Brilliant Professor wins genius grant at US university for his outstanding research, gets $800k cash prize

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Festus Conteh
By Festus Conteh 111 Views 2 Min Read
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Brilliant Professor wins genius grant at US university for his outstanding research, gets $800k cash prize
Brilliant Professor wins genius grant at US university for his outstanding research, gets $800k cash prize

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Kiese Laymon, an esteemed English professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas, has been awarded the highly sought-after MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the “genius grant,” for the 2022 cycle.

As the second individual in Rice University’s history to be bestowed with this prestigious accolade, Professor Laymon drew upon his personal experiences as a Black Southern author to explore various types of violence.

“His writing across multiple forms — including essays, memoirs and fiction — is rooted in his perspective as a Black Southern man,” stated a report from the university’s media.

Professor Laymon has written numerous works, comprising novels and collections of essays. Upon being granted the MacArthur Fellowship prize, he expressed gratitude to everyone who aided him in his journey.

“I’m not one for awards and recognition, but this one feels special. Revision and Mississippi did this. I’m just thankful. Some really incredible people thought my work was OK. That’s a big deal to me,” Laymon said of the fellowship.

As a member of the 2022 cohort of MacArthur Fellows, Professor Kiese Laymon was given an $800,000 grant to use as he sees fit.

The President of Rice University, Reginald DesRoches, hailed Professor Laymon’s win as a major triumph for the university. “This is a huge win for Kiese, for Rice’s School of Humanities and for the university as a whole,” he said.

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Festus Conteh is an international youth that functions conveniently in all forms of writing including article writing, news, script, content writing, constitution and project/proposal writing. Writing is fun to Festus and has brought fame and recognition in his clime. In 2019, he was awarded best upcoming writer in an online writing completion that was organized by the Association of Sierra Leonean Authors (ASLA). After his impactful contribution to national development and cohesion through writing, he was nominated for the African Genius Award for the Best Writer in Africa Award Category an award he lost to one of the greatest African Writers - Chinua Achebe. In 2022, Festus was one of the applicants to the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) as Vice Chairperson (Policy and Advocacy) a process that met imperil feedback. As a freelancer, Festus has written articles for magazines, newspapers, and media houses and his articles have attracted big media houses including BBC, Aljazeera and Legit. Ng and is the Head of Programs at Salone Messenger a public relations firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information. He is the founder of Africa’s Wakanda a platform that spotlight the beauty of Africa. Festus is also a perpetual volunteer in life-changing causes and has shown great commitment and dedication to being a catalyst and solution to the challenges faced by young people like himself. Festus currently serves as the Secretary General of the Africa Youth Leaders movement which is a network of youth between the ages of 20 – 30 years who have shown achievement, leadership potential and commitment to make a difference. Festus is also the Africa Focal Point of Youth for Change Initiative, which is a platform through which young people can access resources, be empowered and given the opportunity to grow to become useful members of society who will participate in the development of their communities and nation. Along with another Africa Youth platform, Festus has Co-Founded the Future of Africa initiative which is an advocate forum with the aim to bring together local and international socio-economic stakeholders to support innovative programs aimed at advancing the radical and practical progress of adoption awareness-vulnerable children and youth and youth leadership-through interlinking local, regional and international resources and opportunities.
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