Faculty Honors and Awards | 2016  




MIT economist Bengt Holmström wins Nobel Prize
Bengt Holmström, an influential MIT economist and long-time faculty member, has been named a winner of the 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, for his work on contract theory.

Bruno Perreau receives France's highest honor for academics
Perreau, the Cynthia L. Reed Professor of French Studies, has been appointed to the Order of the French Academic Palms in recognition of his exemplary academic contributions. “Being named a chevalier in l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques came as a surprise," Perreau said. "I feel very honored by such a distinction, which recognizes my effort to build a bridge between France and the U.S.”
Story by SHASS Communications

Suzanne Berger receives the Powell Mentoring Award
The honor, presented by the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, is awarded on a bi-annual basis to a political scientist who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to mentoring graduate students in comparative politics.
American Political Science Association website

Edward Schiappa receives Charles Woolbert Research Award 
Schiappa, the John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities, and Head, MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing has received one of his field's highest honors — the Charles H. Woolbert Research Award.
Story at SHASS News

Blanchard elected President of the American Economic Assc.
Blanchard is the Robert M. Solow Professor Emeritus of Economics, and the Fred Bergsten Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics. He taught at the Institute from 1982 to 2011, and served as Chair of the Department of Economics from 1998–2003.
Story at the American Economic Assocation | Blanchard's MIT webpage

Tom Levenson's Hunt for Vulcan is a finalist for Royal Society Science Book Prize
The most recent book by science writing professor Thomas Levenson, The Hunt for Vulcan, has been short-listed for the 2016 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize, called “the Nobel Prize of science writing” by 2016 judge Bill Bryson.

Barry Posen receives 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award 
The award, given by the International Studies Association, recognizes a distinguished scholar in International Security Studies. The 2017 Distinguished Scholar Award recipient will be honored at a special panel at the ISA conference in Baltimore in February 2017. Posen's award is recognition for his many contributions to scholarship and teaching.
SSP website

Ariel White wins Heinz Eulau award 
This award is given for the best paper published in the American Political Science Review in the previous year. White and her co-authors won for their article, “What Do I Need to Vote? Bureaucratic Discretion and Discrimination by Local Election Officials,” which highlights the issue of racial profiling by local officials and how this leads to systematic bias against minority citizens. The committee cited the substantive issue of the inquiry, which has far-reaching implications for the study of democracy and equity.

Junot Díaz to receive Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature
MIT professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz will receive the award in Washington, D.C. on September 22, sharing the stage with award recipients, including Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who will receive the Foundation’s Leadership Award.
Full Story at CMS/W | Hispanic Heritage Foundation | Video interview with Díaz

Dean Knox wins John Williams Prize from Society for Political Methodology
The prize recognizes the best dissertation proposal in political methodology. Knox’s dissertation proposal, titled "Essays on Modeling and Causal Inference in Network Data," provides new tools for incorporating networks into several methodological traditions. Notably, he proposes a novel statistical model that has the potential to answer a large set of important questions.

Nazli Choucri receives the 2016 Myron Weiner Award 
“Professor Choucri is an outstanding scholar whom we are pleased to honor as this year's recipient of PDG’s Myron Weiner Distinguished Scholar Award.”
ISA website

Christopher Capozzola and colleague awarded grant for 2017 NEH Summer Institute
Capozzola and a colleague, historian Ann-Marie Gleeson, have been awarded a $172K grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to host a summer institute for secondary educators on “Foreign Exchanges: The U.S. and the Wider World in the Twentieth Century.”
Information at NEH


Helen Elaine Lee receives 2016 Faculty Ambassador Award
Lee, Professor of Writing and the Head of Women's and Gender Studies, received the award at the annual Multicultural Awards Banquet, a ceremony that recognizes members of the MIT community who go above and beyond in areas of diversity and inclusion.
About | Helen Elaine Lee webpage


Ellen Harris elected to the American Philosophical Society
Harris, Professor of Music Emerita, is among four MIT faculty members elected to the prestigious American Philosophical Society this year. It is the first time in the society’s history that four members from the same institution have been elected. Harris's most recent book is George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends (W.W. Norton, 2014).
Story | American Philosophical Society | George Frideric Handel: A Life with Friends

Barry Posen Named Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress
Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science at MIT and director of the MIT Security Studies Program, has been appointed the next Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Library of Congress John W. Kluge Center.
News at the Library of Congress

Andrea Campbell elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
One of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications, as well as studies of science and technology policy, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities and culture, and education.

