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LAURELS: Writing program director wins national award


By Dateline staff

Carl Whithaus, director of the University Writing Program, recently received a national award for exemplary scholarship and professional service in the field of computers and writing.

Photo: Carl Whithaus


Presentation of the Charles Moran Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Field, given by the journal Computers and Composition, came during the Computers and Writing Conference held at North Carolina State University.

The award committee praised Whithaus’ “outstanding work as chair of the National Writing Project’s Multimodal Assessment Committee, and his extensive scholarship in assessment, writing in the disciplines and digital writing research, including his forthcoming collection, Multimodal Literacy and Emerging Genres.” 

The committee also cited his previous books, Teaching and Evaluating Writing in the Age of Computers and High-Stakes Testing and Writing Across Distances and Disciplines: Research and Pedagogy in Distributed Learning.

According to the award committee, Whithaus “has done more than most to push our field into a better multimodal mindset, and his life work evidences a deep commitment to the field of computers and writing.” The committee commended him as one of the “hardest working composition researchers and best practitioners.”


Professor Stephen Cramer of the Department of Chemistry recently received the International X-ray Absorbtion Society’s highest accolade.

In presenting the Edward Stern Outstanding Achievement Award, the society recognized Cramer’s long-term involvement with the development of X-ray spectroscopy (using X-rays to study materials) and synchrotron radiation.


The American Society of Primatology recently presented its Distinguished Primatologist Award to Professor John P. Capitanio of the Department of Psychology and the California National Primate Research Center.

Capitanio’s research focuses on the links between behavior, personality and health.

The Distinguished Primatologist Award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the study of nonhuman primates. The award includes an invitation to deliver a special address at the society’s next meeting.


The School of Veterinary Medicine recently presented its 2011 Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award to Steve R. Hollingsworth, associate professor of clinical ophthalmology based at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Dean Michael Lairmore made the announcement at the Spring Faculty Reception in June.

Hollingsworth, a graduate of the Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, completed a residency in veterinary ophthalmology at UC Davis and subsequently joined the Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences.

In choosing the recipient of the Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award, the school looks at class syllabi, student evaluations and recommendations from colleagues.

The school specifically cited Hollingsworth for one-on-one mentoring, and his leadership in curriculum development and technology.

Among his teaching materials are instructional videos of surgical procedures and eye examinations that students refer to again and again. He has provided peers and residents with counsel and leadership by example as an active member of multiple curricular review committees and service as “block chief” in the new curriculum.

Read more.


Professor James Wilen has been named a fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economics, in recognition of his theoretical and empirical contributions to renewable resource economics, influence on policy, and impact on the profession through the teaching and mentoring of graduate students.

Wilen, of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, also is a fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, an international research institute under the auspices of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Boom: A Journal of California, edited by UC Davis Professors Carolyn de la Peña and Louis Warren, is among the Library Journal’s picks for “best magazines” of 2011.

Graphic: Boom cover

Summer 2012

The quarterly journal from UC Press debuted in the spring of 2011 as a means of creating dialogue about cultural, social and political issues of the day.

Library Journal praised Boom as “an engaging and visually attractive forum for scholars and artists to describe some of California’s remarkable stories. It brings history and social sciences to life with readable scholarship that will not only please scholars and entertain general readers but also interest patrons well beyond California’s borders.”

De la Peña, professor of American studies and director of the UC Davis Humanities Institute, and Warren, the W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History, said their goal has been to offer scholarly insights on matters of pressing concern in California today, and to enrich public conversations about where the state has been and where it should be going.

They said recognition by the Library Journal suggests what a valuable conversation that is.

Topics in the first five issues included immigration, the natural and built environment, and the state of crisis in California.

Scholarly articles anchor each issue and set the stage for rich images and shorter, often informal works. Boom bridges the gap between scholarly and popular publications, aiming to speak not only to the academic community but to the broader public in California and beyond.

More about Boom, including subscription information.


Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to dateline@ucdavis.edu.

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