The Jane B. Hart Awards

Jane B. Hart, an anthropology alumna, has generously created an endowment to promote scholarship in anthropology at GW. The money supports a distinguished speakership and two annual awards to undergraduate students: the Hart Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and the Hart Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis. There is usually one academic achievement award for each of our three major programs (Anthropology, Archaeology, and Biological Anthropology), but two awards may be given in case of a tie. Similarly, there is usually no more than one thesis award per major, but the Hart Award Committee sometimes makes multiple awards to equally deserving students.

Any faculty member advising an honors thesis may submit a nomination for consideration by the Hart Awards Committee. Nominating is done in the spring, but theses by graduates of the preceding summer and fall are eligible. Theses must be submitted to the Hart Committee by May 1; decisions are usually announced before May 15. (Honors theses not being considered for a Hart Award may be submitted as late as the Friday before graduation).

Columbian College is notified of Hart Award winners, and the awards are noted in the students' official records. They may or not also be shown in the spring commencement program.

For their theses to be considered, students must be sure to follow all the guidelines posted under Departmental Honors.

Winners of Hart Awards to date are listed below.


Hart Undergraduate Thesis Award Winners

2015 Anthropology: Sarah Freeman-Wolpert and Zoë Silverman; Biological Anthropology: Helen Gaynor and Laura Schwartz

2014 Anthropology: Marielle Velander; Archaeology: Lauren Campbell; Biological Anthropology: Alexandra Kralick

2013 Anthropology: Elizabeth McCutcheon; Archaeology: Tessa Varner; Biological Anthropology: Matthew Ferry

2012 Biological Anthropology: Heather Dingwall; Archaeology: Michiko Reynolds

2011 Anthropology: Tatyana Shpigel and Jack Van Paepeghem; Biological Anthropology: Katherine Markham

2010 Anthropology: Alexandra Levin; Archaeology: Melissa Cradic; Biological Anthropology: Helen Alesbury

2009 Anthropology: Lauren Deal, Rachel Snyder, and Hoang-Kim Vu; Archaeology: Anthony Sutter

2008 Anthropology: Jessica Calvanico; Archaeology: Robyn Le Blanc; Biological Anthropology: Lance Levenson and Lia Schwartz

2007 Anthropology: Joanna Brucker; Biological Anthropology: Carolyn Thimot

2006 Anthropology: Alene Kennedy; Biological Anthropology: Michaela Huffman

2005 Biological Anthropology: Anita Vin

2004 Archaeology: Katarzyna Januszkiewicz; Biological Anthropology: Angel Zeininger


Hart Outstanding Academic Achievement Award Winners

2015 Anthropology: Zoë Silmerman; Archaeology: Ariel Polokoff and Katherine Williamson; Biological Anthropology: Shobha Jagannatham and Cole Messersmith

2014 Anthropology: April MacIntyre and Daniel Rosenberg; Archaeology: Laurel Poolman; Biological Anthropology: Tierney Brown, Christopher Payette, and Christian Thomas

2013 Anthropology: Joshua Rivers; Archaeology: Joseph Pacheco; Biological Anthropology: Matthew Ferry and Schyler Turrin

2012 Anthropology: Mary Ellen Dingley and Amanda Kemble; Archaeology: Heather Dingwall; Biological Anthropology: Heather Dingwall

2011 Anthropology: Catherine Denial, Brooke Sheffer, and Tatyana Shpigel; Archaeology: Kathryn Malmberg; Biological Anthropology: Katherine Markham

2010 Anthropology: Alexandra Levin and Elizabeth Reynolds; Archaeology: Melissa Cradic; Biological Anthropology: Danica Brister and Katherine Schuhmacher

2009 Anthropology: Rachel Snyder; Archaeology: Zachary Dunseth and Natalie Mueller; Biological Anthropology: Mohammed Razvi and Teresa Uczekaj

2008 Anthropology: Lucy Jickling; Archaeology: Sneh Patel; Biological Anthropology: Lance Levenson

2007 Anthropology: Meghan Gibas; Archaeology: Jeffrey Leon; Biological Anthropology: Carolyn Thimot

2006 Anthropology: Annie-Laurie Gilsdorf; Archaeology: Laura Gongaware and Catherine Kearns; Biological Anthropology: Sara Herkes

2005 Anthropology: no award; Archaeology: Erica Stupp; Biological Anthropology: Anita Vin

2004 Anthropology: Deanne Adams; Archaeology: Moriah Amit; Biological Anthropology: Sarah Hokom


Jane B. Hart Distinguished Speakers

2015 Joseph Dumit, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Science & Technology Studies, UC-Davis. Topic: From Public Health to Surplus Health: Maximizing Neuroscience Markets

2013 Robert Boyd, Professor of Anthropology, Arizona State University. Topic: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution

2011 Christopher DeCorse, Professor, Syracuse University. Topic: The African Atlantic World: West Africa Before and After

2007 Leslie Aiello, President, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Topic: Diet, Energetics, and Human Evolution

2004 Charles Briggs, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego. Topic: Inventing Language and Tradition, Making Modernity: The Politics of Inequality from Bacon to Boas


About Jane B. Hart

Former astronauts Jane Hart and Bea Steadman stand next to an experimental plane at the University of Michigan in 2001.</p>
<p>Photo by Paul Wong, Michigan Daily.Jane B. ("Janey") Hart (B.A., Anthropology, 1970) was an accomplished aviator, anti-war activist, and women's rights pioneer.

n the early 1960s, she was among a select group of women who were skilled airplane pilots with commercial ratings. A mother of eight and the wife of a U.S. Senator (Philip A. Hart, D-Mich.), Hart was the oldest participant in the Lovelace Foundation's Woman in Space Program, a privately-funded project testing women pilots for astronaut fitness at a time when women were not allowed to become astronauts. She was one of only 13 women (the Mercury 13) to pass the rigorous physical tests developed by NASA to select their astronauts. Despite the test results, NASA notified them by telegram that they would not be selected for space flights. "The men just could not get it and the country lost a great opportunity," she said at the time. As Hart told a group of Michigan college students in 2001, "All of you women engineers would have had a hell of a time trying to find a job back then. It was like they were trying to segregate space."

Hart spoke with Vice President Lyndon Johnson and testified before Congress to promote the rights of women to serve as astronauts. In 1964, after Johnson had become President, he named Hart to the newly created Women's Advisory Committee on Aviation.

Although she did not travel to space, Hart was among those who paved the way for the first women astronauts and witnessed Lt. Col. Eileen Collins become America's first woman pilot astronaut in 1995.

Her opposition to the Vietnam War led to her arrest during an unauthorized Mass for the dead inside the Pentagon in 1969. She also traveled to Hanoi to gain first-hand knowledge of the effects of the air war and meet with American prisoners of war.

Hart was a founding member of the National Organization for Women in 1966 and was active in Democratic Party affairs for many years. In 2007, she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.  She died in 2015 at the age of 93.