Four new members have joined the Board of Trustees. In April, Xiru Zhang, MA’90, PhD’91, P’22, was elected to the board. Zhang, who was the first doctoral candidate in Brandeis’ fledgling computer science department, became a research scientist in artificial intelligence, then pursued a successful career in asset management and investment. Today, he is the founder of Double Q Investments and a research affiliate at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. He and wife Hongmei Li have been members of Brandeis’ Parents Leadership Council since 2019. In June, Linda Heller Kamm ’61 was welcomed to the board. A pioneering attorney who was the first woman to be appointed general counsel to a U.S. Cabinet department, Kamm has been a champion of progressive social-welfare and consumer-protection reforms for more than four decades. She is a founding board member of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and Our Generation Speaks, a fellowship program at Brandeis that trains Israelis and Palestinians in collaborative entrepreneurship. And in July, Merle Carrus, P’12, and Bing-Le Wu, PhD’91, took their places as trustees. Carrus, who succeeded Madalyn Friedberg as president of the Brandeis National Committee on July 1, is a life member of the BNC. Previously, she chaired the Honoring Our History campaign as vice president of the BNC national board and also served as the BNC’s New England Region president. Wu, who holds a doctorate in mathematics from Brandeis, is a partner in the London-based firm Capula Investment Management. His Brandeis activities include membership in the Alumni Club of Great Britain, the Alumni Club of New York City, the Alumni in Finance Network and the International Alumni Network.

Brandeis physicists Seth Fraden, PhD’87, and Michael Hagan have been elected 2020 Fellows of the American Physical Society, recognized by their peers for their outstanding contributions to physics. The number of APS Fellows elected each year is limited to no more than one-half of 1% of the society’s membership.

The Henry Luce Foundation has awarded Brandeis’ Chaplaincy Innovation Lab a $500,000 grant to support front-line spiritual-care providers through the COVID-19 pandemic. The lab, founded by Wendy Cadge, senior associate dean for strategic initiatives and the Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanistic Social Sciences, will partner with counselors to help chaplains process their experiences and receive support for the work ahead.

Neil Swidey, director of the journalism program, won the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2019 Sigma Delta Chi Award for magazine investigative reporting. Swidey was recognized for a piece he wrote for The Boston Globe Magazine titled “Our College Sports System Is Broken. Do We Have the Guts To Fix It?

Shirley Idelson is the new director of the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program. A historian, rabbi and journalist, Idelson is working on a book on the Jewish Institute of Religion, and most recently served as senior adviser at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and visiting rabbi at Dartmouth College. Previous to that, she was dean of the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

The TRIO Student Support Services Program at Brandeis, directed by Elena Lewis, MA’13, has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which will support initiatives for 150 students who are the first in their family to go to college or who come from low-income backgrounds. The funding will allow the program to continue its collaborations with campus partners, such as the STEM-focused Galaxy Program, and will also fund new endeavors, including a collaborative initiative with the Hiatt Career Center.