Alumni

Alumni Honor Father With Gift to Department of Chemistry

When it came to commemorating their father’s life, two alumni and another sibling followed his lifelong example by giving back. Emery Pharma founder Ron Najafi (Ph.D., chemistry, ’89), ophthalmologist Kathryn (Katy) Najafi-Tagol (B.S., chemistry, ’90), both pictured above, and brother Alex established the Dr. Mohsen Najafi Pharmaceutical Chemistry Research Fund in the UC Davis Department of Chemistry.  

Alumnus Part of Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Organization

Humanitarian work has taken Jon Brause (B.A., international relations, ’83) all over the world — to North Korea, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, the Philippines and more. As director of the Washington Liaison Office at the United Nations World Food Programme, he is immersed in global crises the organization was created to address. That work was rewarded in December, when the WFP won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

Readings by Award-Winning Writer, Alumni with New Books, and a Poetry Panel Coming Up

The UC Davis Creative Writing Program in the Department of English will present online readings March 2 and 3 — one by a star of the literary world, and another by three UC Davis alumni with newly published books. In April, three lyric and narrative poets who create long-form works will take part in a conversation and give readings. All the readings are co-sponsored by the UC Davis Library.

Alumni share new novels

Three graduates of the Creative Writing Program will return to campus virtually March 2 at 4:30 p.m. to read from their books published last year.

Words and More for Creative Writing Series

Award-Winning Authors, Faculty Readings, Interdisciplinary Student Works on Tap

The UC Davis Creative Writing Series kicks off 2021 with readings by acclaimed visiting writers Jess Arndt and Carmen Maria Machado, a collaboration between music and writing students, and a showcase of new works by faculty members. All events are at 4:30 p.m., free and accessible on Zoom unless otherwise noted.

The Creative Writing Program is part of the English department in the College of Letters and Science.

1977 - Cynthia Friend

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

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.

Mural of Remembrance

Just days after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police in May, alumna and artist Greta McLain, with Cadex Herrera and Xena Goldman, created a mural at the intersection where he died. In the weeks following his death, the mural went viral online as Black Lives Matter protests erupted worldwide.

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

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.

Two Alumni Named ACLS Emerging Voices Fellows

Two alumni scholars who use digital media to help Indigenous communities recover their history and ancestral language have been selected by the American Council of Learned Societies as inaugural Emerging Voices Fellows.