Alumna gets genius grant


Beth Shapiro. Photo courtesy of The John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Beth Shapiro (BS ’99, MS ’99) was a 2009 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award—a $500,000 no-strings-attached grant given to 24 people throughout the world each year. She is the first UGA alumnus to win the award.

Shapiro, a Foundation Fellow at UGA, also was the university’s first female Rhodes Scholar, winning that award in 1999. She earned her Ph.D. in zoology from Oxford University in 2003 She currently is an assistant professor of biology at Penn State University.

UGA can lay claim to one other MacArthur grant. In 2003, Eve Troutt Powell, then UGA associate professor of history, became the first UGA faculty member to receive the fellowship. Powell now is on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.