Brandeis Achievement Award winners named
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 02:04
A press release from Senior Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for Undergraduate Education Elaine Wong announced the 2012 Brandeis Achievement Award winners. This year’s winners are Fiona Aguilar ’14, Ariana Boltax ’14, Daniel Boyle ’14, Rebecca DeHovitz ’14 and Sara Shahanaghi ’14. Provost Steve Goldstein ’78 presented the awards to the students at the faculty meeting last Thursday.
The award is given annually to sophomores “who have distinguished themselves by their outstanding scholarship and academic achievements at Brandeis,” according to the release, and 69 of these awards have been given since the program was started in 2004.
Each student will be given a scholarship of $5,000 per semester.
Aguilar is a biology major and environmental studies minor who has worked in several labs and has leadership roles in Students for Environmental Action. According to the release, Prof. James Haber (BIOL) wrote in his recommendation letter that Aguilar “has picked up laboratory techniques with a speed he normally attributes to graduate students.” Aguilar could not be reached for comment by press time.
Boltax is majoring in Biology and Chemistry and minoring in Health: Science, Society and Policy. She also has worked in a lab and was a Relay for Life Publicity co-chair. In her application essay she wrote that “Science ... has encouraged me to ask questions, and my research experiences have taught me how to ask them,” according to the release.
Boyle is majoring in Biochemistry and Neuroscience and minoring in Classical Studies. He has also worked in a lab, and an essay that he wrote was featured in the Brandeis 2011 Write Now! magazine. In an email to the Justice, Boyle said that winning the award “gave me a sense of pride because I was being counted among such an outstanding group. The experience has given me even more motivation to do my best and take advantage of all the opportunities Brandeis offers.”
DeHovitz, the only humanities major to be awarded, is majoring in Hispanic Studies and is also interested in education and Judaic Studies. She has had a paper published in Avotaynu, the “primary journal of Jewish genealogists,” according to the release. In an email to the Justice, DeHovitz said that she is “truly honored to be in the company of the other winners who have done such amazing things in their short time at Brandeis.”
Shahanaghi is studying Economics and Mathematics and minoring in Computer Science. She plays violin in the Brandeis Orchestra, works for Library and Technology Services and volunteers in several groups. Former Dean of Arts and Science Adam Jaffe, who is mentoring her for a Schiff Undergraduate Fellowship, said that she is “one of the most promising students he has encountered in all his time at Brandeis,” according to the release.
Shahanaghi could not be reached for comment by press time.