Kenji Cataldo, a Member of the Class of 2020, Received Dale Award

Written by
Jennifer Altmann for the Office of Communications
May 12, 2021

Princeton seniors Ysabel Ayala and Cierra Moore have received the Martin A. Dale ’53 Fellowship to spend a year after graduation pursuing a project of special interest to them. Kenji Cataldo, a member of the Class of 2020, received the fellowship last year.

The fellowship, created by 1953 Princeton alumnus Martin Dale, provides a $35,000 grant for a senior to spend the year after graduation on “an independent project of extraordinary merit that will widen the recipient’s experience of the world and significantly enhance the recipient’s growth and intellectual development.”

During his years at Princeton, Cataldo had many opportunities to study far from New Jersey through several international University programs. He spent several months in India through Princeton’s Novogratz Bridge Year Program, conducted independent research in Germany and Puerto Rico for two summers as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, and gathered oral histories in Puerto Rico in the fellows program at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.

For his Dale project, he is studying the environmental impact — along with the attendant economic and cultural repercussions — of U.S. colonialism and the deep history of anti-colonial resistance in Hawaiʻi. Cataldo’s research has taken him to the Hawaiʻi State Archives several times a week. He also has conducted interviews with those involved in environmental activism and the demilitarization movement.

He is producing a podcast series about the story of Mākua, a sacred valley on Oʻahu used by the military for live-fire training, and of the grassroots movement advocating for the return of the valley. This series is the first of what he hopes will be several podcast seasons about the history of U.S. imperialism and the movements rising in resistance.

Cataldo was a history concentrator who earned a certificate in Latin American Studies. He was a member of Mathey College.

He was awarded the Koren Prize from the Department of History for outstanding departmental work during his junior year. He also served as a team leader for the Princeton Asylum Project, coordinating student researchers who identify scholars to serve as expert witnesses for asylum seekers. During his senior year, he organized the Princeton Environmental Activism Coalition’s first student-run conference about colonialism and the climate crisis.

Read more at News at Princeton.

Photo by Rebecca Ngu