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Stony Brook University's Top 11 News Stories of 2011
SBU celebrates historic announcements, awards, honors and milestones

STONY BROOK, NY, December 30, 2011 – In case you missed some of the most exciting stories at Stony Brook University over the course of the past year, here is a sampling of the top 11 for 2011.

Stony Brook University

1)  SBU receives $150 million gift from Jim and Marilyn Simons, Simons Foundation  (Dec. 2011)
Stony Brook received the largest gift in the history of Stony Brook and any institution in the SUNY system. It is also among the top 10 gifts to any public college or university in America. The gift will fund three major priorities: research excellence in the School of Medicine, faculty hires through new endowed professorships and the recruitment of top-level graduate and undergraduate students. 

2)  Governor Cuomo approves SBU’s $35 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant application  (Dec. 2011)
NYSUNY 2020 provides a predictable tuition plan, recognizes Stony Brook’s unique needs as a research institution and provides the university with an additional infusion of $35 million in capital construction dollars which will go toward the construction of a new Medical and Research Translation (MART) building along with $50 million of the Simons gift. Under this plan, Stony Brook will hire more than 250 new faculty and 400 additional staff, and create thousands of jobs in the community.

3)  Four SBU Professors Named American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows (Dec. 2011)
Four Stony Brook University Professors — George Sterman, Ph.D. (Physics), Peter Stephens, Ph.D. (Physics), Lorna Role, Ph.D. (Neuroscience), and Benjamin Hsiao, Ph.D. (Chemistry), — have been named 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows. The AAAS Council elected only 539 of its more than 125,000 members to this elevated rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. 

4)  SBU Professor Selected for Jefferson Science Fellowship  (Nov. 2011)
Devinder Mahajan, PhD, a Professor in the Materials Science & Engineering Department and Co-Director of the Chemical and Molecular Engineering Program at Stony Brook University who holds a joint appointment with Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been named a 2011-2012 Jefferson Science Fellow, an honor given to only 13 individuals this year and 66 since its inception in 2003. He is the first Jefferson Science Fellow recipient from Stony Brook University. 

5)  Stony Brook Seawolves Football Team wins Big South Championship, Advance to Playoffs  (Nov. 2011)
Stony Brook's football team claimed its first outright Big South Championship as the Seawolves upended Liberty, 41-31, for the title. The victory gave Stony Brook the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship for the first time in school history. Then in front of a LaValle Stadium record crowd of 8,286, the Seawolves defeated Albany, 31-28, in the first round of the playoffs before traveling to Texas to face No. 1 ranked Sam Houston State, where they fell just short of upsetting the undefeated Bearkats, 34-27. Stony Brook finished the year with a program record nine wins. 

6)  SBU Chemistry Department Ranked 9th in Nation for R&D Funding by NSF  (Oct. 2011)
The Stony Brook University Department of Chemistry was named ninth on the list of academic research and development (R&D) spending at universities and colleges throughout the nation, according to data released by the National Science Foundation for the fiscal year 2009. The department’s ranking has steadily increased with successive rankings of #46 (2006 data), #29 (2007 data), #24 (2008 data) and ninth for fiscal year 2009, the latest data available, surpassing Harvard, UNC Chapel Hill, UCLA, Purdue, Cornell, Stanford, Johns Hopkins University and other peer universities. 

7)  SBU Biomedical Researcher Receives Prestigious Presidential Early Career Award  (Sep. 2011)
President Barack Obama named Dr. Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the SBU School of Medicine and the Director of the Laboratory for the Study of Emotion and Cognition, a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers. She is the third from Stony Brook to receive this distinction in the past three years. 

8)  SBU Advanced Energy Team wins 2011 “R&D 100” Award for Energy Harvesting Shock Absorber Technology  (June 2011)
A team headed by Lei Zuo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering working through the Advanced Energy Technology & Research Center at Stony Brook University has won a prestigious R&D 100 Award—dubbed the “Oscar of Invention”—for the development of an energy-harvesting shock absorber that converts vibration, bumps, and motion experienced by the suspension of a vehicle or train into electric power. The regenerative shock absorber for cars can harvest more than 100 watts from the vehicle vibrations under normal driving conditions. 

9)  Three SBU Professors Awarded 2011 Guggenheim Fellowships by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (Apr. 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 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. 

10)  SBU Prof. wins $1 million Abel Prize from Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters  (Mar. 2011)
John Milnor, Professor of Mathematics and co-director of the Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Stony Brook University has been awarded the $1 million Abel Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters “for pioneering discoveries in topology, geometry and algebra.” Oyvind Osterud, President of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, made the announcement in Oslo on March 23. Professor Milnor was also honored with the Steele Prize for Lifetime Achievement by the American Mathematical Society in January 2011. 

11)  American Chemical Society Designates Development of the MRI at SBU Chemistry Department a National Historic Landmark  (Mar. 2011)
The American Chemical Society (ACS) commemorated via national historic landmark designation the first construction of an image by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) by Professor Paul Lauterbur 30 years ago in Stony Brook University’s Department of Chemistry. This work led to the Lauterbur’s 2003 Nobel Prize in Medicine.