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Northwestern University

Academic Honors

2020-2021 Academic Year

Spring Quarter

Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, Amy Rosenzweig, has been awarded the 2021 The Hans Neurath Award from The Protein Society. This award recognizes contributions of exceptional merit to basic protein research. Amy was recognized for her important work on membrane-bound methane monooxygenase, which has inspired new ways to harness the energy of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as an alternative liquid fuel source.

Winter Quarter

Wen-fai Fong, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy, has been awarded an Early CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.  The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department. Fong's CAREER research is rooted in high-impact frontiers in time-domain astronomy, and will explore two of the universe's fastest-timescale transients in unprecedented detail: fast radio bursts (FRBs) and short-duration gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs). 

Tiffany SchmidtAssociate Professor of Neurobiology, has been awarded the 2020-21 Ver Steeg Award by The Graduate School.  Named for Clarence Ver Steeg, PhD, former Northwestern University Professor in History and Dean of The Graduate School from 1975 to 1986, this award annually recognizes one outstanding graduate faculty member and one staff member for excellence in working with students of The Graduate School. This year, Dr. Schmidt led an effort to incorporate holistic review and anti-bias training for all members of the department admissions committee, and as a result Neurobiology has a historically high percentage of under-represented minority interviewees.

Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and Chair of African American Studies, Mary Pattillo, has been named a 2021 Fellow by the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  The AAPSS inducts a new cohort of Fellows each year, in recognition of contributions that advance science and deepen public understanding of human behavior and social dynamics.  "At a moment in history when the nation has trapped its democracy, economy, and society in what feels like endless self-inflicted wounds, it falls on the social sciences to explain how the traps were set and where to find exit ramps...our 2021 Fellows excel at exactly this." (Kenneth Prewitt, AAPSS President)

Assistant Professors Xiumin Du and Ilya Khayutin (Mathematics), as well as Assistant Professor Julia Kalow (Chemistry) have been awarded the prestigious and competitive 2021 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. They are among 128 outstanding early-career researchers being recognized for their creativity, leadership and independent research achievements. Each fellow will receive a two-year, $75,000 fellowship which can be spent to advance his or her research. The competitive fellowships are awarded annually across eight scientific and technical fields: chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences and physics. 

Two members of the Department of Mathematics, Professor Bryna Kra and Professor Jared Wunsch, have been named Simons Fellows for 2021.  The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences. Professor Kra's project focuses on topological and ergodic properties of symbolic systems.  Professor Wunsch's project is propagation of singularities, diffraction, and decay of waves.

Amy Stanley, Professor of History, has been longlisted for the PEN Award for Biography and shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award for her new book, Stranger in the Shogun's City.  Since 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored many of the most outstanding voices in literature across diverse genres, including fiction, poetry, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, and drama. The PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography is awarded for excellence in the art of biography. The National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature.  Each year, the National Book Critics Circle presents one award for the finest books published in English in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism.

Fall Quarter

Two Weinberg College faculty members — Professor of Chemistry William Dichtel and Professor of Physics and Astronomy André de Gouvêa — have been elected 2021 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.  Dichtel is recognized for distinguished contributions to the fields of organic and polymer chemistry, particularly synthesis and applications of two-dimensional polymers and porous polymer networks.  de Gouvêa is recognized for his contributions to the understanding of the physics of neutrinos and their role in the extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics.

Eric Zaslow, professor and chair of the department of Mathematics, has been named a 2021 Fellow of the American Mathematical Society for contributions to mathematical physics and mirror symmetry.  The Fellows of the American Mathematical Society program recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics.

Amy Stanley, Professor of History, has been shortlisted for the Baillie-Gifford Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for her new book, Stranger in the Shogun's City. The Baillie Gifford Prize rewards excellence in non-fiction writing, bringing the best in intelligent reflection on the world to new readers. This award is the UK's most prestigious prize for non-fiction.  Amy Stanley is the only American short-listed this year. The National Book Critics Circle honors outstanding writing and fosters a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature.  Each year, the National Book Critics Circle presents one award for the finest books published in English in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism.

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Tim Kovachy, has received the prestigious Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. The prestigious fellowship includes an unrestricted grant of $875,000 over five years to pursue innovative and experimental research. Kovachy’s group is developing atom interferometers, in which each atom is placed in a quantum superposition of two macroscopically separated locations at the same time. These instruments offer the potential to probe quantum mechanics in an unexplored regime, search for dark matter and detect gravitational waves in a new frequency range. 

Sylvia Perry, Assistant Professor of Psychology, has been awarded the 2020 SAGE Young Scholar Award by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The SAGE Young Scholars Awards recognize outstanding young researchers in personality and social psychology. The award provide funds that can be flexibly applied in extending the recipient's work in new and exciting directions.

Mayda Velasco, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has been elected by the Governor of Puerto Rico to serve on the Governing Board of the Univeristy of Puerto Rico. The University of Puerto Rico serves over 57,000 students and consists of eleven campuses.  Its annual budget was $1.52 billion in 2014.  There are 32 doctorate programs the UPR is classified as an R2 university. Mayda, as a distinguished member of the faculty of WCAS and Northwestern, will play a highly influential role in an underserved portion of the country.   She has been conducting analyses of the incidence of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico, among other things, and the Governor has been grateful for her efforts.

Two members of the Department of Economics, Bruno Strulovici and Alessandro Pavan have been selected as 2020 Fellows of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory. Economic Theory Fellows are selected for their scientific excellence, originality, and leadership; high ethical standards; and scholarly and creative achievement.

Thomas Meade, Eileen M. Foell Professor of Cancer Research and Professor of Chemistry, Molecular Biosciences, Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering and Radiology, has been awarded the 2020 Gold Medal from the World Molecular Imaging Society. This award is the highest honor awarded by WMIS and highlights outstanding molecular research and new discoveries focused on the integration of molecular imaging into science and healthcare to develop innovative complementary approaches to understand biology and improve patient care. Meade was chosen for his sustained research in the areas of magnetic resonance and optical molecular imaging, visionary breakthroughs for deep tissue imaging, and advances in quantitative and biologically specific interrogation of living systems

Two members of the Department of Economics, Matthias Doepke and Alessandro Pavan have been selected as 2020 Fellows of The Econometric Society. The international organization is devoted to the advancement of economics through the use of mathematical and statistical methods. The society counts about 700 of the world's most prominent economists among its elected fellows.

Adilson Motter, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has been elected as a Fellow of the Network Science Society.  The society recognizes researchers who have made outstanding and significant contributions to network science research and to the community of network scientists. Adilson was selected for seminal contributions to the study of nonlinear dynamics on networks, including synchronization, cascading failures, synthetic rescues, control, symmetry phenomena, and applications to biological networks, metamaterials, microfluidics, and power grids.

Brian Odom, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for novel optical control and cooing of quantum states of trapped molecular ions that will enable precision measurements with extremely narrow resonance lines. The APS Fellowship Program was created to recognize members who may have made advances in physics through original research and publication, or made significant innovative contributions in the application of physics to science and technology. 



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