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Spring 2015

University of California, Santa Barbara

Graduate Education

spring 2015 CONTENTS CARLY THOMSEN 2 Matt Cieslak 5 Grad Slam 7 ester Trujillo 8  Michael Towbes 11 Tracy Pintchman 14 Véronique LaCapra 16  Robin Fleming 18 Brent Gaylord, Miguel de Los Rios, and Patrick Johnson 22  Merritt Miller 27 Crossroads 30 By the Numbers 33

ON THE COVER: Carly Thomsen is hooded at the 2014 Graduate Division Commencement ceremony. Credit: Mike Eliason

Message from the Dean Dear Friends of Graduate Education, As I enter my third year as the Dean of the Graduate Division at UC Santa Barbara, it gives me great pleasure to launch our new magazine, UC Santa Barbara Graduate Education, which highlights just a few of the spirited and creative thinkers who make up our graduate student body. While each of the students profiled in the magazine is on a unique path, you will find that they share common elements: dedication to groundbreaking research, invaluable faculty mentorship, and a commitment to using their education for the greater good. These stories show how students transition from their graduate programs into a wide range of careers and how years later their UC Santa Barbara graduate education still shapes their lives. With approximately 3,000 graduate students in 76 programs, our graduate population is vibrant, dynamic, visionary, and invaluable. Their dedication to teaching and cutting-edge research is essential to UC Santa Barbara’s standing as one of the world’s top research institutions. The vitality that graduate students bring to campus helps us to recruit and retain a world-class faculty from across the disciplines, which then cultivates the opportunity, excellence, and innovation that are the hallmarks of a UC Santa Barbara graduate education. UC fees, tuition, and insurance costs have risen more than 200% since 2000, while state support has dwindled. Graduate fellowships, which cover these costs and provide stipends, allow students to give undivided attention to their studies, so they can significantly advance their research and complete their degree programs in an efficient and timely manner. That is why this first issue of our magazine highlights the 25th anniversary of a fellowship endowed by one very special donor, Michael Towbes, whose generosity demonstrates how private philanthropy can profoundly impact our graduate students, not only during their years at UC Santa Barbara, but also across the decades of their lives. The mission of the UC Santa Barbara Graduate Division is to recruit, retain, support, and serve an unparalleled population of graduate students, preparing them for careers at the state, national, and international levels. The Graduate Division represents a strong and close-knit community of graduate students past and present, who are all invested in shaping the future. The Graduate Division is the common point that links the brilliant dreams and extraordinary ideas of current students with visionary supporters and compelling success stories of students past. Be a part of that energy. Engage with the graduate community: read the GradPost Mike Eliason

(, visit the campus, participate in UC Santa Barbara activities hosted in your region, and join friends and alumni in donating to the Graduate Division Fellowship Fund. The envelope included in this magazine makes it easy to mail a check, or donate online at I look forward to your partnership in strengthening our graduate community and in helping to turn their dreams into reality! Warmly,

Carol Genetti Dean, the Graduate Division UC Santa Barbara

Spencer Bruttig


A Distinction of the First Degree Carly Thomsen Makes History as UCSB’s First Recipient of a Ph.D. in Feminist Studies By Patricia Marroquin


ne “provocative, shocking, and maddening” undergraduate class project in Minnesota changed

the path of Carly Thomsen’s life. One university – UC Santa Barbara – and one graduate advisor – UCSB Feminist Studies Professor Leila Rupp – helped to guide her on that new path. The early obstacles and challenges Thomsen encountered only served to fuel her drive to “live and think in feminist ways” and get involved in social justice activism to better society. In June, Carly Thomsen reached a major milestone in

long-haul truck driver father and an elementary school

her journey when she made history as UC Santa Barbara’s

teacher mother, Thomsen enrolled in an undergraduate

first recipient of a doctoral degree in Feminist Studies.

Introduction to Women’s Studies class at St. Cloud State

This summer she began the next leg of that journey by

University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. For the required action

traveling to Houston, where she has accepted a two-year

project, she decided to gather donations for the local

appointment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the

domestic violence shelter.

Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University.

“I could not have anticipated the immense amount

Her UCSB dissertation, “Unbecoming Visibility

of negative feedback and challenges I experienced as a

Politics and Queer Rurality,” explores the estrangement

part of this project,” she said. “I remember wondering,

and tensions among and between LGBTQ (lesbian,

‘Who supports violence against women? Why is calling

gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer) women in

attention to violence controversial and political?’ Through

the Midwest and mainstream gay rights groups. The

questioning the resistance I was experiencing, I began to

dissertation makes a significant and original contribution

develop a feminist consciousness, an alternative way of

to the discipline by questioning some of the accepted

viewing the world. Women’s Studies classes, along with

tenets in the field of queer studies and beyond.

participating in social justice activism, created my original

Thomsen’s research involved a wide base of ethnographic

interest in living and thinking in feminist ways.”

interviews, and a sampling of representative

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and

organizations and practices. Her work was recognized in

Applied Writing with a minor in Women’s Studies from St.

June at Commencement, where she was honored with the

Cloud in 2004; and a master’s degree in Women’s Studies

2014 Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Award for

from the University of Arizona in 2008, Carly headed to

Social Sciences. The award came with a cash prize, and

California. She says she chose UCSB’s Feminist Studies

the dissertation was entered in the Council of Graduate

Department for two reasons: its “stellar faculty” and her

Schools/University Microfilms International competition.

fellowship package. “And I made the right choice,” said

Thomsen, who grew up in “a thoroughly apolitical

Thomsen. “My UCSB Graduate Division Fellowship allowed

family” in the rural South Dakota town of Huron, says

me time to write and publish. And my adviser, Leila Rupp

she can “pinpoint the exact moment that I decided to

[who also serves as Associate Dean of the Social Sciences

become a Women’s Studies student.” Daughter of a

Division of the College of Letters and Science], challenged UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


me in the best ways possible and supported me endlessly. She mentored me extensively through the processes of conceptualizing a dissertation, solidifying external funding, and publishing. She is my role model.” Carly received an impressive array of distinctions at UCSB. She was a semifinalist in the 2014 Grad Slam (the Graduate Division’s threeminute talk competition; see our Grad Slam article on Page 7), and she received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships for her research, teaching, and activism. They included:  The Steve and Barbara Mendell Fellowship in Cultural Literacy,

About the UCSB Feminist Studies Department UC Santa Barbara’s Feminist Studies Department began as the Women’s Studies Program in 1988 when professors came together to

Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life. The fellowship is awarded to outstanding UCSB graduate students in the College of Letters and Science whose research or programs of study advance the goals of broad-based cultural literacy and high ethical standards in our participative democracy.  The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Dissertation

focus on gender, race, class, sexualities,

Fellowship, which supports the final year of dissertation writing for Ph.D.

and nationalities from intersectional

candidates in the humanities and social sciences whose work addresses

and transnational perspectives. The program has more than 50 core and

topics of women and gender in interdisciplinary and original ways.  The Myra Sadker Foundation Teacher Award and grant. The

affiliate faculty members. It is one of

foundation supports educational equity efforts for students and

only three such departments within the

teachers to advance social justice.

University of California system and one

“Each of the research-based awards aided crucially in the

of only 15 or so at public universities

completion of my research,” said Thomsen. “The costs of research can


be very expensive. I drove more than 7,000 miles in a couple of months

The Feminist Studies Department

to interview 50 LGBTQ women in rural South Dakota and Minnesota.

is truly interdisciplinary. Its faculty

Doing so was expensive, but necessary, for my project. Without

associations span many areas of

University of California and external fellowships and grants, this

the humanities and social sciences,

research would have been impossible. Furthermore, it is an expectation

including Sociology, Counseling

that graduate students present our research at conferences. Having

Psychology, Anthropology, Chicana and

greater access to funding for research and conference attendance

Chicano Studies, Black Studies, Political

would help UCSB graduate students both conduct the best research

Science, Linguistics, History, English,

possible and also present our new knowledge to the world.”

Film and Media Studies, History of Art

At Rice University, Thomsen will teach three classes; work on

and Architecture, Music, Asian-American

transitioning her dissertation into a book; and begin her next major

Studies, Religious Studies, East Asian

research project on local food movements in rural places.

Languages and Cultures, French and

Thomsen intends to remain in academia. “I love ideas. I believe

Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, and

in the possibility and necessity of social justice, and I see the types

Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies.

of critical engagement that we teach and use in Feminist Studies

The Feminist Studies graduate

as crucial to creating alternative worlds,” she said. “I love teaching,

program was established in 2009.

researching, mentoring students, writing, and doing activism – and I

The program has three areas of

want to continue to do these things. Landing a tenure-track job at a

emphasis: race and nation; genders

university and in a department that values faculty engagement in each

and sexualities; and productive and

of these areas is my ultimate career goal. I hope to influence my

reproductive labors. The approach is

students as well as the academic fields with which I am in dialogue.”

from intersectional and transnational

Thomsen credits UCSB for its role in helping her along her

perspectives, with a specific focus on

professional path. “The Feminist Studies Department at UCSB has

social justice and public policy.

provided me with immense support, encouragement and inspiration,” she said. “It’s been an amazing place to grow into a scholar.”


