Advancing excellence through faculty diversity

Fellows in the news

Kelly Lytle Hernández named MacArthur Genius

UCLA professor Kelly Lytle Hernández, an award-winning author and scholar of race, mass incarceration and immigration, was announced... [today] as a recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Lytle Hernández, who is a professor of history and African American studies, is the director of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, which under her leadership has focused on supporting research into two critical themes in the modern black world — work and justice.

“As a scholar, I both work deeply alone and deeply in community, but until very recently the scholarly communities I’ve worked in — immigration and the carceral state — have been fairly separate,” said Lytle Hernández, who holds the Thomas E. Lifka Chair in History at UCLA. “I hope my work has helped people understand immigration as another aspect of mass incarceration in the United States and that my award further helps people understand that these two regimes are intertwined. This award will help us continue this work across communities and shine a light on this kind of thinking that unites these two crises that others often see as distinct.”  Read the full story about Kelly Lytle Hernandez. (Courtesy of UCLA Newsroom) 

Photo: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation - used with permission

Steven Pan teaches How to study less and learn more

Steven Pan, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA is featured in a University of California news article about his memory research.

Working with Tim Rickard, who heads up the Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab in the UC San Diego Department of Psychology, Pan recently completed his dissertation on what learning science calls “retrieval practice.” In plain English, “retrieval practice” translates to something like “quizzing yourself” or “testing your own memory.” That appears to be one of the most effective things you can do.

With his faculty mentors’ and the department’s blessing, Pan has developed workshops for undergraduate students and a how to effectively study web page on the department website.  Pan also created a one page handout on how to study less and remember more.

“Although effort is very important, it’s not enough to study harder—it’s also important to study smarter,” Pan said. “With effective learning techniques, you can study more efficiently and get better results.”  Read more about Steven Pan’s research.



Christopher Bartley and Lauren Whitehurst awarded UCSF 2019 Grand Rounds Trainee Research Award

President’s Postdoctoral Fellow Christopher Bartley and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow Lauren Whitehurst were selected to present their scholarship and research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds.  The UCSF Psychiatry Grand Rounds Trainee Research Award annually selects trainees conducting notable and advanced research through a competitive application process.  In addition to presenting their scholarship and research at Grand Rounds events, the recipients will receive additional mentorship and guidance from faculty, the opportunity to discuss their work with department leadership, and special recognition at graduation.

Christopher M. Bartley, MD, PhD (fourth-year resident physician in the Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program, mentored by Samuel Pleasure, MD, PhD) research is entitled, "Identification of Neurotropic Autoantibodies in Humans With Inflammatory and Non-Inflammatory Behavioral and Neuropsychiatric Syndromes".  Lauren Whitehurst, PhD (postdoctoral research scholar, mentored by Wendy Berry Mendes, PhD, and Aric Prather, PhD) research is entitled, "The Impact of Psychostimulants on Sleep-Dependent Memory in Healthy Adults".

Learn more about their research here.


Marie Heffern awarded NIH MIRA R35 Grant and Hartwell Foundation Award

Marie Heffern, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at UC Davis, was recently awarded a NIH MIRA R35 Grant through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).  NIGMS-funded scientists investigate how living systems work at a range of levels from molecules and cells to tissues and organs, in research organisms, humans, and populations.

Professor Heffern also earned The Hartwell Foundation 2018 Individual Biomedical Research Award to study metal micronutrient status as a biomarker and treatment target for obesity and metabolic disease. The award supports innovative, early-stage, cutting-edge biomedical research with the potential to benefit children of the United States.  

The NIH MIRA R35 and Hartwell grant supports Professor Heffern’s work on the role of metals in the endocrine system, a field of research she calls metalloendocrinology. “My hypothesis is that metal status might be an early indicator of metabolic disorders,” said Heffern. 

Read UC Davis College of Letters and Science article on Professor Marie Heffern.




Kelli Moore named 2019 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar

Kelli Moore, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University was named one of ten Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholars for 2019 by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.  The Malkiel Scholars Award, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is given to junior faculty whose research focuses on American history, politics, culture, and society, and who are committed to the creation of an inclusive campus community for underrepresented students and scholars.

The 2019 Malkiel Scholars represent the next generation of leaders and scholars in the humanities and social sciences who are poised to play a significant role in shaping American higher education.

