About the Program

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Judith Lee Stronach

The Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize supports intellectual and creative pursuits that heighten awareness of issues of social consciousness and contribute to the public good. The award gives motivated students the opportunity to extend and reflect upon their undergraduate work at Berkeley by undertaking a special project after their graduation. Winning projects are creative in the broadest sense, explore themes of significant interest to holders of the Prize, and strive to further understanding of what constitutes humane and effective participation in our worldwide community.

The Prize celebrates the life achievements of Judith Lee Stronach (1943-2002), who as a patron of the arts and education devoted enormous time and energy to numerous charitable organizations. Judith Lee Stronach brought her academic training in art history to her work as a journalist for Amnesty International and her experience as a teacher of poetry to her work at several East Bay schools and centers. She worked tirelessly for human rights both internationally on behalf of Guatemalans and Bosnian children, and locally on behalf of women, girls and the homeless. As a board member of Berkeley’s River of Words project, she helped children throughout the United States learn about watershed stewardship and self-expression through poetry and art. Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate, UC Berkeley professor of English, and her friend and teacher, has recognized her “passionate love of poetry” and “missionary zeal to bring it into the lives of others.” The Prize commemorates Judith Lee Stronach’s lifelong commitment to intellectual and creative growth, and her mission to effect social change through the arts.


The Prize is open to Berkeley graduates in any area of study who are awarded an undergraduate degree in the Fall of the year before or the Spring or Summer of the year in which the Prize is awarded. To be eligible for the 2016 award, students must graduate in Fall 2015, Spring or Summer 2016. Proposals for public service, creative, or community-based research projects that engage social issues are welcome. Prize funds cannot be used to support graduate study and recipients may not be registered students during the tenure of the award.


Applications are assessed on the basis of the project's significance, creativity, and feasibility, as well as the applicant's academic record and other experience, especially as they are relevant to the project proposal. Supporting materials such as budget, sample of work, and letters of recommendation are also taken into consideration. Prize winners are selected by a committee of distinguished faculty and other prominent community members.


Prize recipients may be awarded as much as $25,000. The Prize is intended to cover project costs, materials, and living expenses for a period of up to one year. 


To apply for the Stronach Baccalaureate Prize you will need to submit a proposal, budget, transcripts, and sample of your work.  A complete application file must also include two or more letters of recommendation, including a recommendation from a project mentor. Carefully review the application instructions.

Please direct all inquires about the Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize to stronachbaccprize@berkeley.edu.

Program Information

Application Deadline

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 

 If you would like to make an appointment with the program advisor, please email stronachbaccprize@berkeley.edu


Info Sessions

Program information sessions will be held in 9 Durant Hall on the following dates/times:

  • Thursday, December 15, 2015, 10-11 am 
  • Friday, January 22, 2016, 10-11am
  • Thursday, January 28, 2016, 3-4pm
  • Tuesday, February 2, 2016, 12-1pm
  • Thursday, February 11, 2016, 4-5 pm

Meet Our Stronach Prize Winners

Olivia Dill (2015)

Overlapping Disciplines: Using New Technology to Preserve and Create Access to Historic Ethnographic Field Recordings

Olivia’s project explores the intersection between technology, physics, anthropology, preservation and community need. The Phoebe A. Hearst Anthropology Museum, UC Berkeley Linguistics Department, the University Library and LBNL scientists are partnering to build a new lab on campus that will digitize 2700 recordings in the Anthropology museum collection. The collection consists largely of ethnographic field recordings made of Native Californians by UC Berkeley anthropologists in the early 1900’s. This audio is of high cultural sensitivity and value to the present day members of the tribes recorded on them, but is difficult to access and in delicate preservation state due to the medium on which it was recorded, the wax cylinder. The preservation effort aims to improve access and... Read More