University News

Three UCLA professors named 2016 Guggenheim Fellows

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Zrinka Stahuljak
Laure Murat

Zrinka Stahuljak, one of three UCLA honorees, will use her fellowship to study Medieval Fixers: Translation in the Mediterranean, from 1250 to 1500.

A trio of UCLA faculty members are among a distinguished group of 178 of scholars, artists and scientists from the U.S. and Canada to receive 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships.

Honorees from 50 scholarly disciplines and artistic fields were announced April 6 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which received nearly 3,000 applicants. This year’s UCLA recipients are:

Neil Garg

Neil Garg

Garg, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2015 California Professor of the Year, develops new chemical transformations that enable the synthesis of important organic molecules. His Guggenheim research project will focus on new chemical reactions catalyzed by non-precious metals.

Garg’s innovative teaching techniques help students master difficult concepts and solve complex problems. He enlivens his courses with interactive online tutorials that combine real-life examples of organic chemistry, human health and popular culture. Garg, who also serves as the department’s vice chair for education, plans to expand the interactive online tutorials to students and educators worldwide.

Stella Nair

Stella Nair

Nair, associate professor of art history and a member of UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, was trained as an architect and architectural historian. She has conducted fieldwork in Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and the U.S. Midwest, and she has ongoing projects in the south central Andes. Her research examines the art, architecture and urbanism of indigenous communities in the Americas before and after the arrival of Europeans.

Her publications explore a range of subjects and regions such as the design of Inca royal estates, Tiahuanaco stone carving, colonial Andean paintings and Brazilian urbanism. Nair’s latest book, published in 2015, is “At Home with the Sapa Inca: Architecture, Space, and Legacy at Chinchero.” Her Guggenheim research project is titled Shelter, Shrine and Prison: the Acllauasi and Other Spaces for Women in the Inca Empire.

Zrinka Stahuljak

Stahuljak is a professor of French and Francophone studies and of comparative literature. Her research interests include continental French, Anglo-French and Mediterranean literature, history and culture. A former wartime interpreter on the front lines of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, Stahuljak has written about a range of subjects including cultural differences and power structures. Her books include “The Adventures of Gillion de Trazegnies: Chivalry and Romance in the Medieval East” and “Pornographic Archaeology: Medicine, Medievalism, and the Invention of the French Nation.”

A Fulbright Research Scholar, she has written blogs for the Getty museum, including a historical serial and another on medieval manuscripts. Her Guggenheim research project will be Medieval Fixers: Translation in the Mediterranean, from 1250 to 1500.

UCLA is tied for sixth in the number of 2016 fellows.

The fellowship program, now in its 92nd year, recognizes innovative scholars who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and exceptional promise. The Guggenheim Foundation, which provides grants to support each fellow's work, has awarded more than $334 million in fellowships to more than 18,000 individuals since its establishment.

“These artists and writers, scholars and scientists represent the best of the best,” said Edward Hirsch, the foundation’s president. “Each year since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue to do so with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.”

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