Friends of Caltech Libraries Awards Senior Thesis Prize at Alumni House Reception

Friends of Caltech Libraries Awards Senior Thesis Prize at Alumni House Reception


PASADENA, Calif.—Karolina Kalbarczyk was awarded this year’s Senior Thesis Prize by the Friends of Caltech Libraries for her paper, “Directed Evolution of Terpene Synthases for Non-Natural Substrates.” Ms. Kalbarczyk’s faculty advisor was Chemical Engineering Professor Frances Arnold.

The prize was awarded by Rosemary Choate, President of the Friends of the Caltech Libraries. Among the eight finalists, Kalbarczyk’s thesis was selected for clear evidence of excellence in writing, extensive and effective use of bibliographic materials and library research tools along with comprehensive exploration and examination of the research question. In both the thesis and the accompanying essay, Kalbarczyk successfully elaborated in narrative form the background research process. Her essay was particularly clear in how she effectively conducted library research to identify the best-fit strategies to pursue terpene synthase evolution for new substrates.

The Senior Thesis Prize was established in 2010 in order to recognize exceptional senior theses that represent exemplary research and effective use of library resources. This year’s prize was awarded at a reception at Alumni House on Monday, May 29th, with alumni, Friends of the Caltech Libraries, library staff, faculty, and Melany Hunt, Vice Provost, and Professor Paul Bellan, Chair of the Faculty Academic Policy Committee present. All finalists were presented by their advisor or representative and were recognized with a gift from the Friends of the Caltech Libraries for their excellent work and accomplishments. The reception was hosted by University Librarian, Kimberly Douglas.

The $1,200 prize is accompanied by a citation and is included in the Commencement program.

The other seven finalists for the 2013 prize were:
Sandhya Chandrasekaran
Nerissa Hoglen
Megan Jackson
Stacy Kim
Rocio Mercado
Rebecca Wernis
Zhaoying (Ying) Xian

Further information can be found in the Caltech Catalog, or at

Written by Kimberly Douglas, University Librarian
kdouglas AT

Group picture of all students and faculty

Karolina receiving award with Rosemary and Kim