Awards

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.

Barbara Yen Sun Prize

This award recognizes outstanding academic achievement and supports original research on East Asia. The prize was established by the family of Barbara Yen Sun, Class of 1938, who came from China and majored in English at Mount Holyoke.

Students have two opportunities to apply for the Sun Prize. The first round due date is the Monday after Thanksgiving break. If there is no award in the first round, the second round due date is the first Monday of the spring semester.

Eligibility: Students majoring in East Asian Studies or minoring in Asian Studies and who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and research in East Asian Studies. The prize may be used to support innovative independent study projects involving East Asia, including but not limited to senior thesis research.

Selection: Application by students.

Application requirements:

  1. Letter of application
  2. Project proposal, including research objectives and budget
  3. Unofficial transcript
  4. Letter of recommendation from project advisor

Please submit application material via email to Denise Falk (dfalk@mtholyoke.edu). Your project advisor should send the letter of recommendation directly to Denise Falk.

Jonathan N. Lipman Award

Established by Irene Porokhova, Class of 1997, and her husband, Dmitri Rabin (Amherst College), in honor of Professor Emeritus Jonathan Lipman, this award is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated sustained and distinguished achievement in East Asian Studies.

Irene He Yuan Award

 The Irene He Yuan Award, named in honor of Irene He Yuan (1949-1983), is given to the graduating senior who has done most to foster Chinese-American friendship. Irene Yuan was a courageous student from China who overcame the traumas of the Cultural Revolution, culture shock, language difficulties, and a debilitating illness to study chemistry at Mount Holyoke (M.A. 1982). When she died in Holyoke, Massachusetts, friends created this prize to remember her courage and her contribution to the building of bridges between China and America.

Chinese Language Award

 The Chinese Language award was established by Lin Lin, Class of 2003 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.

Carl G. Seasword Award

 The Carl G. Seasword Award for Japanese Studies is given to the graduating senior who has made the greatest progress in Japanese language and cultural studies at Mount Holyoke College. The prize was established by Mary Joan Sommer Seasword, Class of 1955, 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 Award

 This award was established by alumnae friends in memory of Jackie Blair Seibert, Class of 1985, who loved studying the Japanese language at Mount Holyoke College. It is given to a student who started learning Japanese at Mount Holyoke, has completed her second year of Japanese language study at Mount Holyoke, and has shown excellence in Japanese language study. 

Indira V. Peterson Award

 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 student who has demonstrated sustained and distinguished achievement in South Asian Studies.

Award Recipients

Meet our 2020-2021 Award Recipients

Zoe Hellman ’23
Chinese Language Award

Xinyue Wang ’22
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Audrey Phillips ’21
Jonathan N. Lipman Award

Kiely Quinn ’21
Katherine Simpson ’21
Barbara Yen Sun Prize in Asian Studies

Meet our 2019-2020 Award Recipients

Youngbee Choo ’21
Chinese Language Award

Sarah Ratzlaff ’20
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Qianxue Jin ’20
Carl G. Seasword Award for Japanese Studies

Yingke Yang ’20
Yingqi Zhao ’20
Jackie Blair Seibert Japanese Award

Yelingzi Liu Dec. ’19
Catherine Peabody ’20
Zeyuan Zhang ’20
Jonathan N. Lipman Award

Meet our 2018-2019 Award Recipients

Mirei Y. Golding-Powers ’21
Chinese Language Award

Savana Wang ’20
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Yingqi Zhao ’20
Jackie Blair Seibert Japanese Award

Mo Tu ’20
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Meet our 2017-2018 Award Recipients

Zhechun (Echo) Wang ’18
Jackie Blair Seibert ’85 Award

Virginia Henning ’20
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Catherine Peabody ’20
Chinese Language Award

Sabrina Im ’18
Jonathan N. Lipman Award

Xier Li ’18
Jonathan N. Lipman Award

Meet our 2016-2017 Award Recipients

Sally Ma ’18
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Annie Woldman ’17
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Jiamin Tan ’17
Jackie Blair Seibert ’85 Award

Bianca Ng ’18
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Emily Ting ’17
Carl G. Seasword Award in Japanese

Ani Gelashvili ’18
Chinese Language Award

Phuong Nguyen ’17
Jonathan N. Lipman Award

Meet our 2015-2016 Award Recipients

Yafu Zhu ’16
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Shreya Karnati ’18
Indira V. Peterson Award

Lang Min ’17
Jackie Blair Seibert ’85 Award

Caitlyn Baltzley ’16
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Huien Lim ’16
Carl G. Seasword Award in Japanese

Kelly Charest ’17
Chinese Language Award

Elaine Tang ’16
Jonathan N. Lipman Award

Meet our 2014-2015 Award Recipients

Emma Murphy ’15
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Anna White ’15
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Miyu (Grace) Liu ’15
Jackie Blair Seibert ’85 Award

Katie Lowry ’15
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Johanna Mendez Knoer ’15
Carl G. Seasword Award in Japanese

Akemi Go ’15
Chinese Language Award

Ameera Khorakiwala ’15
Indira Peterson Award

Meet our 2013-2014 Award Recipients

Katherine Lowry ’15
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Mengjia Wan ’14
Carl G. Seasword Award in Japanese

Yuwanming Song ’15
Jackie Blair Seibert ’85 Japanese Language Award

Jessica McHale ’14
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Meet our 2012-2013 Award Recipients

Zhang Yang ’13
Barbara Yen Sun Prize

Diana Stanescu ’13
Carl G. Seasword Award in Japanese

Cleo Zisang Yang ’15
Jackie Blair Seibert ’85 Japanese Language Award

Katharine Constas ’15
Irene He Yuan Chinese-American Friendship Award

Linnea Johnson ’13
Chinese Language Award

Ajapa Sharma ’13
Indira V. Peterson Award in South Asian Studies