Eleven graduating seniors honored with top Yale College prizes

Meet members of the Class of 2024 who distinguished themselves in the classroom, on the field of play, and in their communities.
Yale College 2024 Class Prize winners

Top row, from left, Maile Somera, Carter Sundown King, Ariana Reichler, Resty Fufunan, Eliza Kravitz, and Xavier Blackwell-Lipkind. Second row, from left, Jimmy Hatch, Jasselene Paz, Jordi Bertrán Ramirez, Matt Brandau, and Andrew Milas. (Photos by Dan Renzetti)

Eleven members of the Yale College Class of 2024 who distinguished themselves in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in their communities were honored with top prizes today in one of Class Day’s most treasured traditions. The prizes were awarded by Yale College Dean Pericles Lewis and other Yale leaders.

The recipients of the top five academic prizes will have the privilege of carrying an official flag or banner during the Yale Commencement procession on May 20. The winner of the Warren Memorial Prize carries the American flag. The winner of the Russell Henry Chittenden Prize carries the Connecticut flag. The winner of the Arthur Twining Hadley Prize carries the Yale College banner. The winners of the Sudler Prize carry the president’s banners. Finally, the winner of the Alpheus Henry Snow Prize carries the Yale University banner.

The names of the prizewinners, and their citations, are listed below, in the order of their presentation.

The Nellie Pratt Elliot Award

Awarded to a senior woman whose excellence on the field of play, and in her life at Yale, best represents the highest ideals of American sportsmanship and Yale tradition.

Maile Somera
Maile Somera

MAILE SOMERA, Pierson College

Maile Somera is the team captain of the 3-time Ivy League championship volleyball team, which won the Ivy League tournament this year for the second year in a row. She was the 2023 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and is 2nd All-time at Yale in number of aces served to opponents — who watched the balls whiz by, unable to return them. And, Maile is graduating with distinction in her Architecture major!

In recognition of her record as a fearless opponent, a consummate leader, a fine student, and a selfless example, Yale College is proud to award the Nellie Elliott Award to Maile Somera.”

The William Neely Mallory Award

Awarded to a senior man whose excellence on the field of play, and in his life at Yale, best represents the highest ideals of American sportsmanship and Yale tradition.

Matt Brandau
Matt Brandau

MATT BRANDAU, Benjamin Franklin College

Matt Brandau is a 3-time NCAA tournament participant, a 3-time All-American, the 2023 New England Player of the Year, the All-time leading scorer in Yale men’s lacrosse and the All-time leading scorer in Ivy League history, and the 2024 Ivy League Player of the Year.

For his truly extraordinary athletic accomplishments, and for the qualities that make him a quintessential teammate, and the epitome of the scholar-athlete ideal, Yale College takes pride in honoring him with the William Neely Mallory Award.”

The Nakanishi Prize

Awarded to two graduating seniors who, while maintaining high academic achievement, have provided exemplary leadership in enhancing race or ethnic relations at Yale College.

Resty Fufunan
Resty Fufunan

RESTY FUFUNAN, Trumbull College

Resty Fufunan has embodied the Nakanishi Prize through his activism, grounded in equal parts of listening, critical thinking, and hard, pragmatic work. He has been a community builder through his many roles on campus, among them First-Year Counselor, Co-Head Counselor for Camp Yale’s Cultural Connections program, and choreographer and dancer for DanceWorks. Thanks to him, this community has become more open and welcoming.

Resty has also been a pillar of the Asian American community. He has served as a first-year liaison; President of the Filipino student organization, Kasama; student co-head of the Asian American Cultural Center; and co-moderator of the Asian American Students Alliance. He has coordinated an inter-group trip to Washington, D.C., to protest the Supreme Court's oral arguments in cases about affirmative action, in the process building a foundation for future coalitions on ethnic relations and advocacy.

Resty’s two majors — Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and Data Science — have enabled him to promote ethnic and racial relations by focusing on the policy intersections between data and social justice. He has also applied that knowledge through internships, analyzing census data to prepare a national survey of Asian American voters. Now that he is graduating, he will continue his studies in China next year as the recipient of a Richard U. Light Fellowship.

For his transformational work advancing ethnic and race relations, and his unforgettable impact on ethnic relations in our community, Yale College is proud to bestow the Nakanishi Prize upon Resty Fufunan.”

Jasselene Paz
Jasselene Paz

JASSELENE PAZ, Silliman College

Jasselene Paz is a community builder who has forged partnerships, re-examined histories, and created new communities for Yale’s campus culture. She has dedicated herself to making Yale a place where multiple and intersecting identities — around race, gender, sexuality and ethnicities — can take root, bloom, and flourish.

