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Theoretical Physicist Ana Asenjo-Garcia Named a 2021 Packard Fellow

The assistant professor of physics was one of 20 early-career researchers to receive the prestigious award this year—along with a five-year $875,000 grant—for her work in the field of quantum optics. This is an area of physics that attempts to understand the properties of photons and characterize what happens when they interact with atoms.

Sanat Kumar Wins Polymer Physics Prize

The Bykhovsky Professor of Chemical Engineering was recently awarded the Polymer Physics Prize of the American Physical Society, the highest honor in polymer physics for his work in the field of polymer nanocomposites.

Kimberlé Crenshaw Receives Lifetime Service Award

Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, received the Triennial Award for Lifetime Service to Legal Education and the Legal Profession from the Association of American Law Schools.

Recent Awards & Milestones

Arts & Humanities

Jelani Cobb, Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism, and June Cross, professor of journalism and director of the Documentary Journalism Program, recently won a 2021 Peabody Award for their collaboration on PBS’ Frontline with “Whose Vote Counts.”

Nabila El-Bassel, University Professor and the Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work, has won the 2021 Addiction Policy Forum Pillar of Excellence Award.

Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, and Gayatri Spivak, University Professor, were elected to the British Academy.


Rachel Cummings, assistant professor of engineering, recently received a DARPA Young Faculty Award titled "Guarding Against User Misperceptions of Differential Privacy" in the amount of $992,000 to support her work to make novel privacy technologies more understandable and usable.

Qiang Du, Fu Foundation Professor of Applied Mathematics, is part of a team of multidisciplinary researchers who have been awarded a $1.2 million National Foundation for Science grant to improve traffic management in real time.

Carlos Paz-Soldan, associate professor, has received two awards from the Department of Energy. He was also named the recipient of the 2021 Thomas H. Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Physics Research from the American Physical Society.

Science & Medicine

Sonya Dyhrman, associate professor at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is co-principal investigator and partner in the Center for Chemical Currencies of Microbial Planet project led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The Center will study the chemicals and chemical processes that underpin ocean ecosystems.

René Hen, professor of pharmacology in psychiatry, Elisa E. Konofagou, Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology (Physics), and Jennifer Manly, professor of neuropsychology in neurology, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Fatemeh Momen-Heravi, associate professor at the College of Dental Medicine and founder and director of the head and neck cancer research group at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, received the AACR-Bayer Innovation and Discovery award to develop a new gene-editing delivery system for the treatment of cancer and rare diseases.


Helen Bielak, Antonella Contrera, Karin Rivera, Afrodita Sali, and Nicole Thompson received the Outstanding Women in Construction Award, and Scharlene De La Cruz, Rory Madden, Leilani Reynolds, Monifa Smith-Zamor, and Tiffany Williams received the Next Generation of Women Builders Award from the Women Builders Council at the 16th Annual Champion Awards Red Tie Reception.

Estefany (Andino-Mendez) Ziskin, Senior Project Engineer for Facilities Engineering at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, is a recent recipient of a 20 Under 40 Award from the Building Commissioning Association.


Alexander McCoy (GS’23) was recently named by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the “250 Most Influential People in Washington.”

Leah Estrada, Nursing PhD student, received the Laurence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award from the American Public Health Association. Estrada was also honored, alongside Ashley Chastain, Senior Project Director, with the "Best Abstracts" award for their research from the American Public Health Association.

See All Awards & Milestones

Do you have an award or milestone you would like acknowledged? Let us know and we will feature it in a future newsletter or on the Columbia News website.

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