LAURELS: Liza Grandia and Keith David Watenpaugh Honored for Community Engagement Abroad


  • Liza Grandia, College of Letters and Science
  • Keith David Watenpaugh, College of Letters and Science
  • Kevin R. Johnson, School of Law
  • Lisa R. Pruitt, School of Law

Liza Grandia and Keith David Watenpaugh headshots, UC Davis faculty
Liza Grandia and Keith David Watenpaugh

Liza Grandia and Keith David Watenpaugh, faculty members in the College of Letters and Science, are being honored by the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement.

Grandia, associate professor, Department of Native American Studies, and director of the Indigenous Research Center of the Americas, will receive the association’s Community Outcomes and Impact Award in recognition of research that has had a significant impact on an organization or program, and which has measurably benefited a community — in Grandia’s case, through her multiple partnerships in Central America.

Watenpaugh, professor and founding director of Human Rights Studies, will receive the Public Scholarship Award, recognizing exemplary interdisciplinary research that generates nontraditional scholarly products, presented in a manner that is widely accessible to targeted audiences and/or the general public. Watenpaugh’s “product” is the Article 26 Backpack: The Universal Human Rights Tool for Academic Mobility, for people displaced by war or violence, giving them an online space to store their academic records.

Grandia and Watenpaugh have both had the support of the UC Davis Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement, Grandia as a Community Engaged Learning Faculty Fellow and Watenpaugh as a Public Scholarship Faculty Fellow, and has also supported Grandia’s work as a Public Impact Research Initiative.

“I am very proud of Liza Grandia and Keith Watenpaugh for their outstanding contributions to community-based research and teaching,” said Michael Rios, vice provost of Public Scholarship and Engagement. “Their participation in PSE programs enabled us to enhance their work and elevate them as leaders in community engagement.”

Read more about Grandia and Watenpaugh in this article on the Public Scholarship and Engagement website.

At the law school:

  • Dean Kevin R. Johnson recently received the Judge Emily E. Vasquez Community Service Award from Milton L. Schwartz-David F. Levi American Inn of Court, the Davis chapter of the American Inn of Court, a nationwide organization dedicated to the highest levels of professionalism in the practice of law. The award is named after a retired Sacramento Superior Court judge. Shama Mesiwala, J.D. ’98, who will soon leave the Sacramento Superior Court bench to join the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, presented the award.
  • An article by Lisa R. Pruitt, a Martin Luther King Jr. Professor, appeared on Politico Magazine’s year-end list of “stories that best explain 2022.” The article, “What the Republicans Know (and Democrats Don’t) About the White Working Class,” appeared in the magazine in June. Pruitt’s recent work explores the legal relevance of rural spatiality, including how it inflects dimensions of gender, race and ethnicity. Pruitt's work also considers rural-urban difference in transnational and international contexts. She received the law school’s 2020 Distinguished Teaching Award.

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Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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