Faculty Honors and Awards | 2020


Sandy Alexandre, Associate Professor of Literature; photo by Jon Sachs, MIT SHASS Communications

Sandy Alexandre receives Bose Research Grant
Many tech inventions have been inspired by imaginative literature; Associate Professor of Literature Alexandre will collaborate with MIT students to create a database of such literary sources, assess the imagined innovations, then build a prototype of one of the imaginary inventions.
Story at MIT News | Sandy Alexandre

National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for Nonfiction | Kate Brown
Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future is one of five books selected for the prestigious NBCC award in the non-fiction category.
More information at NBCC | About the book | Kate Brown

Special Duty named a "Best of Books" by Foreign Affairs | Richard Samuels
Special Duty, by Samuels, an engrossing history of Japanese intelligence, was selected by Foreign Affairs in their "Best of Books 2019." 
More | Richard Samuels

Michael Stepner PhD '19 awarded the 2020 Heinz Dissertation Award 
The National Academy of Social Insurance announces Stepner (nominated by Prof Amy Finkelstein) has won the award for his MIT doctoral dissertation in Economics, “Essays on Health and Social Insurance.”  About

Sarah Moss PhD '09 wins 2019 Marc Sanders Prize in Epistemology
The prize is awarded for the best submitted essay of original research in epistemology by either a scholar who is within fifteen years of receiving a PhD or a current graduate student.  About | The Prize


Barbara Partee PhD '65; photo via the Franklin Institute

Barbara Hall Partee PhD '65 wins the Franklin medal
Partee, one of MIT's most distinguished alumna, and Professor emerita at UMass Amherst, has been named a winner of the 2020 Franklin medal awarded by the Franklin Institute. Partee was a member of the first PhD class at MIT Linguistics and is a founder of the field of formal semantics. In the citation accompanying the award, Partee is hailed for “her foundational contributions that synthesize insights from linguistics, philosophy, logic, and psychology to understand how words and sentences combine to express meaning in human language....Partee’s contributions to understanding language...have been key shaping concepts in computer science and cognitive science."
Franklin Prize announcement | Partee Wikipedia page


Mary Fuller, MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT's highest honor in undergraduate teaching; photo by Jon Sachs

Mary Fuller, Professor of Literature, named a 2020 MacVicar Faculty Fellow
“Her imagination is capacious, her knowledge is deep, and students trust her — so they follow her eagerly into new and exploratory territory.” Professors Anikeeva, Tisdale, and White also receive MIT's highest honor in undergraduate teaching.  Story at MIT News

MIT Linguistics ranked No. 1 worldwide
QS World University Rankings rates MIT No. 1 in 12 subjects for 2020.  Story at MIT News

Philosopher Agustín Rayo wins 2020 PROSE Award
MIT philosophy professor's On the Brink of Paradox honored as one of the best books in professional and scholarly publishing.  Story at MIT News


Harriet Ritvo; photo by Jon Sachs, SHASS Communications

Ritvo wins Distinguished Scholar Award from ASEH
Harriet Ritvo, the Arthur J. Conner Professor of History at MIT, teaches courses in British history, environmental history, the history of human-animal relations, and the history of natural history. The author of multiple books, her current research focuses on wildness and domestication.
Ritvo's MIT webpage | American Society for Environmental History

Sabine Iatridou and Jonathan Gruber named 2020 Guggenheim Fellows
Gruber, Ford Professor of Economics, and Iatridou, Professor of Linguistics, have been selected for the 2020 class of Guggenheim Fellows. Appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the 2020 Fellows were selected from almost 3,000 applicants.
MIT News | Iatridou profile, Guggenheim site | Gruber profile, Guggenheim site


Dave L. Donaldson, Professor of Economics; Craig Steven Wilder, Barton L. Weller Professor of History; Wilder photo by Richard Howard

Craig Wilder and Dave Donaldson elected to the AAAS
Wilder joins Harriet Ritvo, Philip Khoury, and Peter Perdue as members of the MIT History faculty elected to the Academy. Donaldson joins Parag Pathak, Nancy Rose, and Iván Werning as members of the MIT Department of Economics who are members of the Academy.  Story at MIT News

Abhijit Banerjee elected to National Academy of Sciences
Banerjee’s scholarship emphasizes the importance of field work in antipoverty initiatives, in order to recreate the precision of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and laboratory-style data within the complexity of ever-evolving social realities.
Story at MIT News | NAS announcement

Amy Moran-Thomas receives 2020 Levitan Prize in the Humanities
Prize will support research on the cultural dimensions of climate denialism. Beyond the hyper-rational debates of 'jobs vs. environment' — and based on her own family heritage and home territory — Moran-Thomas illuminates "the cultural underpinnings that have allowed anti-science propaganda to gain traction in America and continue in the face of mounting evidence."
Story by SHASS Communications


Amah Edoh, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African Studies; photo by Jon Sachs, SHASS Communications

Amah Edoh receives Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
This Institute-wide award is given annually to an MIT faculty member, recognizing an “exceptional interest and ability in the instruction of undergraduates.” It is the only teaching award in which the nomination and selection of the recipients is done entirely by students. 

Professor Lily Tsai honored as “Committed to Caring”
Tsai, along with Professors Paola Cappellaro and Warren Seering, has been honored by graduate students as “Committed to Caring” for her adaptability and stable guidance as advisors, helping students weather setbacks and continue to find delight in discovery, even in the midst of a pandemic.  Story at MIT News