Carol Padden UCSD sign language scholar Carol Padden has been named a 2010 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The prize is $500,000 in "no strings attached" support over the next five years.
Popularly known as a "genius" grant, the MacArthur award recognizes "talented individuals in a variety of fields who have shown exceptional originality in and dedication to their creative pursuits," according to a press release.
Padden, who was born deaf, is cited for work that "demystifies sign language and opens windows of understanding regarding how languages evolve over time and the role of language in building and maintaining communities."
She is the 16th UCSD scholar to receive a MacArthur Fellowship and the seventh so honored from the university's Division of Social Sciences.
A professor in the Department of Communication, Padden is also associate dean in the Division of Social Sciences, an affiliate of the Center for Research in Language and doctoral graduate of the Linguistics Department at UCSD.
SOURCE: Press Release