Faculty at Brown earn prominent awards, distinctions

In recent months, prestigious national and international organizations recognized Brown faculty for their research, scholarship, humanitarian efforts and leadership.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University faculty members received numerous accolades over the past several months for outstanding research, service and leadership with many awards, fellowships and other honors. The scholars, whose fields range from music to geophysics to psychiatry and human behavior, earned both national and international recognition and support for their work. 

Among such distinctions are the following honors:

Hip Hop 4 Peace, the UNESCO Center for Peace and the U.S. Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations awarded Stephon Alexander, a professor of physics, the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of his “outstanding contributions through volunteerism and peacebuilding.” Separately, Alexander, a physicist who specializes in cosmology, particle physics and quantum gravity, received the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s 2024 Frantz Fanon Award for outstanding achievements in science, philosophy and leadership.

Stephen Bach, an assistant professor of computer science, received the best paper award at the Socially Responsible Language Modelling Research Workshop during the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. Bach received the award with co-authors Zheng Xin Yong, a third-year Ph.D. student, and Cristina Menghini, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown’s Data Science Institute.

Brown Professors of Engineering Yuri Bazilevs and Anita Shukla were each elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows in recognition of their distinguished and continued achievements in medical and biological engineering.

Dr. Seth F. Berkley, an adjunct professor of the practice of epidemiology and a senior adviser at the Pandemic Center at Brown’s School of Public Health, received the 2024 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award, which honors individuals whose outstanding humanitarian efforts and achievements have contributed significantly to improving global public health. Berkley was recognized for his work as an entrepreneur as well as for being a pioneer in global health and a champion of equitable access to vaccines.

Keisha Blain, a professor of Africana studies and history, won the Dan David Prize endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University, which recognizes outstanding early and mid-career scholars and practitioners in the historical disciplines. Blain was one of nine honorees to receive the award, which is among the largest history prizes in the world and comes with $300,000 in recognition of the winners’ contribution to the study of the past and to support their future endeavors.

Lucas Caretta, an assistant professor of engineering, was awarded the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Early Career Scientist Prize in the field of magnetism. Caretta was honored “for outstanding contributions to the understanding of ultrafast, current-driven magnetic domain wall motion and relativistic magnetization dynamics.”

Dr. Linda L. Carpenter, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School, was awarded the Clinical Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Society Gold Medal of Honor, which recognizes foundational contributions to research and clinical care related to a non-surgical procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate key regions of the brain to treat mental health disorders such as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. The society has awarded the medal only three other times in the past decade.

Mary A. Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School, received the Leadership in Sleep Medicine Award from the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin – Sleep in recognition of her outstanding contributions to sleep medicine over the course of her career.

Dr. Thamara Davis, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School, received a DEI champion award from the Lifespan Physician Group for her contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion. Davis is lead psychiatrist at the Children’s Partial Hospital Program at Bradley Hospital, where she has led initiatives to address cultural dimensions of treatment and has worked to incorporate culturally responsive therapeutic and supervision skills into curricula for trainees and faculty.

Alethea Desrosiers, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School who serves on the advisory committee of Brown’s Global Health Initiative, a multidisciplinary effort to reduce health inequalities among underserved populations worldwide, received an award from the Fulbright Specialist Program to spend two weeks in Bogotá, Colombia, where she collaborated with colleagues at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana on implementation science and global mental health.

John B. Diamond, a professor of sociology and education policy, received the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award from the American Sociological Association, which honors individuals with a record of outstanding work in areas related to social justice, human rights or activism, with an emphasis on African Americans and other populations that have experienced racial discrimination. Diamond, who studies the relationship between social inequality and educational opportunity, was recognized for bridging “academic research and teaching with social justice activism on many fronts.”

Dr. Wafik El-Deiry, a professor of medical science and of pathology and laboratory medicine who leads the Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown, was named to the National Academy of Inventors Class of 2024 Senior Members. The members are faculty, scientists and administrators who have demonstrated remarkable innovation producing technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare of society, and also for success in patents, licensing and commercialization while educating and mentoring the next generation of inventors.

