2014 Honorable Mentions

Sidharth Goel

Capitalism Versus the Sharing Economy

Devin Murphy

All Becomes One in the Basin of the Waterfall: Dialectics and Multiple Trajectories of Sāmoan History before 1900

Isaac Wolf

If You Build it Together, They Will Come: How Three Different Agencies Learned to Work Together to Supply Adequate Water for Phoenix, Arizona


Sidharth Goel
Capitalism Versus the Sharing Economy
College Writing 4B
Ryan Sloan

Goel's research paper explores how open source culture and community-driven content are sharing knowledge and ideas that will generate more value in today’s economy and global stage. Sloan commends Goel for being "rigorously reflective, making use of some surprising and interesting research, and taking care to guide the reader through his unfolding understanding of the issues at hand." Reviewing the bibliography, we see that Goel carefully synthesized academic works on social media, copyright law, and open source and crowd-sourcing cultures for a thoughtful analysis.

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Devin Murphy
All Becomes One in the Basin of the Waterfall: Dialectics and Multiple Trajectories of Sāmoan History before 1900
Interdisciplinary Studies H195
Professor Rakesh Bhandari

Thesis advisor Rakesh Bhandari describes Devin Murphy’s thesis as “a painstakingly-researched and well-written piece of work.” In this paper, Murphy writes a comprehensive history of “pre-contact” Samoa. Most historical narratives of Samoa begin with contact with the West which, Murphy argues “de-historicizes” the Samoan people and “their respective narratives, leading one to think that these Pacific Islanders simply … sprouted from lava? emerged from coral? are fixed entities, unmoving, unchanging, bounded by time and space by a fossilize historical trajectory?”

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Isaac Wolf
If You Build it Together, They Will Come: How Three Different Agencies Learned to Work Together to Supply Adequate Water for Phoenix, Arizona
History 101
Professor Felicia Viator

Wolf’s senior thesis investigates how the cities of central Arizona – Phoenix in particular – learned to make the compromises necessary to procure additional water supplies. In the years following World War II, Arizona grew exponentially. To secure the water it needed, Phoenix had to compromise with two major suppliers in the area: the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association (SRVWUA) and the Federal Bureau of Reclamation. These compromises allowed the city first to use water from behind the SRVWUA-operated Horseshoe Dam, then on the rest of the Salt River Project, and finally from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project. Wolf laid the foundations for his research at Berkeley using materials in the Bancroft and Main Libraries. His faculty sponsor, Professor Felicia Viator, notes that Wolf was “determined to get to the Valley of the Sun for research, [and so] he applied for – and won – an undergraduate research grant,” to continue his research at the Arizona State Library and State Archives in Phoenix. Viator commented that she has been inspired by Wolf’s “thoroughness and dedication to the process of doing history.”

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