Benjamin Franklin Medal, Sloan Research Fellows, NIH HEAL Initiative Director’s Research Award

From science to engineering, writing to social sciences, here are the Columbians who received awards recently.

February 20, 2024

Columbia News produces a monthly newsletter (subscribe here!) and article series featuring a roundup of honors that Columbia faculty, staff, and students have received in recent days. In this edition, you’ll find awards and milestones from January 25 to February 22, 2024. 

If you have an accomplishment you'd like to be considered for inclusion, please email [email protected] with your name, title, school, department, and a link to the relevant award or milestone. 

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


Columbia University has been named a top-producing institution for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, coming in the top ten with 28 awardees in 2023–24. Columbia is one of several institutions that has been named a top-producing Fulbright institution for over a decade. Columbia undergraduates interested in learning more about applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, can join Columbia’s Fulbright Week, March 25-29, and can connect with Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.


Three Columbia faculty members have won 2024 Sloan Research fellowships, one of the most competitive and prestigious awards available to early-career scholars. Since the first Sloan Research Fellowships were awarded in 1955, 181 faculty from Columbia University have received them, including this year’s winners. The Columbia fellows are Laura Doval, Daniel W. Stanton Associate Professor of Business; Elena Giorgi, assistant professor of mathematics; and Daniel Lacker, associate professor of industrial engineering and operations research at Columbia Engineering affiliated with the Data Science Institute.

Jingguang Chen, the Thayer Lindsley Professor of Chemical Engineering; Ruth DeFries, University Professor and Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development; and Jeannette M. Wing, professor of computer science at Columbia Engineering and executive vice president for research at Columbia University, have been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional distinctions granted to an engineer.


Ryan Hagen (GSAS’11, ’14, ’19), lecturer in the Department of Sociology, has won the Excellence and Commitment to Teaching Award from the Columbia Division of Social Science.

Andres Jaque, dean of Columbia GSAPP, and his firm, Office for Political Innovation, won the 2024 Mini Design Prize for the Reggio School.

Wael Morcos, adjunct assistant professor at Columbia GSAPP, received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Design, for his approach to typographic and graphic design.

Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History, received the 2024 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Columbia University Asian Faculty Association. 

Camille Robcis, professor of History and French, was awarded the 2024 Frantz Fanon Outstanding Book Award for her book, Disalienation: Politics, Philosophy, and Radical Psychiatry in Postwar France

Pamela Smith, Seth Low Professor of History, and director of the Center for Science and Society, was awarded an honorable mention for the Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Book Prize for her book, From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Knowledge in the Early Modern World, from the Renaissance Society of America.


Veronica Barcelona, assistant professor of Nursing, was accepted as a fellow at the New York Academy of Medicine.

Wellington Cardoso, professor of Medicine, received a grant of $7,771,980 over seven years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "Regulation of Progenitor Cell Plasticity in Lung Development and Disease-Repair."

Cristiane Duarte, Ruane Professor for the Implementation of Science for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and Frances Levin, Kennedy-Leavy Professor of Psychiatry, have been selected to serve on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse

Elena Giorgi, assistant professor of Mathematics, was given a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for a project focused on building a comprehensive approach to analyze interactions between gravitational waves and electromagnetic radiation on rotating and charged black holes.

Joaquim I. Goes, Lamont Research Professor, and Helga do Rosário Gomes, research scientist in the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, received the 2023 Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research Award from Nagoya University for “outstanding contribution to space-earth environmental research through the study on interaction of climate change/material cycle and phytoplankton.”

Jennifer J. Manly, professor of Neuropsychology, received a 2023 National Hispanic Council on Aging award in recognition of her “excellence, innovation and commitment to the health of Hispanic seniors.”

Jaime S. Rubin, professor of Medical Sciences at CUIMC, has been selected to serve as a “Grant Coach” for the National Institutes of Health’s $100 million Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD) program. AIM-AHEAD “has established mutually beneficial, coordinated, and trusted partnerships to enhance the participation and representation of researchers and communities currently underrepresented in the development of AI/ML models and to improve the capabilities of this emerging technology, beginning with electronic health records and extending to other diverse data to address health disparities and inequities.” Rubin will be working with the Program for Artificial Intelligence Readiness, which “aims to leverage AIM-AHEAD resources to jump-start AI research for health equity in minority-serving institutions with inadequate resources.

Joshua Weiner, assistant professor of Surgery, received the 2024 American Society of Transplant Surgeons Vanguard Prize.


Mary C. Boyce, professor of Mechanical Engineering, Provost Emerita of Columbia University, and Dean Emerita of Columbia Engineering, has been awarded the prestigious 2024 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering for her expertise in the nonlinear mechanics of polymers and the multiscale design of soft composite materials. The award cites her “transformative contributions to our understanding of the physical behavior of polymers, materials made of long chains of molecules, leading to innovative product development of rubber and other soft materials.” 

Yuan Yang, associate professor of materials science in the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, received the 2024 Young Investigator Award from the Columbia University Asian Faculty Association. 


Nabila El-Bassel, University Professor and Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work, received the prestigious NIH HEAL Director's Award for Excellence in Research.The award is given annually to an NIH HEAL Initiative researcher who demonstrates research excellence, supports broad dissemination of key research, and is a leader in the scientific community.

Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law, has been named to the Lawdragon Hall of Fame.


Kumayl Alloo (CC'25) has been named an Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai FlexMed Scholar. The FlexMed Scholar program eliminates traditional pre-med requirements, including the MCAT and extensive science coursework, simplifying the path to medical school, and offering students early admission to medical school during their sophomore year of college.

Lauren Toppenberg, PhD candidate in the School of Social Work, has been selected to serve on the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Policy Council as a student member.