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Northwestern University

Academic Honors

2017-2018 Academic Year


Winter Quarter

William R. Dichtel, the Robert L. Letsinger Professor of Chemistry, has been named a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Dichtel was recognized for his pioneering work in developing porous polymers, which have applications in water purification and energy storage. He was one of just two chemists to win one of the 173 fellowships awarded by the foundation this year. The other chemist, Christy L. Haynes, is a Northwestern alumna who earned her 2003 Ph.D. under under the direction of Weinberg College professor Richard Van Duyne.

Clare Cavanagh, the Frances Hooper Professor in the Arts and Humanities, has won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, an honor that carries with it a $10,000 grant. The award is given annually to eight writers for “exceptional accomplishment in literature.” Cavanagh has also been awarded an $8,000 postdoctoral fellowship for archival research in the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Tobin Marks, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry and the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry, has won the Harvey Prize from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The $75,000 prize is awarded annually for breakthroughs in science and technology, as well as contributions to peace in the Middle East.

Associate Professor of English Vivasvan Soni and Assistant Professor of History Caitlin Fitz have been awarded  fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies. Soni, who is also the College’s director of undergraduate studies, will use the fellowship to complete a book project on aesthetics and the crisis of judgment in the 18th century. Fitz will use her fellowship year to write and research the history of Emiliano Mundrucu, a black Brazilian revolutionary who fled to Boston in 1825 and helped to radicalize U.S. abolitionists. 

Mercouri Kanatzidis, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry, has been selected by the American Institute of Chemists to receive the 2018 Chemical Pioneer Award. The award recognizes researchers whose contributions have had a major impact on advances in chemical science and industry or the chemical profession. Kanatzidis was recognized for pioneering work that has redefined the field of chalcogenide compounds.

Christian Petersen, as associate professor of microbiology, has been chosen to receive the Society for Developmental Biology’s outstanding young investigator award.  This award, the Elizabeth Hay Award, recognizes a young investigator who has performed outstanding, original and high-impact research during the early stages of his or her independent career.

Chad Mirkin, the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and the director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, has received the Remsen Memorial Lecture Award from the Maryland Section of the American Chemical Society and the Chemistry Department at Johns Hopkins University. Mirkin is the 73rd Remsen honoree, joining a list of scientific luminaries that includes 17 Nobel Prize winners. He has also won the 2018 Nano Research Award for his invention of dip-pen nanolithography and spherical nucleic acids.

Claude-André Faucher-Giguère, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, has been named one of 24 Cottrell Scholars by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

The BBVA Foundation has awarded Robert Porter, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor in the Department of Economics, along with co-researchers Tim Bresnahan of Stanford University and Ariel Pakes of Harvard University, the 2018  BBVA Prize. The organization honored the researchers for founding and shaping the field of empirical industrial organization, a branch of economics that has developed fundamental techniques to measure market power.

Jessica Winegar, associate professor of anthropology, will be a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in 2018-19.

Lane Fenrich, assistant dean and distinguished senior lecturer in gender and sexuality studies, and Nitasha Sharma, associate professor of African American studies, Asian American studies, and performance studies and a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence, have each won $5,000 Daniel I. Linzer Awards for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and Equity, sponsored through the Office of the Provost. The Linzer Grants and Awards aim to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable climate on campus. Fenrich is recognized for his ongoing work with the College’s BRIDGE program, a free summer program designed to prepare incoming students and rising sophomores for success in rigorous quantitative disciplines. Sharma is honored for her dedication and work in creating interdisciplinary courses specifically focused on issues of inequality, racism and diversity.

Numerous other College faculty received Linzer Grants for Faculty Innovation in Diversity and Equity. They include:

Nine Weinberg College faculty members have been awarded grants this year by The Alumnae of Northwestern University. This year’s grant recipients include:

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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