Special Awards

Ivy Award

The Ivy Award, given to "the man of the graduating class who is outstanding in leadership, scholarship, and contributions to the college community," was awarded to Philip Chodrow.

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Philip Chodrow '12

Philip is a superb student who achieved High Honors with double majors in philosophy and mathematics, having impressed both departments in equal measure. His senior thesis on "Perception and Moral Goodness" was described by his advisor as being of "dissertation quality." 

Philip is also an extremely engaging man and has been involved in countless campus activities. He is known for his "relentlessly cheerful" tours around campus, ran Apple Pie, the student philosophy society, co-founded the Swarthmore Martial Arts Club and mentored children in Aikido classes, is a founder of Ninjagrams, and was a leader and student mentor at the College Access Center of Delaware County. He also served as a Writing Associate, Teaching Assistant, and Math Clinician, known in all three capacities as someone who always went the extra mile to support his peers.

In his freshman year, Philip won the Morris Monsky Prize in Mathematics for his "demonstrated outstanding promise and enthusiasm." He spent the summer after his sophomore year at William and Mary College as part of an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) in Mathematics. As a rising junior, he won an Undergraduate Fellowship at The Churchill Center to study "Thought and Action in the Life of Winston Churchill" and, last summer, he won a Eugene Lang Summer Initiative Award for his work on "Perception and Moral Goodness." Most recently, Philip won a Fulbright Research Grant to Norway for his proposal, "Experience, Personhood, and Knowledge of Self and Other."

Oak Leaf Award

The Oak Leaf Award, given to "the woman of the graduating class who is outstanding in leadership, scholarship, and contributions to the college community," was awarded to Rosalie Lawrence.

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Rosalie Lawrence '12

Rosalie is widely praised for her serious intellect, work ethic, and research skills. A major in biology with minors in chemistry and environmental studies, she recently achieved High Honors. Her independent research in cellular plant biology focused on the urgent problem of food security issues, especially as impacted by global climate change. She conducted a laboratory project that studied cellular responses to high temperatures in plants, and her research will help scientists develop crop plants that can withstand fluctuating temperatures. 

For the last two years, Rosalie served as a Resident Advisor, overseeing the academic and emotional well being of the students in her residence hall. She was a tutor and workshop leader in biology and chemistry. A varsity swimmer and highly respected team leader, she has served as Head Lifeguard and as a swim instructor at the College. She has also volunteered with Expanding Your Horizons, a student group that plans an annual conference for middle school girls to encourage their interests in math and science, and founded the Drug and Alcohol Resource Team that promotes alcohol and drug awareness on campus, especially among freshmen. One nominator called her, "a natural leader with a quiet confidence who motivates her peers into performing at their optima..."

Rosalie has also held an impressive number of research opportunities, including work in the Biology Department at Carnegie Mellon (funded by an NIH Research Experience for Undergraduates grant), field research with the Department of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, and work at Swarthmore College under a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Summer Grant. She was recently awarded a Fulbright research grant for her proposal, "Sustainable, Local Vaccine for Lumpy Skin Disease Virus in Botswana."

Lang Award

The Lang Award, given to "a graduating senior in recognition of outstanding academic accomplishment," was awarded to two individuals who we find equally worthy of the honor: Amanda Klause and Tianyu "Tom" Liu.

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Amanda Klause '12

A Greek major and Latin minor, Amanda graduated with High Honors in a demanding field that, as one faculty member notes, "requires both precise knowledge and creative interpretation."

Amanda's academic accomplishments include presenting a revised version of an undergraduate paper at a professional meeting, the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, and serving as a Greek tutor and grader, a Latin tutor, and a research assistant who developed readings and designed a syllabus for a new course, "Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity." Amanda, a classical pianist and fluent French speaker, has also worked as a stage manager and technical coordinator for the Drama Board and was a co-coordinator of the Acquaintance Sexual Assault Prevention Workshop held during freshman orientation.

Amanda is the only Swarthmore student ever to win the Pearson Scholarship, awarded by the American Philological Association to one graduating senior in classics for a year's study at Oxford; however, she declined that opportunity because she was simultaneously admitted into every top graduate classics program in the country and is electing to attend Princeton next year instead. Amanda has a special expertise in theater, and at Princeton she will work on the theatrical aspects of ancient Greek novels.

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Tianyu "Tom" Liu '12

Tom is a biology major with a minor in public policy. According to one of his professors, his "keen intellect, incomparable work ethic, thoughtful and thorough analyses, eloquent writing, and flawless manners truly set him apart from his peers." 

Tom participated in numerous extra-curricular activities, including volunteering as an EMT at our local fire station and as a hospice care worker at a nearby hospital and co-founded Global Neighbours, which works to eliminate discrimination based on health conditions. He is also an award winning Tae-Kwan Do practitioner and martial arts teacher.

Through his Lang Opportunity Scholarship, Tom outlined a complex and incredibly ambitious plan to pilot a cataract program to prevent blindness in rural, elderly Chinese. Due to isolation, a lack of resources, ignorance about the treatment of cataracts, and the expense of health care provision, thousands of elderly Chinese go blind needlessly from untreated cataracts.  Tom's project involved partnering with the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, working with a network of county hospitals, designing vision screening training for 42 village health workers, recruiting and training dozens of medical school volunteers, arranging for transportation to and from rural areas to county hospitals, and ensuring proper medical follow-up for cataract patients.  If that wasn't ambitious enough, Tom found and recruited a software developer to design an electronic referral system for eye care - the first of its kind in rural China.  Tom's pilot met with great success - close to 600 seniors were screened and 245 were referred for treatment.  The program is now firmly established at the Ophthalmic Center and has continued funding from other sources.

McCabe Engineering Award

The McCabe Engineering Award, presented each year to the "outstanding engineering student of the graduating class," was awarded to Benjamin Lipton.  

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Benjamin Lipton '12

Ben is a double major in engineering and computer ccience, the president of the Pennsylvania Kappa Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi.  He is also a recipient of the Margaret McCain Ford '43 and Howard Osborn Scholarships.

Ben is enthusiastic about parallelism and scalability of both hardware and software. For his senior project, he designed a nontraditional processor for the Scheme programming language, which lends itself to a parallel implementation. In the summer and fall of 2010, Ben served as a research assistant on a project, with collaborators at Swarthmore and Brown University, involving energy-efficient synchronization for embedded systems such as smart phones. He designed and implemented extensions to a multi-core ARM system simulator and co-authored and presented a paper on his work at the International Conference on Hardware/Software Codesign and System Synthesis, held in Taiwan last fall.

In addition to having an outstanding academic record, Ben has also been committed to the Engineering Department and the College. He served as an Engineering "Wizard" and a tutor for several courses, was a system administrator for the Swarthmore College Computer Society, and worked as a lab manager for Information Technology Services.

Ben held a summer position in 2011 at Google in New York City. He will begin full time employment there as an engineer in the fall.