Brain Power

Matt Cieslak’s Open Source Software Works to Unravel the Mysteries of the Human Brain

By Patricia Marroquin

Think of the brain as a network of billions of cellular computers, Matt Cieslak tells a fascinated audience Artwork by Peter Allen

at the Finals competition of the Graduate Division’s national award-winning Grad Slam in April. The “processors” in the brain’s gray matter communicate through cellular wires known as axons that route through white matter. But studying white matter has been “incredibly difficult,” he tells the crowd, because an MRI scan displays this complex tissue as “a big blob of white pixels.” That’s where Matt and other researchers come in. UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


Cieslak hopes to use this new technology to answer some of the big questions in neuro anatomy. For example, he and other researchers want to look at stroke patients’ injuries to tailor their rehabilitation to their specific deficits. They want to discover what makes one person a right-hander and another a lefty. They want to be able to search an injured athlete’s brain to find out if there’s a concussion, and if so, the athlete can be kept on the bench to prevent further damage. Matt, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Computational Mike Eliason

Neuroscience from the University of Chicago in 2009, began his college education studying brain power of a different sort: philosophy. But he eventually switched to psychology, and his interests expanded, first to cognitive Matt Cieslak has developed a software platform that collects and analyzes human wiring data.

neuroscience and then to computational neuroscience. He credits excellent mentors

Cieslak, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Department

“Those talks are what inspired me to get into

are utilizing recent advances in neuroimaging to look into

research,” he said. At a conference in 2009, Matt met

this “blob of white pixels” and reconstruct the pathways

Santa Barbara cognitive neuroscientist and former

of these wires through the brain. The colorful images

UCSB postdoc Craig Bennett, who recommended UC

allow researchers to identify specific connections that

Santa Barbara to him. “I was already familiar with Scott

have been disrupted by disease, such as epilepsy, stroke,

Grafton’s work, but Craig’s description of the lab was

and tumors; or injury, such as MTBIs (mild traumatic

what made me really want to come here.”

brain injuries, or concussions). Matt works with his advisor, Professor Scott Grafton,

Cieslak’s dissertation research is actually unrelated to the imaging methods project. “We very recently

the director of UCSB’s Brain Imaging Center; and other

developed a technique for measuring cardiac output

interdisciplinary collaborators from such departments as

while simultaneously acquiring functional MRI. This

Computer Science; Engineering; and Speech & Hearing

means we can see how changes in brain activity relate to

Sciences; as well as researchers from Carnegie Mellon

changes in the autonomic nervous system (which controls

and Army Research Labs.

the ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ response),” he explains. “I’m

Matt has developed a software platform that collects

studying how the body prepares itself for a high-stakes

and analyzes human wiring data. It examines the brain

action. The brain should be telling the heart to send blood

looking for missing or misshapen wires. “My algorithm

and oxygen to muscle tissue so it has plenty of resources

works by searching through the entire brain, comparing

to work with. What we find instead is that sometimes

either a test individual or a test group to all of the other

high-stakes situations make people feel threatened –

individuals in the database,” he says. For example,

resulting in the heart and veins reducing peripheral blood

he studied a group of individuals who likely have an

flow in preparation for a perceived imminent injury. I

abnormality in the brain’s speech wiring that results in

hope to characterize the process in the brain responsible

stuttering, against a control group. “What we found,” he

for estimating whether it needs to prepare for maximum

says, “was that many parts of this pathway were missing

muscle output or brace the muscles for disaster.”

in the adults who stutter and present in the age-matched controls.” 6

who encouraged him to go to talks and work in labs.

of Psychological and Brain Sciences, is among those who

Cieslak sees his research as important for two reasons. “The first is the obvious one: The more we know

Quick Thinking

about the brain, the better. The other is that the software we’ve developed over the course of the project is free

Annual Grad Slam Three-Minute Talk Competition Gives Graduate Students a Showcase for Their Important Ideas

and open source, available to anyone to download and use, as long as they also make their changes to it freely available.” The ability to contribute that open source software back to the neuroimaging community is one of the most satisfying parts of his research. “This work wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for others who have

Encapsulating years of complex research into

already contributed software,” he says.

a three-minute talk for a general audience can be

The beauty of the human brain continually fascinates

a daunting task. But UC Santa Barbara’s graduate

Matt. “The most striking thing for me still is looking at the

students have risen to the challenge as participants

reconstructions of white matter tracts,” he says. “With

in the Graduate Division’s award-winning Grad Slam

such high-resolution scans, you can really appreciate how


complex and beautiful the organization of the brain is.”

The Grad Slam, launched at UCSB in Spring 2013,

To some extent, Cieslak says, he fits the stereotype

is a campus-wide competition for the best three-

of a computer nerd. “Computer programming is both

minute presentation by a graduate student. The

a hobby and a large part of my work,” he says. “I have

competition is intended to give graduate students

a couple of other hobbies, too, though, including

the opportunity to articulate to the broader campus

motorcycling, cooking, and krav maga.”

community an important idea in a succinct fashion.

Matt says that “working with really smart people

In 2013, more than 80 students gave

and having access to the lab’s excellent resources” are

presentations in preliminary rounds of competition

the most rewarding aspects of his research. He also

that culminated in the Finals, where the Grand Prize

considers himself fortunate to have Dr. Grafton as an

winner, Materials Ph.D. student Peter Mage, received

advisor. Professor Grafton, he says, “stays on top of

a $2,500 research award. That inaugural competition

new developments in the field and encourages us to

earned the national Award for Excellence and

incorporate them into our research projects.”

Innovation in Graduate Education from the Western

Cieslak hopes to continue doing research after

Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and the

earning his doctorate, which he expects to receive in 2016.

Educational Testing Service (ETS). UC Santa Barbara’s

“As long as I have an interesting problem to work on and

Grad Slam was such a hit that other institutions,

lots of data to look at, I could be happy almost anywhere.”

including UC San Diego and UC Riverside, have followed suit with their own Grad Slam contests. In 2014, dozens of graduate students participated in 10 preliminary rounds, two semifinal rounds, and one Finals competition. The 10 finalists included Matt Cieslak, featured here, whose talk was titled “Searching for Missing Parts in the Brain.” The Grand Prize winner of the $2,500 research award was first-year Marine Science grad student James Allen for his presentation, “Measuring Cells from Space.” The annual Grad Slam is the centerpiece of the Patricia Marroquin

Graduate Division’s Graduate Student Showcase,

Graduate Division Dean Carol Genetti with the Grad Slam 2014 winners: James Allen, center, Grand Prize winner; and runners-up Damien Kudela and Deborah Barany.

events held each spring that are designed to bring UC Santa Barbara’s remarkable graduate students out of their labs, classrooms, and studios, to give them a spotlight and to celebrate their accomplishments. – Patricia Marroquin

UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


Patricia Marroquin


Out of the Shadows Grateful Fellowship Recipient Ester Trujillo Works to Elevate the Image of Salvadoran-Americans While Paying It Forward By Patricia Marroquin


ster Trujillo wants to bring out of the shadows a population she calls largely invisible: U.S. residents

of Salvadoran descent. It saddens her to see this ethnic group portrayed as primarily impoverished, undocumented gang members. Through her Ph.D. research, Ester wants to show “there is so much more to Salvadorans than that.” By her own excellent example of scholarship, volunteerism, and giving back, Ester is also demonstrating this. Ester, a UC Santa Barbara doctoral candidate in

diversity and history to other Latinos – El Salvador’s

Chicana and Chicano Studies, earned her bachelor’s

history of war and poverty has resulted in large-scale

degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies, with a minor in

displacement of the population in modern times. Through

Political Science, from UCLA in 2010; and her master’s

her work, she hopes to counter the media’s negative

degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies from UCSB in 2012. The East Los Angeles native, the oldest of three siblings, is the first in her family to go

perceptions of this group and to show its diversity. As immigrants, Trujillo’s parents never fail to remind Ester how privileged she is to live and thrive

to college in the United States, and the first

in the U.S. Her mother, who escaped the Salvadoran

to go to graduate school. Often mistaken for

civil war, told young Ester stories of walking for miles

Mexican-American, Ester has roots in more

each morning to get to and from school, passing

than one culture: Her mother, Febe, is from

bullet-riddled buildings and streets strewn with

San Salvador; and her father, Rafael, is from Michoacan, Mexico. Trujillo’s UCSB dissertation research focuses on

the dead. And her father, who was educated in mechanical engineering in Mexico but unable to make a living at it there because of the economy, sewed

the impact immigrant histories and ethnic labeling

buttons on clothing at a textile factory to put food on the

practices have on second-generation Salvadoran-descent

table for his family when they emigrated to the U.S.

undergraduates and recent graduates of UCSB and UCLA.

