Andrew Udelsman Wins 2010 Richard Hegel Senior Essay Prize

May 17, 2010


Congratulations to sociology major Andrew Udelsman, winner of this year’s Yale Club of New Haven Richard Hegel Senior Essay Prize for his senior essay “Surviving the Forest: Ethnography of New Haven’s Tent City.” Dick Hegel, whom the prize honors, is a past president of the YCNH and a longtime member and supporter of the Club. He is also New Haven’s City Historian, and is a veritable trove of information about the City and its history, about Yale and about the Yale Club. Andrew’s essay investigates a group of formerly homeless people that have taken up residence in one of New Haven’s parks. He describes both how they ended up living in their present condition and the factors that prevent them from leaving. The essay concludes that while life in Tent City is not easy, its residents have legitimate reasons for living there and it would be a mistake to forcibly evict them. Having lived in the New Haven area for many years, Andrew has been active in the community as a student mentor, soccer coach, and medical interpreter.