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10 sophomores win grants to pursue summer activities

The University announced yesterday 10 winners of the Martin A. Dale prizes, which allow sophomore recipients to complete non-academic projects that pertain to personal interests during the summer.

The prizes — which each carry a $3,000 stipend — were first offered in the early 1990s by Martin Dale '53. They provide students opportunities for personal discovery, according to Rockefeller College Director of Studies Carol Porter. "Students are using this award to create albums or explore their roots," she said.

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This year's Dale prize recipients are Jennifer Borghi, Justin Goldberg, Jane Han, Ann Kelly, Helen Labun, Efstratios Minakakis, Michael Regnier, Gustavo Rivera, Sam Roche and Ann Waddel.

Porter said students are nominated for consideration by a committee appointed by the five residential college directors of studies. The students then submit essays describing their proposed projects and are interviewed by the committee.

Minakakis said he will use the award money to conduct research in France. "My project is to explore music in the streets of Paris," he said. "My goal is to write a symphonic work incorporating my experiences. I will compile the different types of music in the streets and base my work on them."

After spending a month in France, Minakakis will use his experiences with French music to compose a 15-minute work. He said he expects the project to take most of the summer. "It's a plan that will be a challenge," he added.

Labun said she will use the award to learn gardening techniques. "I'm going to Spain to work on an organic orchard farm," she said. "When I get back, I'll plant an orchard near my home [in Vermont] using what I learn."

Kelly will be traveling to Ireland to study creative writing and work on poetry. "I'm trying to work on urban and rural landscapes," she explained. "It's going to be poetry-of-place. I really just want to get immersed in the people there."

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Roche will use the stipend to travel to Rome for the summer. "I'm planning to study architecture," Roche said. "I'll concentrate on Renaissance and Baroque structure. I'll eventually design a Baroque church based on my research."

Han plans to create a video documentary exploring "flam" poetry — a performance-based genre — in Greenwich Village. She said she also hopes to incorporate the city's "peripheral bohemian life" and to tell "the lost stories of the Village."

Goldberg will translate a work of French fiction into English. The novel is set in Jerusalem and will require intense research on the area to be successfully translated, according to Goldberg. "I will live in Israel for part of the summer to do research for the translation," he said.

For her part, Waddel said she would use the stipend to travel to Vietnam. "I'll be taking mostly landscape photographs of the area," she said.

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With his award, Regnier plans to create a Website to educate the voters of Seattle for the November election.

Borghi will take the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage through France and Spain during her summer project.

Dale — who is vice-chairman of Hill Thompson Capital Markets, Inc. — will host a dinner for all of the award recipients and hear presentations on their work in October. Porter said she has fond memories of the dinner she attended during her first year as director of studies at Rockefeller. "I left thinking that this must be what Princeton is all about," she said.