Main content start

Undergraduate Student Awards, Prizes, and Recognitions

Several departmental and University awards recognize undergraduate achievement in the study of religion. Select from menu on the left for the names and titles of winning students and projects.

The Lawrence Berman Prize

Established in memory of Lawrence Berman (1929-1988), a former professor in the Stanford Religious Studies department, this prize is awarded for the best essay written by an undergraduate student in a Religious Studies class each year. Faculty nominate outstanding papers written for their classes, and a faculty committee selects a winner each spring.

The 2023-2024 Lawrence Berman Prize was awarded to Caspar Griffin for his paper, "Under One Roof: Chinese-American Catholicism in Old St. Mary’s Cathedral,” written for Constructing Race and Religion in America (RELIGST 246, winter 2024).

Past Recipients
  • 2022-2023  Luke Lamberti, "Martin Luther and the Eunuch, 1519-1537".
  • 2021-22 Asha Ravi,  "Borders of Identity, Displacement, and Geographic Fracture in Artistic Responses to India’s Partition." 
  • 2019-20 Arman Kassam, "A Shared Exodus: Analyzing the Multi-confessional Consumption of Abraham Ortelius’ Map of Palestine."
  • 2018-19 Paritosh Kanoria, "A Granite God in an Ocean of Milk."
  • 2017-18 Michal Leibowitz, "Beyond Symbolism: Tefillin as the Creation of Loving Bodies."
  • 2016-17 Michal Leibowitz, "Signs and Symbols: Interpreting Eternal Light in Jewish, Christian, and Secular Spaces."
  • 2014-15 Justin Brinkley, “The New Perspective on Paul: Rethinking the Judaism of Paul’s Day and the Identity of God’s People.”
  • 2013-14  Jenna Leonardo, “YouVersion’s Bible App: The role of design in digitally mediated religious experience.”
  • 2012-13  Tae Shin Lee,  “Diotima’s Speech as Apophasis: a Holistic Reading of the Symposium.”
  • 2011-12  Amy Lanctot, “Concealment and Manipulation: Interpretations of Esther and Vashti in Diasporic Traditions.”
  • 2010-11  Johanna (Hanni) Hanson, “Defenders of the Cloister: Catholic Nuns’ Agency and Resistance in Reformation Germany.”
  • 2009-10  Trent Walker, “Liberation Through Hearing: Sound and Music in Sukhāvatī.”
  • 2008-9 Manny Fassihi, “‘Reductio in Vacuitas’: De-Reifying Perception through Apophasis in Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika.”
  • 2007-8  Trent Walker, “Reconciling Buddhist Modernism and Nonviolence: Khiew Chum’s Cambodian Vision.”
  • 2006-7 Martine Cicconi, “A Common Woman of Uncommon Character: An Analysis of Hannah in Early Jewish and Modern Feminist Interpretation.”
  • 2004-5 James L. Poskin, “Conceptions of the Comic within the Spheres of Existence in Climacus’ Concluding Unscientific Postscript”
  • 2003-4 Eva Tuschman, “Marking Meaning in Time and Space: An Examination of Bodily Consciousness and Sacred Landscape in Tibetan Pilgrimage.”
  • 2001-2 Sara Jasper, Jacqueline Schwartz
  • 2000-1 Erica Gielow
  • 1998-99 David Albertson, “Rethinking the Redeemer, Ritschl’s Restatement of Schleiermacher’s Christology.”
  • 1997-98 Rebecca Bowen, Andrew Bradley
  • 1996-97 Sanjiv Harpayat, “Jai Santoshi Maa: Deciphering Its Gendered Message.”
  • 1992-93 Heather Lind
  • 1991-92 Alexandra Blythe Whitehead

The Howard M. Garfield Award

The Howard M. Garfield Award is granted to the graduating student in Religious Studies who, through scholarship and/or service, illuminates and exemplifies those humane ethical values common to the world’s diverse religious traditions.


Past Recipients
  • 2022 Hannah Kunzman
  • 2021 Alexander Lam
  • 2020 Asher Faris
  • 2019 Matthew Parent
  • 2018 Tristan Navarro
  • 2015 Mauricio Antunano
  • 2014  Zoe Wolford, James Daniel (Jimmy) Fowkes – posthumous award
  • 2013  Johanna (Hanni) Hanson
  • 2012  Alexandra Grace Larrave
  • 2011  Joshua Aidan Dunn
  • 2010  Zaid Adhami
  • 2009 Alexandra Martin
  • 2008 Jesse Wallin
  • 2007 Raena Saddler
  • 2006 Kathleen Alda Balthrop-Lewis
  • 2005 Tatiana Forcro Puerta
  • 2004 Ben Howard
  • 2003 Valarie Kaur Brar
  • 2002 Alison Bjerke, Erika Moseson
  • 2001 Haji Priya
  • 2000 David Albertson
  • 1999 Christina Taber
  • 1998 Christopher Babbit, Dora Frimmer
  • 1997 Susan Meffert, Catherine Mizrahi
  • 1996 Grace Y. Kao

The Robert M. Golden Medal

The Robert M. Golden Medal for Excellence in the Humanities and Creative Arts recognizes honors theses in the humanities or creative projects in the arts. The Golden Medals, along with the Firestone Medals awarded to the best theses written in the social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, recognize the top 10 percent of honors theses completed each year.

Past Recipients
  • 2011 Simon Neely, “Sacramental experience and the theory of friendship in the late years of Simone Weil.”
  • 2010 Trent Walker, “Quaking and Clarity: Samvega and Pasada in Cambodian Dharma Songs.”
  • 2009 William Sherman, “Inscribing the Divine Language, Text and Knowledge in Ibn-al-‘Fusus al-Hikam and Nicholas of Cusa’s De visione Dei.
  • 2007 Lola Feiger, “The Memorialization of Urban Concentration Camps: Reading the Scale and Infrastructural Complexity of Sachsenhausen for an Understanding of the Holocaust.”
  • 2003 Valarie Kaur Brar, “Targeting the Turban: Sikh Americans and the Aversion Spiral After September 11.”
  • 2000 David Albertson, “The Question Mark of Theology: Karl Barth’s Scientific Theology as Theological Critique of the University.”
  • 2001 Nancy Elisa Alvarez, “Sex and Power in a Textual Variant of the Collectio Tripartita: Reconstructing an Ideology of Reform Identity from a Canon Law Collection at the Benedictine Monastery of Admont, c. 100-1125.”
  • 1997 Andreea C. Nicoara, “The Romanian Uniate Church After 1948.”

The Francisco Lopes Prize in the Humanities

The Francisco C. Lopes Prize is awarded annually by the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies for the best papers and MA or Honors thesis in the Humanities on feminism, gender or sexuality, written by any undergraduate, or co-terminal B.A./M.A. student currently enrolled at Stanford. The prizes are given in two divisions: The Honors Thesis Division (including coterminal Master’s theses) and the Paper Division. 

Past Recipients
  • Zuyi Zhao, “‘Seeing a Woman, He Looked Down on Her, for He Did Not Know of Her Virile Mind’: Bodily Disruption and the Transformation of Gender in Christian and Buddhist Hagiography,” written under Thesis Advisor Professor Paul Harrison.