The Philosophy Department awards prizes for undergraduates annually in the spring: the Tsanoff Prizes are awarded for the best essays written by undergraduates who will be enrolled in the Fall, the Kolenda Prize is awarded to an outstanding junior philosophy major and the Fulton Prize is awarded to an outstanding senior. 

Tsanoff Prizes

- To submit a paper, give a copy to the department administrator with the appropriate notations, e.g., Tsanoff prize. 
- Students may submit two papers. 

The Tsanoff Prizes are awarded for the best essays by undergraduates written for philosophy department courses regardless of subject. The prizes honor Radoslav Tsanoff, the first member of the philosophy department at Rice from its beginning, and its chair for many years. The prizes are funded by contributions by his former students. 

The prizes are in the form of tuition remission and thus the competition is only open to students who will be enrolled in the subsequent year. The total sum of the prizes is $4000. Papers may be nominated either by faculty or by students. The deadline for 2020-2021 is forthcoming. We strongly encourage faculty and students to submit fall papers at the end of the fall semester. 

Previous winners have been: 

Kevin Fink - "Persistence and Plenitude"

John M. (Jack) Fain - "The Pond of Injustice"

Caroline Frieders - "The Role of the 'Good Life' in Jurgen Habermas' Discourse Ethics"

Jeff Horowitz - "Forced Labor and Free Market Equivalency"

Jeff Horowitz - "Imperialism and the Persistence of Ideology through Discourse Ethics"
Samuel Saldinger - "Unrestricted Desire Fulfillment Theory" 

Anakha Ajayan - "Beyond the Surface"
Kaylen Strench - "A Hybrid Solution to the Problem of Causality" 

2013-2014: First Prize
Alec M. Weiss - "Radial Categories: Improving the Linguistic Defense of Contextualism"
2013-2014: Second Prize
Matthew Delhey - "Two Husserlian Objectons to Quine's Naturalized Epistemology"
Cody A. Tapscott - "The Insufficiency of Naturalized Epistemology for Describing Knowledge"

Evan Austin - "Consequentialism, Indirection and the Possibility of Overcoming Alienation"
Sally Hodges-Copple - "Obligations to Future Generations"

2011-2012: First Prize (Upper Division)
Ryan Artecona - "Trans-Attribute Modes in Spinoza"
Blaine Rister - "Spinoza's Identity of Modes and Related Topics"
2011-2012: First Prize (Lower Division)
Adam J. McMullen - "Scientific Realism: Are Our Theories True?"

2010-2011: First Prize (Upper Division)
Carolyn Branecky - "Coherentism as a Viable Alternative to Foundationalism" 
Neil J. Vanlandingham - "The Assymetrical Condition of Symmetrical Reality" 
2010-2011: First Prize (Lower Division)
Thomas Hancock - "Scientific Realism"

Konstantin Kolenda Fellowship

The Konstantin Kolenda Fellowship is awarded each year to a philosophy major who will be a senior and who has shown outstanding promise in philosophy, as evidenced by academic performance, by enthusiasm for philosophy, and by breadth of interests. The recipient is selected by a committee of philosophy department faculty, and the award - which varies in value according to Endowment yield - is credited to the student's account in Student Financial Services. The Fellowship was established in 1998 in honor of Professor Konstantin Kolenda by his wife, Dr. Pauline Kolenda. Konstantin Kolenda was a longtime member of the Rice department of philosophy and his many books are notable for their humane wisdom, wide field of vision, wit, and accessibility. 

Previous Kolenda Fellows:

2020-2021 - Amanda Lopatin
2019-2020 - Jingyi (Eponine) Zhou
2018-2019 - Jason Barton
2017-2018 - Joseph Ort
2016-2017 - Michael Portal
2015-2016 - Kaylen Strench
2014-2015 - Allyson Arias
2013-2014 - Brian Baran
2013-2014 - Faith Shapiro
2012-2013 - Carolyn Branecky
2011-2012 - Suzie Kim
2010-2011 - Eric Reinelt

James Street Fulton Prize for Excellence in Philosophy

The James Street Fulton Prize for Excellence in Philosophy is given annually to the graduating senior whose overall record demonstrates the highest levels of achievement and motivation in the field of philosophy. The Prize was established in 2001 by the department of philosophy to honor James Street Fulton, one of the founding members of the department and longtime Master of Will Rice College. Professor Fulton's work covered many fields in philosophy - from phenomenology and existentialism to aesthetics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of language. The prize consists of $250 and a book. 

Previous Fulton Prize Recipients: 

2020-2021 - Elliot Stahr
2019-2020 - Carly (Caroline) Frieders, Bilal Rehman, Gabe Tugendstein
2017-2018 - Jeffrey Horowitz, Timothy van Baak
2016-2017 - Nikhil Shamapant
2015-2016 - Natalie Gow
2014-2015 - Luke Riel, Saira Weinzimmer
2013-2014 - Julika Kaplan
2012-2013 - Carolyn Branecky 
2011-2012 - Suzie Kim
2010-2011 - Casey O'Grady