2018 Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni

2018 Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni Naomi J. Andrews, Diane Bridgeman, Randal C. Burns, Rachel Nelson, and Thomas R. Webb

The Division of Graduate Studies and the five academic divisions—Arts, Engineering, Humanities, Physical and Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences—honored the recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni Award on Friday, April 27, of Alumni Weekend 2018 at the Stevenson Event Center at an award luncheon, the 2nd annual. Read UCSC News about the honorees here. Watch a video of the award luncheon here.


naomi-andrews-250x250.jpgNaomi J. Andrews
Ph.D. History 1998
M.A. History 1993
B.A. History 1988
Humanities Division

Associate Professor of History
Santa Clara University

Naomi J. Andrews experienced an in-depth preparation for her position as associate professor of history at Santa Clara University while studying for her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in history at UCSC. Her Ph.D. adviser and co-researcher on French history, Professor Jonathan Beecher, remembers her brilliant paper as an undergraduate freshman in his course on Russian history. In his introduction of Andrews at the award ceremony, Beecher read his written evaluation (in the UCSC era before letter grades!) of Andrews for her work in that class. While taking that class, Andrews related, she became certain the study and teaching of history would become her career.

diane-bridgeman-250x250.jpgDiane Bridgeman
Ph.D. Psychology 1977
Social Sciences Division

Licensed clinical psychologist
Santa Cruz

Diane Bridgeman has maintained a clinical psychology practice in Santa Cruz for over 25 years. She is a volunteer manager and instructor with the American Red Cross, for which she has received the Professional Hero Award and the Sisters in Service Award. Bridgeman has also held committee chairs with both the California Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association. She has published articles and gives talks on work-life balance and cultivating resilience, among other topics; is a past president of the Monterey Bay Psychological Association, currently chairing several of its committees; and co-chairs the California Disaster Mental Health Coalition. Behind her professional and volunteer work lies a lifelong commitment to social equity.

randal-burns-250x250.jpgRandal Chilton Burns
Ph.D. Computer Science 2000
M.S. Computer Science 1997
Baskin School of Engineering

Professor of Computer Science
Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering

Randal Burns studied for his Ph.D. under Professor Darrell Long. His research focused on delta compression and storage system performance. After receiving his terminal degree, he has worked in academia, private industry, and government labs on data systems in the fields of physics, fluids, and neuroscience. His current research focuses on management, performance, and security for large data sets for science applications. At the time of the award luncheon, Burns is concentrating on building scalable systems that support neuroscience imaging analysis and annotation to reverse engineer the neurophysiology of mammalian brains.

rachel-nelson-250x250.jpgRachel Nelson
Ph.D. Visual Studies 2016
Arts Division

Curator and Program Manager
Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS)

Rachel Nelson was among the first cohort of doctoral students in visual studies and its first class of graduates. Besides her position in the IAS, she also teaches classes in the History of Art and Visual Culture at UCSC. Recent exhibits she has managed at the IAS include the Crochet Coral Reef Project. She is currently at work creating an exhibition on the prison industrial complex to tour nationally in 2019. The exhibition will draw upon work by UCSC humanities professor emerita Angela Davis to abolish prisons and research by UCSC psychology professor Craig Haney on the psychological effects of incarceration and solitary confinement.

thomas-webb-250x226.jpgThomas R. Webb
Ph.D. Synthetic Organic Chemistry 1980
Physical and Biological Sciences Division

Director of Medicinal Chemistry
Webb Laboratory
Center for Chemical Biology at SRI Biosciences

Thomas R. Webb leads a laboratory focused on small-molecule drug discovery for cancer and influenza in the Center for Chemical Biology at SRI Biosciences. An anti-tumor drug developed in his lab enters clinical trials in 2019. Prior to joining SRI Biosciences, Webb worked on cancer therapeutics in the Department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At St. Jude’s, he held a senior faculty position and directed the high-throughput chemistry center. In addition to his position at SRI Biosciences, Dr. Webb is an adjunct faculty member in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in the Physical and Biological Sciences Division at UCSC.

