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Northwestern University

Academic Honors

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall Quarter

Northwestern University mathematician Aaron Naber was among several awardees of the 2018 Breakthrough Prize, the so-called “Oscars of Science,” which celebrates top achievements in physics, life sciences and mathematics and is sponsored by Silicon Valley elites including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sergey Brin. A combined total of $22 million in prizes was awarded during a Dec. 3 globally televised gala in Silicon Valley hosted by actor Morgan Freeman. Naber, the Kenneth F. Burgess Professor of Mathematics, was one of four recipients of the New Horizons in Mathematics Prize. He received a total of $100,000 for the honor.

Vicky Kalogera, the Daniel I. Linzer Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy, has been awarded the 2018 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics for her groundbreaking work studying compact objects – including black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs – in astrophysical systems. The award, administered by the American Institute of Physics and the American Astronomical Society, cites Kalogera’s “fundamental contributions to advancing our understanding of the evolution and fate of compact objects in binary systems, with particular regard to their electromagnetic and gravitational wave signals.”

Associate Professor of Anthropology Jessica Winegar has been made a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University for the 2018-19 academic year. 

Magdalena Osburn, an assistant professor of Earth and planetary sciences, has been awarded a five-year $875,000 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering.

Richard Gaber, a professor of molecular biosciences and director of the program in molecular biosciences, has received a 2018 Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Development. Gaber will spend the summer developing enhancements for courses in biological sciences, visiting forests, logging operations and woodpiles in more than 18 states to collect a geographically diverse array of Schizophyllum commune specimens, a mushroom-forming fungus that is thought to harbor more genetic diversity than any other organism.

Professor of Chemistry George Schatz has been named an Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society. The designation is the highest honor that the society bestows and is conferred to distinguished chemists who have made significant contributions to the advancement of chemistry.

Tracy L. Lohr, a research assistant professor of chemistry, has been named the first North American recipient of the Clara Immerwahr Award for her outstanding work in catalysis.

Charles Manski, the Board of Trustees Professor in Economics, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Hebrew University. The honor recognizes his “original, path-breaking methodological contributions to the fields of econometrics, statistics and decision theory … and their wide-ranging applications in economics and a variety of fields in the social sciences, including public policy, education, criminology, transportation and medicine.”

Omar Farha, an associate professor of chemistry and a member of Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society. Farha is being recognized for his pioneering contributions to the design, synthesis, application and commercialization of molecule-based porous materials, including metal-organic frameworks.

Chad Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and  director of Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology, has received the 2017 Wilhelm Exner Medal in recognition of his invention of spherical nucleic acids.

Andrew Miri, an assistant professor of neurobiology, is among the Allen Institute for Brain Science’s newest cohort of Next Generation Leaders: a group of six distinguished early-career researchers who will provide feedback in both formal and informal settings to scientists at the institute. The program recognizes the outstanding and innovative contributions from emerging scientific leaders and fosters professional development by providing opportunities and informal training on how to serve as scientific advisors.

Natasha Trethewey, the Board of Trustees Professor of English, has won the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities category. The $250,000 unrestricted cash award recognizes Trethewey’s outstanding achievements as a poet, writer and teacher. 

Sir Fraser Stoddart, the Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry, and Chad Mirkin, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry, have been elected foreign members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The two were selected for their scientific achievements and contributions to promoting the development of science and technology in China.

Associate Professor of English Kelly Wisecup has won a $12,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to collect and digitize photographs, documents and other materials with the American Indian Center of Chicago and undertake a public awareness campaign.

Associate Professor of History Kate Masur has won a $42,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a book-length study of the pre-Civil War origins of the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868 and promised equal protection and due process of law to all persons living in the United States.

Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Eric Dahl has been named the winner of the 2018 Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics from the American Physical Society. The award recognizes his "fundamental contributions to the development of new techniques for the direct detection of dark matter, including the bubble chamber and xenon time projection chamber."

S. Hollis Clayson, the Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities, was named the Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellow for fall 2017 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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