U prof wins $250k award

Nicolas Hallett

A University of Minnesota professor is one of five people to be awarded a quarter of a million dollars Tuesday for improving the world with their work, Kare 11 reported.

Jonathan Foley is a professor and director of the University’s Institute on the Environment and won the award for his environmental impact studies and encouragement of young scientists, among other accolades.

Foley told Kare 11 he was surprised to win the award because he doesn’t know who nominated him. He said he has “no idea” how he’ll use the funds.  

The Heinz Family Foundation annually doles out the honor to professionals whose work improves the world through arts, science, public policy, technology and economics.

Foundation chairwomen Teresa Heinz Kerry told the Associated Press the recipients of the award are “changing the world for the better.”

Other winners include Abraham Verghese, of Stanford, Calif.; Salman Khan, of Mountain View, Calif.; Sanjeev Arora, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Leila Janah, of San Francisco, Calif.

The foundation launched the award in 1993 in memory of U.S. Sen. John Heinz, who died in a midair aircraft collision in 1991.