Scenes from the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni Award Luncheon
April 27, 2018
Stevenson Event Center

george-blumenthal-177x157.jpgtyrus-miller-103x157.jpgChancellor George Blumenthal (left) welcomes everyone and recognizes Tyrus Miller (right), vice provost and dean of the Division of Graduate Studies and the event host, for his years of service to the division and graduate students upon his resignation and departure to UC Irvine as its Dean of the School of Humanities, effective July 1.



jennifer-gonzalez-and-john-weber-introduce-rachel-nelson-263x157.jpgrachel-nelson-accepts-award-for-arts-division-147x157.jpgJennifer González (left in left photo), professor of the history of art and visual culture, and John Weber (right in left photo), founding director of the UCSC Institute of Arts and Sciences, introduce Rachel Nelson (right), honoree of the Arts Division.



alexander-wolf-132x157.jpgrandal-burns-166x157.jpgAlexander Wolf (left), dean of the Baskin School of Engineering, introduces Randal Chilton Burns (right), the Engineering honoree.





jonathan-beecher-introduces-naomi-andrews-211x157.jpgnaomi-andrews-accepts-award-for-humanities-division-172x157.jpgJonathan Beecher (left), professor emeritus of history, introduces Naomi J. Andrews (right), honoree of the Humanities Division.





phillip-crews-introduces-thomas-webb-132x157.jpgthomas-webb-accepts-pbsci-award-172x157.jpgPhillip Crews (left), distinguished research professor of chemistry and biochemistry, introduces Thomas R. Webb (right), the Physical and Biological Sciences Division honoree.





katharyne-mitchell-introduces-diane-bridgeman-142x157.jpgdiane-bridgeman-accepts-soc-sci-award-127x157.jpgKatharyne Mitchell (left), dean of the Social Sciences Division, introduces Diane Bridgeman (right), honoree of the Social Sciences Division.





Randal C. Burns (Engineering honoree), Alexander Wolf (BSOE dean), Naomi J. Andrews (Humanities honoree), Jonathan Beecher (professor emeritus of history), Katharyne Mitchell (Social Sciences dean), Diane Bridgeman (Social Sciences honoree), Tyrus Miller (vice provost and dean of the Division of Graduate Studies), Elliot Aronson (professor emeritus of psychology), George Blumenthal (chancellor), Rachel Nelson (Arts honoree), Jennifer González (professor of the history of art and visual culture), John Weber (founding director of the UCSC Institute of Arts and Sciences), Thomas R. Webb (Physical and Biological Sciences honoree), and Phillip Crews (distinguished research professor of chemistry and biochemistry)

deanna-shemek-and-jim-moore.jpgDeanna Shemek (left), professor and chair of the Literature Department, and Jim Moore (right), assistant dean of the Division of Graduate Studies





tyrus-miller-and-nathan-westrup-240x157.jpgnathan-westrup-and-cari-napoles.jpgLeft photo: Tyrus Miller (left), VPDGS, and Nathan Westrup (right), senior director of development for the Division of Graduate Studies

Right photo: Nathan Westrup and Cari Napoles, director of development, University Relations


rachel-nelson,-john-weber,-jennifer-gonzalez.jpgdan-levin.jpgRachel Nelson (left in left photo) speaks with Jennifer González (right in left photo), John Weber in back ground (center in left photo).

Dan Levin (right photo), husband of Naomi J. Andrews



caileen-brison-and-thomas-webb.jpglawrence-you.jpgLeft photo: Caileen Brison (left), a chemistry doctoral candidate, speaks with Thomas R. Webb (right).

Right photo: Lawrence You, guest of Randal C. Burns and Engineering


Lawrence You





Left photo above: Flora Lu, professor of environmental studies; Tess Bridgeman, daughter of Diane Bridgeman; Natalie Bridgeman Fields, daughter of Diane Bridgeman; Diane Bridgeman; Travis Seymour, associate professor of psychology; and Nicolas Davidenko, assistant professor of psychology

Middle photo above: Diane Bridgeman and Elliot Aronson, professor emeritus of psychology

Right photo above: Elliot and Vera Aronson with Diane Bridgeman