Updates on Our Graduates

Recent Alumni News



April 2017 — Jimmy Franco (Ph.D., chemistry, ’08) is an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. As assistant professor there since 2011, Franco was recently granted tenure and promoted. His research focuses on developing new treatments for tuberculosis, histoplasmosis and other diseases, and identifying engaging methods for teaching chemistry and biochemistry. Before joining Merrimack, Franco was a visiting professor at the University of Toledo in Ohio.


April 2017 -  Libby Balter Blume (BA art, 1971) has been awarded fellow status by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). She is a Certified Family Life Educator and professor of psychology at the University of Detroit Mercy. Fellow status is awarded to 3 percent or fewer members of the NCFR.


March 2017Brian Ebbert (B.A., political science-public service, '92) was recently appointed as the Floor Director for California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount). Ebbert is a registered parliamentarian, a longtime Capitol staffer, and serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Cal Aggie Alumni Association


four people standing, smiling, in front of photo exhibiit

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg (J.D., ’84), UC Davis Professors Sudipta Sen (history) and Smriti Srinivas (anthropology), and Lisa Trivedi at the opening of her exhibition of Pranlal Patel's photos.

February 2017 — Lisa Trivedi (Ph.D., history, ’99), a history professor at Hamilton College in New York, curated a Feb. 7 – March 31 exhibition at the Sacramento City Hall of Pranlal K. Patel photographs. Refocusing the Lens features Patel's images of women at work in Ahmedabad, a city in northwest India, in the early 20th century. Trivedi learned about Patel’s photos in 1996 while on a Fulbright Scholarship in Gujarat, India. She worked closely with him for two years before his death to organize the first U.S. exhibition of his work at Hamliton College in 2014. [Watch a video about the exhibition] The UC Davis Middle East/South Asia Studies (ME/SA) Program sponsored the Sacramento showing. Trividi is the author of Clothing Gandhi’s Nation: Homespun and Modern India (Indiana, 2007) and is currently working on a book titled Bound By Cloth: Women Textile Workers in Bombay and Lancashire, 1890-1940


Book cover with dogs in and around lettering of title. Subheading reads: She's stuck on a roller coaster caught in a landslide

February 2017 — Kate (McIlvaine) George (B.A., anthropology, ’96) is the author of the Bree MacGowan mystery series, which started when she took up a dare to write a book. The soon-to-be-released Bohemian Catastrophe brings the series to four novels. The first three titles are Moonlighting in Vermont (2009), California Schemin’ (2011) and Crazy Little Thing Called Dead (2012). You can read about her books and follow her blog on her website. A resident of Vermont, she was recently featured in the Valley News (West Lebanon, New Hampshire). 


book cover with Victorian era portrait of a woman

February 2017 — Cara Anzilotti (B.A., history, ’78), an associate professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, wrote She-Devil in the City of Angels: Gender, Violence, and the Hattie Woolsteen Murder Case in Victorian Era Los Angeles (Praeger, 2016). Her book examines the public reaction to the arrest, trial and acquittal of a woman charged with the 1887 slaying of her married lover. 


cover of book by UC Davis alumnus Steve Cote

Jan. 9, 2016 Steve Cote (Ph.D., history, ’11) has published Oil and Nation: A History of Bolivia’s Petroleum Sector, the inaugural book in West Virginia University Press' new Energy and Society series. Oil and Nation places petroleum at the center of Bolivia’s contentious 20th-century history. Bolivia’s oil, Cote argues, instigated the largest war in Latin America in the 1900s, provoked the first nationalization of a major foreign company by a Latin American state, and shaped both the course and the consequences of Bolivia’s transformative National Revolution of 1952. Oil and natural gas continue to steer the country under the government of Evo Morales. Cote is an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service, stationed at Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay.


book cover with archival photo showing Peruvians in front of a propeller plane

Jan. 9, 2016 — Shelly Mateer (B.A., international relations, ’97) has written three books influenced by her experiences as a CIA officerSingle in the CIA and two volumes in her Mingling in the CIA serieswith another series installment on its way. Learn more about her books and follow her blog at her website


Portrait photo of UC Davis alumnus and University of Washington football coach Chris Petersen

Jan. 4, 2017 — Chris Petersen (B.A., psychology, ’87), head coach of the University of Washington football team, was recently featured in a Washington Post article, "At Washington, Chris Petersen is making noise with a quiet approach." The Dec. 28 story—published a few days before the Huskies lost their first College Football Playoff game to No. 1-ranked University of Alabama—traces Petersen's successful career back to his days at UC Davis, where he played for and assisted legendary coach Jim Sochor. The Post describes Petersen as "one of the best coaches of his era, a West Coast answer to Nick Saban and Urban Meyer." 


