2024 Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Awards

The annual awards, established by former University Trustee Gerry Lenfest, recognize faculty excellence across the Arts and Sciences

March 26, 2024

Today the Faculty of Arts and Sciences announced the winners of the 2024 Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award, one of the most significant recognitions given to full-time faculty in the Arts and Sciences.

Established in 2005 through a gift from Columbia University Trustee Gerry Lenfest, the Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes the excellence of faculty as teachers, scholars, and mentors within and outside the classroom, with particular focus on teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty are nominated by their peers, with finalists determined by the Executive Committee of the Arts and Sciences. In addition to professional recognition, the award carries with it a significant stipend over a period of three years.

“This year’s winners are a distinguished group of colleagues whose teaching, mentorship, research, and service represents the very best of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences,“ said Amy E. Hungerford, Dean and Executive Vice President of Arts and Sciences.  “We are delighted to celebrate their achievements and the impact they continue to have on their students, fellow colleagues, and the fields they engage through their leading-edge research.”

The 2024 Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award winners are:

David Blei
Professor of Statistics and Computer Science - Departments of Statistics and Computer Science

For his groundbreaking scholarship in the areas of machine learning and artificial intelligence, around which he has built a flourishing research group at Columbia and a thriving intellectual community across the city, and for his tireless mentorship and teaching of students in the Departments of Statistics and Computer Science.

Anne Bogart
Concentration Head, Directing Professor, Theatre - School of the Arts

For her singular contributions to the School of the Arts and the broader New York and international theatre community as a celebrated director, author, mentor, and educator, including her thirty years of visionary teaching in Columbia’s theatre program and artistic direction of the world-renowned Saratoga International Theater Institute.

Donald Green
Burgess Professor of Political Science - Department of Political Science

For his indelible influence on the fields of experimental political science and the study of American politics, his innovative instruction on the design of field and survey experiments, and his deep investment in the personal and professional well-being and development of his students at all levels.

Gil Hochberg
Ransford Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, and Middle East Studies - Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

For her René Wellek Prize-winning monograph, Becoming Palestine: Toward an Archival Imagination of the Future, and her leadership in fostering constructive student and faculty conversations on Israel and Gaza as chair of the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies.

Karl Jacoby
Allan Nevins Professor of American History - Department of History

For his deep commitment to teaching and mentoring, his curricular advancements in areas such as the history of the borderlands, Indigenous peoples, ethnicity and racialization, and the environment, and his role in strengthening the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race as its co-director.

Kathryn Johnston
Professor of Astronomy - Department of Astronomy

For her impactful research on the dynamic interactions of stars in and around our galaxy and the field of galactic archaeology, her efforts to create new joint research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and new pathways into STEM for underrepresented students, and her leadership in redesigning the graduate Astronomy curriculum.

Agnieszka Legutko
Senior Lecturer in Yiddish - Department of Germanic Languages

For her exceptional record of teaching and mentoring students through dynamic and interactive classes and field engagements, her innovative course design that integrates digital tools into the study of Yiddish language and culture, and her contributions to the ongoing success and expansion of the Yiddish language program at Columbia.

Nim Tottenham
Professor of Psychology - Department of Psychology

For her breakthrough discoveries in the field of developmental affective neuroscience and human emotional learning and development, her support of junior faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, and women and underrepresented groups, and her unwavering devotion to the development of her students at all phases of their careers.

For a list of past Lenfest winners, please visit https://fas.columbia.edu/content/lenfest-distinguished-faculty