LAURELS: Dialect Society Honors Bayley



  • Robert Bayley, Department of Linguistics
  • Katia Vega, Department of Design
  • Gary S. May, chancellor
  • Mahiri Moore Jr., undergraduate
  • Kent Leach, departments of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Kraig Brady, Dining Services

Robert Bayley headshot

Robert Bayley, professor of linguistics, was recently named to the inaugural class of fellows of the American Dialect Society for his scholarly achievements and service to the society.

The sociolinguist, a member of the UC Davis faculty since 2006, studies language variation and language socialization, especially in bilingual and second-language populations.

He is a co-author of The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL, the first empirical study of Black American Sign Language. Research findings of The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL are featured in the documentary Signing Black in America that began screening on public television stations and college campuses in 2020.

Bayley and his co-authors are quoted in this Jan. 23 New York Times article on Black American Sign Language.

Bayley’s 140 publications also include The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics (co-editor).

The American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, is dedicated to the study of the English language in North America, and of other languages influencing it or influenced by it.

Bayley is among 10 inaugural fellows selected by a vote of the society’s executive committee in a virtual meeting in December.

Katia Vega headshot

Katia Vega, assistant professor of design, is among four recipients of 2021 Athena Awards from the Women In Tech Initiative at UC, honoring those who embody, encourage and promote the inclusion of women in technology.

The initiative and its 4-year-old awards program are sponsored by the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, or CITRIS, and the Banatao Institute, along with Berkeley Engineering. CITRIS-Banatao is a collaboration among researchers and students from our UC campuses: Davis, Berkeley, Merced and Santa Cruz.

Vega earned her Athena Award in the early career category. She runs the Interactive Organisms Lab, leading new explorations of the next generation of organisms-device symbiosis.

In her pioneering work, she creates novel interfaces around the skin and within fungal colonies known as beauty technologies, growable interfaces and interactive tattoos. This research integrates electronics into cosmetics to be applied directly to skin, fingernails and hair to transform the body’s surface into an interactive platform.

As a Geek Girl LatAm ambassador, Vega has a marked impact in encouraging Latina and female students to undertake the STEAM disciplines: science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. Seventy percent of the undergraduate students joining her lab have been women, and many come from outside the United States (Peru, China, Taiwan, Turkey).

Her design is women-centered, creating novel beauty technologies that are mindful of the social, aesthetic and cultural perspective of women, and she positions women as innovation drivers.

The Sacramento Business Journal has tabbed Chancellor Gary S. May as one of the region’s “Most Admired CEOs” for 2021, to be honored at a virtual awards event April 6. The Business Journal has begun previewing all of the year’s honorees — and today (Feb. 23) was May’s turn.

Asked about his main goal for the next year, the chancellor responded: My goal is to walk across our campuses and see them fully activated, as the university experience is all about in-person interactions for studying, living, researching and working. A major component of that interaction is that we’re healthy, safe and have a place where everyone feels they belong and are welcomed and respected.”

The Business Journal plans a special publication in April profiling the honorees and detailing why they are deserving of this prestigious recognition.

Also, see how the Sacramento Kings honored Chancellor May and first-year student Mahiri Moore Jr. during Black History Month. The Kings chose May as a Dream All-Star, recognizing him as a Black community leader; and he in turn, at the Kings’ request, nominated a young person or mentee to share the honor, as someone who is also making a difference in the community. May chose Moore, a communication major and founder of Moore Truth More Change.

Kent Leach headshot

Kent Leach, professor of biomedical engineering and the Lawrence J. Ellison Endowed Professor of Musculoskeletal Biology (elect) in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, has been named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A. It is the official journal of the Society for Biomaterials, the Japanese Society for Biomaterials, the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and the Korean Society for Biomaterials.

Leach’s involvement with the Society for Biomaterials includes service on the membership, education and finance committees and helping to initiate a student chapter of the society at UC Davis.

His research is focused on the development of novel biomaterials to instruct cell fate for the purpose of tissue regeneration and treatment of disease. He works closely with clinicians at UC Davis Health and the School of Veterinary Medicine.

He will first share editorial duties with James M. Anderson, who has led the journal for more than 30 years. On April 1, Leach will assume sole duties as the editor-in-chief.

Kraig Brady headshot

Readers of Nation’s Restaurant News have named Kraig Brady, director of Dining Services, as one of the most influential noncommercial restaurant operators in the country. He is one of 13 operators on the list and the only one from a university in the western United States.

“We asked you, our readers, to tell us who you think is leading well in the restaurant industry,” the industry magazine reported. “You responded with over 500 executives, operators, chefs and more from restaurants, vendors and firms across the country. It was our largest response yet.”

Brady oversees residential dining, catering and retail food operations, with about 70 full-time-equivalent employees and 270 part-time-equivalent employees, and about 575 student employees.

He came to UC Davis in 2013 after 26 years with Nugget Markets. He led the management team that took over from Sodexo when UC Davis began to manage its own dining facilities, and oversaw the opening of Latitude in 2020.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

Follow Dateline UC Davis on Twitter.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff, 530-752-6556,

Primary Category

Secondary Categories