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High Prizes

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak / Marilynn K. Yee / The New York Times / ReduxThe Inamori Foundation has selected University Professor of comparative literature Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak to receive the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy. The 50 million–yen (roughly $640,000) prize has been called the Nobel of the arts.

Katharina Pistor, a professor of law, won this year’s Max Planck Research Award for her work on international financial markets and comparative law. The 750,000-euro prize is given to two academics annually.

Coming Home

Sarah Kramer ’03JRN / Photograph by Earl Wilson

Sarah Kramer ’03JRN was nominated for an Emmy Award for “Coming Out,” a multimedia project that she reported and produced for the New York Times. The project, which was nominated in the news and documentary category, weaves together original essays and video content by gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teenagers from across the country.

Here and There (Aquí y Allá), a feature film by Antonio Méndez Esparza ’08SOA, was one of only two directorial debuts selected for the fiftieth annual New York Film Festival. Here and There tells the story of a man who returns to Mexico after working for several years in the US to find his family and community changed. It also won the top prize at the Cannes Critics’ Week in May.

Capital Gains

Steven Bellovin ’72CC, a professor of computer science, has been named chief technologist of the Federal Trade Commission by chairman Jon Leibowitz. Bellovin will advise the agency on technology and policy issues, drawing on his teaching and research experience at Columbia as well as more than twenty years at Bell Labs and AT&T Labs Research.

Kermit Jones ’12SIPA was chosen as a White House Fellow for 2012–13, and will spend the year working with senior staff at the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Jones is a lawyer and a medical doctor, with experience as a Navy surgeon and as a primary-care physician in rural India.

Science Fare

Two Columbia professors have won prestigious Lasker Awards for their work in the biological sciences. Tom Maniatis, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, was recognized for his research relating to gene regulation and molecular cloning. Michael Sheetz, a professor of biological sciences, won an award for his work with cytoskeletal motor proteins, mechanisms that move cargo within cells, contract muscles, and enable cell movements.

Dipping for Gold

Caryn Davies / Getty ImagesThird-year law student Caryn Davies won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in August as part of the women’s eight rowing team. This is Davies’s third Olympic medal; along with her team, she earned a gold medal in 2008 and a silver in 2004.

Ryder Kessler ’11GSAS is attracting notice for his invention, the DipJar, which has begun appearing in cafés and stores across New York City. The device, which is free for retailers, allows customers to add a one-dollar tip at the counter with a quick dip of a credit or debit card.

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