SANTA CRUZ -- Two UC Santa Cruz professors have been named fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The organization honored linguistics professor Sandra Chung and Ilan Benjamin, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry.
Chung was praised for her "distinguished contributions to teaching and research in linguistics. She also was recognized for "advancing syntax through insights from under-studied languages and engaging minority communities in linguistic research."
Chung is widely considered a leading authority on Austronesian languages, especially Chamorro, a language spoken by 45,000 people in the U.S. territory of Guam and in the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
The National Science Foundation awarded her a grant in 2008 for a three-year collaborative project to help preserve the endangered Chamorro language. She was elected president of the Linguistic Society of America last year.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science honored Benjamin for his work in the field of computational and theoretical chemistry.
His research focuses on the theoretical study of chemical and physical phenomena that take place at liquid surfaces and interfaces. Examples of this include the uptake of pollutants between air and water, and the extraction of ions at the interface between water and oil.
Benjamin and Chung are among 702 American Association for the Advancement of Science members honored as fellow for their efforts to advance science or its applications. They will be presented with an official certificate at the organization's annual meeting in Boston on Feb. 16.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.