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Faculty Members Celebrated for Seeing the Classroom and World Differently

44th Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards recognize excellence in teaching, research and service

As scholars, they are protecting human rights, advancing understanding of atmospheric aerosols, activating cross-border artistic exchange and so much more. In the classroom, their passion and innovation is inspiring a new generation of students to think big and pursue bold change.

Six UC San Diego faculty members will be honored April 11 at the 44th annual Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for going above and beyond to make a positive difference in their teaching, research and service.

“I applaud the outstanding contributions of these faculty members whose research and teaching powerfully resonates across our campus and around the globe,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “They are bold changemakers and tireless student advocates who see the classroom—and the world—differently, full of boundless potential for positive impact.”

Each year, faculty members across campus are nominated by their academic peers for their exemplary contributions to the university. Final selections are made by a committee of Chancellor’s Associates donors. Each honoree receives a commendation and an honorarium of $2,500.

The recipients of the 2018 Chancellor’s Associates Faculty Excellence Awards are:

Kate Antonovics

Photos by Erika Johnson/UC San Diego Publications

Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Kate Antonovics, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor of Economics

Kate Antonovics is committed to transforming classroom parameters and enriching every student’s experience. She actively embraces the latest technology to facilitate comprehension and foster dynamic lecture environments. Antonovics infuses humor and real-world relevance into rigorous course work and inventively records online instructional videos. She coauthored an acclaimed textbook series with Ben Bernanke and has taught more than 8,200 students in the past decade, consistently earning their highest commendations.

“Students lavish praise on Professor Antonovics, both for her skill as a teacher, but also for her innovation in creating new forms of classroom education,” said Dean of the Division of Social Sciences Carol Padden. “The department welcomes many majors in Economics, trying as best as they can to achieve scale with quality. Professor Antonovics is their experimenter in achieving scale—how to deliver high quality lectures, supply helpful and clear materials in all forms—video, print, podcasts and more—and still reach each student to inspire them to be the best student in the class.”


Pamela Radcliff

Excellence in Graduate Teaching

Pamela Radcliff, Ph.D.
Professor of History

Pamela Radcliff has cultivated the nation’s premier graduate program on modern Spanish history at UC San Diego. Each year she organizes a symposium that provides opportunity for scholars to present their work to peers and engage with field specialists. Radcliff is a devoted mentor for graduate students, encouraging learners to explore evolutionary arcs and seek thought-provoking connections. She has also authored an interpretive synthesis, “A History of Spain: 1808 to the Present,” regarded by peers as “a magisterial work.”

“Professor Radcliff is dedicated to her graduate students, providing the necessary leadership to develop them as professional historians and for academic careers,” said Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities Cristina Della Coletta. “She has worked with dozens of history graduate students in formal and informal settings. Her outstanding accomplishment is her dedication to developing a top-notch graduate program in modern Spanish history. There is no doubt that she should receive credit for attracting high-level graduate students in this field to UC San Diego.”


Emilie Hafner-Burton

Excellence in Research in Humanities and Social Sciences

Emilie Hafner-Burton, Ph.D.
Professor of International Justice and Human Rights

Emilie Hafner-Burton conducts groundbreaking research on protecting human rights and accelerating international compliance. She is lauded for pioneering innovative global-conflict strategies, as imparted in her book, “Making Human Rights a Reality.” Hafner-Burton also launched the university’s Laboratory on International Law and Regulation, serves on the Committee on the Status of Women and contributes to the Women Going Global student organization as a steadfast advocate of diversity.

“Professor Hafner-Burton is recognized by her peers in political science as one of the top scholars in the world working on international politics and human rights; she is a foremost scholar on the subject,” said Dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy, Peter F. Cowhey. “Since receiving her doctorate in 2003, Professor Hafner-Burton’s research has been both prolific and groundbreaking, challenging much of the conventional wisdom in policy debates. For example, she has shown how international trade agreements can strengthen the protection of rights. She truly personifies UC San Diego’s excellence.”


Kimberly Prather

Excellence in Research in Science and Engineering

Kimberly Prather, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor/Chair of Atmospheric Chemistry

Kimberly Prather advances revolutionary climate-change solutions, including the development of portable instrumentation for aerosol mass spectrometry, now patented and utilized globally to assess disease and a range of real-time environmental risks. She is the founder and director of the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE), securing backing by the National Science Foundation. Prather also works tirelessly to promote diversity and spark excitement about science through CAICE outreach.

“Professor Prather’s pioneering research in the development of mass spectrometry to characterize individual atmospheric aerosols has been of utmost importance in understanding air pollution, aerosol sources and climate,” said Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences Steven Boggs. “From directing a large, $20 million dollar NSF-funded center focused on aerosol research to developing the game-changing technique of aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometry, Professor Prather’s research has made a significant impact on the field of atmospheric chemistry and has greatly benefitted society.”


Robert Skip Pomeroy

Excellence in Community Service

Robert “Skip” Pomeroy ’84, Ph.D.
Lecturer of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Skip Pomeroy is passionate about inspiring the next generation of scholars and making science accessible. He has volunteered weekly for the past decade at Castle Park High School (Title I) to facilitate hands-on peer learning activities that highlight the frontiers of sustainability. Pomeroy oversees outreach and diversity at the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment (CAICE), including collaborative-learning programs, and guides student projects at the California Center for Algae Biotechnology.

“Professor Pomeroy is a leader in chemical education and service through his high-quality teaching; mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students; and university and public engagement,” said Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences Steven Boggs. “He has a vision for educating K-12 students, undergraduates and the broader public about science in meaningful ways. His commitment to broaden participation in STEM fields is admirable and important if these fields are to become more inclusive and diverse.”


Ruben Ortiz-Torres

Excellence in the Performing and Visual Arts

Rubén Ortiz-Torres, MFA
Professor of Visual Arts

Rubén Ortiz-Torres has created a robust body of work ranging from painting and photography to sculpture and installation. He has amplified the presence of experimental cross-border art and given a fresh voice to the dialogue on immigrant culture. Ortiz-Torrez served as a Getty Center curator for “MEX/LA: ‘Mexican’ Modernism(s) in Los Angeles, 1930–1985.” He is dedicated to cultivating interdisciplinary collaboration and diversity and serving as a conduit for transformative exchange and dynamic artistic production.

“Professor Rubén Ortiz-Torres is a prolific artist whose work has been exhibited at multiple national and international cultural institutions, from The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City to the Reina Sofia Museum of Art in Madrid, Spain,” said Dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities Cristina Della Coletta. “His cross border artistic and cultural work—focused on the shifting demographics, cultural identities and political dynamics—deserves special recognition for its impact in the art world of Mexico City, Tijuana-San Diego and Los Angeles.”

The Faculty Excellence Awards are made possible by Chancellor’s Associates, a program for donors who give an annual leadership gift of $2,500 or more to the university. The recognition ceremony will be held Wednesday, April 11 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.

This year, thanks to a gift from longtime UC San Diego supporters Karen and Jeff Silberman, all new Chancellor’s Associates gifts, multi-year contributions and upgraded gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million. The Karen and Jeff Silberman Inspiration Challenge goes to support the Chancellor’s Associates Scholarship, which provides access for qualified and motivated first-generation college students.

To learn more about Chancellor’s Associates, visit their website here.