The Future Built Here

Dean's Letter: College of Letters and Science Magazine 2019

Dean Elizabeth Spiller, College of Letters and Science at UC DavisUC Davis has always been known for its commitment to making the world better. Of course, that effort starts with providing access and opportunity to a broad range of students. Recently, Money Magazine ranked our campus in the nation’s top five “best colleges” for quality of education, affordability, and outcomes. The New York Times designated UC Davis third in the nation for “doing the most for the American Dream,” and Washington Monthly ranks us in the top 10 of American universities for promoting social mobility and public good.

At the College of Letters and Science, we help push the cutting edge of knowledge and progress in virtually every facet of life. Whether it’s launching the funk art movement of the 1960s or unravelling the mysteries of the universe, we harness the Aggie spirit of service and innovation to broaden and deepen our impact on the world.

This issue of the College of Letters and Science Magazine illustrates how our faculty, students, and alumni combine scholarly expertise and productivity with a passion to tackle this century’s biggest challenges with bold, new ideas.

Our lead article reveals what our faculty are uncovering about one of the most promising and vexing trends in internet technology: bots. We share stories about alumni who work at the World Bank, write award-winning fiction, and shine brightly in art, film, and media. We highlight some of the cool classes that students can take to stretch their perspectives and position themselves to think differently about their opportunities. An article on the College’s “Big Ideas” highlights our aspirations and priorities for the next several years.

This fall, we welcomed the class of 2023 into the College: 2,400 young adults eager to make their mark on the world. I believe there is no better place for this generation of Aggies — our “Gen Z” students who were born between 1996 and 2012 — to build a foundation for the future.

The College of Letters and Science can help them make it so.

Signature for Elizabeth



Elizabeth Spiller, 
Dean, College of Letters and Science