CLASS 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award Recipients

About the CLASS Distinguished Faculty Award

The CLASS Distinguished Faculty Award was established in 2019 by Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and M.D. Anderson Professor in Hispanic Studies.

This award honors senior faculty with internationally recognized bodies of scholarship or creative output.
CLASS Distinguished Faculty Award recipients also exhibit the promise of continued excellence. Candidates for this award must have achieved preeminence in their field through stellar research and scholarship.

Funding for the award provided by the generosity of an anonymous donor, supporter, and friend of CLASS.


Casey Dué Hackney, Ph.D.
Department of Modern and Classical Languages
Professor and Director of Classical Studies

Casey Dué Hackney joined the Department of Modern and Classical Languages in 2001 and rose to the rank of full professor in 2010.

Dué Hackney is an internationally recognized scholar of Homeric poetry and Greek oral traditions. Her edition of a 10th-century manuscript is the oldest complete text of the Iliad known to exist.

Dué Hackney has not only established herself as the preeminent scholar of the Homeric epics, but also as an early cutting-edge scholar of digital humanities. She has authored countless books, journal articles, and digital publications. Her works are published in prestigious university presses such as Cambridge and Harvard.

Dué Hackney is the recipient of numerous top teaching and research awards at the University. Additionally, she has received significant funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support her research.

Dué Hackney received her Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University and has served as executive director of Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C., for the past 19 years.


Elena L. Grigorenko , Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor

Elena L. Grigorenko joined the Department of Psychology in 2015. Grigorenko is a research scientist-teacher whose background is unique because of her dual degrees in psychology and genetics. She completed her doctoral and habilitation qualifications in general and educational psychology at Moscow State University in Russia, and her Ph.D. in developmental psychology and genetics at Yale University.

Grigorenko is a licensed clinical psychologist (CT and TX) with a specialization in forensic psychology. She previously held the position of Emily Fraser Beede Professor of Developmental Disabilities, Child Studies, Psychology, Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale. She has received multiple profession-al awards for her work and significant research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and numerous private foundations.

Grigorenko is also a professor in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine. She has published hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has worked with families and children in Africa, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.


Nancy Beck Young, Ph.D.
Department of History

Nancy Beck Young joined the Department of History in 2007. She is a prominent scholar of 20th-century U.S. politics. Beck Young’s research focuses on how ideology has shaped public policy and political institutions. She studies Congress, the presidency, electoral politics and first ladies. Her research on the 1977 National Women’s Conference has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Beck Young has published numerous award-winning books and journal articles. Her five books include biographies of congressman Wright Patman and first lady Lou Henry Hoover, a study of Congress during World War II, and a narrative of the 1964 presidential election. She is currently working on three other book projects.

Beck Young has held fellowships at the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. She is also a prize-winning teacher. She was named Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Illinois Professor of the Year in 2002. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.