Dr. Alaa Elnajjar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School, was selected for a DEI champion award from the Lifespan Physician Group for her contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion. An attending psychiatrist at Bradley Hospital, Elnajjar teaches cultural humility, culturally competent interview methods and therapy techniques for youth from diverse backgrounds to Brown’s child and adolescent psychiatry trainees.

Dr. A. Rani Elwy, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior and of behavioral and social sciences, was selected as one of seven professionals nationwide to join the 50th class of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows, a program that hones fellows’ skills in health policy development and places them in advisory positions in congressional and executive offices in Washington.

Dr. Tanuja Gandhi, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior and a clinician educator at the Warren Alpert Medical School, was appointed chair of the American Psychiatric Association's National Membership Committee, which guides the organization's recruitment and retention activities. Gandhi was also awarded the Assembly Resident Fellow Member Mentor Award by the American Psychiatric Association Assembly, for which she has served as an elected member for the past two years.

Professor of Modern Latin American History and of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies James N. Green received a Fall 2024 Berlin Prize from the American Academy of Berlin. During the upcoming academic year, Green will work on a book project, “Generation 77: Youth Culture and the Demise of the Brazilian Dictatorship,” which will combine oral histories and textural resources to trace the emergence and impact of student-led mobilization efforts in the years preceding the 1985 fall of the Brazilian dictatorship.

Professor of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences Greg Hirth was elected to the 2024 class of the National Academy of Sciences, and was among 144 new members recognized for their distinguished and continued achievements in original research. Hirth is known for his pioneering work in tectonophysics, a branch of geophysics that examines the movement of the Earth's crustal plates, the formation of mountains, and earthquakes and other geological phenomena associated with the Earth's tectonic activity.

Dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the School of Public Health and a professor of health services, policy and practice, was one of 24 Americans to be honored in the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s 2024 Class of Great Immigrants, which celebrates remarkable naturalized American citizens who have enriched and strengthened the country’s democracy through their actions and contributions.

George E. Karniadakis, a professor of applied mathematics and engineering, was awarded the G.I. Taylor Medal by the Society of Engineering Science. The medal has been awarded 19 times since 1984 and is given for outstanding research contributions in either theoretical or experimental fluid mechanics. Karniadakis received the medal “for highly innovative, pioneering, and sustained contributions to computational and theoretical aspects of fluid dynamics.”

Assistant Professor of Computer Science Vasilis Kemerlis won the top reviewer award for his work as a program committee member for the Association for Computing Machinery’s 2023 Conference on Computer and Communications Security.

Professor of Economics Toru Kitagawa received the inaugural Haavelmo Prize from the Econometric Society, which focuses on the advancement of economic theory in its relation to statistics and mathematics. The prize honors the best econometrics paper published over the past four years in the society’s journal, “Econometrica.” Kitagawa, along with co-author Raffaella Giacomini, received the award for their paper, "Robust Bayesian Inference for Set-Identified Models.”

Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior and of pediatrics (research) at the Warren Alpert Medical School, received the CTR Excellence in Service and Mentoring Award at the 2024 National IDeA Symposium of Biomedical Research Excellence. The award recognizes a mentor who exemplifies research excellence and who has generously given their time to support junior investigators in a clinical and translational research program.

Professor of Computer Science David Laidlaw received a best paper award at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Virtual Reality conference. IEEE, the world’s largest engineering professional organization, recognized Laidlaw for the study “Evaluating Text Reading Speed in VR Scenes and 3D Particle Visualizations.” Laidlaw won the award with co-author Johannes Novotny, who graduated from Brown with a Ph.D. in computer science in 2020.

Assistant Professor of Music Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo received a $30,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation’s Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship Fund. The “no-strings attached” fellowship is intended to enable composers to concentrate time on the creative process, focus on personal or professional development, expand their body of work and explore new directions.

Professor of Computer Science Anna Lysyanskaya received the Levchin Prize for Real-World Cryptography, which honors major innovations in cryptography that have had a significant impact on the practice of cryptography and its use in real-world systems. Separately, Lysyanskaya was named to Okta Ventures’ “Identity 25” list, which spotlights trailblazers in the burgeoning field of digital identity.

Dr. Michael E. Migliori, a professor of surgery and clinician educator at the Warren Alpert Medical School and chief of the Division of Ophthalmology at Rhode Island Hospital, accepted the 2023 Commitment to Advocacy Award on behalf of the division from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Mariah Min, an assistant professor of English, won the 2024 Article Prize in Critical Race Studies from the Medieval Academy of America for her work, “Preaching to the Choir Fantastic: Conversion and Racial Liminality in Elene,” which analyzes the Old English poem, “Elene,” by Cynewulf.

Sanjay Mishra, a research associate in medicine, and Dr. Jeremy Warner, a professor of biostatistics and of medicine, received the 2023 DataWorks! $100,000 Grand Prize from the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology and the National Institutes of Health. DataWorks! showcases the benefits of research data management while recognizing and rewarding teams whose research demonstrates the power of data sharing or reuse practices to advance scientific discovery and human health. Mishra and Warner’s team won for their project, “COVID-19 and Cancer: Catalyzing Collaboration.”

James Morone, a professor of public policy and of political science and urban studies, won a 2024 Textbook Excellence (College) Awardfrom the Textbook and Academic Authors Association for his textbook, “By the People: Debating the American Government,” with co-author Rogan Kersh.

Assistant Professor of History Emily A. Owens’ book, “Consent in the Presence of Force: Sexual Violence and Black Women’s Survival in Antebellum New Orleans,” was named a finalist for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize. The annual prize recognizes an outstanding book in the field of African American history and culture.

Frederike Petzschner, an assistant professor of brain science (research), received the runner-up award in MIT’s Faculty Founder Initiative 2023-24 MIT-Royalty Pharma Prize competition, which aims to support female faculty entrepreneurs in biotechnology. Petzschner received a $100,000 prize for her work to commercialize an app to better identify and treat chronic pain.

Professor of Engineering and Computer Science Sherief Reda was among a group of researchers recognized for outstanding contributions to the field of electronic design automation with the 2024 TCAD Donald O. Pederson Best Paper Award. Their paper, “PACT: An Extensible Parallel Thermal Simulator for Emerging Integration and Cooling Technologies,” was published in “IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems” in April 2022.

Amy Russell, an associate professor of history and of classics, won a Loeb Classical Library Foundation fellowship, which supports research in archaeology and in Greek and Latin studies. During a 2024-25 academic year sabbatical, Russell’s award will help support her research of political concepts of “the people” and how political communities emerge, function and describe themselves, from the Roman Republic to today.

Yashaswini Singh, an assistant professor of health services, policy and practice, received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from AcademyHealth, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing health services research and health policy. Singh’s dissertation, “Private Equity and Physician Practice Strategy,” was highlighted for providing policy-relevant evidence to advance the understanding of growing corporate consolidation of physician practices by private equity funds.

Eric Suuberg, a professor of engineering and of technology entrepreneurship, received the 2024 Distinguished Researcher Award from the Energy and Fuels Division of the American Chemical Society. Suuberg was recognized for his work and leadership in energy and fuels chemistry as well as his contributions to the society, with which he has been affiliated for more than 30 years.

Dr. Audrey R. Tyrka, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School, was honored with the 2024 Community Champion Award from Sojourner House, a Providence nonprofit that serves survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking. Tyrka, who researches childhood trauma and adversity, is the co-founder and co-director of STAR COBRE, the Miriam Hospital’s Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Stress, Trauma and Resilience, and is a member of the Community Advisory Board of Sojourner House.