Political scientist Taylor Fravel awarded Carnegie fellowship
Fravel, who will extend his studies of Asia’s ongoing maritime disputes, said he was “thrilled, humbled, and honored” to receive the fellowship. The prestigious award supports “research and writing aimed at addressing some of the world’s most urgent challenges to U.S. democracy and international order,” and focuses on scholars in the social sciences and humanities.

Regina Bateson wins 2016 Outstanding UROP Faculty Mentor Award
MIT political scientist Regina Bateson received the Institute-wide award for the high quality of her mentorship, supervision, and support; her availability to students; her guidance in research; and for her overall commitment to undergraduate research.

MIT ranked No.1 in the world for Economics and Linguistics
MIT has been named the top university in the world for both Economics and Linguistics in the latest subject rankings from QS World University Rankings. This is the third consecutive year that MIT Linguistics has topped the QS rankings, and the second consecutive year for the MIT Department of Economics. In addition to Economics and Linguistics, QS World University Rankings honored MIT with ten other No.1 subject rankings.


MITx Grant Program selects SHASS courses for innovative digital learning projects
The projects chosen are: 17.571 (Contemporary African Democracy), Department of Political Science, submitted by Professor Evan Lieberman; and 21H.214 (Visualizing the Philippines), Department of History, submitted by Professor Christopher Capozzola. Both emphasize using digital methods not possible in traditional classes, leveraging research-based teaching practices, and measuring student learning.
Story | Lieberman website | Capozzola webpage



John Harbison and friends perform at György Kepes Award Concert
MIT's Killian hall was filled to standing-room-only as Haribson, this year’s recipient of the György Kepes Fellowship Prize, gave a concert, accompanied by his wife, violinist Rose Mary, and a combo of colleagues. The concert included a new Harbison work composed as a tribute to Clarise Snyder, the longtime, incomparable director of the MIT Concert Office.
Review at the Boston Music Intelligencer | Harbison webpage



MIT novelist/physicist Alan Lightman receives St. Botolph Club award
Lightman has received the Distinguished Artist Award, established by the St. Botolph Club in 1963 to honor artists who have demonstrated outstanding talent and accomplishment, and who also are recognized for their contributions as teachers, mentors, or advocates.


Patricia Tang named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow 
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow. I am truly humbled," said Tang. "As an ethnomusicologist, I love many aspects of my job, but there is nothing more gratifying than sharing my passion for African music with MIT students, and giving them tools to better understand music and its broader cultural contexts."
Story at MIT News  | Archive story: Global Drumbeat: Profile of Patricia Tang

MIT-SHASS Research Fund recipients announced for 2016
The MIT-SHASS Research Fund supports humanities, arts, and social science research that shows promise of making an important contribution to the proposed area of activity. The School is pleased to announce ten recipients for 2016.
Story by SHASS Communications

Evan Ziporyn named one of the most intriguing musicians of 2016
Ziporyn is a professor of music at MIT and the faculty director of MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), an organization "that takes an expansive view of musical culture in the 21st century. Ziporyn exemplifies that bridge-building in his own projects, which break down the divide between West and East, classical and vernacular, academic and grassroots."
Story at The Daily Beast | Ziporyn website | MIT CAST

MISTI Global Seed Funds winners announced
The MISTI GSF program has awarded $2 million+ to faculty across the Institute, enabling participating teams to partner with international peers to develop and launch joint projects. Created and led by SHASS faculty, MISTI is MIT's flagship international education program.
Story by Caroline Knox

Thomas Levenson receives the 2016 Levitan Prize in the Humanities
Levenson, professor of science writing and director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing, has been awarded the $30,000 research grant, which will support his investigation into the economic, cultural, and scientific history of an 18th century financial crisis known as the South Sea Bubble.
Story by SHASS Communications