Jasselene is the founder and president of Central Americans for Empowerment; a radio host with WYBCx Yale Radio; a co-head counselor for Camp Yale’s Cultural Connections program; a Peer Liaison for La Casa Cultural; a Silliman Latine Affinity Group Co-Founder & Event Coordinator; a dancer and leader in the dance groups Sabrosura and Rhythmic Blue; and a Community Consent Educator.

An Ethnicity, Race, & Migration major and a Human Rights scholar, Jasselene has brought the theory and practice of community building to a global context. She has studied at Yonsei University, South Korea, as a recipient of a Richard U. Light Fellowship, and also in Cartagena, Colombia, working with community members and organizations to understand how the country’s armed conflict and its subsequent 2016 Peace Accords have affected Black, Indigenous, Brown, urban, rural, and gender- marginalized communities.

For her many contributions to Yale’s campus culture, Yale College is honored to bestow the Nakanishi Prize upon Jasselene Paz.”

The James Andrew Haas Prize

Awarded to that member of the senior class in Yale College whose breadth of intellectual achievement, strength of character, and fundamental humanity shall be adjudged by the faculty to have provided leadership for his or her fellow students, inspiring in them a love of learning and concern for others.

Jimmy Hatch
Jimmy Hatch

JIMMY HATCH, Timothy Dwight College

Jimmy Hatch entered Yale at the age of 52, after a long and distinguished career as a Navy SEAL in the United States military. He graduates with a degree in Humanities, concluding an undergraduate career that began in Directed Studies — he was the first Eli Whitney student to enroll in the program — and culminating in a senior thesis exploring the interplay between literature and lived experience, with a particular focus on depictions of combat in classical Greek, Roman, and Italian texts.

Jimmy’s extracurricular life on campus has been rich and varied, ranging from his partnership with the Jackson School in creating an “After Action’ class immediately following the U.S. exit from Afghanistan to his collaboration with the Yale University Art Gallery on a ‘Public Plato’ project, for which he recently hosted a conversation with Dean Tamar Gendler on ‘Ancient Thinking and the Modern Human.’

Jimmy is invested in the life of the mind, in the creation of community, in often winding pursuit of light and truth. For the depth and breadth of his commitments, Yale College is proud to bestow the James Andrew Haas Memorial Prize upon James Hatch.”

The Warren Memorial Prize

Awarded to the senior majoring in the humanities who ranks highest in scholarship.

Eliza Kravitz
Eliza Kravitz

ELIZA KRAVITZ, Morse College

Eliza Kravitz graduates summa cum laude with distinction in her History major. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year, she is also a member of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. Eliza is a recipient of the Yale Review of International Studies Acheson Prize for her essay in international affairs. This year, she also received the Carlos R. Morena Prize, given annually to the best student paper focusing on the field of Latinx Studies.

Outside the classroom, Eliza has made a significant impact in the surrounding communities of Connecticut. As a first-year student, she helped students incarcerated in the Manson Youth Institution pass the GED. She has also volunteered as a tax preparer with organizations that assist under-served families in preparing their taxes, and she has worked as a Spanish interpreter for the New Haven Legal Assistance Association.

In recognition of her extraordinary scholarly achievements, Yale College is proud to award the Warren Memorial High Scholarship Prize this year to Eliza Rose Kravitz.”

The Arthur Twining Hadley Prize

Awarded to the senior in Yale College majoring in the social sciences who ranks highest in scholarship.

Ariana Reichler
Ariana Reichler

ARIANA REICHLER, Trumbull College

Ariana Reichler was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year and graduates summa cum laude with distinction in her major, Cognitive Science, and a certificate in Education Studies. Her academic pursuits have been broad and interdisciplinary, with a steady focus on cognitive development.

As a member of theClinical Affective Neuroscience & Development Lab since her sophomore year, Ariana’s research has focused on child and adolescent development and its intersection with mental health, specifically examining mechanisms linking childhood adversity exposure with risk for posttraumatic stress disorder.

Outside of the classroom, Ariana’s extracurricular commitments have often focused on children, too. From serving as a Community Mental Health Fellow with Dwight Hall and the Connecticut Mental Health Center Foundation to volunteering as a swim instructor to local children with special needs or disabilities, Ariana has made a significant impact in the broader New Haven community.

For her exceptional scholarship, Yale College proudly awards the Arthur Twining Hadley Prize to Ariana Reichler.”

The Russell Henry Chittenden Prize

Awarded to the senior majoring in the natural sciences or in mathematics who ranks highest in scholarship.

Andrew Milas
Andrew Milas

ANDREW MILAS, Grace Hopper College

Andrew Milas graduates summa cum laude, with distinction in both his majors, Computer Science and Mathematics. He has distinguished himself as one of the most outstanding scholars in his fields of study, showing extraordinary talent in his demanding coursework, much of it at the graduate level, and far exceeding the requirements for the major or the undergraduate degree. Whether studying economics or artificial intelligence, deep learning theory or statistics and data science, he has done, in the words of one of his instructors, ‘spectacularly.’

