On May 26, RSEA held an online Commencement Celebration in honor of the graduating Class of 2021.
RSEA Chair Professor James Robson welcomed the students and their families joining from several continents, and members of the faculty who have taught and advised them during their two years at Harvard. The twenty-one graduates introduced and congratulated each other in a progression of Zoom spotlights. Speaking on behalf of their graduating class, four students reflected on their time in RSEA and thanked their professors and families for supporting them.
Professor Robson and Director of Graduate Studies Prof. Alex Zahlten praised the resilience and brilliance of all the students, who not only completed their courses and degree requirements under challenging circumstances but also produced truly excellent work -- in spite of obstacles such as limited access to campus, libraries, and archives.
Recognizing this extraordinary accomplishment, Professors Robson and Zahlten presented the 2021 Joseph Fletcher Memorial Awards to a record-breaking number of students. Established in 1985, the Fletcher Awards are given for excellence in a Master's research thesis. This year, eleven students received an Honorable Mention and three students received a Fletcher Award for an outstanding RSEA thesis. Each Fletcher prize winner was introduced by their thesis advisor, who described their research project and commended their adaptability and contribution to the field. Recipients of the 2021 Fletcher Awards and Honorable Mentions are listed here.
Towards the end of the online event, attendees raised a toast to all graduating RSEA students in the Class of 2021. Congratulations, we are proud of you!