Kudos are monthly compilations of noteworthy awards, achievements and grants received by Columbian College faculty, students and alumni. Articles published in academic journals are also included among these recognitions.

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Recent Recognition

October 10, 2019

Michelle Ava, MA ’75, (Dance) received the Pola Nirenska Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Washington Performing Arts.

Tara Behrend (Organizational Sciences & Communication) appeared on the American Psychological Association’s “Speaking of Psychology” podcast to discuss the future of work.

Maya Blair, BA ’18, (Communication) co-authored the article “Ethnically Chinese and culturally American: Exploring bicultural identity negotiation and co-cultural communication of Chinese-American female adoptees” in the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.

Nemata Blyden (History) spoke about her book, African Americans and Africa: A New History (Yale University Press, 2019), as part of the Washington History Seminars at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Denver Brunsman gave a presentation at the University of Wisconsin on George Washington and executive leadership, which was broadcast on WisconsinEye.

Imani M. Cheers (Media and Public Affairs) moderated a discussion on the film The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion at The March on Washington Film Festival.

Mel Chin, the former William Wilson Corcoran Visiting Professor of Community Engagement, was named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow for creating art that raises awareness of social concerns.

Maria del Carmen Montoya (Sculpture) launched an Islamic architecture-inspired community space in Detroit, Mich., with Ghana ThinkTank.  

Junior Meredith Duffy (Communications) placed fourth in WayUp’s top 100 interns in the country.

Yacine Fall, BFA ’19, (Fine Art) was one of five artists chosen for a Hamiltonian Fellowship.

Rachel Fish, BA '01, (Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies) was named the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism.

Michele Friend (Philosophy) received a temporary appointment in sustainability studies at the University of Lille (France). 

Sylvain Guiriec (Physics) was awarded three grants from NASA-Goddard: $235,985 for a project on high-energy space instrumentation for sun observation; $135,000 to probe the nature of gamma-ray burst prompt emission using physically motivated models; and $60,081 for the development of the all-sky medium energy gamma-ray observatory.

Students from the Institute for Documentary Filmmaking  won an Award of Merit in the Best Shorts Competition for their film, “ALL THE RAGE.”

Dean Kessmann (Photography) is presenting an exhibit of his work at the Arlington Arts Center's Assembly 2019.

History PhD candidates Ron Leonhardt and Rohail Salman presented papers at the annual conference of the European Association for Southeast Asian Studies in Berlin, Germany.

David Mitchell (English) co-edited the book The Matter of Disability (University of Michigan Press, 2019).

Stephen Mitroff (Psychology) was awarded a $149,091 grant from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to study leveraging big data to explore human variability.

Reena Ninan, BA ’01, (Political Communication) paid tribute to her mentor Cokie Roberts in the CBS News report "Remembering Veteran Journalist Cokie Roberts."

PhD candidate Shahryar Pasandideh (Political Science) authored the article “Under the radar, Iran’s cruise missile capabilities advance” for War on the Rocks.

James Sham (Studio Arts) was a featured lecturer at the DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous.

Chet Sherwood (Anthropology) received a $429,062 grant from the National Science Foundation to study comparative age-related dynamics of primate brain epigenetics.

Jane Shore (English) authored the poem “Who Knows One,” which appeared in The Best American Poetry 2019 anthology (Scribner, 2019).

Cheryl W. Thompson (Media and Public Affairs) presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg, Germany, on “The art of the investigative interview” and “The ABCs of investigative reporting.”

Michael Wagner (Chemistry) was awarded a $748,720 grant from the Department of Energy for a project on the conversion of coal to li-ion battery grade potato graphite.

George Assaf Younes (Physics) received a $61,176 grant from NASA-Goddard for monitoring magnetars with the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER), an X-ray experiment on the International Space Station.