JAMES MCPHERSON, history professor emeritus, will receive the first Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing Oct. 6 in Chicago. McPherson, who has published numerous works on the Civil War, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. The Pritzker award includes a $100,000 honorarium.

Two chemical engineering majors in the Class of 2002, CHRIS LOOSE and JOEL MOXLEY, are among the founders of a biotechnology startup company that won $250,000 in May in the DFJ East Coast Venture Challenge, a business-plan competition. The company, Cambridge, Mass.-based SteriCoat Corp., has developed a technology to give medical devices an anti-microbial coating to reduce bloodstream infections. SteriCoat also won MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

A team of Princeton undergraduates is one of 36 semifinalists invited to compete Oct. 26–31 in California in a Pentagon-sponsored competition to develop a self-driving vehicle. In the event, called the URBAN CHALLENGE, vehicles will conduct simulated military-supply missions while driving on roads at an urban military base; they must be able to merge into traffic, avoid moving vehicles, and navigate traffic circles. The top 20 teams will compete Nov. 3 for a prize of $2 million.

HALEH ESFANDIARI, a Middle East studies scholar who taught Persian language and literature at Princeton from 1980 to 1994, was released from an Iranian prison Aug. 2 after being held for three months in solitary confinement on charges of endangering Iran’s national security. She returned to work as director of the Middle East program for the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington Sept. 10. Esfandiari and the Wilson Center strongly denied the charges. She said she tried to convince her interrogators that she seeks to help women in the Middle East to get involved in the political process. Former Princeton president HAROLD T. SHAPIRO *64 joined with eight university leaders in organizing a national effort to condemn a British academic union’s push to boycott Israeli educational institutions. The initiative resulted in more than 360 college presidents, including President Tilghman, endorsing a statement by Columbia President Lee Bollinger that a boycott is “utterly antithetical to the fundamental values of the academy.”

The associate dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, NOLAN MCCARTY, will serve as acting dean while Dean Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80 is on sabbatical in China. McCarty, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, joined the faculty in 2001. His fields of research include U.S. politics, democratic political institutions, and political game theory. Slaughter is spending the 2007–08 academic year at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.

KAREN J. WEAVER ’94 has been named associate dean for academic affairs and diversity in the Graduate School, with primary responsibility for recruiting and retaining underrepresented graduate students. Weaver previously had been executive director of New Jersey’s Amistad Commission, overseeing a statewide mandate to integrate African-American history into the K–12 curriculum.