Alumni News

1977 - Cynthia Friend

December 15, 2020

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.

Alumna Earns Prestigious Marshall Scholarship

December 09, 2020
A recent UC Davis College of Letters and Science graduate has been awarded a prestigious Marshall Scholarship, a decades-old British government program that pays for American students to pursue advanced degrees at British universities. Valencia Scott (B.A., anthropology and international relations, ’20) will pursue a doctorate in criminology at the University of Oxford, where she will focus her studies on the criminalization of Black immigrants. She is planning a career in international human rights law.

Three Newly Elected California Leaders Reflect College’s Civic Impact

December 03, 2020
A student and two alumni of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science assume new positions as elected public officials this month — science and technology studies major Hipolito Angel Cerros on the city council in the Tulare County community of Lindsay and political science graduates Alex Lee and David Cortese in the California Legislature.

Art History Alumna Wants to Make Everyone ‘ArtCurious’

November 17, 2020
Since shortly after its launch four years ago, Jennifer Dasal’s ArtCurious podcast has been a hit, garnering kudos from art historians and nods from O: The Oprah Magazine, Salon and National Public Radio. Now Dasal (B.A., art history, ’02) has taken some of those podcast stories and added many more for her book Art Curious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History

Alumna Anthropologist and Media Scholar Receives MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant

October 08, 2020
UC Davis alumna Mary L. Gray, an anthropologist and media scholar who investigates how labor, identity and human rights are transformed by the digital economy, has been named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. Gray (B.A., anthropology and Native American studies, ’92) is one of 21 fellows announced Oct. 6 by the MacArthur Foundation.

After Beating Leukemia, Aggie Will Ellis Finds a Cause in Helping Cancer Patients

September 10, 2020
After two decades of volunteer work with cancer charities, Will Ellis (B.A., communication and Italian, ’04) wasn’t about to let the cascading crises of 2020 derail him. Despite pandemic restrictions on in-person events, Ellis raised more than $103,000 in 10 weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Greater Bay Area Chapter to win its “Man of the Year” title.

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.

Tropical Biologist Wins Maurice Prize for World War II Novel Set in Papua New Guinea

June 02, 2020
Whether writing scientific articles or screenplays, UC Davis College of Letters and Science alumna Laura Marsh sees a common core in her work: storytelling. Now, the wildlife ecologist is reimagining her own life story. She hopes to become a published novelist after winning the college’s 2020 Maurice Prize for Fiction for her manuscript "SAV•AGE(S)."

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.