Knighthood and Other Honors for A&S Faculty

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Nancy Joseph 05/04/2016 May 2016 Perspectives

Geist Knighted by Spanish Government


In the Spanish literary masterpiece Don Quixote, the main character has delusions of being a knight. Unlike Quixote, Spanish literary scholar Anthony Geist is the real deal. On April 16, the UW professor of Spanish and comparative literature was inducted into the Order of Isabel la Católica, with the title of Caballero de la Cruz de Oficial — the Spanish equivalent of knighthood. The honor is conferred on those who have given exceptional service to the benefit of Spain.

Geist’s enduring love affair with Spain began when he studied abroad as an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  He has since devoted his professional life to studying and teaching the language, literature, history, and culture of Spain. He has written 12 books and nearly 100 academic articles about Spanish literature and poetry, including a translation of the work of Peruvian poet Luis Hernández that was shortlisted for a PEN Award. He has led projects related to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade — including a monument, documentary film, and photo essay — and has organized exhibitions of Spanish art, from the work of Basque exile painter Miguel Marina to the drawings of Spanish children affected by war.

Tony Geist on April 16, after being inducted into the Order of Isabel la Católica, the Spanish equivalent of knighting.

Geist also spearheaded efforts to establish the University of Washington León Center in León, Spain, a University-wide resource that has hosted programs from more than a dozen UW departments and units. He has served as the Center’s executive director since 2010. 

Accepting the honor of Spanish knighthood, Geist recognized the people who made so many of his projects possible, from his family to his colleagues to the Honorary Consul of Spain.

“The award recognizes the richness and beauty of Spanish literature and culture and its importance in the United States,” says Geist. “I am honored to have contributed to its presence in this country and on the UW campus.”


Other Awards, Honors, and Professorships

Holly Barker, senior lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and curator at the Burke Museum, has been honored as a 2016 Woman of Courage by the UW Women’s Center. The award recognizes her efforts to encourage first-generation students to use their own cultural heritage as a source of strength as they tackle socioeconomic challenges in their communities.

Rick Bonus, associate professor of American ethnic studies, is the 2016 recipient of the Excellence in Mentorship Award from the Association for Asian American Studies.

Krzysztof Burdzy, professor of mathematics and adjunct professor of statistics, has been selected to receive the 2016 Carver Medal of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS).  The medal, given for exceptional service to the IMS, is one of the organization’s highest honors.

Charles Campbell, professor and B. Seymour Rabinovitch Chair in Chemistry, has received the 2015 Medard E. Welch Award from the American Vacuum Society. The award recognizes outstanding theoretical or experimental research in the field within the last decade.

Brandi Cossairt, assistant professor of chemistry, was named a Packard Fellow for 2015 by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Packard Fellowships are awarded to scientists in the early stages of their careers, supporting the more innovative avenues of investigation that traditional funding may not give them the freedom to explore. CAREER awards recognize “junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.”

Thomas Dunning, affiliate professor and distinguished faculty fellow in the Department of Chemistry, and co-director of the Northwest Institute for Advanced Computing, has been elected to the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. Membership is composed of scientists who have distinguished themselves through their scientific work, pioneering efforts, or leadership in the applications of quantum mechanics to the study of molecules and macromolecules.

Patricia Ebrey, Williams Family Endowed Professor in History, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest learned societies in the U.S.

Donald Grayson, professor of anthropology, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest learned societies in the U.S.

Janneke Hille Ris Lambers, associate professor of biology, has been appointed to the Walker Endowed Professorship of Natural History, for a three-year term.

Christopher Hoffman, professor of mathematics, was named a 2016 Simons Fellow by the Simons Foundation — the fifth faculty member in the UW Department of Mathematics to receive the award since the fellowship was established five years ago. Previous Simons Fellows from the department include Tatiana Toro, Gunther Uhlmann, Hart Smith, and Sándor Kovács.

Katharyne Mitchell, professor of geography, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for research on sanctuary practices for asylum seekers and those at risk of deportation in Europe.

Joshua Reid, associate professor of history, received the Frederick Jackson Turner Award Honorable Mention from the Organization for American Historians for his book The Sea is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs.

Michael Rosenthal, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy, has been appointed Samuel and Althea Stroum Chair in Jewish Studies, for a three-year term.

Jaromír Růžička, professor emeritus of chemistry, was awarded a gold medal by the Charles University in Prague for his contribution to the development of modern analytical chemistry and for “the significant support of the international prestige of Charles University in Prague.” Růžička is an alumnus of Charles University with a degree in analytical chemistry.

Robert Synovec, professor of chemistry, has received the 2016 Marcel Golay Award, which is presented to a scientist in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in capillary chromatography.

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