Moore will launch “Dwelling the Courtroom: Critical Marginalia and the Criminal Courtroom Audience.”  Taking place in the New York City courts over a span of several months, participants in this ethnographic endeavor will serve as public witnesses of courtroom activity.  Through drawing, doodling, scribbling and passing notebooks, they will materialize the neglected labor history of courtroom spectatorship.

Read more about Malkiel Scholars here.



Jennifer Kelly awarded 2019 UC President’s Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities

Jennifer Lynn Kelly, Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz is the recipient of the 2019-2020 UC President’s Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities for her research entitled, “Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism Across Occupied Palestine.” The President’s Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities provides UC faculty with fellowship support to carry out an extended research project in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.  Kelly writes, “In Invited to Witness, I argue that solidarity tourism in Palestine functions as a localized political strategy, and an emergent industry, through which Palestinian organizers refashion conventional tourism to the region by extending deliberately truncated invitations to international tourists to come to Palestine and witness the effects of Israeli state practice on Palestinian land and lives.” 

Read more about Professor Jennifer Kelly's research here.



Andrea Headley discusses police accountability and profiling by proxy on University of California Television

Andrea Headley, former UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy discusses police accountability and profiling by proxy on UCTV’s In the Arena with Jonathan Stein.  Headley’s research focuses on criminal justice and the relationship between police and the communities they serve.   Dr. Headley states, “The Ideal state for police community relations, is one that is symbiotic in nature.  It’s based on mutuality and mutual respect, trust and cooperation and one in which the community and police are working collaboratively together.”  Andrea Headley is Assistant Professor in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. 

Watch Andrea Headley’s episode.



Leisy Abrego co-author’s an examination on the dynamics that shape the life chances and wellbeing of immigrants and their families

Leisy J. Abrego has published her second book entitled Immigrant Families co-authored with Cecilia Menjívar and Leah Schmalzbauer and delves deeply into the structural conditions contextualizing the diverse experiences of contemporary immigrant families in the United States. Immigrant Families highlights the hierarchies and inequities between and within immigrant families created by key axes of inequality such as legal status, social class, gender, and generation. Drawing on ethnographic, demographic, and historical scholarship, the authors highlight the transnational context in which many contemporary immigrant families live, exploring how families navigate care, resources, expectations, and aspirations across borders. Ultimately, the book analyzes how dynamics at the individual, family, and community levels shape the life chances and wellbeing of immigrants and their families.

Leisy Abrego is Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UC Los Angeles where her research and teaching interests are in Central American immigration, Latina/o families, the inequalities created by gender, and the production of “illegality” through U.S. immigration laws.

Immigrant Families is published by Polity Press, 2016




Corey Baker featured on NBC News Learn and Louisville, KY Spectrum News

Corey Baker, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Kentucky was featured on NBC News Learn profiling his research in opportunistic communication, creating connectivity and establishing connectivity when the internet or the cloud is unavailable. 

In addition to his research at Kentucky University, Professor Baker devotes his time to a new graduate campus visit program he created, that is focused on recruiting underrepresented minorities from across the country to enroll at Kentucky to become future engineers.  Baker asks, “How can we create a diverse sustainable environment; not just for one year or two years, but continue this so that we can solve better engineering problems around the world?”  

View Corey Baker’s segment here.



Douglas Haynes names UC Irvine’s first Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Douglas M. Haynes, former Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and has been appointed as the inaugural Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine. As the campus’s Chief Diversity Officer, the Vice Chancellor leads UC Irvine’s quest to be a national model of inclusive excellence.

The Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion serves as Irvine’s senior executive responsible for providing a holistic and integrated vision for all major equity, diversity and inclusion activities on campus and at UC Irvine Health. Dr. Haynes will lead a comprehensive effort to conceptualize, define, assess and cultivate inclusive excellence as an ongoing institutional value and educational asset.

“Doug Haynes has already enriched UCI as Vice Provost with his commitment to recognizing that true excellence honors diversity through not only education and acceptance, but also affirmation,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “I have every confidence that as Vice Chancellor, Doug will continue to elevate the Office of Inclusive Excellence and advance diversity and inclusion as fundamental to the objectives of the university.”

Read UC Irvine's press release Vice Chancellor Douglas Haynes.



