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Bow Before Greatness: The Female Recipients of the 2015 MacArthur Genius Grant

No matter what your field, there are sources of inspiration among the winners of this year’s MacArthur Genius Grant. These annual $625,000 are awarded to people at the top of their fields – ranging from the arts, to science, to journalism and business – who want to take their work to the next level. Below are some of the inspiring women who have taken home the prize this year!

Latoya Ruby Frazier
Photographer and Video Artist
Why she’s awesome: She uses her photos and videos to show how the steel industry, pollution, the healthcare crisis, and race intersect in her hometown of Braddock, PA.

Mimi Lien
Theater Set Designer
Why she’s awesome: She not only does her own innovative work, but has started an experimental performance space called Jack in Brooklyn where other artists can push their boundaries along with her.

Marina Rustow
Historian at Princeton University
Why she’s awesome: She’s figuring out how to study ancient Jewish and Arabic documents more efficiently so as to better understand the region, its history, and how that knowledge can be applied to the modern Middle East.

Beth Stevens
Why she’s awesome: Her study of heretofore unknown role of microglial cells in neuron communication will help us better understand how brains develop from childhood, and how we might prevent brain degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease.

In addition to these, and many other talented ladies, there are also some awesome men who’ve received grants this year. The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose upcoming Black Panther comic we’ve talked about here, received a grant for the way he incisively examines issues of race through journalism; and playwright/composer/performer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, also received a grant for his next theater project.

You can check out the full list of winners and their videos over at the MacArthur Grant website. Congratulations to 2015’s MacArthur Genius Grant recepients!

And for the rest of us, let’s use these inspiring folks to drive us forward in our badass endeavors to make the world a better place.

(via Jezebel)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.