Economics Department prizes, 2020

The Economics Department is proud to announce academic honors and distinctions awarded to our majors during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Wilde Prize

In honor of Mr. Frazar B. Wilde, Chairman Emeritus of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (died 1985), who throughout his professional career was keenly interested in not only the highest standards of responsible professionalism in business, but also in excellence in higher education.  To be awarded yearly to a junior or senior for excellence in economics.  Established in 1963 by Mr. Wilde.

Avi Lipton

White Prize

Horace White, Jr., Wesleyan ’33, was an able and very promising economist who was lost in the North Atlantic during World War II.  His father, Horace White, Wesleyan ’09, endowed the Horace White Fellowships and Prizes, which are awarded each year to the students who excel in economics for advanced undergraduate study in economics.  Established in 1942 and increased in 1943 by friends in his memory.

Seniors:  Avi Lipton, Saki Ohashi, Gillian Lubin, Elizabeth Vann, Qiyuan Zheng, Yujie Cai

Juniors:  Jess Tran, Jacob Barabas

University Honors

University honors is awarded to less than one percent of the graduating class and is the highest academic award Wesleyan bestows. University Honors are awarded to students who have earned departmental or general scholarship High Honors and have performed with unusual distinction in an oral examination before members of the Committee on Honors.

Avi Lipton


Plukas Thesis Prize

John Plukas, Wesleyan ‘66, was an economics major and a recipient of a White Fellowship, and was President of Wainwright Capital at the time he set up his gift.  Established in 1986 by John Plukas.  Awarded for the first time in 1987.

This prize is given to graduating economics seniors.  It is to be applied toward summer expenses, during which period the student will work under the supervision of a faculty advisor to convert an Honor’s Essay or Term Research Paper into a publishable article.  The expectation is that the article, ordinarily coauthored with the faculty member, will be submitted to an academic journal for publication and will note that support has been provided by the Plukas Prize Fund at Wesleyan.  The recipient will be chosen by the Department Faculty in Economics.  If there is no suitable candidate in a given year, the award will not be made.  The Department awarded prizes this year to:

Benjamin Diamond, for a thesis entitled “The Effect of Internet Access on the Government Spending Multiplier and Non-Market Activity,” advised by Gillian Brunet.

Avi Lipton, for a thesis entitled “Closing the Gap: Stratification Economics and Racial Wealth Inequality in America,” advised by Karl Boulware.

Qiyuan Zheng, for a thesis entitled “Quality Competition in a Duopoly: Heterogeneous Firms and Stochastic Qualities,” advised by Chris Hogendorn.


Lebergott-Lovell Prize

In honor of late Emeritus Professors of Economics Stanley Lebergott and Michael Lovell. To be awarded to the best paper written in the current academic year that uses econometric techniques to analyze an economic problem.  Established in 2011 by Bruce Greenwald; first awarded in 2012.

This year’s selection committee consisted of Professors Abigail Hornstein, Anthony Keats, and Damien Sheehan-Connor.

Elizabeth Vann ’20 for a paper titled “Exploring the Impact of Female Enfranchisement on Economic Outcomes in the United States,” which was submitted to Richard Grossman’s American Economic History course in the fall semester.


  • Josh Ng ’20 for a paper titled “Cultural Similarities and Dispute Settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO)”, which was submitted to David Kuenzel’s International Trade course in the fall semester.
  • Ben Stagoff-Belfort ’21 for a paper titled “Mergers and Acquisitions Behavior: Evidence from the Asian Financial Crisis”, which was submitted to Abigail Hornstein’s Multinational Enterprise course in the spring semester.


Plukas Teaching Apprentice Award

John Plukas, Wesleyan ‘66, was an economics major and a recipient of a White Fellowship.  Given to endow a teaching apprentice program in the Economics Department.  Established in 1986 by John Plukas.  Awarded for excellent performance as a teaching apprentice or course assistant.  Awarded for the first time in 1987.

James Bayer, Jemma Blazina, Nicole Brodkowitz, Erica Buckingham, Yujie Cai, Quinn Calderone, Kin Wai (Jeff) Cheung, Sam Dixon, Attul Jakkampudi, Muhammad Aman Ibadullah, Harrison Adam Karp, Nicholas Keating, Talia Klein, Andrew Kushnir, Jake Yi Jie Kwang, Jiwan Lee, Wei Li, William Liang, William Mack, Griffin Maristany, Kenneth McKee-Proctor, Scott McMahon, Anh Hien Nguyen, Saki Ohashi, Ananya Parthasarathy, Kairui Qian, Justin Ratkovic, Micayah Ritchie, Liana Santos Samson, Heidi Scarth, Shahid Mazhar Shabab, Mackenzie Sheehan, Sam Smith, Saaria Sohail, Tyler Strafford, Prekesha Sreewastav, Ben Stagoff-Belfort, Maria Tan, Jess Tran, Morgan Usen, Helen Wang, Tobias Wertime, Grant Westfahl, Britanya Williams, Alex Yao, Flora Yao


Phi Beta Kappa

Yujie Cai (fall), Luke Francis Forsthoefel, Jake Yi Jie Kwang, Lance Forrest Lepelstat, Avi Lipton (fall), Zheng Mao, Joshua Kwok Hei Ng, Saki Ohashi, Jesse Sage Sandler, Samantha Nicole Smith, Kaitlyn Elise Thomas-Franz, Morgan Lindsey Usen, Elizabeth Rossi Vann, Qiyuan Zheng


Omicron Delta Epsilon the International Honor Society for Economics

Founded in 1963, ODE is one of the world’s largest academic honor societies, and is dedicated to encouraging excellence in economics.

Fall inductees: Erica Sarah Buckingham, Thomas Joseph Clejan, Nicholas Martin Daly, Luke Francis Forsthoefel, Patrick Dewey Grahling, Griffin Sten Gustafsson, Greta Hu, Edward Moore  Kennedy III, William Liang, Cristina Francesca LoGiudice, Andrew Keith Martin, Julia Meehan, Camila Rodlauer, Malcolm Stewart Roesser, Liana Santos Samson, Heidi Elke Scarth, Ben Shapiro, Vivien Sun, Arno Eric Utegg Jr., Vanshika Virmani, Phillip Wong, Jack Christopher Leger, Benjamin M. Stagoff-Belfort, Adrian Roji.

Spring inductees: Leo Morton Holland, Scott Ji, Ainsley Dorrance Kass, Victoria Madison Knight, Griffin Maristany, Elizabeth Parcher Mullaney, Shahid Mazhar  Shabab, Tobias Wertime, Patrick William Wolff, Anna Zagoren.