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One Unique Job: Tractor-driving instructor

UC Davis has more than its fair share of unique jobs, and here's one of them: tractor-driving instructor. Mir Shafii takes on roughly 100 students every spring in ABT 49. "If you come at the end of this quarter, this field has been worked so many times the soil is like powder," says Shafii, who’s been working at UC Davis for 25 years and teaching the tractor-driving class for five. Read a Q&A with Shafii and see his students in the driver's seat. …


LAURELS: Mangun named Radboud Excellence Initiative professor

Photo: George R. Mangun mugshot

George R. “Ron” Mangun, pictured, founding director of the Center for Mind and Brain, will spend six months in the Netherlands as a Radboud Excellence Initiative professor. Plus … A distinguished service award for Amanda Crump, associate director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab; an honorary degree for Charles Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences; and national recognition for the communications team at the School of Veterinary Medicine. …


NEWS BRIEFS 'Pop-up' workshops for innovation district proposals

The city of Davis will hold a community forum this Saturday (June 27) on two innovation district proposals — but it won’t be your typical forum, say, like one held in a large meeting hall This forum will be in two places at once, at Informational Pop-Up Workshops near the project sites. Plus ... Memorial Union chims go silent for the summer. ... Gov. Jerry Brown nominates David Bunn, a UC Davis alum, faculty member and administrator of international programs, to become director of the state Department of Conservation. ... IET postpones two projects having to do with campus wireless service. ... The UC Davis Medical Center unveils a new monument to organ, tissue and eye donors. …


Grønbech-Jensen leads statewide COSMOS

Photo: Niels Grønbech-Jensen mugshot

COSMOS, officially the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science, begins its 16th season this month with UC Davis Professor Niels Grønbech-Jensen's appointment as the statewide faculty executive director, a role he had filled on an interim basis since late 2014 when the statewide administrative home for COSMOS moved from the UC Office of the President to UC Davis. …


Alum, faculty member nominated to lead state Department of Conservation

Photo: David Bunn mugshot

Gov. Jerry Brown appoints David Bunn, a UC Davis alum, faculty member and administrator of international programs, to become director of the state Department of Conservation, which manages and regulates the state’s agricultural lands, open space, mines and oilfields. …


Interim director now the director at UC Center Sacramento

Photo: Richard L. Kravitz mugshot

Professor Richard L. Kravitz will continue as the director of UC Center Sacramento, as a permanent appointee, after serving the last two years as the interim director. UC Center Sacramento is a systemwide program administered by UC Davis; Kravitz comes from faculty of the School of Medicine. During his time as UCCS interim director, he led a review of the center’s mission and vision, oversaw the development of a strategic plan, and organized a scholarly competition addressing major public policy issues. …


LAURELS: Fellowship aids humanist’s education in coding

Photo: Colin Milburn mugshot

Colin Milburn is the recipient of a $278,000 New Directions Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, giving him the opportunity to learn how to code and be the truly multidisciplinary digital humanist he wants to be. … Other honors include the Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring, and lifetime achievement awards for Miguel Mariño, distinguished professor of hydrologic sciences; and John Roth, distinguished professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. …


Open house June 25 at newly expanded Davis Clinic

Photo: Jo Ena Christensen behind the counter at the Davis Clinic, with UC Davis Medical Group sign in the background (cropped)

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Vice Chancellor and Dean Julie A. Freischlag will host an open house on Thursday, June 25, at the newly expanded Davis Clinic, part of UC Davis Medical Group. In March, the clinic at 2660 W. Covell Blvd. expanded into 2440 W. Covell next door, bringing total clinic size to 33,245 square feet to accommodate additional medical staff, including specialists. …


Single dean for L&S, effective July 2016

The College of Letters of Science administrative structure will be reorganized to create a single dean’s position, around July 1, 2016, campus leaders announced. Next steps, to begin this fall: a recruitment advisory committee,visioning committee and transition planning. …


NEWS BRIEFS: CA&ES in temporary quarters this summer

Offices of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences on the first floor of Mrak Hall will be vacated this summer to allow for a renovation project. Plus ... TAPS lands grant for loaner bikes at airport. ... Student computer recommendations for 2015-16. ... Faster, more colorful turf at Aggie Stadium. ... Grad student enters ‘Battlebots’ arena. …


Crossing bridges with Sustained Dialogue

Photo: Edmund Pettus Bridge sign (cropped)

Show these students a divide that needs bridging, between viewpoints and personal identities, and they'll offer up the tool of sustained dialogue to help people across. Show the students the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., and they’ll cross it — which is exactly what they did to commemorate the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," when law enforcement officers beat back a voting rights march on the bridge. …


‘World citizen’ named chief global strategist

Photo: Joanna Regulska mugshot

Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi names UC Davis’ first chief global strategist: Joanna Regulska, who holds a similar position at Rutgers and has extensive international experience as an academic in women’s and gender studies and the process of democratization. …


No. 1 in impact in life and earth sciences

A new CWTS Leiden ranking of research impact puts UC Davis first in the world in the category of life and earth sciences. "Our faculty has achieved an unparalleled level of excellence, and the Leiden rankings support that we have truly become a global university," says Vice Chancellor Harris Lewin of the Office of Research. …


Researchers invited to lunch and learn with Digital Science

The technology company Digital Science is hosting a lunch-and-learn program this week to talk with the UC Davis research community about the company’s software products, which Digital Science says will “make the research process simpler and more efficient so that everyone can work smart and discover more.” The Office of Research and the University Library issued an invitation to the free program to be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. Thursday (June 11). …