Carleton Prizes, Awards, and Honors — a Partial Listing

The following is a listing of some of the more public prizes and awards at Carleton College. Many of the prizes have a cash award (they range from $100 to $4,000), depending in part on the number of recipients per award. If you know of a student who fits one of these awards, please call or email the pertinent contact person.


Sarah F. Hamm-Alvarez ’86 and R. Michael Alvarez ’86 Award for Applied Research

  • Established in 2014 to support research efforts of students who are working to bring innovations and concepts from theory or laboratory to the real-world. Research projects from the natural or social sciences that help propel conceptual or theoretical results into practical applications or which develop methodologies to test or evaluate the efficacy of these applications will be recognized with an award. In 2017, this fund was expanded to encourage the student award recipient to travel to gather data, prepare, and refine the project for presentation at a professional conference. The funding may also support addition research on the applied project as part of an internship or student-faculty research project. 
  • Contact: Greg Marfleet

Carolyn Applebaum Prize in the Arts

  • Established by Dr. Mark S. Applebaum ’89 and Ms. Joan Friedman in 2014 in memory of Carolyn Applebaum, Mark’s sister. Carolyn was devoted to theater and worked as a drama teacher. She was an advocate, cheerleader, mentor, and friend to her students. The prize recognizes students who have made a meaningful impact on the arts in student life. 
  • Contact: Steve Richardson

James S. Berglund ’61 Social Science Prize

  • Established in 1962 by friends and classmates of James S. Berglund, who died shortly after his graduation in 1961. The prize is awarded annually for the best essay or research paper written in the social sciences. 
  • Contact: Nathan Grawe

Scott Tyler Bergner Prize

  • Established in 1978 to honor the memory of Scott Tyler Bergner, son of Susan Retrum Bergner ’69, and Jeffrey T. Bergner ’69. The prize recognizes members of the senior class who have outstanding academic records and who have demonstrated excellence of thought and character.
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson

Carleton Toni Award in the Arts

  • Established in 1996 to honor the memory of Antoinette Sostek, dance instructor at Carleton from 1971 to 1996. The prize is awarded annually to a junior or senior who most aptly reflects the spirit of Toni’s teachings: finds the fun in shared experience; understands that major challenges are overcome through small steps and small triumphs; exults in the joy of personal achievement; and does not let personal limitations or conventional wisdom discourage creative expression.
  • Website: Carleton Toni Award in the Arts
  • Contact: Steve Richardson

Class of 1885 Prize

  • Awarded annually to the student submitting the best work of imagination in prose. 
  • Contact: Susan Jaret McKinstry

Class of 1966 Diversity of Achievement Award

  • Given to Carleton students who have made a unique or distinctive contribution to the College or the community. The recipients have demonstrated excellence in their own way in such diverse areas as the arts, community service, student government, academic research, or other areas of contribution. 
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson

Margaret Dalton Curran Prize

  • Established in 1986 by family and friends of Margaret Dalton Curran, Class of 1926. In recognition of the lifelong interest in excellent writing she developed while she was a student at Carleton, this prize is awarded annually to a student submitting the most accomplished academic essay. 
  • Contact: Jessica Leiman

Dana Award for Personal Achievement

  • Established in 1949 by Ellis H. Dana, Class of 1924, in memory of his grandfather, the Reverend Malcolm McGregor Dana, Trustee of Carleton from 1878 to 1888. The award is given annually as a recognition to a male student in the senior class who, during four years at Carleton College, has shown superior personal achievement in developing a balanced combination of high scholarship, exceptional leadership abilities, and outstanding Christian character, and as a symbol of confidence in the promise of future attainment in his chosen field of public service. 
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson

Dimsdale Prize for Uundergraduate Medical Research

  • Established in 2008 by Dr. Joel Dimsdale, Class of 1968, to support off-campus research by Carleton students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine.
  • Contact: Pam Middleton

Mike Ewers Award from the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium

  • Awarded to juniors involved in space-related research who best exemplify Mike Ewers’s ’04 vision for the exploration of space and his enthusiasm for public outreach. 
  • Contact: Cindy Blaha

David John Field Prize

  • Established in 1984 by Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Field as a memorial to their son. The prize is awarded each year to a member of the senior class whose non-athletic activities best exhibit the qualities of imagination, ingenuity, energy, verve, and zest for life which David Field ’64, exemplified while living with his fellow students at Carleton. 
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson

Laurence Mckinley Gould Prize in Natural Science 

  • Established in 1979 in recognition of the contributions made to scientific research and to liberal education by Dr. Laurence McKinley Gould, who served as Carleton’s president from 1945 to 1962. This prize is awarded annually to members of the senior class who has demonstrated excellence in experimental scientific research in either biology, chemistry, geology, physics, or psychology and who has studied one of the other humanities at a level well beyond the minimum College requirement. 
  • Contact: Julie Neiworth

