ORG CHART: Cristina Davis New AVC in Office of Research

Tracy Grissom, Mark Foncannon Lead L&S Undergraduate Education and Advising



  • Cristina Davis, Office of Research
  • Tracy Grissom, College of Letters and Science
  • Mark Foncannon, College of Letters and Science

Cristina Davis headshot
Cristina Davis

The Office of Research announced the appointment of Cristina Davis, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, as associate vice chancellor of Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives, effective April 11, succeeding Paul Dodd.

IRSI works with faculty and staff to initiate and advance interdisciplinary and strategically important research programs through partnerships with federal, state and other entities. The announcement noted that the associate vice chancellor's portfolio also now includes the Research Core Facilities Program.

“Cristina Davis brings a tremendous breadth of experience and strong connections throughout the UC Davis research community,” Prasant Mohapatra, vice chancellor for research, said in the announcement. “I expect her innovative spirit will ignite creative ideas and strategies to help extend our impact across campus and to the global community we seek to benefit."

Mohapatra added a thank-you to Dodd for his significant contributions in his almost 10 years as the associate vice chancellor of Interdisciplinary Research and Strategic Initiatives. Dodd returned to Ireland where he took a position as vice president for engagement at National University of Ireland.

Davis has nearly 20 years of experience working with multidisciplinary teams in the areas of chemical sensing to tackle fundamental problems and develop niche application areas. At UC Davis, her research collaborations include joint projects with the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine, and the colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Biological Sciences.

“I am excited to leverage these relationships to enhance and grow the interdisciplinary research enterprise for our entire campus. I look forward to continuing to work with a wide array of researchers and faculty across the university,” she said.

Davis had served for the last six months as the associate dean for research in the College of Engineering. "Her tenure in the position was short but so very impactful and important for our college," Dean Richard Corsi said.

Read the Office of Research announcement.

Tracy Grissom and Mark Foncannon have shed the “interim” portion of their director titles in the College of Letters and Science Undergraduate Education and Advising Office.

They had been serving in an interim capacity — Grissom as the director of advising and policy, and Foncannon as the director of student engagement and success — since last July. Both hold degrees from the College of Letters and Science.

Professor Carlos Francisco Jackson, L&S associate dean for academic programs and planning, announced Grissom’s and Foncannon’s director appointments had been made permanent effective March 1.

“Due to the size and complexity of the College of Letters and Science, the Office of the Dean strategically invested in existing leadership with the mandate to expand educational interventions,” Jackson said in his announcement. “UEA Directors Grissom and Foncannon will be collectively working to improve student success pathways across all backgrounds, demographics and subjectivities.”

Tracy Grissom headshot
Tracy Grissom

Grissom provides leadership for undergraduate education across L&S and serves as the college’s senior academic leader in areas of advising and educational policy. She has worked at UC Davis for 24 years and has dedicated her career to improving the delivery of advising services for students.

Before becoming a director, she served as associate director of Undergraduate Education and Advising for seven years, and before that worked as a department-level advisor in animal science and environmental toxicology, and as a co-director in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

She holds three UC Davis degrees: Bachelor of Arts in rhetoric and communication, Bachelor of Science in community and regional development, and Master of Science in Community Development.

Mark Foncannon headshot
Mark Foncannon

Foncannon provides leadership for student recruitment and admission to the college, as well as student pathways and opportunities for postbaccalaureate success. He has worked on campus for more than 20 years, holding leadership and program development roles in Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

He joined the College of letters and Science in fall 2018 as the first director of student recruitment and career development. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Letters and Science and a master’s degree in organizational development from Alliant University.

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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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