Cover for children's book "That Happiness Thing," showing boy on street holding a snow globe

Jan. 4, 2017 — Ken White (B.A., history and English ’72, Cred. ’73), wrote his first children’s book, That Happiness Thing: A Hometown Fable (White & Wilkinson, 2016), a Christmas story that takes place in 1958 Modesto. Prospect Theater Project in Modesto will stage his play, Migrant Mother, from Jan. 13 to Jan. 22. The play depicts the encounter between Florence Owens Thompson and photographer Dorothea Lange, which led to the iconic Great Depression photograph. White's nonfiction book about his hometown of Modesto will be released in spring 2017. 


portrait photo of UC Davis alumnus and Sutter County Judge David Ashby

David Ashby

Jan. 4, 2017David Ashby (B.A., political science, and rhetoric and communication, ’99) was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in December to the Sutter County Superior Court bench. Ashby, 39, of Yuba City, has been an owner and attorney at the Ashby Law Firm since 2002. After graduating from UC Davis, he earned his law degree from UC Berkeley. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Chris Chandler (B.A., English, ’73) last May. A former state Assembly member, Chandler served 23 years on the bench, including a 2006–12 stint as the court's presiding judge. 


portrait photo

Jan. 4, 2017 — C. Matthew Snipp (B.A., sociology, ’74), a sociology professor at Stanford University, was recently appointed by President Barack Obama as a trustee of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of three of the nation's Congressionally chartered colleges. At Stanford, where he has worked since 1996, he is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences and the director of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences’ Secure Data Center. He also serves on the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s Population Science Subcommittee. In addition to his UC Davis degree, Snipp earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.


José Quiñonez

December 2016 — José Quiñonez (Chicano Studies alumnus, ’94), receives a MacArthur "genius" Grant.


book cover with archival photo showing Peruvians in front of a propeller plane

December 2016 — Oxford University Press recently published a book by Willie Hiatt (Ph.D., history, ’09) — The Rarified Air of the Modern: Airplanes and Technological Modernity in the Andes. Based on his dissertation, The Rarified Air traces the development of Peruvian aviation. Hiatt is an associate professor of history at Long Island University’s Post Campus in Brookville, New York.


book cover with illustration of old sailing ships

December 2016 Eva Mehl (Ph.D., history, ’11), an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, wrote Forced Migration in the Spanish Pacific World: From Mexico to the Philippines, 1765-1811 (Cambridge University Press, 2016).


book cover showing Mexican artifact

December 2016 — Christina Bueno (Ph.D., history, ’04) wrote The Pursuit of Ruins: Archaeology, History, and the Making of Modern Mexico (University of New Mexico Press, 2016). She is an associate professor of history and Latino/Latin American studies at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. 


December 2016 — Marc Greendorfer (B.A., economics and psychology, ’86) practices corporate law in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, he established the Zachor Legal Institute, a nonprofit foundation combating the Palestinian-based boycott movement against Israel. He also filed amicus curiae briefs in two U.S. Supreme Court cases — Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby Stores in 2014 (where the court ruled family owned companies cannot be forced to provide contraceptive coverage against their religious beliefs) and Obergefell vs. Hodges in 2015 (which made gay marriage a national right). Language in his second brief was used by Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissent. Greendorfer has had several papers published in prominent law reviews; One article, “The BDS Movement: That Which We Call A Foreign Boycott, By Any Other Name, Is Still Illegal,” was cited by Israel’s Supreme Court in its 2015 decision upholding the nation’s domestic anti-boycott law. 


Cindy (Jones) Derosier

December 2016 — Cindy (Jones) Derosier (B.A., international relations, ’94; Credential, ’95) has a blog called My Creative Life.


cover of book by UC Davis alumnus Tom Garrison showing a canyon

December 2016 — Tom Garrison (M.A., political science, ’76) released Hiking Southwest Utah and Adjacent Areas, Volume Two. The book provides a guide to 25 different hikes, with maps, photos and other details about each hike.