Kranich Prize Winner 2023
Robert Oleynick – 2023 Wilmer L. And Margaret M. Kranich Prize Winner
Robert Oleynick, a member of the class of 2024, is this year’s winner of the Wilmer L. And Margaret M. Kranich Prize. This prize is awarded to a student majoring in engineering and science who best exemplifies excellence in the humanities and arts and the integration of these disciplines into their undergraduate experience.
Robert, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major, began integrating his technical and creative interests during his first year at WPI with his involvement with Professor Manzo’s Electric Guitar Innovation Lab. This work led to the Robert H. Grant Innovation award for his project. When he was unable to find a modular electronic instrument to bring his vision to life, he created a prototype that won the $10,000 grant which he will use to bring his protype to life.
Laura Eckelman summarized Robbie’s accomplishments in this way.
“Robbie truly embodies the spirit of the Kranich Prize: He has deeply integrated his STEM & HUA experiences in more ways than I could possibly recount here, including through composing, designing, & performing for theatrical productions; mixing live & virtual music events; experimenting in the Guitar Lab, writing user-friendly control protocols for LED pixel-mapping, and much more. In many ways he is the iconic WPI student: nerdy, creative, hands-on, collaborative, and eager not only to learn, but also to solve the world’s problems.”
Adam Bartlett- Class of 2023
Adam’s leadership in the WPI Marching Band has been transformative. Dr. Joshua Rhode attributes the current musical success directly to Adam’s leadership. He praised Adam’s attention, technical abilities and strong leadership, “Their current sound and musical capacities are fantastic, displaying impressive dynamics, blend, rhythm, accuracy, and articulation. They have achieved a new height in excellence, despite the issues of having to recently rebuild the music program after the COVID pandemic and learning how to not burden students with extracurricular activities as our campus gains a better understanding of personal wellness.”
Amanda Holbrook- Class of 2023
Like many students pursuing a rigorous STEM education, Amanda Holbrook believed that college would mark the end of her passionate relationship with the humanities and arts. Instead, she found that following her interest in theater opened new doors to expression and leadership. Amanda’s leadership of Masque has been transformative. Her intentional work to build connection and community has resulted in a significant shift in the culture within the organization and the wider WPI drama ecosystem. Laura Eckleman describes her impact as “leading both through peer mentorship and by her own powerful example, Amanda has built positive, constructive relationships among the theater clubs and the academic theater department.
Nathaniel Reppucci- Class of 2024
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nathaniel Rappucci’s came to WPI because it offered him the STEM education he was looking for and allowed him to continue to grow creatively. He is trained in classical and jazz saxophone and has continued to play at a high level (including as a featured soloist) while at WPI including concert band, marching and pep band, jazz band, saxophone quartet as well as serving as music director and secretary for the student musical theatre club. Dr. Moncrief describes Nathaniel’s contribution, “At a STEM-focused university, and a student in a rigorous engineering major, Nate’s consistently positive attitude, his openness to learning new skills, and his ability to work effectively with a team were a major part of his success.