Fall 2022 Accolades

December 2022


Director of the Human Rights Program Barb Frey was named one of Finance & Commerce's Minnesota Icons of 2022

Assistant Professor Pao Houa Her (Art) was recognized as the Star Tribune's Artist of the Year.

Publications & Creative Activities

Associate Professor Aren Z. Aizura (Gender, Women & Sexualiy Studies) co-edited the book Keywords for Gender and Sexuality Studies in 2021, a book that has since been named a 2022 Choice Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association. 

Associate Professor Samuel C. Fletcher (Philosophy) received the Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This fellowship will support collaborative research on the history and philosophy of Einstein's general theory of relativity at the University of Bonn.

Professor Josephine Lee (English, Asian American Studies) edited and led the production of a new book Milestones in Asian American Theatre. The book looks at historical events that have influenced Asian American lives and how that informs the theater they make.  

Fellowships & Grants

Congratulations to the following faculty who have been awarded funds through the university's Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program (GIA):

  • Professor Diti Bhadra (Linguistics), "An experimental investigation of the linguistic properties of clickbait"
  • Professor Lisa Channer (Theatre Arts & Dance), "Ukrainian Words Project - Phase I"
  • Professor Traci Mann (Psychology), "The relationship between body image and self-esteem in women throughout the lifespan"
  • Professor Michael Lower (History), "LowerHakoah Vienna: An All-Jewish Sports Club’s Story of War, Holocaust, and Defiance"
  • Professor Saje Mathieu (History), "Africa On The Rhine: German Scientific Experimentation on Black POWs During World War One"
  • Professor Eva von Dassow (Classical & Near Eastern Religions & Cultures), "Mapping the Ancient Near East"
  • Professor Christopher Pexa (American Indian Studies), "Remapping the Oyáte: Orature as Deep Mapping"
  • Professor Maria Nieves Colon (Anthropology), "Using ancient DNA to study the peopling of the Caribbean"

Director of Programs in Religious Studies Jeanne Kilde received a grant from the Imagine Fund for a project entitled, "Historic Artwork in a North Minneapolis Landmark; Or, How Zodiac Paintings in a Former Synagogue Bridged the Jewish and Black Communities."

November 2022


On November 3, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Program received the Association of Black Culture Centers Accreditation during the 32nd Annual Conference held at the University of New Mexico. The CLA MLK program is the first to receive the accreditation.

Publications & Creative Activities

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Wrigley-Field (Sociology) was the lead author of a paper that was just published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine that shows Black, Hispanic and Asian populations are significantly more likely to die of COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status at the population level. 

Professor John Robert Warren (Sociology) was a co-author of a study published in Science Advances showing an association between childhood lead exposure and lower cognitive functioning at older ages. The study also highlights that American children exposed to high levels of lead during the 1970s will enter older ages within the next ten years.

Associate Professor Elliott H. Powell's (American studies, Asian American studies) book Sounds From the Other Side has won this year's American Musical Society LGBTQ Study Group's Philip Brett Award. This award honors exceptional musicological work in the field of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transexual studies completed during the previous two calendar years in any country and in any language.

Assistant Professor Erin L. Durban (Anthropology) published The Sexual Politics of Empire: Postcolonial Homophobia in Haiti, which examines LGBTQI life in contemporary Haiti against the backdrop of American imperialism and intervention.

October 2022


Assistant Professor Gabriela Spears-Rico (Chicano & Latino studies, American Indian studies) has won an NDN Radical Imagination Grant, a $50,000 grant awarded to Indigenous artists/culture bearers who are committed to imagining justice, amplifying community voices, and proposing solutions to dismantle structural racism through art and creativity. Additionally, Spears-Rico was a finalist for the Bougainvillea poetry prize, awarded to a poetry collection that grapples with issues concerning the poor, workers, the underclass, financial insecurity, working conditions, inequity, precarity, and related concerns.

Professor M. Bianet Castellanos (American studies, American Indian studies) has won two awards for her book Indigenous Dispossession: Housing and Maya Indebtedness in Mexico; the Gregory Bateson Prize by the Society for Cultural Anthropology and the Arthur J. Rubel Book Prize by the Society of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. The Bateson Prize is given to the best interdisciplinary, innovative, and ethnographically-rich book(s) in cultural anthropology. The Rubel Prize is given to the best book on Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinx peoples. She also received the ATIG's Edward M. Bruner Prize for the best second book in the anthropology of tourism.

Professor Jean O'Brien (History) is the recipient of the 2022 Richard A. Yarborough Mentoring Award, awarded for her outstanding mentorship of Indigenous students, program-building to advance scholarship in Indigenous studies, and dedication to teaching.

Assistant Professor Melissa Polonenko (Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences) is one of the recipients of the 2022 Advancing Academic-Research Careers Award (AARC)  from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

Professor Paul Sackett (Psychology) has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington (PTCMW), an organization that seeks to advance the science and practice of I-O psychology and related fields.

Fellowships & Grants

Regents Professor Steven Ruggles (History) has been honored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as one of this year’s MacArthur Fellows in recognition for building the world's largest publicly available database of population statistics. Commonly known as the “genius grant”, the fellowship is regarded as one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for intellectual and artistic achievement. 

