The MacArthur Foundation announced the latest winners of its highly coveted fellowships on Tuesday, bestowing the nickname “genius” on 22 recipients and a no-strings-attached grant of $500,000.
The Associated Press reports that the winners include a “Chicago skyscraper architect (Jeanne Gang), a New York City children's choir founder (Francisco J. Nunez) and a North Carolina scientist who studies how to prevent sports-related concussions (Kevin Guskiewicz).”
Other winners include: Kay Ryan, a former U.S. poet laureate from Fairfax, Calif.; Alisa Weilerstein, a 29-year-old cellist from New York; and Ubaldo Vitali, a New Jersey silversmith who restores famous works, some more thanr 2,300 years old, by hand.
NPR fans have something to cheer about, too: Radiolab co-host and producer Jad Abumrad was also among the winners
You can find the full list here.
New fellows often don’t even know they’ve been nominated or chosen until they receive an email or phone call out of the blue. “I was dumbfounded, I actually cried," Nunez told CBS News.
"I get this call from a gentleman," Nunez recalled. "He tells me to tell whoever I'm with to leave and go into a private room. Next thing I know I have to sit down at my desk. I started shaking." All things considered, tears and muscular convulsions seem like understandable reactions.