Shansi Prize recipients Emma Leiken '16 and Richard Tran '16
Photo credit: Jennifer Manna
SHANSI PRIZE RECIPIENTS
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“The New Epoch-Builder: Buddhist Identities and the Reclamation of Personhood in the Ambedkar Conversion Movement”
Emma Leiken’s Capstone nominated by Professor of Rhetoric and Composition Laurie McMillin eloquently captures the dynamic social transformation of the group from “Untouchable” to “Buddhist.” Emma’s inspiration and motivation to study the intersection between caste and Buddhism began in Professor Paula Richman’s class on Modern India. During her junior year, she received a Dalai Lama Fellowship and spent her summer working in Chiplun Maharashtra, India, where she launched the Chiplun Youth Arts Initiatives (CYAI) connecting local artists to schools.
Richard Tran’s creative concept for his Honors Studio Thesis Exhibition spanned over 20 years in the making. His art exhibition nominated by Professor of Studio Art Nanette Yannuzzi-Macias is a personal examination of the pain and trauma experienced by his community during the Viet Nam War. His multi-faceted and diverse artworks explore challenging theme of war trauma and create a place for forgotten voices to be heard through the usage of photographs, sculptures, and miscellaneous objects. In addition to his creative pursuits, Richard has studied and worked in Viet Nam multiple times during his undergraduate career at Oberlin to further extend his knowledge of Viet Nam’s culture and history.