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2020 Faculty Honors and Awards

Arts and Sciences faculty members are leaders in their fields

Faculty Honors Awards 2020 1x2

Congratulations to our outstanding faculty! Below you can see the national and international honors and fellowships awarded to faculty across the disciplines of our school.

Do you have an award or good news to share? Please let us know:

Ousseina Alidou (African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures) was part of the collaborative group that secured the US Department of Education and Cultural Affairs Award for Rutgers to host the 2020 Mandela Washington Young African Leaders Institute Civic Engagement.

Eddy Arnold (Chemistry and Chemical Biology) has been awarded the 2021 Antonin Holy Award from the International Society for Antiviral Research. This award, named after the late anti-HIV drug inventor Antonin Holy, recognizes a senior chemist of international stature who is an outstanding contributor to the field of medicinal chemistry and has made significant contributions that advanced the field of antiviral drug discovery.

Andrea Baldi (Italian) received the Cavaliere Coccia, Jr. Heritage, Language and Culture Award on November 9, 2019, by UNICO National, during their Eastern Regional Meeting. In his address to its members, he discussed the current state of Italian Studies.

Nicola Behrmann, (German, Russian, and East European Languages and Literatures) who has been awarded the 2019 German Studies Association/DAAD Award for Best Book in Germanistik/Cultural Studies for her monograph Geburt der Avantgarde – Emmy Hennings (Wallstein Verlag, 2018).

Blakesley Burkhart (Physics and Astronomy) was named a 2020 Packard Fellow and was awarded a 2021 Sloan Fellowship.

Nicole Burrowes (History) was awarded a 2020 Career Enhancement Fellowship with the Woodrow Wilson Research Foundation and a 2020-21 Fellowship with the American Council of Learned Societies co-authored chapter in the book, Understanding and Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, and the book was awarded the American Historical Association’s 2020 James Harvey Robinson prize.

Sylvia Chan-Malik (American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) was awarded the 2019 Shaikh Nafea Muhaimin Award for Academic Excellence by the Quba Institute, the oldest African American Muslim school in Philadelphia, and her book, Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam, was named a 2018 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine. In spring 2021, she is a Visiting Associate Professor and Anchutz Distinguished Fellowship in American Studies, Princeton University.

Young-mee Cho, (Asian Languages and Cultures) associate professor of Korean linguistics, was the recipient of the 2020 “Excellent Scholarly Publication Award" for her co-edited volume Korean Photographs in the William Elliot Griffis Collection (2019), given by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Republic of Korea.

James Delbourgo's (History) book Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum (Penguin and Harvard) has won the Hughes Prize of the British Society for the History of Science, for the best book in the history of science written for a general international public readership.

Omar Dewachi (Anthropology) was presented with the prestigious New Millennium Book Award for his book, Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq (SUP 2017). This award, sponsored by the Society for Medical Anthropology, is given biannually to "the author whose work is judged to be the most significant and potentially influential contribution to medical anthropology. Books of exceptional courage and potential impact beyond the field will be given special consideration.”

Erica Dunbar (History) with collaborator Kathleen Van Cleve has won the New York Historical Society's Children's History Book Prize for Never Caught: The Story of Ona Judge, their adaptation of Erica's prize-winning Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (2017).

Noura Erakat (Criminal Justice) won a Bronze Medal, Current Events I (Political/Economic/Current Affairs), Independent Publishers Book Awards for her book Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.

Lynn Festa (English) won the Kenshur Prize from the Bloomington Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies for her book, Fiction Without Humanity Person, Animal, Thing in Early Enlightenment Literature and Culture (University of Pennsylvania Press) and the 51st annual James Russell Lowell Prize, the very top prize for literary studies, all fields and all languages, given by the Modern Language Association, representing 21,000 members.

Nicole Fleetwood (American Studies and Art History) is a finalist for the National Book Critics Award in Criticism for Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. She has also curated a stirring 44-artist show at the reopened MoMA PS1 and the catalogue of the exhibit she created at the Museum of Modern Arts was named was described in the New York Times as one of the "Best Art Books of 2020" and as one of “the most important moments in art in 2020.”

Marisa Fuentes (History) has been awarded a Sabbatical Fellowship from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and a Library Company of Philadelphia NEH Fellowship.

Yuri Gershtein (Physics and Astronomy) has been named a Senior LHC Physics Center Distinguished Researcher for 2020.

Kristjan Haule (Physics and Astronomy) is one of only eight individuals around the country receiving a 2020 Simons Fellowship in the field of Theoretical Physics.

Jack Hughes (Physics and Astronomy) has been elected a 2021 Fellow of the American Astronomical Society.

Olabode Ibironke (English) awarded an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars for residence at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress during academic year 2020-2021.

Chie Ikeya (History) has been awarded a competitive fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities for her research project, “The History and Politics of Intimacy in Colonial and Postcolonial Southeast Asia, 1850-1950.”

Ken Irvine (Molecular Biology and Biochemistry) was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Samantha Kelly (History) has been awarded a year-long fellowship at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for 2020-21.

