Two CUNY Professors Earn 2016 Carnegie Fellowships

Two CUNY professors — Deborah L. Balk, a Baruch College professor and Associate Director of the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research who studies urbanization and climate change, and Thomas G. Weiss, a presidential professor of political science at the CUNY Graduate Center focused on international relations and global governance – have each been awarded a 2016 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Balk and Weiss were among 33 named as Andrew Carnegie Fellows. Each will receive up to $200,000 “toward the funding of one to two years of scholarly research and writing aimed at addressing some of the world’s most urgent challenges to U.S. democracy and international order,” according to the Carnegie Corp. The fellows were selected out of nearly 200 nominees “based on the originality, promise, and potential impact of their proposals.”

Chancellor James B. Milliken called the fellowships “a highly significant honor” for the University. “Drs. Balk and Weiss have distinguished themselves as being among the leading scholars in their fields,” the Chancellor said. “The City University of New York is gratified that the Carnegie Corporation and the nominators, evaluators and jurors involved in making the selections, recognized the importance and potential impact of these outstanding  CUNY professors’ work.”

The Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program, which awarded $6.6 million to recipients this year, provides fellowships to advance research in the social sciences and humanities. The anticipated result of each fellowship is the publication of a book or major study.

Balk, Associate Director of the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research and a professor at Baruch’s School of Public Affairs and at the Graduate Center, said her Carnegie fellowship would fund her research on climate-related vulnerability in the 21st century and the roles of urbanization and migration.  “I am so honored to receive this award,” she said. “In my effort to better understand the ramifications of urbanization and climate change, I’ve had the great privilege to work with superb colleagues from a wide variety of disciplines around the world.”

“I’ve been fortunate to have the steadfast support of Baruch College and the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research as I carry out this research,” Balk said. “I’m enormously grateful to the Carnegie Corporation for this wonderful fellowship, which will give me significant resources to advance this work, enabling me both to answer long-held questions and raise important new ones.”

Balk’s expertise is in urbanization, population and climate change, and demography of developing countries, among other interests. Her Ph.D. is from  University of California, Berkeley.

Weiss, a distinguished scholar at the Graduate Center with expertise in the politics of the United Nations, is researching the concept of “A World Without the United Nations” and in particular, how the 70-year-old institution could be more creative and effective, as the Associated Press reported.

Weiss has written extensively about international organizations, conflict management, humanitarian action, the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, North-South relations, and U.S. foreign policy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Director Emeritus of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. His Ph.D. is from Princeton University.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree.