Celebrating faculty award recipients

July 26, 2022

[Summary: This memo announces the winners of the 2021-22 Heyman and Greer prizes and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging. We hope you will join us in celebrating the achievements of our colleagues!]

To: FAS and SEAS 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

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to share the joyful news that several of our colleagues are the recipients of FAS awards and prizes for their scholarship and their contributions to our community during the 2021-22 academic year. I hope you’ll join me in congratulating the winners of the FAS Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging, the Samuel ‘60 and Ronnie ‘72 Heyman Prize, and the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize.

FAS Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging

In 2020-21, we inaugurated a new award program: The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Inclusion and Belonging. Open to FAS ladder and instructional faculty, this award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to creating and sustaining a climate of inclusion and belonging in the FAS.

For the 2021-22 academic year, we received nominations for this award from colleagues and chairs across the FAS and (what is now) SEAS. For each nominee, a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion shapes their work as teachers, mentors, and researchers and has had a meaningful impact on our community. This year’s award recipients are exceptional university citizens who have made our community more equitable and welcoming.

Ruth Blake, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, and of the Environment

A biogeochemist whose work has transformed understandings of the geochemical and microbiological processes that take place in the oceans and on extraterrestrial worlds, Ruth Blake is a champion of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. She led efforts to establish the Earth and Planetary Sciences Public Outreach/DEI Fellowship program and has served in leadership roles in numerous other programs at Yale, in New Haven, and in STEM fields more broadly that have opened doors to STEM for underrepresented young people. Her work has been transformative.

Michael Loewenberg, Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

A leading scholar of fluid dynamics, Michael Loewenberg is also a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives within and beyond his department. Loewenberg has played a critical role in recruiting and supporting graduate students of color, work that will have a palpable impact on the department and the field for years to come.

Kathryn Slanski, Senior Lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and in Humanities

An expert on the ancient transmission and reception of literary, historical, religious, and visual traditions, Kathryn Slanski teaches courses on ancient Near Eastern culture and history and Directed Studies courses in literature. Slanski’s keen insights on the needs of faculty and students were crucial to the work of the FAS DEIB Advisory Committee. As Director of Undergraduate Studies for NELC, and previously for Directed Studies, she has introduced pedagogical and curricular innovation and provided transformative support to students. She is a tireless advocate for equity and inclusion in the study of premodern cultures.

Claudia Valeggia, Professor of Anthropology

Claudia Valeggia’s a groundbreaking scholar of the interactions between human reproduction and its ecological and cultural context. Claudia Valeggia is a consummate curator of community in the classroom. Her pedagogy enables her students to thrive, and centers the voices and perspectives of marginalized persons. She has also fostered community for faculty across Yale in her role leading the Council for Latin American and Iberian Studies. 

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.

The recipient of the 2021-22 prize is Cajetan Iheka, Department of English (FAS). Iheka is a scholar of African and Caribbean Literatures, with specific attention to ecocriticism, ecomedia, and world literature. The prize recognizes his most recent book, African Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics. In this pathbreaking work, Professor Iheka examines film, photography, and other visual arts of Africa in an attempt to position the continent at the center of discourses on media ecologies, materiality, and infrastructure in media studies and the environmental humanities.

Arthur Greer Memorial Prize

The Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research recognizes 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 2021-2022, we recognize three faculty members:

Joshua Kalla, Departments of Political Science and Statistics and Data Science (FAS)

Joshua Kalla is a political and data scientist whose research focuses on political persuasion, prejudice reduction, and decision-making among voters and the political elite, especially through the use of randomized field experiments. Kalla’s work illuminates new understandings of the persuasive effects of political campaigns and provides new strategies for counteracting prejudice.

David Moore, Department of Physics (FAS)

David Moore’s research lies at the intersection of nuclear and particle physics, and makes use of techniques from atomic, molecular, and optical physics. As an experimental nuclear and particle physicist his work tests the fundamental nature of neutrinos, dark matter, and gravity at microscopic distances. Through this work, he has developed new technologies to search for physics beyond the “Standard Model” of particle physics; these experiments aim to unearth answers to questions about the fundamental nature of neutrinos, dark matter, and dark energy.

Shruti Puri, Department of Applied Physics (SEAS)

Shruti Puri is a theoretical physicist who focuses on quantum information processing theory and quantum optics. Her work addresses the open questions and challenges of developing useful quantum technologies, with a particular emphasis on quantum computing. Puri has developed new strategies for robust quantum computing systems, and she has been recognized with numerous awards for this work, including a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation.

I hope that you will join me in celebrating our colleagues, and in pausing to reflect on the incredible achievements of this scholarly community as a whole. I am grateful to each of you for your contributions to our intellectual mission and for all that you do to make the FAS (and SEAS) 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