Newsmakers

In June, in the aftermath of the murder of nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Chad Williams, associate professor and Department of African and Afro-American Studies chair, did something to advance the nation’s conversation about race: He created the Twitter hashtag #CharlestonSyllabus to crowdsource books, films and educational materials that shed light on the history of racial violence and race relations in the U.S. The response was immediate and wide-ranging. Some of the tweeted suggestions have been compiled into a list posted on the African American Intellectual History Society website.

University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History David Hackett Fischer, a celebrated historian and best-selling author, has been named the recipient of the 2015 Pritzker Military Museum and Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The award honors the contributions of a living author for a body of work dedicated to enriching the understanding of military history. Fischer is the author of “Washington’s Crossing,” which won the Pulitzer Prize; “Paul Revere’s Ride”; and many other pivotal history books.

Baseball coach Richard “Pete” Varney has retired after a 34-year career at Brandeis. Varney won more games than any other coach of a single team in university history. In April, he became the fourth Division III coach in New England history to earn 700 career victories, compiling a final career record of 705-528-6.

The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to recognize Anita Hill as University Professor of Social Policy, Law and Women’s Studies. The University Professor title is awarded to faculty members whose work cuts across disciplinary boundaries, who have achieved exceptional scholarly or professional distinction, and whose appointment will enhance the university’s reputation and prestige. Hill joined the Brandeis faculty in 1998.

David Ellenson, an internationally renowned scholar of modern Judaism, has been appointed acting director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis. He succeeds Ilan Troen ’63, the Karl, Harry and Helen Stoll Professor of Israel Studies, who had served as director of the center since its founding in 2007. Troen has been named president of the Association for Israel Studies, the pre-eminent international society for scholarship and research of modern Israel.

Edward J. Hackett is joining Brandeis as its new vice provost for research. As a professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, a position he’s held since 2005, Hackett took a two-year leave in 2006 to direct the Division of Social and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Previously, he served as a professor of sociology at Arizona State from 1997 to 2004, as well as a program officer in science and technology studies at the NSF. At Brandeis, he will work closely with the academic deans and division heads to enhance the significant research being conducted at the university.

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