Advancing excellence through faculty diversity

Fellows in the news

Constance Iloh publishes new framework on college “choice” in Harvard Educational Review

Constance Iloh, Assistant Professor, School of Education at UC Irvine, is the sole author of a new article and conceptual framework on college-going in The Harvard Educational Review. In “Towards a New Model for College “Choice” for a Twenty-First-Century Context,” Dr. Iloh asserts that traditional models of college “choice” are inadequate for understanding contemporary student’s decision-making. To address this issues, Iloh offers her model of college-going decisions and trajectories, an ecological framework comprised of three distinct yet interacting dimensions (information, time, and opportunity) that inform a person’s college decisions and/or trajectory. In putting forth a model of college-going decisions and trajectories, Iloh also argues that the concept of “choice” is a limited, problematic, and privileged way of understanding a stratified education market as well as present day college-going culture; particularly for the most undeserved communities in the education system. Iloh’s article currently appears in the Summer 2018 issue of the Harvard Educational Review. With a 1%-5% acceptance rate, the Harvard Educational Review is one of the most selective, sought-after, and prestigious academic journals.

Constance Iloh

Stacy Copp awarded 2018 L’Oreal For Women in Science Fellowship

Dr. Copp works on creating materials that emit light or interact with light by using soft molecules, like DNA and synthetic polymers, as building blocks. These materials have potential applications for biomedical diagnostics, solar energy and energy efficient lighting. Dr. Copp is one of five female postdoctoral scientists awarded grants to advance their research. The L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship will provide Copp the independence to continue her research by supporting materials and laboratory equipment costs. As part of her fellowship, Copp will develop hands-on demonstrations to get local K-12 students excited about science. Read the full story about Stacy Copp. (Courtesy of L’

Stacy Copp

Adela de la Torre Appointed President of San Diego State University

Adela de la Torre has been appointed as the President of San Diego State University. De la Torre becomes the ninth permanent president of SDSU and the first woman to serve in that role. Before joining SDSU, de la Torre served in various leadership roles, at UC Davis culminating in her role as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Adam Day, chair of the SDSU search committee and vice chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, stated that, “Adela is a skilled, student-success focused administrator, and most importantly is a visionary leader. She emerged from a deep pool of candidates as the perfect person to lead the university.” Read the full story about Adela de la Torre. (Courtesy of SDSU News Center)

Adela de la Torre

Physicist Flip Tanedo discusses Dark Matter and Dark Energy with

Flip Tanedo participated in a “Facebook Live” interview to discuss the NOVA Wonders episodeWhat’s the Universe Made of?” The discussion, primarily centered on dark matter and dark energy, was live streamed on’s Facebook profile to over 2.6 million Facebook followers. Tanedo’s discussion focused on dark matter – the gravitationally inferred type of matter thought to account for approximately 80 percent of the universe’s mass – as well as his participation in the episode. At UCR, Tanedo spends the bulk of his time thinking about dark matter and theorizing about ways in which new symmetries could be used to understand and search for particles that account for most of the mass in our galaxy. Read the full story about Flip Tanedo. (Courtesy of UCR Today)

Flip Tanedo

Lauren Libero honored with an Achievement Award for Diversity and Community

UC Davis President’s Postdoctoral Fellow Lauren Libero has been presented with a 2018 UC Davis Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community. Dr. Libero’s current research at the UC Davis MIND Institute explores the sex differences and neuro- developmental predictors of anxiety in autism spectrum disorder. Her dedication to improving the lives of those with disabilities, however, extends beyond her field of research. Throughout her career, Dr. Libero has been an enthusiastic advocate and leader for those with autism. The award, presented by UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, recognizes Dr. Libero’s “contributions in enhancing inclusiveness and diversity with the campus community.” Read the full story about Lauren Libero (courtesy of the UC Davis MIND Institute newsletter, page 7).

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Speeding the microbial research of genetic engineering

MIT Professor Cullen Buie has long been a part of the micro- and nanotechnologies fields. Following a B.S. in mechanical engineering at Ohio State, Professor Buie was drawn to renewable energy research as a graduate fellow at Stanford and researched carbon nanotube enabled energy devices as a 2008 UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Recently, Professor Buie, the current director of MIT’s Laboratory for Energy and Microsystems (LEMI), has developed a faster way to electroporate cells which makes it possible to insert DNA into bacterial cells 10,000 times faster than the standard procedure. This increase allows genetic engineering researchers to run through variations of their experiments several times faster. Read the full story about Professor Cullen Buie (courtesy of the MIT Technology Review).

