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University of California Santa Barbara
Academic Senate Awards

2018-19 Recipients

Faculty Research Lecturer Award

Nelson Lichtenstein - History

Nelson Lichtenstein is a Distinguished Professor in the Dept. of History, and Director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy. Prof. Lichtenstein was selected in recognition of his extraordinary achievements, as one of the most important twentieth century US historians working in any field, with specific contributions to American labor history, global capitalism, and political economy. To quote his Department Chair, Professor Sharon Farmer, “Professor Lichtenstein is anything but an Ivory Tower intellectual. He has earned international acclaim not because his intelligence is wedded to ambition, but because his intelligence and creativity are guided by a deep passion for improving and preserving democracy and economic justice.”

Prof. Lichtenstein received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and then held academic positions American University, Catholic University of America, and the University of Virginia before joining UCSB in 2001.  He is the sole author of four major books,  Labor’s War at Home: The CIO in World War II, The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit: Walter Reuther & the Fate of Amer Labor, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor, and The Retail Revolution: How Wal-mart Created a Brave New World of Business. In addition to these books, his has authored numerous articles, and edited several volumes and book chapters. The themes of Nelson’s work are summarized by Professor Richard Applebaum as follows: “Nelson’s writings on the changing nature of industrial production argue that the predominant mid-20th century model of vertically-integrated, nationally-based manufacturing systems (symbolized, in his formulation, by General Motors) has given way in the 21st century to one of global supply chain outsourcing to independent contractors (symbolized by Walmart). This change, he argues, has had significant implications for working conditions both in the United States and globally: it has greatly weakened the bargaining power of unions, resulting in an erosion of workers’ rights.”

There are numerous testaments to Professor Lichtenstein’s outstanding mentorship record, that includes his PhD students that have gone on to independent academic careers at major universities including Yale, Princeton, Loyola, and University of Chicago to name a few.  

Professor Lichtenstein has served on the editorial board of numerous journals. 
He also served, for several years, on the Committee on the UC Code of Conduct for Trademark Licensees, which develops guidelines to protect workers’ rights and to promote environmental sustainability for retailers/manufacturers who hope to use the UC logo and/or sell in a UC store.  

Since its inception, Professor Lichtenstein has led the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy. This interdisciplinary research and education initiative aims to expand public understanding and discussion of important issues facing working people.

Professor Lichtenstein’s accomplishments have been widely recognized by others at the highest levels. He is an elected member of the Society of American Historians – a select group of 400 academics, journalists, novelists and filmmakers whose “members are elected based on their demonstrated commitment to literary distinction in the writing and presentation of history and biography.” Professor Lichtenstein has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, the University of California Office of the President, the Fulbright Commission and the Oregon Center for the Humanities. From 2009-14, Professor Lichtenstein held a prestigious MacArthur Foundation Chairship, and in 2012, he was awarded the Sol Stetin Award in Labor History by the Sidney Hillman Foundation. In 2016, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Labor and Working Class History Association.  The Academic Senate is proud to recognize the exceptional contributions of Professor Nelson Lichtenstein.  

Faculty Diversity Award

Diane Fujino - Asian American Studies

Diane Fujino is a Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies. She has served previously as Department Chair as well as Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. Her research examines Japanese and Asian American activist history within an Asian American Radical Tradition as shaped by Black Power and Third World decolonization.

Diane’s “diversity contributions center on community engaged scholarship and transformative social justice work in Asian American, Black, and Latinx communities.” Her wide range of diversity efforts have included co-convening a national Asian American activism symposium, developing an Engaged Scholarship initiative, organizing the Ethnic Studies Now! Santa Barbara Coalition, and serving as a board member of La Casa de la Raza. Diane is engaged with diversity from multiple angles and in many different arenas.

Professor Fujino’s letters of nomination describe her as someone who is “passionate about social justice, deeply committed to equality, and truly believes in the upliftment of the underserved”. She is “tirelessly building bridges among many people-of-color and under-represented communities”. Professor Fujino is truly deserving of the inaugural Academic Senate Faculty Diversity Award for her unparalleled “breadth and depth” of diversity work.

Professor Fujino’s commitment to diversity can be best summed up by one of her nominators: “UCSB is very fortunate to have a faculty member whose research, teaching, and service is not only of the highest caliber but is for the sole purpose of making our world a more just place”.

