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The Mensch Prize at ASU Honors

The Mensch Prize for Arizona State University Barrett Honors Students

Note: For those interested in supporting the ASU Foundation and The Mensch Prize, you can do so at this link!

It is the shared value of The Bill and Dianne Mensch Foundation, Inc. and ASU to empower students to reach their full potential and create value for the world around them.

Embedded intelligence (EI) is a foundation for understanding the world around us. EI empowers people to use knowledge and to connect their learnings to new ideas and innovations. EI is characterized as the ability to (1) sense, (2) process what has been sensed, (3) communicate internally and externally, and (4) actuate (SPCA) that which is beneficial for the survival of not only the entity itself but also others as well. Living in our world in joyful harmony is the goal of embedded intelligence.  Students should visit TheMenschFoundation.org for more information on the Theory of Embedded Intelligence.

Students’ theses produce new knowledge, business ideas, and creative designs that ultimately enhance our world through hundreds of different disciplines. The Barrett thesis is a product of the student’s and the university’s embedded intelligence.

Award Information:

The Mensch Prize provides six $1,000 prizes to Barrett students who complete their thesis on a topic that embodies the Theory of Embedded Intelligence in the following areas:

1. The Mensch Prize for Engineering and Applied Science
2. The Mensch Prize for Social Sciences
3. The Mensch Prize for Humanities
4. The Mensch Prize for Physical Sciences
5. The Mensch Prize for Biological Sciences
6. The Mensch Prize for Fine and Performing Arts

Student applications will be considered based on:
• Innovation
• Potential for a beneficial impact on humanity

Application Process: The application will be submitted online (link to be provided once available). Barrett students should apply no later than their senior fall semester and will be evaluated by their application, not their final thesis. Applications are encouraged to be submitted in the same semester as thesis credit 492.
Application Start – September 1
Application Close – October 31

Application requirements: 
– Must be a current Barrett student, with a GPA of 3.25 and complete a minimum of 24 credit hours for the academic year (all classes must be taken at ASU).
– Student should be a current junior, senior, or qualified undergraduate student enrolled in HON 492.

Justification: In your justification, provide details on innovation, the integration of embedded intelligence, and the potential for a beneficial impact on humanity.  Please limit your response to 3000 characters (500 words or less)   

Nomination document(s) may be shared with The Bill and Dianne Mensch Foundation, Inc. in a nonvoting capacity, subject to the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and confidentiality considerations.


2022 Prize Recipients

Below are the names and Thesis topics for the 2022 Mensch Prize recipients. You can read full details about their amazing efforts in this article from Barrett, The Honors College can be found here:

Nicole Kaiser
The Mensch Prize for Biological Sciences
Thesis: Bat Crazy: An Urban Enhancement and Biodiversity Case Study

Alicia Van Stone
The Mensch Prize for Biological Sciences
Thesis: Efficient Methods of Human Leukocyte Antigen Capture in Point of Care Testing

Katie Sue Pascavis
The Mensch Prize for Engineering and Applied Science
Thesis: Decreasing Water Usage and Increasing Income for Small Farmers: Modeling Plant Stress with Handheld Infrared Thermometers

Jacqueline Johnson and Trinity Strecker (Combined Thesis)
The Mensch Prize for Social Sciences / The Mensch Prize for Fine and Performing Arts
Thesis: The Influence of Partnership Dance for Adult Romantic Couples on Intimacy and Trust, with Attachment Style as a Moderator

Jordan Haagen
The Mensch Prize for Humanities
Thesis: Re-Experiencing Self: An Immersive Installation and Study via Interactive Media

Danielle Pais
The Mensch Prize for Social Sciences
Thesis: Impact of Campus Climate and Undergraduate Research on STEM Students with Disabilities


2021 Prize Recipients

The following is a link to an article with full award recipient information. https://barretthonors.asu.edu/news-events/news/six-barrett-students-win-mensch-prize-honors-thesis-work.

Ethan Duncan
The Mensch Prize for Physical Science
Thesis: Isotopic Analysis of Nova Stardust Grains

Samantha Castro
The Mensch Prize for Biological Sciences
Thesis: The Individual Contribution to Cooperative Transport in the ant Novomessor albisetosus

Katy Anderson
The Mensch Prize for Fine and Performing Arts
Thesis (Novel Title): An Ocean of Stars, a 300-page fantasy fiction novel, exploring the basic needs of humankind, and what it means to belong somewhere.

Jake Dean
The Mensch Prize for Humanities
Thesis: Close Encounters of the First Kind: On Cultural Representations of Extraterrestrials, First Contact, & the Mythology of the Alien Other

Keegan Smith
The Mensch Prize for Social Sciences
Thesis: How Title I Schools Encourage Graduation: Graduation Rates in Title I Schools and Programs Offered

Julia Zimmerman
The Mensch Prize for Engineering and Applied Science
Thesis: Non-Mechanical Solar Water Heater for Existing Swimming Pool

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