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Hunter College Professors Receive High Acclaim and Awards

Several Hunter College professors have received highly coveted prizes, including the prestigious Rome Prize Fellowship, The Berlin Prize, The Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Vilcek Prize.  In addition, Colum McCann, a renowned writer and member of the Creative Writing MFA faculty, has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. 

"We are very proud to work with all of these exceptional members of the Hunter faculty," said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. "Our students and the entire Hunter community are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from each of them and appreciate the knowledge they all have to offer.  We know they are distinguished scholars, but we very proud to have other organizations recognize them as well."    

The American Academy in Rome announced that Suzanne Farrin, the Frayda B. Lindemann Professor of Music at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center, has received a 2017 Rome Prize Fellowship for her musical composition of "The Hour of the Star."  Farrin, a composer, has been Professor and Chair of Music at Hunter College since 2015 after leading the Composition Department at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, S.U.N.Y. The Rome Prize annually supports advanced independent work in the arts and humanities within a unique residential community.  Out of an applicant pool of 900, Professor Farrin and 30 other artists/scholars were selected. Winners receive a stipend, workspace, and room and board for a period of six-months to two years at the Academy's eleven acre campus in Rome.  Winners are selected through a national competition process by an independent juries of distinguished scholars and artists in several different disciplines. 

Nancy Foner, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center has received two prizes.  The American Academy in Berlin has announced Dr. Foner will receive a 2017-18 Berlin Prize.  In addition, Foner is receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship that honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship or creativity in the arts.  Foner is the author or editor of fourteen books including Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two great Waves of Immigration.  Her research areas are immigration, Race and Ethnicity.  While in Berlin, she will examine how post-1965 immigration has reshaped the demographic contours and social life of the United States. The Berlin Prize, a semester-long fellowship in Berlin, was awarded to 22 scholars, writers and artists from the U.S. who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields.  They receive a monthly stipend, partial board, and accommodations at the Academy's lakeside Hans Arnhold Center in Berlin-Wannsee. 

Out of nearly 3,000 applicants, Foner was one of 173 selected winners for the Guggenheim Fellowship.  The fellowship is given to scholars and artists allowing them to engage in research under the "freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed."   They are given to those who have already shown "impressive achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment." 

The prestigious Vilcek Prize has been awarded to Hunter Professor of Studio Art Nari Ward, an acclaimed sculptor.  Nari Ward's award is given annually by the Vilcek Foundation, and honors immigrants who have made lasting contributions to American society through their extraordinary achievements in biomedical research, the arts and the humanities. This is the first time in elevent years that the prize honored a practitioner of the fine arts.

And finally, Colum McCann, writer and member of Hunter's Creative Writing MFA faculty, has been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories.  He teaches fiction writing each spring semester in the MFA program.  His novel won the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin.  The American Academy of Arts and Letters is an honor society of the country's 250 leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Each year it elects new members, administers over 70 awards and prizes, exhibits art and manuscripts, funds performances of new works of musical theater, and purchases artwork for donation to museums across the United States.


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