2014

22 New MacArthur Fellows Announced

One call out of the blue – $500,000 – No strings

CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today named 22 new MacArthur Fellows for 2011.  Working across a broad spectrum of endeavors, the Fellows include an architect, a sports medicine researcher, a cellist, a developmental biologist, a radio producer, a neuropathologist, a conservator, a poet, a technologist, and a public historian.  All were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110912/DC66519LOGO)

The recipients learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years.  MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations or reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore.  The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors.  The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.

"This has been a year of great change and extraordinary challenge, and we are once again reminded of the potential individuals have to make a difference in the world and shape our future," said Robert Gallucci, President of the MacArthur Foundation.  "The MacArthur Fellows exemplify how individual creativity and talent can spark new insights and ideas in every imaginable field of human endeavor."

Among the recipients this year are –

  • a radio producer engaging a new generation of listeners with audio explorations of scientific and philosophical questions that recreate the thrill of discovery (Jad Abumrad);
  • a sports medicine researcher advancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports-related brain injuries to improve the safety of athletes of all ages (Kevin Guskiewicz);
  • a technologist inventing low-cost, easy-to-deploy sensor systems to enable users to track household energy consumption and to make buildings more responsive to our needs (Shwetak Patel);
  • a clinical psychologist deepening understanding of self-injury and suicide among adolescents and adults in the interest of saving lives and influencing mental health care in our society (Matthew Nock);
  • an architect integrating conventional materials, bold yet functional designs, and ecologically friendly technology in a wide range of striking structures (Jeanne Gang);
  • a parasitologist / virologist decoding the genomes of virulent human pathogens that cause rare diseases and threaten the lives of millions in the developing world (Elodie Ghedin);
  • a long-form journalist crafting richly illuminating accounts of ordinary people in such rapidly changing societies as Reform Era China (Peter Hessler);
  • a percussionist and composer infusing Latin jazz with bold new energy and sound, dazzling technical abilities, and rhythmically adventurous compositions (Dafnis Prieto);
  • an evolutionary geneticist addressing such fundamental questions as why some species reproduce sexually and why some species carry more than one copy of each gene (Sarah Otto);
  • a public historian reframing the history of colonial America in works that illuminate the complex relationship between African and Cherokee peoples (Tiya Miles); and
  • a poet and translator mining the classical world and poetic techniques to craft imaginative explorations of contemporary life that evoke insights about antiquity's relevance for today (A. E. Stallings).  

Summary information about the MacArthur Fellows is attached.  Additional biographical information, video interviews, and downloadable photos are online at www.macfound.org/fellows.

"The call from the Foundation is the culmination of an intensive year or longer review of the creative efforts and promise of each Fellow.  It comes out of the blue and offers the new Fellows the gift of time and the unfettered opportunity to explore, create, and contribute," said Daniel J. Socolow, director of the MacArthur Fellows Program.  

The selection process begins with formal nominations.  Hundreds of anonymous nominators assist the Foundation in identifying people to be considered for a MacArthur Fellowship.  Nominations are accepted only from invited nominators, a list that is constantly renewed throughout the year.  They are chosen from many fields and challenged to identify people who demonstrate exceptional creativity and promise.  A Selection Committee of roughly a dozen members, who also serve anonymously, meets regularly to review files, narrow the list, and make final recommendations to the Foundation's Board of Directors.  The number of Fellows selected each year is not fixed; typically, it varies between 20 and 25.

Including this year's Fellows, 850 people, ranging in age from 18 to 82 at the time of their selection, have been named MacArthur Fellows since the inaugural class in 1981.  

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.  In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.  More information is at www.macfound.org.

Complete List of MacArthur Fellows for 2011


Jad Abumrad

WNYC Radio

New York, NY

Age: 38

Radio Host and Producer engaging a new generation of

listeners with audio explorations of scientific and philosophical

questions that evoke a sense of adventure and recreate the thrill

of discovery.


Marie-Therese Connolly

Appleseed

Washington, D.C.

Age: 54

Elder Rights Lawyer raising awareness about and seeking

solutions to the largely hidden but immense problems of elder

abuse and neglect.


Roland Fryer

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Age: 34

Economist offering new insight into such issues as racial

discrimination, labor market inequalities, and educational

underachievement and illuminating the causes and

consequences of economic disparity in American society.


