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Boothe Prize Essays

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The Boothe Prize is awarded for excellence in first-year writing. Our archive presents prize essays from ESF, SLE, ITALIC, COLLEGE, and the COLLEGE's predecessor program Thinking Matters. 

Boothe Prize Essays for 2020-2021

Thinking Matters Winners for 2020-2021

Integrated Learning Environment Winner for 2020-2021

Boothe Prize Essays for 2019-2020

Thinking Matters Winners for 2019-2020

Integrated Learning Environment Winner for 2019-2020

Boothe Prize Essays for 2018-2019

Thinking Matters Winners for 2018-2019

Boothe Prize Essays for 2017-2018

Thinking Matters Winners for 2017-2018

  • Sylvia Choo (Winner, Spring 2017): “Bone Marrow Donation: Will Lack of Donor Compensation Suck the Bone Marrow Supply Dry?” Instructor: Jehnna Ronan
  • Antigone Xenopoulos (Honorable Mention, Spring 2017): “Erdogan’s Turkey & Its Prophecy: The Role of Democratic Norms in Curbing Exceptional Power” Instructor: Brian Coyne
  • Liliana J. Taylor (Winner, Fall 2017): “Boxes Still Here, Piano Covered in Dust” Instructor: Tara Dosumu Diener
  • Max Moss (Honorable Mention, Fall 2017): “Can Empathy Give Us Truth?” Instructor: Erin Johnston
  • Caroline Ghisolfi (Winner, Winter 2018): “A Subjective Approach to Auditory Saliency” Instructor: Sean Hallowell
  • Jacob Umans (Honorable Mention, Winter 2018): “Santa Clara Immunity and Gut Microbiome in Allergies (SIGMA) Prospective Cohort Study” Instructor: Kristyn Hara

Boothe Prize Essays for 2016-2017

Thinking Matters Winners for 2016-2017

  • Lisa Fu (Winner, Spring 2016): "Reading the Hands: Holding On to Our Lives" Instructor: Anna Corwin
  • Federico Derby  (Honorable Mention, Spring 2016): "A Fault in our Democracy: Examining Peru’s Unsuccessful Transition to Citizen-Centered Governance" Instructor: Rahul Chaudhri
  • Alessandro Hall (Winner, Fall 2016): "Against Representation: An Aesthetic Response to Paul Bloom’s Critique of Empathy" Instructor: Zenia Kish
  • Minh-Anh Day (Honorable Mention, Fall 2016): "Raindrops" Instructor: Chenshu Zhou
  • Ravi Harinder Veriah Jacques (Winner, Winter 2017): "The Individual, Family and State in To Live and Blind Shaft" Instructor Chenshu Zhou
  • Eli Freeman (Honorable Mention, Winter 2017): "NICU Allocation Based on Utilitarianism" Instructor: Tara Dosumu-Diener

Integrated Learning Environment Winner for 2016-2017

  • Benjamin Anderson (Winner, 2016-2017): "The Will to Provide Nietzsche, Poverty, and the Ethics of Compassion" Instructor: Lisa Hicks

Boothe Prize Essays for 2015-2016

Thinking Matters Winners for 2015-2016

  • Zhaolin Ren (Winner, Spring 2015): “The Limits of Idealism: Lessons from the Millennium Villages Project on the Role of Foreign Intervention in Promoting Health, Wealth and Well-Being in Africa” Instructor: Sarah Ives
  • Erin Pang (Honorable Mention, Spring 2015): “Hidden” Instructor: Bronwen Tate
  • Matthew Wigler (Winner, Fall 2015): Constitutional Constipation: A Dearth of Deliberation” Instructor: Lauren Hirshberg
  • Erik Ubel (Honorable Mention, Fall 2015): Discovering Freedom in Ethical Dilemmas: An Existentialist Reading of Antigone Instructor: Valerie Kinsey
  • Susannah Meyer (Winner, Winter 2016): “The ‘Feminine’ Ideal” Instructor: Stephen Spiess
  • Kit Ramgopal (Honorable Mention, Winter 2016): “Arguing for a Bioconservative Approach to Regulation of Anti-Love Bio-technology” Instructor: Karola Kreitmair

Integrated Learning Environment Winner for 2015-2016

  • Zoë Bohn (Winner, 2015-2016): “On the Genealogy of Femininity: A Nietzschean Approach to Feminism” Instructor: Peter Mann

