Headshots of Gozde Goncu-Berk, Tucker Jones and Georgia Zellou
The 2024 UC Davis Chancellor’s Fellows include (pictured, from left): College of Letters and Science faculty Gozde Goncu-Berk, Department of Design; Tucker Jones, Department of Physics and Astronomy; and Georgia Zellou, Department of Linguistics.

Designer, Astronomer and Linguist Named Chancellor's Fellows

Three faculty members from the College of Letters and Science are among UC Davis' newest class of Chancellor's Fellows, a title given to early career academics doing exemplary work.

“These outstanding faculty members are some of our brightest and most promising scholars,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “I know they will continue to impress and shine a light on the groundbreaking work happening here at UC Davis. I expect this recognition and support will help propel them to even greater heights.”

The Chancellor’s Fellows program was created in 2000, and this year’s class brings the total number of recipients to an even 200. Recipients carry the title for five years and are awarded $25,000 in unrestricted philanthropic support for research or other scholarly work.

“We’re all celebrating reaching 200 Chancellor’s Fellows,” said Shaun B. Keister, vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations. “Our dedicated donors have helped launch some of the most impactful research of the past two decades, supporting early-career experts across all disciplines. This is a true testament to how philanthropy is changing the world.”

Learn about the college's 2024 Chancellor's Fellows below.

Gozde Goncu Berk

Gozde Goncu-Berk

Associate Professor, Department of Design

Goncu-Berk explores electronic textiles and wearable technologies, including new material and digital fabrication possibilities to facilitate design for a variety of underserved populations such as people suffering from chronic diseases, the elderly and children. Recently, she was named a Dean’s Faculty Fellow for her research developing and testing an electronic, textile-based, real-time bladder monitoring device that can be worn as an unobtrusive undergarment.

“[She] is an exemplary citizen of the university and highly deserving of this honor,” wrote Susan Taber Avila, professor of design. “She not only excels in the three pillars of academic life — research, teaching and service — but she exudes a generosity of spirit and humanity that elevates everyone around her.”

Tucker Jones

Tucker Jones

Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Jones is an observational astronomer and expert on the formation and evolution of galaxies. His research harnesses gravitational lensing, which magnifies the apparent size and brightness of distant galaxies seen in the early universe, allowing sensitive measurements that are otherwise impossible with current technology.

“Tucker is an internationally recognized expert in his field of study, has had great success obtaining both funding and observing time on cutting edge astronomical facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope, and has technical expertise that is rare for people in his field,” wrote Christopher Fassnacht, professor of cosmology. “Having known several previous Chancellor’s Fellows from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, I can confidently say that Tucker is of the same caliber as those impressive scientists.”

Georgia Zellou

Georgia Zellou

Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics

Zellou conducts innovative research on phonetic variation, speech perception and laboratory phonology. Recently, she’s examined the influence of interactions with voice artificial intelligence on human language. She compares the degree of linguistic alignment of children and adults with voice AI during human-device interaction and examines whether the nature of language alignment occurs along similar social dimensions as it does in human-human interactions.

“Professor Zellou is one of the most productive and original scholars in the Department of Linguistics,” wrote Estella Atekwana, dean of the College of Letters and Science. “Her research program has the promise to become truly innovative and revolutionary in the field.”

A version of this article originally appeared on the UC Davis News website.

Primary Category