National Academy of Sciences Elections, Modern Love Essay Contest Winner, Faculty Prize


Colombia News produces a bi-weekly newsletter (subscribe here!) and a series of articles featuring a roundup of awards and milestones Columbia faculty, staff, and students have received in recent days. In this edition, you will find rewards and milestones from May 5 to May 19, 2022.

Do you have an award or milestone that you would like to see featured in the newsletter or online article? Please send an e-mail to [email protected]. Note that we will air this series every two weeks.

You can take a look at past achievements on our Awards and Milestones page. And you can sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox.


On May 19, 2022, the Nicholas Murray Butler Gold Medal was awarded to 21 members of the President’s COVID-19 Advisory Task Force. The group was responsible for ensuring the health and safety of our campus community, maintaining financial stability during unprecedented times, and providing facilities equipped to manage the threat of the COVID-19 virus. The winners are: Melanie Bernitz, Jane Booth, Mary Boyce, Rui Costa, Troy Eggers, Wafaa El-Sadr, Linda Fried, Susan Glancy, David Greenberg, Scott Hammer (posthumously), Ira Katznelson, Gillian Lester, Donna Lynne, Carrie Marlin, Shailagh Murray, Justin Pearlman, Gerry Rosberg, Steve Shea, Anne Sullivan, Ann Thorntonand Jeanette Wing.

The Butler Medal was created in 1914 to honor Colombians who have made distinguished contributions to university administration or to the advancement of university work.


The Office of the Provost recognized 15 faculty members whose work embodies Columbia’s commitment to inclusive excellence with awards for mentorship, service and faculty diversity. You can read the full list of winners here.

Alfred AhoLawrence Gussman Emeritus Professor of Computer Science, Michael Harrismath teacher and Toniann PitassiProfessor of Engineering Jeffrey L. and Brenda Bleustein, and Mario Smallprofessor Quetelet of social sciences, were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lenfest Distinguished Faculty 2021-2022 awards were given to: Seth Clett, deputy director of the Computer Music Center and the Sound Art Program; Jeremy Dodd, lecturer in physics; Lila Divachi, professor of psychology; Susan Elmeslecturer in economics; Dorothee Laskyassociate professor in writing; Graciela Montaldoprofessor of Latin American and Iberian cultures; Amy Starecheski, lecturer in sociology and director of the master of arts program in oral history; and Alan StewartProfessor of English and Comparative Literature.


Hilary SampleIDC Foundation Professor of Housing Design in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, was named the 2022-23 Rome Prize recipient by the American Academy in Rome.


Larry Abbott is one of three researchers to receive the 2022 Gruber Neuroscience Prize for his contributions to computational and theoretical neuroscience at a time when large datasets are becoming increasingly important for brain science. Check out this animation about his work.

Craig Blindermandirector of adult palliative care and associate professor of medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, won the 2022 Hastings Center-Cunniff Dixon Award.

Cynthia Rosenzweigclimatologist and agronomist at Columbia Climate School and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has been named the winner of the 2022 World Food Prize for her pioneering work in modeling the impact of climate change on food production in the world.

Chiara Trovatello, postdoc in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, won the Prix Couillaud 2022.


Eric FonerProfessor Emeritus of History DeWitt Clinton, received the 2022 Sol Stetin Prize from the Sidney Hillman Foundation for Labor History, which recognized his scholarship in Civil War and Reconstruction history.

Jeffrey Sachsuniversity professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development, received the Legion of Honor, presented by the French Ambassador to the United States Philippe Étienne at the Consulate General of France in New York on May 11, 2022.


Layla Kinjawi Faraj (BC’25) wrote the winning essay for The New York Times Modern Love College Essay Contest.

PhD students Emilie Tiberi and John Staunton received Blaer Awards for outstanding outreach efforts involving underserved communities and efforts to increase diversity in the physics department.


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