John McCarthy, Michael Maroney Named AAAS Fellows

John McCarthy
John McCarthy
Michael Maroney
Michael Maroney

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recently awarded the distinction of Fellow to John J. McCarthy, senior vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School, and Michael J. Maroney, professor of chemistry, “for their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished.”

McCarthy, a Distinguished University Professor who hasserved as vice provost and dean since 2012, was recognized for his “distinguished contributions to linguistic science, particularly in formal models of phonological representation, and in developing a new scientific paradigm for constraint-based natural language grammars.”

A native of Medford, McCarthy earned his bachelor’s degree in linguistics and Near Eastern languages from Harvard and his doctorate in linguistics from MIT. He taught for several years at the University of Texas at Austin before becoming a visiting scientist at AT&T Bell Laboratories’ department of linguistics and artificial intelligence research. He began teaching linguistics at UMass Amherst in 1985.

McCarthy says he feels privileged to be recognized by his colleagues in the AAAS’s newest section, linguistics and language science. “Even though I’m dedicated to my work as an administrator, I see myself first as a faculty member and scholar,” he notes.

Maroney, whose research uses biophysical, molecular biological and synthetic model approaches to investigate the structure of transition metal sites in proteins and enzymes, was recognized for “pioneering work in understanding nickel bioinorganic chemistry, with applications to bioenergy science, bacterial pathogenesis and transition metal homeostasis.”He joined the chemistry faculty in 1985.

A native of Iowa, Maroney received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Iowa State University and a doctorate from the University of Washington. After a brief stint as a research chemist at Chevron, he did postdoctoral research in organometallic chemistry at Northwestern University and in bioinorganic chemistry at the University of Minnesota, where he worked on the structure and function of dinuclear non-heme iron proteins.

He says, “ I feel honored to be recognized by my peers. To paraphrase the familiar quotation, ‘If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,’ and I was boosted up there by dozens of graduate students and postdocs whose work helped push back the frontier.”  

New fellows will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin in February at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the 2016 annual meeting in Washington, D.C.The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874. AAAS, founded in 1848, is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of Science, the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated 1 million subscribers.