The Studenski Memorial Award is a grant of up to $6,000 established in the memory of Paul Studenski, a Caltech student who was killed in an automobile accident while traveling across the United States in 1974.  It is awarded to a Caltech undergraduate who has reached a crossroads in life and would benefit from a period away from the academic community to obtain a better understanding of self and to explore possible directions for the future.


The following links provide an overview of proposal guidelines and the selection process and sample proposals from past recipients (the format has changed but the concepts are the same):


Studenski Application Guidelines                      Sample Proposal 1           Sample Proposal 2

Applications are due no later than 12:00 noon on Friday, April 8th. Applications should be submitted electronically to


If you have additional questions about the award or application process, please contact either Athena Castro ( or Greg Fletcher ( at 395-6163 or visit the Caltech Y.

Past studenski Awardees 



Jake Mattinson

As Jake faced graduation and the need to enter the real world, having spent the past four years combining science and theater through multiple projects (being on a play-reading committee and helping develop the Storytelling class, among other things), he wondered if work connecting educators, playwrights, and scientists and showing them how to learn from each other could be a path he could pursue.  He traveled to Italy to work with a professor on workshops produced by the Jet Propulsion Theater (no relation to JPL) doing narrative-based communication to bridge the gap between the humans behind the science and the public.


Anise Rau

Anise, faced with a lack of enthusiasm for the science she was working on, shared that she had a realization that there is a direction she always wanted to take, but never dared to believe she could pursue... her passion for the performing arts – dance, music, and theater.  She had participated in the arts when she was younger but had been forced to abandon her interests in order to prioritize seemingly more academic activities to focus and get into a a good school. She utilized the Studenski to take improv and sketch writing classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade to gain a taste of what a life in the arts might be like.



Amanda Lin 

Amanda will travel to Japan to participate in intensive culinary boot camps to see if she has what it takes to enter a culinary lifestyle. In Kyoto, she will participate in Cooking Sun’s 6 Day Intensive Japanese Cooking Course where she will learn to master the basic techniques of Japanese food and learn about the skills, ingredients, and flavors at the foundation of Japanese Cuisine. Afterwards, she will travel back to Tokyo for Simply Oeshii’s 2-week Intensive Japanese Course, where she will apply the skills learned in Kyoto to popular Japanese dishes. This course also includes table setting and food presentation essential to Japanese Cuisine. To round out her training experience, she will take a 5 Day Japanese Home Cooking Class taught by someone who has lived her whole life in Japan. This course will teach show  Amanda to incorporate Japanese cooking into her everyday life. READ MORE about her experience. 



Jessica Cheng 

Jessica spent two months living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and studying pottery at the Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center in Long Island City. Jessica selected Brickhouse from the numerous pottery programs in the country, as she found this studio to have the attributes most important to her: a wide range in equipment, plenty of practice time, a friendly atmosphere, and a location near a vibrant art scene. While creating many pieces int he studio, she also attended weekly classes and workshop to hone her ceramics skills. Perhaps most importantly, with this award, Jessica had the time and energy to really experience an artist’s lifestyle and explore its viability as a career option. READ MORE about her experience. 




Mara Green

Mara worked for three months with One Circle Inc., a small non-profit associated with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. The organization primarily advocates and runs community centers for children at risk of abuse or facing any type of crisis at home. She worked directly in the community centers while also learning how to run an independent non-profit organization. “I believe that in working with a small organization such as this one I will be able to gain some perspective about the variety of ways everyone can strive to change the world.”


Dan Ilyin

Dan explored his life-long passion to perform in front of the crowds. He participated in the four-week Summer Adult Immersion Improv and Writing Series course at Chicago’s famous Second City. “I will be able to actively explore improvisation and writing in a world-class professional learning environment and to grow as an artist, professional, and person.”