L&S Faculty Awards

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Image credit:
Keegan Houser

The L&S Faculty Award recognizes and celebrates outstanding L&S faculty members for their exceptional scholarship, service to the College and community, and transformational teaching.

These extraordinary individuals not only embody the excellence of the College of Letters & Science, but they also serve as an inspiration to the entire campus community.

An annual awards ceremony to celebrate the recipients is held each spring. 

L&S Faculty Award Categories

David Blackwell Award

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The David Blackwell Award is awarded to faculty recently promoted to tenure.

David Blackwell (1919-2010), Professor of Statistics, was the first African American tenured professor at UC Berkeley. In 1965, he became the first African American scholar to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Blackwell has an incredible history full of accolades, including the Berkeley Citation, the highest honor bestowed by UC Berkeley. A remarkable teacher and mentor, he had a residence hall named after him by Chancellor Christ in 2018. 

Beatriz Manz Award

Headshot of Professor Beatriz Manz

The Beatriz Manz Award is awarded to faculty recently promoted to full professor.

Beatriz Manz was the first Latina full professor at Berkeley. She directed the Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies and also chaired the Department of Ethnic Studies. Her research as an anthropologist has been focused on human rights and justice, particularly among the Mayans in Guatemala. The Committee chose Professor Manz for an award namesake honor because of her exemplary balance of scholarship, teaching, service, and work for the common good.

Jessica Blanche Peixotto Award

Image of Jessica Blanche Peixotto

The Jessica Blanche Peixotto Award is awarded to faculty recently promoted to professor above scale.

Jessica Blanche Peixotto (1864-1941) was the first woman to become a full professor, the first woman to Chair a department at UC Berkeley, and the second woman to earn a Ph.D. from Berkeley. Her work was in social economics, including a comparison of wages and spending in the US and France. She was also active in public service and served on the Council of National Defense during World War I.

Eligibility, Selection Criteria & Nomination Process


L&S faculty may be considered for this award 1-2 years after their last major promotion (assistant to associate; associate to full; full to above-scale).

Selection Criteria

Recipients of L&S Faculty Awards are recognized for:

  • Inspiring scholarship
  • Service above and beyond themselves
  • Leadership
  • Being a changemaker in their field(s)
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice
  • Student mentorship

Nomination Process

The Faculty Awards Working Group, a sub-committee of the L&S Advisory Board, accepts nominations from divisional deans each fall, which are reviewed in January and February. The materials that inform the Working Group include excerpts from the promotion dossier as well as a recommendation letter from the divisional dean. 

David Blackwell Award

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Hernan Garcia

Associate Professor in the Departments of Molecular & Cell Biology and Physics

Nomination excerpt:

"Applying his training as a physicist to fundamental questions of cell development and decision making, Hernan has established an impactful research program at Berkeley and his work has yielding exciting new insights and methodologies."

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Courtney Dressing

Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy

Nomination excerpt:

"Dressing is an outstanding teacher and mentor, and an invaluable member of her department, the Campus, and her profession. Moreover, she is recognized for her excellent scientific leadership skills."

Beatriz Manz Award

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James Analytis

Professor and Charles Kittel Chair in the Department of Physics

Nomination excerpt:

"Analytis has an exceptional record of service and has demonstrated laudable leadership in his department. He is a world-leading researcher in forefront areas of condensed matter physics, as well as a dedicated and thoughtful classroom teacher and mentor."

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Leo Arriola

Professor in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science and Associate Dean, Social Sciences Division

Nomination excerpt:

"Arriola has mentored over 100 undergraduate students through the URAP program since receiving tenure -- this is an astonishing number. Above and beyond research (and through it), it has been very apparent that Arriola is one of the very best doctoral advisors and mentors in our discipline."

Jessica Blanche Peixotto Award

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Joe Goode

Professor of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies and Artistic Director of Joe Goode Performance Group

Nomination excerpt:

"Goode is recognized as a national treasure who has had a signature impact on contemporary dance by redefining its content, its form, its practitioners, and its locations. These interventions have led Goode to be known as transforming contemporary dance through what in lieu Chair Jackson explains are “his aesthetic innovation and his ground-breaking commitment to addressing social themes.” "

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2024 Awardees and their Deans

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L&S Advisory Board member Na'ilah Suad Nasir