Working in fields ranging from environmental health, inorganic chemistry, and urban sociology to journalism, dance, and puppetry, the twenty-four fellows will each receive unrestricted grants of $625,000 over five years. Known as the "genius awards," fellowships are awarded for "exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work," and offers recipients maximum freedom to follow their creative vision, with no stipulations or reporting requirements.
This year’s fellows include four nonprofit leaders — Patrick Awuah, founder and president of Ashesi University in Ghana, who has developed a model for higher education that combines training in ethical leadership, liberal arts, and skills needed in today’s Africa; Health Care Without Harm co-founder Gary Cohen, who works to reposition healthcare practice around the broader challenges of sustainability, climate change, and community health; Instituto del Progreso Latino president and CEO Juan Salgado, who has created a holistic approach to workforce development and training among immigrant communities in Chicago; and Alex Truesdell, executive director and founder of Adaptive Design Association, a social enterprise that provides low-tech, affordable tools and furniture that enable children with disabilities to participate actively in their homes, schools, and communities.
Other fellowship recipients include Atlantic magazine national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates; LaToya Ruby Frazier, a photographer and video artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard Medical School neuroscientist Beth Stevens, and puppetry artist and director Basil Twist.
"These twenty-four delightfully diverse MacArthur Fellows are shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways," said MacArthur Foundation president Julia Stasch. "Their work, their commitment, and their creativity inspire us all."
For a complete list of 2015 MacArthur Fellows, visit the MacArthur Foundation website.