Today, Ester’s parents, who are now U.S. citizens,

Southern California Latinos, she says, “are homogenized

own a small produce wholesale warehouse in downtown

under a pan-ethnic umbrella that obscures generation,

Los Angeles, where they put in 16-hour days at a

immigrant cohort, country of origin, class, race, and

business they have run for more than two decades. As

language practices among different groups. My broader

a child, Ester worked many hours at the Trujillo Produce

goal is to analyze the diasporic connections children of

warehouse over school breaks, hauling boxes and

immigrants have to their parents’ homeland. I want to

tending to customers.

know how diasporic connections influence pan-ethnic constructions of ethno-racial identity.” The Salvadoran civil war raged from 1980 to 1992,

She considers herself fortunate to be pursuing her graduate education at UCSB. “I am lucky to study in a unique interdisciplinary department that allows me to

and today, the population of Salvadoran-descent

do the research I need to do,” Ester says. That research

residents in the U.S. numbers close to 2 million, she says.

has involved leaving the Santa Barbara campus recently

“The Salvadoran population poses an interesting case of

to return to Los Angeles, where she is collecting data

variegated migrant histories among U.S. Latinos,” Ester

through interviews.

says, because – although there are similarities in racial

The interviews have highlighted some patterns in UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


“Everything that I am is bolstered by the efforts of countless others. In turn, my duty is to pay those investments forward to others.” – Ester Trujillo ethnic and racial label choices. “Although ‘Latino’ is an ethnic category and not a racial category, SalvadoranAmericans are inclined to select it when asked what their racial background is,” Ester says. “Their explanations for this choice reveal a negotiation between affirmative affinity and a non-belonging or rejection of Mexican identity. Both of these components appear to contribute to the development of Salvadoran-American ethnic identity.” Trujillo says her graduate education would not have been possible without the funding and other support she has received along the way. She is a two-time recipient of the Graduate Division’s Graduate Opportunity Fellowship and a three-time recipient of the Social Science Research Council Graduate Studies Enhancement Grant. Ester has won a dissertation research grant from the UCSB Chicana and Chicano

Studies Institute; and a conference travel grant from the UCSB Graduate Students Association. Funding benefits Ester in multiple ways. “When I receive a monetary award, it makes me feel that other people believe in my research as much as I do and that they believe it is important, just as I do. Beyond validation, receiving grants and fellowships has been my lifeline and has prevented me from going into crippling debt. I have witnessed many of my student colleagues go in debt into the six figures and I feel grateful that I have the tools to apply for funding opportunities and the qualifications and passion to win a few of the competitions.” Ester believes strongly in giving back and paying it forward. She has become involved with the alumni network of her alma mater, Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles; and has volunteered at SALEF, the Salvadoran American Leadership & Educational Fund, which helps high school students achieve a clearer pathway to higher education. She is proud of helping her younger sister, Lily, gain acceptance letters to several prestigious universities, including Boston College and Brown University. “Seeing Lily flourish and gain full-ride admissions to a number of those schools was a very proud moment for our entire family,” says Ester. “Now I am looking at ways to help other young family members and youth from my former high school and neighborhood understand how to navigate the college application process on my free time, assisting through alumni networks and through SALEF.” Trujillo’s goals are to teach, research, and write within an R-1 institution. She says she hopes to inspire her students, and that they will in turn inspire others. Ester knows that her achievements have come about through the help of others. “I think that being successful in any walk of life requires both opportunities and the skill sets to take advantage of the opportunities,” she says. “I would not be ready to take some opportunities if it were not for the skill sets instilled in me by streams of mentors, networks, teachers, peers, and kin. Many people have helped me out in almost every dimension of what I have accomplished so far. At some point in my life, someone helped me learn how to walk, speak, write, navigate college, apply to graduate school, publish my research. Everything that I am is bolstered by the efforts of countless others. In turn, my duty is to pay those investments forward to others. Someone helped me and I am meant to help someone else.”

The Trujillo family celebrated with Ester in 2012 when she received her master’s degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies from UCSB.


Michael Towbes

Generous Graduate Fellowship Donor Works Hard, Gives Back, and Solves Problems in the Community By Patricia Marroquin

arrie Towbes cannot remember a time when Tony Mastres


her parents, Michael and Gail Towbes, weren’t focused on giving back. “In the ’60s and ’70s, when my father was working hard to build his construction and development business, he and my mother gave back through volunteerism,” she said. “At this time, they really did not have the financial resources to support organizations and causes financially, so they gave their time instead.” The couple served on boards and volunteered at their two daughters’ Santa Barbara schools. “They weren’t flashy about it, and they didn’t give in order to get awards

or accolades,” says Carrie. “They just did it because it helped people and it helped solve problems in the community.” Today, more than 50 years later, 85-year-old Michael Towbes – chairman and owner of both Montecito Bank & Trust and The Towbes Group; and founder of the philanthropic Towbes Foundation – is still helping people and solving problems in the community. He continues to embrace the philosophy, “Work hard and give back.” His financial success has made it possible for Towbes and his businesses to donate millions of dollars to such causes and initiatives as the Granada Theatre renovation, the Santa Barbara Foundation, and Montecito Bank & Trust’s Community Dividends program, in which $1 million goes to local nonprofits annually. Among Towbes’ generous contributions to UC Santa Barbara is the endowed Louis H. Towbes Graduate Fellowship, which supports at least one graduate student each year. It was more than 25 years ago that Towbes decided he wanted to make a significant gift to UC Santa Barbara. He had been on the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board, serving a term as its president. Towbes, who was a friend of then-Chancellor Robert Huttenback, asked the chancellor what kind of gift

The Louis H. Towbes Graduate Fellowship is named after Michael Towbes’ father, who loved to fish.

UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Towbes earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Princeton University. He attended MIT for graduate school but didn’t earn a degree there. “I decided I didn’t want to spend my life as an engineer,” he said. During the Korean War, Towbes enlisted in the Navy because it had a civil engineering department. “They sent me to officer’s training school and then to Point Mugu [in Ventura County], and that’s how I got to California,” he said. That’s also how he came to meet and marry his first wife, Gail. The Navy sent Towbes back to Washington, D.C., to the Bureau of Yards and Docks. Upon his release from Tony Mastres

the service, the couple returned to California. After working briefly for a general contractor, Towbes formed a business partnership with a friend of his parents, Eli Michael Towbes with his daughter Carrie Towbes, left, and wife Anne.

Luria. The partners started building houses in West Los Angeles, then headed up north in the late 1950s during a housing boom. Their successful partnership, in which

he could make that would be the most helpful to the

Luria “was the artist, and I was the engineer,” continued

university. Chancellor Huttenback suggested setting up a

into the 1960s, he said. Towbes considered Luria, who

graduate fellowship program.

died in 2006, a mentor. “He was not only a great real

The chancellor “was well aware that the quality of

Of the people who have influenced me, it would be Eli

university,” Towbes said. “He said it was an area that not

more than anyone else.”

too many people had thought about in terms of specific

Towbes went on to start his own development and

donations. I agreed that it was a great idea, so that’s what

property management company, the Towbes Group, in the

I did.”

1960s. The company builds residential, commercial, and

Towbes understood that recruiting top graduate

industrial properties in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo,

students is a competitive process, and often the deciding

and Ventura counties. The Towbes Group has developed

factor on whether to enroll is the financial aid that a

more than 6,000 residential units and 1.4 million square

university can offer. “In order to get the best possible

feet of commercial properties in the Tri-County area. Like

graduate students, I wanted to provide some financial

Towbes himself, the company is grounded in a spirit of

assistance that UC Santa Barbara could offer to them

philanthropy, consistently giving back to the communities

to encourage them to come here,” he said. “People who

where its employees live, work, and play.

want to support universities frequently tend to support

Towbes founded what is today Montecito Bank &

the professors. But it’s the graduate students who really

Trust on March 17, 1975, on the belief that a local bank

are a very important part of the team. So I felt it was

should provide high-level personalized financial services

probably an area where there was not as much support

while continually reinvesting in the communities it serves.

as there should be.”

It has nine branch locations in Santa Barbara and Ventura

“His decision to fund graduate education reflects his general pragmatism,” says daughter Carrie. “He just wanted to meet a need that the university felt was important.” Towbes established and endowed the Louis H. Towbes Graduate Fellowship to honor his father, an


estate developer, but he was also a great philanthropist.

graduate students is so important to the strength of the

counties. Towbes takes great pride in a philanthropic program he initiated at the bank, Community Dividends, now in its 12th year. The President and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust,

attorney and developer who died when Michael was 30

Janet Garufis, says: “Community Dividends was Mr.

years old. Michael would end up becoming a successful

Towbes’ vision. He created an opportunity for Montecito

developer himself.

Bank & Trust to give back to our communities in a highly

impactful way. He changed the structure of the business

support the next generation,” Towbes says.

from a C-Corp to an S-Corp so that we could give $1 million

He also advises students to be open to unexpected

to our nonprofit partners every year. And he continues to

situations and challenges. “Keep your head up and your

be the heart of the program. He reviews the list of more

eyes open because opportunities come along and if you

than 300 Community Dividends applicants annually and

walk through life looking at the tops of your shoes, you’re

approves every gift.”

going to miss a lot of great opportunities,” he tells them.

