Three men and one woman at a reception, smiling at camera, one man holding a textbook.
Pictured from left: UC Davis Distinguished Professor Ron Mangun; Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport Ernst Kuipers; Dutch intensive care physician and app developer Marc Buise; and UC Davis Professor Tamara Swaab. Mangun gave a signed copy of his "Cognitive Neuroscience" textbook to Kuipers during a San Francisco reception for the queen of the Netherlands. (Courtesy photo)

Faculty Couple Attend Dutch Royal Reception

When Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visited San Francisco this week to celebrate her country’s economic ties with California, a UC Davis couple was on hand to celebrate their own Dutch connections and to represent the campus.

Husband and wife psychology professors George “Ron” Mangun, who is American, and Tamara Swaab, who is Dutch, were invited guests at a Sept. 6 royal reception at San Francisco City Hall.

Their California-Netherlands collaborations extend beyond their marriage. Mangun and Swaab are also partners in Dutch consulting firm Xtra-Advice and have been supporting the U.S. release of a Dutch-developed app distributed by Games for Health. The digital diary helps those who survive critical illnesses recover more quickly and cope with the long-term physical, cognitive and psychiatric impairments that commonly occur after hospitalization in intensive care units.

Woman and two men chat at a reception.
Swaab and Mangun chat with Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Robbert Dijkgraaf (right). Mangun said he and the minister bantered about who was more highly ranked for agricultural sciences — UC Davis or the Netherlands’ Wageningen University. “In the end, we agreed both were great.” (Courtesy photo)

In addition to the couple’s academic appointments in the Department of Psychology, Mangun and Swaab are also faculty at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain. Mangun, who directs the center and is also a professor of neurology at the UC Davis School of Medicine, studies attention. Swaab’s research focuses on how our brains comprehend language.

About 600 people attended the reception, hosted by San Francisco Mayor and Aggie alumna London Breed (B.A., political science, '97).

Earlier in the day, the queen toured the city’s Castro district and visited UC San Francisco, highlighting efforts by the Netherlands and California to conduct groundbreaking research in health and life sciences and to battle climate change.

— Kathleen Holder, content strategist in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science



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