Six American Indians among 2022 Guggenheim Scholars

180 scientists, writers, academics and artists honored in 51 fields

Six American Indians are among 180 scientists, writers, scholars and artists who have been awarded 2022 Guggenheim Fellowships in 51 fields by the New York-based John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Chosen through a rigorous application and peer review process from nearly 2,500 applicants, these successful candidates were nominated based on their past achievements and outstanding promise, according to a press release.

Read: Akhil Sharma and Vikram Chandra among 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship recipients (April 16, 2015)

The six Indian American scholars are:
Prashant K. Jain, professor of chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (chemistry);
Shrikanth Narayanan, University Professor and Nikias Chair in Engineering, University of Southern California (Computer Science);
Manjul Bhargava, Brandon Fradd, Class of 1983, Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University (Mathematics);
Suparna Rajaram, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Science, Stony Brook University, SUNY (Psychology);
Jyoti Puri, Hazel Dick Leonard Professor and Professor of Sociology, Simmons University (Sociology);
Manisha Sinha, Draper Professor of American History, University of Connecticut (US History).

“Now that the past two years are hopefully behind us all, it is a special joy to celebrate the newest class of Guggenheim Foundation Scholars,” said Edward Hirsch, Guggenheim Foundation President and 1985 Fellow in poetry.

“This year marks the Foundation’s 97th annual research grant competition. Our long experience tells us what impact these annual grants will have on people’s lives.

Many fellows’ projects respond directly to issues such as climate change, pandemics, Russia, feminism, identity, and racism.

Created and originally funded in 1925 by Senator Simon and Olga Guggenheim in memory of their son John Simon Guggenheim, has awarded nearly $400 million in scholarships to more than 18,000 people.

Jain received his BTech from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and his PhD in Physical Chemistry from Georgia Tech. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley, after which he joined the faculty at the University of Illinois.

Jain is affiliated with the Materials Research Laboratory, Department of Physics, and the Beckman Institute. His research focuses on understanding and controlling light-matter interactions at the nanoscale and the use of confined light for artificial photosynthesis and imaging the atomic dynamics of complex solids and catalysts.

Narayanan received his M.Sc., P.Eng. and Ph.D., all in Electrical Engineering, from UCLA in 1990, 1992, and 1995, respectively, and his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy (Chennai, India) in 1988.

From 1995 to 2000, he worked for AT&T Labs-Research, Florham Park and AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, first as a senior member and later as a core member of its technical team.

He has published over 900 articles and has been awarded 18 US patents. His research and inventions have led to the commercialization of technology, including through startups he co-founded: Behavioral Signals Technologies, focused on telecommunications services and the AI-based conversational assistance industry , and Lyssn, focused on mental health care delivery, treatment and quality assurance.

Bhargava, who joined the faculty at Princeton in 2003 after earning her doctorate in mathematics from the university in 2001, has received numerous awards for her work,

These include 2014 Fields Meda, 2012 Infosys Award; the 2011 Fermat Prize awarded by the Institute of Mathematics of Toulouse in France; the 2005 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize from the Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy in India; the AMS Blumenthal Prize for the Advancement of Pure Mathematics in 2005; and the Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering in 2004.

He was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2013. He was also named one of Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10” in 2002. As a graduate student, Bhargava studied with the famous mathematician Andrew Wiles, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics, emeritus.

Rajaram is an Indian-born cognitive psychologist and an expert in memory and amnesia. She earned a BA in Psychology, Economics and English Literature (1984) and an MA in Psychology (1986) from Mt. Carmel College, Bangalore University.

She moved to the United States to pursue a master’s degree in cognitive psychology at Purdue University and graduated in 1988. Rajaram was a post-doctoral researcher at Temple University School of Medicine, where she conducted research on the amnesia.

Rajaram joined the Stony Brook University School of Psychology in 1993 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2003. She received a FIRST Award from the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH).

In addition to the NIMH, his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Google.

Puri was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship for his current project on death and migration. She writes and teaches at the intersection of sociology, sexuality studies, death studies, and postcolonial feminist theory. Her interests include sexuality, gender, race, nation, state, death and religion.

In 2021, she was honored with the Jessie Bernard Award from the American Sociological Association. In 2019-20, she was a research associate in the Women’s Studies Program in Religion at Harvard Divinity School. She previously received a Rockefeller Fellowship and a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship.

Puri’s book, Sexual States: Governance and the Struggle against the Antisodomy Law in India’s Present, received the Distinguished Book Award from the Sociology of Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association in 2018.

Read: 6 American Indians among 180 Guggenheim Scholars this year (April 13, 2022)

Her previous books include Woman, Body, Desire in Post-colonial India (Routledge 1999) and Encountering Nationalism (Blackwell Publishers 2004).

Sinha, a leading authority on the history of slavery and abolition as well as the Civil War and Reconstruction, was born in India. She received her doctorate from Columbia University where her thesis was nominated for the Bancroft Prize.

She is the author of “The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina,” which was named one of the top ten books on slavery in Politico in 2015 and recently featured in New York’s 1619 Project. Times.

His second multi-award-winning monograph, “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition,” has long been listed for the National Book Award for Non Fiction.

She is currently writing a book on the “greatest reconstruction” of American democracy after the Civil War, which is under contract with Liveright (Norton).