2017 Major Awards and Honors

For 72 years, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has been developing and supporting leaders in various fields through its Fellowship programs. This year, like most years, WW Fellows made discoveries, published important research and work, made advances in their careers, and helped shape their disciplines. Here’s a look at some of the major awards, appointments, and career recognitions made by Fellows in 2017.

Medals and Major Appointments

Nobel Prize
The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Kip S. Thorne WF ’62 and his colleagues Rainer Weiss and Barry C. Barish “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”

The three scientists founded LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) in 1984 and on September 14, 2015, the universe’s gravitational waves were observed for the very first time. The waves—predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago—were the result of a collision between two black holes.

The discovery, according to the Nobel Committee for Physics, is “already promising a revolution in astrophysics. Gravitational waves are an entirely new way of observing the most violent events in space and testing the limits of our knowledge.”

Dr. Thorne is the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus at Caltech. He was featured in the spring issue of Fellowship. Read the full story here.

Aspen Institute President and CEO
The Aspen Institute, a non-partisan think tank for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas, has named Dan Porterfield MN ’89 as the new president and CEO. Dr. Porterfield is currently the president of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and will succeed Walter Isaacson in June of next year. Read the full story here.

Academic Appointments and Honors

American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Eugene Bardach WF ’61, University of California, Berkeley
Caroline Brettell WS ’74, Southern Methodist University
Pamela Grossman SP ’87, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (WW Academy Advisory Board)
Beverly Guy-Sheftall WS ’82, Spelman College
Tara Zahra MN ’99, University of Chicago

Guggenheim Fellows
Wendy Brown WS ’81, University of California, Berkeley
John E. Cort CN ’87, Denison University
Michael David-Fox SP ’92, Georgetown University
Sharon Marcus WS ’92 CN H ’93, Columbia University
Adela Pinch WS ’87, University of Michigan

Mary Beth Norton WF ’64, the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History at Cornell University, has been elected president of the American Historical Association (AHA). Her one-year term as president will begin in January 2018.

Alan Dowty WF ’60 received a lifetime achievement award from the Association for Israel Studies. Dr. Dowty is professor emeritus of political science at Notre Dame.

Hunt Hawkins WF ‘66 has received a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Scholarship to spend the 2017-18 academic year in Krakow, Poland at Jagiellonian University.

Beth Baron WS ’87 is the latest CUNY Distinguished Professor at The City College of New York. She is the 15th current faculty member at CCNY to earn that distinction.

Ralph Bolton WF ’61, was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the National University of the Altiplano in Puno, Peru.

Kirstin Milks TF ’09 received an Alumni Excellence in Education award from the Stanford Graduate School of Education for “her work with students, university faculty and teachers across the country to design authentic science experiences for high school classrooms.”

If you’d like to tell us about your 2017 accomplishments, tweet at us, find us on Facebook, or send us an email to let us know!


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