Distinguished Teaching Award

Randalyn F. Browning - Writing Program

For more than 40 years, Randalyn (Randi) Browning has challenged students to do more with writing than they thought or knew that they could. Ms. Browning’s teaching considers literacy development across multiple sites and characteristics that are often held in abeyance from one another. Head and heart, science and art, content and person – Browning draws on and fosters connections between all. This fostering grows out of classes that ask students to challenge themselves, providing carefully structured teaching to guide them along the way. Ms. Browning’s commitment to rigor and support is reflected in her outstanding evaluations and in the lasting relationships she has built with students. As one put it, “my wins are her wins. My successes are the result of her teaching, persistence, her hope, her presence.” For her commitment to a lifetime of working with students to study and practice with writing and for nurturing students as writers, we are pleased to commend Randi Browning with the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Allison M. Horst - Environmental Science and Management

As lecturer in the Bren School, Dr. Allison Horst is a dedicated teacher who has proven to be an invaluable asset to her department with her innovative teaching. Undaunted by a required course that most other instructors found challenging to teach, she redesigned it by identifying topics that are most relevant to environmental professionals and by relating ideas to practical problem-solving experience. Her passion and dedication combined with her innovative teaching has produced astonishing results in terms of "turning the tide" of student motivation and making "one of the most challenging courses at Bren a success story". In support of this nomination, she received glowing letters of support from students who spoke of her as a "once-in-a-lifetime" teacher and who commended her for her "gift for making even the most complex mathematical concepts not only digestible, but fun". We are pleased to recognize Dr. Horst with a Distinguished Teaching Award for her excellence in teaching and inspiring innovation in teaching.

Dana Mastro - Communication

Dr. Dana Mastro’s teaching and research explore how the media portray and influence topics of race, ethnicity, discrimination, and stereotyping. In her teaching philosophy statement, Professor Mastro reflects on her use of “multiple teaching practices that speak to diverse learning styles including interactive sessions, practical activities, and visual illustrations” to present these topics in the classroom. A former undergraduate student lauded Professor Mastro as “one of the most engaging and intellectually stimulating professors I have had.” In addition to teaching, Professor Mastro is a valued mentor for students at all educational levels. She supervises a truly impressive number of undergraduates through independent study projects and honors contracts. At the graduate level, Professor Mastro has an outstanding record of placing advisees in faculty positions at some of the best programs in the country. A former graduate student who is now an assistant professor at a highly-ranked university summed up the powerful impact of Professor Mastro’s teaching and mentorship by saying: “as a student who comes from a background typically underrepresented at all levels of higher education, I consider myself to be exceptionally fortunate that someone like Dr. Mastro believed in my ability to succeed. A belief that was only outmatched by the immeasurable amount of time she invested over four years to assure that I left UCSB as a well-rounded thinker and educator.” We commend Dr. Mastro for her extraordinary teaching, research, and mentorship with the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Mireille Miller-Young - Feminist Studies

Mireille Miller-Young is not afraid to address controversial issues into the classroom or even in print. Nonetheless, her teaching on Love, Romance, Gender and Sexuality has been widely popular and captured the changing face of humanity and distilled it into highly successful undergraduate and graduate classes. As an associate professor, she has been a department and campus leader working tirelessly to focus attention on inclusion and equity on campus. Her former students attest to her ongoing commitment to help them as they navigate personal situations and academic careers. One student remarked that she remembers Prof. Miller-Young’s challenge “to create peace, equality, and inclusivity throughout and across all communities that surround us.” For her commitment to fostering inclusivity and challenging social norms through her teaching and research, we are pleased to award Dr. Miller-Young the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Simone Pulver - Environmental Studies

Dr. Pulver makes use of her broad training in Physics, Sociology, and Environmental Science in her teaching, mentoring, and research. She is a respected interdisciplinary environmental studies scholar, with a record of advising and mentoring numerous undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students across campus including students from departments of Geography, Marine Science, History, and Political Science. She has taken the initiative to innovate in courses like ENVS 106 to implement a case-study approach to teaching. Results of her teaching methods were presented in a paper at a national meeting and a published paper on a teaching case titled “Using System Maps to Analyze Complex Social-Environmental Issues.” As Director of UCSB’s Interdepartmental PhD Emphasis in Environment & Society (IPEES) for 2 years, Dr. Pulver has been heavily involved in teaching and organizing within this program. More recently, she has developed the Environmental Leadership Incubator (ELI) initiative with a project-based course on environmental problem solving which led to major contributions from donors to support the program. Student comments summarize in “Three words for Professor Pulver’s ES 197: Helpful. Positive. Awesome.” We commend Dr. Pulver’s outstanding accomplishments in teaching, mentoring, leadership, and program building with Distinguished Teaching Award.