Andrew is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, among them a first-place win in the Jane Street Electronic Trading Challenge Final Hour. At the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, he and his teammates took fifth place in the 2022 Putnam Exam, he received an honorable mention, and Yale’s Department of Mathematics praised Andrew and his team as placing Yale among ‘the top five for the first time since 1991,’ a first in over three decades.

For his exceptional scholarship and future promise in his field, Yale College proudly awards the Russell Henry Chittenden Prize to Andrew Milas.”

The Louis Sudler Prize

Awarded to two seniors for excellence in the performing or creative arts.

Carter Sundown King
Carter Sundown King

CARTER SUNDOWN KING, Pauli Murray College

Carter Sundown King graduates with distinction in his major, Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies. Admired by faculty and students alike, he is not only a costume designer who raises the standard of every production he joins; he also has a deep respect for the materials, histories, and bodies with which he works. Moving between rigorous research and ‘intuitive leaps of the imagination’ his costumes demand to be seen and understood.

An enrolled member of the Oneida Nation, Carter King's design practice centers his Oneida experience, drawing on lessons in creativity, community, integrity, and ingenuity he learned while being raised on the Oneida Nation Reservation in Wisconsin. If you find yourself anywhere in his vicinity, you cannot help but notice him. He wears his Nation and his art form everywhere he goes, teaching us all how to carry elements of what we love with us, on our very bodies.

For his unwavering dedication to the highest standards of his art form, Yale College is honored to award the Louis Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Performing and Creative Arts to Carter Sundown King.”

Jordi Bertrán Ramirez
Jordi Bertrán Ramirez


Jordi Bertrán Ramirez of Trumbull College graduates with a double major in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. In his doubled studies he has investigated popular and political cultures of information, identity, and representation, using not only classrooms and computers but also stages, voices, and bodies to explore urgent questions.

Anyone who has seen Jordi on stage (in his over 30 productions at Yale), knows that he has ‘It’— the ‘it’ of a theater actor’s magnetic force that compels audiences to watch and listen; the ‘it’ of an actor’s grace, charisma, and artistic intelligence; the ‘it’ that Professor Joseph Roach has called ‘easy to perceive but hard to define, possessed by abnormally interesting people.’ Jordi is not only such a person; he brings his own interests and ethics alive in his performances; he plays the stage as a virtuoso plays the piano; he channels his talent into projects that matter — to him, to his community, and to our changing and challenging world.

For his luminous accomplishments in theatrical performance, Yale College is honored to award the Louis Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Performing and Creative Arts to Jordi Bertrán Ramirez.”

The Alpheus Henry Snow Prize

Awarded to the senior who through the combination of intellectual achievement, character, and personality, shall be adjudged by the faculty to have done most for Yale by inspiring in his or her classmates an admiration for the traditions of high scholarship.

Xavier Blackwell-Lipkind
Xavier Blackwell-Lipkind


Xavier Blackwell-Lipkind graduates summa cum laude and with distinction in his major, Comparative Literature. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year and serving as its president in his senior year, Xavier has also completed an Advanced Language Certificate in French. Next year, he will pursue a Masters in Comparative Literature at Oxford as a Marshall Scholar.

Xavier has devoted much of his undergraduate years exploring languages. He has received numerous awards for his work in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, including the Scott Prize for the best essay in French and the Bildner Prize for ‘an outstanding essay in Spanish on any subject in Latin American Literature and/or Culture.’ The English department has also recognized Xavier, twice awarding him the John Hubbard Curtis Prize ‘for love of the English language and facility in writing’ as well as the sophomore C. Wyllys Betts Prize and the Elmore A. Willets Prize for Fiction. His love of languages continues with ongoing study of Italian and Amharic.

Awards from outside Yale have also been bestowed on Xavier for his fiction and non-fiction prose stories, which have been published in literary journals such as The Threepenny Review, The Drift, Gulf Coast, West Branch, and Brevity, to name just a few. He won the Editors’ Prize in Prose from the Copper Nickel.

Xavier’s deep belief in the value of language and literature ties directly to his enthusiastic service as a mentor to others. On campus, Xavier tutors students in French and Portuguese. In the New Haven community, he uses his talents and expertise to serve as a volunteer translator and interpreter for immigration nonprofits and asylum attorneys.

Xavier has contributed to the life of Yale through his writing as well. Since May 2023, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Literary Magazine, having previously occupied the roles of managing editor and literary editor. In addition, he has worked as a staff writer for the Yale Daily News Magazine and as a reporter for the YDN. Somehow, he has also played the viola in the Yale Symphony Orchestra for two years.

For his remarkable achievements and his promise for the many more to come, Yale College takes great pleasure in bestowing the Alpheus Henry Snow Prize upon Xavier Blackwell-Lipkind.”


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Part of the In Focus Collection: Celebrating Yale 2024