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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: November 2009

Professor of Computer Science AZER BESTAVROS was awarded the United Methodist Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award at the November 18 Faculty Assembly.


Assistant Professor of Biology TIM GARDNER recently received a three-year award for $100,000 annually from the Smith Family Awards Program for Excellence in Biomedical Research. The mission of the program is to “launch the careers of outstanding biomedical researchers with the ultimate goal of achieving medical breakthroughs.”


Professor of Biology THOMAS KUNZ was featured in a lengthy article in the November 15 Boston Globe Magazine for his work to find the cause of a mysterious disease that is wiping out North American bat populations. Dubbed “white-nose syndrome,” the disease has killed over 1 million bats in the past three years, and shows no sign of letting up.


Professor of Physics ANTONIO CASTRO NETO, who already serves as divisional associate editor for the Physical Review Letters and colloquium editor for Reviews of Modern Physics, will also be editor for Europhysics Letters as of January 1.


Professor of Physics and Chemistry KEVIN SMITH has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Election to Fellowship in the APS is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership, and it is quite a recognition of outstanding contributions to physics.