Campus & Community

Two seniors awarded Radcliffe’s Fay Prize

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Huang and Lynn recognized for 'outstanding' scholarship

Fay Prize
Winners of the 2002 Fay Prize Susie Yi Huang (right), a chemistry concentrator from Dunster House, and Andrew Leren Lynn (second from left), a history and literature concentrator from Cabot House, talk with President Lawrence H. Summers and Radcliffe Institute Dean Drew Gilpin Faust at the Strawberry Tea at Greenleaf House on May 29. (Staff photo by Rose Lincoln)

Susie Yi Huang, a chemistry concentrator who will graduate with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and Andrew Leren Lynn, a history and literature concentrator who will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree, are the winners of the 2002 Captain Jonathan Fay Prize, which is awarded by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Drew Gilpin Faust, the dean of the institute, announced the names at the Radcliffe Association’s Strawberry Tea on Wednesday (May 29).

This year’s Fay Prize honors two seniors who have produced the most outstanding imaginative work or piece of original research in any field. The work can take the form of a thesis, class research, or creative arts project. Huang was chosen for her thesis “Signal Interferences from Turbulent Spin Dynamics in Solution NMR,” and Lynn for his thesis “Reading Bartleby.”

Candidates for the Fay Prize were chosen from among the nominees for Harvard College’s Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, awarded annually for outstanding scholarly work or research.

“I am pleased to present the Fay Prize to Susie Yi Huang and to Andrew Leren Lynn for their original research projects, which represent significant contributions to the fields of chemistry and literature,” said Faust. “By honoring their work here at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, we are also celebrating our mission – the pursuit of advanced work in a multidisciplinary community. This is a wonderful occasion for these students and for us.”

In September, Huang will begin her doctoral studies in physical chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow.

Eric J. Heller, a professor of chemistry and physics who nominated Huang for the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize, remarked, “Her thesis demonstrated a sophistication and depth of knowledge and accomplishment that was easily of Ph.D.-thesis quality at many good universities.” Of her classroom work, he said, “Her insight into a difficult subject (thermodynamics and kinetics) was the best I’ve ever seen. She grasped concepts at lightning speed and was immediately able to generalize them – the rarest of talents.”

A resident of Dunster House, Huang grew up in Montgomery Township, N.J.

Lynn focused his thesis on an analysis of “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” a short story written in 1853 by Herman Melville. Naomi Sofer, his tutor, noted, “Andrew’s thesis breaks new ground in literary criticism and will fundamentally change the way in which subsequent critics approach not only this particular short story, but much of the literature produced as part of the ‘American Renaissance’ of the 1850s.

“Andrew is an extraordinary student. … I feel tremendously lucky to have had the opportunity to contribute to the development of what promises to be a formidable scholarly intellect.”

As an undergraduate, Lynn was active in the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum.

Lynn is a resident of Cabot House and Baltimore. He plans to spend the next year in New York City, then to continue his study of literature in graduate school in fall 2003.

The Captain Jonathan Fay Prize was established in 1907 by Joseph Storey Fay in memory of his great-grandfather, Capt. Jonathan Fay. An interdisciplinary committee, convened by the Radcliffe Institute, made the final selection of this year’s winners.