LAURELS: Horwitz receives AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award

Barbara Horwitz has received the Lifetime Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


She’s a distinguished professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior in the College of Biological Sciences; former president of the American Physiological Society; as well as former vice provost of Academic Personnel and former interim provost.

The AAAS award recognizes her sustained work to increase diversity among students pursuing doctorates in physiology and other biomedical-related areas, as well as in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and junior faculty.

The award presentation took place Feb. 13 during the the society's annual meeting, held this year in San Jose. She received a plaque and a $5,000 prize — and immediately turned over the money to her department to support undergraduate research.

Horwitz is the program director of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity-Development, funded by the National Institutes of Health for 17 years, during which time she has mentored nearly 100 underrepresented minority graduate students and provided oversight of the Biology Undergraduate Scholars Program, or BUSP, and BUSP Honors.

In her own lab, Horwitz has mentored more than 300 undergraduates, including about 25 percent from underrepresented student populations, and served as major professor or co-major professor for 20 Ph.D. students, 13 of them from underrepresented groups.

She also serves as the program director of the NIH-funded Biology Scholars Advanced Research Program, or BSHARP, which provides mentoring for junior and senior honors students from underrepresented populations — students who are headed for research careers in biomedical related areas.

She has received numerous awards for teaching, mentoring and research, including the Bodil Schmidt-Nielson Distinguished Mentor and Scientist Award from the American Physiological Society, and the UC Presidential Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research.

Campus honors include a Distinguished Teaching Award from the Academic Senate, the UC Davis Prize for Teaching and Scholarly Achievement, and a Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community.


English professor Yiyun Li has moved from the “long list” of 19 semifinalists to the “short list” of six finalists for The (London) Sunday Times’ $45,000 short story award, one of the world’s top literary prizes, to be announced April 24. She's in contention with a story titled A Sheltered Woman.

She also made the short list in 2011, for The Science of Flight.

Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, Li has published two short story collections, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and Gold Boy, Emerald Girl; and two novels, The Vagrants and Kinder Than Solitude.


Newly elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology:

  • David Mills, professor, departments of Food Science and Technology, and Viticulture and Enology, and the Foods for Health Institute.
  • Steven McSorley, associate professor, an immunologist at the Center for Comparative Medicine, which investigates diseases that afflict both people and animals.

The society’s newest fellows are scheduled to be honored June 2 in New Orleans during the organization’s 115th general meeting.


California Lawyer magazine announced its selection of Rich Frank of the School of Law as a recipient of one of the magazine’s 2015 CLAY awards. The awards (CLAY stands for California Lawyer Attorney of the Year) recognize specific achievements between November 2013 and November 2014.

Frank is a professor of environmental practice and the director of the law school’s California Environmental Law and Policy Center. He’s a 1974 graduate of the School of Law.

He and three others are being honored in the CLAY award program’s environment category — specifically, water law — for the work they did as a team in a Sacramento County Superior Court case that they won in 2014.

Representing environmental organizations and the commercial fishing industry, the team argued that California's public trust doctrine applies to the state's groundwater resources that affect surface river and stream flows.

The team’s victory, according to California Lawyer magazine, “could lead to the first major extension of the public trust doctrine since a California Supreme Court ruling in 1983 and offer a new way to manage the state’s groundwater.”

All of the CLAY Award recipients will be featured in this month’s issue of California Lawyer. The award presentation is scheduled for March 16 in San Francisco.

Frank will receive his CLAY from another UC Davis law school alum: Tani Cantil-Sakauye ’84, chief justice of the California Supreme Court.


Esteemed entomologists:

  • William Reisen, medical entomologist, who retired from the university last summer, has received the 2015 meritorious service award from the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California. Read more
  • Eric Mussen, Cooperative Extension apiculturist emeritus, recently received an engraved clock from the Almond Board of California in appreciation for his 38 years of service to the organization. Read more.


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