Six Columbians appear on the New York Times’ list of the 100 Notable Books of 2014. The selections include All Our Names, by Dinaw Mengestu ’05SOA; American Innovations, by writing professor Rivka Galchen ’06SOA; Let Me Be Frank With You, by humanities professor Richard Ford (see page 60); Little Failure, by writing professor Gary Shteyngart; Panic in a Suitcase, by Yelena Akhtiorskaya ’09SOA (see page 56); and Nora Webster, by humanities professor Colm Tóibín.
Aid for AIDS
Five faculty members from the Columbia University Medical Center have joined New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s AIDS task force. They are Robert Fullilove, a professor of sociomedical sciences and the associate dean for community and minority affairs; Alex Carballo-Dieguez, a professor of medical psychology and a research scientist in the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute; Stephen Ferrara, an assistant professor of nursing and the executive director of the Nurse Practitioner Association of New York State; Kalvin Leveille, the community-outreach associate for the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health; and Robert Remien, the director of the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies. The task force will implement a three-point plan to reduce the rate of new HIV infections to 750 per year by 2020.
Forty-three School of the Arts filmmakers had their work showcased at the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals in Park City, Utah, this January. At Sundance, twenty-three alumni, faculty, and current students worked on sixteen films that were invited to the festival. Additionally, adjunct professor Eliza Hittmanand Olivia Newman ’12SOA were selected for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and Mayuran Tiruchelvam ’13SOA and Gerry Kim ’11SOA won Sundance Creative Producing Fellowships.
Carl Cofield ’14SOA won the NAACP Theatre Award for best director in the local category for his premiere production of One Night in Miami. Written by Kemp Powers, the play envisions what took place between friends Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown after Clay defeated Sonny Liston in February 1964.
UN PR VIP
United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon appointed Cristina Gallach ’86SIPA the undersecretary-general for communications and public information. Gallach is a Spanish journalist who has served as the head of the public-relations unit of the Council of the European Union since 2010.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science named four Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons professors as new fellows, recognizing their contributions to “innovation, education, and scientific leadership.” Oliver Hobertwas selected for his work in neurobiology; George Yancopoulos ’80CC, ’86GSAS, ’87PS and Charles Zuker were selected for their neuroscience research. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, who has a joint appointment with Columbia Engineering, was selected for her tissue-engineering work. She was also recently named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2014.