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Brian León presented 2017 UC San Diego Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar

Brian León, a UC San Diego Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is among the 2017 awardees of the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar. Dr. León, whose current research focuses on the use of natural products in therapeutics, sees this award as encouraging postdocs to mentor the undergraduate community and to inspire them to pursue an academic journey. Read the full story about Brian León (courtesy of the UC San Diego Division of Physical Sciences News)

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Theresa Jean Ambo one of the first women of Tongva descent to be awarded a UCLA Ph.D.

The graduating class of 2017, nearly 100 years after the founding of UC Los Angeles, sees the first women of Tongva descent awarded UCLA Ph.D.s.  This is a milestone for the campus which was built upon ancestral Tongva land.  Among the awardees is 2017-18 UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow Theresa Jean Ambo.  This Fall, Ambo will be joining UC San Diego's Department of Education to research "California Tribes and the University: Decolonizing Institutional Relationships and Responsibility".   Read the full story about Theresa Jean Ambo (courtesy of the UCLA Newsroom)

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UCLA Professor Mishuana Goeman examines the role of twentieth-century Native women’s literature in remapping settler geographies

Mark My Words traces settler colonialism as an enduring form of gendered spatial violence, demonstrating how it persists in the contemporary context of neoliberal globalization. In a strong and lucid voice, Mishuana Goeman provides close readings of literary texts, arguing that it is vital to refocus the efforts of Native nations beyond replicating settler models of territory, jurisdiction, and race.  She "breaks new theoretical and methodological ground through her conceptualization of gendered spatial geographies and cartographies. As such, this book makes a timely and important contribution to current theorizing about space and place." 

Goeman book cover

Professor Aomawa Shields, UC Irvine: Astrobiology’s rising star  

New UC Irvine faculty member Aomawa Shields studies the climate on distant planets. Her aim: find those most likely to host alien life. The UCLA alum is a classically trained actress, a secret "superpower" that helps her make science accessible.

Shields is among a bumper crop of 24 new hires to come to UC this year from the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which helps prepare outstanding Ph.Ds for faculty careers. The program has been lauded as a national model for expanding faculty diversity.

She talked to UC Newsroom about the search for ET, the link between art and astrophysics, and her work mentoring middle school girls to create a new generation of star scientists. Read the full story about Professor Aomawa Shields (courtesy of UC Newsroom)


UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium Series hosted by UC Merced  

The UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium Series, hosted by UC Merced, has concluded; however, these wonderful presentations from President's and Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellows may be revisited at the links listed below.

The President’s and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs are very thankful to UC Merced and, especially, Professors Tanya Golash-Boza and Robin DeLugan for supporting our programs and these outstanding scholars.

UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium Series - Latina/o & Latin American Studies

UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium Series – Sustainability

UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium Series - Indigeneity & Settler Colonialism

UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium Series - Human Health

UC President's Postdoctoral Fellows Symposium Series - Gender & Sexuality


President Napolitano visits CERN and President's Postdoctoral Fellow Indara Suárez

In February 2016, President Janet Napolitano visited CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. President Napolitano was joined on her tour by President's Postdoctoral Fellow Indara Suárez who shared her research on searching for new physics with same-sign Di-lepton signature at the Large Hadron Collider.


Postdoctoral scholar Katherine Thompson-Peer awarded the Chancellor Diversity Award for the Advancement of Women 

Katherine Thompson-Peer, a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Francisco, is the recipient of the 2015 Chancellor Diversity Award for the Advancement of Women. This award recognizes exceptional efforts toward the advancement of women at UCSF beyond the scope of an individual's job, area of research, or student training. Read the full story about Katherine Thompson-Peer (courtesy of UCSF News Center)


UC Santa Barbara professor's book awarded 2015 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize and Sara A. Whaley Prize 

Mireille Miller-Young, associate professor at UC Santa Barbara's Feminist Studies department, is the recipient of the 2015 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize awarded annually by the American Studies Association for the best book published in American Studies. Miller-Young also received the National Women's Studies Association's Sara A. Whaley Prize for best book in women of color or transnational feminist scholarship. Read more about Professor Miller-Young’s book


Growing diversity with a fast track to tenure 

The highly successful President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program was established in 1984 with the aim of increasing the number of women and minority students pursuing academic careers.  It has since become a model for programs at a dozen other colleges and universities, including Harvard, MIT, University of Pennsylvania and other top-tier public institutions.

