Berkeley Letters & Science announces 2nd annual L&S Faculty Award winners

May 8, 2024

The College of Letters & Science Advisory Board has announced the recipients of the second annual L&S Faculty Awards, which recognizes and celebrates exceptional faculty in the College of Letters & Science. Awardees were selected 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. Awardees will be honored at a private ceremony on Wednesday, May 15. 

The L&S Faculty Awards recognizes three categories of faculty who have recently been promoted. Each category has been named for an L&S faculty member who has had a tremendous impact on the College: the David Blackwell Award, given to newly tenured faculty; the Beatriz Manz Award, given to faculty recently promoted to full professor; and the Jessica Blanche Peixotto Award, given to faculty recently promoted to professor above-scale. 

2024 L&S Faculty Awards Winners

Courtney Dressing

Associate professor in the Department of Astronomy

2024 Co-Recipient of the David Blackwell Award 

Person with shoulder length blond hair wearing a black top and green cardigan, standing outsideCourtney Dressing joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2017. She is an observational astronomer focused on detecting and characterizing planetary systems orbiting nearby stars, and her nomination letter states, “Dressing has established an exceptional and highly visible research program at Berkeley which is very well recognized by the scientific community as evidenced by the outstanding research funding, the prestigious awards, and the highly positive evaluations by external reviewers. She is an outstanding teacher and mentor, is recognized for her excellent scientific leadership skills, and is an invaluable member of her department, the campus and her profession." Since coming to Berkeley, Dressing has received numerous awards including the 2021 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy, the Packard Fellowship, Sloan Fellowship and Hellman Fellowship. Furthermore, Dressing has an excellent record of teaching and mentoring, and her courses offer an excellent learning experience at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Dressing has also built a large and dynamic research group at Berkeley. Her students have published papers with her in top journals and have received prestigious fellowships -- the success of her students is strong evidence of Dressing’s mentoring.

Hernan Garcia

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

2024 Co-Recipient of the David Blackwell Award 

Man in grey collared shirt standing outdoors

Hernan Garcia has a joint appointment in physics and molecular cell biology. He studies the hidden code within the genomes of different organisms to understand how genes are turned on and off in different time and space in a developing embryo. "Hernan Garcia is a wonderful teacher, outstanding researcher/scholar and finds ways to serve the greater good that are amazing. Hernan has reached out to community colleges to help enhance the research environment for underresourced students, participated in our EIB symposium organization bringing rising stars still in post-doctoral status to opportunities for faculty positions at UC Berkeley, and also managed to update his now classic text book on the physics of Biology," commended Michael Botchan, Dean of the Biological Sciences Division. Applying his training as a physicist to fundamental questions of cell development and decision making, Garcia has established an impactful research program at UC Berkeley and his work has yielded exciting new insights and methodologies. Garcia is highly regarded in the scientific community and his accolades include recognition from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation as well as the Hellman, Sloan, and Searle foundations. In addition to holding an outstanding research record, Garcia's nomination lauds his teaching contributions, stating "Garcia is a talented instructor and his vantage as a computational biophysicist makes him indispensable to our teaching mission. During his time at Berkeley, he redeveloped MCB 137L into a new iteration -- the Physical Biology of the Cell targets upper division and graduate students, and he solo teaches the course each spring semester. Students rate his teaching effectiveness highly and many laud his organizational skills, noting that he is an enthusiastic, caring, and knowledgeable instructor."

James Analytis

Professor and Charles Kittel Chair in the Department of Physics

2024 Co-Recipient of the Beatriz Manz Award

Headshot of person with blue collared shirt and dark brown hairJames Analytis joined the Berkeley faculty in 2013. He is an experimental condensed matter physicist who specializes in the preparation and investigation of materials that exhibit strongly correlated electronic behavior, especially at low temperature. He has an exceptional record of service and has demonstrated laudable leadership in his department. Analytics was appointed chair of the physics department as an associate professor, which was the first time in the department’s history, and it is noted that he excelled in the role for five years before opting to go back to research. As chair, he not only had an important effect on department culture and inclusiveness, but he personally spearheaded important new programs to engage undergraduates from diverse backgrounds. Analytis is also the founder and chair of the Physics Innovators Initiative (Pi2) and has played a critical role in Berkeley’s important major initiatives in Quantum Science and Technology. Analytis' service contributions to the broader scientific community are equally impressive. His nomination letter notes, "He is a world-leading researcher in forefront areas of condensed matter physics. He is a dedicated and thoughtful classroom teacher and mentor, and he has an outstanding service record culminating in his very successful stint as department chair."

Leo Arriola

Professor in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science

Associate Dean, Social Sciences Division

2024 Co-Recipient of the Beatriz Manz Award

Headshot of person with black shirt and closely cropped black hairLeo Arriola joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 2007. In his scholarly work, Arriola uses a wide range of experimental, quantitative and qualitative methods to research representation, governance and political institutions in multiethnic societies, with a particular focus on countries in Africa. His nomination letter notes, "Arriola has developed new research frontiers on gender in Africa, particularly with reference to women’s political participation and in deepening our understanding of how gender works with other cleavages in the political sphere (Women and Power in Africa, Oxford University Press 2021). Arriola also has an exceptional record of teaching and mentoring. In 2013, he received the Carol D. Soc Distinguished Graduate Student Mentoring Award for junior-level faculty, the highest award on campus for mentoring, and has also mentored over 100 undergraduate students through the URAP program since receiving tenure, an astonishing number. His record urged one reviewer to write: “Above and beyond research (and through it), it has been very apparent to me for many years that Arriola is one the very best doctoral advisors and mentors in our discipline. His approach to training involves methodological pluralism, and identifying and answering significant research questions of consequence. By coauthoring with his doctoral students and encouraging their independent research trajectories, Arriola is building a major legacy in the field.” Raka Ray, Dean of the Social Sciences Division, shared, “Associate Dean Leo Arriola embodies that best of what we strive for at Berkeley Social Sciences. His excellence in research has been accompanied by an astounding record of devotion to mentoring and to service -- all performed with his trademark wisdom, eye towards fairness and extreme competence. I can't think of a more deserving winner for the Beatrice Manz award than Leo Arriola.”

Joe Goode

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

2024 Recipient of the Jessica Blanche Peixotto Award 

Headshot of person with a beard, resting head on hand

Joe Goode is a nationally and internationally renowned choreographer, writer, and director, whose record of creative achievements consists of over 50 completed and performed choreographies. His stature in the field is evidenced not only by these performances and by receiving a roster of major prizes and awards including a Guggenheim and a United States Artists Award, but also by his presentations and teaching residencies at over 60 universities and performance venues throughout the United States. In his nomination letter, one reviewer notes, "he is one of the rarest and most remarkable assets in the realm of contemporary performance in the country.” 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. Goode’s record of teaching is outstanding, as evidenced by his national recognition. He is an effective teacher that has built a strong mentoring record. Evaluations note that Goode provides space for students to discover and find their own creative path. One student comments, “Joe is clearly committed to all his students and wants them to grow and succeed throughout the course. Through learning about choreography with him, my process has changed considerably, and I am more excited now to continue choreographing in my future.” Goode’s record of service is equally outstanding and there is no doubt that he will continue to positively influence the department, campus, the profession, and the Bay Area, which benefits from his artistic leadership. Sara Guyer, Dean of the Division of Arts & Humanities, shared, “When Berkeley students take a class with Joe Goode, they become members of a dance community to which many professional dancers spend a career aspiring to join. Joe’s extraordinary humanity, his ground- (and ceiling)-breaking contributions to the arts, and his commitment to our students represent the very best of the arts at Berkeley.”