The following prizes are awarded annually by the Asian Studies Program. The Barbara Yen Sun Prize is the only one for which students may apply; the others are awarded by faculty selection. More details on the eligibility criteria, selection process, and terms of each award may be obtained from the Chair of Asian Studies.

The Jonathan N. Lipman Award in East Asian Studies

To be given to a senior who is majoring or minoring in Asian Studies and who has demonstrated sustained and distinguished achievement in East Asian Studies. Annual award to be distributed to the student: $500. Established by Irene Porokhova '97 and her husband, Dmitri Rabin (Amherst College), in honor of Professor Emeritus Jonathan Lipman.

Carl G. Seasword Award in Japanese

This prize is given to a graduating senior who has made the greatest progress in Japanese language and cultural studies at Mount Holyoke College. The prize was established in 1991 by the late Mrs. Carl G. Seasword (Mary Joan Sommer, Mount Holyoke '55) in memory of her husband, Carl G. Seasword. Mr. and Mrs. Seasword were members of the U.S. Foreign Service and were keenly interested in fostering the study of other countries and cultures.

Jackie Blair Seibert '85 Japanese Award

This prize was established by alumnae friends in memory of Jackie Blair Seibert, who loved studying the Japanese language at Mount Holyoke College. This award is given to a student who started learning Japanese at Mount Holyoke College, has completed her second year of Japanese language study at Mount Holyoke College, and has shown excellence in Japanese language study.

Barbara Yen Sun Prize Fund

This prize acknowledges outstanding academic achievement and research on Asian Studies by an Asian Studies major or minor. It can be used to support student research as well. This prize was established by the family of the late Barbara Yen Sun, Mount Holyoke '38. Mrs. Sun came from China to major in English.

Asian studies majors and minors who wish to be considered for the Sun Award have two opportunities to apply: the 1st round due date is the Monday after the Thanksgiving break and, if there is no award, the 2nd round due date is the first Monday of the spring semester.

Applicants are required to submit the following documents to the chair of Asian Studies:

  1. Letter of application 
  2. Description of project including research objectives and budget
  3. Recommendation letter from project advisor
  4. Unofficial transcript

Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

This award was established in 1983 by Dr. R.J. Lynch and Mrs. Chih-wen Su. Ms. He Yuan studied organic chemistry at MHC. This award is given to a student in Chinese Studies to recognize her contribution toward promoting mutual understanding between Chinese and Americans, through a project, paper, presentation or extracurricular activity during the year.

Chinese Language Award

The Chinese Language award was established by Lin Lin, Class of '03, and a former Chinese Language Fellow, for outstanding student performance in Chinese language learning. When she was a Chinese Language Fellow, Lin Lin tutored in Chinese and helped organize Chinese cultural activities. This prize is her expression of support for this thriving program of Chinese culture and language acquisition.

Indira V. Peterson Award in South Asian Studies

The Indira V. Peterson Award in South Asian Studies, established in 2007 by Indira Viswanathan Peterson, David B. Truman Professor of Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College, is given to a senior Asian Studies major or minor  who has demonstrated sustained and distinguished achievement in South Asian Studies.