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Dean Spiller to Lead Academic Affairs at Nebraska

December 18, 2019
Elizabeth Spiller, who as dean led the successful reorganization and financial restructuring of the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, has been tapped as the next executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

English Professor Wins Modern Language Association Book Award

December 17, 2019
Seeta Chaganti, a professor of English, recently received a prize from the Modern Language Association of America (MLS) for her book exploring the complex relationship between medieval dance and medieval poetry.

Alumni and Friends Honored With UC Davis Alumni Awards

December 12, 2019
Three College of Letters and Science alumni and two supporters will receive UC Davis Alumni Awards. They are among eight alumni and friends being honored by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association (CAAA) for their contributions in many fields and to the university. The awards will be formally presented at the Alumni Awards Gala on Feb. 7, 2020.

Can You Change Your Personality? Scientists Say ‘Maybe’

December 12, 2019
It has long been believed that people can’t change their personalities, which are largely stable and inherited. But a review of recent research in personality science points to the possibility that personality traits can change through persistent intervention and major life events.

Detoured Student Offers Inspiration to Fellow Grads

December 09, 2019
Ellen Caminiti had a speech impediment as a child, was painfully shy when she started at UC Davis, wandered in her studies and was dismissed for poor academic performance. But the 24-year-old will stand center stage to share her journey and message of encouragement with more than 800 fellow graduates and thousands of guests at the fall commencement at 10 a.m. on Saturday in the Pavilion at the ARC.

Explaining the Tiger Stripes of Enceladus

December 09, 2019
Saturn’s tiny, frozen moon Enceladus is a strange place. Just 300 miles across, the moon is thought to have an outer shell of ice covering a global ocean 20 miles deep, encasing a rocky core. Slashed across Enceladus’ south pole are four straight, parallel fissures or “tiger stripes” from which water erupts. These fissures aren’t quite like anything else in the solar system. 

Suad Joseph Receives Service Award

December 04, 2019
Calling her an “institutional cornerstone,” the Middle East Studies Association of North America recently presented its annual Jere L. Bacharach Service Award to Distinguished Professor Suad Joseph. The award recognizes outstanding service to the association and the profession, and is named after the University of Washington historian who received the honor in 2004.

Unique Sled Dogs Helped the Inuit Thrive in the North American Arctic

December 04, 2019
Inuit sled dogs have changed little since people migrated with them to the North American Arctic across the Bering Strait from Siberia, according to UC Davis researchers and colleagues who have examined DNA from the dogs from that time span. The legacy of these Inuit dogs survives today in Arctic sled dogs, making them one of the last remaining descendant populations of indigenous, pre-European dog lineages in the Americas.

Statistics and Space: Three New AAAS Fellows

November 26, 2019
Three faculty members of the College of Letters and Science are among the 10 UC Davis faculty elected to the 2019 class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. The new fellows are Jiming Jiang, professor of statistics; Thomas C.M. Lee, professor of statistics; and Sarah Stewart, professor of earth and planetary sciences.

$2.5M to Explore Synthetic Diamond Semiconductors at Crocker Lab

November 26, 2019

Although diamonds are mostly thought of as jewelry, synthetic diamonds are being explored for semiconductors because of their unique properties. Structurally identical to diamonds, synthetic diamonds are produced by a controlled process, as compared to natural diamonds, which are created by geologic processes. 

Author Assist

November 14, 2019
Best-selling author John Lescroart says it took winning a prestigious award early in his career to “believe I could be a writer.” The Maurice Prize for Fiction at UC Davis, now in its 14th year, is Lescroart’s way of paying it forward. A UC Berkeley graduate and resident of Davis, Lescroart established the Maurice Prize, named for his father, to encourage UC Davis alumni writers. Peter Shahrokh (English, M.A. ’75, Ph.D. ’83; MBA ’99) won the 2019 prize for his manuscript, "A Wind Will Come."