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Alumni Gazette

In the News
photo of Donna StricklandCANADIAN LAURELS: Inducted into the Order of Canada, one of the nation’s highest honors, Strickland shared a 2018 Nobel Prize for work she undertook while a Rochester graduate student. Photograph is courtesty of the University of Waterloo

Canada Honors Nobel Laureate

Physics Nobel laureate Donna Strickland ’89 (PhD) has received one of her native Canada’s highest honors in recognition of her “extraordinary contributions to the nation.”

At a ceremony this winter, Strickland was appointed to the Order of Canada, including an appointment to the highest of three award levels in the order. She was named a Companion of the Order, a recognition that can be held by no more than 165 living people at any time.

A professor of physics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Strickland shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics with GĂ©rard Mourou, a former engineering professor and scientist at Rochester, for work they conducted at Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics in the late 1980s.

That work, credited for revolutionizing the field of high-intensity laser physics, has led to applications in corrective eye surgeries and other surgical procedures, data storage, quantum computing, and other technologies.

Political Scientist to Lead Vanderbilt

A Rochester graduate who has been a key academic leader at the University of Chicago has been named the new chancellor of Vanderbilt University. Currently the provost at Chicago, Daniel Diermeier ’95 (PhD) is set to begin his term as the ninth chancellor of the Nashville institution on July 1. His appointment was announced last December.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Guggenheim fellow, Diermeier is widely recognized as a political scientist and as a management scholar.

At Chicago, he is also the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in the Harris School of Public Policy, where he previously served as dean. As provost, he oversees all university academic and research programs, which include the university’s $2.5 billion budget and those of its medical center and associated laboratories: the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, FermiLab and Argonne National Laboratory.

Before Chicago, Diermeier had faculty positions at Stanford and Northwestern universities.

‘Cost of Being Black’ Author Earns Human Rights Recognition

Shawn Rochester ’97, the author of The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America, was named one of 2019’s top 100 human rights defenders, a recognition administered by the International Human Rights Commission Relief Fund Trust.

The organization, which advocates for human rights around the world, announced its 2019 list last December at the United Nations, as part of a ceremony to mark International Human Rights Day.

An engineer and business executive, Rochester founded and operates the financial education and advisory service Good Steward.

Also named to the list were former first lady Michelle Obama, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.