In September, when Mike Puritz, associate director of programs for UCI Campus Recreation, competed with the USA Triathlon team in the International Triathlon Union's world championships in Australia, the 30-year staff member wore his loyalty to UCI not on his sleeve but on his feet. Puritz proudly sported his blue-and-gold Anteater socks while cycling and running, removing them only for the swimming portion. "I always wear my Anteater socks when I race," says Puritz, who joined UCI in 1980 as women's volleyball coach before transferring to Campus Recreation 12 years ago. "I like to share my school spirit, and people think the socks are cool."
Douglas C. Wallace, a pioneering UCI genetics researcher whose achievements in mitochondrial medicine are leading to new treatments for chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes, has been voted into the prestigious Institute of Medicine. Election to the organization, established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, is considered one of the highest honors in health and medicine.
Anthony James, Distinguished Professor of microbiology & molecular genetics and molecular biology & biochemistry, will receive the Nan-Yao Su Award for Innovation & Creativity in Entomology from the Entomological Society of America. An internationally known biologist, James leads a global effort to develop new methods of controlling dengue fever transmission by mosquitoes. The award will be presented in December.
Elizabeth Loftus, law professor and Distinguished Professor of social ecology, has won the 2009 Joseph Priestley Award from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Loftus was recognized for her human memory research and her contributions to the understanding of childhood abuse and traumatic recovered memories. Past Priestley Award recipients include 15 Nobel laureates.
Juergen Kempff, Spanish language program director, passed away Oct. 17 after a long battle with cancer. Born in Germany in 1944, Kempff earned his doctorate in Hispanic linguistics from UC Santa Barbara in 1989 and joined UCI's Department of Spanish & Portuguese in 1993. He directed the Spanish language program and taught undergraduate and graduate classes on Hispanic linguistics. Kempff received several awards for teaching excellence and was published widely on the subjects of linguistics and language acquisition. His wife, Lois Kempff, and three children, Daniel, Marcus and Nicole, survive him.
Anne Friedberg, former professor of film & media studies at UCI, died of cancer Oct. 9 at the age of 57. She was a founding faculty member of the film studies program, and she oversaw its transition to the Department of Film & Media Studies in 2002. Friedberg also was on the founding faculty of the doctoral program in visual studies. She left UCI after 18 years to become chair of critical studies and create the interactive media arts & practice program at USC in 2003 but remained exceptionally supportive of film & media studies and visual studies at UCI. Friedberg is survived by her husband, Howard A. Rodman, son Tristan and brother Richard Friedberg.