Most Cited Female Scientists in the World, Schwarzman Scholars, and More

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

December 20, 2023

Columbia News produces a monthly 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 November 30 to December 21, 2023.

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



Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science in the Anthropology Department, has won the 2023 Feminist Anthropology Career Award from the Association for Feminist Anthropology section of the American Anthropology Association. 

Mariusz Kozak, associate professor of Music, received two publication awards at the 2023 joint meeting of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory. He won the SMT Outstanding Publication Award for his article in the Journal of Music Theory, “Feeling meter: Kinesthetic knowledge and the case of recent progressive metal,” and the SMT Emerging Scholar Award for his 2020 monograph, Enacting Musical Time: The Bodily Experience of New Music.

Pamela H. Smith, Seth Low Professor of History, won the 2023 George L. Mosse Prize from the American Historical Association for her book, From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in the Early Modern World, as well as the 2023 Joseph H. Hazen Education Prize for outstanding teaching in the history of science, from the History of Science Society.

Paige West, Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology, along with her collaborators, Professor Ajit Subramaniam (Oceanography, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), Professor Pamela Smith (Center for Science and Society), and Postdoctoral Researcher Michael Petriello (Center for Science and Society), have been awarded the Columbia Office of the Provost Societal Impact Seed Grant for their project, "Indigenous and Locally Led Knowledge Co-Production to Understand Environmental Change."  This grant will allow them to convene a series of roundtable discussions between Columbia researchers and their Indigenous collaborators about intersections between Indigenous and scholarly epistemic production.


Numerous Columbia professors have been named to’s 2023 ranking of the Top 1000 Female Scientists in the World. The ranking is based on the H-index metric, which presents both the productivity and the citation impact of a scientist or scholar. Faculty on the list are: Susan E. Bates, professor of Medicine; Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child and Parent Development and Education; Patricia Cohen (1936-2018), who was a professor of Clinical Epidemiology in Psychiatry; Vivette D. D'Agati, Delafield Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology; Ruth S. DeFries, University Professor; Jean Endicott, professor of Clinical Psychiatry; Linda P. Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health; Deborah S. Hasin, professor of Epidemiology; Elaine Larson, Anna C. Maxwell Professor Emerita of Nursing Research; Michal Lipson, Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering; Karen Marder, Sally Kerlin Professor of Neurology; Frederica P. Perera, professor of Environmental Health Sciences; Kerstin Perez, Lavine Family Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences; Carol Prives, Da Costa Professor of Biology; Regina M. Santella, professor of Environmental Health Sciences; Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, University Professor; Melanie M. Wall, professor of Biostatistics; and Myrna M. Weissman, Diane Goldman Kemper Family Professor of Epidemiology.

Veronica Barcelona, assistant professor of Nursing, was invited to participate as a member of the Committee on Assessment of NIH Research on Women’s Health. The NASEM consensus committee will make recommendations on research priorities for NIH-supported research on women's health research and workforce.

Henry Colecraft, John C. Dalton Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, was awarded $12,000,650 over five years from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for "Structure-Function of Calcium Channel Complexes in Cardiac Physiology and Disease." Colecraft was also recently elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Sharon Katz Cooper, education officer at the Climate School's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, was awarded the Neil Miner Award by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, presented annually to an individual for exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the Earth sciences. Cooper was also selected to be part of the 2023 cohort in the American Geophysical Union LANDInG Academy program for current and aspiring diversity, equity, and inclusion leaders in the Earth and space sciences.

Kasey B. Jackman, assistant professor of Nursing, was named the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Interoception Research Initiative Early-Stage Investigator Travel awardee.

Clare Cardo McKegney, assistant professor of Nursing, was elected president of the NJ National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners chapter.

Sachel Mok, assistant professor of Medical Sciences, was the sole recipient of the American Committee of Molecular, Cellular and Immunoparasitology Take-Off Award in Parasitology Research. The ACMCIP is organized under the auspices of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. This is an international award for ASTMH that recognizes an early-career stage scientist who has made significant contributions in the field of cellular, molecular and immunoparasitology. The award recognizes individuals who have made important contributions in basic parasitology.

