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Northwestern University

Faculty Honors and Awards



Summer Quarter

Three members of the Department of Chemistry have won national awards from the American Chemical SocietyEmily Weiss, the Mark and Nancy Ratner Professor of Chemistry, has won the ACS Award in Colloidal Chemistry,  Amy Rosenzweig, the Weinberg Family Distinguished Professor of Life Sciences, has won the Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry, and Franz Geiger, the Dow Professor of Chemistry, has won the Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry for his work with doctoral student Paul Ohno.

Will Dichtel, the Robert L. Letsinger Professor of Chemistry, has been named the National Laureate in Chemistry by the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. He will receive $250,000, the largest unrestricted scientific prize offered to young American researchers. Dichtel was selected for his research into highly porous two- and three-dimensional organic materials, which can be used to store, detect and separate small molecules and ions. He is one of three Laureates chosen from a pool of 305 nominees from 161 research institutions across 41 states.

Teri Odom, chair of the Department of Chemistry and the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, has been awarded a 2020 Centenary Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry for “seminal work on multi-scale materials that enable new ways to achieve ultrafast, coherent, and directional light emission at the nanoscale.” Centenary Prizes are awarded to outstanding chemists who are exceptional communicators, and recipients are invited to give lectures to audiences in the British Isles.  

William Dichtel, the Robert L. Letsinger Professor of Chemistry, and Emily Weiss, the Mark and Nancy Ratner Professor of Chemistry, have been named finalists for the 2020 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. Blavatnik Award finalists are considered to be among America’s most important young scientific researchers aged 42 years or younger. Weiss and Dichtel now will compete for the largest unrestricted awards of their kind for early career scientists and engineers.


Spring Quarter

In recognition of their passion and commitment to student learning and excellence in teaching across the University, five Weinberg College professors have won 2020 Northwestern University Teaching Awards. The faculty members are:

Shelby Blythe, an assistant professor of molecular biosciences, has been named a 2020 Pew Scholar by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The honor provides $300,000 over four years to pursue research without restriction. The competitive program enables early-career scientists in medicine or the biomedical sciences to take calculated risks, expand their research and explore unanticipated leads. Blythe will invest the funding into studying how the genome “wakes up” at the very beginning of embryonic development.

John Alba Cutler, associate professor of English and Latina/o Studies, and Leslie M. Harris, professor of history and African American studies, have been named Radcliffe Institute Fellows. They are among 50 leading artists and scholars who will engage in cross-disciplinary exchange at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Brendan Fernandes, a professor in the Department of Art Theory and Practice, was recently selected to receive the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. In bestowing the award, the foundation seeks to support promising artists as they produce new work and continue their development. Fernandes is an internationally recognized Canadian artist working at the intersection of dance and visual arts. 

Ten Weinberg College faculty members have been named 2020-21 Kaplan Humanities Institute Fellows. The competitive fellowships offer faculty the opportunity to develop research projects within an interdisciplinary community. The new fellows, and their projects, include:

Two Weinberg College professors — Laura DeMarco, the Henry S. Noyes Professor of Mathematics, and Samuel I. Stupp, the Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering and director of the Simpson-Querrey Institute — have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Five Weinberg College faculty members — Professor of Psychology Edith Chen, Carlos Montezuma Professor of African American Studies and Performance Studies E. Patrick Johnson, Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry Teri W. Odom, Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies Mary E. Pattillo and Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Neurobiology Indira M. Raman  have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Teresa Woodruff, the Thomas J. Watkins Memorial Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and dean of The Graduate School, who has an appointment in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, joins the AAAS as a new member.

John Alba Cutler, an associate professor of English & Latino/a Studies, has won an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship. The award will advance Cutler's work on a book about literature published in early 20th-century Spanish-language newspapers in the United States.

Héctor Carrillo, a professor of sociology and gender and sexuality studies, has been awarded two prestigious fellowships: one from the Guggenheim Foundation and another from the American Council of Learned Societies. The awards will enable Carrillo to advance his research on his project, “The Afterlife of Documents: Identity, Mobility, and the Genealogical Imagination.”

Dyan Elliott, the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History, has won a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Elliott will pursue a project called “The Quick and the Dead: The Medieval Church and the Exhumation of Christians.” The project, Elliott says,
"will show how the desecration of Christian bodies, although condemned by the church for centuries, was destined to become one of its most fearsome and effective instruments of terror.”

