Meet Our Newest Hellman Fellows

Quick Summary

  • Assistant professors in wide range of disciplines receive grants of $15,000 to $37,000
  • 13-year-old program provides support at a critical time for faculty — early in their careers
  • Last year, the Hellman family provided an endowment to keep the program going in perpetuity

Darnel Degand is examining the lives and work of arts professionals from marginalized groups, to develop stories countering the white, Eurocentric bent in multimodal arts-based education, which connects with students through narratives.

Randy Haas is analyzing 9,000-year-old human DNA recently excavated from the Andes Mountains, one of the world’s most challenging environments for biological and cultural adaptation. He’s looking for insight into human adaptive capacities.

Lauren Peritz is investigating whether and why U.S. trade and immigration policy has shifted in a “backlash” against economic globalization, referring to controversy over the alleged loss of jobs to foreigners at home and abroad.  

These three assistant professors and seven others comprise UC Davis’ newest class of the Society of Hellman Fellows, beneficiaries of a program that comes to the aid of faculty at a time when research funding can be hard to come by — early in their careers.

The fellowships are made available in any discipline. Witness the range of our newest fellows: education, anthropology, political science, mathematics, engineering, biology, science and technology, and the classics.

The Hellman Fellows Program has been providing early-career support at UC Davis since 2008. Each year brings a new class of fellows, 158 so far, beneficiaries of a total of more than $3 million in grants, including awards of $15,000 to $37,000 to the newest recipients.

San Francisco philanthropists Chris and Warren Hellman started the program at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego in 1995 and expanded it over the years to include all of the UC campuses. Last year the Hellman foundation provided each campus with an endowment — $6 million for UC Davis — to continue Hellman Fellows awards in perpetuity, administered by the campuses.

“We thank the Hellman family for its generosity in helping to get our junior faculty members up and running, with all their new ideas,” said Phil Kass, vice provost of Academic Affairs, which administers the Hellman Fellows Program at UC Davis. “We are also grateful for the endowment that will carry this program forward.”

Here are UC Davis’ newest awardees, each listed with the titles of the projects for which they sought the fellowships. Click on any box to see the complete project description.

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