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2011-2012 Awards

Thomas Sargent, the W.R. Berkley Professor of Economics and Business with a joint appointment in the Economics Departments at the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Stern School of Business, has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics. Professor Sargent is one of the world’s leaders in modern economics, and his research is widely recognized as having revolutionized both the field of economics and the economic strategy adopted by successful capitalist countries over the past 20 years. A pioneer in the rational expectations school of macroeconomics, Professor Sargent shares the Nobel Prize with Princeton University’s Christopher Sims. He joins Stern professors Michael Spence and Robert Engle as current faculty who are Nobel Laureates in Economics.

Professor S.R. Srinivasa Varadhan was presented with the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama at a special White House ceremony in late October. Professor Varadhan, who is the Frank Jay Gould Professor of Science and professor of mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, was joined by Provost David McLaughlin at the ceremony. The medal, which was presented to seven recipients this year, is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected eight NYU faculty members as 2012 Fellows:

  • Paul Boghossian, Silver Professor of Philosophy, FAS
  • Daryl Levinson, David Boies Professor of Law, School of Law
  • Elizabeth Phelps, Silver Professor of Psychology and Neural Science, FAS
  • Danny Reinberg, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, School of Medicine
  • Richard Sylla, Henry Kaufman Professor of the History of Financial Institutions and Markets, Stern School of Business
  • Marvin Trachtenberg, Edith Kitzmiller Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts
  • Yaacov Trope, Professor of Psychology, FAS and Stern School of Business
  • Crispin James Garth Wright, Professor of Philosophy, FAS

Louis Karchin, Professor of Music and Director of the Program in Music Composition and Theory in the Faculty of Arts and Science, has been awarded the inaugural Andrew Imbrie Award in Music by the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  The $10,000 award is given to a composer of demonstrated artistic merit.  Professor Karchin, who is currently a Guggenheim Fellow, has had over sixty works performed worldwide.

Hilary Ballon, Deputy Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi and University Professor of Urban Studies and Architecture at the Wagner School, has won the 2012 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  The award recognizes an American who explores ideas in architecture through any medium of expression.

University Professor Richard Sennett has won the 2012 Zócalo Book Prize for his recently published Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation.  Awarded by the Zócalo Public Square, a project of the Center for Social Cohesion, the prize is given to a book "that best deepened our understanding of community."  Professor Sennett received the award, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, at an April ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named Dan Streible, associate professor of Cinema Studies in the Tisch School of the Arts, an Academy Film Scholar.  One of two Scholars named each year, Professor Streible will receive a $25,000 grant from the Academy to aid in his research on "orphan films" - films that have been abandoned or suffered physical, historical, or cultural neglect.

Dipti Desai, associate professor of Art and Art Education in the Steinhardt School, has received the 2012 Ziegfeld Service Award from the United States Society for Education through the Arts.  Professor Desai was honored for outstanding contribution to international art education.  In her scholarship and teaching she focuses on the formative role of visual representation and its politics in effecting social change.

Judith Schwartz, professor of Art and Art Education in the Steinhardt School, has been award the Distinguished Craft Educator Award from the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art.  Recipients are recognized for making a significant contribution to American craft education through excellence and innovation in teaching.  Professor Schwartz is a critic, curator, and scholar with a focus on the field of Ceramic Arts.

The Princeton Review has named Kathleen Bishop, adjunct professor in the Liberal Studies Program, to its list of "Best 300 Professors."  The group of 300 professors constitutes less than .02 percent of the roughly 1.8 million professors in the nation.  Professor Bishop teaches "Cultural Foundations" and received LSP's Students Teaching Excellence Award in 2008.

Time magazine has named Professor Jay Rosen's Twitter feed to its list of the 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012.  The magazine writes that Rosen, associate professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, is "the professor every college student in the country wishes they had.  He understands that a digital revolution is striking all industries, not just journalism, and his ideas of where these trends will take us (are) fascinating."

Herschel Garfein, adjunct professor in the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, has won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for his opera "Elmer Gantry."  The album also won the Grammy for Best Engineered Classical Recording.

