Oliver Williamson, MBA '60, a professor emeritus of business, economics and law at UC-Berkeley's Haas School of Business, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to the study of economic governance. Williamson developed a theory in which business firms can serve as a structure to resolve conflicts. He became a distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association in 2007 and has written many books, including The Mechanisms of Governance. He shared the prize with Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University, the first female Nobel laureate in economics in the 41-year history of the award.
GQ's November 2009 "50 Most Powerful People in D.C." list included: No. 39, editorial director of theAtlantic.com Bob Cohn, '85; No. 34, former National Security Council chief of staff Mark Lippert, '97, MA '98; No. 24, CEO of the American Bankers Association Edward Yingling, JD '73; No. 16, senior adviser and assistant to the president Valerie Jarrett, '78; and No. 4, chair of the Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus, '63, JD '67.
Popular Science named Jerome Lynch, MS '98, PhD '02, MS '03, and Kate Rubins, PhD '06, to its annual "Brilliant 10" list of the top scientists under 40. Lynch, a civil engineer at the University of Michigan, has pioneered a sensor skin that continuously monitors bridges for structural faults. Rubins, a fellow at MIT's Whitehead Institute, has developed a superfast method of isolating and sequencing genetic material from the monkeypox virus, a relative of smallpox.
Cake decorator BethAnn Goldberg, '94, MS '96, ("The Confectioneer," November/December 2009) earned the $10,000 grand prize and bragging rights in a Simpsons-themed mystery cake challenge on the Food Network. Teamed with an über fan of the show, she created a cake based on the episode "Last Tap Dance in Springfield" that featured Bart Simpson sitting in a barrel of candy. Surprise guest judge Yeardley Smith, the actress who voices Lisa Simpson, praised Goldberg's effort in capturing the spirit of the character.
Chemists Howard Peters, PhD '67, and his wife Sally Peters received the American Chemical Society's 2009 Harry and Carol Mosher Award. The award, named for the late Stanford professor and his wife, recognizes accomplishments in advancing chemistry as a profession. The Peterses (aka Mr. and Mrs. Chocolate) are known for their entertaining presentations on the chemistry of "The Food of the Gods."
Jeff Burton, '72, MBA '78, is organizing Club Salviatino and a speaker series at the new Hotel il Salviatino in Florence, which occupies the onetime Stanford-in-Italy villa. Burton describes his vision for the club as "a place where we could gather to enjoy some of the finer things in life at a gracious pace, and still be able to gain some educational benefit." Membership is open to alumni, faculty and staff of every school that has a campus in Florence and is free for 2010, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Stanford Overseas Studies presence there.
The work of Brian Linden, MA '90, and his wife Jeanee Linden in restoring a massive stone complex in China's southeast Himalayas and developing it as a unique cultural retreat was featured in an article in October's Atlantic Monthly. Writer James Fallows hailed the Linden Centre as an example of sustainable development and a new paradigm for Chinese tourism.