May 19, 2021
The 2021 recipients of the Arthur L. Kelly Faculty Prize for Exceptional Service in the Physical Sciences Division are Aaron Dinner, Professor of Chemistry, and Stuart Kurtz, the George and Elizabeth Yovovich Professor of Computer Science in recognition of their leadership in the Division.
The prize was established in the Division in 2013 by Arthur L. Kelly, who received his MBA from the University in 1964 and established the same faculty prize at Chicago Booth in 1999. In addition to his contributions to finance, business, international relations, and geography, Kelly served as Trustee of the University from 1988-2008 and has served two decades on the PSD Council, including ten years as Chair. We are pleased to honor his contributions to the Physical Sciences Division and the University of Chicago through this award.
The Kelly Prize celebrates faculty who, outside of their classroom teaching and research, have made exceptional efforts in promoting and supporting the Physical Sciences Division. Previous winners include Ka Yee Lee and John Frederick (2013); Anne Rogers and Michael Hopkins (2014); Robert Fefferman and Robert Wald (2015); Michael Foote (2016); Michael Stein (2017); Richard Jordan (2018); Stephen Stigler (2019); and Bryan Dickinson, Margaret Gardel, and Chuan He (2020).
Prof. Aaron Dinner has served the Division as Deputy Dean of Master’s Programs since 2019 and as Director of the James Franck Institute from 2012-2018. As Director of JFI, he was widely respected for guiding the Institute through multiple hiring and promotion cases, and for reorganizing space within the Institute to make it more functional and to foster better collaboration. As Deputy Dean, Dinner has demonstrated remarkable leadership and flexibility. Dinner spearheaded the Division’s efforts to resume research during COVID, creating the infrastructure and process that allowed hundreds of researchers to return to laboratories to continue the Division’s mission to expand, deepen, and redefine fields in the physical and mathematical sciences.
Prof. Stu Kurtz has served as Master of the Physical Sciences Collegiate Division since 2018 and as chairperson of the Computer Science department from 1997-2003 and 2006-2009. Kurtz is an example of wisdom and resilience to his colleagues. He cares deeply about the educational mission of the Division: fostering an inclusive and creative intellectual environment and helping to shape the next generation of physical scientists and mathematicians. He has devoted himself to ensuring students in the College are supported and have the opportunity to reach their highest potential in PSD courses and majors. He also upholds high standards for teaching, and serves as an incredible resource for faculty and instructors. He has shepherded faculty and instructors through the transition to remote learning during the global pandemic, emphasizing the need to take care of students and ourselves during this difficult time.
The Kelly Prize will be awarded at the virtual PSD Convocation ceremony on Wednesday, June 9, at 7:00 p.m.