Highlights from the latest alumni news columns.
Thanks in part to the efforts of S. Janelle Montgomery, AB’86, MBA’89, cattle rancher Frances Rosenthal Kallison, PhB’29, has been inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Kallison was known for the award-winning cattle on her family’s Diamond K Ranch, for hosting USO barbecues, and for helping found a women’s precision horseback riding team that had cameos in John Wayne movies. A scholar of Jewish history, Kallison also cofounded the Texas Jewish Historical Society.
Leading the library
Carla Hayden, AM’77, PhD’87, has been confirmed as the 14th Librarian of Congress. Hayden, the former CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, is the first woman and the first African American to hold the post. A past president of the American Library Association, she is widely credited with modernizing Baltimore’s 22-branch library system, and she is an outspoken advocate on freedom-to-read issues. Hayden will serve a 10-year term as the nation’s top librarian, managing a collection of more than 160 million items and overseeing the US Copyright Office.
The World Bank appointed Paul Romer, SB’77, PhD’83, as its chief economist. Romer, an economics professor at New York University, is known for his theory of “endogenous growth,” which stresses the importance of investing in innovation, knowledge, and human capital. Romer replaces Kaushik Basu, who retired July 31.
The American Institute of Physics has awarded James Kakalios, SM’82, PhD’85, the 2016 Andrew Gemant Award, an annual prize recognizing contributions to the cultural, artistic, or humanistic side of physics. Kakalios, a University of Minnesota physicist, is the author of two books that use superheroes and comic books to explain complex physics concepts, and he was a science consultant on the movies Watchmen (2009) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).
Crooked & Narrow (2016), directed, coproduced, and cowritten by Neal Dhand, AB’05, was included in this summer’s Brooklyn Film Festival, where it won the award for best editing. Dhand’s 2011 directorial debut, Second-Story Man, was shown at festivals in China, Spain, and the United States, and Dhand currently has two science fiction films in the works. He teaches screenwriting, directing, and film history at Chestnut Hill College.
Peng Chen, SM’03, PhD’07, received China’s Tan Kah Kee Young Scientist Award, given every other year to one under-40 researcher in each of six fields. Head of the Center for Life Sciences of Peking University-Tsinghua University, Chen focuses on protein chemistry and engineering, work that could help develop treatments for cancer and infectious diseases. In 2007 he received UChicago’s Elizabeth R. Norton Prize for Excellence in Research in Chemistry.
Woman of mystery
Author Sara Paretsky, AM’69, MBA’77, PhD’77, has won the Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work, named for longtime New Orleans Times-Picayune crime fiction writer Diana Pinckley. Paretsky is the author of 24 books, 19 of which follow the adventures of private eye V. I. Warshawski. A former president of Mystery Writers of America, Paretsky is the founder of Sisters in Crime, an organization focused on supporting female mystery authors.
The US Fund for UNICEF named Gary Slutkin, MD’75, a Chicago Humanitarian of the Year. Slutkin, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, is the founder and CEO of Cure Violence. The nonprofit focuses on using disease-control and behavior-modification techniques to reduce violent crime. Violence “behaves like a contagious disease,” says Slutkin. “We need to galvanize the public health sector to change the course of the violence epidemic.”
Speaking for the Holy See
Pope Francis has appointed Kim Daniels, JD’94, to the papal Secretariat for Communications, which directs all of the Vatican’s communications outlets. Daniels, an attorney and consultant specializing in religious freedom issues, is one of three laypersons and the only American on the 16-person committee. She was previously the spokeswoman for the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and the director of Catholic Voices USA.