Cooper to Cooper, Episode 4: 20th Anniversary of the Menschel Prize

POSTED ON: January 24, 2017

Over the past  20 years, winners of the Benjamin Menschel Fellowship Program to Support Creative Inquiry have exhibited the work they made after traveling the globe to answer intellectual questions of their own devising. That was the goal of the fellowship when it was created by Richard and Ronay Menschel in 1996; the year after, fellows began to exhibit the results of their travels, a tradition that continues today: the exhibition of the 2016 fellows opens on January 31.

In this episode of Cooper to Cooper: Conversations Across Disciplines, we talk to three Menschel winners, Wes Rozen AR'05, Tomashi Jackson A'10 and Catherine Sanso CE'14. Though the vehicles for their research were wholly different from each other, they discovered that their interests were remarkably similar.


  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.