American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elections, Notable Leader in Sustainability, and More

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Columbia News produces a biweekly newsletter (subscribe here!) and article series featuring a roundup of awards and milestones that Columbia faculty, staff, and students have received in recent days. In this edition, you’ll find awards and milestones from April 6 to April 20, 2023.

Have an award or milestone you’d like to have featured in the newsletter or article online? Please send an email to [email protected]. Note that we’ll be running this series every other week. 

You can take a look at past accomplishments on our Awards & Milestones page. And you can subscribe to receive the newsletter in your inbox. 


Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science in the Department of Anthropology; Jelani Cobb, dean of Columbia Journalism School and Henry Luce Professor of Journalism; Franklin D. Costantini, professor of genetics and development; Sankar Ghosh, chairman and Silverstein and Hutt Family Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology; and Gillian E. Metzger, Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law, have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Shana L. Redmond, professor of English and Comparative Literature; David Scott, Ruth and William Lubic Professor of Anthropology and chair of the Anthropology Department; and Mabel O. Wilson, Nancy and George Rupp Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at GSAPP, have received 2023 Guggenheim Fellowships.

Jessica Bruder, adjunct writing professor at the Journalism School; Catherine Lacey, adjunct assistant professor of writing at the School of the Arts; Stephanie McCurry, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History in Honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower; Yasmine Seale, fellow at the Institute for Ideas and Imagination; and Brenda Wineapple, adjunct writing professor at the School of the Arts have been named 2023-2024 Fellows of the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

Kate Orff, faculty director at the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at Columbia Climate School and professor and director of the Urban Design Program at GSAPP, is one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023.


Sua Bae, postdoctoral research scientist in Professor Elisa Konofagou’s Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory, won the 2023 Women in Acoustics Young Investigator Travel Grant, sponsored by the Acoustical Society of America.

Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, University Professor and Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Sciences, received the annual award for the best paper by a woman in science from the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and the Rosalind Franklin Society; received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society; and was named a “Top 50 Academic Life Science Entrepreneur” by BIOS.


Suzanne Bakken, Alumni Professor of the School of Nursing and professor of biomedical informatics, has been appointed a member of the Methodology Committee at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for four years.

Wendy Chung, Kennedy Professor of Pediatrics, and Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, Ruane Professor for the Implementation of Science for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, were awarded $11,734,748 over five years from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for “Prospective Genetic Risk Evaluation and Assessment (PROGRESS) in Autism.”

Maureen George, professor of Nursing and assistant dean of scholarship and research at the Nursing School, was awarded the Fulbright U.S. Scholar award for 2023-24 in partnership with the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Alexandra Muratore, assistant professor of clinical medical psychology (in psychiatry), is the recipient of the GFED Young Investigator Award, the first award of its kind from the collaboration between the Global Foundation for Eating Disorders (GFED) and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). The $50,000 award will be used to fund a one-year pilot study focused on brain-based treatment for those suffering from anorexia nervosa. 

Maria Rahmany, director of business development and portfolio management at Columbia Technology Ventures, and Jessica Weis, program director of the Women in Energy Program at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy, have joined the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s inaugural cohort of advisors of The Women.NYC Network. The network is a social capital building platform designed to connect women in New York City with resources to help them excel and identify opportunities in emerging industries namely, offshore wind, life sciences, technology, and green economy.

Dennis Tarnow, clinical professor of periodontology and director of implant education at the College of Dental Medicine, has been presented with the 2023 Nobel Biocare Brånemark Osseointegration Award. The award, which is given in recognition of an individual’s impact on, and leadership in, the field of implant dentistry research and/or education, is named for Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, the founder of osseointegration. 

Maxim Topaz, Elizabeth Standish Gill Associate Professor of Nursing, was elected to serve as International Medical Informatics Association Board Vice President for the 2025 MEDINFO conference in Taiwan.


Tyler Kim (SEAS’26) and Quan Tan won first place in the Columbia Venture Competition with a $15,000 cash prize for their startup Scraft, an AI writing tutor for ESL students that provides instant personalized feedback and writing exercises using generative AI. 

Rebecca Noel, a member of Professor Elisa Konofagou’s Lab, and Margaret Jakus, a member of Professor Sam Sia’s Lab, both students in Columbia’s Biomedical Engineering Department, were part of the winning team at the annual Penn-Yale-Princeton-Columbia Case Competition. 

Xiaoxiao Sun, PhD student in Professor Paul Sajda’s Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing, was selected for a Young Scientist Award at the 2023 Northeast Bioengineering Conference.

Melina Tourni, PhD student in Professor Elisa Konofagou’s Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory, received the New Investigator Award by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine at UltraCon 2023. Melina was honored for work on “Electromechanical Wave Imaging for mitral valve disease characterization in the clinic.” 


Emilia Autin-Hefner, live support specialist at Columbia School of Social Work, was recognized as a National AfterSchool Association 2023 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders.

Dan Zarrilli, special advisor for Climate and Sustainability at Columbia, was named to Crain’s New York Business’ Notable Leaders in Sustainability for 2023.

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