Worcester Polytechnic Institute Announces Recipients of Class of 1879 Prize

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, MA - April 22, 2002 - Three Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) students have received the university's "Class of 1879 Prize" for their studies in humanities and arts. The prize is one of the oldest undergraduate awards given at WPI and is awarded by the Humanities and Arts department each year to three students for excellent work in sufficiency projects.

Recipients of this years prize are:

Brendan Morris, whose sufficiency was a photographic essay of Madrid, Spain entitled "Rastro: The Essense of Madrid." Morris' project advisor was Lee Fontanella, chairman of WPI's department of Humanities and Arts.

Jennifer Persico's winning humanities project was entitled "The Jump from Resentment to Revolution," and was advised by Prof. Deborah Gray.

Lauren Wojtkun entitled her project "'Like the World of Dreams Itself:' An Analysis of William Shakespeare's Use of the Green World in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'As You Like It.'" Her project advisor was Prof. Michelle Ephraim.

Receiving honorable mention were:

Courtney Broughton. Her project was entitled "The Dystopian Novel" and was advised by Prof. Laura Menides. Kara Foster was advised by Prof. JoAnn Manfra on her project "Cultures in Contact in Seventeenth Century New England." Hilary Hayes was advised by Prof. Joel Brattin on her project: "Charles Dickens" Humanitarianism and the Workhouse."

William Jolley titled his project "Surroundings: Poetry and our Natural World." Jolley was advised by Laura Menides. Joan Norton's "An Argument to Legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide" was advised by Prof. Marianne Janack. Daniel O'Brien was advised by Prof. Trevor Code for his project "A Scientist, a Mathematician, and a Gorilla." Eduardo Paredes titled his project "Thematic Connections in Hamlin Garland's 'Main-Travelled Roads' and 'A Son of the Middle Border.'" He was advised by Prof. Kent Ljungquist. Francis Saccoccio was advised by Prof. William Baller. Her project was "The Character and Politics of Alexander Hamilton. Tom Sulewski was advised by Prof. Patrick Dunn for his project "The Significance of the Battle at Khalkin-Gol."

"This award is given to the most accomplished sufficiencies in the calendar year," said David Dollenmayer, professor of German and chairman of this year's selection committee which included Prof. Ruth Smith, and Prof. Malcolm Parkinson. "The prize and the processes attest to the amount of seriousness and the effort of the students, as well as the guidance each receives from the advising professors."

The award, created by WPI's class of 1879 at its 25th reunion, was to be given to students that best expressed in written essay, engineering as it relates to the world socially, but since its establishment the original purpose behind the award has acquired new and different contours.

"There is just such an enormous variety of scholarship in these sufficiencies," said Lee Fontanella. "Each year hundreds of sufficiencies are produced, and the breadth of these works continues to amaze us."

About WPI

WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education, and is recognized as one of the leading outcomes-oriented undergraduate programs preparing people for success in our technological world. Since its founding in 1865, WPI has broadened and perfected an influential curriculum that balances theory and practice.

This innovative and unique combination of educational methods, learning environment and a worldwide network of project centers is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, WPI supports the academic and research pursuits of over 2,500 students and 200 faculty pursuing opportunities to blend technological research and practice with societal needs, delivering meaningful real-world benefits.

For over a century, WPI has awarded advanced degrees in the sciences and engineering disciplines, as well as the management of technology and business. Our alumni include Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry; Harold Black, inventor of the principle of negative-feedback; Carl Clark, inventor of the first practical airbag safety system; Dean Kamen, inventor of the first wearable drug infusion pump; and many others who contribute to the transformation of our technological world.