Volume III, Issue 6: March 2011
People

People

Jon Wiener's inspirational grass-roots activists

Jon Wiener

March 31 has been designated Cesar Chavez Day, in honor of the civil rights activist who mobilized the nation's farmworkers, helping those who toiled in the grape fields win their first union contracts. For a list of other inspiring leaders who shook up the establishment, we turned to Jon Wiener, UCI history professor, contributing editor at The Nation and radio talk-show host. He fought a 25-year legal battle — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court – to obtain secret files the FBI kept on John Lennon. Here are some of the grass-roots activists Wiener admires — in addition, he notes, to Chavez:

  • Upton Sinclair (1878-1968), the muckraking writer who in 1934 ran for governor of California on an anti-poverty platform. Big business beat him.
  • Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), who in 1916 set up the first birth-control clinic in the U.S. and in 1921 founded Planned Parenthood.
  • Ella Baker (1903-1986), who in the 1960s helped create the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which fought racism in the Deep South.
  • Harry Hay (1912-2002), who in 1950 co-founded America's first gay rights organization.
  • Muhammad Ali (1942- ), "The Greatest," who was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War.

Brian Skyrms earns UCI Alumni Association's highest honor

Brian Skyrms
Brian Skyrms, UCI Distinguished Professor of Social Science, Logic & Philosophy of Science

Distinguished Professor Brian Skyrms will receive the UCI Alumni Association's Extraordinarius award during the 41st annual Lauds & Laurels ceremony May 12 at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. Eighteen additional individuals, including alumni from each of the academic schools, will be feted for their commitment to UCI as part of the university's longest-running awards ceremony. Skyrms' research and leadership have earned him membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, as well as the Lakatos Award and numerous other honors.

Lauds & Laurels »

AAAS honors Loftus for memory research

Elizabeth Loftus
Elizabeth Loftus

Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of social ecology and professor of law and cognitive science, received the 2010 Scientific Freedom & Responsibility Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science at its 177th annual meeting Feb. 19 in Washington, D.C. The association honored Loftus for "the profound impact that her pioneering research on human memory has had on the administration of justice in the United States and abroad." Loftus, who has testified at more than 200 civil and criminal trials, has demonstrated that memories can be implanted or manipulated through a variety of means.

Loftus award »

Alumnus named Seton Hall University president

A. Gabriel Esteban
A. Gabriel Esteban

A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D. '93 has been appointed president of Seton Hall University, in New Jersey. Interim president since July 1, 2010, he earned a doctorate in management from UCI's Paul Merage School of Business, a master's in Japanese business studies from Honolulu's Chaminade University, and an M.B.A. and bachelor's in mathematics from the University of the Philippines. Esteban also attended Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and the Japan-America Institute of Management Science.

Dr. Roger Steinert named top opthalmologist

Dr. Roger Steinert
Dr. Roger Steinert

Becker's ASC Review, a publication for surgeons, medical directors and others involved in outpatient surgery, has identified Dr. Roger Steinert as one of America's best ophthalmologists. The Department of Ophthalmology professor and chair is founding director of UCI's Gavin Herbert Eye Institute.

Steinert honor »

Ruth Kluger to address Austrian parliament

Ruth Kluger
Ruth Kluger

Professor Emerita of German Ruth Kluger will speak before Austria's parliament on May 5, the country's Day of Remembrance Against Violence & Racism in Memory of the Victims of National Socialism. She was personally invited by the president of the Austrian parliament, who praised her knowledge and engagement in Holocaust studies. Kluger was born in Vienna and as a child was deported to Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Her best-selling autobiography, weiter leben: Eine Jugend (To Continue to Live: A Childhood), appeared in German in 1992 and was translated into English for publication in 2001.

In memoriam: Richard N. Baisden

Richard N. Baisden
Richard N. Baisden

In memoriam: Richard N. Baisden
Richard N. Baisden, UCI Extension founding dean, passed away Dec. 28. He oversaw the university's continuing-education programs from 1965 to 1988. As associate director of programs in Southern California, Baisden in 1962 organized the first educational offering to carry UCI's name, the Chancellor's Lecture Series in the Arts Today. UCI's founding chancellor, Daniel G. Aldrich, asked him to establish continuing-education programs to introduce the university to the growing county. UCI's Women's Opportunity Center was founded under Baisden's leadership, and in 1985 he instigated construction of the postmodern classroom and administration buildings that today house UCI Extension.

In memoriam: Tom Sizgorich

Tom Sizgorich
Tom Sizgorich

Tom Sizgorich, assistant professor of history, suffered a stroke and passed away Jan. 27. He came to UCI in 2008 after teaching at the University of New Mexico and earning his doctorate at UC Santa Barbara. Sizgorich's fields of interest included Late Antiquity, early Islam, intercommunal violence, identity studies, borderlands theory, narrative theory and empire. His book, Violence & Belief in Late Antiquity: Militant Devotion in Christianity & Islam, explores militant piety in both Christian and Muslim communities. Sizgorich is survived by his wife, Nancy McLaughlin, a medievalist in UCI's history department, and his sister, Rachel.