Samuel I. Stupp, the Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine, and Biomedical Engineering and director of the Simpson Querrey Institute, has received the 2020 Nanoscience Prize from the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computing, and Engineering (ISNSCE). The Nanoscience Prize recognizes lifelong achievement and is awarded each year to highlight and encourage outstanding research in all areas of nanoscience.  Stupp was honored for his pioneering contributions in the areas of self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry. 

Five Weinberg College faculty members have been recognized for their excellence in classroom teaching with Northwestern University Teaching Awards. Four of these professors have been named Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence: Sarah Jacoby, an associate professor of religious studies; Wendy Pearlman, an associate professor of political science; Santiago Canez, an associate professor of instruction in mathematics; and Regan Thomson, a professor of chemistry. A fifth faculty member, Henri Lauzière, an associate professor of history, has been named an Alumnae of Northwestern Teaching Professor. These awards recognize faculty who have demonstrated outstanding performance in the classroom, developed significant innovations that have also influenced the methods and teaching effectiveness of other faculty, and demonstrated evidence of significant curricular enhancement to undergraduate education.

Winter Quarter

Raffaella Margutti, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has won a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. The $438,895 award will support Margutti's project "A Holistic Study of Compact-Object Mergers across the Electromagnetic Spectrum." CAREER awards support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through research, education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Renee Engeln, a professor of instruction in the Department of Psychology, is one of nine scholars nationwide to win an Outstanding Faculty Award from Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity. Faculty are nominated for the honor based on their passion to inspire students and actions that connect to Theta aspirations: intellectual curiosity, leadership potential, commitment to service, and personal excellence.

Vicky Kalogera, the  Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Fred Rasio, the Joseph Cummings Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, have been named Fellows of the American Astronomical Society. AAS Fellows are recognized for original research and publication, innovative contributions to astronomical techniques or instrumentation, significant contributions to education and public outreach, and noteworthy service to astronomy and to the Society.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has bestowed a $1 million grant to the Northwestern Prison Education Program, an initiative spearheaded by Jennifer Lackey, the Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Philosophy.  The program brings together undergraduates and incarcerated students to study the causes and consequences of incarceration in the United States.  The Mellon grant will support the expansion of educational opportunities for incarcerated people, including the first college-in-prison program for women in Illinois. Lackey has also received a $12,500 Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Innovation in support of the program. 

Carole LaBonne, the Erastus Otis Haven Professor and chair of the molecular biosciences department, has been named co-director of the prestigious Embryology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. The laboratory attracts students from across the globe to its immersive, discovery-based advanced research training courses. The course  that LaBonne will lead has had enormous influence in shaping the study of life sciences and the field of developmental biology in particular. Fifteen former course students and faculty have won Nobel prizes, and many others are leaders in their fields. 

Dominique Licops, director of the French Language Program and an associate professor of instruction in the Department of French and Italian, has been awarded one of the highest honors the French government can bestow: the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes académiques, known in English-speaking countries as a Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms. The award is an expression of gratitude to those who have dedicated themselves to advancing the knowledge, understanding, and communication of French culture.

Physicist John Joseph Carrasco and neuroscientist Andrew Miri have each been awarded the prestigious and competitive 2020 Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. They are among 126 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. 

Chad Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor in the Department of Chemistry and director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, is the winner of the 2020 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize. The award is presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to a scientist or public servant who has contributed significantly to the advancement of science in the United States. One of the most cited chemists in the world, Mirkin discovered and developed spherical nucleic acids (SNAs), structures made by chemically arranging densely packed, highly oriented strands of DNA around a nanoparticle core. He has also mentored thousands of students and helped develop education tools to introduce nanoscience to the public more broadly.

Sociologists Héctor Carrillo and Aldon Morris have been honored by the American Sociological Association for their outstanding scholarship. Morris, Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, has received the W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, the highest honor the association confers. “Morris’ vast scholarly work has not only challenged prevailing modes of thinking in a variety of subfields in and outside of our discipline, it has helped reorient scholarship in sociology itself," the association said. Carrillo, a professor of sociology and gender & sexuality studies, has received the ASA’s Distinguished Scholarly Book Award for “Pathways of Desire, The Sexual Migration of Mexican Gay Men” (University of Chicago Press, 2017). “Carrillo’s work is important not only for giving us a window into migrant communities that we know relatively little about but is also timely given the rising asylum claims based on sexual oppression and violence,” the ASA award committee said.