Suzy Kim, (Asian Languages and Cultures) associate professor of Korean history, was recipient of a Senior Core Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 2020, and was recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship 2020-21 for her research project “Women Behind the Iron Curtain: A Cultural History of North Korea during the Cold War.” She is based at Yonsei University in Seoul through August 2021.

Gabriel Kotliar (Physics and Astronomy) was awarded the 2020 Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics and received a Carl Friedrich von Siemens Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Alex Kontorovich (Mathematics) is the 2020–2021 Distinguished Professor for the Public Dissemination of Mathematics at the National Museum of Mathematics.

Joel Lebowitz (Physics and Astronomy) has been selected to receive the 2021 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics of the American Physical Society.

Norah MacKendrick (Sociology) won the 2020 Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award for her book entitled Better Safe than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics (University of California Press) from the American Sociological Association

Maya Mikdashi (Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) was awarded with the Lebanese American University International Communication Arts Alumni Award for 2018-2019. Dr. Mikdashi was selected for this award by her alma mater in Beirut, Lebanon, and accepted the award in April 2019.

Konstantin Mischaikow (Mathematics) has been awarded a Simons Fellowship for 2021.

Jennifer Mittelstadt (History) was awarded a fellowship from The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library for 2020-2021. At the Cullman Center, she will work on Private Wars: The Global Politics of the Grassroots Right a book exploring how everyday Americans on the right imagined and participated in global affairs in the twentieth century.

Greg Moore (Physics and Astronomy) was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society by the Division of Particles and Fields.

Andy Mastbaum (Physics and Astronomy) has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. The NSF CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of 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.

Kristin O'Brassill-Kulfan (History) has received the New Jersey Historical Commission's Award of Recognition for her contributions to the study of New Jersey state history.

Jed Pixley (Physics and Astronomy) has received a 2021 Sloan Fellowship and also been named a recipient of an Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigators Research Program (YIP) Award and an NSF CAREER Award.

Leah Price (English) received the 2020 PBK Christian Gauss Award for best book of literary criticism for What We Talk About When We Talk About Books (Basic Books, 2019, Ukrainian translation, 2020).

Michal Raucher (Jewish Studies) was awarded an Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) Women’s Caucus Cashmere Subvention Award for her book Conceiving Authority: Reproductive Agency among Haredi Women in Jerusalem, Indiana University Press.

Gary A. Rendsburg (Jewish Studies) has been awarded a 10-week Getty Residential Scholar Grant at the Getty Villa, Los Angeles, in Spring 2022 (mid-April through end of June). The theme for the year is "Phoenicians, Philistines, and Canaanites: The Levant and the Classical World." His specific research project is entitled "The Spread of Phoenician Writing Culture to Ancient Greece."

Trinidad Rico (Art History) was awarded the ACLS Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars for 2020-21 residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) of Stanford University.

Susanna Schellenberg (Philosophy) has received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for 2021 to conduct research and writing leading to publication of a book on the nature of perception based on current neuroscience for "The Neural Basis of Perception: Discrimination, Information-Processing, and Biases."

Tatiana Seijas (History) is a Bill and Rita Clements Senior Research Fellow, William P. Clements Center, Southern Methodist University, summer 2020.

Nancy Sinkoff’s (History and Jewish Studies) book, From Left to Right: Lucy S. Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Politics of Jewish History (Wayne State UP, 2020) has won a 2020 National Jewish Book Award in the category of biography and was named a Natan Notable Book from Natan Fund and Jewish Book Council in fall 2020. In addition, her co-edited collection Sara Levy's World: Gender, Judaism, and the Bach Tradition in Enlightenment Berlin has won the Book Prize from the Jewish Studies and Music Study Group of the American Musicological Society.

Weijie Song, (Asian Languages and Cultures) associate professor of Chinese literature, was awarded a 2019-2020 research grant from the One Asia Foundation to offer a new split-level seminar “Interdisciplinary Topics in East Asia: Understanding Asian Community” and organize related guest lectures and academic events.

Kevin St. Martin (Geography) is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC Fellow), The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2020-2021.

Judith Surkis’s (History) book, Sex, Law, and Sovereignty in French Algeria, 1830-1930 (Cornell, 2019) received the Association for Middle East Women's Studies 2020 book prize.

Camilla Townsend’s (History) Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs (Oxford University Press, December 2019) received the Cundill Prize. The Cundill History Prize recognizes and rewards the best history writing in English. It is awarded annually to the book that embodies historical scholarship, originality, literary quality, and broad appeal.

Cheryl Wall (English) has been posthumously awarded the Hubbell Medal by the American Literature Society, a lifetime achievement award given by the American Literature section of the Modern Language Association.

Dean Zimmerman (Philosophy) has been awarded a $1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation for a project called “Science-Engaged Philosophical Theology: God, Time, and Creation.” The grant will support two summer seminars for established senior and junior scholars specializing in philosophy of religion; and two postdoctoral fellows in the Rutgers Center for the Philosophy of Religion.

This awards list is compiled from the Faculty Achievement Reports submitted twice a year by departments.  News to be added to this page can be sent to


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