Honors in Independent Study 

  • Outstanding independent work may be cited for “Honors in Independent Study” at Honors Convocation. Such recognition is based solely on the excellence of the special project and is considered independently of a student’s academic average or other qualifying factors. The independent study project need not be in the student’s major field and is available to all students in any class, not just to seniors. 
  • Website: Honors in Independent Study
  • Contact: Karen Moldenhauer

Jefferson Natural Science Teaching Award

  • Given annually to a current student who has demonstrated an interest in and capacity for teaching children or adults in the natural sciences. The award may be used for any purpose that would further the student’s teaching career. 
  • Contact: Deborah Appleman

Sigrid and Erling Larsen Award in Creative and Performing Arts

  • Established in 1961 to honor the memory of Sigrid Larsen, Class of 1962, and her father Erling Larsen, Carleton professor of English from 1956 to 1974. The award is given annually to a student who has done the most memorable or distinguished work in literature, drama, music, art, dance, photography, or film, either as a creator or performer. 
  • Contact: Steve Richardson

Hyme Loss Award for Global Engagement

  • Established in 2019 to honor Professor Hyme Loss, who joined the Carleton faculty in 1926 and brought experience and expertise to the foreign languages at Carleton. His studies included time in France—this in an era when languages were typically taught for reading knowledge by professors with little experience abroad—and he was fluent in French, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Yiddish, Latin, and Greek. The Hyme Loss Award for Global Engagement is given to seniors who demonstrate excellence beyond the existing Global Citizenship graduation requirement. It encourages students to go deeper in their foreign language acquisition, cultural immersion, global perspective-taking, and cross-cultural learning. 
  • Contact: David Tompkins

David Maitland—Robert Will Prize

  • This prize honors Professor David Maitland and Professor Robert Will ’50, and recognizes qualities important in defining a Carleton education – in this instance, involvement in one’s community. It is awarded to a student completing their sophomore year who, in the judgment of the Economics Department and the College Chaplain, has shown the greatest capacity to transform a community during their time at Carleton. 
  • Contact: Carolyn Fure-Slocum

Dacie Moses Award

  • Established in 1981 by the Alumni Association as a celebration of the warmth, generosity and hospitality of Dacie Moses, who contributed much to the lives of Carleton students. The award is given annually to a student or students who continue to express the hospitality, caring, and concern characteristic of Candace Kelley Moses.
  • Contact: Julia Uleberg Swanson

Jean Schmidt Prize

  • Created in memory of Jean Schmidt, Class of 1973, is awarded annually to that student who embodies Jean’s enthusiasm for learning and love of people. 
  • Website: Jean Schmidt Prize
  • Contact: Chico Zimmerman

Second Century Student Award

  • Honors a member of the Carleton student body who has made an outstanding contribution to the College through significant service to others. The award is not intended to recognize academic or political success, but rather to honor service on- or off-campus which in other ways enriches and strengthens the institution and the lives of its members. 
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson

Harriet Sheridan Endowed Prize

  • Established in honor of Harriet Sheridan, former acting president, dean, and professor of English, who had a major impact on the donors of this fund. The purpose of the prize is to recognize qualities that are important in defining a Carleton education-in this instance, writing ability. 
  • Contact: George Cusack

Stewsie Sustainability Award

  • Given to a Carleton student and faculty/staff member whose character reflects the determination, conviction, and innovation of the lifelong service of Dresdon Blake Stewart, better known as “Stewsie.” As an employee and later as superintendent of grounds, Stewsie served the College for more than 50 years, eventually receiving the title “landscape architect.” Never found without a shovel in hand, he was dedicated to improving his community’s environment, keeping strong his deep convictions about preserving the natural order of the local habitat. 
  • Contact: Martha Larson

Stimson Prize

  • Established in 1873 by the Reverend Henry A. Stimson, D.D., Minister of Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, is intended to encourage public speech. This prize is awarded to a student who contributes most to the quality of debate or public speaking at the College. 
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson

Samuel Strauss Prize for Humorous Writing

  • Established in 1982 by Robert S. Strauss, Class of 1973, in memory of his father. The prize is awarded annually to recognize accomplished humorous writing. 
  • Contact: Greg Smith

Technos International Prize

  • Awarded each year to a graduating senior with a record of academic excellence and an interest in promoting international understanding. It is balanced by a similar award given by Carleton to a student at Technos International College in Tokyo. 
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson

Mary Wiese Endowed Prize

  • Established in 1992 to honor the memory of Maria Eugenia Wiese. This prize honors Mary’s respect for education, her profound love for students and her understanding of the place of education in their futures. Qualities Mary valued in others and that formed the core of her own character were: cultural pride, kindness, perseverance, self-reliance, discipline, and respect and care for other people. This prize is awarded to a graduating senior who embodies the above qualities and who has demonstrated perseverance in overcoming challenging circumstances. To honor the pride Mary had in her Latino culture, preference will be given to Latino students. 
  • Contact: Tammy Anderson