Two Silver School of Social Work Faculty Appointed by National Academy

Two members of the faculty at the Silver School of Social Work have received appointments by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, a national organization formed in 2009 to recognize outstanding social work scholars and practitioners.

Professor Deborah Padgett has been named to the academy’s board, while Mary McKay, the McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies at the Silver School, has been selected as an academy Fellow.

Padgett is internationally known for her advocacy and practice of qualitative and mixed methods research. She has published extensively on mental health needs and service use of the homeless mentally ill, older women, ethnic groups, and children and adolescents. In 2011, she was one of 11 Fellows inducted into the academy.

McKay, who is director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, is a renowned specialist on families in poverty and positive youth development. She joined the Silver School in 2011, and previously served as the head of the Division of Mental Health Services Research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.


Courant, Poly Faculty Named American Mathematical Society Fellows

The American Mathematical Society (AMS) has named 25 faculty or emeritus faculty from NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Polytechnic Institute of NYU as AMS Fellows for 2013, the program’s initial year.

“The Fellows [are] members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics,” the organization said in its announcement. “Among the goals of the program are to create an enlarged class of mathematicians recognized by their peers as distinguished for their contributions to the profession and to honor excellence.”

The AMS Fellows from Courant are NYU Provost David McLaughlin, Sylvain Cappell, Jeff Cheeger, Martin Davis, Percy Deift, Harold Edwards, Robert Kohn, Andrew Majda, Henry McKean, Jr., Cathleen Synge Morawetz, Assaf Naor, Charles Newman, Louis Nirenberg, Charles Peskin, Ricky Pollack, Joel Spencer, Jean Taylor, Yuri Tschinkel, Srinivasa Varadhan, and Margaret Wright.

The AMS Fellows from NYU-Poly are Erwin Lutwak, Lesley Sibner, Deane Yang, Yisong Yang, and Gaoyong Zhang.


Four NYU Faculty Named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has awarded four NYU professors the distinction of AAAS Fellow: Jane Carlton, a professor of biology; Nicholas Geacintov, a professor of chemistry; Laurence Maloney, a professor of psychology and neural science; and Xiao-Jing Wang, a professor of neural science. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Carlton, who has appointments in NYU’s Department of Biology and in the NYU School of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, was recognized for “distinguished contributions to the field of genomics, particularly for the sequencing and analysis of eukaryotic parasites, which have significant impacts on human health.”

Geacintov, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and an adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, was selected for “distinguished contributions to the field of chemical carcinogenesis and elucidation of structural features of DNA lesions that govern their removal by DNA repair mechanisms.”

Maloney, who holds appointments in the Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, was chosen for “distinguished contributions to studies of visual perception, motor control, and decision making using quantitative models that reveal the complexity and elegance of human performance.”

Wang, who was recently named provost of NYU Shanghai, joined NYU’s Center for Neural Science from Yale University. He was recognized for “distinguished contributions to our understanding of the neural processes underlying short-term memory and decision-making, and for outstanding contributions to theoretical neuroscience in general.”


Department of Psychology’s Tessa West Wins ‘Theoretical Innovation Prize’

Tessa West, an assistant professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Theoretical Innovation Prize, given by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

West will receive the award at the society’s annual meeting this January in New Orleans. She shares the prize with the University of Connecticut’s David Kenny for their co-authored 2011 Psychological Review article, “The Truth and Bias Model of Judgment,” which draws from multiple domains of psychological theory to create a framework for the study of accuracy and bias.

West’s research examines how the processes of social perception function in same- and cross-group interactions, with a specific focus on relations between whites and racial and ethnic minorities. She is currently developing methods to improve communication between whites and ethnic minorities both in the laboratory and in daily interactions between college roommates.


Wagner School of Public Service Professors Irshad Manji and Beth Simone Noveck Receive Honors

Two Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service professors drew special recognition in November for  their work in public service.

Author and activist Irshad Manji, who teaches at Wagner, was presented Nov. 11 with the Ethical Humanist Award, the New York Society for Ethical Culture’s highest honor. The award was established in 1970 to honor individuals who have acted with exceptional moral courage, and has been presented just 16 times since then.

Manji is founder and director of the Moral Courage Project. Housed at Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action, the project works to enable people to become empowered global citizens by speaking up in the face of intimidation. Manji’s latest book, Allah, Liberty, and Love, is a guide to reconciling faith and freedom in a world rife with repressive dogmas.

On Nov. 29, Wagner visiting professor Beth Simone Noveck was honored at a gala in Washington, D.C. as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2012,” and is featured in the publication’s December issue. Her book, Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful, has been translated into Russian, Arabic, and Chinese.

Noveck served in the White House as the first U.S. deputy chief technology officer and as founder and director of the White House Open Government Initiative from 2009-11. She has served as an advisor to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron on technology in the public sector. She also served on the 2008 Obama-Biden transition team and was a volunteer advisor to the Obama for America campaign on issues of technology, innovation, and government reform. A visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab, Noveck is on leave as professor of law and founder of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School.

-— Robert Polner


Psychology’s Amodio Receives McGuigan Early Career Investigator Prize

David Amodio, an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, was named the 2012 recipient of the F. J. McGuigan Early Career Investigator Research Prize on Understanding the Human Mind.

The prize, sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation, provides the recipient with $25,000 in research funds. It is given biennially to an early-career psychologist engaged in research that seeks to understand the human mind from a primarily psychophysiological perspective.

Amodio’s research examines the psychological mechanisms of social behavior and self-regulation, drawing ideas and methods from experimental social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Much of his work has addressed the process through which social biases, such as prejudices and stereotypes, are expressed in behavior and the neurocognitive mechanisms through which such biases may be regulated. This work has helped to elucidate the role of the brain’s social prejudices and self-regulation. He has recently extended his research on self-regulation to address issues in health and economic domains. 

Amodio has previously won a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which identify outstanding scientists and engineers who will broadly advance science and the missions important to federal agencies, and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award—the most prestigious award given to junior faculty by the NSF.

The F. J. McGuigan Early Career Investigator Prize is funded by a bequest from Frank Joseph McGuigan (1924-1998), an experimental psychologist known for his work in psychophysiology, cognition, and stress. 


NYU’s Kleban Wins Grant in ‘New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology’ Competition

NYU physicist Matthew Kleban won a $175,000 grant in the “New Frontiers in Astronomy and Cosmology” competition to explore cosmic bubble collisions, whose existence would reveal that our universe is part of a smaller whole.

The international competition, supported by a grant from the Templeton Foundation, seeks to encourage scientists and students to explore fundamental questions in astronomy and cosmology that engage groundbreaking ideas on the nature of the universe.

Current theories of the origin of our universe posit the existence of a huge multiverse containing many bubble universes. These bubbles collide, and collisions with our own bubble produce “cosmic wakes” that travel across our universe, affecting the structure of matter. The detection of such a collision would be a transformative discovery, revolutionizing our understanding of the universe by revealing that it is only a tiny part of a vastly larger multiverse populated by bubbles.

Under the grant, Kleban and his research team will extend and sharpen our knowledge of the effects of bubble collisions in the universe and seek answers to fundamental physical questions, such as the existence of a multiverse and the nature of the Big Bang.

Kleban is an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Physics and part of the university’s Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics. His research focuses on the intersection of string theory, cosmology, and particle physics. He is a previous winner of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and has recently received a three-year, $240,000 NSF grant to continue his study of the physics of black holes and cosmological horizons.

— James Devitt



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