The MacArthur Foundation named Julie Livingston (’01G) a 2013 MacArthur Fellow on Sept. 24, for which she will receive a $625,000 grant.

Known as the “genius grant,” the MacArthur Fellowship awards those who portray excellent creativity in their work, the foundations website said.

In 2001, Livingston graduated from the Laney Graduate School with a Ph.D. in History, according to the website of Rutgers University, where she currently teaches.

Her studies included the care and treatment of chronic illnesses and debilitating ailments in Botswana.

Since 2003, Livingston has taught a number of undergraduate history courses, including “The History of Southern Africa” and “The History of the AIDS Pandemic” at Rutgers University. Livingston teaches graduate courses in Women’s Studies as well.

Livingston said the skills that she acquired at Emory helped prepare her for her career as a researcher and professor.

“I do want to say how incredibly critical the Institute of African Studies at Emory and the history department were in my training,” Livingston said. “[They] both encouraged and enabled the sort of cross-disciplinary perspective I use in my work.”

Using her acquired skills, Livingston took what she learned at Emory and applied it to real-world problems.

Lisa Tedesco, the dean of the Laney Graduate School, said she is pleased about Livingston’s “well-deserved recognition.”

“Her cutting-edge work represents the essential contributions made through interdisciplinary research and commitments to improving well-being and health on a global scale,” she said.

She added that Livingston’s work embodies the significance of an undergraduate education.

“[Her work] is an example of how faculty work across disciplines to prepare scholar leaders in the Laney Graduate School,” Tedesco said.

As Livingston continues her research, the Laney Graduate School will continue to send people into fields with a toolbox that they can use to help others and impact the world, she said.

The monetary award that Livingston earned will be paid in quarterly installments for five years, according to the foundation’s website.

The MacArthur Fellowship is designed so that the fiscal reward will be used for “intellectual, social and artistic endeavors.”

The recipient will be free to use the money however  he or she would like.

John MacArthur created the MacArthur Foundation in 1970, according to the website.

Each year, a pool of rotating judges nominates candidates.

Usually, the judges nominate 100 candidates and award fellowships to around 25 of those nominations.

The MacArthur Foundation supports individuals committed to “building a more just, verdant and peaceful world,” according to their website.

– By Brandon Fuhr