Rutgers University has a “genius” in its midst. History professor Julie Livingston won the prestigious fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation, popularly termed the “genius grant,” Rutgers announced Wednesday.
The five-year fellowship, which was awarded to 24 people in 2013, comes with a $625,000 unrestricted stipend.
Livingston specializes in public health and African history. Livingston spent a sabbatical year and three summers at Princess Marina Hospital Botswana researching her most recent book, Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic.
MacArthur Foundation fellows do not know they are under consideration for the award until they receive a call notifying them of the win. Livingston was attending a conference in Johannesburg, South Africa when she began receiving calls from a number she did not recognize and didn’t answer the calls until she headed home from the airport, according to the press release.
“I screamed out loud in the taxi,” Livingston said in the release.
The Rutgers professor wasn’t the only MacArthur Fellow selected from New Jersey this year: Camden doctor Jeffrey Brenner, who studies health care needs of the chronically ill in impoverished communities, also received an award, the foundation announced.