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Three Stony Brook University Professors Awarded 2011 Guggenheim Fellowships By The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Drs. Agnes Weiyun He, Sachiko Murata and Jeffrey A. Segal Chosen in 87th Annual Competition

STONY BROOK, N.Y., April 20, 2011 —Three Stony Brook University Professors — Agnes Weiyun He, Ph.D.Sachiko Murata, Ph.D., and Jeffrey A. Segal, Ph.D.— have been named 2011 Guggenheim Fellows. Based on distinguished 

Dr. Agnes Weiyun He

achievement in the past and exceptional promise for the future, Stony Brook's three new Guggenheim Fellows were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 candidates.

In announcing this year’s Fellows, Edward Hirsch, President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, highlighted the growth and impact of the program since its establishment in 1925. “The most significant thing about the Foundation may be the continuity of our mission, a commitment to funding individuals at the highest level to do the work they were meant to do,” he said.

“Being chosen for a Guggenheim Fellowship is a most esteemed honor, and reflects the highest levels of scholarship and professionalism,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.  “Stony Brook University is very proud to have Drs. He, Murata and Segal chosen for this venerated distinction.”

Currently Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Stony Brook University, Dr. Agnes Weiyun He is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Asian Studies. Her Guggenheim project title, “Language of the Heart and Heritage,” will involve writing a book that explores the trajectory of Chinese heritage language development.  Anchored 

Dr. Sachiko Murata

in discourse linguistics and linguistic anthropology, the book will examine the ways in which heritage language speakers acquire, challenge, reject, resist, learn, embrace, and transcend repertoires of language forms and functions associated with complex and changing contextual dimensions over time and across space. 

Dr. Sachiko Murata is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Program in Japanese Studies in the Department of Asian and American Studies at Stony Brook University. She plans to finalize a study and translation of The Real Commentary on the True Teaching by Wang Daiyu (ca. 1592-1658). Published in 1642, this book was the first exposition of the religion of Islam in the Chinese language. 

Dr. Jeffrey A. Segal

“It is the first example we have of a Muslim scholar explaining Islam in detail in the language of another major civilization,” says Dr. Murata.  

A SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stony Brook University, Dr. Jeffrey A. Segal’s Guggenheim project title is “Supreme Court Decision Making During Times of Crisis: 1793-2010.”  “Historical institutionalism and its various subsets, such as American political development, have pushed scholars to broaden their time horizons,” says Dr. Segal.  “Whatever the reason and the research program, the upshot is clear: it is nearly impossible at this late date to ignore the historical turn that has taken place in social science work on judicial politics and behavior.”

Since its establishment in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation has granted nearly $290 million in Fellowships to more than 17,000 individuals.  Time and again, the Foundation’s choice of Fellows has proved prescient: thousands of celebrated alumni and scores of Nobel, Pulitzer, and other prize-winners grace its rolls.  In a time of decreased funding for individuals in the arts, humanities, and sciences, the Guggenheim Fellowship program is all the more important.  Donations have ensured that the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation will be able to continue the mission Senator and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim set for it: to “add to the educational, literary, artistic and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding.”