Heather Royer - Economics

Prof. Heather Royer is modernizing traditional Economics by introducing quantitative methods to the intersection of Social Science and Economics. In a major as large as Economics, her vision is to provide undergraduates with the personalized attention of a small college classroom inside a large research University. Her commitment to bridging undergraduate teaching and research is evident in her creation of economics data hacking events, undergraduate research seminars, support of the Undergraduate Economics Association, and mentoring undergraduates interested in pursuing research conferences. In one instance, she even supported a McNair scholar’s travel to a research conference. For her unconventional approach to engage undergraduate students and prepare them with a diverse set of intellectual tools, we are pleased to recognize Prof. Royer with the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award

Silvia Bermúdez - Spanish and Portuguese

Professor Bermúdez is an internationally recognized scholar of Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies in our Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She has more than 26 years of service at UCSB and since 2000 has Chaired or Co-Chaired 11 completed PhD and 3 MA committees pertaining to Latin American and Iberian Studies. She has served as a member of 31 MA or PhD committees. Prof. Bermúdez’ recommenders uniformly call attention to how she supports students’ entry into academic and professional careers. She is recognized for setting the highest standards for scholarship and publication among her students. Prof. Bermúdez’ students and colleagues all call attention to her availability to aid in critical decision-making and life choices related to academic and professional circumstances as well as her long term concern for their well-being and success.

Karen Nylund-Gibson - Education

Professor Nylund-Gibson is an Associate Professor of Quantitative Methods in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. She is a recognized expert in the development and application of applied latent variable models in Educational and Psychological research. In her 11 years of service at UCSB she has chaired 10 doctoral committees and served on 52 additional PhD committees and 54 MA committees. Her statistical expertise has made her a highly-valued mentor in numerous departments on campus. Prof. Nylund-Gibson’s letters of nomination describe her as a truly exceptional mentor who cares deeply about her students’ development as future scholars, and about them as individuals. As a research advisor, she balances theoretical, computational, and applied aspects of quantitative methods in a way that is accessible to students regardless of their level of prior experience. Prof. Nylund-Gibson is uniformly praised for being a caring and compassionate mentor who can always be trusted to act in the best interests of her students.

Susanne Stemmer - Materials

Professor Stemmer directs an active research group on quantum materials, heterostructures, and advanced structural characterization techniques at UCSB’s Materials department. She is a fellow of the Microscopy Society of America, Materials Research Society, and American Physical Society. In her 16 years at UCSB, Stemmer has chaired 20 PhD committees, served on 22 more, and placed these students at institutions that include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, and the University of Minnesota. Stemmer’s students, former students and colleagues speak unanimously and strongly about her mentoring achievements. Her department chair wrote, “Susanne is known as an advisor who fearlessly takes her students in new directions while instilling confidence in them.” A current student praises her ability to adapt her mentoring approach to different people: “she is able to see what drives someone as a researcher and pushes them in a direction which feeds that drive”.

Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Olga Faccani - Classics

A doctoral candidate in the Classics department, Olga Faccani teaches her classes with the highest expertise, "infectious enthusiasm," and a "genuine sense of care for the wellbeing of her students." One mentor mentions that Olga works especially "hard to engage students who are from backgrounds which have not exposed them to Classics, and in which, sometimes, they have been taught implicitly or explicitly, that Classics is an elite subject and not for them." All three student nominators comment on how Olga "supported [their] academic achievements in Greek Mythology," which led them to pursue more advanced studies in Latin, Greek, and the Classics. One student particularly remembers the impact on him "when she willingly brought in a photocopy of a page of a manuscript of the Odyssey and let us each hold and read it. Not only did she present the manuscript to us, but she then took the time to explain every line within it, even though the material was complicated and hard to understand."     "Ms. Faccani," another student concludes, "created an environment that was as conducive to greater learning and engagement with material as any I have encountered." On behalf of the UCSB Community and Academic Senate, we are delighted to present Olga Faccani with an Outstanding TA Award. 

