August 1, 2011


Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (photo courtesy of Niagara University)



Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, a Vanderbilt master’s degree graduate in economics, has been named prime minister of Somalia.

Michael Burcham, lecturer in management; John Howser, director of medical center news and communications; and Candice Storey Lee, associate director of student athletics, have been selected for the 36th annual class of Leadership Nashville.


James H. Clarke, professor of the practice of civil and environmental engineering and professor of earth and environmental sciences, has been elected to the executive committee of the American Nuclear Society’s Decommissioning, Decontamination and Reutilization Division. He will serve a three-year term.

James C. Duff, chief administrative officer of the U.S. court system, has been named president and chief executive officer of The Freedom Forum, which operates the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and the First Amendment Center at



Kathryn Edwards, the Sarah H. Sell Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, has received the 2011 Distinguished Physician Award from the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society.

David Ernst, professor of physics at Vanderbilt and an adjunct professor at Fisk University, has won the 2011 Distinguished Professional Mentor Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

Ana Escobar, a Vanderbilt alumna, has been appointed city clerk by the Metro


Nashville City Council.

Beth Fortune, vice chancellor for public affairs, has been named a 2011 Academy for Women of Achievement inductee by the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Lenn Goodman, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and professor of philosophy, delivered a lecture, “God and Israel as Lovers: The Song of Songs,” to open the Philosophical Investigation of the Hebrew Bible, Talmud and Midrash conference sponsored by The Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

Pat Green, associate director of the Division of Sponsored Research, has received the Award for Distinguished Service from the National Council of University Research Administrators.


Carolyn Hughes, professor of special education, was among 10 researchers nationwide recognized by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for “exceptional service to the field.” The researchers were recognized for authoring the Supports Intensity Scale, designed to assess the support needs of children with intellectual disabilities. Hughes also has been appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Lyle Jackson, media services specialist for Peabody College, received awards in the script and education categories of the 32nd Annual Telly Awards, which honor outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs, video and film productions and Web commercials, videos and films. The winning piece featured Peabody Professor of Human Development and Betts Chair Velma Murry and her research on African American success in rural areas.

Elizabeth Shih Meadows, lecturer in English, has been named to the 2011 New Faculty Fellows Program by the American Council of Learned Societies.

W. David Merryman, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his research exploring changes in cell biology due to mechanical stretching. CAREER awards support exceptionally promising college and university junior


faculty who are committed to the integration of research and education and are likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.

Vesna Pavlović, assistant professor of art, is featured in an exhibit of her photography, Projected Histories, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts through Sept. 11.

Sara Reynolds, a child life specialist at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, has been named a Health Care Hero by the Nashville Business Journal.


Daniel J. Sharfstein, associate professor of law, has been awarded an Alphonse Fletcher Sr. Fellowship by the Fletcher Foundation. Sharfstein will use the fellowship, which provides $50,000 to fund research that furthers the broad social goals of the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, to chronicle a group of Southern lawyers who argued against integration in courts during the decade following Brown.

The Vanderbilt student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management has received the SHRM’s 2010-11 Merit Award for exceptional effort in providing opportunities for growth and development to its members. SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been named a 2010 Heart Walk Champion by the American Heart Association. VUMC is one of 25 organizations nationwide to be recognized as a leader in supporting the American Heart Association through its largest grass-roots fundraiser.

Kyle Weaver, assistant professor of neurological surgery, has received the Preuss Award from the Joint Section on Tumors of the American Association of


Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Edward Wright-Rios, associate professor of history, has been awarded a 2011 Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos has received the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee’s 2011 Jack C. Massey Leadership Award, presented biennially in recognition of outstanding community leadership and considerable contributions to numerous causes that improve the lives of Middle Tennessee’s citizens. Zeppos also has received Nashville CABLE’s Promote Women Award, given to exemplars of gender diversity and community service.