This prize was created in memory of Catherine Medalia Johannet, a Medicine, Literature and Society major, CC’15, who tragically died in 2017. Consistent with Catherine’s interest in literature and its use in effecting change in society, this prize will be awarded annually to a Comparative Literature & Society or Medicine, Literature & Society major who has written a distinguished senior thesis that demonstrates the highest academic rigor, creativity and engagement with ethical questions. The winner will be chosen by a faculty committee consisting of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Director of the Medicine, Literature and Society major and two other faculty members associated with ICLS.

On May 16, 2017, Alexandra White (MLS and Biology major, CC ’17) was chosen by a faculty committee to receive the Catherine Medalia Johannet Award in Comparative Literature & Society for her outstanding senior thesis “Crisis, Place, Health, and Narrative in Oral Histories of Hurricane Katrina and the Chernobyl Disaster.”

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to this prize and to help with the creation of the Catherine Medalia Johannet Summer Internship to enable a Columbia undergraduate to work on a mentored project that uses literature to effect change in society, please follow this Donate link