeland Security and the Evolution of Terrorism Advisory Systems."

Stefan Norgaard, was advised by Larry Diamond and Francis Fukuyama for "Rainbow Junction: South Africa's Born Free Generation and the Future of Democracy." Both are FSI senior fellows, and Fukuyama is soon to take Diamond’s place as director of CDDRL. James Campbell, a history professor, also advised Norgaard.

Sanjana Parikh was advised by Phillip Lipscy, a center fellow at APARC, for "Constitutional Promises and Environmental Protection: An Assessment of National Legal Rights to Nature," international relations; advised by Phillip Lipscy, assistant professor of political science.

Laurie Rumker was advised by David Relman, an FSI senior fellow and co-director of CISAC for "Before and After the Flood: Stability and Resilience of the Human Gut Microbiota." Rumker was also advised by Stanley Falkow, professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology; and Les Dethlefsen, research associate in microbiology and immunology.