Another initiative he is proud of is the bank’s

“I think it’s very important to keep aware of what’s going

Anniversary Grants program, in which all of the bank’s

on in the world and when opportunities come along, take

employees nominate and choose the nonprofits to be

advantage of them.”

awarded grants. Its name comes from the fact that the

Montecito Bank & Trust CEO Garufis has learned

program is conducted annually around March 17, the

much about philanthropy from her boss. “I’ve learned

date the bank opened.

that being a philanthropist requires significantly more than writing a check,”

and Gail (who passed

she says. “He makes

away in 1996) instilled

it look so easy.

a spirit of giving in

But, to do it well

daughter Carrie,

requires thoughtful

a licensed clinical


psychologist in Santa

knowledge of the

Barbara specializing

organization, and

in the assessment and

an understanding

treatment of children

of the impact the

and their families.

organization has on the

“I have gained a deep appreciation for philanthropy from my father and continue the tradition of giving

Tony Mastres

Both Michael

constituency it serves, relative to all the

A highlight for both Michael Towbes and the Fellows is an annual luncheon hosted by the Graduate Division.

other organizations. Philanthropy requires making hard choices

to my community,” said Dr. Towbes. “This tradition is

about where gifts will have the most impact. And then,

something I am passing on to my children. I try to keep

sometimes, you give just because it makes you feel good

my focus on areas that I have some knowledge about,

to do it!”

including mental health, services for young children, and

Towbes sees education as the gift that keeps on

education. My husband [John Lewis] and my children

giving. “One of the reasons that I’m so supportive of

[Allison Lewis Towbes, 18, and Zachary Lewis Towbes,

education is it’s something you have all your life. You can’t

15] are also actively engaged in community service and

take that away from people. And there aren’t too many

philanthropy. By giving back, we feel that we help make

things you can give to people that are good for a lifetime,”

our community stronger and more vibrant.”

he says.

With few exceptions, Michael and his wife, Anne

He adds: “We are so fortunate to live in a place like

Smith Towbes, whom he married in 2005, prefer to give

Santa Barbara. And I think one way or another we can all

locally. It gives them great pleasure to see firsthand

leave Santa Barbara a better place than we found it.”

how their philanthropy is helping individuals and the

What will be Towbes’ lasting legacy? Garufis says, “Mr.

community at large. One highlight for Towbes is the

Towbes will be remembered for many things: a successful

opportunity to meet UCSB’s Towbes Fellows at an annual

developer, a visionary, a businessman. But I believe that

luncheon hosted by the Graduate Division.

his lasting legacy will be as a philanthropist. Not only has

When he meets with students, he encourages them

he dedicated his treasure, his time, and his expertise, but

to give back. As a result of someone else’s generosity, he

he has also mentored and guided others to do the same.

tells them, they have been able to maximize their talents.

The impact on his community is immeasurable.”

So if they are ever in a position to do so, “it’s important to UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


Towbes’ First Fellow, 1992 Ph.D. Alumna Tracy Pintchman

Religious Studies Professor, Goddess Guru, and Grateful Award Recipient By Patricia Marroquin


he goddesses were smiling on Tracy Pintchman back in 1992 when she

earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara. The native New Yorker had written her dissertation on the historical evolution of a Great Goddess figure in orthodox Hindu texts. Even before she finished it, a publisher, SUNY Press, expressed interest in turning it into a book. “I had a book contract within nine months of finishing my Ph.D.,” Dr. Pintchman said in referring to what would become the 1994 book, “The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition.” Pintchman was doing the right research at the right time. “As one of the peer reviewers noted,” she said, “in the early 1990s, goddess studies were ‘a growth industry.’” The female deity she wrote about proved to be a

wanted to pursue her Ph.D. in the discipline, her advisor

cash from the book deal. This research as well as her

suggested UC Santa Barbara. “I applied to Religious

other excellent doctoral work at UC Santa Barbara, aided

Studies Ph.D. programs at just two universities, Harvard

by an endowed Louis H. Towbes Graduate Fellowship,

and UCSB,” Pintchman said. “While I was accepted to

also helped lead to a job offer of a tenure track position at

both, the funding I received at UCSB was much more

Loyola University Chicago before she completed her Ph.D.

robust than what Harvard offered. I liked both programs,

Pintchman grew up in New York’s Westchester County in a largely secular Jewish family, the youngest of three daughters. Tracy had no ties to Chicago when she headed to Loyola in 1992, and she had not imagined staying in the Windy City more than a few years. But today, 22

but getting the Towbes Fellowship support at UCSB was for me the deciding factor.” Pintchman was the first Louis H. Towbes Fellow, in the 1987-88 academic year. Soon after coming to Santa Barbara, Pintchman was

years later, Pintchman is still at Loyola University Chicago,

fortunate to meet Michael Towbes and his late wife, Gail,

as a Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the

for lunch, where they discussed a mutual interest in music.

International Studies Program. She has won teaching

“The fellowship supported me fully for four years

awards; and has written, edited, or co-edited seven books.

through teaching and research assistantships,” Pintchman

Married for 19 years to another Loyola professor,

said. “I took one year off in the middle of my Ph.D.

Dr. William C. French in Theology, whom she met shortly

program to study in India, and that year was supported

after moving to Chicago, Pintchman has two children:

by a different fellowship. So I was able to complete my

Noah French, 12, and Molly French, 14.

doctoral program in five years without having to take out

If not for a Towbes Fellowship – which is marking


from Boston University in 1987. When she decided she

“green” goddess for Pintchman, as it earned her some

any student loans or work at McDonald’s.”

more than 25 years of awards to UCSB students –

While studying at UCSB, Pintchman’s “work-life

Pintchman probably would have gone to Harvard.

balance” skewed heavily toward the “work” side, by her

She earned her master’s degree in Religious Studies

own choosing.

“The professors in the Religious Studies Department

Financial awards helped her achieve that goal.

were fabulous teachers and mentors,” she said. “I did

“Graduate fellowships like the Towbes Fellowship can

coursework the first two years, and I remember I was

help attract hardworking, committed graduate students

studying or writing papers much of the time. After I

and enable them to finish their programs in a timely

returned from my year in India, I spent two years writing

manner with minimal distraction,” she said. “Fellowship

my dissertation. So I didn’t have much time to enjoy living

support is probably more important in humanities

in Santa Barbara.”

doctoral programs than in many other kinds of graduate

Only a month before leaving California for Chicago,

programs. Professors in the humanities do not earn the

she went swimming at a Santa Barbara beach for the first

kinds of substantial salaries commanded by lawyers,

time. “My dissertation was done at that point, so I decided

business professionals, scientists, or medical doctors,

it was OK to have a little fun,” she said.

so completing graduate studies somewhat quickly and

At Loyola University Chicago, Pintchman specializes

without taking on a great deal of debt is important.”

in the study of Hinduism, with a focus on gender issues,

Pintchman also attributes her career success to her

Goddess traditions, and Hindu women’s rituals. She has

UCSB professors. “The outstanding scholars in the Religious

held grants from the American Academy of Religion,

Studies Department set the standard when I was there, and

American Institute of Indian Studies, and the National

I simply tried to do what they were doing. I learned how to

Endowment for the Humanities. In addition to Loyola, she

teach by watching great teaching in action,” she said.

has also taught at Northwestern and Harvard universities.

Pintchman has some simple advice for grad

She’s currently doing research for a book on transnational

students. “Stay focused, work hard, and don’t get

influences on a Hindu Goddess temple in Michigan.

distracted by department politics,” she said. “Watch

For some, career paths take twists and turns in new

what the best professors in your department do in the

and unexpected directions. But not for Pintchman, who

classroom, and read what they write. Remember that

knew exactly what she wanted to do when she was a

a dissertation doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to

graduate student.

be done if you are to ever get out of graduate school

“My goal then was to do pretty much what I have been doing for the last 22 years: to work as a professor in

and start your career. So just do it. And maybe go to the beach more than I did.”

a university setting where I could teach, write, and think.” Dr. Tracy Pintchman visits the Parashakthi Temple in Pontiac, Michigan, in July 2013 with her family: husband Dr. William C. French; son Noah French; and daughter Molly French. Dr. Pintchman is writing a book about the temple.

UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


Towbes Fellow and 2000 Ph.D. Alumna Véronique LaCapra

Public Radio Journalist for NPR Affiliate Is a Science Storyteller By Patricia Marroquin


éronique LaCapra has gone to great lengths for her career, both literally and figuratively. The UC Santa

Barbara Ph.D. alum traveled for days – catching three flights, hopping on a ferry, and riding in a pickup – to reach the Galapagos Islands, where she followed two field scientists doing research into avian malaria. She toured a “honeymoon resort” for slimy salamanders built at the St. Louis Zoo to help them breed. And she donned hospital scrubs to witness kidney-pancreas transplant surgery on a Type 1 diabetic. Whether she’s in a field, a zoo, or an operating


It was the environment, not journalism, that first

room, Dr. LaCapra – a 1992 Louis H. Towbes Graduate

captivated LaCapra during her childhood years in

Fellowship recipient who earned her Ph.D. in Ecology,

Cambridge, Massachusetts, and abroad. “We spent

Evolution, and Marine Biology from UCSB in 2000 – gets

many summers visiting my mother’s family in [Auxerre]

to tell compelling stories in her “never boring” career as

France,” said LaCapra, who grew up bicultural and

a science, environment, and health reporter for St. Louis

bilingual. “My mother loved being out in nature, and we

Public Radio, a local NPR affiliate station.

spent a lot of time outdoors.”