Assistant Professor Di Zhu (Geography, Environment, and Society) has received a grant from the Center for Urban & Regional Affairs entitled, “Sensing Geospatial Communities in Mobility Networks: How Human Movements Drive Dynamic Community Structures within the Twin Cities Metro Area.” This project will propose an integrated data-driven analytical framework to sense dynamic community structures within the Twin Cities metropolitan area from spatiotemporal human mobility networks.

September 2022


Curtis L. Carlson Professor of Economics Fatih Guvenen was elected as a Fellow of the Econometric Society which seeks the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. 

Professor Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch (Writing Studies) was recently announced as the winner of the 2022 Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication Distinguished Service award. The award recognizes long-standing CPTSC members who have made significant long-term contributions to programming in technical communication and who have established significant careers in programming, working both on the local and national levels.

Associate Professor Sid Bedingfield (Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication) received the 2022 Book of the Year Award at the 41st annual American Journalism Historians Association conference.

Publications & Creative Activities

Associate Professor Tony C. Brown (Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature), has published his second book with the University of Minnesota Press. Statelessness: On Almost Not Existing asserts that Europe first encountered mass statelessness neither inside its borders nor during the twentieth century, but in the New World, several hundred years earlier. 

Katherine E. Nash Gallery Director Howard Oransky and co-curator Herman J. Milligan, Jr.'s exhibition catalogue for A Picture Gallery of the Soul currently ranks #1 in Art History New Releases on Amazon.

Fellowships & Grants

Professor John Robert Warren (Sociology) is one of the principal investigators of an Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD) study that was awarded a $50.3 million grant that will work to re-contact more than 14,000 Americans from the high school class of 1972 to study how education affects ADRD risk and racial/ethnic differences in that risk.

Associate Professor Claire Halpert (Linguistics), Associate Professor Brendan Kishketon (American Indian Studies), and Nora Livesay (American Indian Studies) were recently awarded a three-year, $450,000 National Science Foundation/National Endowment for the Humanities Dynamic Language Infrastructure grant for their project, “Developing Indigenous scholars, curriculum and language documentation.”

Associate Professor Emily Vraga (Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication) is part of the research team that recently received a $5 million Phase II Convergence Accelerator cooperative agreement award from the National Science Foundation to continue their work on Course Correct, a precision tool providing journalists with guidance against misinformation.

Associate Professor Gilliane Monnier (Anthropology) has just completed a Fulbright in Montenegro for a project entitled, "Did Neanderthals have the ability to make fire? The evidence from the Paleolithic Site of Crvena Stijena, Montenegro."

Assistant Professor Melissa Polonenko (Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences) has received a grant from the Hearing Health Foundation entitled, "Identifying hearing loss through neural responses to engaging stories," as well as a subaward for an NIH NIDCD R21 grant entitled, "Subcortical and cortical responses in infants evoked by running speech."

Professor John Robert Warren (Sociology) is one of eight experts who will play a key role in an upcoming study of Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD). Warren and his fellow researchers were awarded a $50.3 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to re-contact more than 14,000 Americans from the high school class of 1972 to study how education affects ADRD risk and racial/ethnic differences in that risk. 

Oforiwaa Pee Agyei-Boakye, a recipient of the International Doctoral Degree Fellowship, is currently pursuing a PhD in Geography.

August 2022


Professor Joachim J. Savelsberg’s book Knowing about Genocide: Armenian Suffering and Epistemic Struggles, which was published in 2021 got the 2022 Barrington Moore Book Award, given by the American Sociological Association's Section for Comparative and Historical Sociology, and the Gordon Hirabayashi Book Award—Honorable Mention by the ASA Section for Human Rights.

Eggertsen Dissertation Prize (History of Education Society) awarded to Professor Yalile Suriel (History) for her dissertation “Campus Eyes: University Surveillance and the Policing of Black and Latinx Student Activism in the Age of Mass Incarceration, 1960–1990.”

Publications & Creative Activities

Professor Maggie Hennefeld's (Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature) new DVD collection Cinema's First Nasty Women was just reviewed in the New York Times. The review calls it "a triumph of scholarship." 

Fellowships & Grants

Professor Rose Brewer (African American & African Studies) has received a grant from the Humanities Without Walls Consortium for a project entitled, “Environmental Justice Worldmaking: Redistribution and Reciprocity for a Just Transition.” 

Assistant Professor Natalie Covington (Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences) has received a grant from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for a project entitled, “Personalized Cognitive Rehabilitation: Validating a Brief Clinical Assessment of Multiple Memory Systems.” 

Professor Karen Mary Davalos (Chicano & Latino Studies) has received a grant from the Mellon Foundation for a project entitled, “Building Capacity: Discovery and Access to Mexican American Art since 1848.”  

Assistant Professor Christopher Terry (Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication) has received a fellowship from the Center for Quantum Networks for a project entitled, “Constitutive Choice for Quantum Networks: Learning the (Tough) Lessons of the National Broadband Plan.”

The University of Minnesota has been awarded a National Resource Center (NRC) grant for International Studies and a second NRC grant for African Studies. Additional awards for Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships (FLAS) in international and African studies will directly support students. The funding comes from the US Department of Education’s Title VI program and totals more than $3.5 million over the next four years.

Visit the current Accolades page

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