Larry Wolff, professor in the Department of History and director of the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies, has been awarded the 2012 Karl von Vogelsang State Prize for History for his book The Idea of Galicia: History and Fantasy in Habsburg Political Culture.  Awarded bi-yearly by the Austrian government, the prize was awarded in Vienna in April.

Robert Froemke, Pierre Germain, and Virgiliu Midrigan have been awarded Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  Froemke is an assistant professor in the Departments of Otolaryngology, Physiology, and Neuroscience at NYU Langone Medical Center; Germain is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences; and Midrigan is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Science.  Sloan Research Felllowships are awarded to early-career scientists and scholars who are usually no more than six years from completion of the Ph.D. or equivalent.

Zlatko Bacic and Michael Ward, from the Department of Chemistry, have been named 2011 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Bacic, who does work in theoretical and computational chemistry, was recognized “for distinguished contributions” in creating computer models of how small molecules interact. Ward, who chairs the Department of Chemistry and directs its Molecular Design Institute, was cited “for distinguished contributions to solid state chemistry and materials science, service as an editor of Chemistry of Materials, and director of two NSF-supported research centers.”

Myles Jackson, professor of the history of science at the Gallatin School for Individualized Study and the Dibner Family Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at NYU-Poly, has been elected as a foreign member of the German National Academy of Sciences. Established in 1652, the Academy’s members have included Goethe, Darwin, Einstein, and more than 100 Nobel Laureates. Professor Jackson’s research interests include the history of 18th- and 19th-century German physics, and he spent the summer of 2011 in Germany under a Humboldt Fellowship.

Tara Cortes, Executive Director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing and professor of Geriatric Nursing in the College of Nursing, has been named one of the New York Women’s Agenda (NYWA) 2011 STARS, leaders recognized for dedicating their time and energy to enrich and enhance New York City’s community of women and families.  One of four STARS named this year, Professor Cortes was honored for exemplifying the qualities embodied in NYWA’s mission to advocate and collaborate for the interests of New York women in public policy decisions.

Khalid Latif, University Chaplain and Executive Director of NYU’s Islamic Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the Wagner School, was named to the Christian Science Monitor’s “30 Under 30” list, a profile of young leaders with “trenchant suggestions on how to improve the world.” In his profile, Khalid is recognized for being “known as an advocate for a pluralistic and inclusive American Muslim community and a leader with an unusual ability to bridge religious and cultural differences.” In addition to his roles at NYU, Khalid serves as the chaplain of the New York City Police Department, having become the youngest chaplain in the Department’s history when he assumed the post in 2007.

Catharine Stimpson, University Professor and Dean Emerita of the Graduate School of Arts and Science, received the March Award for “Distinguished Service to the Profession” at the Modern Language Association’s annual meeting in January 2012. The award is named after Francis Andrew March, who was the first professor of English in the United States. Professor Stimpson is also affiliated with the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy.

Edward Fisher, the Leon H. Charney Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the School of Medicine, recently completed a term as the 2010-11 Eastman Professor at Oxford University. Established in 1929 by George Eastman, the Eastman Professorship funds a visiting appointment for one year by a senior American scholar of the highest distinction. Past Eastman Professors have included Felix Frankfurter, George F. Kennan, and Lionel Trilling. Professor Fisher also directs NYU’s Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and the Marc and Ruti Bell Program in Vascular Biology.

Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development was included on Forbes’ list of “The World’s 7 Most Powerful Foodies,” compiled by journalist and activist Michael Pollan. Professor Nestle came in second after First Lady Michelle Obama.

Stephen Cohen, professor in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, has been awarded the 2011 Liberty Prize in recognition of his contributions to developing cultural ties between the United States and Russia. Professor Cohen’s research focuses on Russian politics and history since 1917, U.S.-Soviet/Russian relations, and American media coverage of the Soviet Union. The Liberty Prize, sponsored by the Washington-based organization Russia House, the publishing house Kontinent, and the American University in Moscow, recognizes people who have made an outstanding contribution to Russian-American culture.

