November 17, 2003
Alumni Association announces award winners for
Assemblyman John Laird, anthropologist
Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, housing staffer Carol Douglas-Hammer selected
By Louise Donahue
UCSCs Alumni Association will give its highest honors in 2003-04
to a California assemblyman, an anthropologist, and a campus housing
|John Laird represents the 27th
assembly district, which includes Santa Cruz. Photo:
research centers on the interrelationship of people and animals.
Photo by Jun Ueno Sunseri.
|Carol Douglas-Hammer is known
for her uncanny ability to make accurate forecasts of fall housing
needs. Photo: UCSC Photo Services
In ceremonies that will take place on campus in February, John Laird
will receive the Alumni Achievement Award; Diane Gifford-Gonzalez, the
Distinguished Teaching Award; and Carol Douglas-Hammer, the Outstanding
Laird was elected in 2002 to represent the states 27th assembly
district. Prior to representing a district that includes parts of Santa
Cruz, Monterey, and Santa Clara Counties, Laird served two terms on
the Santa Cruz City Council, where he was elected to two one-year terms
as mayor. He also served as a Cabrillo College trustee for eight years.
He graduated from UCSCs Stevenson College in 1972 with a degree
John Laird is an experienced and tested leader, said Fred
Keeley, who preceded Laird as assemblyman. He is passionate and
committed to the causes we care about.
Among those causes is the environment, a longtime priority for Laird.
He is chair of the assemblys Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials
Committee and the Select Committee on California Water Needs and Climate
In the 1980s, Laird drew national attention for being one of a handful
of openly gay mayors. He has been a strong advocate for gay and lesbian
rights and authored a bill signed into law recently that adds "hatred
and intolerance prevention" training as a category for which school
districts, county offices of education, and eligible charter schools
can be reimbursed.
Laird is a familiar voice to public radio listeners in the Santa Cruz
area from hosting the weekly Talk of the Bay public affairs program
on KUSP Radio for five years before launching
his assembly campaign. (Laird now offers weekly updates on "The
Sacramento Report," which airs Monday mornings at 10:55 a.m.) And
he is one of the elected officials who participate in quarterly "Radio
Town Halls", answering listeners' questions during an hour-long
live call-in show.He was also a regular editorial page columnist for
the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Distinguished Teaching Award winner Diane Gifford-Gonzalez is an anthropological
archaeologist who reaches out to students at every level, teaching large
introductory courses as well as upper-division topical and theory courses.
She also sponsors multiple independent studies each quarter and collaborates
with students on paper and poster presentations at national meetings.
Each of these courses requires very different approaches and
skills, and Diane has mastered them all, said colleague Judith
Habicht-Mauche, associate professor of anthropology and Department of
Anthropology chair. She is a captivating lecturer who speaks with
passion, wit, and empathy. Gifford-Gonzalez received an Excellence
in Teaching Award from the Academic Senate in 19992000.
Gifford-Gonzalezs research centers on the interrelationship of
people and animals. Her work has tracked the movement of different animals
as they were introduced into new environments along with the people
who herded or tended them. A Fulbright Scholar, she has taught graduate
courses at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and intensive workshops
on zooarchaeology in Beijing, China.
Earlier this year, Gifford-Gonzalez received a three-year grant from
the National Science Foundation to continue her research on prehistoric
human ecology and environmental impacts in the Monterey Bay region.
Outstanding Staff Award winner Carol Douglas-Hammer deals with more
modern human ecology as assistant director for Student Housing Services.
Each year, Douglas-Hammer combines her analytical ability, research
skills, and even a touch of clairvoyanceaccording
to one colleagueto make amazingly accurate forecasts of fall-housing
In her more than 20 years at UCSC, Douglas-Hammers responsibilities
have grown steadily as what was once Housing and Dining Services has
expanded to include the colleges and child care. Douglas-Hammer has
gained a reputation across campus as an effective, results-oriented
professional. She has been particularly effective in directing the creation
of marketing and informational materials for prospective and current
studentsand their familiesthat greatly contribute to important
recruitment efforts and maintain successful student relationships. Douglas-Hammer
has also encouraged maximum use of online resources, including online
registration for housing and other services.
Nearly every student who has attended within the last two decades,
or who will attend UCSC in the future, has been or will be positively
affected by her work, said Sue Matthews, director of business
and support services for the Colleges and University Housing Services.
Douglas-Hammer is known for going the extra mile and putting students
first. While she is charged with ensuring compliance with the
business end of housing, she has always reached beyond this in dealing
with students and their families, said Michael McCawley, associate
director of admissions. On many occasions, she has found creative
solutions for many incoming undergraduates faced with difficulties,
and many of these students come from underrepresented ethnicities and/or
A $500 cash award and a framed certificate will be presented to the
winners of the Alumni Achievement Award, the Distinguished Teaching
Award, and the Outstanding Staff Award at a luncheon on Saturday, February
7, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Colleges Nine and Ten Dining Hall Multipurpose
Room. Ten College Service Awards and 37 need-based scholarships will
also be presented by the UCSC Alumni Association at the luncheon.
for the luncheon, which costs $18, may be made online or by calling
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