Recent faculty honors and awards

Faculty members who have been recognized recently for their outstanding achievements or received important research grants include literary scholar and translator Suzanne Jill Levine (Spanish and Portuguese); marine biologist Gretchen Hoffman (Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology)Peter Ford and Craig Hawker (Chemistry and Biochemistry); Cenke Xu and Ania Bleszynski Jayich (Physics); and G. Reginald Daniel (Sociology). In addition, the College of Letters and Science has received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures that will be led by Peter Alagona (History and Environmental Studies)David Lopez-Carr (Geography), and Teresa Shewry (English)

Two Faculty Members Receive National Communication Awards Two members of the Department of Communication will receive prestigious awards from the National Communication Association at its 98th annual convention to be held in Orlando, Fla., in November.The 2012 Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to a person who is judged to have made the greatest contribution to the association and the profession during his or her career, goes to Linda L. Putnam, professor and chair. The 2012 Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication will be presented to Professor Howard Giles for his theoretically driven and cross-cultural research on communication accommodation, police-citizen interaction, and intergenerational communication.

Physicist Receives Prestigious Packard Fellowship Award.Without a laboratory –– using only a blackboard, computer, and his powerful intellect –– a young theoretical physicist is quickly racking up national and international awards honoring his research in quantum physics. Although Cenke Xu works in an abstract realm, his research may have far-reaching practical applications. An assistant professor in the Department of Physics, Xu has emerged on the national and international stage with his pursuit of new states of matter. This month, he was awarded the coveted Packard Fellowship –– as one of only 16 scientific researchers from across the country to receive this distinction.

Scientist Receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Earlier this year, Cenke Xu was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of the early career development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. The awards provide a financial stipend to support research activity for a period of five years. Xu's award is for $170,000 and is designated for his research "Quantum Critical Points Around Topological Phases."

Literary Scholar Receives PEN Center USA Award for Translation. Suzanne Jill Levine, professor of Latin American literature and translation studies, will receive the renowned PEN Center USA 2012 Literary Award for Translation for “The Lizard’s Tale: A Novel.” The award will be presented on October 22 in a ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Originally written — but not completely finished — by Chilean novelist José Donoso, the novel was published posthumously, in Spanish, in 2007. Last year, Northwestern University Press put out the first English-language edition of the book, which was translated by Levine.


Marine Biologists Receive Grant to Study Ocean Acidification. UC Santa Barbara is part of a West Coast network of researchers that has received a grant of nearly $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation to analyze the ecological and biological response to ocean acidification in the California Current System. Gretchen  Hoffman, professor of ecology, evolution, and marine biology, will lead the UCSB group, which will focus much of its attention on a mussel, Mytilus californianus, which is a widespread component of the rocky intertidal zone, and an important test subject for understanding ocean chemistry changes. 

Two UCSB Professors Receive National Chemistry Awards. Peter C. Ford, left, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Craig J. Hawker, also a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, professor of materials, and director of the Materials Research Laboratory, have been named among the 64 award winners from across the country of the American Chemical Society's 2013 national awards for  professional advancement. Ford is the recipient of the ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry and Hawker is the recipient of the ACS Award in Polymer Chemistry.

UCSB Receives $175,000 Grant for Seminar on Comparative Study of Cultures. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $175,000 grant to UC Santa Barbara in support of a Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures entitled "Sea Change: Integrating the Historical Study of Human Cultures and Marine Environments in Three Pacific Regions." The Sawyer Seminars program supports comparative research on the historical and cultural sources of contemporary developments. The program funds seminars that bring together faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students from the humanities, social sciences, and related fields. The three faculty organizers include Peter Alagona, assistant professor of history and environmental studies, and an affiliate faculty member in geography; David Lopez-Carr, professor of geography and director of Latin American and Iberian Studies; and Teresa Shewry, assistant professor of English.

Film & Literary Festival Awards 2012 Loving Prize to G. Reginald Daniel. Daniel, a professor of sociology, has received the 2012 Loving Prize from the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival. The award, which recognizes Daniel's scholarship on issues of multiracial identity, was presented in Los Angeles in June. Established in 2008, the Loving Prizes are presented each year to outstanding artists, storytellers, and community leaders who have shown a dedication to celebrating and illuminating the "mixed" experience. Previous recipients include UCSB's Kip Fulbeck and Paul R. Spickard, professors of art and performative studies and of history, respectively. 

Assistant Professor Receives Presidential Science Award. Ania Bleszynski Jayich, an assistant professor in physics, has been awarded the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor the nation can bestow on a scientist or engineer at the beginning of his or her career. 

News Date: 

Friday, October 19, 2012