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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: December 2009

Professor of Chemistry TOM KEYES received the Bridges to the Professoriate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award from the Southern Regional Education Board. He was nominated by graduate student Shanadeen Begay. The award was given at the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, a gathering of minority Ph.D. scholars that is sponsored by the Compact for Faculty Diversity. The compact is a partnership of regional, federal, and foundation programs that focus on mentoring to enhance graduate student and faculty diversity.


Assistant Professor of Chemistry BJOERN REINHARD and School of Medicine professors Rachel Fearns and Caroline Genco were awarded a nanomedicine award from the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research at BU. The goal of the internal BU award is to enable researchers to test new ideas, build interdisciplinary teams, and generate the preliminary data necessary for successful applications to external funding agencies in the areas of basic science and discovery in nanomedicine.


Professor of Cognitive and Neural Systems BARBARA SHINN-CUNNINGHAM was recently elected to become a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in recognition of her “contributions to spatial hearing and auditory attention.”


Professors of Physics LEE ROBERTS AND JAMES MILLER’S experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab earned CD-0 approval from the Department of Energy, making it an official mission of the department. Should the $200 million experiment succeed in finding the “forbidden” process where a muon turns into an electron without emitting other particles, it would signal the discovery of new physics outside of the standard model of particle physics.


Professor of Physics GENE STANLEY received a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Messina, Italy, in November. He has received five other doctorates honoris causa, from Bar-Ilan University, Eotvos Lorand University (Budapest), The University of Liege, The University of Dortmund, and The University of Wroclaw.


Associate Professor of Archaeology KATHRYN BARD is curator of a special exhibition opening at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, in early 2010 titled “Mersa/Wadi Gawasis: A Pharaonic Harbor on the Red Sea.” The exhibition highlights major finds from excavations at the 4,000 year-old harbor, under the direction of Bard and Professor Rodolfo Fattovich of the University of Naples “l’Orientale.” Some of the film “Building Pharaoh’s Ship,” which will be shown on NOVA/PBS on Jan. 12, 2010, was made at the Mersa/Wadi Gawasis excavations.