Celebrating FAS Award Winners 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

To: All FAS Faculty and Staff   
Cc: FAS Steering, FAS Dean’s Office, SEAS Dean’s Office, GSAS Dean’s Office, Yale College Dean’s Office, OPAC, Development, President’s Office, Provost’s Office, Secretary’s Office, University Cabinet  

[Summary: This message announces the winners of the 2023-2024 Heyman and Greer prizes for scholarship and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging. Congratulations to the honorees!]    

Dear colleagues,   
I am delighted to announce the recipients of FAS-wide awards and prizes for scholarship and for contributions to our community. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating the winners of the Samuel ‘60 and Ronnie ‘72 Heyman Prize, the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize, and the FAS Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging. 

Samuel ‘60 and Ronnie ‘72 Heyman Prize  

The Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prize recognizes outstanding scholarly publications or research by a ladder faculty member in the humanities who is untenured at the time that the work is completed or published.     

Hiʻilei Hobart
Assistant Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration 

Hobart was awarded the Heyman prize in recognition of her pathbreaking book, Cooling the Tropics: Ice, Indigeneity, and Hawaiian Refreshment. Hobart is a scholar of the environment and indigenous histories. In Cooling the Tropics, Hobart charts the history and politics of ice and cooling technologies in Hawai’i. The book was awarded the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Best First Book Prize and the Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award.

Arthur Greer Memorial Prizes  

The Arthur Greer Memorial Prizes for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research recognize outstanding research conducted by ladder faculty members in the social or natural sciences, broadly construed, who are untenured at the time that the work is completed or published. In 2023-2024, we recognize three faculty members:  
Eduardo Dávila
Assistant Professor of Economics 

Eduardo Dávila was awarded the Greer Prize in recognition of his research on how financial and macroeconomic policies affect individuals. In his work, which spans topics including monetary policy, trading, insurance, and taxation, Dávila develops new theoretical frameworks for analyzing the impact of policy change. Earlier this year, this groundbreaking research was honored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation through a Fellowship, and Dávila received the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. 

Brandon Ogbunu
Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 

Brandon Ogbunu was awarded the Greer Prize in recognition of his innovative research in computational biology and evolutionary genetics. Ogbunu uses computational tools in combination with biological insights to enrich understandings of biological systems and their evolutionary dynamics. In 2023, he was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Pioneer Award in recognition of this work. 

Lidya Tarhan
Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences 

Lidya Tarhan was awarded the Greer Prize in recognition of her groundbreaking research on the sedimentary record. Tarhan has unearthed answers to questions about evolution, Earth’s ancient oceans, and the role of animals as ecosystem engineers in the past and present. Tarhan’s research was previously recognized with a 2023 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship and the 2021 Geological Society of America Donath Medal (Young Scientist Award). 

FAS Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging 

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging recognizes ladder and instructional faculty who have made outstanding contributions to creating and sustaining a climate of inclusion and belonging in the FAS, as identified through nominations from across the FAS. This year’s award recipients are exceptional university citizens whose work has had a meaningful impact on our community.  

Bellamie Bachleda, Frances Conlin, Andrew Fisher, Zen Mompremier, Leslie Rubin, and Julia Silvestri
Lectors in American Sign Language (ASL), Department of Linguistics 

The ASL Lectors in the Department of Linguistics introduce Yale students to the language and culture of the Deaf community, a group that has historically been marginalized. In doing so, they show how Yale can be made more inclusive. Through their engaged teaching and the wide-ranging programs they organize to promote ASL and accessibility on campus, they actively work to make Yale a more welcoming community. 

Melissa Ferguson
Professor of Psychology 

Ferguson’s leadership of the Department of Psychology Committee on Racial Equity and Justice has significantly advanced inclusion in the department. Committed to engaging all members of the department, including faculty, staff, and students, she fostered an inclusive community that works to evaluate and change policies and procedures in light of DEIB principles.  

Shiri Goren
Senior Lector II in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Program in Jewish Studies

In her classroom as well as the wider Yale community, Goren has created respectful and welcoming spaces in which she cultivates dialogue on literature and culture in Israel/Palestine. She has enhanced ongoing discourse on inclusive language teaching across the Humanities and is committed to establishing and maintaining partnerships in the Yale and New Haven communities. 

Thomas Near
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 

As chair of his department, Near has demonstrated exceptional leadership in hiring strategy, attracting scholars from diverse backgrounds to Yale, and he has embraced opportunities to enable junior colleagues to lead. Near has also led diversity and inclusion efforts as Head of Saybrook College, providing consistent support to First-Generation Low Income (FGLI) students and student affinity groups. 

I hope that you will join me in celebrating our colleagues, and in pausing to reflect on the wide-ranging achievements of our community. I am grateful to each of you for your contributions to our intellectual mission and for all that you do to make the FAS a place where scholars and students can thrive.    

With warmest wishes,  


Tamar Szabó Gendler 
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences 
Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy 
Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science