Terry Orr-Weaver, professor of biology and a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, has been elected president of the Genetics Society of America. She will serve as vice president of the society in 2004 and president in 2005. Orr-Weaver's research focuses on cell division and development. Her work has identified new proteins regulating gene replication and segregation during development. She has been on the MIT faculty since 1987.
Alexis K. Stanke (S.M. 2001), a research engineer with the Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI), was honored as a Lean Subject Matter Expert by the LAI, a consortium of industry, government, academia and labor. Stanke works as an LAI advocate and facilitator and shares her knowledge and experience in the neutral forum provided by LAI to learn from other Lean Subject Matter Experts, bringing the "best of the best" training material and implementation practices to the Air Force. Stanke currently works on curriculum development, university outreach, and developing and applying enterprise-level lean tools.
Karen Nilsson, director of Housing, and Kenneth Winsor, assistant director for evening operations in Housing, recently received recognition for their support of Don McCusker, a maintenance mechanic in Housing, during McCusker's military service in Kuwait last year. Nilsson and Winsor received "Patriotic Employer" awards from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, presented by McCusker in a formal military ceremony. McCusker expressed gratitude to his supervisors because they wrote to him while he was away, held his position for him, and even put him up for a promotion which he ultimately received.
Catherine Higgins, a sophomore in aeronautics and astronautics, has received an Eleanor and Anthony DeFrancis Scholarship from the National Italian American Foundation. Scholarships averaging $4,000 went to about 100 students nationwide based on academic merit.
Yoel Fink, the Thomas B. King Assistant Professor of Materials Science, received the NAS Award for Initiatives in Research from the National Academy of Sciences. The $15,000 prize is awarded annually in a field supporting information technology (condensed matter/materials science in 2004) to recognize innovative young scientists and to encourage research likely to lead toward new capabilities for human benefit. Fink was chosen "for his pioneering contributions and ingenuity in the creative design and development of photonic materials and devices."
Professor Neville Hogan received a silver medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Hogan (S.M. 1973, M.E., Ph.D.) holds appointments in the departments of mechanical engineering and brain and cognitive sciences. He received a diploma of engineering from the College of Technology in Dublin.
Four MIT student athletes have been named to the Academic All-America teams in their respective sports: soccer players Rory Foster, a senior in mechanical engineering, and Nicholas Nestle, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science; Thomas Kilpatrick, a junior in civil and environmental engineering (football); and Austin Zimmerman, a sophomore in physics (volleyball). Kilpatrick was MIT's lone First Team selection, and Nestle received Academic All-America citations for the second straight year. The 816 students selected nationwide by the College Sports Information Directors of America are varsity starters or key reserves and have maintained a GPA of 3.2 on a scale of 4.0.
Institute Professor Peter Diamond of economics has won the Paul A. Samuelson Award from TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund). He was recognized for his book, "Taxation, Incomplete Markets and Social Security." The award is named for fellow MIT economist Samuelson, an Institute Professor emeritus.
Associate Professor Jonathan P. How (S.M. 1990, Ph.D.) of aeronautics and astronautics shares the Burka Award given by the Institute of Navigation. He and two co-authors were honored for their paper titled "Sensing Technologies for Formation-Flying Spacecraft LEO Using CDGPS and an Interspacecraft Communications System," published in the spring 2002 issue of Navigation.
Subra Suresh, the Ford Professor of Engineering and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has received several honors recently. He was selected as a Gordon Moore Distinguished Scholar by the California Institute of Technology, where he will spend May through September 2004 as part of his sabbatical leave. He has also been elected a Foreign Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Suresh will also hold the Brahm Prakash Visiting Professorship at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore this year.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 4, 2004.