Viscusi awarded top research prize
Vanderbilt’s most prestigious faculty honor for accomplishments in research, scholarship or creative expression was awarded to W. Kip Viscusi during Fall Faculty Assembly Aug. 22.
Viscusi, University Distinguished Professor of Law, Economics and Management, was awarded the Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research during the ceremony at the Student Life Center.
“As the author behind more than 360 articles and over two dozen books, Kip is one of the most prominent and prolific economists in the world,” Interim Chancellor Susan R. Wente said. “His watershed research on the statistical valuation of life has changed how scholars and government regulators approach benefits. His work is an example of how innovations in social science can radically inform policy and public affairs, therefore changing human lives for the better.”
Viscusi, the co-founder and co-director of Vanderbilt’s Ph.D. Program in Law and Economics, is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on benefit-cost analysis. His research focuses on a wide range of individual and societal responses to risk and uncertainty, including risky behaviors, government regulation and tort liability.
Viscusi’s latest book, Pricing Lives: Guideposts for a Safer Society, shows how innovations in social science can radically inform policy and public affairs, thereby changing human lives for the better.
The Sutherland Prize includes a cash award of $10,000 and an engraved julep cup. In addition, Viscusi’s name will be engraved alongside past Sutherland Prize winners on a silver bowl that he will keep for one year.
Viscusi was one of 11 faculty members honored during Fall Faculty Assembly. The others were: Aimi Hamraie, Sarah Igo, Mark Jarman, Nicole Joseph, Timothy McNamara, Todd Rice, Wesley Self, Matthew Semler, Sharon Weiss and Kimberly Welch.
Members of the faculty with 25 consecutive years of service also were recognized and will receive a chair with the Vanderbilt logo and a brass plate engraved with their name.
Thomas Jefferson Award
Timothy McNamara received the Thomas Jefferson Award “for distinguished service to Vanderbilt through extraordinary contributions as a member of the faculty in the councils and government of the university.” He is professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Science.
“Given Tim’s academic leadership as a department chair for over two decades and his roles as associate provost and vice provost, he has epitomized the service, leadership and community engagement that we value as a university community and that define this award,” Wente said. She noted his leadership in a variety of initiatives, including the growth of his department, the expanded scope of the Office of Faculty Affairs and Vanderbilt’s international engagement.
The Thomas Jefferson Award is accompanied by $5,000 and an engraved goblet.
Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Two faculty members received the Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which recognizes excellence in research, scholarship or creative expression that specifically advances our understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion.
The awards, given for works presented or published in the preceding three calendar years, consist of a $2,000 prize and an engraved julep cup.
Aimi Hamraie, assistant professor of medicine, health and society, was honored for their book, Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability. “Aimi’s work explores how science, technology and architecture have converged as approaches begin to shift toward inclusion,” Wente said. “Critically, Aimi’s book also looks into how these practices have impacted racial segregation, disability law, citizenship and other pressing themes.”
Nicole Joseph, assistant professor of mathematics education, was the other recipient in this category for her article “Black Girls’ and Women’s Persistence in the P-20 Mathematics Pipeline: Two Decades of Children, Youth and Adult Education Research.” “Nicole’s piece explores persistence of black women and girls in the field of mathematics and their impact on shaping new paradigms, policy and pathways for success,” Wente said. “Her article has received significant critical attention after being published in the Review of Research in Education.”
Chancellor’s Award for Research
Seven Vanderbilt professors won a Chancellor’s Award for Research, which recognizes excellence in works published or presented in the last three calendar years. They each received $2,000 and an engraved julep cup. The recipients are:
Sarah Igo, the professor of history, for her book The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America, which has received recognition from The Washington Post and The New Yorker. “Sarah’s work traces why and how privacy came to matter to Americans, from the Victorian era to the present day, raising pressing questions about how approaches to privacy have shaped our history, individual rights and modern society,” Wente said.
Mark Jarman, Centennial Professor of English, for his collection of verse The Heronry: Poems, which has garnered critical acclaim from major literary outlets and received a starred review in Booklist.
“The book contemplates the themes of spirituality, faith and doubt through Mark’s formally rigorous and distinctive verse,” Wente said.
Todd Rice, associate professor of medicine; Wesley Self, associate professor of emergency medicine; and Mathew Semler, assistant professor of medicine, for their co-authored work, “Balanced Crystalloids versus Saline in Noncritically Ill Adults.” Their research examines the inner-workings and effectiveness of crystalloids in common medical therapies. “Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the work has made a significant impact on clinical trials and physicians’ practices, and has garnered important media attention among the medical community and public,” Wente said.
Sharon Weiss, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair of Electrical Engineering, received an award for her co-authored work, “Experimental Realization of Deep-Subwavelength Confinement in Dielectric Optical Resonators,” which was published in Science Advances. “Sharon’s research on the spatial confinement of light marks an enormous leap forward in the interplay of optics and electronics,” Wente said. “Sharon’s work has received significant praise from both technical and mainstream media outlets for its groundbreaking discoveries.”
Kimberly Welch, assistant professor of history, for her first book, Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South. “Exploring the legal dynamics of slave culture in the American South, Kim’s book has shed new light on themes of race, rights and civic inclusion in America,” Wente said. Welch has already won three major prizes for her book.
Wente thanked all of this year’s winners for their immeasurable contributions to Vanderbilt and beyond. “There is so much meaningful, life-changing work that permeates and unites our community of scholars,” she said. “Today’s recognitions just begin to scratch the surface of what we can achieve—together and as individuals.”
25 years of service
Faculty members who have achieved 25 years of continuous service to Vanderbilt were recognized at the assembly.
Each will receive a chair with the Vanderbilt logo and a brass plate engraved with their name. They are:
- Stephen Gary Buckles
- Philip David Charles
- Amy S. Chomsky
- Cynthia J. Cyrus
- Thomas P. Doyle
- Robin P. Fountain
- Gina L. Frieden
- Raymond A. Friedman
- Gaelyn Garrett
- Joseph Gigante
- Jonathan M. Gilligan
- Dario A. Giuse
- Nunzia B. Giuse
- Michael Goldfarb
- Lenn E. Goodman
- Senta Victoria Greene
- Michael S. Higgins
- Leslie W. Hopkins
- Shan Huang
- Karen M. Joos
- Amy-Jill Levine
- Letha Mathews
- Ralph N. McKenzie
- David M. Miller III
- Randolph A. Miller
- Sokrates Theodore Pantelides
- Ray L. Paschall Jr.
- Nimesh P. Patel
- Jennifer A. Pietenpol
- Yu Shyr
- Mark A. Wollaeger
- Mary I. Yarbrough
On its website, the Office of Faculty Affairs has posted brief biographies of each faculty member honored for 25 years of service.