An inquisitive

But she stayed a

Véronique “brought my

while, until she “eventually

mom home tadpoles,

got burned out on the

caterpillars, earthworms

politics of working for a

– and eventually a Ph.D.

regulatory agency,” she

in ecology and evolution,”

said. “And I also realized I

LaCapra wrote in her

wanted to put my lifelong

Galapagos piece.

love of writing toward something more creative

There were several

than government reports!”

factors that played into her decision to pursue that

She considered

Ph.D. at UC Santa Barbara.

pursuing environmental writing. “Almost by

LaCapra earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and biology from Cornell

Reporter Véronique LaCapra, wearing hospital scrubs, holds a microphone to record a double transplant operation.

accident,” she said, “I ended up taking a writing for radio class. I loved

University in New York, and knew she wanted to study

the class, and went from there to a couple of audio

ecology in grad school. “But I wasn’t sure how I wanted

documentary production workshops. After those, I was

to specialize within that field, so I applied to quite a


few graduate schools,” LaCapra said. “I was interested

Her supervisor at the EPA allowed her to spend

in marine biology and aquatic ecology in general, and I

four months working as a radio reporter at the Voice

hoped to do fieldwork overseas. As someone who had

of America (VOA). Continued freelance work at VOA led

grown up in Boston and gone to undergrad at Cornell, I

to her landing the job she has now, as a radio science

wanted to try living on the West Coast for a while.”

journalist. In addition to airing on St. Louis Public Radio,

She chose UCSB, first and foremost, she said, because of its attractive financial package that included a

LaCapra’s work regularly airs nationally on NPR. What LaCapra enjoys most about the job she has

Towbes Fellowship. “The financial package I was offered

held since February 2010 is the variety of assignments

was one of the main factors that made me choose UCSB

she undertakes. “I like that I get to cover a wide range

over the other graduate programs I was accepted into.

of topics – everything from new science research, to

Thanks to the fellowship, and subsequent research

health and environmental policy, to agriculture and

and teaching assistant positions, I was able to get my

biotechnology. Every day is different, and it’s never

graduate degree without incurring any debt at all.”

boring. I love the craft of radio.”

Another lure for LaCapra was the opportunity to do

Her storytelling work has taken her all over the map

fieldwork in Brazil under UCSB Professor John Melack.

to interview people from all walks of life – surgeons to

And a third reason to leave Cornell for California, she

sewer district supervisors. She attributes her graduate

said, was that “Santa Barbara is a beautiful place!”

education at UCSB for helping to prepare her.

LaCapra’s dissertation involved research into

“Having a background in science has helped me earn

floodplain water chemistry in burned and unburned

the respect and trust of both the scientists I interview and

areas of the Pantanal wetland of Brazil. This research fed

of listeners,” she said. “I think I approach journalism like

into her love of exploring different parts of the world.

a scientist, in a way – I do my research and strive to be as

When nearing the end of her graduate studies, LaCapra thought she might want to work for a big

accurate in my reporting as I possibly can be.” For LaCapra, the rewards of the job come from

environmental organization such as the World Wildlife

feedback she receives from both her interview subjects

Fund or Conservation International. But when offered

and listeners. “I love when someone tells me: ‘You know,

a position as a pesticide regulator at the Environmental

I didn’t think I’d be interested in that topic, but your story

Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C., she took it,

made me keep listening!’”

figuring she might move from there to one of those big non-governmental organizations. UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015



‘Genius’ Storyteller History Ph.D. Alumna Robin Fleming, Winner of the Prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Is Dedicated to Uncovering Previously Untold Stories By Patricia Marroquin


Illustrious Grad Alums very person deserves to have their story told,

Robin Fleming believes. In her own life story, one chapter stands out. It was a defining moment that day on the beach at Campus Point in the late 1970s. The UCSB undergrad was studying medieval

Our UC Santa Barbara graduates have gone on to successful careers in academia, industry, government, and nonprofits. Armed with the skills and knowledge they acquired at

history under visiting Professor Denis Bethell at

UCSB, these graduate alums

the time, and the assignment was to read a book

are now leaders and mentors

by the famous early medieval historian and English monk known as the Venerable Bede.

of the highest caliber in local communities, in states throughout the nation, and

“I brought my copy of the Venerable Bede to the

elsewhere in the world. In the

beach,” recalled the San Francisco Bay Area native. “And I

following pages, we highlight

read about 8th century England. That was it – I was totally

a few of these bright and

hooked. I think I’m the only early medieval historian who

exceptional UC Santa Barbara

ever got hooked by reading Bede on the beach.”

grad alumni.

These days Dr. Fleming’s study space is no longer the Santa Barbara sand but rather an office at Boston College, where the UCSB Ph.D. alumna has been a history professor for a quarter century. And that passion for medieval history she has pursued all these years has earned the History Department Chair a prestigious $625,000 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, commonly known as a “Genius” grant.  UCSB alumna Dr. Fleming (BA, History, 1977; Ph.D., History, 1984) – whose research and teaching specialties are early medieval Britain and material culture – is one of 24 Americans selected as 2013 recipients of this honor, issued annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Foundation website states that the “no strings attached” fellowship “is a five-year grant to individuals who show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future. The fellowship is designed to provide recipients with the flexibility to pursue their creative activities in the absence of specific obligations or reporting requirements. There are no limits on age or area of activity.” Dr. Fleming joins other UCSB graduate alumni who have won the MacArthur “Genius” award, including MIT Professor Angela Belcher (BA, Creative Studies, 1991; Ph.D., Chemistry, The MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship will allow History Professor Robin Fleming the time and freedom to pursue her research. Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


1997), a 2004 honoree; Dr. Edith Widder (MS, Biochemistry, 1977; Ph.D., Neurobiology, 1982), President and Senior Scientist at Ocean Research & Conservation Association (ORCA), a 2006 recipient; and the founder of Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy in Goleta, teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer (BS, Physics, 1996; MS, Mechanical Engineering, 1998; and M.Ed., Education, 2001), a 2010 winner. Because individuals can’t apply for the MacArthur grant and both the nominators and the judging committee are kept secret, the phone call to inform Dr. Fleming that she had won came as a surprise. “I actually thought I was getting an obscene phone call,” she recalled. “Because the person said: ‘Can we speak confidentially?’” She spent the rest of the day wondering if she had imagined the episode, but when she received hard-copy confirmation of her selection the next day, she knew it was real. At Boston College, Dr. Fleming teaches courses on late-Roman and early medieval history; the Vikings; ancient and medieval historical writing; and material culture. Her recent book, “Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise of the Middle Ages,” takes a look at Britain in the century before and after the fall of Rome, examining how Roman ways of life, status, identity, and burial changed in the wake of the Roman economy’s collapse and the unraveling of ties to the wider Roman world. Dr. David Marshall, Executive Vice Chancellor of UC Santa Barbara, Professor of English and Comparative Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Literature, and previously the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, praised UCSB’s History Department as well as the honoree.

“We take special pride in the fact that Robin Fleming has both a B.A. and a Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara,” Dr. Marshall said. “The History Department is known for its attention to teaching, mentoring, and inspiring students, as well as its prizewinning scholarship. I imagine that our interdisciplinary environment, in medieval studies and beyond, also made some contribution to Professor Fleming’s innovative approach and methodology. I hope that her exciting work will inspire new generations of UCSB students.” Dr. Elizabeth Digeser, Chair of UCSB’s Department of History and Professor of Roman History, said Dr. Fleming’s achievements are encouraging and inspiring to both grad students and faculty.   “Robin Fleming received her Ph.D. from our department when we were starting to get national recognition for our graduate program in general, as well as our program in Medieval History,” Professor Digeser said. “When she took the position at Boston College, she was both an inspiration to current graduate students and a confirmation for faculty that UCSB’s best students could work and teach anywhere. And now Robin’s most recent research – in reaching toward material culture to explore the lived experience of ordinary people in early medieval Britain – is inspiring in a new way, for she is at the crest of a new wave in scholarship that is carrying us all forward.” Dr. Fleming chose the medieval history career path while she was at UCSB. “I was always interested in British history,” she said. “I took Latin when I was a (college) freshman as well.” She called Professor Denis Bethell, who was visiting from University College, Dublin, a “fantastic undergraduate teacher” who sparked her fascination with early medieval British 20

Dr. Robin Fleming traveled to Jerash, an important Roman city in modern-day Jordan, in 2013.

history during her sophomore year. In her junior year,

“So instead of looking at texts, which is what historians do

she studied abroad in England. Because of Professor

and are trained for, I look at material evidence, that is the

Bethell’s influence, Dr. Fleming said, she took only

evidence that’s been found by archaeologists. I’m really

medieval history classes from then on.

interested in using whatever evidence is available to tell

Dr. Fleming also praised two other UCSB professors for their advice and mentorship – Harold (Hal) Drake and

the story of people who lived in the past.” She intends to complete a book that she has started.

C. Warren Hollister, one of the founding members of the

“But I also hope to do some collaboration with people

History Department.

outside the discipline of history,” Dr. Fleming said. “I hope

Professor Drake “always insisted that we be

to co-author papers with people who are not historians

interesting,” said Dr. Fleming, referring to topics of research.

but who happen to be interested in the same time period

He would tell his Ph.D. students that the “so what” in

I am. Because I think writing together with people of

whatever they were studying matters a lot. It’s not enough

different disciplines is the way forward. And I think it will

to gather a lot of information on a problem and then write

help all of us think different thoughts about the past.”

the dissertation, she said he would tell his students. “It’s

Now that she’s got that weighty title of “Genius,”

important to be engaged in some sort of historical debate

does Professor Fleming feel any pressure to produce

or controversy and really try to answer a question that’s

something monumental during her MacArthur fellowship?

interesting to a lot of people,” Professor Fleming said. “And I

“I actually feel liberation,” she said. “I feel like this is an

think that’s critical for graduate students.”

opportunity, not a challenge I have to live up to. So I feel

Dr. Fleming said the MacArthur fellowship affords

much more optimistic and not burdened by it.”

her the time and freedom to pursue research she is

Whatever she pursues, it will definitely include

passionate about. She said there isn’t much textual

storytelling. “I think that everybody deserves a history,”

evidence in the period she studies, between the fall of

Professor Fleming said. “And I think it’s incumbent upon

Rome and the early Middle Ages. “As a matter of fact,

historians to figure out how to tell people’s stories even if

there’s a lot of it we don’t know anything about through

we don’t have them represented in texts.”

texts,” she said in a MacArthur Foundation video interview.

