Swensen Scholarship (Est. 2020)

The Swensen Scholarship, given in honor of David Swensen PH.D. ’80, is awarded to Yale undergraduates who excel both in the classroom and in athletics or the arts. Recipients, known as the Swensen Scholars, are awarded funding to practice the highest caliber training in their selected field. Swensen Scholars will become a cohort of achievers recognized as the epitome of Yale and the importance of curricular and extra-curricular excellence as integral parts of a liberal arts education.


Chiara Hardy, Grace Hopper College

Chiara’s practice manifests a highly developed knowledge of materials and space. She is an accomplished builder with a variety of materials, from inflatables, to bamboo, to textiles. Her awareness of the components of documentation, whether video or black and white photography is also very sophisticated. She has a strong feeling for the elements - for metals, earth, air, and the space that surrounds and holds. Chiara has collaborated extensively with peers, family, and her environment. - Lisa Kereszi, Senior Critic and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Senior Critic Painting and Printmaking Department

Olivia Marwell, Jonathan Edwards College

Olivia is a voracious thinker and maker. Her work has expanded dramatically beyond the photography she began with, to material explorations of her own body and collaged drawings, textiles, and open-ended experiments. The urgency of her themes, surrounding whiteness, fashion, femininity, bodies, and anxiety, is complemented by the care and nuance she brings to her mediums. She is committed to photography as a primary medium, and uses the lens to investigate its destabilizing, objectifying psychological effects, as well as the pressure exerted by an ever-expanding archive of casual jpegs on the young people growing up in its wake. Olivia asks hard questions in her work and challenges herself constantly. - Lisa Kereszi, Senior Critic and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art  and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Senior Critic Painting and Printmaking Department

Jeffrey Steele, Ezra Stiles College

By the start of this past year, his third year at Yale, Jeffrey had already worked on ten productions in more areas of theater practice than most students–not only acting, directing, and playwriting, but also dramaturgy, producing, stage management, design, and choreography. As I told Jeffrey at the time, it only required a small leap of faith now to try his hand at directing. In truth, I already secretly knew he would take to directing immediately because he truly understands both how to read plays in order to find their form (movement, music, architecture, etc.) and how to develop a persuasive, inventive, and compelling directorial vision. Everything he had studied so intently to that point (both in class and in his extracurricular learning) led him to develop this capacity. I did not know, however, just how inventive and ambitious his directorial ideas would be, how skilled he would become at working with actors, and just how much his understanding of dramaturgy, lighting design, and choreography would inform the three gorgeous scenes he directed for that class, which I taught. - Dr. Shilarna Stokes, Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Studies Theater and Performance Studies

Michael Wang, Silliman College

Michael’s work has specificity, humor, and challenges the viewer. He stages absurd performances, approaching cultural stereotypes, low-grade fears, expected manners, and situational comedy with a deft touch, and photographs them with an astute eye for composition that balances embodied slapstick with dramatic shadows or color. As a student, he reads everything and synthesizes and grows quickly. He is a hardworking, hungry young artist! He is working on pushing his painting practice further, trying to work from life more and painting figurative scenes that are dependent on their locations. He will also be making staged, fictive, large-format photographs. - Lisa Kereszi, Senior Critic and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Senior Critic Painting and Printmaking Department


Doruk Eliaçık, Morse College

Diego Miró, Trumbull College


Merritt Barnwell, Saybrook College


Vanessa Copeland, Pauli Murray College