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Five attend American Academy of Arts and Sciences ceremony

Organization is one of nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies

Five members of the Northwestern University faculty were inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at a ceremony this fall. The academy is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies.

Bryna Kra, Carol D. Lee, Dr. Eric G. Neilson, Peter W. Voorhees and Michael R. Wasielewski attended the ceremony for the new class of fellows held at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Oct. 8 event included signing the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Book of Members, a tradition dating back to 1780.

These five and Bernard S. Black are the Northwestern faculty members who were elected fellows in April. Black was unable to attend the induction ceremony.

The six faculty, representing schools and disciplines across the University, are among the 213 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business and public affairs elected to the academy this year for their pathbreaking work.

The Northwestern members of the 236th class are:

  • Bernard S. Black, the Nicholas D. Chabraja Professor at the Pritzker School of Law and Kellogg School of Management. His principal research areas are law and finance, international corporate governance, health care and medical malpractice, and corporate and securities law.
  • Bryna Kra, the Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor of Mathematics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She works in ergodic theory and dynamical systems, particularly on problems motivated by combinatorics and number theory.
  • Carol D. Lee, the Edwina S. Tarry Professor of Education and Social Policy in the School of Education and Social Policy. Her research addresses cultural supports for learning that include a broad ecological focus, with attention to language and literacy and African-American youth. 
  • Dr. Eric G. Neilson, vice president for medical affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The principal goal of his research is to understand the immunologic and fibrogenic mechanisms of interstitial renal diseases.
  • Peter W. Voorhees, the Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. His research focuses on the kinetics of phase transformations -- ranging from the growth of nanowires to the solidification of alloys -- using experiment, simulation and theory.  
  • Michael R. Wasielewski, the Clare Hamilton Hall Professor of Chemistry in Weinberg and executive director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN). He has pioneered new approaches to solar energy conversion with his research on light-driven charge transport in molecules and nanoscale materials.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. Current academy research focuses on higher education, the humanities and the arts; science and technology policy; global security and energy; and American institutions and the public good.