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First Lieberman Fellows honored at reception

STANFORD -- Eleven doctoral students selected as the first Lieberman Fellows were honored at a reception Thursday, Oct. 6, along with the man for whom their awards are named, former Provost Gerald J. Lieberman.

Established with support from several anonymous donors, the fellowships are for graduate students who intend to pursue careers in university teaching and research, and who have demonstrated potential for leadership roles in the academic community. The fellowship amounts vary by school, but are higher than the average fellowship or stipend.

President Gerhard Casper announced the creation of the award program while paying tribute to Lieberman at commencement in June 1993.

George Dekker, associate dean for graduate policy, told those gathered at the reception that "Jerry Lieberman has been one of the most beloved and respected faculty members at Stanford over a period of more than four decades of distinguished service here."

Among his many roles of institutional service, Dekker said, Lieberman was “truly a tower of strength as the provost” who managed the presidential transition of 1992. This came “at a time when it was critically important that the provost be a person who enjoyed the complete confidence and trust of the university community.”

Of the students, Dekker said they "are all superb young scholars with an interest in, and the talent for, a university teaching career."

The first group includes 11 graduate students - six women and five men - from six of Stanford's seven schools:

  • Susan Athey, Graduate School of Business, whose dissertation will focus on organizational design.
  • Catherine Casserly, education, whose research topic is "Can Education Really Cure Poverty?" She has tutored prisoners at a high-security facility in Jamaica.
  • Michele Cooke, geological and environmental sciences, who is researching the way fractures in rocks propagate under combined tensile and shear loading conditions. She developed a program for students with disabilities to participate in geology field trips.
  • Kenichi Futamura, operations research, who is interested in applying queuing theory to the design of production line systems with variable processing times.
  • Carlos Gallego, English, who is studying 19th- and 20th-century American literature.
  • Marcial Gonzalez, modern thought and literature, who is studying the correlation between Chicana/o literature and resistance movements.
  • Wilfred Graves, statistics, who is studying applied statistics.
  • Anthony Lopez, physics, who is interested in statistical physics and thermodynamics.
  • Sharon Perlmutter, electrical engineering, whose research involves medical image compression, with important potential applications in cancer diagnosis.
  • Elaine Storm, developmental biology, who is studying genetic control of skeletal growth and patterning.
  • Elizabeth Tunstall, anthropology, who is studying the politics of cultural identity.

Lieberman said he was "deeply flattered" to have the awards named in his honor.

"They look like a very good group," he said of the Lieberman Fellows.



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