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Hastrup Award 


The Gunilla Hastrup Adventure Award was created by family and friends of Gunilla Hastrup – a Caltech Y Board Member who loved sharing Swedish traditions, but also enjoyed travel, exploring, and learning about others - to provide students the opportunity to explore their family roots or family origins to gain a better understanding of their cultural identity, and/or explore and learn about a culture different from their own.  This could be another country or a different part of the United States.

Applications Due: October 23rd by noon         

Finalist Interviews: Thursday, November 2nd between 3-6 PM

Who is Eligible

  • Applicants must be current Caltech Undergraduate or Graduate students in good academic standing.  Graduating students are also eligible for the award.  Joint applications with another student or a spouse / significant other are also allowed, but both must complete the application separately.

  • Applicants choosing an international destination must be 18 years or older. There is no age restriction for domestic destinations, however a parent/guardian will be expected to sign a waiver.

Proposal Guidelines

If you are an interested Caltech undergraduate or graduate student who is in good academic standing, you should submit the itemized budget form with anticipated expenses and an application that provides:

  • The requested demographic information

  • A concise written narrative describing how you intend to use the award and how these plans fulfill the spirit and purpose of the award.  Please also include what you hope to gain from the experience.

  • Added details, if travel is proposed

  • Acknowledgment of the agreements that recipients will be expected to sign

Application and Selection Process:

A selection committee consisting of Caltech Y Board Members, students, faculty, and/or staff will review proposals, identify and interview finalists, select the recipients, and determine award amounts based on need, and funding available. Partial funding may also be offered.

  • Criteria include the following:
         o Does the applicant clearly demonstrate a personal commitment and interest in the issue/cause?
         o Does it seem like the experience will provide a good opportunity to learn about, or engage in, what          was proposed by the applicant?
         o Is the proposed budget reasonable?
         ​o Does the applicant distinguish herself or himself as someone who will engage in the cause or learn to        be a new or important voice for the issue addressed?

  • Awardee(s) cannot hold multiple travel awards (e.g. Bishop, San Pietro, ACT, etc).

  • SURF students are not permitted to have other commitments during SURF, including evenings or weekends, however, activities before or after the SURF period are eligible. The proposed project can also be an extension of the SURF, but it must be distinct and not overlap in time with the SURF.

What Awardees Receive

Awardees may request up to $5,000 individually or $6,000 in pairs for funding to cover expenses for their proposed experience, including transportation (flights, trains, shuttles, taxis, tolls, travel insurance, visas, required vaccinations, etc.); lodgings (hotels, hotels, rental properties, etc.); relevant excursions (museums, monuments, venues relevant to the proposal); and program costs (registration and program fees for classes, tours, mentor organizations, etc.).  The selection committee will determine award amounts (may be full or partial funding) based on need and funding available.  Awards may have tax and financial aid implications.  Students are advised to consult with a tax advisor and/or the financial aid office with any questions.

What is required of Recipients

  • Meet with Y staff to review and sign an agreement outlining expectations and deadlines in order to accept the award.

  • Complete the proposed experience as outlined and approved by September 12th. Please note: Any changes to the proposed experience must be pre-approved. 

  • Submit a spending summary, including receipts, with each request for reimbursement.

  • Submit a report sharing details on what was done, learned/gained from the experience, along with pictures, that can be shared with donors, and used for reports and promotional materials. Reports can be made in a mutually agreed upon format (for example, but not limited to - a written document, video presentation, blog post, interview, article for the Tech or the Caltech Y Newsletter, etc.)​

  • The deadline for submitting the trip report and spending summary/receipts is September 15th.

  • Recipients may also be asked to give an optional presentation summarizing the experience to members of the Y Staff, Board of Directors, and/or donors, as well as interested students as available.


The Caltech Y is here to help! Applicants with questions about the award or application process are encouraged seek input via phone 626-395-6163, email, or in-person at the Caltech Y.

Some of the past recipients:

2023  Raj Tarafder learned the stories of indentured Indian servants and their descendants in South Africa

2023  Gabby Dituri reconnected with her family and roots in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

2023  Mathew Hajjar explored his Lebanese culture in Turkey

2023  Newton Nguyen and Erica McCormick connected with Newton’s heritage and family in Vietnam and                     Cambodia

2023  Andrew Lu and Victoria Tobin explored Andrew’s father’s roots in Taiwan

2023  Gabbi Twombly and Hope Arnett explored their disconnected roots in Ireland and Scotland

2022  Jeff and Miranda Kerkovius explored a new culture in Seoul, South Korea.

2022  Fatemeh Aghlmand honored her dad by traveling to an area of Turkey with ties to where he was from.

2022  Jordan Benjamin connected with family roots and distant family members in St. Croix, Trinidad and

          Tobago, and Barbados.

The Caltech Y reserves the right to revoke the award at any point due to safety and security concerns or changes in recipient eligibility or proposal. 

To apply you must submit both the application and a budget.

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