Whether for their research, scholarship, performance or art (and even sometimes all at once), Amherst faculty continue to be recognized every day by outside organizations. Some such endorsements can come in the form of awards, fellowships and grants, others in the publications of books and academic papers, still others in conference presentations. Here is a roundup of some faculty successes in recent months; be sure to check our expanded “Faculty Spotlight” feature on the homepage, which will be updated regularly as we learn of new accolades.

Awards & Fellowships

George Greenstein

George Greenstein George Greenstein, the Sydney Dillon Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, received the Richard H. Emmons Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for his “innovative methods of mentoring students and other educators, and for his textbook and other writings that explain astronomical developments and ways of thinking.”


Elizabeth Herbin-Triant

Elizabeth Herbin-Triant Elizabeth Herbin-Triant, associate professor of Black studies and history, won a Harvard Radcliffe Fellowship for 2022–23 to support her book project titled Lords of the Lash and Loom: Abolitionists, Anti-Abolitionists, and the Business of Manufacturing Slave-Grown Cotton.


Jeeyon Jeong

Jeeyon Jeong Jeeyon Jeong, associate professor of biology, received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Career Award is widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in support of early-career faculty and will support Jeong’s work on the cellular and physiological effects of chloroplast/mitochondrial iron export in plants. 

Jallicia Jolly

Jallicia Jolly Jallicia Jolly, postdoctoral fellow and visiting assistant professor of American studies and Black studies, won a Ford Foundation 2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship that will support the completion of her first book manuscript, Ill Erotics: Black Caribbean Women and Self-Making in Times of HIV/AIDS, which is under contract with University of California Press.

Olufemi Vaughan

Olufemi Vaughan Olufemi Vaughan, the Alfred Sargent Lee ’41 and Mary Farley Ames Lee Professor of Black Studies, was one of 180 people from around the world named a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. His project, “Letters, Kinship, and Social Mobility in Nigeria, 1926–1994,” is based on 3,000 family letters from his late father’s library that focus on real-life family stories in colonial and postcolonial Nigeria. The fellows were appointed on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise.” 


Rob Benedetto

Rob Benedetto Rob Benedetto, the William J. Walker Professor of Mathematics and chair of the mathematics and statistics department, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) grant for investigations that seek to answer open questions in arithmetic dynamics, a field bridging number theory and dynamical systems.

Rachel Bernard

Rachel Bernard Rachel Bernard, assistant professor of geology, received an NSF EArly-concept (the two capital letters in “early” is the official spelling) Grants for Exploratory Research award to fund a conference that convenes stakeholders for the 50th anniversary of the first national conversation on minority participation in Earth science and mineral engineering. 

Anthony Bishop

Anthony Bishop Anthony Bishop, professor of chemistry, won a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant in support of his project titled “Target-Specific Inhibition and Activation of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases.”


Kate Follette

Kate Follette Kate Follette, assistant professor of astronomy, was named a 2022 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA). Her project is titled “Moving Forward: Toward Accurate Recovery and Interpretation of Accreting Protoplanets and a Socially Just Undergraduate Astronomy Curriculum.” Follette is one of 24 early-career scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy to receive this award.

Amanda Folsom

Amanda Folsom Amanda Folsom, professor of mathematics, was awarded a National Science Foundation grant for the RUI project “Harmonic Maass Forms and Quantum Modular Form” to study the theory and applications of harmonic Maass forms, their holomorphic parts called mock modular forms, quantum modular forms and related functions. Some components of the projects will be carried out by Amherst student researchers under Folsom’s guidance.

Jonathan Friedman

Jonathan Friedman Jonathan Friedman, professor of physics and chair of physics and astronomy, received a Cottrell Plus Singular Exceptional Endeavors of Discovery (SEED) award from the RSCA for his research on spin-clock transitions in silica defects. The Cottrell SEED award is designed to support Cottrell Scholars as they launch exceptionally creative, new research or educational activities with the potential for high impact. Friedman also received a grant with Jacob Olshansky, assistant professor of chemistry, from the NSF for the project “Using Colloidal Nanoparticles to Host Photogenerated Spin Qubit Pairs.”


Victor Guevara

Victor Guevara Victor Guevara, assistant professor of geology, was awarded two NSF grants: one for a collaborative research project titled “Understanding the Tectonic and Petrological Processes Controlling Iron Oxide-Apatite Mineralization in a Mesoproterozoic Collisional Orogen” and another for a project titled “Collaborative Research: Resolving Conflicting Thermobarometry and Stratigraphy in the Tethyan Himalaya: is Non-lithostatic Pressure During Orogenesis Preserved at Crustal Scales?

