AUSTIN, Texas—The winners of this year’s University Co-op Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards were announced March 23 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin. The Hamilton Awards are the highest honor of literary achievement given to published authors at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Michael Granof, chairperson of the University Co-operative Society, hosted the event and announced the winners. Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of the university, presented the awards.
The Hamilton Book Award $10,000 grand prize was awarded to Dr. Eric R. Pianka, the Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor in Zoology in the Section of Integrative Biology, for “Lizards: Windows to the Evolution of Diversity” (University of California Press).
Pianka co-authored this award-winning book with Dr. Laurie J. Vitt of the University of Oklahoma.
According to Publishers Weekly, “In this coffee table nature book, two renowned lizard ecologists explain why these remarkable reptiles not only have as much a place on the planet as humans, but are also helpful in understanding evolutionary biology. Pianka and Vitt describe lizards’ incredible diversity and highlight some of the creatures’ weirder tools for survival, including blood-squirting eyes, breakaway tails and kaleidoscope camouflage.”
Four winners took home $3,000 cash prizes:
- Dr. Ricardo Ainslie, Department of Educational Psychology, “Long Dark Road: Bill King and Murder in Jasper, Texas” (University of Texas Press).
- Dr. Joanna Brooks, Department of English, “American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures” (Oxford University Press).
- Dr. Toyin Falola, Department of History, “A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir” (University of Michigan Press).
- Dr. Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Department of Art and Art History, “The Northern Renaissance” (Phaidon Press Ltd.).
The University Co-operative Society also presented the highly regarded Career Research Excellence Award. Dr. David L. Lambert, Department of Astronomy, was awarded the $10,000 Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a superior research program over many years at the university.
Dr. Inderjit Dhillon, Department of Computer Sciences, and Dr. Joydeep Ghosh, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, were awarded the $5,000 Best Research Paper Award for their collaborative work titled “Clustering with Bregman Divergences.”
Yacov Sharir, B.F.A., Department of Theatre and Dance, won the $3,000 Fine Arts Award for outstanding achievement.
The University Co-op is a not-for-profit corporation owned by the students, faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Austin. In 2005 the University Co-op has already committed to provide the university with $3 million in gifts and rebates.