Two junior faculty have been honored for their outstanding scholarship: Amanda Kowalski and Judy Cha have been awarded the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Publication or Research in the natural or social sciences. This prize is awarded to a junior faculty member and carries an award of funding to support future research. The faculty will be honored in the fall at a dinner hosted by Tamar Gendler, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Information on the prize winners follows
Amanda Kowalski is an associate professor in the Department of Economics at Yale University and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Professor Kowalski is a health economist who specializes in applying econometric techniques to answer questions that inform current debates in health policy. In 2014, she was honored with a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. In her recent work, published in the American Economic Review last year, Kowalski develops a model of the insurance market that incorporates a key element of recent health reforms: an individual mandate. An individual mandate that requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty is a centerpiece of both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 and the Massachusetts health reform of 2006. She finds a significant annual welfare gain of $51.1 million annually in Massachusetts as a result of the reduction in adverse selection due to the individual mandate. Professor Kowalski is one of the leaders of an emerging generation of health economists who bring together theoretical models of insurance under incomplete information and advanced econometric techniques to provide new insights about the current state of the markets for health care and to suggest new avenues to pursue for future health policy.
Judy Cha is the Carol and Douglas Melamed Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at the Yale School of Engineering & Applies Science, with an affiliation at the Energy Sciences Institute on West Campus. Professor Cha has made important contributions to materials physics, both in the field of electronic materials and glass physics. The selection committee noted her frequent and consistent presence in top journals in her field, as well as her interdisciplinary contributions, which are supported by both the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Professor Cha is in the vanguard connecting rational design principles to synthesis and function of tomorrow’s essential electronic materials.