Friday, February 27, 2015

Name Droppers: UC Davis anthropologist honored by National Academy

Chinese Association scholarshipW

Davis Chinese Association scholarship award winners from Davis High School are, from left, Amy Jiang, Zequn Zhao, Jacqueline Liu, Zhongxia Yan and Brandon Lin. Not pictured are Daniel Zhu and Robert Li. Don Yee/Courtesy photo

From page A7 | May 29, 2014 |

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, professor emerita at UC Davis and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has been selected to receive the academy’s 2014 Award for Scientific Reviewing.

Given this year in the category of human-biosocial interactions, the award recognizes Hrdy, an anthropologist, for “rendering a significant service to science and influencing the course of scientific thought.”

Hrdy’s work epitomizes “the creativity and insight that can generate important syntheses of contemporary research and set research agendas for the future,” the academy declares in the award citation. “At the same time, her writing is marked by a clarity and liveliness that makes path-breaking science accessible to the public.”

The award, which was presented at the academy’s 151st annual meeting April 26-29, comes with a $10,000 prize.

Hrdy has published a series of books and scholarly reviews that have drawn together data and concepts from across the social and biological sciences to synthesize a new understanding of the ways in which natural selection has shaped women’s lives, mother-infant interactions, and the foundations of human sociality.

Her book “Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding,” published in 2011, brought her the following honors the next year: the J.I. Staley Prize (often called the Pulitzer Prize of anthropology, given by the School for Advanced Research) and the W.W. Howells Book Prize in Biological Anthropology (given by the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association).

She joined the faculty of the department of anthropology in 1984 and took emeritus status in 1996. She has been elected not only to the National Academy of Sciences, but the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the California Academy of Sciences.

USDA State Executive Director Val Dolcini was recently awarded the Administrator’s Award for Service to Agriculture for his work on agency outreach and leadership.

Dolcini led a team of USDA colleagues in California during the implementation of the Hispanic and Women’s Claims Process, an initiative designed to address past claims of discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nearly 20 public meetings were held throughout the state to publicize the process, more than 15,000 individual letters were sent to interested citizens, and almost 1,000 groups and community based organizations were contacted to provide information about the claims process and related issues.

Dolcini and his colleagues also produced a bilingual video about the claims process that was shared with groups and individuals around California.

The Administrator’s Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Farm Service Agency on its employees. Dolcini, a Davis native, oversees 30 USDA county offices throughout California. He was appointed to this position by President Obama in 2009.


Dave Rosenberg of Davis has been elected deputy grand master for the Odd Fellows in California, the largest jurisdiction of Odd Fellows lodges in the United States. He will serve in the No. 2 position for one year, and is slated to be elected grand master of California at the conference next May.

There are 120 Odd Fellows lodges in California. Davis’ lodge, of which Rosenberg is a member, was established in 1870.

“I’m proud to serve as a leader in Odd Fellows,” Rosenberg said. “This fraternal order was founded two centuries ago, and my goal is to make sure we are relevant to the 21st century.”

Rosenberg joined the Davis Odd Fellows Lodge in 2004 and quickly re-charged that lodge to make it one of the premier organizations in Davis. The lodge now has 220 members, almost equally divided between men and women.

“The focus of Odd Fellowship, going forward, must be to reach out and serve our communities,” he said. “That is what gives members satisfaction, and that is what grows lodges.”

Rosenberg is a Yolo Superior Court judge and previously served as a Yolo County supervisor and mayor of Davis. He has been married to Lea Rosenberg, a former Citizen of the Year, for the past 46 years.


The Davis Chinese Association awarded $5,100 in scholarships to seven graduating Davis High School seniors at its sixth annual scholarship awards reception May 17 at International House, Davis. The recipients’ applications included an essay about growing up as a Chinese-American in the United States.

The recipients are Zhongxia Yan, Davis Chinese Association Scholarship; Jacqueline Liu, Leslie and Gregory Chin Memorial Scholarship; Daniel Zhu, Ying Yung Tsao Memorial Scholarship; Amy Jiang, Annie Tsao Van Memorial Scholarship; Zequn Zhao, Shang Fa Yang Memorial Scholarship; Brandon Lin, Wen-Tze Hwang Memorial Scholarship; and Robert Li, Lee-Jing Chen Memorial Scholarship.

The students also will be recognized at Davis High School’s Senior Awards Night on June 3.

The Davis Chinese Association was formed in 1965 and continues to welcome everyone with an interest in sharing Chinese culture. In 2004, the association raised more than $20,000 for a Scholarship Endowment Fund and began awarding scholarships annually since 2005.

For more information, visit or email [email protected]


The American Physical Society presented its Improving Undergraduate Education Award to the UC Davis department of physics during the society’s April 5-8 meeting in Savannah, Ga.

According to the citation, the department has created “curriculum opportunities involving specializations and multidisciplinary applied degrees coupled with vibrant research options” that emphasize preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

With 35 bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2012-13, the number of physics majors at UCD has doubled in the past decade.


Two faculty members at UC Davis are recent recipients of honorary doctorates:

Charles Fadley, distinguished professor of physics at UCD and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has been honored by the Uppsala University, Sweden.

“His work, not least his synchrotron-light-based spectroscopic studies of surfaces, magnetic materials and nanostructures, has inspired researchers around the world and at Uppsala,” the citation states.

Peter Hall, distinguished professor of statistics at UCD and the University of Melbourne, Australia, has been honored by the University of Cantabria, Spain.

Hall is known especially for his work on new methods in statistics, including nonparametric statistics and bootstrap analysis.


Davis resident Emily Darby is one of three students at Pomona College to receive a Barry M. Goldwater scholarship. The grant provides up to $7,500 per year for educational expenses to sophomores and juniors intending to pursue careers in mathematics, natural sciences or engineering.

Darby, a chemistry major with a math minor, is working on an independent research project studying the electronic spectroscopy of molecular ions to better understand the reaction pathways in the atmosphere so that a more comprehensive model of the atmosphere can be developed.

Last summer, she conducted solar energy research at Vanderbilt University through a Research Experience for Undergraduates. She was the primary researcher and sole undergraduate on a project titled Photoactive Films of Photosystem I on Transparent Reduced Graphene Oxide Electrodes. The team submitted an article to the journal Langmuir, and, if it is accepted, she will be listed as first author.

In addition to her research, Darby is a mentor with Pomona’s High Achievement Program, a teaching assistant for the organic chemistry lab and a math and chemistry tutor.
She plans to earn a Ph.D. in chemical engineering with an emphasis on alternative energy, then becoming a faculty member at a research university while continuing research in alternative energy that is sustainable and efficient.


Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the School of Law at at UC Davis, is once again ranked among the 25 “Most Influential People in Legal Education,” marking the second year in a row he received the designation from National Jurist magazine.

Johnson, the law school’s Mabie-Apallas Professor of public interest law and Chicana/o studies, is an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of immigration law and policy, refugee law, and civil rights.

The latest rankings, for 2013, emerged from a process that started with a call for nominations from U.S. law schools. The magazine narrowed the list, then asked deans and others of influence in the legal community to rate the nominees.

In his 2013 citation, Johnson is credited with being a “known leader in Latino civil rights and diversity among students and faculty in legal education.”



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