Volume II, Issue 1: September 2009
People

People

The curious case of Jerzy Grotowski and UCI's yurt

UCI's unusual yurt has become a mecca for serious theater buffs and fans of the late Polish director Jerzy Grotowski.
UCI's unusual yurt has become a mecca for serious theater buffs and fans of the late Polish director Jerzy Grotowski.

Director Jerzy Grotowski taught drama full time at UCI in 1983-84 and 1984-85 and returned several more summers. He died in 1999.
Director Jerzy Grotowski taught drama full time at UCI in 1983-84 and 1984-85 and returned several more summers. He died in 1999.

In fall 1983, UCI welcomed a major theater figure to its drama faculty: Jerzy Grotowski. The eccentric Polish director would stage iconoclastic productions in a barn left over from UCI's pasture days, but he needed more workspace. Now artistic director of the Marin Shakespeare Company, Robert Currier '69, M.F.A. '71, who collaborated with Grotowski at UCI, found the solution: a round, Mongolian-style yurt. Built during the winter quarter by a Ukiah company owned by David Raitt, brother of singer Bonnie Raitt, the 36-foot-diameter wooden structure was where Grotowski and his ensembles ate, rested and rehearsed during marathon acting sessions. Grotowski treated the yurt like a temple, filling it with candles and requesting that all who entered remove their shoes. Today, the drama department still uses the yurt and barn, located just beyond the Anteater Recreation Center. "The yurt is a sacred place," says Robert Cohen, Claire Trevor Professor of Drama, who will host a Grotowski festival Nov. 24. "People come from around the world to see it."

Remembering Grotowski »

Hemminger named chemical society fellow

John Hemminger
John Hemminger

John Hemminger, physical sciences dean, has been elected to the first class of American Chemical Society fellows for his contributions to chemistry. Hemminger is co-director of the UCI Center for Solar Energy and an affiliate of AirUCI, the campus's atmospheric chemistry research group.

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McGaugh wins American Philosophical Society award

James McGaugh
James McGaugh

Neuroscientist James McGaugh will receive the American Philosophical Society's 2009 Karl Spencer Lashley Award for outstanding research in the integrative neuroscience of behavior. McGaugh is founding chair of the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior and founding director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory.

Humanities dean named to Stanford hall of fame

Vicki L. Ruiz
Vicki L. Ruiz

Vicki L. Ruiz, dean of the School of Humanities, was recently inducted into Stanford University's Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame, established in 1995 to recognize distinguished alumni of color. Ruiz, who received a doctorate in history from Stanford in 1982, has studied and written about labor and civil rights activists, as well as female cannery workers in 1930s Southern California.

Ruiz profile »

UCI police investigators nab honor

The International Association of Chiefs of Police has recognized the UCI Police Department's identity theft investigators as second-runners-up for the prestigious 2009 IACP Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation. The investigators were selected from more than 100 applicants worldwide and include Sgts. Shaun Devlin, Anthony Frisbee and Manse Sinkey; Cpl. Caroline Altamirano; Isaac Straley, information technology security manager with UCI Office of Information Technology; and Patsy Williams of the Dallas County District Attorney's Office.

IACP award »

Michaels named vice chancellor, planning & budget

Meredith Michaels
Meredith Michaels

Meredith Michaels, vice chancellor for planning & budget at UC Santa Cruz since 2000, has been named vice chancellor for planning & budget at UCI, effective Aug. 17. She replaces Roy Dormaier, who retired June 30 after 35 years of service at UCI.

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