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Mentors, Materials Research, and More Awards

Story by
Nancy Joseph
A Standout Mentor
A Woman Who Rocks
$15.6 Million Vote of Confidence
Gate to Nowhere  Leads Somewhere Special
Other Awards, Honors, and Professorships


Jim Morrow

James Morrow was honored by the Association for Women in Mathematics as part of its inaugural class of fellows. 


When UW mathematics professor James Morrow was honored by the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) in October as part of its inaugural class of fellows, he was a standout in more ways than one. Of the 32 educators chosen for the honor, Morrow was one of only three male honorees. The honor reflects his long commitment to mentorship of women in mathematics.

“I am more proud of being chosen to be in the inaugural class of Fellows of the AWM than I am of any of my other academic accomplishments,” says Morrow, Barbara Hand Sando and Vaho Rebassoo Professor.

Morrow’s colleagues say the honor is well deserved. “Jim is devoted to his students,” says Ron Irving, chair of the UW Department of Mathematics. “He cares passionately about their learning and their lives, both while they are here and in the years that follow, advising many of them even while they are in graduate school and beyond. While many of us love teaching, he operates on an entirely different level. He is unique, a once-in-a-generation teacher.”

Among other accomplishments, Morrow co-founded a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at the UW that has attracted a stellar group of students through the years, including dozens of women who have gone on to do graduate work in the mathematical sciences, often at top-tier universities.

“I’m pretty sure that if it weren’t for Jim, I never would have become a mathematician,” says one female alum. Adds another, “Jim was the most influential professor in my undergraduate career. His devotion to his students is unparalleled.” 

Morrow, like any great mentor, insists his students are the ones who deserve the praise. “I am very, very lucky to have been able to meet and work with so many outstanding women,” he says. “Any recognition I have received is due to their talents, accomplishments, and persistence. I thank them for putting up with me and allowing me to be part of their lives. The joy of working with these women is its own reward.”


Michelle Habell-Pallán

Michelle Habell-Pallán, recipient of the Barclay Simpson Prize for Scholarship in Public.


Michelle Habell-Pallán, associate professor of gender, women & sexuality studies, has received the Barclay Simpson Prize for Scholarship in Public, a $10,000 prize awarded by the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities to recognize UW scholars who practice humanities scholarship as a public good.

Habell-Pallán’s work is at home in scholarly journals as well as community centers, museums, concert halls, and dance halls. Her research brings together fandango practitioners and dancers, punk musicians and hip hop artists, cultural studies scholars, archivists, graduate students, and those who have never set foot in a graduate seminar. She was part of a collaborative team behind Women Who Rock, an oral history archive and series of public “unconferences” documenting women who use pop music as a tool for social transformation. She also helped develop American Sabor, a bilingual celebration of the contributions of Latinas and Latinos to U.S. pop music. American Sabor has been shared widely as a traveling museum exhibition, a web collection, and more recently as a book published by University of Washington Press.

“[Michelle’s] work is buoyed by her optimism in the potential of sustained collaboration to create spaces of music and thought,” says Kathleen Woodward, director of the Simpson Center and professor of English. “What has emerged is something altogether precious and enlivening.” 


Dan Gamelin

Daniel Gamelin, director of the interdisciplinary Molecular Engineering Materials Center at the UW. 


Thanks to a six-year $15.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation through its highly competitive Materials Research Science and Engineering Center program, the UW is now home to a new Molecular Engineering Materials Center. The Center builds on the UW’s record of innovative, collaborative and cross-disciplinary research in the materials sciences. 

Daniel Gamelin, professor and Nicole A. Boand Endowed Chair in Chemistry, is director of the new center and part of an inaugural team that includes 15 UW faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Clean Energy Institute, and the Molecular Engineering & Sciences Institute.

The Center’s initial research will focus on nanocrystals and thin films, with the goal of developing new materials for applications in clean energy, photonics, and quantum computing. “We chose nanocrystals and ultrathin semiconductors because they promise to yield basic, fundamental, and impactful discoveries in materials science,” says Gamelin. “And those advances will fuel new innovations and applications in growing industries — from quantum computing to clean energy.”

The Center includes a strong training and mentorship component for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and undergraduates, as well as outreach to high school students and veterans. Funding for the Center began September 1.