Today, there are 170 PPFP scientists and scholars among UC faculty.  Roughly 75 percent of all participants have gone on to tenure track positions at a college or university, with more than half joining a UC campus.  Read the full story about PPFP scientists and scholars (courtesy of UC Newsroom)


Fellowship Program Attracts Diverse Postdocs 

The UC San Diego Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Academic Diversity, an extension of the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, began in 2010 to provide research opportunities, professional development and networking events for outstanding women and underrepresented scholars whose research and service contributes to greater understanding, engagement and access. The program connects diverse postdocs with academic communities that benefit from their diverse perspectives.

An essential goal of both the Chancellor’s and President’s Fellowship programs is to encourage postdocs to seek faculty positions at the University of California; in the past decade, more than 100 have been appointed to tenure-track positions. A hiring incentive is offered—up to five years of salary supplement—to help diversify faculty at all UC campuses. Read the full story on UC San Diego News Center (courtesy of UC San Diego News Center)


Padmini Rangamani named 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow 

Padmini Rangamani, an assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, has been selected as a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Computational & Evolutionary Molecular Biology. The Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded to early-career scholars who represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Read the Sloan Research Fellowships official announcement

Rangamani has also been awarded a Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program grant by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Read the Air Force official announcement



NSF Early Career Award honors UC Merced professor's research and potential

The National Science Foundation is honoring UC Merced professor Asmeret Asefaw Berhe with a Faculty Early Career Development Award to support her examination of how soil helps regulate the climate. The awards are given to junior faculty who "exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations," the NSF said.

"It's really neat to get this grant, not just because it supports the work, but because it means the NSF recognizes promise and potential," Professor Berhe said. "I've received other grants, but this one is special." Read the full story about professor Asmeret Asefaw (courtesy of UC Merced News)

Asmeret Berhe

Emily Troemel named 2013 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator

Emily Troemel, an associate professor of cell and developmental biology, has been named a 2013 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator. Troemel is one of 10 scientists honored this year as Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease and is the first recipient ever to receive the award from UC San Diego. The five-year $500,000 award provides support to early career researchers conducting innovative investigation in infectious disease. Read more about Professor Emily Troemel's work here 


emily troemel

In memoriam: Professor Mark Sawyer  

Mark Q. Sawyer was a Professor of Political Science and African-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Chicago. Dr. Sawyer was a devoted and compassionate advocate for civil rights, justice and equality. He joined the UCLA Department of Political Science in 1999 and co-founded the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Program. He also played a critical role in the establishment of UCLA’s Department of African American Studies in 2014.

His first book, “Racial Politics in Post-Revolutionary Cuba,” published by Cambridge University Press in 2006, earned critical acclaim and garnered major prizes in his field, including the Ralph J. Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association and the W. E. B. DuBois Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.

His essays have appeared in SOULS, the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Journal of Political Psychology, the DuBois Review, Perspectives on Politics, and the UCLA Journal of International and Foreign Affairs.

A champion for access and diversity, Professor Sawyer was also a long-time President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supporter and member of our Faculty Advisory Committee. Read the full story about Professor Mark Sawyer (courtesy of the UCLA Newsroom)


In memoriam - Professor Horacio Roque Ramírez  

Horacio Roque Ramírez was an Associate Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. was awarded in Comparative Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. Professor Roque Ramírez was a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow in 2001-2003 (working with Karen Brodkin at UC Los Angeles).

Professor Roque Ramírez’s scholarship focused on the Central American experience in the U.S. He was a scholar of queer sexuality, and a proponent of oral history, a story-teller of the forgotten histories of the marginalized in society, a scholar of the invisible. In recent years, he served as a Los Angeles-based Independent Scholar in the fields of LGBT and Latina/o Studies, with a focus on Central American cultures and immigrations. Professor Roque Ramírez was regarded as an expert on the topic of political asylum with an underlying and consistent focus on gender identity, sexuality, and HIV status as well as domestic and gang-related forms of persecution and violence. Professor Roque Ramírez’s forthcoming single-authored book, Queer Latino San Francisco: An Oral History, 1960s-1990s is the culmination of a decade's worth of oral history and archival research, an ethnographic historical study of the formation and partial destruction of queer Latina and Latino community life in San Francisco for about four decades.

Professor Roque Ramírez was a devoted supporter of the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, attending Spring Retreats and providing countless hours of advice and humor to new and former fellows.

Read the UC Santa Barbara, Department of Chican@ Studies memorial