Kate Masur, an associate professor of history, has been named co-editor of The Journal of the Civil War Era. Masur specializes in the history of the 19th-century United States, focusing on how Americans grappled with questions of race and equality after the abolition of slavery in both the North and South. She is the author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (2010) and numerous articles on emancipation and black politics during and after the Civil War.

Scott Sowerby, an associate professor of history, has been awarded a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete a book on the origins of religious toleration in early modern Europe between 1520 and 1800.


Fall Quarter

Three Weinberg College faculty members — Professor of Linguistics Jennifer Cole, Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy Vicky Kalogera and Professor of Physics and Astronomy Farhad Yusef-Zadeh — have been elected 2019 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. Cole is recognized for her contributions to the understanding of prosody and intonation; Kalogera for her discoveries on novel, joint analysis and interpretation of electromagnetic and gravitational wave observations of binary compact objects; and Yusef-Zadeh for his work on multiwavelength astronomy.

Sir Fraser Stoddart, the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry  and director of the Center for the Chemistry of Integrated Systems, has been elected a 2019 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Election to NAI fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. The program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Stoddart received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his design and synthesis of molecular machines.

Geraldo Cadava, an associate professor of history, has been named a distinguished lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. He joins nearly 600 distinguished lecturers from the nation's leading academic institutions who share their expertise with audiences across the country, provide historical context on important topics and headline commemorations and other events. Cadava's essays have appeared in numerous national media outlets, including the Los Angeles TimesThe Atlantic and the Washington Post. His boo, Standing on Common Ground: The Making of a Sunbelt Borderland (2016), won the prestigious OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Award.

Michael Rakowitz, a professor in the Department of Art Theory and Practice, has been named to the shortlist of nominees for Artist of the Year by Apollo Magazine. The honor commends the most influential artists of the preceding 12 months. Rakowitz recreated a Lamassu sculpture for the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square in 2018. The work is part of an ongoing project in which the Iraqi-American artist reconstructs looted or damaged monuments with food packaging.

Teri Odom, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry, has been named the editor in chief of the American Chemical Society publication Nano Letters. The journal features fundamental research in all branches of the theory and practice of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Odom brings a wealth of experience to the role: since 2013, she has been the founding executive editor of ACS Photonics, and she has served on the editorial advisory board of Nano Letters since 2010. She currently serves on the editorial advisory boards of ACS Nano, Bioconjugate Chemistry, Materials Horizons and Annual Reviews of Physical Chemistry.

Guido Lorenzoni, the Breen Family Term Professor in the Department of Economics, and Professor of Economics Bruno Strulovici have been named 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, including the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Catherine Woolley, the William Deering Professor in the Department of Neurobiology, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. The distinction recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Woolley is widely known for her work on intrinsic biological differences between males and females in the molecular pathways that regulate synaptic communication in the brain.

Clare Cavanagh, the Frances Hooper Professor in the Arts and Humanities and a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literary Studies, has won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the American Academy of Poets. Cavanagh has been recognized for her translation of Asymmetry by Adam Zagajewski (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018). “Among a list of astonishing translations of major works, Clare Cavanagh’s rendition of Adam Zagajewski's Assymetry stands out for its quiet yet engaging voice," said poet Dunya Mikhail, who judged the prize category. "Pure, clear, and essential, these poems try to trace the everyday life and everyday absence of the poet’s loved ones. In doing so, the poet's intimate personal tone intersects piercingly with its historical moments. Here great art is at the service of irremediable grief and precarious humanity.”

Milan Mrksich, a professor of chemistry and the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded the 2020 Pittsburgh Analytical Chemistry Award in recognition of his development and application of surface chemistries in analytical chemistry and chemical biology. The honor also celebrates his invention of SAMDI mass spectrometry label-free technology for performing high throughput experiments. Mrksich will accept the award at the Pittcon Conference & Expo 2020 in Chicago in March 2020.

Raffaella Margutti, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been named a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar by CIFAR, a Canadian-based global charitable organization that convenes scholars to address important questions facing science and humanity. CIFAR Global Scholars receive a two-year term in a CIFAR research program, $100,000 in unrestricted research support and opportunities to network, collaborate and form a community with colleagues from diverse disciplines. Margutti is one of 14 scholars to receive the honor this year.

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