About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 16, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 34
University Awards Prizes in the Arts to Four in Senior Class

Monica Lopez-Gonzalez, a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences, has been named the recipient of the university's 2005 Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts for her piano performance of music by Cuban and Spanish composers Ernesto Lecuona and Isaac Albeniz. She performed Lecuona's "Suite Espagnol" and Albeniz's "El Albaicin" from the Iberia suite.

"She did a wonderful job expressing the feeling of the music, the passion," said Julie Morgan, chair of the Sudler Prize committee. "It was amazing how quickly [the committee] came to a consensus."

The $1,500 Sudler Prize is awarded annually to a student, typically a graduating senior or fourth-year medical student, who displays artistic talent but does not plan to pursue a career in the arts. Lopez-Gonzalez was selected out of 14 applicants.

Since she was 2, the Towson, Md., resident has been studying classical music and taking lessons at the Peabody Institute. As a student at Johns Hopkins, she began to concentrate on Spanish composers to better understand her native language through music.

She plans to use the grant to purchase South American music for her duo, which performs Brazilian and Argentinian music.

She is graduating with a double degree in psychology and French literature. After graduation, she will pursue a doctorate in psycholinguistics in the Johns Hopkins Cognitive Science Department.

Michelle JaJa Chang, a senior from Portsmouth, Va., received honorable mention in the Sudler Prize competition. Not since 1998 has the committee awarded an honorable mention.

Chang submitted a book outlining her architectural projects and a model of a swimming center she designed. She also submitted material studies with plastic wrap, with which she experimented by compressing and weaving it into different textures and designs. Chang, who will earn her bachelor's degree in international studies from the Krieger School, plans to pursue a master's in architecture at Harvard next year.

"The committee was really impressed with her creativity and her dedication to pursuing this art," Morgan said.

Katie Gradowski and Neena Marupudi, also students in the Krieger School, have been named co-recipients of the 2005 President's Commendation for Achievement in the Arts, which is given to a graduating senior or seniors whose achievements exemplify the arts and service on the Homewood campus.

Gradowski submitted a DVD recording of a short video about the presidential election, a slide show featuring her art and photography, a film on socialist utopian architecture and a link to J-Stream, a video-streaming Web site ( that she co-founded; her film about socialist utopian architecture is viewable under the "student work" link.

She also is involved with Witness Theater, a group that produces plays written by Johns Hopkins students.

Gradowski, who will earn her bachelor's degree with majors in English and the Writing Seminars, will have a summer internship with National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., and then would like to spend a year in television or radio journalism internships in New York before applying to graduate programs in English literature. She is from Parkton, Md.

Co-recipient Marupudi submitted a DVD recording of a 25-minute solo Indian classical dance performance as well as dances she choreographed for JHU JOSH, an all-girl fusion dance team. "The purpose of JOSH is to fuse different cultural elements such as Western and Eastern dance styles and music, with some portion of Indian music and dance," said Marupudi, who is captain of the team.

Marupudi, who is from Amarillo, Texas, will earn a bachelor's degree in neuroscience and anthropology in May and will also receive her master's degree in neuroscience. She plans to go to medical school next year at Penn State.


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |