Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Give her a hand

February 13th, 2014

Hand-photo LYDIA-MARIE JOUBERT, an electon microscopist and senior scientist at Stanford’s Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, won the People’s Choice Award in the illustration category of the 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Her illustration — a hand covered with Pseudomonas bacteria — is titled Human Hand Controlling Bacterial Biofilms. It began as a photograph, as the journal Science explains in its latest issue: “While attending a conference at Gregynog Hall in Wales, Joubert photographed a 1.5-meter-high human hand that reaches out of the soil in the hall’s gardens, sculpted by British artist FRANCIS HEWLETT. Then she overlaid micrographs of cultured biofilms, which had been stained with molecular probes to indicate the health of the cells. Those colored green are resistant to antimicrobial treatment — only a rare few are red, indicating that they have been vanquished.” Covering the hand are Pseudomonas bacteria. This item was posted on the Medical School’s news website.

Rhode receives award for outstanding scholarship

February 12th, 2014
Deborah Rhode

Deborah Rhode

Stanford Law School’s DEBORAH RHODE recently accepted the Outstanding Scholar Award from The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation in Chicago. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, director of the Center on the Legal Profession and director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship.

“Throughout her distinguished career, Professor Rhode has become a highly lauded and frequently cited scholar on legal ethics,” said Don Slesnick, chair of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. “From her groundbreaking work on access to justice to her unique contributions to research on gender and the law, Rhode’s prolific career exemplifies the type of outstanding scholarship that The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation seeks to recognize through the Outstanding Scholar Award.”

Rhode is the founding president of the International Association of Legal Ethics, the former president of the Association of American Law Schools, the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, the former director of Stanford’s Center on Ethics and the former director of Stanford’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender.

Rhode has also won numerous awards, including the American Bar Association’s Michael Franck Award for contributions to the field of professional responsibility, the American Bar Foundation’s W.M. Keck Foundation Award for distinguished scholarship on legal ethics, the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for her work on expanding public service opportunities in law schools and the White House’s Champion of Change award for a lifetime’s work in increasing access to justice.

She has authored or coauthored more than 20 books and 250 articles. Her recent works  include Lawyers as Leaders, Leadership: Law, Policy and Management and The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law.

Visit the Law School website for more on the award.

Stanford student journalists win James Robinson awards

February 10th, 2014
Kurt Chirbas

Kurt Chirbas

KURT CHIRBAS, a Stanford senior and a staff writer for the Stanford Daily, has received first prize for the 2013 James Robinson Award for Student Journalists. WINSTON SHI, a sophomore, received second prize.

The award was established in honor of the late JAMES ROBINSON, an award-winning journalist who served as editor of Stanford Report.

Chirbas, an English and economics major, has written for the Daily since the fall of his freshman year in 2010.

“In fact,” he wrote in an email after being notified that he’d won the James Robinson Award, “I was assigned my first Daily story before my first day of Stanford class!”

Since then, Chirbas has had stints as news desk editor and managing editor for the Daily and last summer worked for the Sacramento Bee‘s feature and metro desks.

His submission for the James Robinson Award competition was a two-part series of articles on student representation and participation on university committees.

“I was really just inspired by a rhetorical question that Vice Provost of Student Affairs GREG BOARDMAN had asked during an interview for an earlier story: ‘Is student representation on university committees effective?’ Interested in finding out the answer myself, I tried interviewing as many people involved in the committee system as possible: students, administrators, ASSU officials, etc. I learned how it is important for writing to be clear and concise, but also not to flatten or remove complexities.”

Chirbas’ entry was praised for its enterprising reporting and exhaustive research.

“Kurt’s stories were enlightening, even for those of us who have a vague idea of how students participate on university committees,” said ELAINE RAY, director of campus communications, who was one of the award judges. “After exploring the committee structure, he delved deeply into how effectively students were engaged with the work of the committees and how they were communicating that engagement back to their peers. It is clear from his writing that Kurt embarked on the project with no preconceived notions, just a deep intellectual curiosity.”

Anatomy of a strength coach

Winston Shi

Winston Shi

Shi, who has not yet declared a major, also has worked for the Daily since his freshman year, serving as an editorial board member, a columnist and a senior staff writer. Currently, he is managing editor of the Opinions section of the Daily. For the James Robinson Award he wrote a three-part series on SHANNON TURLEY, the Cardinal football team’s strength coach.

“Writing, and journalism in particular, brings a certain sense of perspective – you get to see firsthand things you don’t normally get to see. Being at the intersection of so many different paths and characters, all the while telling a fun story – that’s the best part of journalism,” Shi wrote.

Robinson, a graduate of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, joined the Stanford News Service in 1998 following a distinguished career in daily journalism that included reporting jobs at The Republican (Springfield, Mass.), Hartford Courant, Houston Chronicle and Agence France-Presse.

Under Robinson’s editorship, Stanford Report won a Gold Medal for Excellence from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education in 2002. Robinson, a native of Newton, Mass., died in January 2004 of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He and his family established the award prior to his death.

“James Robinson was an uncommonly gifted writer and a sage observer of the human condition. He used language instrumentally, employing the fewest possible words to convey the greatest possible meaning.  Winston writes much the same way  — and with similar results, ” said COIT BLACKER, a professor in International Studies and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute. Blacker also is Shi’s academic adviser.  ”I think James would be delighted with Winston’s selection for any number of reasons, but mostly because he would detect in him a kindred spirit.”

In addition to Ray, 2013 award committee included LISA LAPIN, associate vice president for public affairs and director of university communications; BRAD HAYWARD, senior director, strategic communications; and LISA TREI, associate director of communications in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Chirbas received a $3,000 prize. Shi received an award of $2,000.


Stanford senior among six college students chosen for Team Oscar

February 6th, 2014

TAYO AMOS, a Stanford senior, is among the college students who will hand gold statuettes to celebrity presenters during this year’s Academy Awards presentation. Amos is one of six winners of the “Team Oscar” competition, which invites U.S. college students to submit a creative short video explaining how they will contribute to the future of movies and to answer a brief essay question on a similar topic.

The winners were selected by actor CHANNING TATUM and Oscars producers CRAIG ZADAN and NEIL MERON and announced Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. DEGENERES will host this year’s Academy Awards, which air March 2.

“We created this contest last year to give students who are passionate about film the opportunity to set their sights on the future,” Zadan and Meron said in a press release. “We received so many inspiring submissions this year that it made for a difficult choice, but the talent and stories of these six winners really represent what Team Oscar is all about and convinced us that they are a perfect fit for the Oscar stage.”

This may just be the first time the aspiring director, producer and editor gets to hold an Oscar in her hands. In her contest entry film, titled “I Want to Be a Part of the Movement,” she notes that the movie industry is risk-averse, but she hopes to create films in which “real people can connect with stories of human connection to show the beauty of all communities, marginalized or not,” and “show a better world so that we can envision a world of equality.” At Stanford, Amos is pursuing a double major in Science, Technology & Society and Iberian & Latin-American Cultures.

In addition to their appearance on the Oscars, Amos and her fellow team members will visit the academy’s Margaret Herrick Library to see its renowned collections, take in studio tours and meet with filmmakers at Oscar Week events.

The winning videos are available here.


Stanford earns 2013 Tree Campus USA recognition

February 6th, 2014
An oak tree in the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. (Photo: Linda Cicero)

An oak tree in the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (Photo: Linda Cicero)

Stanford has earned recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA program for effective urban forest management.

The Tree Campus USA recognition is part of a national program launched in 2008 by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota to honor colleges and universities for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

Stanford met the five core standards for effective campus forest management: a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project.

FAHMIDA AHMED, associate director of sustainability and energy management, said, “Years of hard work and planning have gone behind this achievement.” Ahmed credits work in Land and Building Operations, the office of the University Architect and Campus Planning.

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich wins prestigious biology award

February 4th, 2014
Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich

Stanford biologist PAUL EHRLICH has won the Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Ecology and Conservation Biology from the BBVA Foundation.

“He was the first to describe a case of co-evolution – between butterflies and plants – and how it may contrive to generate biological diversity,” the judges said in their announcement.

The judges noted that his achievements “draw equally on theoretical explorations and experimental results.” Or as Ehrlich put it after being notified of the prize, “I am a biologist with a keen interest in theory, or a theorist who likes testing his theories by experimentation.”

Ehrlich was lauded by the BBVA Foundation, based in Madrid, Spain, for his vital role in addressing one of the key questions in ecology: Why does our planet harbor so many different species? Ehrlich unlocked part of the secret in 1964, the judges said, in a paper co-authored with PETER RAVEN and published in the journal Evolution. In it, they concluded that co-evolution – the interactions occurring between different types of organisms without genetic exchange – is one of the main reasons for diversity of life on Earth and proposed the mechanism whereby this process might lead to the immense variety of plant and insect species.

As the jury put it: “Professor Ehrlich advanced the seminal idea that interactions of plants and herbivores co-evolve and shape the evolutionary history of species, as an engine for species diversity.” The winners of BBVA awards receive $540,000.



Carter, Reardon elected to National Academy of Education

January 24th, 2014
Sean Reardon and Prudence Carter

Sean Reardon and Prudence Carter

PRUDENCE CARTER AND SEAN REARDON, sociologists in the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), have been elected to membership in the National Academy of Education (NAEd). They were cited for their outstanding scholarship on the effects of race and class on education and the barriers they impose to social mobility and achieving equity.

The NAEd works to advance education research and to promote its use in developing education policy and practice. The group has produced reports on such pressing national education issues as student achievement assessments and teacher education. In addition, it offers professional development fellowship programs that support the preparation of the next generation of scholars.

Stanford and New York University were the only institutions to have two faculty members among this year’s group of 14 newly elected scholars, according to a recent statement from the academy. Stanford has more NAEd members — 21 of 184 — than any other university.

Carter, professor of education and faculty director of the GSE’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, examines academic and mobility differences attributable to race, ethnicity, class and gender, and she consults with educators about measures to address disparities. She is the author of the award-winning Keepin’ It Real: School Success Beyond Black and White (Oxford 2005) and more recently Stubborn Roots: Race, Culture, and Inequality in U.S. and South African Schools (Oxford 2012. She also co-edited and contributed to Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give All Children an Even Chance (Oxford 2013). Reardon, professor of education and a member of Stanford’s Center for Education Policy Analysis, develops complex data sets so that he can investigate the causes, patterns, trends and consequences of social and educational inequality. In particular, he studies issues of residential and school segregation and of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement and educational success.

One of Reardon’s recent studies showed that the achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier. It also revealed that the income achievement gap is now nearly twice as large as the black-white achievement gap, while 50 years ago it was the reverse: the black-white gap was one-and-a-half to two times as large as the income gap.

Read the full story on the GSE website.

McClelland wins inaugural prize in psychological and cognitive sciences

January 22nd, 2014
Jay McClelland, professor of psychology (Photo: Linda Cicero)

Jay McClelland, professor of psychology (Photo: Linda Cicero)

JAMES “JAY” McCLELLAND, professor of psychology, is one of the inaugural recipients of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. He and the other recipient, Elizabeth Shilin Spelke, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, will each receive the $200,000 prize at the 2014 NAS annual meeting in April.

McClelland, the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences and director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation, is being honored for his role in formulating computational models to demonstrate the spread of activation through brain networks. His work has contributed to solving many puzzles in psychology and enhancing mechanical methods for perceiving patterns in language and visual sciences. His current research aims to create an understanding of the development of human abilities in mathematics at all levels, from numerosity and the initial stages of counting to arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and even multivariate mathematics and calculus.

“James McClelland and Elizabeth Shilin Spelke have both made significant contributions to our understanding of how the brain works,” said NAS President Ralph Cicerone. “We are pleased to present our first awards in psychological and cognitive sciences to them.”

The NAS Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences will be given biennially for significant advances in the psychological and cognitive sciences with important implications for formal and systematic theory in these fields. Recipients are selected by NAS members in these disciplines.

“I have to admit that I hadn’t thought that they’d choose me; I had expected they’d choose other people,” McClelland said. “I have other colleagues whose work I admire, so it was quite a pleasant surprise when I received the letter.”

McClelland said he was particularly happy to win a prize because of its connection to Stanford. This new prize was made possible by a gift from NAS member Richard Atkinson, who was a member of Stanford’s department of psychology in the 1950s and 1960s, and later became the first social scientist to serve as president of the National Science Foundation. One of Atkinson’s goals, McClelland said, was to enhance behavioral and psychological sciences’ reputation as “real sciences” that require research and systematic scientific thinking to understand human behavior and thought, and that this new prize helps achieve that goal.

Chris Field wins BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award

January 15th, 2014
Chris Field

Chris Field has won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award. (Photo: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)

CHRIS FIELD, a professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford, has been awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award. The award, presented on Jan. 9, comes with a 400,000 euro prize.

In honoring Field, a climate scientist who is co-chair of a United Nations group that will release a major climate change report in March, the BBVA Foundation cited his “visionary research on the global carbon cycle” and his role in “discovering the importance of ecosystems and their effective management in the battle against climate change.” The award recognizes “authors of outstanding contributions and radical advances in a broad range of scientific and technological areas,” according to a BBVA Foundation statement.

Field is a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Freeman Spogli Center for International Studies. He is also head of the Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Global Ecology.

Read more about Field. Watch a video about his work.

Stanford engineer wins third Academy Award

January 10th, 2014
Pat Hanrahan (Photo: Linda Cicero/Stanford News)

Pat Hanrahan (Photo: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News)

PAT HANRAHAN, professor of computer science and of electrical engineering, will receive his third award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for work that allows Hollywood to more easily and accurately reproduce real-world lighting in computer-generated films like Avatar and Monsters University.

Hanrahan and his former doctoral students MATT PHARR and GREG HUMPHREYS, who now both work at Google, are being honored with a Technical Achievement Award for what is known as physically based rendering, a process that “transformed computer graphics lighting” by more accurately simulating materials and lights in movies, the Academy said in a recent news release.

Pharr (PhD ’05), Humphreys (PhD ’02) and Hanrahan wrote software for this type of rendering. They then collaborated on a book that not only lays out the theory behind their work but also provides source code and instructions for how to actually implement it. The book, Physically Based Rendering, was developed in support of a Stanford course in image processing and is based in part on Hanrahan’s lectures for the course.

The book and software “allow digital artists to focus on cinematography rather than the intricacies of rendering,” according to the Academy announcement.

The trio are among 52 to be honored by the Academy on Feb. 15. Hanrahan’s earlier Academy Awards also are related to his work in rendering. He received a Scientific and Engineering Award in 1993 for his work on the team developing Pixar’s pioneering RenderMan software, which is still used in the computer graphics industry. In 2004, he was part of a team that received a Technical Achievement Award for research that made it possible for filmmakers to accurately depict skin and other translucent materials.

Read the full announcement on the School of Engineering website.