Alumni Profiles

Latest Profiles

Alumna Explores Boundaries of Illustration and Art

January 14, 2020
After a four-decade career as a caricature artist, Karen Calden Fulk (B.A., art, ’65) is creating caricature-type paintings and sculptures, including a recent ceramic work honoring UC Davis art professor emeritus Wayne Thiebaud.

Mother-Daughter Team Teaches English Worldwide

December 10, 2019
In 1985 Carol Burrill held her baby girl, Kate Burrill, in her arms as she posed for a graduation photo next to the ARC Pavilion. She had just earned her master’s degree in linguistics. Twenty-two years later, Kate stood in the same spot for a photo the day she graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in the same field.

Alumnus Shares Thoughts on Winning Fiction Prize

November 14, 2019
2019 Maurice Prize for Fiction: Peter Shahrokh (English, M.A. ’75; Ph.D. ’83; MBA ’99)

I started my winning novel, A Wind Will Come, 30 years ago. The premise was that a professional engineer had chosen to become a chef, and he was then lured by the promise of owning his own restaurant by an ex-girlfriend if he found her lost lover. The lover was a psychopath, and that made things a little interesting. After I’d done the first two chapters, I couldn’t figure out where I was going with it. Ten years later I picked it up again and finished the last three chapters.

Deploying Bots to Thwart Trafficking and Domestic Violence

November 14, 2019

If  you buy a pair of shoes online, you’ll be bombarded by companies wanting to sell you shoes. What if the algorithms that target purchasing priorities could be used for a greater good?

That’s just what Raquelmarie Clark (B.A., communication, ’18) looked into for her undergraduate research project, “Algorithmic Governance: Worrisome or Wonderful?” Clark has since founded We Always Help Each Other (WAHEO), a nonprofit that supports organizations serving victims of sex trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

Deborah Harkness

November 14, 2019
Historian brings authenticity to bestsellers about witches and vampires.

Deborah Harkness is the author of the best-selling All Souls Trilogy, about scholar and reluctant witch Diana Bishop, whose discovery of an enchanted manuscript sets loose an underworld of witches, vampires, and daemons. Among them is the vampire and scientist Matthew Clairmont, who has long been searching for the same long-lost manuscript.

Tales of Afghanistan

November 14, 2019
Debut novel captures Afghan American coming of age story.

When Jamil Jan Kochai was 12, his family traveled from their West Sacramento home to their native Afghanistan. During that 2004 trip, Kochai was attacked by the family dog, witnessed what the U.S. invasion had wrought, and soaked up stories of the distant and recent past. A decade later, he brought a short story inspired by that trip to his first graduate writing workshop at UC Davis.

Young Alums Reflect and Look Forward

September 21, 2019
In June 2019, we caught up with seven soon-to-be graduates (now our newest alumni) to ask them about what they love most about UC Davis and how well their time in and out of the classroom prepared them for their next chapter. Here are their answers.

Alumnus Robert Oden Was on the Front Lines of Change

May 20, 2019
When UC Davis students were calling for more student and faculty diversity and culturally inclusive programs, Robert Stanley Oden was on the front lines. One of only 40 African American students on campus in 1967, he was a founder of the Black Student Union, the first such group on campus, and wrote a column for The California Aggie called “The Dark Side.”

Recent Art Graduate Has Full Plate

February 19, 2019

In the seven months since completing his degree, Tavarus Blackmon (M.F.A., art, '18) has been busy.

Creative Writing Alumnus Picked as Nebraska State Poet

February 04, 2019
Matt Mason (M.A., English, ’94) has been named state poet of Nebraska. Mason’s duties during his five-year term will include giving public presentations and readings, leading workshops and discussions, and providing outreach at schools, libraries and literary festivals across the state.

Lifelong Learner Earns History Degree at 84

January 28, 2019
When Marianna Daniel returned to college after more than a half-century, she faced language, health and mobility challenges. But the immigrant Californian surmounted them all to finish her second bachelor’s degree — this one in history from UC Davis — at age 84.

Fernando Purcell: Chilean Scholar of U.S. History

December 10, 2018
Clues to historian Fernando Purcell’s deep connections to UC Davis are spelled out in block lettering at his home in Chile: “ORCHARD PARK,” “DAVIS CA BLVD” and “BAUER AVE” read the American-street-style signs on his family vineyard in Colchagua Valley, about 6,000 miles from campus.

Scholarship Helped Alumna Take First Steps to Dream Career

November 15, 2018
Irene Ezran (B.A., international relations and Spanish, ’18) has had a lifelong fascination with international politics. With her sights set on a career as a foreign service officer, and with financial support from the Richard and Carolyn Palmer Scholarship, Ezran took her first summer internship at the United Nations. 

Paying it Forward

November 15, 2018
Some children grow up playing in parks,” said Maisha T. (Fisher) Winn. “Colleges and universities were our playground.” Winn (B.A., English, ’94), the daughter of James Fisher, an African American studies scholar who taught at UC Davis from 1969 to 1974, fondly remembers trips she and her brother took as children to the UC Davis Arboretum and library. 

Young Alumni Group Connects Aggies in the Bay

November 07, 2018

When Peter Ng heard about a new group for young alumni living in the San Francisco Bay Area, he immediately called his old campus friend Chris Backer, who he knew had great networking skills.

The two have taken leading roles in the College of Letters and Science Young Alumni Program, San Francisco Bay Area, serving on the group’s seven-member advisory board, chaired by Lauren Levin (B.A., communication, ’11).