About the MacArthur Foundation The MacArthur Foundation, created in 1970, is one of the nation’s largest independent foundations formed by generous individuals – philanthropists John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur. Support from the MacArthur Foundation to UC Santa Barbara totals more than $11 million over 30 years. Its donations have funded an array of diverse projects and programs, including the Law and Neuroscience Project, which produced a photography book focusing on the juvenile justice system; and “Digital Ocean: Sampling the Sea,” a digital media and learning program about seafood. UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015



Patricia Marroquin

Three UCSB Ph.D. Alums Return to Campus to Tell Grad Students How They Navigated Their Careers in the Booming Biotechnology Industry

Sharing Success Stories By Patricia Marroquin


he saying goes, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single

step.” In the case of UCSB Ph.D. alum Miguel de los Rios, the journey began with a single hand drawing. Miguel de los Rios still has the original drawing he used to pitch his big idea while still a grad student at UCSB. “I should frame it,” he said. Armed only with a vision, a simple sketch, some naiveté, and even a few aspirin, Ph.D. student de los Rios was able to found a biotech startup, Chimeros, that launched his successful career in the biotechnology industry. De los Rios was one of three panelists, all grad alums, who gave their time and expertise to share their biotech career success stories in the Graduate Division’s “Career Pathways” series. The series, launched in spring 2014, is aimed at giving graduate students the opportunity to hear from accomplished graduate alumni about how they navigated the road to various types of careers. These alums are giving back to the university community that assisted them. A primary mission of Career Pathways is to leverage the strength and knowledge of UCSB grad alums – through networking, mentoring, panel talks, and other means – for the benefit of current students. Future panel sessions will highlight careers in such areas as academia, industry, nonprofits, finance, philanthropy, and government, and all will focus on the skills that alumni found to be critical to their success. In welcoming the panel and the more than 50 graduate students in attendance, Graduate Division UCSB Ph.D. alums, from left, Brent Gaylord, Miguel de Los Rios, and Patrick Johnson, gave back to the university, returning to kick off the UCSB Graduate Division’s “Career Pathways” series.

UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


Dean Carol Genetti expressed her hope that these events “will help all UCSB graduate students to realize the broad variety of opportunities that their graduate degrees are creating and the steps they can take to move forward in the direction that best fits their life goals.” The burgeoning biotechnology field is “such an exciting area for this campus right now,” Dean Genetti said, citing the Center for BioEngineering and a new Ph.D. interdisciplinary emphasis in BioEngineering. She also

“I think the story of how you start a company involves not just one person but usually a large network, a support group, in many different aspects.”

noted that UCSB’s biotechnology research is truly representative of the

– UCSB Ph.D. alum Miguel de los Rios

interdisciplinary work for which the campus is known. Dr. Pierre Wiltzius, the Susan and Bruce Worster

and Director of Cell Biology for de los Rios’ company Chimeros. Allergan is a global, technology-driven multispecialty health care company pursuing therapeutic advances. Its flagship franchises focus on eye care, neurosciences, medical dermatology, and urologics.  Brent Gaylord, who received

a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry-Material Science Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from the United States Air Force Academy; and earned a Ph.D. in Materials from UCSB in 2004. He is the co-founder (with UCSB alum Patrick Dietzen and world-renowned

UCSB material scientist Guillermo Bazan) and the

Dean of Science and Professor of Physics, served as the

Director of Dye Development of Sirigen. In fall 2012,

moderator of the lunchtime discussion, which delved

Beckton, Dickinson, and Company acquired Sirigen

into such issues as the challenges and rewards of

Group Limited, a developer of unique polymer dyes

launching a startup; the qualities and traits important

that are used in flow cytometry and can be applied to

for success in biotech; and the differences in style and

other technologies.

operation between a small startup and a large biotech or

Each panelist gave brief biographical introductions,

pharmaceutical firm. The panelists were:  Miguel A. de los Rios, who earned a Bachelor of Science

degree in Cell and Developmental Biology from UCSB

explaining how they got to where they are today and sharing lessons learned on the journey, before answering questions from the grad students. Patrick Johnson told the audience that when he came

in 1998; and a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from

to UCSB as an undergrad in 1990, he wasn’t certain what

UCSB in 2005. De los Rios is Vice President of Research

he wanted to pursue. In 1994, he said, after three or

and Development at Sevion Therapeutics (renamed

four switches in his major, he earned an undergraduate

from Senesco Technologies). Sevion is a clinical-stage

degree in biopsychology. He then entered a master’s

therapeutics company that discovers, develops,

program and transitioned from it to a Ph.D. program.

and acquires innovative product candidates for the

Even after he earned his Ph.D., he wasn’t sure exactly

treatment of cancer and immunological diseases.

what he wanted to do. “Don’t feel like you should,”

De los Rios had been Vice President of Research &

Johnson advised the students. “Sooner or later something

Development at Fabrus Inc., which became a wholly

will click and you’ll follow that path.” So Johnson stayed

owned subsidiary of Senesco in May 2014. De los Rios

on at UCSB as a postdoc for several years, receiving a

is the sole founder in 2003 of Chimeros Inc., a venture-

teaching fellowship and grant money.

backed biologics therapeutic company (Chimeros was

Meanwhile, Johnson’s friend and fellow UCSB grad

acquired by Fabrus in 2012.) At Chimeros, he was Chief

student, Miguel de los Rios, had an idea. “The idea that

Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer.

I had was not related to the work I was doing at UC

 Patrick T. Johnson, who earned a Bachelor of Science


was Vice President of Development

Santa Barbara or with my Ph.D.,” he said. “There were no

degree in Biopsychology from UCSB in 1994; and

professors or projects running at the time at the campus

a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental

who could help me develop the idea.” His friend, Brent

Biology at UCSB in 2000. He is Senior Director of

Gaylord, had just finished his Ph.D. and started his own

Business Development for Allergan, and previously

company, Sirigen, founded on research and work being

done on campus. Gaylord encouraged de los Rios to pursue his dream. De los Rios put pen to paper, sketched out the idea, and set out to turn that idea into reality. “I started to meet with everyone I could possibly meet in the community to talk about my idea,” de los Rios said. He talked with high-tech investors, former Amgen employees, and angel investors; and attended investment conferences and venture capital meetings. Patrick Johnson was among those friends who also helped. “My first real break was when I called up a Tier 1 venture capital firm,” de los Rios said. He called Versant Ventures, which had previously been active in Santa Barbara. “One of their more notable investments in Santa Barbara was Inogen,” said de los Rios. Inogen is an oxygen therapy product company founded by three UCSB students, based on a winning idea that came out of the UCSB Technology Management Program’s business plan competition. Grad student Miguel met with Camille Samuels, then-managing director at Versant Ventures. “She spent two hours with me at her

Miguel de los Rios still has the original drawing he used to pitch his big idea. “I should frame it,” he said.

office,” said de los Rios. “And she just tore me apart. The idea, everything. It was this eye-opening experience as far as what I needed to do, what I needed to learn before I could have a conversation with a venture capitalist.” De los Rios said he is thankful for the “hard, informative, constructive criticism” he received. The conversation, he said, “shaped my pitch, how I approached investors, and it made me think about the future of the company and what things I needed to figure out. It basically gave me the tools to go forward.” Another person who played a big role in helping de los Rios get started was Santa Barbara attorney David Lafitte of Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth. “He took a big risk and basically offered a line of credit to me” of about $150,000, de los Rios said. “What a fantastic mentor in those early years. I think that was another defining moment for what allowed Chimeros to launch.” So what was de los Rios’ big idea? Here’s how he explained it: “We figured out how to make protein building blocks self-assemble into nanocages that are exactly 32 nanometers in diameter. While controlling that assembly process, we can encapsulate any drug payload of choice. When the protein nanocage is fully assembled, with the drug payload encapsulated, we can now decorate the surface with a variety of targeting molecules or peptides to direct the nanocage to organs or tissues of choice.” Useful applications, he said, include oncology (such as prostate cancer) and metabolic disorders (diabetes; liver and kidney disorders). As a grad student in those early startup days, de los Rios funded the company on a shoestring, using his monthly stipend of $1,200 to pay for such things as his grad student research, the experiments he conducted in his garage, and living expenses including his food, which consisted of a lot of Top Ramen. “It was a very tough time,” said de los Rios, but he doesn’t regret it. He is also thankful to his advisor, Dr. Kevin Plaxco, for keeping him grounded and urging him to finish his Ph.D. As young grad students and postdocs pursuing their dreams, “We just didn’t take no for answer,” Patrick Johnson told the students. “We just did what we thought was right. We were naïve. Which is very helpful to be naïve. Because you don’t UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


realize some of the challenges you’re up against,” he said,

definitely a product of the interdisciplinary nature of the

so you are less likely to quit.

research that goes on,” said Gaylord, who worked with

Johnson said he decided to “take a leap of faith” and leave his postdoc position to join de los Rios’ startup full

Sirigen was founded by grad students Gaylord

time. “You’ve got to balance the risk and the reward,”

and Patrick Dietzen, and UCSB material scientist and

Johnson said. He described his time working at Chimeros

Professor Guillermo Bazan. The company’s technology

as fun and “a very rewarding endeavor.”

is based on Nobel Prize-winning research conducted by

During his time at UCSB, Johnson took advantage of

Professor Alan Heeger in conductive plastics and creates

a course through the Technology Management Program

the potential for the development of novel dyes that are

that included biotech speakers. The goal was to have one

four to 100 times brighter than conventional dyes. Sirigen

person from each sector of the biotech industry come

is another success story for the TMP program. Dietzen

and talk every week for the entire academic year. Johnson

and Gaylord won the business plan competition in 2003,

said, “That’s how we got to meet Roy Hardiman [a UCSB

founded the company shortly afterward, and licensed all

alum and then an executive at Genentech who is now a

the key intellectual property exclusively from UCSB.

