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Chancellor's Fellows named

By Amy Agronis on September 28, 2001 in University

An awards program honoring rising stars of the UC Davis faculty marks its second year this week with the announcement of five 2001-'02 Chancellor's Fellows.

Fellowship recipients are recognized for their accomplishments as well as the potential they show in their fields.

"They have demonstrated early on that they are going to be highly successful at UC Davis," said Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef.

"They make a statement about our best young professors," he added. "Nominated by their deans, we want them, and the campus, to know that they are highly valued."

Honorees each receive a one-time award of $25,000 to be used for research, teaching or service activities and can use the title "Chancellor's Fellow" for five years.

Academic Senate members from all schools and colleges are eligible for the award, but nominees must be within three years of having received their tenure. In addition, nominees must have been on the Davis campus for a year prior to the June deadline for nominations.

The Chancellor's Fellowship program is jointly supported by the Chancellor's Club and the Annual Fund of UC Davis. Nominees are evaluated by a committee of their peers.

The fellows for 2001 will be honored during an Oct. 18 reception at the chancellor's home. The five honorees and the year they came to UC Davis are:

Holly Doremus, professor of law (1995)

With a Ph.D. in botany from Cornell and a juris doctorate from UC Berkeley, Holly Doremus' scholarship explores the intersection of science and law.

"(She) is a cutting-edge legal scholar whose work in environmental law already is making a significant national impact," said Kevin Johnson, law professor and associate dean for academic affairs. "In my estimation, her scholarship will lead the way for the next generation of environmental law scholars," he added in his nomination.

Rex Perschbacher, dean of the UC Davis School of Law, said Doremus speaks regularly at conferences across the nation and further lauded her strong base of published legal articles and extensive committee work in service to the campus.

Albert Fannjiang, associate professor of mathematics (1995)

Albert Fannjiang garnered similarly glowing endorsements by his colleagues on campus and off.

"(Fannjiang) is, in my view, the best young researcher in probability, differential equations and applications, especially applications to turbulent diffusion and related problems," noted mathematics professor George Papanicolaou of Stanford University. "He is a rising star in modern applied mathematics."

Motohico Mulase, chair of the Department of Mathematics, noted in his nomination letter that Fannjiang has published some 25 papers in top journals. "The world wants to hear from him," Mulase wrote, referencing Fannjiang's many addresses at national and international conferences.

Jodi Nunnari, associate professor of molecular and cellular biology (1996)

Jodi Nunnari's research at UC Davis has, in the words of Carol Erickson, professor and vice chair of molecular and cellular biology, "dramatically changed the way cell biologists view the mitochondria in living cells." Her work has attracted hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money from National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

In nomination materials, Nunnari also was lauded as a very effective mentor for graduate and undergraduate students in her laboratory and a tireless advocate for improving the quality of graduate education at UC Davis. "She has attracted our best graduate students to work with her, and has published the work in the highest tier, peer-reviewed journals," Erickson said.

Alan Taylor, associate professor of economics (1999)

Alan Taylor is a prolific author with more than 40 publications - including two books - to his name on the topics of international finance and economics history, especially Latin American economic history.

"I don't think there are many economists, certainly none of his age, who can match his breadth," wrote economics professor Jeffrey Williamson of Harvard University, where Taylor received a doctorate in economics in 1992.

"In today's world of specialization, this breadth is quite rare and refreshing," added Steven Sheffrin, dean of the Division of Social Sciences. Sheffrin said Taylor is considered "one of the leaders of 'global history,' a new direction of scholarship combining international finance and economic history."

Jeffrey Thomas, associate professor of music (1996)

  • tenor soloist and director of the American Bach Soloists and UC Davis chamber singers, Jeffrey Thomas has during the last decade established himself as a leader in the interpretation of baroque and classical music - especially the music of Bach. Thomas has more than two dozen recordings to his credit and has performed throughout the world.

He is called an "internationally known West-coast superstar of early music," by Frederick Gable, chair and professor of music at UC Riverside.

Elizabeth Langland, dean of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, said of Thomas: "In short, he brings the music to life." She further noted that his performance of Haydn's "The Seasons" with the UC Davis Chorus and symphony was judged "best classical music performance of 1998" by the Sacramento Bee.

Media contact(s)

Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932,