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.
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.