UCSB Foundation Trustee], who has continued to engage

“We built a support network,” Gaylord said. “And I

with the campus. “You never know where introductions

think that is so critical – meeting other people who are

are going to lead you,” said Johnson.

doing the same thing.” The company partnered with

“I finally got experience in the biotech industry through Miguel,” Johnson said. “We created our own experience. And then after that, it’s a little easier to meet

the UCSB technology transfer office “because we had to ultimately license that technology back,” Gaylord said. At this point in Miguel de los Rios’ career, he’s having

people, to know what the industry’s like, to know what to

“a fantastic time.” He has worked on the science side of

do next. And then I was recruited out of our company to

things, then shifted to the business side, and now he’s

Allergan, where I’ve been for the last four years.”

back on the science side. He’s paying it forward, helping

Johnson worked on both the science side and the

companies out of UC San Francisco, UC San Diego,

business side at Chimeros. “And now,” he said, “I’m all

and UCSB to launch and realize their own dreams. “I’m

business at Allergan, where I look at new technologies,

certainly a nerd at heart. And happy to be a nerd,” he said.

acquiring companies, bringing new therapeutics into

“I think the story of how you start a company involves

the spectrum of our product offerings.” He’s currently

not just one person but usually a large network, a support

doing all of that from an office in San Diego, where the

group, in many different aspects,” he said.

company moved to stay competitive and to be in one of the big hubs of biotech activity. Brent Gaylord took a different path to the biotech industry and the founding of Sirigen, one that started within UCSB. “My graduate work here at UCSB was


researchers from Physics to Chemistry to Biology.

If de los Rios could give one piece of advice to Ph.D. students who wish to get into the biotech industry, it would be simply this: “Never give up.”



Ph.D. Student Merritt Miller’s Research on Large Hadron Collider Focuses on the Need for Higher Speed, Lower Power Consumption By Sonia Fernandez


hen it comes to making a difference in the world, Merritt Miller prefers to do it on a huge scale.

This seventh-year Electrical and Computer Engineering M.S./Ph.D. student and Electrical Engineering undergrad alum is one of the researchers scientists turned to when they needed a way to gather more data from the particle collisions generated by the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Merritt’s research with other scientists in the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) project at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), a facility straddling Switzerland and France, focuses on designing a faster data link that requires a fraction of the power of the existing hardware. “When the opportunity to work on an experiment like CMS came up, the answer was YES, of course,” said Merritt, who was initially considering smaller-scale projects that would improve the functionality of consumer products, such as microwaves and cellphones. The day-to-day problems would still be interesting and useful to solve, he said, but having already acquired the reputation for taking on the “weird” projects, Merritt and his group found the particular needs of an Sonia Fernandez

enormous detector buried 330 feet underground hugely intriguing. As one of the particle detectors tasked with finding the elusive Higgs boson – the peculiar particle whose discovery in 2012 confirmed the Standard Model theory of how fundamental particles acquire mass – CMS is essentially an 80-million-pixel camera made to work in extremely harsh conditions. UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


“You’re always sitting there, going ‘Am I making an

Merritt’s advisor, and co-principal investigator for

impact in the world, or am I helping someone check

the UCSB CMS project, “but in Merritt, I have an

Facebook marginally faster?’” said Merritt. Fortunately,

uncompromising and talented designer. He seems to

his group was only word-of-mouth away from UC Santa

have the knack for finding interesting problems that

Barbara’s High Energy Physics Group – scientists who

somehow fit together years later to create new things.”

work at CERN and were asking the kinds of questions

Merritt’s intuition can be traced back to his childhood in Santa Monica, with parents who were early adopters of

Merritt wanted to answer. “At UCSB we have this nice technical community

the emerging Apple II and IBM 5150 personal computers.

of really smart people with great projects, and they all talk to each other,” he said. In fact, the eatery on campus affectionately dubbed the “Nano Café,” situated near the Engineering, Theoretical Physics, and Nanotechnology departments, has become a hotbed of wide-ranging conversations, unexpected answers, and potential collaborations. “I find that that kind of thinking is really good for students,” Merritt said, “especially for a graduate student, and especially for researchers because you have this environment where the cost to talk to an expert is low, and where the interaction is high.” That interaction has paid off: With a suite of improvements that

Maximilien Brice, CERN

A section of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

included Merritt’s contribution, the UCSB CMS team – also led by Professor Joe Incandela of

Not knowing what to do with the Compaq portable

the UCSB High Energy Physics group – will be upgrading

machine they had outgrown, they gave their five-year-

the machine that helped bring about the historic

old son a screwdriver and encouraged him to take the

discovery of the Higgs boson, a find that led to the 2013

computer apart. It took a week for him to distort what

Nobel Prize in Physics for its theorists. Merritt and his

has since become a piece of computing history, he said.

research group are now designing what they hope will

But in that time, Merritt was also set for life.

be their next-generation data link, one that is aiming for twice the speed while maintaining the lower power need. “What Merritt is developing could have a major

my advisor; his help and encouragement have made

impact on the LHC experiments, and in fact on many

my project what it is. Additionally, for our colleague

other major experiments in high energy physics and

Guido Magazzu, and Joe Incandela for their interest and

in other disciplines where high data rates are or will

guidance in seeing a CERN application for my work.”

become more and more common,” said Dr. Incandela.

Access to the kind of high-level research he has been

“The physicists at CERN involved in the upgrades we are

exposed to is something Merritt wants to maintain for future

working on have all said that they are looking forward to

researchers. When his busy schedule allows, he mentors

what Merritt will bring to the project.”

students who demonstrate interest in research, but who

“I have been very fortunate in the students I have


“I am grateful for the support that my parents gave me,” he said. “I am grateful for all of the work of

may not see themselves as researchers. Last summer he

had over the last 28 years at UC,” said Dr. Forrest Brewer,

participated in two Center for Science and Engineering

UCSB professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering,

Partnerships (CSEP) mentorship sessions, programs hosted

“I have been very fortunate in the students I have had over the last 28 years at UC, but in Merritt,

“What Merritt is developing could have a major

I have an uncompromising and talented designer.

impact on the LHC experiments, and in fact on many

He seems to have the knack for finding interesting

other major experiments in high energy physics and

problems that somehow fit together years later to

in other disciplines where high data rates are or will

create new things.”

become more and more common. The physicists at

– ECE Professor Forrest Brewer, Merritt Miller’s advisor

CERN involved in the upgrades we are working on have all said that they are looking forward to what

by the California NanoSystems Institute at UCSB, that

Merritt will bring to the project.”

acquaint college freshmen with the research world.

– Professor Joe Incandela, UCSB CMS team

“It’s really, really cool to see the democratization of academia,” he said. “You don’t have to be blessed into academia; you just have to want to have it.” In return, mentors get experience in communication, project

Merritt Miller at Goleta Beach, from where he launches when he goes kayaking.

management, and teaching that enhances their own nascent careers. When not immersed in his own work, he might be found either in a kayak launched from a beach only steps away from his lab, or on the dance floor, as a competitive ballroom dancer and officer of the UCSB Cotillion Dance Club. His current research effort, for which he has received major funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, would be a tough act to follow – if only in size and uniqueness of the project – and there’s still a lot more work to be done as a postdoc, he said. In the meantime, he balances the pull of a future in academia with the attraction of entrepreneurship, aided by the university’s own Technology Management Program. Either way, developments made possible by his work could go a long way. “We can build the next generations of physics detectors, which would allow us to have a better data set to understand the fundamentals of the physical universe,” he communications satellites, more reliable phones, even more robust electronics that can survive harsh environments.

