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Three Illinois Professors named Guggenheim Fellows

By: Anthony Pasquale

As the school year comes to an end, the University of Illinois has had three professors awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship.


Dance professor Cynthia Oliver and chemistry professors So Hirata and Prashant Jain are among the 180 scholars, writers, artists and scientists chosen to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship. There was a pool of almost 2,500 applicants.


Oliver is a decorated choreographer and performer, and also holds an associate vice chancellor for research and innovation in humanities, arts and related fields position.


Her goal with the fellowship is to use it on her book project, which hopes to highlight Black artists.


Hirata is a chemistry professor at the University of Illinois. In addition to being a Guggenheim fellow, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an elected member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science.

Hirata and his research team plan to use the fellowship to advance their research in quantitative theory.


Finally, Jain is also a Chemistry professor who runs a research laboratory. Jain is a highly decorated and often cited scholar. In addition to the Guggenheim Fellow, Jain is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Beilby medalist, a Leo Hendrik Baekeland medalist, a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, an Alumni Research Scholar, a Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar, an I.C. Gunsalus Scholar, the recipient of a 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a 2014 Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, an MIT TR35 inventor, a Center for Advanced Study Beckman Fellow and a CAS Associate.

Jain hopes to use the fellowship to aid in advancing his research of solar radiation.


Ultimately, all three hope to use their fellowship to further the limits of research and performance that they have have explored at the University of Illinois.


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