Women in Academia Who Have Received Notable Honors or Awards

Ester Kwon, an assistant professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, has received a 2018 National Health Institute Director’s New Innovator Award. She has been awarded this honor from the NIH to develop new materials to treat traumatic brain injury, an injury that currently has few treatment options. She believes that the nanomedicine approach she will use for this project has the potential to treat other brain diseases as well. Dr. Kwon holds a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering and a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Washington.

Joan Broderick, head of the department of chemistry and biochemistry at Montana State University, has won the 2019 Alfred Bader Award in Bioinorganic or Bioorganic Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. The annual award honors a scientist for outstanding research accomplishments at the interface of biology and organic or inorganic chemistry. Dr. Broderick’s research focuses on radical SAM enzymes and biological metal cluster assembly in hydrogenases. She holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Elizabeth Bird, professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida, has received the Oral History Association’s 2018 Book Award along with her co-author Fraser Ottanelli for their book, The Asaba Massacre: Trauma, Memory, and the Nigerian Civil War (Cambridge University Press, 2017). The work details the mass killing of hundreds of civilians by soldiers of the Nigerian government during the 1967-70 civil war involving the secession of Biafra. Dr. Bird holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, a master’s degree in folk life studies from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom.

Arielle Saiber, professor of romance languages and literatures at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, has received “The Bridge” book award for her latest book, Measured Words: Computation and Writing in Renaissance Italy (University of Toronto Press, 2017), which analyzes the work of four Renaissance writer-scholars and connects Italian and American cultures. The prize includes free translation costs so the book can also be published in Italian. Dr. Saiber holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and cognitive science from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Ph.D. in Italian literature from Yale University.

Amy Leventer, the Orville Whitnall Professor of geology at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, has received the 2018 Goldthwait Polar Medal from the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. She is recognized for her distinguished record of scholarship and service in polar science. Dr. Leventer conducts research in marine geology, biological oceanography, and paleoclimatology. Dr. Leventer holds a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, a master’s degree in marine science from the University of South Carolina, and a Ph.D. in geology from Rice University in Houston.

Susan Vick, recently retired director of the drama and theatre programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, has received the 2018 Leonidas A. Nickole Award from the New England Theatre Conference. The award is given annually for outstanding teaching in the field of drama. Dr. Vick spent 37 years at WPI and served as a professor of drama and theatre in addition to her role as director. She is a graduate of Catawaba College in Salisbury, North Carolina, and later went on to be the first woman to earn a master of fine arts degree in directing from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Illinois.

Raina Robeva, professor of mathematical sciences at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, is the recipient of the 2018 Intercollegiate Biomathematics Alliance Distinguished Fellowship. The fellowship honors scholars who have made significant contributions to mathematical biology through scientific research and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and mentorship to future scholars in the field. Dr. Robeva’s research focuses on systems biology, random processes and fields, and mathematical modeling for biology and the biomedical sciences. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in probability and statistics from the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Virginia.

Carolyn Copenheaver, associate professor of forest ecology at the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech, has received the 2018 Carl Alwin Schenck Award from the Society of American Foresters. The award is given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates exceptional devotion to the instruction of forestry and to the development of teaching methods that impart knowledge of forestry through dynamic communication skills. Dr. Copenheaver is the first woman to receive this honor in its 30-year history. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Juniata College in Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

Laura Dassow Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, is the recipient of the 2018 Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa for her biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life (University of Chicago Press, 2017). The award-winning book was published to coincide with Thoreau’s 200th birthday and sold out before its publication date. It is the first comprehensive biography of Thoreau since 1965 and it has been praised for it nuanced portrayal of its subject and its compelling narrative. Dr. Walls holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Dorothy Fragaszy, professor of psychology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia, has received the Distinguished Primatologist Award from the American Society of Primatologists. The award is given annually to one primatologist who has had an outstanding career and made significant contributions to the field.  Dr. Fragaszy holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis.

Liz Davey, director of the Office of Sustainability at Tulane University in New Orleans, has received the Campus Sustainability Research Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The award is given to honor institutions and individuals that are helping to lead higher education to a sustainable future. Dr. Davey is honored for her article “Recapturing the Learning Opportunities of University Sustainability Indicators,” which focuses on how reconfiguring student involvement in university sustainability assessments and reporting can create essential learning opportunities. Dr. Davey holds a Ph.D. in English.

Yabing Chen, professor of pathology at the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine and research career scientist at the Birmingham VA Medical Center, has received a 2018 “best paper” award from the Science Unbound Foundation. She was honored for her paper, “Dietary Potassium Regulates Vascular Calcification and Arterial Stiffness.” Dr. Chen holds a bachelor’s degree from Fudan University in China and a Ph.D. from Xiamen University in China.

Gay Stewart, the Eberly Distinguished Professor of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in the physics and astronomy department and director of the Center for Excellence in STEM Education at West Virginia University, has received the Hans Christian Oersted Medal from the American Association of Physics Teachers. The annual award recognizes an individual who has an outstanding, widespread, and lasting impact on the teaching of physics. Dr. Stewart holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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