13 assistant professors join ranks of Hellman Fellows
The UC Davis Hellman Fellowship Program, now in its fourth year, has given grants totaling almost $244,000 to 13 assistant professors.
Vice Provost Barbara Horwitz of Academic Affairs described the program as an “extraordinary opportunity” for junior faculty who have promising research plans but lack the stable funding of more established faculty.
Funding comes from the San Francisco-based Hellman Family Foundation, which committed to providing $1.25 million to the campus over five years to support career advancement activities of promising assistant professors.
Under the guidelines, each grant recipient must have completed at least two years as an assistant professor and submitted a compelling research proposal.
All the foundation asks in return is that the grant recipients meet for lunch in the spring with Warren and Chris Hellman, the philanthropists behind the foundation. Warren Hellman is an investment banker and UC Berkeley alumnus.
The 2011-12 Hellman Fellows, their academic units and their research topics:
- Keith Baar, neurobiology, physiology and behavior — “Making Bigger Muscles with Mighty and mTOR”
- Christian Baldini, music — “CD Recording: Vocal and Chamber Works”
- Marusa Bradac, physics — “Dark Matter, Dark Energy and First Galaxies Light Up”
- Siobhan Brady, plant biology — “The Arabidopsis Root Secondary Cell Wall Gene Regulatory”
- Amber Boydstun, political science — “The Nature and Causes of Media Storms”
- Arne Ekstrom, psychology — “Representation and Binding of Spatial and Temporal Memories in Human Hippocampus”
- Zhiliang Fan, biological and agricultural engineering — “Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass to Isobutanol: Process Design and Economic Analysis”
- Robert Faris, sociology — “The Emergence and Consequences of Scientific Disputes”
- Cynthia Lin, agricultural and resource economics — “An Analysis of Ethanol Investment Decisions”
- Fu Liu, mathematics — “On Ehrhart Polynomials of Polytopes”
- Scott MacKenzie, political science — “From Political Pathways to Legislative Folkways: Connecting Institutions, Political Experiences and Legislative Decision-Making”
- Stephanie Lee Mudge, sociology — “Neoliberalism and Party Politics in an Age of Crisis”
- Nina Claire Napawan, environmental design — “Productive Landscapes of the Resilient City”
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