Boothe Prize Essays for 2014-2015

Thinking Matters Winners for 2014-2015

  • Victoria Yeow (Winner, Spring 2014): “Representations of and Relationships with Evil in Paradise Lost and Faust” Instructor: Nate Olson
  • Joy Wang (Honorable Mention, Spring 2014): “A Unified Consciousness in a Divided Brain: An Interpretation of Split-Brain Phenomenology” Instructor: Karola Kreitmair
  • Angelica Previte (Winner, Fall 2014): “Colossus: Cryptography and the First Programmable Computer” Instructor: Pete Mohanty
  • Pierce Freeman (Honorable Mention, Fall 2014): “The Constitution in a Digital Age” Instructor: Rahul Chaudhri
  • Eli Shayer (Winner, Winter 2015): “On the Ethics of Negotiating Drug Prices through Medicare Part D” Instructor: Nate Olson
  • Ann Graham (Honorable Mention, Winter 2015): “Belief Among the Non-Religious-Flashing Lights, Electric Guitars, and Jesus” Instructor: Anna Corwin

Integrated Learning Environment Winner for 2014-2015

  • Max Morales (Winner, 2014-2015): “The Heart of Their Discontent: An Examination of the Roots of Student Protest at Stanford University in the 1960s” Instructor: Marcelo Aranda

Boothe Prize Essays for 2013-2014

Thinking Matters Winners for 2013-2014

  • Jason Risch (Winner, Spring 2013): "Defending Orestes: Society and Restorative Justice" Instructor: Anne Pollok
  • Ansh Shukla (Honorable Mention, Spring 2013): "The Sounds of  [Stop-Motion] Cinema: Bringing Epstein's Photogenie to a  Visually Constrained Medium" Instructor: Inga Pierson
  • Alexander Barron,  Ariel Bobbett, Jay Moon, Srichana Muppidi (Winner, Fall 2013): "Utopia, Inc." Instructor: Jelena Batinić
  • Ruizhe (Thomas) Zhao (Honorable Mention, Fall 2013): "The Enigma: Forfather of Modern Crytography" Instructor: Simon Rubinstein-Salzedo
  • David Zimmerman (Winner, Winter 2014): "Newton on Absolute Motion: In Relation to Descartes and Copernicus" Instructor: Rahul Chauduri
  • Jack Takahashi (Honorable Mention, Winter 2013): "Cost-Effective Decisions with Patened Pharmaceuticals" Instructor: Karola Kreitmair

Integrated Learning Environment Winner for 2013-2014

  • Noah Friedman (Winner, 2013-2014): "McMarx's: Surplus Value and the Brilliant Capitalist Farce of the Food Industry"

Boothe Prize Essays for 2012-2013

Thinking Matters Winners for 2012-2013

  • Arun Debray (Winner, Spring 2012): "Surprising Manifestations of Incompleteness" Instructor: Dan Giberman
  • Ikshu Neithalath (Honorable Mention, Spring 2012): "Alienation from God in Kieslowski's Decalogue I and V" Instructor: Amos Bitzan
  • Beatrice Gerrard (Winner, Fall 2012): "Soviet Montage: Sketches from the Life of Lev Turovsky" Instructor: Amos Bitzan
  • Jonas Kemp (Honorable Mention, Fall 2012): "Achieving Agency Through Fortune?" Instructor: Anne Pollok
  • Rosemary Steinbach (Winner, Winter 2013): "Prescription Stimulants and the Argument Under the Carpet" Instructor: Nicole Martinez-Martin
  • Kara Fong (Honorable Mention, Winter 2013): "The Dehumanizing Dangers of Biblical Interpretation" Instructor: Kathleen Tierney

Boothe Prize Essays for 2011-2012

Thinking Matters Winners for 2011-2012

  • Lynelle Ye (Winner, Spring 2011): "Poetic Justice in The Master and Margarita"  Instructor: Tomas Matza
  • Sunny Huang (Honorable Mention, Spring 2011): "The Contemporary Ornament" Instructor:  Matthew Daube
  • Natasha Tamate Weiss (Winner, Fall 2011): "The Paradoxical Marking of Blacks Through Storytelling"  Instructor: M.G. Renu Cappelli
  • Pedro Henrique Chamelette Sanzovo (Honorable Mention, Fall 2011): "The Illegitimacy of the Early American Republic" Instructor: Amanda Greene
  • Ellen Sebastian (Winner, Winter 2012): "Saving Appearance in Determining Physical Truth: A Necessary Prerequisite?" Instructor: Jacqueline Feke
  • Nicholas Cheung (Honorable Mention, Winter 2012): "Culture and Counter-Culture During the Axial Age" Instructor: William Carter

See also PWR's Booth Prize Page