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John Harvard's Journal

University People

July-August 2019

National Academicians


David Laibson
Courtesy of David Laibson

In a year in which 40 percent of its newly elected members were women, a new high, the National Academy of Sciences announced 100 new members, including nine Harvard professors: Joanna Aizenberg, Berylson professor of materials science and professor of chemistry and chemical biology; Cynthia M. Friend, Richards professor of chemistry and professor of materials science; Daniel Kahne, Higgins professor of chemistry and chemical biology and of molecular and cellular biology; David I. Laibson, Goldman professor of economics; Matthew Rabin, Pershing Square professor of behavioral economics; Bernardo L. Sabatini, Moorhead professor of neurobiology; Zhigang Suo, Puckett professor of mechanics and materials; David R. Williams, Norman professor of public health and professor of African and African American studies; and Amir Yacoby, professor of physics and of applied physics.

Peak Professors


Paola Arlotta
Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/HPAC

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has conferred Harvard College Professorships—its highest honor for undergraduate teaching and graduate education—on five faculty members; each bears that title for five years, and is awarded extra research support and a semester of paid leave or a summer salary. This year’s cohort includes Paola Arlotta, Golub Family professor of stem cell and regenerative biology (see “Probing Psychoses,” July-August 2017, page 40); Suzannah Clark, Knafel professor of music; Edward J. Hall, Vuilleumier professor of philosophy; Edward W. Kohler Jr., Microsoft professor of computer science; and Matthew K. Nock, Pierce professor of psychology (see “A Tragedy and a Mystery,” January-February 2011, page 32).

The Reverend Relocates


Jonathan L. Walton
Photograph by Jim Harrison

Rev. Jonathan L. Walton, Pusey minister in the Memorial Church and Plummer professor of Christian morals since mid 2012, has boomed out his last Commencement benediction: Wake Forest announced in late April that he would become dean of its School of Divinity and Presidential Chair of religion and society, effective July 1.

Other Teaching Honorands


Ya-chieh Hsu
Courtesy of Ya-chieh Hsu

Winners of the Roslyn Abramson Award, for outstanding undergraduate teaching, include Ya-chieh Hsu, Star associate professor of stem cell and regenerative biology, and Durba Mitra, assistant professor of studies of women, gender, and sexuality (see Harvard Portrait, September-October 2018, page 17). The Undergraduate Council conferred its Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize on three esteemed instructors (Jais Brohinsky, teaching assistant in education; Andrew W. Murray, Smith professor of molecular genetics; and Daniel Shapiro, associate professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School) and its Marquand Prize for exceptional advising on four counselors (Yanina Barrera, resident tutor in Lowell House; Tycie Coppett, proctor; Maximilian Kasy, associate professor of economics; and Irene Pepperberg, research associate). And the Graduate Student Council weighed in with its Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award, recognizing six advisers (Finale Doshi-Velez, assistant professor of computer science; Alison Johnson, professor of history and of Germanic languages and literatures; Luke Miratrix, assistant professor of education; Venkatesh Murthy, professor of molecular and cellular biology; Jesse Snedeker, professor of psychology; and Gabriela Soto Laveaga, professor of the history of science).

Prompting Policymaking


David Deming
Photograph by Kris Snibbe/HPAC

The Harvard Kennedy School has appointed three new faculty directors for the academic centers through which it conducts much of its research. Professor of public policy David Deming will lead the Wiener Center for Social Policy, succeeding Black professor of political economy David Ellwood. Visiting Murrow professor of practice of press, politics, and public policy Nancy Gibbs takes the helm of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, succeeding lecturer in public policy Nicco Mele. And Sumitomo-FASID professor of international finance and development Asim Ijaz Khwaja succeeds professor of the practice of economic development Ricardo Hausmann at the Center for International Development.

Memorable May Day


From right: Diana L. Eck and Dorothy A. Austin

Among those stepping back at the end of this academic year are Diana L. Eck, Wertham professor of law and psychiatry in society, and Dorothy A. Austin, who are retiring from their service as faculty deans of Lowell House since 1998. At Lowell’s May Day celebration, the intramural boat club dedicated their vessel to the beloved couple. After the formal Commencement hoopla in Tercentenary Theatre, they conferred diplomas for the last time in the courtyard of the renovated House (it reopens in August). Earlier that day, Eck had again co-anchored the Morning Exercises broadcast; she is deciding whether to relinquish that role next year.

Honor Roll I


Michèle Lamont
Courtesy of Michèle Lamont

The Carnegie Corporation granted fellowships, accompanied by up to $200,000 in research support, to Ackman professor of public economics Raj Chetty and Goldman professor of European studies and professor of sociology and of African and African American studies Michèle Lamont.…The Canada Gairdner Award, for transformational work in biomedicine and global health, has been conferred on Pershing Square professor of global health Vikram Patel, a mental-health specialist, and Latham Family professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology Timothy Springer, for work on the immune system; each laureate receives a $100,000 honorarium.

Guggenheims

Winners of Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowships include Kenan professor of English and of visual and environmental studies Marjorie Garber, associate professor of economics Matteo Maggiori, Thompson professor of government Richard Tuck, and writers Mark Danner ’80 (profiled in “Into the Inferno, with Notebook,” January-February 2005, page 25), and Seth Mnookin ’94.

Honor Roll II


Daniel P. Schrag
Courtesy of Daniel P. Schrag

Carol J. Oja
Photograph by Kris Snibbe/HPAC

Newly elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences include a dozen faculty members: Phillips professor of early American history Joyce E. Chaplin; Cox professor of law Jody Freeman; Krupp Foundation professor of European studies Peter A. Hall (author of “Anatomy of the Euro Crisis,” July-August 2013, page 24); Niebuhr professor of divinity Mark D. Jordan; Minot professor of medicine Barbara B. Kahn; McNeil Family professor of health care policy Ronald C. Kessler (see “Psychiatry by Prescription,” July-August 2006, page 38); professor of cell biology Danesh Moazed; Mason professor of music Carol J. Oja (author of “The Intoxication of Celebrity,” May-June 2014, page 67); Smith professor of physics Subir Sachdev; Hooper professor of geology and professor of environmental science and engineering Daniel P. Schrag (see “Fueling Our Future,” May-June 2006, page 40); Titcomb professor of African and African American studies and of philosophy Tommie Shelby; and professor of ophthalmology and of radiology Jeremy M. Wolfe.

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