The Nakanishi Prize is awarded to two graduating seniors who have provided exemplary leadership in enhancing race and/or ethnic relations at Yale College during their undergraduate career while maintaining high standards of academic achievement. Any member of the Yale community may nominate a senior for the prize. Winners are chosen by a committee of faculty members, deans, and undergraduates.The prize was created by the Nakanishi Family to honor the pioneering work of Yale College alumnus Don Nakanishi ‘71, who received the Yale Medal in 2008.

Any member of the Yale community may nominate a graduating senior for the prize. Nakanishi Prize committee members cannot write nomination letters or serve as references. To nominate a student, complete the nomination form below.

Deadlines

Nakanishi Prize Application and Nomination Deadline, 12 P.M.

Nakanishi Prize Selection Committee

  • Burgwell Howard, Chair, Assoc. Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Student Engagement
  • Nathalie Carter, Sr. Associate AD for Community Engagement & DEI
  • Surjit Chandhoke, Trumbull College Dean
  • Eileen Galvez, Assistant Dean of Yale College; Director, La Casa Cultural
  • Matthew Makomenaw, Assistant Dean of Yale College; Director, Native American Cultural Center
  • Risë Nelson, Assistant Dean of Yale College; Director, Afro-American Cultural Center
  • Julie Sweigard, Director of Administrative Affairs, Yale College
  • Joliana Yee, Assistant Dean of Yale College; Director, Asian American Cultural Center
  • Andrea Ruiz Alvarez, Saybrook College, YC 2023
  • Pia Gorme, Pierson College, YC 2023
  • Dzidedi Azumah, Ezra Stiles College, YC 2023
  • Evan Roberts, Benjamin Franklin College, YC 2023

Nakanishi Prize - Previous Winners

2022
EC Mingo and Jaelen King

2021
Kenia Hale and Gabriella Blatt

2020
Emily Almendarez and Janis Jin

2019
Alanna Pyke and Jonathan Salazar

2018
Ivetty Estepan and Haylee Makana Kushi

2017
Alexanda Barlowe  and Abdul-Razak Mohammed Zachariah

2016
Sebastian Medina-Tayac and Eshe Sherley

2015
Austin Long and David Nguyen

2014
Katherine Frances Aragon and Kevin Chen

2013
Alejandro Gutierrez and Joshua Penny

2012
Latisha Campbell and Elliot Kim

2011
Van Trinh Quoc-Nguyen and Elizabethe and Reese

2010
Katrina Landeta and Adrian Tortue

2009
Jonathan Jimenez  and Cecelia Ong

2008
Altaf Saadi and Funmi Showole

2007
Andom Ghebreghiorgis and Marisol Leon

2006
Bess Hinson and Kahina Robinson