Mae Ngai Wins Bancroft Prize, Plus More Institutional Milestones

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

March 23, 2022

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 March 10 to March 24, 2022.

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



Shana L. Redmond, professor of English and comparative literature, has received the Society for American Music’s 2022 Irving Lowens Book Award for her book, Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson.

Mark Mazower, Ira D. Wallach Professor of History, has won the 2021 Pol Roger Duff Cooper Prize for his book, The Greek Revolution: 1821 and the Making of Modern Europe. The prize includes £5,000 and a magnum of champagne.

Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies, professor of history, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, has received the Bancroft Prize for her book, The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics. The Bancroft Prizes are given annually by the Trustees of Columbia University.


Deborah Hasin, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, has been elected president of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence.

Kareen Matouk, an instructor in medical psychology at CUIMC, has been selected for the American Psychological Association’s Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology’s Scholars Program, which provides mentorship and training in working with gender and sexual minorities.

Natalia Pasternak Taschner, an adjunct research scholar at Columbia’s Center for Science and Society, has been named one of the 100 most influential women of the world in 2021 by the BBC. 

Dr. Olajide Williams, a professor of neurology and chief of staff in the neurology department at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, has been named a "Rising Leader" by the New York Academy of Medicine. 


Elias Bareinboim, professor of computer science, and Christian Kroer, professor of industrial engineering and operations research, have won Young Investigator Awards from the Office of Naval Research, one of the nation’s oldest and most selective early career awards in science and technology.


Elaine Larson, a professor emerita of nursing, has received Columbia Nursing’s 2021 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for inspiring her former students to make a difference in their community. Larson worked with Eileen Carter (PhD’14) to create Linking to Improve Nursing Knowledge, or (LINK), to integrate research across nursing schools and academic health centers.  


Daniel M. Smith, the Gerald L. Curtis Visiting Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy in the Department of Political Science and School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, has won the Kenneth A. Shepsle Prize for best article published in 2021 in the Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy, for “Distributive Politics and Crime,” coauthored with Masataka Harada.


Congratulations to the Vagelos Physicians and Surgeons students who “matched” and learned where they will begin their residencies this summer.

Mailman School of Public Health Students Alexis Bryan, Helena Chan, and Liat Schreiber represented Columbia at the UCLA Center for Healthcare Management 2022 Case Competition in late February and won. Out of 36 teams, they came in first place.


Alexis M. Akagawa, senior international student adviser at Columbia’s International Students and Scholars Office, has received the 2022 NAFSA: Association of International Educators Advocate of the Year Award which recognizes advocates who have promoted policies that create a more globally engaged United States.

Sebabatso Manoeli-Lesame, the deputy executive director of the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, will become the executive director of AFRE, succeeding AFRE’s founding executive director Kavitha Mediratta.