Gate to Nowhere artwork by Kate Roberts

Gate to Nowhere, a fiber and unfired clay piece by Kate Roberts.


When Kate Roberts, lecturer in the 3D4M program in the School of Art + Art History + Design, was invited to participate in the 2017 Parcours Céramique Carougeois  — an international bienniale of contemporary ceramics in Switzerland — she had no idea she’d receive a top award for her work. It wasn’t until the exhibition’s closing ceremony that she learned that she’d been selected to receive the Fondation Bruckner Award for her artwork, Gate to Nowhere.

Organized by Fondation Bruckner, the nine-day event aims to bring together a new generation of ceramists to explore the tensions between tradition and innovation. This year’s event ran from September 16-24, but Roberts arrived a month early to build her award-winning fiber and unfired clay piece.

"My experience, from creating the piece to winning the award, was truly special," says Roberts. "I want to thank the Fondation Bruckner for creating a platform to show unconventional, ephemeral ceramic work by emerging, young artists. I am honored to have been part of a superb selection of artists working in contemporary ceramics." 



Honorary Awards
Publication Awards
Chair & Professorship Appointments
Other Awards



Arbella Bet-Shlimon, assistant professor of history, received a 2017 UW Distinguished Teaching Award, the University’s highest honor for teaching.

Patricia Campbell, professor of music, received the 2017 Fumio Koizumi Prize for Ethnomusicology, presented by the Fumio Koizumi Trust, for achievements in world music pedagogy and children’s musical cultures. In addition to prize money, award recipients deliver a prize lecture at the ceremony in Tokyo, and another lecture at another Japanese university of their choice.

The Center for Communication, Difference and Equity (in the Department of Communication) — in collaboration with the UW Alumni Association and the UW Graduate School Public Lecture Series was honored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education with a Silver Award in the Circle of Excellence competition, in recognition of the Interrupting Privilege Alumni-Student Seminar led by communication professor Ralina Joseph.

Sapna Cheryan, associate professor of psychology, has received numerous awards in 2017. In addition to the International Society for Self and Identity’s 2017 Outstanding Early Career Award, Cheryan has been named a Fellow in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and a Fellow in the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. In 2016, she was appointed Lenore Annenberg and Wallis Annenberg Fellow in Communication at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University.

Julianne Dalcanton, professor and chair of the Department of Astronomy, received the Orren C. Mohler Prize from the University of Michigan for her work on galaxy formation and stellar populations. The award recognizes excellence in research in astronomy and astrophysics.

Dmitriy Drusvyatskiy, assistant professor of mathematics, and Thomas Rothvoss, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science and engineering, received CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation. The awards provide support for early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Michael Gelb, professor and Boris and Barbara L. Weinstein Endowed Chair in Chemistry, was selected as the UW's 2017-2018 University Faculty Lecturer, recognizing his accomplishments as an outstanding teacher, researcher, and leader in his field.

Maria Gillman, principal lecturer in Spanish and Portuguese Studies, received the Samuel Kelly Outstanding Faculty Award, which recognizes and honors faculty who have made a difference at the University of Washington and in the community.

Karen Goldberg, affiliate professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis, was elected as a 2017 fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies. Goldberg’s research focuses on designing more efficient catalysts, or compounds that increase the rates of chemical reactions.

Anthony Greenwald, professor of psychology, and his longtime collaborator Mahzarin Banaji, received the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Scientific Impact Award in 2017 in recognition of the enduring impact of their 1995 Psych Review paper, "Implicit Social Cognition: Attitudes, Self-Esteem, and Stereotypes."

Alexes Harris, professor of sociology and UW Presidential Term Professor, and Larry McLerran, professor of physics, were elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. New members are selected for “their outstanding record of scientific achievement and willingness to work on behalf of the academy in bringing the best available science to bear on issues within the state of Washington.”

Odai Johnson, professor of drama and Floyd and Delores Jones Endowed Professor in the Arts, was honored by the University of Utah Department of Theatre in 2017 as a Distinguished Alumnus, recognizing his “extraordinary achievements and contributions to the arts.”

Diane Kendall, professor and chair of the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, was inducted into the West Virginia University College of Engineering and Human Services Hall of Fame for her professional accomplishments in the area of adult language disorders.

