Four Receive Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Awards

Four members of the Hamilton faculty were recognized for their research and creative successes through the Dean's Scholarly Achievement Awards at Class & Charter Day on Friday, May 6. The awards were established in three categories by former Dean of Faculty Joe Urgo in 2008.

Professor of Anthropology Bonnie Urciuoli received the Career Achievement Award, which marks significant achievement over the course of a career. Associate Professor of English Steven Yao was awarded the Early Career Achievement Award, which recognizes significant achievement at the advanced assistant or associate level. Associate Professor of History Chad Williams and Associate Professor of Economics Stephen Wu received the Notable Year Achievement awards, which honor up to three faculty members for particular accomplishments in the past year.

Bonnie Urciuoli has taught at Hamilton since 1988. Her areas of interest are linguistic and cultural anthropology, specializing in public discourses of race, class, and language, and particularly the discursive construction of “diversity” in U.S. higher education.  Urciuoli's book, Exposing Prejudice: Puerto Rican Experiences of Language, Race, and Class, was published in 1996; it was awarded the 1997 Gustavus Myers Center Award for the study of human rights in North America. 

She has published in American Ethnologist, Language and Communication, and the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.  Urciuoli is a member of the American Anthropological Association, the Society for Cultural Anthropology, the American Ethnological Society, and the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Steven Yao is the author of two books, Translation and the Languages of Modernism (Palgrave/St. Martins, 2002) and Foreign Accents: Chinese American Verse from Exclusion to Postethnicity (Oxford, 2010). He is also co-editor of Sinographies: Writing China (Minnesota 2008), Pacific Rim Modernisms (Toronto 2009), and Ezra Pound and Education (forthcoming from the National Poetry Foundation).

Yao’s academic interests include literary translation, poetry, modernist literature, Asian American literature and cross-cultural poetics. In 2005 he was awarded a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Yao also served as a Stanford Humanities Center External Junior Faculty Fellow for 2005-06. The award involved a 10-month residency at the Stanford Humanities Center at Stanford University. He has published essays in journals such as Lit: Literature, Interpretation, Theory, Textual Practice, and Representations. Yao earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

Chad Williams is the author of Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). The book was selected for the 2011 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award by the Organization of American Historians. The annual award is given for the best book on any aspect of the struggle for civil rights in the United States, from the nation’s founding to the present. Williams’ book also was named the 2011 Distinguished Book Award for United States History by the Society for Military History for “reflecting original research and an outstanding contribution to military history.”

His article "Vanguards of the New Negro: African American Veterans and Post-World War I Racial Militancy" appeared in the Journal of African American History (Summer 2007). He has contributed essays on African Americans and the military to many publications and his book reviews have appeared in The Journal of Southern History, The Journal of African American History and The North Carolina Historical Review.

Williams has received fellowships from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Ford Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He is currently completing a study of W. E. B. Du Bois's historical writings on World War I.  He earned his master's degree and Ph.D. in history from Princeton University.

Stephen Wu is the co-author of two recent studies that have garnered much attention. The most recent (2011), "Dark Contrasts: The Paradox of High Rates of Suicide in Happy Places," has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.  Co-authored with professor Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick, it found that happiest countries and happiest U.S. states tend to have the highest suicide rates.

Another study co-authored by Wu and Oswald (Dec., 2009) was published in Science magazine. It found states that are ranked highly in an objective quality of life measure also have the highest average levels of self-reported life satisfaction. In other words, state-by-state rankings of measurements such as sunshine, state and national parks, crime rates, pollution and the cost of living run parallel with rankings of personal happiness.  

Wu regularly teaches courses in microeconomics, statistics, health economics and labor economics and is writing an introductory economics textbook. He sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of Wellbeing. Wu received his Ph.D. and master’s degree from Princeton University and his bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

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