Hamilton Prize Selection Committee Bios

The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity, established in the 2016-17 academic year, is awarded to the incoming first-year student whose work of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or other creative written expression (lyrics, plays, scripts, etc.) best reflects the originality, artistry, and dynamism embodied in Hamilton.  Below are the distinguished members of the Selection Committee who will be choosing this year's grand winner and honorable mentions.

Hamiton Prize Biographies

Thomas Kail ’99 (honorary chair) (right) is the Tony-winning director of Hamilton: An American Musical, Emmy-winning director of Grease Live and Tony-nominated director of In the Heights.

Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, Hon. ’15 (honorary chair) is a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning composer, lyricist and actor. He is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. His additional Broadway credits include Bring It On: The Musical (co-composer/co-lyricist, Tony nomination for Best Musical), and West Side Story (2009 revival, Spanish translations). Miranda is the recipient of the 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award and the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors. He has actively supported the relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in September 2017, creating the benefit single, “Almost Like Praying” in support of the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program. He received an Emmy Award with Tom Kitt for their song, “Bigger” from the 67th Annual Tony Awards. TV/Film credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm (2018 Emmy Nomination, Guest Actor), Saturday Night Live (2017 Emmy Nomination, Guest Actor), Sesame Street, The Electric Company, House, DuckTales, 200 Cartas, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Moana (2017 Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, 2018 Grammy Award for Best Original Song) and Mary Poppins Returns (2019 Golden Globe Nomination, Best Actor). Miranda received his B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2002. He lives with his family in NYC.

Hamiton Prize Biographies

Carter Bays ’97 is the co-creator, executive producer and writer of How I Met Your Mother, which received seven Primetime Emmy Award nominationsHe is currently developing an independent musical film with Craig Thomas, and writing a novel. He also co-founded the band The Solids, which performs the theme songs to How I Met Your Mother and Oliver Beene, among other music. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

Hamiton Prize Biographies
Amy Bloom ’75 is the author of Come To Me (National Book Award finalist), A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You (National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) and the New York Times bestsellers Away and Lucky Us, among other titles. Her latest book, White Houses, is out in paperback and is a national best seller.  Bloom is the Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing at Wesleyan.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Alexander Chee ’89 is the bestselling author of two novels, Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic and an editor at large at The Virginia Quarterly Review. His honors include a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in prose, and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, among others. He is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Dartmouth College.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Beanie Feldstein '15 is an actress best known for her roles in the films Lady Bird and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.  In 2017, she made her Broadway debut as Minnie Fay in the Tony-Winning revival of Hello, Dolly!  In 2019, Feldstein will appear in Olivia Wilde's directorial debut Booksmart and lead the adaptation of Caitlin Moran's best-selling novel How to Build a Girl.  At Wesleyan, she majored in Sociology and enthusiastically served as a campus tour guide.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Amanda Palmer ’98 is a singer-musician-writer who also performs as half of the acclaimed punk duo The Dresden Dolls, among other collaborations. After her viral TED talk about crowdfunding and trust, “The Art of Asking,” Palmer went on to pen a New York Times best-selling book of the same name. She now funds her films, recordings and blogs about compassion, feminism and art with the support of over 12,000 online patrons on Patreon.com. She co-taught a course at Wesleyan in the Fall of 2017 on “The Art of Doing: Creative Project Production and Making it Happen” that culminated in students creating a music video to an original song Palmer wrote for the class. There Will Be No Intermission, Palmer's first solo album in six years produced by John Congleton will be released in March 2019.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Mary Roach '81 is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, Packing for Mars and Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, among other titles. Roach’s writing has appeared in National Geographic, the New York Times, Wired and other outlets.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Bozoma "Boz" Saint John ’99 is Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor, a global leader in entertainment, sports and fashion operating in more than 30 countries with a portfolio of companies including WME, IMG, and UFC. In her role, Saint John focuses on driving marketing efforts across Endeavor’s growing portfolio, including on behalf of Endeavor Global Marketing clients and premium brands. Collectively, the Endeavor network specializes in talent representation and management; brand marketing, sponsorship and licensing; media development, sales and distribution; event operation and management; and sports training and league development. Saint John’s career has been marked by induction into Billboard’s Women in Music Hall of Fame (2018) and the American Advertising Federation Hall of Achievement (2014), as well as recognition on The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100 list (2018) and as Billboard’s Executive of the Year (2016). Saint John has also been featured on the cover of Adweek as “one of the most exciting personalities in advertising” and on lists ranging from Fast Company’s and Ad Age’s Most Creative People to Ebony’s 100 Powerful Executives, Black Enterprise’s Most Powerful Women in Business and Fortune’s Most Influential CMOs. Before joining Endeavor, Saint John served as Chief Brand Officer at Uber, Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music & iTunes and Head of Music and Entertainment Marketing at PepsiCo.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Craig Thomas ’97 is the co-creator, executive producer and writer of How I Met Your Mother, which received seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations.  He is currently writing TV and film projects in New York City with his writing partner, Carter Bays ’97. He also co-founded the band The Solids, which performs the theme songs to How I Met Your Mother and Oliver Beene, among other music, and writes songs from time to time for Sesame Street.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Santi “Santigold” White ’97  is a genre-defying singer/musician, record producer, visual artist, and humanitarian based in Los Angeles. Santigold has released four acclaimed albums and had #1 records on both Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart and Reggae Albums chart, won an ASCAP Pop Music award (Vanguard Award), and has been nominated for a Q Award, MTV Europe Music Award, and BRIT Award. She has written for other artists including Christina Aguilera, GZA, and Lilly Allen and contributed new work to film soundtracks including The Hunger Games, Paper Towns and the Power Rangers movie as well as series like The Get Down and Girls. She has also played comedic roles on The Office and Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV.  White is a passionate humanitarian who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the worldwide water crisis and has performed for VH1 Save the Music to help preserve music education in public schools.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Bradley Whitford ’81 is an actor with numerous credits in television, film, and theater, as well as a political activist. He is known for his work on The West Wing and Transparent, for which he won Primetime Emmy Awards in 2001 and 2015, as well as the 2017 film Get Out. Whitford served on Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees from 2012-15. Usdan University Center’s The West Wing was dedicated in his honor in May 2016.
Hamiton Prize Biographies
Angela Yee ’97 is co-host of the nationally syndicated, award-winning morning radio show The Breakfast Club, known for her inquisitive interviews and quick wit. She is also host of the popular podcast, “Angela Yee’s Lip Service,” and owner of the “Juices for Life” juice bar in Brooklyn. She created the “Angela Yee Book Club: Kickin’ It from The Stoop” in conjunction with Atria Books/Simon and Schuster to encourage her followers to read more and support authors with a story to tell.  In support of these efforts, Yee is also an ambassador for the New York Public Library and a board member for the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) and a board member for the We Are Family Foundation (WAFF).