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Awards, Honors, and Professorships

Eric Agol, professor of astronomy, will receive the 2016 Lecar Prize from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The award, now in its third year, recognizes exceptional contributions to the study of exoplanets — those beyond our solar system — and theoretical astrophysics. Each Lecar Prize recipient receives an honorarium and delivers a lecture at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Arts units at the UW have received a three-year, $750,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to better integrate arts disciplines into the broader University curriculum. The grant will support a Creative Fellowships Initiative, under which guest performing artist fellows will be recruited from around the world for one- to three-year residencies in dance, music and theater. The initiative will mark the first time the UW’s performing arts units — the UW World Series, School of Drama, School of Music, Dance Program, and Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXArts) — have joined together for an experiment of this scale.

Emily Bender, professor of linguistics, recently began a two-year term as Chair of the Executive Committee of the North American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics.

Bingni Brunton, assistant professor of biology, Christopher Laumann, assistant professor of physics, and Matthew McQuinn, assistant professor of astronomy have been awarded early-career fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Each fellow will receive $55,000 to apply toward research endeavors.

Susan Gaylard, associate professor of French and Italian studies, is an Audrey Lumsden-Kouvel/Andrew W. Mellon fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The award will enable her to work on her current book project, Beautiful Monsters: Gendering History in Renaissance Biographies.

Douglas Jeck, associate professor in the School of Art + Art History + Design, has been appointed to the Jack and Grace Pruzan Endowed Faculty Fellowship for a three-year term.

Estelle Lingo, associate professor of art history in the School of Art + Art History + Design, has been named a Robert Lehman Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti in Florence, Italy (Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies) and has been named a 2016-2018 Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the Center for Advance Study in the Visual Arts, part of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

David Masiello, assistant professor of chemistry and adjunct assistant professor of applied mathematics, has received a 2016 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to early career scientists and engineers. Honorees, selected for their “pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach,” receive up to five years of federal research funding. Masiello’s research group builds theoretical and computational tools to understand the optical, magnetic, electronic, and thermal properties of nanoscale materials.

Katharyne Mitchell, professor of geography, and Matthew Sparke, professor of geography and international studies and director of Integrated Social Sciences, have received fellowships to study at the Brocher Foundation in Switzerland in Fall 2016. The Foundation hosts scientists and experts in the ethical, legal, and social implications of the development of medical research and biotechnologies, to conduct multidisciplinary research in emerging fields.  Mitchell and Sparke will develop a book on the ethical dimensions of new biosecurity technologies and so-called biological citizenship.

Suhanthie Motha, associate professor of English, won the 2015 Book Award from the Comparative and International Education Societyʼs Globalization and Education Special Interest Group. The book, Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching: Creating Responsible and Ethical Anti-Racist Practice, previously received the 2015 Critics' Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association.

Scott Noegel, professor of Near Eastern languages and civilization, will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he will present a commencement address.

Richard Salomon, professor of Asian languages and literature and William P. and Ruth Gerberding University Professor, was selected by the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa to receive its Humanities Achievement Award. The prize is given to “individuals or organizations whose contributions to the humanities or arts are considered to be outstanding.”

Juliet Shields, associate professor of English, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research on Scottish women writers.

Maya Smith, assistant professor of French and Italian studies, has been awarded a six-month 2016 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, which allows exceptional junior faculty to pursue scholarly research and writing. The Fellowship is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.

Becca Thorpe, assistant professor of political science, won the D.B. Hardeman Prize from the Lyndon Johnson Foundation for her book, The American Warfare State: The Domestic Politics of Military Spending.  The prize is awarded for the best book on the U.S. Congress from the fields of biography, history, journalism, and political science.

Sam Wasser, research associate professor of biology and Endowed Chair in Conservation Biology, and graduate student HJ Kim, won the USAID Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge. Wasser specializes in the development and application of noninvasive tools for monitoring wildlife over large landscape areas.