Alumni

Mother-Daughter Team Teaches English Worldwide

December 10, 2019
In 1985 Carol Burrill held her baby girl, Kate Burrill, in her arms as she posed for a graduation photo next to the ARC Pavilion. She had just earned her master’s degree in linguistics. Twenty-two years later, Kate stood in the same spot for a photo the day she graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in the same field.

Artist Incubator

Major takes students from studio to practice.

One of the toughest courses Shawn Sullivan ever took at UC Davis was an art class with Professor Lucy Puls.

Alumnus Shares Thoughts on Winning Fiction Prize

November 14, 2019
2019 Maurice Prize for Fiction: Peter Shahrokh (English, M.A. ’75; Ph.D. ’83; MBA ’99)

I started my winning novel, A Wind Will Come, 30 years ago. The premise was that a professional engineer had chosen to become a chef, and he was then lured by the promise of owning his own restaurant by an ex-girlfriend if he found her lost lover. The lover was a psychopath, and that made things a little interesting. After I’d done the first two chapters, I couldn’t figure out where I was going with it. Ten years later I picked it up again and finished the last three chapters.

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."

Playful and Potent

November 14, 2019
Artist embraces the light and dark.

Tavarus Blackmon (M.F.A., art, ’18) has been making art his entire life. First comics as a kid, then experimental music, tattoos, video and film, short stories, poetry, painting, and now art that brings it all together. His work gives viewers a noisy, candy-colored, loop-the-loop ride that journeys to darker places, and tackles issues of poverty, labor, and violence.

Tales of Afghanistan

November 14, 2019
Debut novel captures Afghan American coming of age story.

When Jamil Jan Kochai was 12, his family traveled from their West Sacramento home to their native Afghanistan. During that 2004 trip, Kochai was attacked by the family dog, witnessed what the U.S. invasion had wrought, and soaked up stories of the distant and recent past. A decade later, he brought a short story inspired by that trip to his first graduate writing workshop at UC Davis.

Designing It Forward

November 13, 2019
Ronald Whitney-Whyte (B.S., design, ’75) has made a planned gift of $1 million to the College to support undergraduates majoring in design. Whitney-Whyte’s gift will establish two endowed funds, one to provide students with supplies and the other to support scholarships for junior and senior design majors.

Young Alums Reflect and Look Forward

September 21, 2019
In June 2019, we caught up with seven soon-to-be graduates (now our newest alumni) to ask them about what they love most about UC Davis and how well their time in and out of the classroom prepared them for their next chapter. Here are their answers.

A New Look at the Slant Step

September 11, 2019
Published in 1969, the Slant Step Book celebrated a thrift store find that became, and remains, a part of UC Davis art department lore. The Slant Step is a green linoleum-covered plywood stool with a slanted – and seemingly nonfunctional – step that has inspired artists for decades.

At UC Davis Ben Wang Found His Calling Working With the Imprisoned

July 15, 2019

Ben Wang began his fight for prisoners’ rights as a UC Davis student. Nearly 20 years later, he’s still at it. Wang (B.A., Asian American studies, ’04) is co-director of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, a San Francisco Bay Area organization that assists Asians and Pacific Islanders in U.S. prisons.

This story is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of UC Davis Ethnic Studies.