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Johns Hopkins UniversityArts and Sciences Magazine

Faculty and Student Awards

Jonathan BaggerTwo faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Jonathan Bagger, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Physics and Astronomy, was elected for his contributions to the field of theoretical high-energy physics, and for his leadership of the U.S. high-energy physics community. Bagger has served on the National Research Council's Board on Physics and Astronomy and is vice chair of the Department of Energy/National Science Foundation High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. A vice provost for graduate and postdoctoral programs and special projects, Bagger is also a former chairman of the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Joining him in AAAS membership is Barbara Landau, the Dick and Lydia Todd Professor and chair of the Cognitive Science Department. Landau was elected for her pioneering work into the origins and nature of human language and its development under a variety of biology and environmental conditions. Her work focuses on language learning, spatial representation, and the relationships between those foundational systems of knowledge. She serves on the Board of Scientific Advisors for the American Psychological Association and the governing board of the Cognitive Science Society.

Charles L. Bennett, professor of physics and astronomy, has been chosen by the National Academy of Sciences as the winner of the 2009 Comstock Prize in Physics for his groundbreaking work in cosmology. As the leader of the NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) space mission, Bennett and his team made a precise determination of the age, composition, and curvature of the universe. The $20,000 Comstock Prize is awarded every five years to a resident of North America for a "recent innovative discovery or investigation in electricity, magnetism, or radiant energy, broadly interpreted."

Sharon Cameron, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English, has been awarded the 2008 Jay B. Hubbell Medal from the Modern Language Association's American Literature Section. The award is for lifetime achievement, recognizing Cameron's stature in the field; she has written seven influential books and been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ann Finkbeiner, a faculty member in the Writing Seminars, has won the 2008 Science Writing award in journalism from the American Institute of Physics for her book, The Jasons: The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite. The 2006 book profiles a secretive group of some of the country's smartest scientists who have met every summer for the last 45 years to work on classified problems for the U.S. government. She is currently working on a book about the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

Allan Grossman, Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emeritus of the Humanities, has been awarded the Bollingen Prize in American Poetry. Established by Paul Mellon in 1949, the $100,000 prize is awarded biennially by the Yale University Library to an American poet. The judges described Grossman as "a profoundly original American poet whose work embraces the co-existence of comedy and tragedy, exploring the intersection of high poetic style and an often startling vernacular." His most recent book, Descartes' Loneliness, they noted, "is a bold and haunting late meditation, comparable to Thomas Hardy's masterpiece, Winter Words."

Kenneth D. Karlin, Ira Remsen Professor of Chemistry, has received the American Chemical Society's (ACS) 2009F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry. Established in 2002, the Cotton Award recognizes those whose creativity and imagination have led them to make outstanding accomplishments in the field of synthetic inorganic chemistry. Karlin has also been chosen by the Sierra Nevada section of the ACS to receive the 2009 Sierra Nevada Distinguished Chemist Award, which has been awarded biennially since 1993 to researchers from physical, biophysical, and inorganic chemistry disciplines.

Stephen Nichols, the James M. Beall Professor of French and Humanities and former longtime chair of the German and Romance Languages and Literatures Department, has been elected the recipient of a Humboldt Research Award. The award is conferred on eminent foreign researchers by Germany's Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in recognition of lifetime achievement. Awardees are invited to carry out research projects of their choice in cooperation with specialist colleagues in Germany. Nichols will be hosted by the Free University in Berlin and based at the new Dahlem Humanities Center, where he will work on a book on the enigma and exasperation of laughter.

Kurt Herzer '09, profiled in the Fall 2008 Arts and Sciences Magazine, has won a Marshall Scholarship, with which he will enroll in Oxford University's Evidence-Based Social Intervention master's degree program within the Department of Social Policy and Social Work. The Marshall Scholarship will allow Herzer to continue his research in public health and patient safety. The prestigiousand highly competitive scholarship is one of 40 awarded nationwide this year; the scholarships are funded by the British government and provide scholars the opportunity to study at any British university, typically for two years. Herzer had more good news earlier this year: He was accepted into Johns Hopkins' Medical Scientist Training Program (a joint School of Medicine/Bloomberg School of Public Health program that results in an MD/PhD). He'll start his graduate career at Johns Hopkins—with a full scholarship—when he returns from England.