Luiz A. Pimenta, professor of Dental Medicine, was inducted into the International College of Dentists USA Section.

Jeanne Mager Stellman, Professor Emerita and special lecturer in the Department of Health Policy & Management at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, was invited to serve as a member of a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that will conduct a congressionally requested study on the health effects of radioactive materials or waste related to the Manhattan Project on veterans who served on active duty in the military. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the project's sponsor.

Yoshira Ornelas Van Horne, assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences, was awarded the 2023 HEI Walter A. Rosenblith Award for her project, “What's in the air? Engaging Native American youth in the Northern plains to reduce air pollution.” The Rosenblith Award provides three years of funding for early career investigators studying the health effects of air pollution.

Rafael Yuste, professor of Biological Sciences, received a Collaborative Opportunities for Multidisciplinary, Bold, and Innovative Neuroscience award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health. His project will reexamine the role of dendrites in neuronal function.


Elham Azizi, Herbert and Florence Irving Assistant Professor of Cancer Data Research, José L. McFaline-Figueroa, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Mijo Simunovic, assistant professor of Chemical Engineering, have won the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Award to study how sex hormones influence early organ development. Azizi and McFaline-Figueroa are also faculty members at the Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics. Azizi was also named the 2024 Early-Career Scientist, as part of the Innovators in Science Award administered by the New York Academy of Sciences and sponsored by Takeda.

A multi-institutional team led by Columbia Engineering Professor Elias Bareinboim has won a $5 million National Science Foundation grant to address challenges in AI bias and discrimination, transforming AI decision-making by building more efficient, explainable, and transparent decision-support systems. 

Helen Lu, Percy K. and Vida L.W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering, was named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Election as an academy fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded solely to inventors.

A new program from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Department of Defense’s central research and development organization, has awarded $12 million to a multi-institutional team led by Paul Sajda, Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Biomedical Engineering, to advance critical research in major depressive disorder and suicide. 


Karuna Mantena, professor of Political Science, recently won this year's Infosys Prize for Social Sciences for her groundbreaking research on the theory of imperial rule, and the claim that this late imperial ideology became one of the important factors in the emergence of modern social theory. Since 2008, the Infosys Prize has honored the accomplishments of the recipients and awarded them for their contributions to scientific research and scholarship impacting India.

Sidney Nakahodo, lecturer in International and Public Affairs at SIPA, received the Prêmio Alumni USP 2023 in the category "Contributions in Innovation and Entrepreneurship" for his space sector work and academic research. The award honors outstanding graduates of the University of São Paulo who have excelled in their respective professional fields and made a significant impact on society. 


Abigail Hickok, postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Mathematics, won the eighth Annual Association for Women in Mathematics Dissertation Prize, and the inaugural Ivo and Renata Babuška Thesis Prize in recognition of the outstanding contributions in her PhD thesis, "Topics in Geometric and Topological Data Analysis."

Jack LaViolette, PhD candidate in Sociology, and co-author Mikael Brunila (McGill University) received the Outstanding Paper Award in Computational Social Science at the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing for their paper, "Toward a Critical Toponymy Framework for Named Entity Recognition: A Case Study of Airbnb in New York City.”

Two recent graduates were honored with prestigious scholarships: Mary Olson (CC’21) was recently named a 2024 Marshall Scholar, which provides exceptional American students with two years of postgraduate study at any participating university in the U.K., and Coleman Yorke (CC’20) was named a 2024 Mitchell Scholar, which provides one-year fellowships for postgraduate study in Ireland for exceptional American students. 

Helen Yang (SEAS’24) and Jenna Yuan (CC’24) were named 2024-2025 Schwarzman Scholars. The Schwarzman Scholars program seeks to train future leaders to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond by preparing scholars to understand China, its role in global trends and their role as future leaders. This year, the two Columbia recipients will join a class of 150 Schwarzman Scholars from 43 countries and 114 universities.


Columbia University Irving Medical Center has honored six staff members with 2023 Baton Awards that recognize team players who contribute to the overall success of the medical center: Robert Armada, Ashley Boyce, Michelle M. DiVito, Moshe Kelsen, Henry Lee, and Gilbert Smith.