Randy Kyes, research professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Global Field Study, is the inaugural recipient of the Kyes Award for Excellence in Educational Outreach from the American Society of Primatologists. The award is named in his honor.

Zhi Lin, professor of painting and drawing in the School of Art + Art History + Design, won the Robert McCauley Award for Painting from the Museum of Northwest Art at its Luminaries Artist Awards in September 2017.

Michael McCann, professor of political science and Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship, received a 2017 UW Marsha L. Landolt Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award for his exemplary commitment to graduate diversity, training, mentorship, and funding. McCann also received the Stanton Wheeler Mentorship Award from the Law and Society Association for outstanding mentorship of graduate, professional, or undergraduate students who are working on issues of law and society.

Ann Nelson, professor of physics, and colleague Michael Dine of University of California, Santa Cruz, received the J. J. Sakurai Prize from the American Physical Society for “groundbreaking explorations of physics beyond the standard model of particle physics.”

Andrea Otanez, lecturer in the Department of Communication, was selected as 2017 Western Washington Journalism Educator of the Year by the Western Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In announcing the news, the selection committee told Otanez, “We are so impressed by your work and the excellence that you bring to our industry in Western Washington.”

Eddie Pasatiempo (BA, Communication, 1977) received the 2017 University of Washington Alumni Association (UWAA) Distinguished Service Award, for extraordinary contributions to the UWAA and the University.

Inma Randea-Cuartero, senior lecturer in Spanish and Portuguese Studies, received a 2017 UW Distinguished Teaching Award, the University’s highest honor for teaching.

Norm Rice (BA, Communication, 1972; MPA, 1974), former mayor of the City of Seattle, received the 2017 University of Washington Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus award, the University’s highest honor for graduates. 

Meera Roy, director of academic services in the Department of Political Science, was given a special mention when The Washington Center (TWC) honored the UW as Public Institution of the Year for 2017. TWC is an academic internship program that partners with universities around the nation to place students in exciting institutional sites around D.C.  For nearly four decades, the UW has sent some of its most talented students to the program, with the Department of Political Science administering the process. The UW won this award previously, in 2005.

Michael Spafford, professor emeritus of art, and his wife, artist Elizabeth Sandvig, received the Lifetime Contribution to Northwest Art Award from the Museum of Northwest Art at its Luminaries Artist Awards in September 2017.

Jared Stewart, graduate student in political science, received a 2017 UW Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding teaching among graduate teaching assistants.

Caroline Strömberg, Estella B. Leopold Associate Professor of Biology and curator of paleobotany at the Burke Museum, received the 2017 Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society. The award is presented to a person early in his or her career whose work reflects excellence and promise in the science of paleontology.

Quintard Taylor, professor emeritus of history, received the Robert Gray Medal from the Washington State Historical Society “in recognition of his distinguished career as a professor of history and his far-reaching commitment to researching, preserving, and promoting the history of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest.”

Gunther Uhlmann, the Walker Family Endowed Professor of Mathematics, was awarded the Solomon Lefschetz Medal, awarded every four years by the Mathematical Council of the Americas, in recognition of his excellence in research and his remarkable contributions to the development of mathematics in the Americas.

Brianna Yamasaki, graduate instructor and teaching assistant in psychology, received a 2017 UW Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding teaching among graduate teaching assistants.

Jason Yeatman, assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences and I-LABS researcher, received an Early Career Award from the Society for the Neurobiology of Language and also received the Science of Learning Award from Flux: The Society for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.



Sareeta Amrute, associate professor of anthropology, was awarded the Diana Forsythe Prize from the American Anthropological Association for her book, Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT Workers in Berlin. The prize celebrates the best book or series of published articles in the spirit of Diana Forsythe’s feminist anthropological research on work, science, and/or technology, including biomedicine.

Kirsten Foot, professor of communication, has received two awards from the National Communication Association (NCA) for her book Collaboration Against Human Trafficking: Cross-Sector Challenges and Practices: the 2016 Award for Outstanding Book from NCA’s Organizational Communication Division, and the 2016 Sue DeWine Distinguished Book Award from NCA’s Applied Communication Division.

Radhika Govindrajan, assistant professor of anthropology, received the 2017 Edward C. Dimock Prize in the Indian Humanities from the American Institute of Indian Studies for her book Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relations in India’s Central Himalayas.

