CMC senior award-winners shine

Students on campus among trees and fountains
June 16, 2021

In an extraordinary year, CMC celebrated outstanding seniors for keeping each other connected throughout socially distanced semesters, leading anti-racism efforts, and boosting the well-being of their fellow CMCers.

The stellar students from the Class of 2021 made a difference to the entire CMC community, all while performing at a top academic level.

The Class of 2021’s highest awards recognized Emma Finn ’21 and Johnson Lin ’21, who won the Berger Award for Outstanding Seniors, established by Fran and Nor Berger. The prize recognizes the awardees’ overall contributions to the College and the student body.

Emma Finn ’21
Emma Limor Finn ’21

As a transfer student, Finn made an “immediate impact,” said Dianna “DT” Graves ’98, associate vice president and dean of students. Finn created “organizations and programs designed to bring academic, professional, and emotional support to all CMC students,” Graves said.

Finn, a science management major, co-founded the Claremont Colleges Emergency Medical Services club and started The Buddy Program, which helped connect students isolated by the pandemic. Through her role as a resident assistant, Finn also “led strong programs to combat mental health challenges and to help students achieve,” Graves noted.

Further, as a Career Services Mentor, Finn offered professional development guidance to students and helped guide their exploration in a range of possible career and internship paths. “Her dynamic impact has made CMC a stronger institution and community,” Graves said.

Johnson Lin ’21
Johnson Lin ’21

Meanwhile, Lin, a PPE major with a data science sequence, demonstrated leadership qualities as early as his first year, when he was elected class president. Graves described Lin as “a force for ASCMC” who “immediately started working to build community on campus.”

Lin was reelected as class president for his sophomore and junior years, and spearheaded changes such as free admission to the annual Monte Carlo party. Serving as president of ASCMC his senior year, Graves said Lin “shepherded the student body through the pandemic, including the transition to online learning. He was a key liaison to the administration in navigating the move off campus, the grading policy, and plans to return.”

He also led anti-racism efforts and “helped diversify the student government across a range of identities and experiences,” said Graves. An outstanding student, Lin served as a CMC Advocate and Asian Pacific American Mentor.

In addition, Lin was recognized with the Alamshah Award for Student Leadership. “His contributions will be felt for years to come,” Graves said.




The Alamshah Award

            Johnson Lin


The Alumni Association Citizenship Award

            Grace (Qingyang) Wang


The Berger Award for Outstanding Senior Men and Women

            Emma Limor Finn

            Johnson Lin


The William Dickinson Athletic Award

            Nicholas James Parise


The Brian Walkenbach Award for Outstanding Resident Assistant

            Anna Elise Green





Fulbright Student Scholars

            Sarah Samantha Ceja

            Emma Limor Finn

            Nandeeni Kamlesh Patel


Critical Language Scholarship

            Renee E. Perper


Luce Scholar

            Elena Isabel Castellanos


Boren Scholar

            Angel Ornelas

            Renee E. Perper


Davis Projects for Peace Grantee

            Dri Tattersfield


Elbaz Family Post-Graduate Fellowship

            Sahib Bhasin

            Tallan Elizabeth Donine


Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

            Elena Isabel Castellanos

            Angel Ornelas





Robert Day School of Economics & Finance

            Best Thesis: Mert Akan

            Outstanding Major: Joshua Robert Tatum

            Best Thesis (Financial Economics): Coleman Arthur Cornell


Robert Day School of Economics (Accounting) & Finance

            Best Thesis: Chance Sears

            Outstanding Major: Patrick C. Chen


Environment, Economics, and Politics

            Best Thesis: Megan R. Perron

            Outstanding Major: Emma Katherine Ranheim


Gender Studies

            Best Thesis: Angel Ornelas



            Best Thesis: Josephine F. Savaria-Watson

            Outstanding Major: Kai O’Neill



            Best Thesis: Chandler Stewart Presson

            Outstanding Major: Teressa Allerton Ulrich


Innovation & Entrepreneurship

            Best Thesis: Joshua Robert Tatum


International Relations

            Best Thesis: Andrea Medina

            Outstanding Major: Shanil F. Verjee



            Best Thesis: Mimi Thompson

            Outstanding Major: Mimi Thompson



            Best Thesis: SiKe Wang

            Outstanding Major: Yuan (Ray) Song


Military Science

            Outstanding Major: Jordan J. Venglass


Modern Languages & Literatures

            Best Thesis – Spanish: Brandon Ruiz

            Outstanding Major – Spanish: Brandon Ruiz



            Best Thesis: Elena Isabel Castellanos

            Outstanding Major: Dri Tattersfield


Psychological Sciences

            Best Thesis: Adrienne Mishel Kafka

            Outstanding Major: Su Young (Kevin) Choi


Religious Studies

            Best Thesis: Carter John Arthur Henderson

            Outstanding Major: Carter John Arthur Henderson



            Best Thesis:

                        Biological Sciences: Kelly Grace Keene

                        Neuroscience: Madeline Rose Valdez

                        Physical Sciences: Mia Whitney Syme

            Outstanding Major: Katrina Frances Ostrom





Class of 2021 Valedictorian 

            Ben McAnally


George Blair Award

            Jacob Scott Leischner


Roland Award for Excellence in Public Affairs

            William Philip Frankel


Roland Prize for Best Thesis in Public Administration or Public Policy

            Charles Hill Mounts


The John and Bonnie Snortum Award for Distinctive Character

            Simran Arora


Robert Day School of Economics & Finance Chairman’s Award for Best Student in B.A/M.A Program

            Maxwell Orrin Dawson


Government Department Chair’s Award for Merit

            William Philip Frankel

            Katherine Elizabeth O’Neill


Keck Center Best Senior Thesis

            U.S. Foreign Policy

                        Tallan Elizabeth Donine

            International Human Rights

                        Sahib Bhasin

            Comparative Politics

                        Katherine Elizabeth O’Neill

            Foreign Affairs & International Diplomacy

                        Nandeeni Kamlesh Patel

            International Security

                        Caroline Ellis Jenkins

            International Policy

                        Xinyi Zhang


Mgrublian Center for Human Rights

            Best Thesis – Human Rights

                        Jaelin John-Thomas Kinney

            Human Rights, Genocide, and Holocaust Studies Sequence Best Overall Student

                        Tallan Elizabeth Donine

Anne Bergman


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