J. Reid Miller discusses the criminalization of racialized bodies and his new book on Ethics and Race

Professor J. Reid Miller, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Haverford College was joined by famed political activist, author, and scholar Dr. Angela Y. Davis at UC Berkeley’s Chevron Auditorium to discuss the criminalization of racialized bodies and Miller’s recent book Stain Removal: Ethics and RaceStain Removal argues that our perception of a person's actions always entails judgments of the body. It, therefore, challenges modern moral theory's premise that a subject's deeds and not its bodily traits count as primary objects of evaluation. Dr. Miller traces the long history of thought suggesting that embodiments like race can and do signify ethical qualities. He argues that these qualities do not "attach" to subjects from the outside-like a stain on innocent and unraced beings-but are instead what allows us to see people as distinct ethical individuals. The objective of ethics, he shows, is not to determine whether race is good or bad but to illustrate how our "unique" personal traits emerge through our multiple relations to others. The consequence is that it is only through judgments of "skin" and other bodily features that the ethical "content" of subjects can be recognized.

Stain Removal: Ethics and Race is published by Oxford University Press, 2016. 




UC Santa Barabara’s Nadege T. Clitandre provides a full-length interpretive literary analysis on Haitian author Edwidge Danticat

Nadège T. Clitandre has published her first monograph, Edwidge Danticat: The Haitian Diasporic Imaginary.  The book offers a comprehensive analysis of Danticat’s exploration of the dialogic relationship between nation and diaspora.  Using the echo trope to approach Danticat’s narratives and subjects, Dr. Clitandre effectively navigates between the reality of diaspora and imaginative opportunities that diasporas produce. Ultimately, Clitandre calls for a reconstitution of nation through a diasporic imaginary that informs the way people who have experienced displacement view the world and imagine a more diverse, interconnected, and just future.

Nadège Clitandre is an Associate Professor of Global Studies at UC Santa Barbara where she works on theoretical framework s of the African Diaspora, migration and displacement, and transnationalism with a particular focus on Haiti and Haitian diasporic literature.

Edwidge Danticat: The Haitian Diasporic Imaginary is published by University of Virginia Press, 2018.



Padmini Rangamani awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers

Padmini Rangamani, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers, acknowledges the contributions made to the advancement of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education and to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach.

Rangamani was recognized for her exceptional research accomplishments in the advancement of Theoretical Biophysics in physical biology and medicine, and for fundamental contributions to the physical understanding of lipid bilayers. She was nominated by the Department of Defense.

Read UC San Diego’s press release about Professor Rangamani’s PECASE award.



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

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

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).


libero photo

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).


buie photo

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)

leon photo

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)

ambo photo

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)



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 Inés M. Talamantez

On September 27, 2019, Inés M. Talamantez, Professor of Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara passed away from the effects of rapid onset cancer.    Throughout Dr. Talamantez’s 40 year career, she persisted in fighting for full recognition for herself and for minority peoples in the academy.  Her path breaking scholarship, passionate teaching, and dedicated mentoring set a standard for the now firmly established field of Native American Religions in the US. Dr. Talamantez founded a unit in Native American Religious Traditions within the American Academy of Religion (AAR) upon the passing of American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978. This legacy would lead her to her place as a Centennial Scholar and leader within the AAR. She was also a founding member of the Society for the Study of Native American Religious Traditions, a collection of scholars from around the globe who work together to advance the scholarship and recognition of Native peoples in academia.  Over the course of her career, Professor Talamantez has been recognized as a uniquely impactful scholar, receiving awards and recognition for both her community activism and scholarly contributions.

Read a tribute to Professor Inés Talamentez here




In memoriam: Professor Saba Mahmood

Saba Mahmood, Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, passed away on March 10, 2018, from pancreatic cancer.  Professor Mahmood specialized in Sociocultural Anthropology and was a scholar of modern Egypt. Her work is best known for its interrogation of liberal assumptions about the proper boundary between ethics and politics, freedom and unfreedom, the religious and the secular, and agency and submission.  

Mahmood made path-breaking contributions to contemporary debates on secularism, opening up new ways of understanding religion in public life and contesting received assumptions about both religion and the secular.  Against an increasingly shrill scholarship denouncing Muslim societies, she brought a nuanced and educated understanding of Islam into discussions of feminist theory, ethics and politics.  As a scholar and teacher, she embodied and followed strong moral and political principles, offered keen analyses of colonial and capitalist power in her account of secularism’s modernity, and formulated new ways of understanding the subject of feminism, relational subjectivity, religious freedom, religious injury, the rights of religious minorities, and comparative legal analysis of religious and secular family law and sexual regulations.

Read Professor Saba Mahmood's Obituary here




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