Division of Biology and Medicine
Biology Undergraduate Education

Senior Prizes

Senior prizes are awarded annually in recognition of high-level research and scholarship in biology.

Each spring, faculty in the Division of Biology and Medicine nominate graduating seniors in Biology for the following prizes. The Biology Awards Committee selects the recipients who are honored at a luncheon and recognized at Commencement.

With generous support from the community, the Division of Biology and Medicine established The Dean Thompson Prize in Biology, which was awarded for the first time in 2015. The Dean Thompson Prize recognizes a graduating senior who has proven to be an outstanding student and student-educator in biology. The recipient must also be highly accomplished in a second academic discipline and/or extracurricular endeavor.

Recent recipients: William Borges '24, Roshan Sapkota '23, Thedoe Nyunt '22, Savannah Lewis '21 & Jessica McDonald '21, Derek J. Xu '20, Brooke M. Spencer '19, Alexis H. Lerner '18, Jahnavi Rudrakshala '17, and Beatrice L. Steinert '16

This prize is given to a senior biology student in recognition of remarkable academic achievement, research contributions in Experimental Biology and for being a model recipient of this award in honor of the late Professor Goss, a distinguished Professor of Biology from 1952 until his retirement in 1990.  He was a world-renowned authority on regeneration and compensatory growth, and a natural historian in the fullest sense.

Recent recipients: Nikolas Montaquila '24, Harrison Katz '23, Anika Hutton '22, Wesley Parker '21, Ian Sabula '20, Lucy Jia '19, Christopher F. Noyes '18, Zemplen Pataki '17,  Charlene V. Chabata '16, and Eric L. Tung '15

This prize is given to a senior Health & Human Biology student in recognition of embodying the spirit of the Human Biology program along with a record of remarkable academic achievement. Dr. Hagy is an emeritus Professor of Genetics, who also initiated the Human Biology concentration many years ago. 

Recent recipients: Brynn Goggins '24, Chloe Wray '23, Melinda Li' 22, Sara Alavi '21, Nupur E. Bahl '20, Matthew J. Orringer '19, Sachit Singal '18, Tori Kinamon '17, Emily M. Wright '16, Divya S. Bhatia '15, and Jessica D. Fields '14

This prize is given to a senior biology student in recognition for a remarkable record and research achievements in Genetics and Population Biology. The late Professor Kidwell was a distinguished Professor of Population Biology and Genetics. 

Recent recipientsEli Flomenhoft '24, Caroline Dressler '23, Evan Mizerak '22, Marisa Agarwal '21, Ian C. Light '20, Hallie S. Fischman '19, Fiona L. Beltram '18, Thomas Pettengill '17, Nicolas H. Ledru '16, and Aaron A. Behr '15

This prize is given to a senior biology student in recognition for a remarkable record and research achievements in Cell Biology.  The late Professor Leduc was a distinguished scholar in the field of cell biology.  She taught cell and tissue biology here for many years and also served as a Dean of Biology. 

Recent recipients: Justin Kipness '24, Hanna Richman '23, Matthew Perricone '22, Benjamin Styler '21, Jaison Jain '20, Erica M. Lin '19, Lilit Grigoryan '18, Jea Yun Sim '17, Emma T. Corcoran '16, and Sonia A. Boor '15

This prize is given to a senior biology student in recognition for outstanding academic achievements in Physiology or Zoology. The late Dr. Povar was a distinguished Professor of Medical Science (Physiology Section) and Psychology, and the former Director of the Animal Care Facility.  He conducted research on eye movements in relation to learning, at the Primate Behavior Laboratory, in addition to overseeing all aspects of animal care at the facility on campus.

Recent recipients: Anika Breker '24, Julienne Chaqour '23, Ellen Li '22, Emre Toner '21, Ethan S. Wold '20, Jeffrey O. Okewunmi '19, Jessica L. Cao '18, JD Laurence-Chasen '17, David A. Perry '16, and Mary E. Tarantino '15

Senior prizes in biology are awarded in recognition of academic excellence, research achievement, and intellectual contributions in Biological Sciences.

Recent recipients: Lucinda Anderson '24, Rebecca Blum '24, Josephine Chen '24, Tessa Devoe '24, Ethan Epstein '24, Madeleine Florida '24, Grace Jarell '24, Aakash Mehta '24, Yonatan Najman-Licht '24, Madeleine Pittigher '24, Alexander Pralea '24, Octavia Rowe '24, and Jasmine Shum '24; Samra Beyene '22, Claire Brown '22, Charissa Chou '22, Andrew George '22, Annie Huang '22, Renita Johnson '22, and Sophia Zheng '22; Ashley Battenberg '21, Kelly Clark '21, Marlene Goetz '21, Clare Grossman '21, Charlotte Nyblade '21, Maxwell Spurrell '21, and Camille Tulloss '21

Please note that Maria L. Caleel Memorial Award for Academic Excellence has been retired. See Maria L. Caleel ’87 Memorial Undergraduate Biology Research Fellowships for the funded research opportunities for undergraduates. 

This is the highest award given to a senior biology student in each graduating class. This prize recognizes the student with the strongest qualities of scholarship, research, academic performance, and contributions to the undergraduate intellectual atmosphere.

Maria Caleel was a dedicated and involved student who graduated from Brown University in 1987. Approximately one year later, she met a tragic and untimely death while studying for a career in equine medicine at the University of Illinois' College of Veterinary Medicine. At that time, Maria Caleel was ranked at the top of her first-year class.  Her family, classmates, many friends and admirers worked together to establish an award to honor her memory - The Maria Caleel Memorial Award.

The deans and faculty of Brown's Biology departments select recipients who have demonstrated dedication to the field, outstanding academic achievement, future promise, and exemplary achievement in keeping with the standards of Maria Caleel who was not able to realize her full potential. Therefore, it is the hope of all those who helped establish this award in her memory that the recognition it brings will encourage the recipient to continue excellence in the field and embody in all aspects of life the virtues of hard work, dedication and strength of character which Maria Caleel exemplified.

Recent recipients: Katharine Hewlett '21, John M. Nicklas '20, Joshua D. Pirl '19, Joseph R. Johnson '18, Cambria Chou- Freed '17, Lucy Xu '16, Samuel H. Church '15, and Vanessa M. Welten '14

The 2024 Senior Biology Prize winners were honored at a light brunch reception on May 20th, 2024.