Habiba Ibrahim, associate professor of English, received the 2016 Darwin T. Turner Prize from the journal African American Review for her article "Any Other Age: Vampires and Oceanic Lifespans."

Noam Pianko, professor of international studies and director of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, received the Saul Viener Book Prize from the American Jewish Historical Society for his book, Jewish Peoplehood: An American Innovation. The selection committee noted that Pianko “breaks new ground in demonstrating that the American Jewish experience has contributed key concepts of Jewish self-definition that have shaped the Jewish world more broadly.”

William Streitberger, professor of English, received the 2017 David Bevington Prize from the Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society for the best new book in early drama studies, for The Master of the Revels and Elizabeth I's Court Theatre.

Jesse Oak Taylor, assistant professor of English, received the 2017 Ecocriticism Book Award from the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment for The Sky of Our Manufacture: The London Fog in British Fiction from Dickens to Woolf.


James Coupe, associate professor of Digital Arts and Experimental Media, has been appointed as a Donald E. Petersen Fellow.

Liora  Russman Halperin, associate professor of international studies, has been appointed Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Endowed Chair in Israel Studies.

Juan Pampin, associate professor and chair of Digital Arts and Experimental Media, has been appointed Ruth Sutton Waters Endowed Professor.

Vicente L. Rafael, professor of history, has been appointed to the Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professorship in History.

Joel Walker, associate professor of history, has been appointed to the Lawrence J. Roseman Endowed Professorship in History.

John Wilkerson, professor of political science, has been appointed to the Donald R. Matthews Professorship in American Politics.



Eric Agol, professor of astronomy, has been awarded a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship. Agol uses analytic and numerical modeling and statistics to study transiting planets orbiting other stars. 

Bing Brunton, assistant professor of biology, and collaborator David Gire, assistant professor of psychology, received a UW Innovation Award to develop a novel method for understanding the integration of perception, decision making, and memory during natural behaviors. Innovation Awards support innovative research that addresses problems of humanity. Brunton also received the Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s Young Investigator Research Program Award, which fosters creative basic research in science and engineering, enhances early career development of outstanding young investigators, and increases opportunities for the young investigators to recognize the Air Force mission and the related challenges in science and engineering. 

Jiun-Haw Chu, assistant professor of physics and the Clean Energy Institute, has been named a Moore Fellow and has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The grant is part of the Foundation’s Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems Initiative, which strives to deepen our understanding of the organizing principles that lead to complex collective behaviors of electrons in materials and engineered structures. 

David Gire, assistant professor of psychology, along with a collaborator in France, has been selected to receive a French/U.S. collaborative research award from the French Embassy and FACE Foundation. Their work focuses on olfactory-driven decision making in animals. Gire also received a UW Innovation Award with colleague Bing Brunton (see Bing Brunton, above.)

Sara Gonzalez, assistant professor of anthropology, has been named a Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar for 2017 at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Malkiel Scholars Award supports junior faculty whose research focuses on contemporary American history, politics, culture, and society, and who are committed to the creation of an inclusive campus community for underrepresented students and scholars. 

 Resat Kasaba, director of the Jackson School of International Studies and Stanley D. Golub Chair of International Studies, has been appointed president of the Executive Committee of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs.

Jeff Riffell, associate professor of biology, received a UW Innovation Award for research into the genetic basis of host preference in mosquitoes. Innovation Awards support innovative research that addresses problems of humanity.

Monica Rojas-Stewart (PhD, Cultural Anthropology, 2007), assistant director of Africa and Latin American & Caribbean Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies, received a 2017 Fellowship from Artist Trust. Fellowships are based on merit and awarded to practicing professional artists of exceptional talent and ability.

Jane Simoni, professor of psychology, was named Foreign Expert in association with Jiaotong, China's School of Nursing, where she does clinical research at the Xianhua hospital.

James Tweedie, associate professor of comparative literature, was named one of two Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for 2017. The Academy Film Scholars program was established in 1999 to support significant new works on film scholarship.

Sabine Wilke, professor of Germanics, was selected as Fellow at the Center for Interweaving Performance Cultures at the Freie Universität Berlin during the 2017/18 year.

Greg Wilson, associate professor of biology and adjunct curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Burke Museum, and his collaborators, received the 2017 Bergstrom Award from the UW College of Arts & Sciences.