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Kirstine Lindemann
IU College of Arts and Sciences

Jocelyn Bowie
IU College of Arts and Sciences

Last modified: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two IU students win $20,000 humanities prize

April 14, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's College of Arts and Sciences has selected two students as winners of its 2009 Palmer-Brandon Prize. Aren Wilson-Wright, a junior majoring in Jewish studies, religious studies and mathematics, and Clara Mitchell, a junior majoring in English and art history, will each receive $20,000.

The Palmer-Brandon Prize is given annually to outstanding full-time students who are majoring in the humanities.

Aren Wilson-Wright

Aren Wilson-Wright

Greencastle, Ind., native Wilson-Wright plans to use his prize money to travel and study in Israel this summer and to purchase hard-to-find study materials for his planned senior thesis on literary criticism on the Hebrew Bible. He was nominated for the honor by Professor Matthias Lehmann in the Borns Jewish Studies Program.

Mitchell is a native of Indianapolis who will use her prize money to support herself during an upcoming summer internship at Poetry Flash in Berkeley, Calif., and to help cover the expenses of studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, in the fall. IU Professor Christoph Irmscher nominated her for the award.

"The College is extremely proud to recognize two truly outstanding undergraduates with this award," said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bennett I. Bertenthal.

"It is unusual for any institution to have such a large prize to give to an undergraduate in any field. We are fortunate that we are able to award two students -- Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Wilson-Wright."

Clara Mitchell

Clara Mitchell

The Palmer-Brandon Prize is named for the late Ralph Graham Palmer of Washington, Ind., and his wife, the late Barbara Brandon Palmer, both IU alumni. The award was made possible by a gift made to the College of Arts and Sciences in the 1980s.

Nominees must be full-time students with junior standing who are majoring in the humanities and are scheduled to graduate in May or August of the following year. Winners may elect to apply the prize money directly to their tuition costs.

Palmer-Brandon Prize candidates are nominated by College of Arts and Sciences faculty members. Candidates are expected to be in the top echelon of undergraduate students, and must submit an extensive portfolio of work and letters of recommendation. Finalists are interviewed by the faculty selection committee.

To speak to the winners of the 2009 Palmer-Brandon Prize, contact Kirstine Lindemann, senior assistant dean, IU College of Arts and Sciences, at 812-855-8245 or