Banner_ScholarlyProd_vert Explore the Inaugural edition Alumni Spotlights

Celebration of Graduate Success

“Bright Past. Brilliant Future.”

The Celebration of Graduate Success highlighted five decades of graduate program impact and some of our most successful graduate and postdoctoral scholar alumni.  This day-long event featured alumni speakers and panelists who represent the Bright Past. Brilliant Future. of UC Irvine’s graduate degree programs.

Celebration Honorees

Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Manuel Laufer | Music, M.F.A. 2006 | Adjunct Faculty, New York University

Mark Valdez | Drama, M.F.A. 2000 | Theatre Artist

Hideki Yamaya | Music, M.F.A. 2001 | Artistic Director, Musica Maestrale

Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences

Steven Allison | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Postdoctoral Scholar 2007 | Associate Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences

Tony James | Developmental and Cell Biology, Ph.D. 1979 | Distinguished Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, UC Irvine

Michael Kharas | Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Ph.D. 2006 | Assistant Member in Pharmacology and Center for Cellular Engineering at Sloan Kettering Institute at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Kathie Olsen | Psychobiology, Ph.D. 1979 | Founder and Managing Director, Science Works International

Jennifer M. Talbot | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ph.D. 2011 | Assistant Professor, Boston University

Leslie Thompson | Biological Chemistry, Ph.D. 1989 | Professor, Psychiatry and Human Behavior & Neurobiology and Behavior, UC Irvine

Steven Zornetzer | Psychobiology, Ph.D. 1971 | Associate Center Director, Research and Development, NASA Ames Research Center

Paul Merage School of Business

A. Gabriel Esteban | Administration, Ph.D. 1993 | President, Seton Hall University

Laura Huang | Management, M.A., Ph.D. 2013 | Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Wharton, University of Pennsylvania

Eloy Ortiz Oakley | Management, M.B.A. 1999 | Superintendent-President, Long Beach City College, and UC Regent

John Van Maanen | Administration, Ph.D. 1972 | Professor of Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management

School of Education

Keith Curry | Educational Administration, Ed.D. 2011 | Provost, El Camino Community College Compton Center, and CEO, Compton Community College District

Feliza Ortiz-Licon | Educational Admin and Leadership, Ed.D. 2009 | Member, California State Board of Education, and Senior Director of K-12 Education for La Raza, California State Board of Education

Reginald Sample | Educational Administration and Leadership, Ed.D. 2009 | Principal of Dorsey Miller High School, Los Angeles Unified School District

Henry Samueli School of Engineering

Mohan Bodduluri | Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D. 1990 | Chief Technical Officer | Zap Surgical

Alexandria Boehm | Environmental Engineering, M.S., Ph.D. 2000 | Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University

Salvatore Campione | Electrical and Computer Engineering, Ph.D. 2013 | Postdoctoral Fellow, Sandia National Laboratories

Peter Therkelsen | Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, M.S., Ph.D. 2009 | Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

School of Humanities

Kenneth Calhoon | German, M.A., Ph.D. 1984 | Head of the Department of Comparative Literature, and Professor of German and Comparative Literature, University of Oregon

David J. Morris | Creative Writing, M.F.A. 2008 | Writer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Mariana Wardwell | Visual Studies, Ph.D. 2010 | Associate Professor of Visual Arts, UC San Diego

Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

Paul Butterworth | Information and Computer Science, M.S. 1981 | Chief Technology Officer, IQvantage, Inc.

Roy Fielding | Information and Computer Science, Ph.D. 2000 | Senior Principal Scientist, Adobe

Patrick Hanratty | Information and Computer Science, Ph.D. 1977 | Retired, Private Consulting

Nicolas Lopez | Software Engineering, Ph.D. 2014 | Senior Software Engineer, Google

Jose Romero-Marriona | Information and Computer Science, Ph.D. 2010 | Lead Research Scientist for Cybersecurity, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Center, Pacific

Ersin Uzun | Networked Systems, Ph.D. 2010 | Global Director of Technology Solutions & Strategy, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

School of Medicine

Wendy Brewster | Environmental Health Science and Policy, Ph.D. 2000 | Director of the Center for Women’s Health and Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Gabriel Vargas | Physiology and Biophysics, M.D., Ph.D. 2001 | Executive Medical Director, General Medicine, Bone & Neuroscience Therapeutic Area Head in Early Development, Amgen

School of Physical Sciences

John Abatzoglou | Earth System Science, Ph.D. 2006 | Associate Professor, University of Idaho

Michl Binderbauer | Physics, Ph.D. 1996 | Chief Technology Officer, Tri Alpha Energy

Timothy Clark | Chemistry, Ph.D. 2006 | Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of San Diego

Bryan Hannegan | Earth System Science, Ph.D. 2000 | Associate Laboratory Director, Energy Systems Integration, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Francesca Hopkins | Earth System Science, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar 2013 | NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, Jet Propulsion Lab

Tibor Juhasz | Physics, Postdoctoral Scholar 1987-1990 | Professor, Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering, UC Irvine

Kalyani Sukhatme | Physics, Ph.D. 1997 | Project Manager, NASA Jet Propulsion

School of Social Ecology

Mariela Alfonzo | Urban & Regional Planning, Ph.D. 2007 | President, Urban Imprint, Founder, State of Place, and Research Assistant Professor, New York University,

David Marrero | Social Ecology, Ph.D. 1982 | J.O. Ritchey Endowed Professor of Medicine and Director of Diabetes Translational Research Center at Indiana University School of Medicine

Martha Newkirk | Social Ecology, Ph.D. 1981 | Former Member, UC Regent

Kathryn Quick | Planning, Policy, and Design, Ph.D. 2010 | Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Cindy Smith | Social Ecology, Ph.D. 1996 | Director, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, United Nations

Edwin Tan | Psychology & Social Behavior, Ph.D. 2010 | District Director, Office of Congressman Mike Honda, California’s 17th District

School of Social Sciences

Jody Agius Vallejo | Sociology, M.A., Ph.D. 2008 | Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California, and Incoming Associate Director, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration

Zack Almquist | Sociology, M.A., Ph.D. 2013 | Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and School of Statistics, University of Minnesota

Roberto Gonzales | Sociology, Ph.D. 2008 | Assistant Professor of Education, Harvard University

Gary Milante | Economics, Ph.D. 2006 | Director, Security and Development Program, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Tepring Piquado | Cognitive Sciences, Postdoctoral Scholar 2011 | Physical Scientist, Rand Corporation

Celebration Honoree Mentions

Celebration of Graduate Success Honorees

If you know of an Honoree mention, please share it with us by sending a link and helpful information to We would be happy to feature it here. 

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