North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Pres­i­dent Joseph E. Aoun has been elected a fellow of the Amer­ican Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence, the world’s largest gen­eral sci­en­tific society. Bestowed upon the association’s mem­bers by their peers, elec­tion as a fellow is recog­ni­tion of the individual’s efforts to advance sci­ence or its applications.

Aoun, a noted lin­guist, was selected as a result of his dis­tin­guished con­tri­bu­tions to gen­eral syn­tactic theory—particularly the under­standing of ref­er­en­tial relationships—and for pro­duc­tive ana­lyt­ical work on many lan­guages, notably Arabic and Chinese.

Aoun is one of a select group of scholars and sci­en­tists to receive the honor this year. In addi­tion to Aoun, nine North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers and deans are also fel­lows. They are pro­fes­sors Paul Cham­pion, Albert-​​László Barabási, Lisa Feldman Bar­rett, Barry Karger, Alexan­dros Makriyannis, Joanne Miller, and Pran Nath; Nadine Aubry, dean of the Col­lege of Engi­neering; and J. Murray Gibson, founding dean of the Col­lege of Science.

In addi­tion to his schol­arly achieve­ments, Aoun is a national leader on issues crit­ical to higher edu­ca­tion. He fre­quently writes and speaks about inno­va­tion in higher edu­ca­tion, with par­tic­ular emphasis on Amer­ican higher edu­ca­tion in a global context.

Ear­lier this year, Aoun con­cluded his term as chair of the Amer­ican Council on Edu­ca­tion, the nation’s largest higher edu­ca­tion advo­cacy orga­ni­za­tion. He also serves on the U.S. Depart­ment of Home­land Security’s aca­d­emic advi­sory council. He has led efforts to sup­port crit­ical defense and home­land secu­rity research funding, to pre­serve fed­eral finan­cial aid for stu­dents, and to advance expe­ri­en­tial learning as a valu­able edu­ca­tional model.

Aoun holds a doc­torate in lin­guis­tics and phi­los­ophy from the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology and advanced degrees from the Uni­ver­sity of Paris in France VIII and Saint Joseph Uni­ver­sity in Lebanon.

He has pub­lished seven books and written more than 40 arti­cles. Aoun is also a fellow of the Lin­guistic Society of America and the Amer­ican Academy of Arts and Sci­ences. In 2006 he was named a Cheva­lier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Acad­e­miques (Knight of the Order of the Aca­d­emic Palms) by the French gov­ern­ment. In 2011, he received the pres­ti­gious Robert A. Muh Award from MIT’s School of Human­i­ties, Arts, and Social Sci­ences. He is a member of the Amer­ican Academy of Arts and Sci­ences and is the imme­diate past chair of the Amer­ican Council on Education.

The Amer­ican Asso­ci­a­tion for the Advance­ment of Sci­ence is a global asso­ci­a­tion with a mis­sion to advance sci­ence, engi­neering, and inno­va­tion through edu­ca­tion and lead­er­ship. The orga­ni­za­tion pro­duces sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tions, including Sci­ence magazine.

Originally published in news@Northeastern on November 27, 2013