Ashlee K. Kalauli - Mathematics

A doctoral student in the Mathematics department, Ashlee Kalauli has proven time and again that she is an educator of the highest caliber. Noted as possessing “a natural talent for teaching and mentoring students,” Ashlee is described as “remarkable in every academic standard” and a “role model” by her recommenders and evaluations. One writes, “the students rave about her enthusiasm, her availability, her friendly and engaging personality, and her willingness to answer questions.” Not only is Ashlee able to explain mathematical concepts clearly, effectively, and with great ingenuity, but she possesses the unique capability of sparking the same passion for the subject and love of learning in her students that she herself holds. Ashlee’s seriousness of purpose as both an academic and educator is apparent in her teaching philosophy; her respect for her students and her craft allows the lessons learned to transcend the normal boundaries of the classroom. She writes, “Teaching mathematics is like telling a story... the first day of class or section is the most important as it sets the scene for what can evolve into a storyline with an awakening sense of depth and beauty...Students need to know that there’s something worth seeing in the future and our job, as learners, is to construct a path forward using the tools that we’ve acquired along the way.” Clearly, Ashlee is an exemplary educator and we are delighted to present her with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

Heather C. Macias - Education

As mentioned in her letters from faculty, Heather is a source of creativity and innovation as an educator with a remarkable ability to draw upon a wealth of teaching methods to explore difficult material is exemplary. Faculty have even commented their tendency to listen in on Heather’s TA sessions from time to time to learn from her. Her innovation within the classroom truly inspires others to jumpstart their own creativity and curiosity. Two of her student support letters were from students whom she taught in High School and now at UCSB. She has been a TA for over 13 quarters, not to mention her numerous years of teaching prior to attending UCSB, and her course evaluations emphatically express her enthusiasm for teaching. We are delighted to recognize Ms. Macias with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

Anita Stahl - Feminist Studies

Highly praised by both faculty and her students for her brilliance, creativity, and care, one faculty member noted that in addition to her innovation and compassion in her own classroom, Anita is the graduate student to whom other graduate students go for pedagogical advice, and another praises her ability to allow her research and her teaching to inform each other. A student of Anita's vocalizes her gratitude for creating a "space in which students feel valued and comfortable to communicate" not only with her, but with each other, and praises Anita for introducing her to "concepts [she] did not previously know existed" and for helping the whole class navigate the vital intersections of "race, class, gender, and sexuality." Another student highlight's Anita's innovations with assignments, encouraging students to express themselves visually as well as verbally; truly, this students, says, Anita is the reason she is a Feminist Studies major. We commend Anita with the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award.

Harold J. Plous Award

Douglas McCauley - Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology

We are very pleased to announce that Douglas McCauley has been selected for the 2018-2019 Harold J. Plous Memorial Award. Since arriving at UCSB in 2014, Professor McCauley of the Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology Department, has published or has in press over 40 publications with nine of them appearing in Science and Nature. He has been funded by numerous granting agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). In addition, Professor McCauley has received the meritorious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, one of the most sought-after fellowships available to early-career scholars.

Professor McCauley’s research also has wide interdisciplinary and general audience appeal. He has given talks at numerous academic institutions and private foundations and was invited twice to speak in Davos at the World Economic Forum. He has presented at Secretary of State John Kerry’s Ocean conference in Washington DC and to the US Senate, the Executive Office of the President, the House Ocean Caucus, the Congressional Research Service, the US Department of State and the US Department of Treasury. In fact, his research on marine biodiversity is the subject of a new museum exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, a venue that receives over one million visitors annually.

In January 2015, Professor McCauley published a paper in Science, entitled “Marine Defaunation: Animal Loss in the Global Ocean.” In that paper, Professor McCauley and his coauthors described the loss of species in the oceans and proposed possible solutions. The paper was highly cited in media around the world. The paper became the most read paper published in Science that year. As a result of his work, Marc and Lynne Benioff gifted $10.24 million to UCSB to form the Benioff Ocean Initiative (BOI). Led by Professor McCauley, the BOI crowdsources ideas about identifying and solving problems in the world’s oceans. The BOI has funded a project to study the effect of noise on whale migration in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Professor McCauley also excels at teaching. One comment is representative of those offered by his students: “This class changed the way I think about conservation. . . . It was extremely valuable.” Intrigued by his enthusiasm and the content of his classes, 53 undergraduate students have volunteered to join him in his research. To date, Professor McCauley has 15 publications authored, or co-authored, by undergraduate student mentees.

In light of his contributions to the intellectual life of the UCSB community through his exceptional achievement in research, teaching and service, we are delighted to present the 2018-2019 Harold J. Plous Memorial Award to Professor Douglas McCauley.