Celebrating FAS Award Winners

May 26, 2023

Dear colleagues,

As the academic year comes to a close, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the achievements of our colleagues.

In 2022-23, FAS faculty received a spectacular array of honors. Among you are a new Pulitzer winner and Pulitzer finalist; recent winners of the Breakthrough Prize and Infosys Prize; three new members of the National Academy of Sciences; six new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; a new Guggenheim fellow; three 2023 Sloan fellows; the 2022 Max Planck-Humboldt medalist; and numerous colleagues who have been recognized for pathbreaking books, publications, innovations, and notable career-spanning contributions, among other honors. In addition, the university has celebrated our colleagues for their teaching and mentorship: this year’s six Yale College teaching prize winners, four Poorvu Innovation Award winners, and two of the 2023 Graduate Mentor Award winners hail from the FAS. 

I am honored to share that, in addition, several of our colleagues are recipients of FAS awards and prizes for their scholarship and their contributions to our community during the 2022-23 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

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.   

We solicited nominations for this award from department chairs and divisional deans, and received submissions from across the FAS. Each nominee is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through their work as teachers, mentors, or researchers. This year’s award recipients are exceptional university citizens whose work has had a meaningful impact on our community. 

Claire Bowern, Professor of Linguistics 

Bowern has led numerous initiatives that enable Yale faculty, students, and staff to recognize the centrality of language in how members of our community see themselves, and in how Yale can become a more welcoming place. Her Linguistic Justice workshops have provided instructors and students with the tools to re-shape their pedagogy to be more inclusive, and she has worked closely with writing instructors to support classroom practices that recognize the varied linguistic repertoires of Yale students. Bowern also introduced the “Many Languages of Yale College” initiative, which celebrates and raises awareness of linguistic diversity. This year, Bowern played a pivotal role in recruiting an instructor of Cherokee – Yale’s first, full-time faculty member in an indigenous language. Through these efforts, and more, Bowern has made transformative contributions to Yale’s culture. 

Alicia Schmidt Camacho, Professor of Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and of American Studies; Head of Ezra Stiles College 

Through her research and writing, her teaching and mentorship, and her leadership, Camacho challenges institutional structures to focus on the outcome of change, not just good intentions. Camacho’s colleagues in the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program credit her with creating multiple instances of solidarity and affinity by facilitating time and space for faculty members to connect and build community. For instance, Camacho launched the ER&M Thursday Lunches, which have become a vital space of mentorship for faculty, graduate students, and postdocs from underrepresented backgrounds. As an instructor and Head of College, Camacho has tirelessly supported students. “Alicia,” her ER&M colleagues wrote, “has sedimented practices that foster relationships built on fairness and justice beyond structural hierarchies and ranks, at the level of our Program, Stiles, Yale, and in New Haven and beyond.”    

Wendy Gilbert, Associate Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry 

Gilbert’s significant contributions, both within their department and beyond, have made it possible for researchers, students, and scholars from diverse backgrounds to pursue scientific work. Gilbert’s colleagues in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry credited them with the insight and drive that led the department to transform their approach to confronting bias in the faculty search process. Gilbert’s efforts to introduce novel and more anonymized approaches to reviewing candidate materials were directly responsible for a tenfold increase in applications from underrepresented groups. Beyond Yale, Gilbert brings DEI topics to the fore at prominent conferences in their field. Gilbert’s colleagues described them as a leader who “brings extensive knowledge and out-of-the-box thinking to the problem of how to create an inclusive environment for scientists.”  

Rebecca Toseland, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics and the Director of Research Support at the Tobin Center for Economic Policy 

In her role at the Tobin Center, Toseland is a mentor to pre-doctoral students and develops programs that help them succeed as researchers. Through this work, Toseland has created opportunities for a diverse community of emerging scholars to imagine themselves pursuing graduate work in Economics. Her approach to supporting student research fosters a wide range of perspectives, with ramifications for the field more broadly. Toseland’s nominators described her commitment to constantly developing and innovating her curriculum through partnerships with the Poorvu Center. In addition, Toseland has advanced inclusivity in the FAS through her leadership and service: She made critical contributions to the FAS’s DEIB unit planning process and was a thoughtful champion of inclusion and belonging through her work as a member of the FAS’s Communications Advisory Committee. 

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.    

Jill Jarvis, Assistant Professor of French 

Jarvis was awarded the Heyman prize in recognition of her pathbreaking book, Decolonizing Memory: Algeria and the Politics of Testimony. Jarvis is a scholar of the aesthetic, intellectual, and literary networks that cross the African Sahara. In Decolonizing Memory, she reveals how Algerian literatures in Arabic and French rewrite history, challenge state authority, and constitute a multi-lingual, decolonial archive. 

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 2022-2023, we recognize three faculty members: 

Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Vertebrate Zoology  

Bhullar was awarded the Greer Prize in recognition of his innovative research on the history of vertebrate life. Applying techniques from molecular and functional biology and collecting fossils from sites around the world, Bhullar has made discoveries that expand and advance new understandings of the fossil record. This work has illuminated pivotal events in evolutionary history and the way in which life on our planet has developed and changed.

Zhou Fan, Assistant Professor of Statistics and Data Science 

Fan was awarded the Greer prize in recognition of groundbreaking research that draws on methods from mathematical statistics, probability theory, and computational algorithms, with applications in genetics and computational biology. His expertise lies in random matrix theory, high dimensional and multivariate statistics, random graphs and networks, and discrete algorithms, and he has introduced advances in statistical theory and methodology. 

Juan Lora, Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences 

Lora was awarded the Greer prize in recognition of his innovative work on planetary climates. Lora’s research group seeks to understand the nature of atmospheres on terrestrial bodies in the solar system, including Earth. His recent work has illuminated the workings of the methane cycle in the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan, and has shown how past and ongoing climate changes affect Earth’s water cycle, with implications for understanding the consequences of anthropogenic climate change.

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 a place where scholars and students can thrive.   

With very best wishes, 


Kathryn Lofton
Acting Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
FAS Dean of Humanities
Lex Hixon Professor of Religious Studies, of American Studies, of History, and of Divinity