The Carl Sagan Medal, a scholarship from the National Endowment for the Humanities and a Fulbright first for Columbia Nursing

Colombia News produces a bi-weekly newsletter (subscribe here!) and a series of articles featuring a roundup of awards and milestones Columbia faculty, staff, and students have received in recent days. In this edition, you will find rewards and milestones from August 12 to September 7, 2022.

Do you have an award or milestone that you would like to see featured in the newsletter or online article? Please send an e-mail to [email protected]. Note that we will air this series every two weeks.

You can take a look at past achievements on our Awards and Milestones page. And you can sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox.


Alison Solomon, a journalism professor and director of the Arts Concentration of the MA Journalism program, has received a $60,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her project “St. Vincent’s Hospital in the ‘Plague Years.’ Columbia University administrators received a $247,399 grant from the NEH Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities for the “Archives as Data” project, led by Matthew Connellyhistory teacher and Courtney Chartierdirector of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia Libraries.


Partha ChatterjeeProfessor Emeritus of Anthropology and Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, received the Grain of Sand Award for 2022 from the American Political Science Association.

Kevin Felleszassociate professor of music, ethnomusicology, and African American and African Diaspora studies, is the new director of the Center for Jazz Studies.

President Biden appointed Jim NealUniversity Librarian Emeritus, National Museum and Library Services Board.

Joseph SlaughterProfessor of English and Comparative Literature, was appointed as the new Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights.


Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics Professor Daniel Bienstock was awarded the 2022 Khachiyan Prize for fundamental methodological and computational contributions to optimization, with a focus on very large-scale, non-convex, and discrete optimization problems.

The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) has announced Dr. X. Edward Guo, Stanley Dicker Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Medical Sciences, will receive the 2022 Adele L Boskey Esteemed Award for Bone and Mineral Research. The award recognizes an ASBMR member for outstanding and major scientific contributions, leadership and mentorship in the field of bone and mineral research, particularly in the areas of mineralization mechanisms, bone minerals, bone quality and mechanobiology.


Adriana ArciaPhD, Associate Professor of Nursing; Karol DiBelloDNP, Associate Professor of Nursing; Dallas DucarMS, part-time teacher; Maribeth MassieMS ’98, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nursing; Marlene McHughDNP ’08, associate professor of nursing; Mary MoranMS ’08, clinical nursing instructor; Ronica Mukerjee, MS ’08, DNP, Assistant Professor of Nursing; and Maxim Topaz, PhD, associate professor of nursing, and six Columbia Nursing alumni will be named American Academy of Nursing Fellows. New Fellows will be recognized for their significant contributions to health and health care at the Academy’s annual health policy conference in October.

Stanley Chang, Professor of Ophthalmology KK Tse and Ku Teh Ying, was awarded the Gonin Medal, an international honor given to an ophthalmologist every four years by the International Council of Ophthalmology. Named in honor of Swiss ophthalmologist Jules Gonin, MD, a pioneer in retinal detachment surgery, the medal represents the highest achievement in ophthalmology, equivalent to the Nobel Prize in the field.

Crain’s New York Business recognized Dean Fried Linda from the Mailman School of Public Health as a 2022 Notable Leader in Healthcare for significant leadership achievements and for demonstrating strong mentorship and broad community involvement. Crain’s also acknowledged JUdy HonigVice Dean of Academics and Dean of Students at Columbia Nursing and Assistant Professor Natalia Cinemas as notable healthcare leaders.

Caleb Scharf, a senior scientist at the Columbia Climate School and director of astrobiology at Columbia, won the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Science Communication. The prize, awarded by the American Astronomical Society, recognizes astronomers for their work in communicating with the public.

Rachel Shelton, an associate professor of sociomedical sciences (SMS), has agreed to serve as SMS’s new vice president for faculty development and research strategy. She will fill this key leadership role with a focus on developing research programs among our young faculty.


Michel GerardAndrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School and Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, was named the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Law Review.


Sasha Wells (TC’18), a longtime Columbia College employee with decades of nonprofit experience, has been named executive director of the Roger Lehecka Double Discovery Center. The Center’s mission is to increase the high school graduation rates – as well as the university enrollment and graduation rates – of low-income and first-generation youth attending the University of public schools in Harlem and Washington Heights.


Kylie Dougherty, who began her doctorate at Columbia Nursing in the fall of 2021, became the nursing school’s first current doctoral student to receive a Fulbright. Dougherty will travel to Ethiopia to work on an innovative IT project that aims to improve maternal and child health by helping facilities better prepare for obstetric emergencies.

The Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Dental Medicine and the Vagelos Physical Therapy Program have held White Coat Ceremonies, annual welcoming events where new medical students are dressed in white coats by faculty to the first time.

Peter McKenzie (JRN’23) won three 2022 Voyager Media Awards for Best Feature Writing (Crime & Justice), Feature Film of the Year (Long-Form) and Junior Feature Film of the Year. Awarded since 1973, the awards celebrate excellence in New Zealand journalism.

The Columbia University Formula Racing (FSAE) team, a club that designs and builds a race car to compete in the Formula SAE competition held in Michigan this summer, has won General Motors’ “Everybody In” award. during the event. The award goes to the team that best reflects the company’s Everybody In campaign, which celebrates teams for “building a race car and an accessible, safe and inclusive team.” As part of their prize, GM will cover the group’s entry fee for next year’s competition.

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