Alumni Updates

1994 – Tom Turrentine

June 24, 2020
Tom Turrentine (M.A. ’91, Ph.D. ’94, anthropology), the founding director of the UC Davis Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center and a longtime researcher in the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), died unexpectedly on June 2.

1990 - Kim Prather

May 18, 2020

Atmospheric chemist Kimberly Prather (B.S., ’85, Ph.D., ’90, chemistry) was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2019. Prather, a distinguished professor who holds a joint appointment between the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and UC San Diego’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, pioneered many aspects of the study of marine aerosols, which are small particles in the atmosphere.

1967 - Deborah Nichols Poulos

March 11, 2020

Deborah Nichols Poulos (B.A., English, ’67; Cred., ’68), a retired elementary school teacher, wrote The Conscious Teacher (Page Publishing, 2019). Part memoir and part how-to, the book tells her story of not being able to read until she was in junior high school and offers effective classroom strategies for educators and parents. She taught for many years in the Davis Joint Unified School District. 

1981 - Bradford Kane

February 20, 2020
Political analyst Bradford Kane (B.A., international relations, ’81) wrote "Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America" (Prometheus Books, October 2019). Since the book’s release, he has been interviewed on C-SPAN programs. Kane is the founding director of the Bipartisan Bridge, an initiative to advance cooperation across political parties.

1972 - Ken White

January 07, 2020
Ken White (B.A., history and English '72, Cred. '73) has written a new book, "Brighter Day." Set in Davis in 1969, the fictional memoir is a sequel to his first novel, "Getaway Day."

2018 - Jodi Connelly

December 03, 2019

Jodi Connelly (M.F.A., art, '18)  has been awarded the first ever Ali Youssefi artist residency award. The award includes studio space and a solo exhibition (December 2019 - February 2020) at the Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento and a monthly stipend.  Connelly’s work investigates the complexities of the human relationship to nature and the environment. Through site-specific environmental interventions that include photographic documentation, sculpture and drawing, she explores issues of climate change and the effects migration and development have had on native ecosystems. 

1990 - Chris Ransick

November 25, 2019

Chris Ransick (M.A., English/creative writing. ‘90), author of six books of poetry and fiction and Denver’s Poet Laureate from 2006 to 2010, died in early November. He last book, mummer prisoner scavenger thief, was published this year not long after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Ransick, 57, taught English and writing at Arapahoe Community College near Denver for 25 years and for 15 years taught at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

Playful and Potent

November 14, 2019
Artist embraces the light and dark.

Tavarus Blackmon (M.F.A., art, ’18) has been making art his entire life. First comics as a kid, then experimental music, tattoos, video and film, short stories, poetry, painting, and now art that brings it all together. His work gives viewers a noisy, candy-colored, loop-the-loop ride that journeys to darker places, and tackles issues of poverty, labor, and violence.

2004 - Ben Wang

July 15, 2019

A movie directed by Ben Wang (B.A., Asian American studies, '04) is streaming on The World Channel during July 2019. Breathin': The Eddy Zheng Story tells about a Chinese immigrant teenager tried as an adult. The documentary follows Eddy Zheng as immigrant, son, prisoner and activist on his journey to freedom and rehabilitation. Wang is co-director of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. Read more about Wang. 

1986 - Todd Calvin

June 04, 2019

Todd Calvin (B.A., political science, ’86) was recently elected vice president of the Opera League of Los Angeles board of directors. He has served on the board for nine years. Calvin has been vice president for business and legal affairs for Viacom Media Networks (Nickelodeon and TV Land) for nearly eight years. He worked for the Walt Disney Company in business and legal affairs for seven years and also held jobs at the San Francisco Opera and Showtime.