Jeanne Gang

Studio Gang

Chicago, IL

Age: 47

Architect integrating conventional materials, striking yet

functional designs, and ecologically friendly technology in bold

structures that challenge the aesthetic and technical possibilities

of the art form.


Elodie Ghedin

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Pittsburgh, PA

Age: 44

Parasitologist / Virologist decoding the genomes of virulent

human pathogens that cause such diseases as leishmaniasis,

sleeping sickness, and river blindness and threaten the lives of

millions in the developing world.


Markus Greiner

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Age: 38

Condensed Matter Physicist improving our capacity to control

the spatial organization of ultra-cold atoms and applying these

advances to both fundamental inquiry and technology.


Kevin Guskiewicz

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Age: 45

Sports Medicine Researcher combining laboratory and on-the-

field investigations to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and

prevention of sports-related brain injuries and to improve the

safety of athletes of all ages.


Peter Hessler

Ridgway, CO

Age: 42

Long-Form Journalist crafting keenly observed accounts of

ordinary people responding to the complexities of life in such

rapidly changing societies as Reform Era China.


Tiya Miles

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Age: 41

Public Historian reframing and reinterpreting the history of our

diverse nation in works that illuminate the complex

interrelationships between African and Cherokee peoples in

colonial America.


Matthew Nock

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Age: 38

Clinical Psychologist deepening understanding of self-injury

and suicide among adolescents and adults by combining

epidemiology, laboratory experiments, and real-time

psychological assessments in the interest of saving lives and

influencing mental health care in our society.


Francisco Nunez

Young People's Chorus of New York City

New York, NY

Age: 46

Choral Conductor and Composer shaping the future of choral

singing for children by expanding access from inner-city to elite

schools and redefining the artistic and expressive boundaries of

the youth choir.


Sarah Otto

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, BC

Age: 43

Evolutionary Geneticist addressing fundamental questions of

population and evolutionary biology, such as why some species

reproduce sexually and why some species carry more than one

copy of each gene.


Shwetak Patel

University of Washington, Seattle

Seattle, WA

Age: 29

Sensor Technologist and Computer Scientist inventing low-

cost, easy-to-deploy sensor systems that leverage existing

infrastructures to enable users to track household energy

consumption and to make the buildings we live in more

responsive to our needs.


Dafnis Prieto

New York, NY

Age: 37

Jazz Percussionist and Composer electrifying audiences with

dazzling technical abilities and rhythmically adventurous

compositions while infusing Latin jazz with a bold new energy

and sound.


Kay Ryan

Fairfax, CA

Age: 65

Poet composing deceptively simple verse of wisdom and

elegance, grounded in explorations of familiar ideas and

experiences, and surprising us with the possibilities of the

medium.


Melanie Sanford

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI

Age: 36

Organometallic Chemist reigniting research on an important

chemical pathway and developing methods to enable

modification of complex molecules with important implications

for pharmaceuticals and other products we use every day.


William Seeley

University of California, San Francisco

San Francisco, CA

Age: 39

Neuropathologist integrating microscopy, magnetic resonance

imaging, and clinical examination to identify the mechanisms

underlying frontotemporal dementia, track disease progression,

and create effective therapeutic interventions.


Jacob Soll

Rutgers University, Camden

Camden, NJ

Age: 42

European Historian exploring the development of political

thought and criticism in early modern Europe and shedding new

light on the origins of the modern state.


A. E. Stallings

Athens, Greece

Age: 43

Poet and Translator mining the classical world and traditional

poetic techniques to craft imaginative explorations of

contemporary life that evoke startling insights about antiquity's

relevance for today.


Ubaldo Vitali

Ubaldo Vitali, Inc.

Maplewood, NJ

Age: 67

Conservator and Silversmith drawing on deep knowledge of

past and modern metalworking techniques and rigorous

scholarship to restore historical masterworks and to create

original works of art.


Alisa Weilerstein

New York, NY

Age: 29

Cellist combining technical precision with impassioned

musicianship in performances of both traditional and

contemporary music and expanding the cello repertoire through

collaborations with leading composers.


Yukiko Yamashita

University of Michigan Medical School

Ann Arbor, MI

Age: 39

Developmental Biologist unraveling the complex molecular

choreography of stem cell division and investigating how factors

such as aging affect the capacity of stem cells to replace

specialized cells that are injured, infected, or wear out.





SOURCE MacArthur Foundation



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