Sonia Fernandez

said. The research could also pave the way toward better

UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


UC Santa Barbara Crossroads: Where Disciplines, Research, and Teaching Intersect By Patricia Marroquin


Santa Barbara is well-known throughout the nation and the world for its innovative interdisciplinary

collaborations, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Graduate Division’s Crossroads program. The brainchild of longtime faculty member and Graduate Dean Carol Genetti, UCSB Crossroads offers doctoral students a year-long, multifaceted interdisciplinary research experience that also encompasses the undergraduate classroom through curriculum development and closely mentored teaching. The program takes its name from the multiple intersections involved: of disciplines; of research and teaching; and of faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates. “In many ways I think that Crossroads is a quintessential UCSB program, arising from the highly collaborative, collegial, and interdisciplinary ethos of our campus,” Dean Genetti said. “Interdisciplinary research is both highly challenging and highly rewarding; it helps participants take on new perspectives and broadens our understanding of the complexity of the phenomena that we are researching. It also allows for innovative ideas to emerge that are not possible when one is limited to

were funded. Now heading into its third year, Crossroads

the critical interaction between faculty and graduate

has included students from every academic division,

students that advances the frontiers of our knowledge,

from the College of Engineering and all three divisions

and also takes the undergraduates right along on that

in the College of Letters and Science to the Gevirtz


Graduate School of Education and the Bren School of

The central idea behind UCSB Crossroads is that

Environmental Science and Management. Graduate

faculty members and doctoral students collaborate on

Fellows are supported by fellowships for two academic

a year-long research project through the auspices of a

quarters and they are employed as TAs for a thematically

team-taught graduate seminar that includes the Fellows

related undergraduate course in the third quarter. While

as well as other graduate students. The research is then

campus partnerships have provided the framework for

translated into the undergraduate classroom (or, for

Crossroads, private philanthropy will be crucial as the

appropriate fields, the professional Master’s classroom).

program continues to grow and thrive.

Thus, a goal of the Crossroads program is to enhance


In Crossroads’ inaugural year, 2013-14, two programs

a single disciplinary perspective. The program facilitates

On the following two pages, we present brief synopses

undergraduate learning through the infusion of research

of the inaugural programs and hear from a few of the

into the curricula.

UCSB Crossroads faculty and graduate student Fellows.

The Politics of Race and Language in Learning Contexts the combined theoretical

How do youth use language to create social

concepts and analytical tools

bonds and build identities

of education, linguistics, and

when they are embedded

race and ethnic studies. “Crossroads provided

in complex, multilayered learning environments, such

us with the space to explore

as California high schools?

how our different disciplines

How can helping these youth

intersect theoretically on

investigate this question on

issues of race, culture,

their own raise awareness

language, and learning, to

about language and power

challenge the boundaries

while simultaneously developing college-ready skills and building links to the University? These were the questions

From left, Santa Barbara High School SKILLS student researchers Raquel García, Elizabeth Áviles, Inés Mendoza, and Diana Alvarez worked on an original research project called “Language Brokering,” which they presented to the UCSB community at SKILLS Day in May 2014.

of our thinking, and to inspire one another with ideas and questions that are contributing to the development of an

that inspired SKILLS – School

innovative curricula,” said

Kids Investigating Language

Professor Jin Sook Lee of the

in Life and Society – a project

Gevirtz Graduate School of

run by UC Santa Barbara

Education. “From this experience

faculty members in Linguistics, Education, and Chicana and

I hope to be able to give

Chicano Studies. Begun under

back to the communities of

the auspices of UCSB’s Center

students that we worked

for California Languages

with,” said Crossroads Fellow

and Cultures, SKILLS creates

Zuleyma Rogel, a Gevirtz

partnerships with area high

Ph.D. student. “This is a population that I personally

schools in which Master Teachers, graduate student Fellows, and undergraduates help to prepare high school

From left, Santa Barbara High School SKILLS student researchers María Vallecillo, Evelyn Cervantes, Melissa Campuzano, Ramón Ibarra, and Fernando Esteves were among the team that produced the “Language in My Family” research project.

a high school student, I was that student – students that are ‘at risk.’”

students, primarily low-income Latinos, for college. The youth are taught to carry out

feel very close to because as

Zuleyma said she could not have afforded such

original research on language use in the students’ peer

an experience. “I’m so grateful that I was given the

groups, families, and communities. They then share their

opportunity to learn and to be exposed to so many

results at SKILLS Day, an interactive conference hosted at

different lenses. I couldn’t have paid for something like

UCSB to publicly showcase their accomplishments.

this. It’s been incredible.”

The issue of race, language, and learning

The faculty involved were: Mary Bucholtz, Linguistics;

has particular urgency in California, where many

Inés Casillas, Chicana and Chicano Studies; and Jin Sook

schoolchildren are from linguistic minority groups,

Lee, Gevirtz. The Crossroads Fellows were: Anna Bax,

and where Latinos attend college at the lowest rate

Linguistics; Juan Sebastian Ferrada, Chicana and Chicano

of any group. The multidisciplinary approach allowed

Studies; Tijana Hirsch, Gevirtz; Audrey Lopez, Linguistics;

Crossroads participants to address these questions with

and Zuleyma Rogel, Gevirtz. UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


Psychology, Environment, and Public Policy (PEPP) Should you or should you not recycle that plastic bag? Buy an electric car? Insist on organic produce? As a consumer, how do you decide and why? That last question – how and why individuals make environmental decisions – was the focus of a UCSB Crossroads project in 2013-14. It brought together faculty from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Political Science to study the framing of environmental issues by the government and media and how these frames translate into consumer and political behavior to influence public policy. Understanding this process is crucial for environmental professionals who must communicate about environmental issues and try to get people

camaraderie, such as hikes around the beach. These

motivated to solve environmental problems. The

events, Sherman said, stimulated conversations about

participants examined how framing influences individual

sustainability amid the beautiful environment of UCSB.

political behavior and environmental actions, such

Crossroads Fellow, Ph.D. student Cameron Brick of

as carpooling, consuming less meat, or purchasing

Psychological and Brain Sciences, said, “It’s tremendously

environmentally friendly products. The psychological

educating to have the input of faculty from other disciplines

perspective, which has largely been missing from studies

because they can integrate our research ideas with unfamiliar

of environmental behavior, demonstrated that framing

literatures and theory, ultimately to the improvement of our

and norms can influence people’s attitudes toward the

work.” It’s heartening, he added, “to see researchers and

environment largely because of the subjective and often

students from diverse backgrounds united to increase public

irrational ways that people think about environmental

well-being and health through environmental sustainability,

issues. The political science perspective offered insight

with all the tools we can muster.”

into how individual behaviors matter for aggregate policy

Cameron sees interdisciplinary work not as an option,

outcomes and emphasized such important civic behaviors

but a requirement. “It’s increasingly necessary to draw

as voting and participating in public fora.

from multiple disciplines to make headway on major

Associate Professor David Sherman of Psychological

research questions, especially with massive collective

and Brain Sciences said interdisciplinary research

action problems such as environmental sustainability.

“forces you to question the assumptions and defend the

The academic market is also increasingly competitive.

contributions of your own discipline. When we’re doing

I’m hoping that this breadth of training will be helpful to

work just among psychologists, we have a common

my future academic success because it will allow me to

understanding of what’s important and what makes for

address environmental problems from multiple angles.”

a good study and what makes a good contribution. Now


PEPP grad student participants took hikes around the campus in a getting-to-know-you exercise that helped build camaraderie.

The faculty members involved were: Sarah Anderson

we’re working with political scientists, and it forces us to

and Matt Potoski, Bren School of Environmental Science

look at our own work from a macro perspective.”

and Management; Heejung Kim and David Sherman,

Guest lecturers included Oregon organic farmer

Psychological and Brain Sciences; and Eric R.A.N. Smith,

and elected official Michael Paine, who led an interesting

Political Science. The Crossroads Fellows were: Cameron

session about local organization and sustainability

Brick, Phil Ehret, and Jessica LeClair, all from Psychological

advocacy among farmers and ranchers. At the start of the

and Brain Sciences; and Patrick Callery and Alex DeGolia

program, there were informal events aimed at creating

of the Bren School.

Graduate Education by the Numbers 76

Distinct Degree Programs


Programs Ranked Top 20 Nationally

6% 11%

Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Bren School of Environmental Science & Management


Math, Life, & Physical Sciences


Programs Ranked Top 10 Nationally



Enrollments Across Divisions

Social Sciences

Graduate Applicants Annually


New Graduate Students Per Year



Humanities & Fine Arts



Students Enrolled in UCSB Graduate Programs

16 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Emphases



6% 53%

Doctoral Degrees Awarded (2013-14)

Master’s Degrees Awarded (2013-14)







Private Sector

Employment 1–30 Years After Ph.D. Conferral



Students Receiving Financial Support from the Graduate Division

UCSB Graduate Education SPRING 2015


The Graduate Division University of California, Santa Barbara 3117 Cheadle Hall Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2070 (805) 893-2277

Karen Myers Associate Dean Christian Villasenor Assistant Dean

Editor/Writer Patricia Marroquin Communications Director The Graduate Division Design UCSB Artworks Instructional Development

Patricia Marroquin

Bruce Kendall Associate Dean

Office of Development Julie Karbula Senior Director of Development Leadership and Principal Gifts

Patricia Marroquin

Graduate Division Leadership Carol Genetti Dean

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UC Santa Barbara Graduate Education - Spring 2015  

UC Santa Barbara Graduate Education highlights just a few of the spirited and creative thinkers who make up our graduate student body.

UC Santa Barbara Graduate Education - Spring 2015  

UC Santa Barbara Graduate Education highlights just a few of the spirited and creative thinkers who make up our graduate student body.