Alumni News

1974 - Jack de Golia

Jack de Golia (BA, dramatic art, ’74) has been working in his "post-career career" as a voice actor since 2009. An audio novel he narrated, Noble Chaos, received a 2020 Best Team Award from Audio Book Reviewers. The book, set at the University of Kansas in 1969–70, brought back vibrant memories for him of his freshman year at UC Davis. He has narrated more than 140 audiobooks, all available at Audible.com.

In Memoriam: Alumnus Scott Lay

Thousands of people kept up with California political news by reading The Nooner, a daily nonpartisan email newsletter produced by UC Davis alumnus Scott Lay. This week, readers learned from The Nooner that Lay had died at age 48.

‘A Monumental Step’ in Reclaiming a California Indigenous Language

For his graduate research comparing languages around the world, Lewis Lawyer couldn’t find a single published reference book on Patwin, an endangered language once spoken in hundreds of Northern California communities, including what is now Davis. So, on his way to completing his UC Davis doctorate, Lawyer wrote one. With the release of "A Grammar of Patwin," the findings of his dissertation are now available to scholars as well as to Patwin/Wintun people working to revitalize their ancestral language.

Alumni Honor Father With Gift to Department of Chemistry

When it came to commemorating their father’s life, two alumni and another sibling followed his lifelong example by giving back. Emery Pharma founder Ron Najafi (Ph.D., chemistry, ’89), ophthalmologist Kathryn (Katy) Najafi-Tagol (B.S., chemistry, ’90), both pictured above, and brother Alex established the Dr. Mohsen Najafi Pharmaceutical Chemistry Research Fund in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry.  

Alumnus Part of Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Organization

Humanitarian work has taken Jon Brause (B.A., international relations, ’83) all over the world — to North Korea, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Philippines and more. As director of the Washington Liaison Office at the United Nations World Food Programme, he is immersed in global crises the organization was created to address. That work was rewarded in December, when the WFP won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

‘Aggie for Life’ Bill Hollingshead Will Be Missed

A self-described “Aggie for life,” alumnus Bill Hollingshead (B.A., political science, ’60) died in early February. Hollingshead and his wife, Dianne, were longtime donors to UC Davis and devoted patrons of the Department of Music. He was well-known for his enthusiastic love of his alma mater. In 2012, he received the Aggie Service Award from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, which honors alumni who demonstrate exemplary Aggie pride and commitment of time, energy, volunteerism and leadership to UC Davis.

Young Alumna Awarded Prestigious US State Department Fellowship

Recent graduate Nina Forest is unsure where in the world her UC Davis bachelor’s degree in international relations will take her. But after receiving a prestigious national scholarship, she knows how she’ll get to professional destinations around the globe — via a career in the U.S. Foreign Service.

1977 - Cynthia Friend

Cynthia Friend (B.S., chemistry, ’77), a professor of chemistry and materials science at Harvard University, was recently named incoming president of the Kavli Foundation. The foundation supports the advancement and public understanding of science, establishing research institutes at universities and awarding $1 million Kavli Prizes in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.