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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Faculty Accolades: September 2009

JOHN BYERS, associate professor of computer science, and his coauthors have won the Association for Computer Machinery’s SIGCOMM  (Special Interest Group for Data Communication)“Test of Time” paper award for “A Digital Fountain Approach to Reliable Distribution of Bulk Data.” According to the association’s web site, the award “recognizes papers published 10 to 12 years in the past in Computer Communication Review or any SIGCOMM sponsored or co-sponsored conference that is deemed to be an outstanding paper whose contents are still a vibrant and useful contribution today.”


PAUL GOLDBERG, professor of archaeology, was selected by the Archaeological Institute of America as the 2010 recipient of the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology. This award is one of the two highest honors that the institute confers.


WILLIAM GRIMES, associate professor of international relations and director of the Center for the Study of Asia, received an honorary mention in the first annual Bernard Schwartz Book Award contest, sponsored by the Asia Society. Grimes was recognized for his book, Currency and Contest in East Asia: The Great Power Politics of Financial Regionalism (Cornell University Press). The Asia Society established the award to recognize nonfiction books that provide outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations.


LES KAUFMANN, professor of biology, and his colleagues at the Flower Garden Banks Long-Term Monitoring program received a Partners in Conservation award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for their longstanding commitment to the protection of the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico, the northernmost coral reef communities in the western hemisphere. In presenting the award, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar noted that it was a testament to the work of the team that “the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico are among the healthiest reefs not only in the Western Hemisphere, but in the world.”


JAMES STONE, professor of physics, was selected a Jefferson Science Fellow for 2009. The prestigious Jefferson Science Fellowships have been established to create opportunities for substantial engagement of tenured scientists and engineers from U.S. academic institutions in the work of the State Department. Physics Professor Michael El-Batanouny was selected as Jefferson Science Fellow for 2008. Biographies and profiles of the Fellows can be found here.