Two U-M professors awarded prestigious Carnegie Fellowships


Two University of Michigan professors have been named as recipients of the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a prestigious honor that supports research in the social sciences and humanities.

Photo of Elizabeth Armstrong
Elizabeth Armstrong

Photo of J. Alex Halderman

J. Alex Halderman

Elizabeth Armstrong and J. Alex Halderman were among 32 distinguished scholars and writers chosen from among nearly 300 nominations. Each winner will receive up to $200,000 to support a research sabbatical focused on their studies in the social sciences and humanities — the most generous stipend of its kind, nicknamed “the brainy awards.”

“Elizabeth Armstrong and J. Alex Halderman are two of the University of Michigan’s most impactful researchers,” said President Mark Schlissel. “Dr. Armstrong’s insights into sexual misconduct prevention and Dr. Halderman’s examinations of the risks of election hacking are helping our nation tackle big challenges. I am proud that their contributions to society are being recognized at such a high level.”

A professor of sociology, organizational studies and women’s studies at LSA, Armstrong focuses on the reproduction of gender, class and race inequalities. She examines these processes in the domain of sexuality and within the organizational context of the university.

“I am honored to be selected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. The fellowship will enable me to conduct a series of interviews with national leaders and policymakers who have unique insights into the political and legal issues surroundings campus sexual assault,” said Armstrong, who will use the award to extend a project she has been working on with her colleague, Sandy Levitsky, on how universities respond to sexual assault.

“We hope our insights will enable universities to more effectively fulfill their ethical and legal responsibilities to provide educational, work and living spaces free from sexual violence.”

Armstrong, who is also a faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research, said the plans call for a book, peer-reviewed papers, opinion pieces and public speaking sessions after they collect data.

“We are delighted to hear that Dr. Armstrong has been selected as a 2019 Carnegie Fellow,” said Elizabeth R. Cole, interim dean of LSA, and professor of women’s studies, psychology and Afroamerican and African studies.

“To be recognized by such a prestigious group for her groundbreaking work is an accolade she’s certainly earned, and it’s one we’re thrilled to celebrate. Her scholarship illustrates the talent and breadth of our faculty here at LSA, and at the University of Michigan. Elizabeth is an exemplary scholar and I am proud to call her my colleague.”

Halderman, professor of computer science and engineering at the College of Engineering, is an expert on computer security and privacy, with an emphasis on problems that broadly impact society and public policy. In recent years, he has concentrated on election security.

His work contributed to Congress’ decision to provide $380 million in new funding for election security last year.

Under the Carnegie Fellowship grant, Halderman will work to educate lawmakers, future cybersecurity experts and the public about how to adopt new practices that will ensure that election results can be relied upon and verified.

“I am truly honored to have been selected for the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship,” said Halderman, who also directs the Center for Computer Security and Society. “The support it provides will be absolutely vital as we seek to accelerate the adoption of secure voting practices in the U.S., securing elections against interference and restoring trust in our democratic system.”

Halderman’s goal is to accelerate the adoption of secure election processes across the country prior to the 2020 presidential contest.

“Our democracy depends on secure elections and Professor Halderman’s work to illuminate and eliminate vulnerabilities in our voting system is a shining example of academic research in service of the common good,” said Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and professor of aerospace engineering and applied physics.

“I’m proud to have him on our faculty. This award will enable his continued success.”

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program supports high-caliber scholarship and research that applies fresh perspectives from the humanities and social sciences to some of the most pressing issues of our times. The topics focus on a broad range of complex political, economic, technological, humanistic and sociological matters.

The addition of Armstrong and Halderman brings the total of U-M fellows to five since the program began in 2015. The others are Yuen Yuen Ang (2018) and Arthur Lupia (2015) of LSA, and John Ciorciari (2015) of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.


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