Four EAS Concentrators Awarded Hoopes Prizes for Senior Theses

May 21, 2020

Left to right: Angie Cui, Josh Grossman, Hillary McLauchlin, and Yong Han Poh present their thesis research
Left to right: Angie Cui, Josh Grossman, Hillary McLauchlin, and Yong Han Poh present their research at the Spring 2020 Senior Thesis Colloquium.


This month, four joint concentrators in East Asian Studies were awarded the Hoopes Prize for their senior theses. Established by a gift from the estate of Thomas T. Hoopes, class of 1919, the prize is awarded to undergraduates for a piece of writing they produced under advising from Harvard faculty--with the stated purpose of “promoting, improving, and enhancing the quality of education . . . in literary, artistic, musical, scientific, historical, or other academic subjects.”

Indeed, all four of the EAS awardees’ works fell into more than one of these categories. The seniors’ interdisciplinary fields of study were among the factors that allowed them to view the topics through a unique lens, resulting in especially original and complex thesis arguments. Prior to the completion of the papers, they presented their research and preliminary findings to faculty, staff, and fellow students at the EAS Senior Thesis Colloquium in February. The four awardees are listed below, along with advising faculty members, graduate student advisers, and thesis titles.

Angie Cui (Government and EAS), advised by GOV Senior Lecturer Nara Dillon and GOV PhD Candidate Austin Strange, was awarded a Hoopes Prize for “Diplomas for Diplomacy: Foreign Students in China and the Soft Power Question.”

Joshua Grossman (Environmental and Planetary Sciences and EAS), advised by EPS Professor Michael McElroy, was awarded the prize for “A Novel 3D Model-Based Petroleum Estimate of the Qaidam Basin in Northwest China and Implications for the Future of China’s Energy Economy.” ​

Hillary McLauchlin (History and Literature and EAS), advised by EALC Professor Jie Li and EALC PhD Candidate Dingru Huang, was awarded the prize for “State of the Art: Contemporary Chinese Art in the Age of Surveillance.” ​

Yong Han Poh (Anthropology and EAS), advised by SOC-STD Lecturer Nicole Newendorp, was awarded the prize for “Love, Labour, Loss: Voices of Migrant Worker Poets and Storytellers in Singapore.” Poh also organized a photo exhibition at the Fairbank Center based on her anthropological work in Singapore in February of 2020, prior to the completion of her thesis. It can now be viewed virtually on the Harvard Asia Center website.

Student awardees receive $5,000, and their winning papers are made available in bound form in Lamont Library for a period of two years. Since Hoopes’ primary objective in establishing this fund was to promote excellence in teaching, faculty whose advisee/nominee wins the prize are also awarded a smaller sum of $2,000 for their role in the research and development of the student’s work.

More information about the prize and a complete list of the 2019-20 recipients can be viewed at the Hoopes Prize home page.