Highlights from the latest alumni news columns.
Pennsylvania State University has selected Matt Limegrover, AB’91, as the Nittany Lions’ offensive line coach. Limegrover, a former Maroon offensive lineman, has been coaching at the college level for 25 years, most recently at the University of Minnesota where he helped lead the team to three consecutive bowl games.
New York University professor Nadrian Seeman, SB’66, has won the 2016 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry. The Franklin Institute, which seeks to honor the founding father’s legacy by recognizing significant achievements in science, technology, and industry, gave this year’s chemistry award to Seeman for founding the field of DNA nanotechnology and demonstrating that DNA can be used as a construction material to form “structures of diverse shapes and functions with potential applications in disease treatment, mechanics, and computation.”
Governing magazine has named Jason Helgerson, MPP’95, a Public Official of the Year. Helgerson, the state Medicaid director in New York, has overseen a per-person health care spending decrease in the state and is leading an $8 billion effort to refocus New York’s Medicaid system around outpatient care and community services. “At a time when out-of-control health care costs demand bold ideas and new thinking, Helgerson is leading the way,” the magazine wrote.
The second season of Serial, Sarah Koenig’s (AB’90) popular podcast, focuses on US Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Captured by the Taliban in 2009, Bergdahl was freed in a hostage exchange in 2014 but faces a court martial at home for allegedly abandoning his post. The first season of Serial, which explored the 1999 murder of a Baltimore high school student and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was downloaded more than 100 million times.
A way with words
William M. Hutchins, AM’67, PhD’71, has received the American Literary Translators Association’s National Translation Award for his Arabic-to-English translation of New Waw: Saharan Oasis by Ibrahim al-Koni. NTA judges commented that Hutchins’s translation “masterfully channels the poetic rhythms of Ibrahim al-Koni’s tale of a group of Tuareg, struggling with their evolution from a nomadic tribe to a settled community and the tensions that inevitably arise.” Hutchins is a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Appalachian State University.
A way with words, part II
Erika Okrent, PhD’04, received the 2015 Linguistics Journalism Award from the Linguistic Society of America. Okrent, the language columnist for Mental Floss and a linguistics contributor to other publications, was recognized for “taking often-complex linguistic topics and making them easily accessible.” The award was presented January 9 at the LSA 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
Sharon Fairley, JD’06, is the new head of Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority. Fairley joined the IPRA, a city agency separate from the Chicago Police Department, just as the US Justice Department’s civil rights division launched a broad probe into the police department’s conduct. Previously general counsel of Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General and an assistant US attorney, Fairley said she will pursue “integrity and transparency in the work that IPRA does.”
Best B-school boss
Poets and Quants has named Yale School of Management dean Edward A. Snyder, AM’78, PhD’84, as business school Dean of the Year. Snyder, a former Chicago Booth dean, has expanded the number of students at the Yale School of Management, overseen a drop in the acceptance rate and a rise in business school rankings, and integrated students and courses more fully into the larger university. He also led development of the first global network for elite business schools.
Man of the people
Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, AB’64, won Time magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year online poll, garnering more than 10 percent of readers’ votes. Sanders’s campaign has focused on increasing Americans’ civic engagement. In September he told Time, “A lot of people have given up on the political process, and I want to get them involved in it.”
Two young UChicagoans have been named to Forbes’s annual “30 Under 30” lists. The Sports list features Vicente Fernandez, AB’14, the cofounder of customizable sports news and scores aggregator Sportsmanias. Biological Sciences Division PhD candidate Taylor Feebly, AB’10, is on the Science list for her immunology research on food allergies.