The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which directs the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, recognized Brandeis University as one of the U.S. colleges and universities that have sent the most Gilman Scholars abroad since the program was established in 2001. Brandeis — which has had 129 Gilman Scholars — was ranked fourth in the U.S. among schools with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates and second overall in Massachusetts. The program gives undergraduates who have limited financial means the chance to study and intern abroad.

A book co-edited by Irina Dubinina, “The Art of Teaching Russian” (Georgetown University Press, 2020), received an honorable mention in the awarding of the Modern Language Association of America’s Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize, which recognizes an outstanding work in the fields of language, culture, literacy and literature with strong application to the teaching of languages other than English. Dubinina is an associate professor of Russian and director of the Russian language program.

The Boston Globe named Sam Hyun, Heller MPP/MBA’22, to its list of 2021 Bostonians of the Year. As chair of the Massachusetts Asian American and Pacific Islanders Commission, Hyun, 30, became a leading voice in efforts to stem anti-Asian xenophobia and violence, which have increased during the coronavirus pandemic. In December, he became political director in state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz’s campaign for the Massachusetts governorship.

In collaboration with Hampton University, a historically Black institution in Virginia, Brandeis has received a $250,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Equity-Minded Pathways to STEM Graduate Education program to create a route for Hampton students to enroll in master’s programs at Brandeis. The grant, which extends the existing Brandeis-Hampton collaboration at Brandeis’ Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, will be led by Irving Epstein, University Professor and the Henry F. Fischbach Professor of Chemistry at Brandeis, and Demetris Geddis, assistant dean of Hampton’s School of Engineering and Technology.

Stephen Berger ’59 has been reelected a member of the Brandeis University Board of Trustees. During his first term as trustee (1994-2003), he chaired the board’s finance committee. Berger is chairman and co-founder of Odyssey Investment Partners, has headed private and public organizations, and served as a private equity investor. As executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1985-90, he oversaw a $6 billion capital plan to modernize iconic New York landmarks, including Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and the World Trade Center.

After almost 40 years at Brandeis, Elaine Wong, P’06, retired in December as the School of Arts and Sciences’ senior associate dean for undergraduate education. Working with nine deans during her tenure, she was a central player in many major initiatives, including the Justice Brandeis Semester, the Brandeis Core (the second of two general-education revisions she helped oversee) and the newly proposed Community Engaged Scholars Program. To celebrate her impact on Brandeis, the university has established the Elaine Wong Distinguished Lecture and Co-Curricular Fund, which will support programs and events that explore injustice and inequality, showcase historically marginalized people and perspectives, and promote a diverse and inclusive environment.