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Impact x2 Qais

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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: May 2010

Associate Professor of Archaeology KATHRYN BARD has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Bard, who has conducted pathbreaking excavations in Egypt, is among 229 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business, and public affairs elected this year into the Academy — one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.


Professor of Computer Sciences LEONID LEVIN has been elected to receive a Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists. The award was granted in recognition of his past accomplishments in research and teaching, which focus on computer science, randomness and cryptography. The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt research awards annually to scientists around the world whose work will continue to have a significant impact in their field. Award winners receive EUR 60,000 in funds and are invited to undertake collaboration with colleagues in Germany.


Associate Professor of English and Acting Director of African American Studies GENE JARRETT was recently awarded a fellowship at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study for the 2010-2011 academic year. His research examines the relationship between culture and politics in African American literature from the eighteenth century to the present. He plans to write a definitive biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), the first professional African American writer. At Harvard, Professor Jarret will spend his fellowship year researching and writing about his subject’s ancestry and early life, the first section of the book.


The members of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) recently elected BARBARA SHINN-CUNNINGHAM, professor of biomedical engineering and cognitive and neural systems, to the ASA’s eight-member executive council. The ASA brings together experts in sound from a wide range of disciplines. The society’s members have been involved in the development of acoustical standards concerned with terminology, measurement procedures, and criteria for determining the effects of noise and vibration. A longtime member of the society, Shinn-Cunningham hopes to use her position to increase awareness of the society among a new generation of acoustical specialists.