Rock star: Susan Kidwell received this year's Paleontological Society's Schuchert award, given annually to an outstanding young paleontologist. Six U of C professors have won the prize-more than the combined winners from the nation's other leading paleontology programs. Kidwell specializes in taphonomy, the study of what happens after organisms die and how those processes affect the fossil record.
Open doors: Ceremonies in November celebrating the official opening of the U of C's M.A. Humanities Program in Tokyo featured a symposium, "Translating Culture," moderated by President Sonnenschein, with U of C Nobelist Merton Miller and Humanities Dean Philip Gossett among the guest speakers. The first graduate-degree program offered by a major U.S. research institution in Japan began its second term this fall.
Generous friend: Joseph Sondheimer, AB'39, gave $1.5 million to establish the Joseph Sondheimer professorship of international economics and finance in the Graduate School of Business. The gift is part of the University's Campaign for the Next Century, which recently reached $533 million toward its $650-million goal. A longtime supporter of the GSB and the College, Sondheimer is retired vice chair of the Chicago investment firm Stein Roe & Farnham.
Child care: Herbert Abelson, new chair of the Hospitals' pediatrics department, was previously pediatrics chair at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where he was also pediatrician-in-chief and director of the department of medicine at Children's Hospital and Medical Center. An oncologist, Abelson fits in well with Chicago's pediatrics department-known for cancer care and research, as well as its innovative pediatric liver-transplant program, the largest in the country.
Pressure point: The University is starting a laboratory for high-pressure science at Argonne National Laboratory's Advanced Photon Source. When the APS is completed in 1996, it will be the world's most brilliant source of X-rays. The new lab's scientists will use the device's narrow, bright beam to simulate pressures and temperatures found within the earth's mantle and core. A $2-million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation is funding the lab.
Global change: Rashid Khalidi, an expert on Middle Eastern history and politics, is the new director of the Center for International Studies. A professor in history and near Eastern languages & civilizations and director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, he came to Chicago in 1987. The Yale- and Oxford-trained professor is at work on a book examining the origins of Palestinian national identity.
Homecoming: Nobel laureate Saul Bellow, X'39, returned to the quads in early December to lecture on "Literature in a Democracy: From Tocqueville to the Present" as a Regents Park Visiting Scholar in the Arts and Social Sciences. Bellow, who taught from 1962 to 1993 in the Committee on Social Thought, is professor of literature at Boston University.
Honored chair: Godfrey Getz, an authority on atherosclerosis and chair of pathology since 1988, has been made a distinguished service professor. Joining Chicago's faculty in 1964, Getz has served as collegiate division master and associate dean of biological sciences; from 1993 until last August, he was the division's acting dean.
Hero's welcome: Jay Berwanger, AB'36, was honored at the Maroons' homecoming football game. The event marked the 60th anniversary of the awarding of the first Heisman trophy to Berwanger in 1935. Chicago lost the game against defending UAA champ Carnegie Mellon, 35-21.
Return engagement: In November, Tsung Dao Lee, PhD'50, gave the fifth annual Zachariasen lecture in physics. Presented by distinguished alumni of the department, the lectures are named in memory of William Houlder Zachariasen, who was physics chair in the 1940s and 1950s. A professor at Columbia University, Lee shared the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics with Chen Ning Yang, PhD'48.
Alloy welds that end well: Physics professor Riccardo Levi-Setti, director of the Enrico Fermi Institute, and Kamal Soni, a research scientist in the EFI, received the 1995 Jacquet-Lucas Award for Excellence in Metallography, given by the International Metallographic Society, for their work titled "Chemical Imaging of Al-Li Alloy Welds."
Behind the news: Larry Arbeiter has been named director of University communications, in charge of supervising both the News and Publications offices. Arbeiter joined the News Office in 1979, and has been its director since 1991.
Grand opening: A Mandel Hall concert by pianist Misha Dichter marked the first public performance on the music department's new Steinway concert grand piano, purchased with grants from the U of C's Women's Board and Catherine Dobson, MD'32. The American Steinway Model D was chosen by pianist Charles Rosen, professor in music and the Committee on Social Thought.
Remembered: The fifth annual Martin-Baro award banquet, sponsored by Calvert House, honored the Rev. Robert Drinan, a Georgetown professor. Established in memory of the Rev. Ignacio Martin-Baro, AM'77, PhD'79-a civil-rights leader killed in El Salvador in 1989-the award recognizes outstanding contributions to the Catholic community, particularly in social justice and public policy.
High-five finance: Assistant professor Yacine Ait-Sahalia is this year's winner of the Graduate School of Business's Emory Williams award for teaching excellence. Ait-Sahalia teaches classes in finance-his research focuses on fixed-income and derivative securities, continuous-time models, and nonparametric econometrics.