John Conklin, adjunct teacher in the Department of Design for Stage & Film at the Tisch School of the Arts, has received a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors. He is one of four recipients of this year’s Opera Honors, the highest award the United States bestows in opera. One of the principal figures in American stage design, Conklin’s set and costume designs are seen in opera houses, theaters, and ballet companies around the world.

Dafnis Prieto, adjunct instructor in the Department of Music and Performing Arts at Steinhardt, was named a 2011 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. A jazz percussionist and composer, he was cited for “infusing Latin jazz with bold new energy and sound, dazzling technical abilities, and rhythmically adventurous compositions.” MacArthur Fellows receive $500,000 in unrestricted support over five years.

Red Burns, Professor, Chief Collaborations Officer, and founder of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, has been awarded a Special Achievement Webby Award by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Professor Burns was honored for her influential role as founder of ITP, as a pioneer in the interactive media world, and as a researcher, educator, and visionary. The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.

Mikhail Gromov, the Jay Gould Professor of Mathematics at the Courant Institute, has been elected as a foreign member to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, whose members have included Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. In its announcement of Professor Gromov’s election, the Society said that he “ranks among the most deeply original mathematicians of our time.”

The American Philosophical Society has awarded Joseph LeDoux, University Professor in the Center for Neural Science and the Department of Psychology, its 2011 Karl Spencer Lashley Award in recognition of his “seminal studies of the neural mechanisms of emotional learning, particularly fear learning, and fear memory.” The Lashley Award recognizes work in the area of integrative neuroscience, which explores how brain systems give rise to behavior.

Mitchell Moss, Professor and Director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, has been named to the MTA Search Advisory Committee. Newly created by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Committee will assist in recommending and evaluating candidates for the next chairman and CEO of the MTA. NYU Board of Trustees member Bill Rudin was also named to the Committee.

Haitian President Michel Martelly has appointed James Stuckey, Divisional Dean for the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, to the Presidential Advisory Council on Economic Growth and Investment. The council, which is co-chaired by Bill Clinton, will be made up of 32 political and business leaders from around the world. Professor Stuckey has been actively involved in Haiti’s reconstruction efforts after the 2010 earthquake and teaches a course in post-catastrophe reconstruction at the Schack Institute.

Evan Korth, Clinical Associate Professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and Bruce Niswander, head of innovation at NYU-Poly, have been named by Crain’s New York Business as “People to Watch in Silicon Alley.” Professor Korth was named for his work as a co-founder of, a non-profit that connects New York City students with local startups through a summer internship program. Bruce Niswander directs three of NYU-Poly’s business incubators, providing space, advice, and student interns to new companies.

College of Nursing associate professor Nancy Van Devanter has been selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, one of the most prestigious honors in the field of nursing. Her research focuses on behavioral intervention, with a particular interest in working with individuals living with or at risk for HIV. College of Nursing alumna Kathleen Hickey, an assistant professor of nursing at Columbia University, was also chosen as an AAN Fellow.

Jane Burbank and Fred Cooper, both professors in the Department of History, have been awarded the 2011 World History Association Book Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of world history. In their book, Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference, Professors Burbank and Cooper depart from conventional nation-centered perspectives and examine how empires relied on diversity to shape the global order.

Cristina Beltrán, who joined the NYU faculty as an associate professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis in September, has been awarded the 2011 Ralph Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association for her book, The Trouble with Unity: Latino Politics and the Creation of Identity. The Ralph Bunche Award is given annually for the best scholarly work in political science that explores the phenomenon of ethnic and cultural pluralism.

Shondel Nero, associate professor of teaching and learning and director of Steinhardt’s program in multilingual multicultural studies, was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Jamaica for the 2011-12 academic year.  Professor Nero, whose research examines the politics, challenges, and strategies of educating second dialect speakers, will be teaching a graduate course at the University of the West Indies and conducting ethnographic research in three Jamaican public schools on how the implementation of language education policy affects academic performance in Jamaican Creole English speakers.