New York University: NYU Faculty Members and Alumnus Win MacArthur “Genius Grants” for 2021

Nicole R. Fleetwood, a professor in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and Victor J. Torres, a professor in NYU Grossman School of Medicine, have been named MacArthur Fellows by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Alumnus Daniel Lind-Ramos joins Fleetwood and Torres as a MacArthur Fellow for the Class of 2021.

MacArthur fellows are recipients of the foundation’s “genius grants,” who each receive $625,000 over a five-year period to pursue intellectual, social, and artistic endeavors.

“As we emerge from the shadows of the past two years, this class of 25 Fellows helps us reimagine what’s possible. They demonstrate that creativity has no boundaries. It happens in all fields of endeavor, among the relatively young and more seasoned, in Iowa and Puerto Rico,” said Cecilia Conrad, managing director of the MacArthur Fellows. “Once again, we have the opportunity for exultation as we recognize the potential to create objects of beauty and awe, advance our understanding of society, and foment change to improve the human condition.”

Fleetwood holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University (Ohio) as well as a master’s degree and a PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. In July 2021, Fleetwood joined NYU Steinhardt as the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. From 2005 to 2021, she was affiliated with Rutgers University at New Brunswick, with appointments in the Departments of American Studies and Art History. Fleetwood is the author of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2020), among other works. Marking Time received a 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize, the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, and the Frank Jewett Mather Award. Fleetwood’s co-curated exhibitions have appeared at the Andrew Freedman Home, Aperture Foundation Galleries, and Zimmerli Museum of Art, among other venues.

Victor J. Torres received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez and a PhD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. After completing postdoctoral training in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt, Torres joined the faculty of NYU Grossman School of Medicine in 2008, where he is currently the C. V. Starr Professor of Microbiology. His articles have been published in Nature, Cell Host and Microbe, PNAS, and Science Translational Medicine, among other scientific journals. In his work, Torres investigates how multidrug-resistant bacteria cause disease and identifies new therapies to fight and prevent infection. Through his research, Torres has greatly advanced scientific understanding of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and developed several potential treatment strategies to abate its threat to the human immune system.

Lind-Ramos received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico and master’s degree from the School of Education (now NYU Steinhardt) in 1980. He is currently a senior professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at such venues as the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Drawing Center, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico, and the Grand Palais (Paris, France).

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