David Hall

David Hall David Hall, the Paula R. and David J. Avenius 1941 Professor of Physics, received an NSF award for the RUI project “Topological Excitations in Spin-1 and Spin-2 Bose-Einstein Condensates.


David Hanneke

David Hanneke David Hanneke, associate professor of physics, received an NSF grant for the RUI project “Optical Clocks for New Physics Searches.”


Nick Holschuh

Nick Holschuh Nick Holschuh, assistant professor of geology, received two NSF collaborative research awards. These projects are titled “Coldex: The Center for Oldest Ice Exploration” (with Oregon State University) and “i-HARP: Harnessing the Data and Model Revolution in the Polar Regions” (with the University of Maryland).

Nicholas Horton

Nick Horton Nicholas Horton, the Beitzel Professor in Technology and Society (Statistics and Data Science), received an NIH grant for research exploring the association between common eating disorders and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and gastroesophageal reflux disease. 

Larry Hunter

Larry Hunter Larry Hunter, the Stone Professor of Natural Sciences (Physics), received a NSF RUI grant for his project titled “Searching for Optical Cycling in TlF and Long-Range Spin-Spin Interactions.


Katerina Ragkousi

Katerina Ragkousi Katerina Ragkousi, assistant professor of biology, won an NIH grant for a project titled “Cell Cycle Regulation of Polarity Proteins in Proliferating Epithelia.” The award will fund research by Ragkousi and her students on how sea anemones organize their first epithelial tissues and how they maintain them during development and growth.

Sally Kim and Marc Edwards

Sally Kim and Marc Edwards Sally Kim and Marc Edwards, assistant professors of biology, were awarded a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant from the NSF for acquisition of an integrated Zeiss 980 microscope with Airyscan 2 and FCS to create an advanced microscopy center. The advanced imaging capabilities of this instrument are expected to transform life science research at Amherst, opening new opportunities for student research and promoting interdisciplinary exploration of the microscopic world.

Yael Rice

Yael Rice Yael Rice, associate professor of art and the history of art and of Asian languages and civilizations, received a grant from the Persian Heritage Foundation to digitize the Taza Akhbar, an Illustrated History of the Kings of Kabul. Completed in 1817, the manuscript is the only known copy of this text and includes an unusual emphasis on and rich detail about the urban topography of Afghanistan and the ethnography of its peoples. 

Austin Sarat

Austin Sarat Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and chair of political science, received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a summer institute for middle- and high-school teachers that will examine punishment and its uses and meanings in American society.

Scott Smitson

Scott Smitson Scott Smitson, visiting professor of political science and Chamberlain project fellow, received a grant from the Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros Foundation in support of his Chamberlain Fellowship at Amherst for the 2022–23 academic year.


Amy Wagaman and Lee Spector

Amy Wagaman and Lee Spector Amy Wagaman, professor of statistics, and Lee Spector, the Class of 1993 Professor of Computer Science, received a MRI grant from the National Science Foundation for acquisition of a high-performance computing system for interdisciplinary research and teaching. The system will enable Amherst faculty to expose students to applications of machine-learning technology and artificial intelligence, and is expected to be used by faculty and student researchers in eight academic departments.


Jeffers Engelhardt

Jeffers Englehardt Jeffers Engelhardt
, professor of music, published an article titled
Chorality’s Sonic-Social Relationships” in Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture. The paper was co-authored with Kate Bancroft ’23, Alex Rule ’23 and Charlotte Wang ’24.

David Hall

David Hall David Hall, the Paula R. and David J. Avenius 1941 Professor of Physics, published “Topological Superfluid Defects with Discrete Point Group Symmetries” in Nature Communications.



Rebecca Hewitt

Rebecca Hewitt Rebecca Hewitt, assistant professor of environmental studies, published “Sufficient conditions for rapid change expansion of a boreal conifer” in the journal Nature.


Carrie Palmquist

Carrie Palmquist Carrie Palmquist, associate professor of psychology, published “Social Cognition and Trust: Exploring the Role of Theory of Mind and Hostile Attribution Bias in Children’s Skepticism of Inaccurate Informants” in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Kate Sims

Kate Sims Kate Sims, professor of economics and environmental studies, published the article “Environmental justice criteria for new land protection can inform efforts to address disparities in access to nearby open space” in Environmental Research Letters.