UCLA Faculty Honored as MacArthur Fellows


Elissa Hallem
Elissa Hallem, 2012

Elissa Hallem joined the UCLA faculty in 2011. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, where her laboratory studies the interactions between animal parasites and their hosts. In addition to being named a 2012 MacArthur Fellow, she was among 15 exceptional scientists selected as 2012 Searle Scholars. In 2011, she received a Sloan Research Fellowship and was named a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar. Her scientific articles have been published in journals such as Nature, Cell, Annual Review of Entomology and PNAS.

Hallem received her B.A. degree from Williams College and Ph.D. from Yale University. Prior to her appointment to UCLA, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology.

Faculty web page, lab web page and news release with video


Andrea Ghez
Andrea Ghez, 2008

Andrea Ghez joined the UCLA faculty in 1994, with a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. She became a full professor of physics and astronomy in July 2000.

Her long list of awards includes a Packard Fellowship (1996), the Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award from the American Physical Society (1999), the Sackler Prize (2004), and election to two prestigious national academies (2004): the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Faculty web page

Terence Tao
Terence Tao, 2006

In 2000, when Terence Tao was teaching freshman calculus as well as graduate courses, he was awarded two national fellowships, from the Packard Foundation and the Clay Mathematics Institute.

On August 22, 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal in Mathematics. Less than a month later, on September 19, he was announced as a MacArthur Grant recipient.

A math prodigy from Adelaide, Australia, Tao started learning calculus as a 7-year-old high school student. By 9, he had progressed to university-level calculus; by 11, he was already burnishing his reputation at international math competitions.

Faculty web page

Saul Friedlander
Saul Friedlander, 1999

Saul Friedlander came to UCLA in 1983 as a visiting professor in history. Four years later, he became the first recipient of the 1939 Club Chair in Holocaust Studies. He had already completed his acclaimed 1979 personal memoir When Memory Comes.

Since coming to UCLA, he has founded the influential scholarly journal History and Memory. His many books include History, Memory and the Extermination of the Jews (1993), Reflections of Nazism (1984) and Nazi Germany and the Jews, Volume 1: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 (1997). The latter is considered the definitive history of the period. The second volume will be called The Years of Extermination, 1939-1945.

Faculty web page and When Memory Comes (UCLA Magazine story)

Elinor Ochs
Elinor Ochs, 1998

Elinor Ochs is a UCLA professor of anthropology and applied linguistics. She is considered a founder of the field of language socialization, the study of the way people acquire language and are shaped by the culture around them.

Ochs heads the UCLA/Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families, whose research projects on family life include a landmark three-year study of dual-income, middle-class families in Los Angeles and how they balance work and family. The center is supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Faculty web page and Center on Everyday Lives of Families

Susan McClary
Susan McClary, 1995

Susan McClary has taught in UCLA's Department of Musicology since 1994. She was selected to receive UCLA's Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award in 1997.

McClary has earned a reputation for originality in the field by interpreting symphonies or popular songs as cultural artifacts, much as art historians or English professors do with painting, sculpture, novels and poetry. She is best known for her book Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality, which examines cultural constructions of gender, sexuality, and the body in various musical repertories, ranging from early seventeenth-century opera to the songs of Madonna.

Musicology Department web site

Rogers Brubaker
Rogers Brubaker, 1994

Rogers Brubaker joined the UCLA faculty in 1991 as an associate professor in sociology, rising to the rank of professor in 1994. He won a Guggenheim Fellowship for 1999-2000, to study ethnicity and nationalism in a Transylvanian town.

Brubaker's books include Ethnicity Without Groups (Harvard University Press, 2004) and Nationalism Reframed: Nationhood and the National Question in the New Europe (Cambridge University Press, 1996).

Faculty web page

Musicology Department web site

Sherry Ortner close-up
Sherry Ortner, 1990

Sherry Ortner joined the UCLA faculty in 2004 after teaching at the University of Michigan and University of California, Berkeley. Her prize-winning book Life and Death on Mt. Everest (1999) reflected her extensive fieldwork on the Sherpas.

In the early 1990s Ortner switched her research focus to the U.S. Her first project was on the meanings and workings of “class.” She is currently developing a project on the relationship between Hollywood films and American culture.  She also publishes regularly in the areas of cultural theory and feminist theory. 

Faculty web page

Richard Turco
Richard Turco, 1986

Richard Turco came to UCLA in 1988 as a faculty member in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. His specialties include atmospheric chemistry and earth system modeling. He is also a member of UCLA's Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

Turco is the founding director of UCLA's Institute of the Environment, which issues the annual Southern California Environmental Report Card. With his colleagues, he developed SMOG: the Surface Meteorology and Ozone Generation model for air quality research and analysis.

Faculty web page and Institute of the Environment web site

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond, 1985

Jared Diamond joined the UCLA faculty in 1966 as a professor of physiology in the medical school. He is now a professor of geography in the College of Letters and Science, Social Sciences division. His research interests include biogeography and environment.

Diamond received the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 1998 for Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Science. His most recent book is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed.

Faculty web page

Peter Sellars
Peter Sellars, 1983

Peter Sellars, a director of opera, theatre and film, is renowned worldwide for his innovative treatments of classical material from western and non-western traditions, and for his commitment to exploring the role of the performing arts in contemporary society.

Sellars is a professor in the department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA. His past teaching positions include a visiting professorship at the Center for Theatre Arts at UC Berkeley. B.A., Harvard University.

Faculty web page

Gregory Schopen
Gregory Schopen, 1985

Gregory Schopen is the chair of UCLA's Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. He received the MacArthur Grant for his work in History of Religion.

Schopen's books include Bones, Stones and Buddhist Monks (with Donald S. Lopez), Figments and Fragments of Mahayana Buddhism in India, and Buddhist Monks and Business Matters.

Faculty web page (Center for Buddhist Studies)

UCLA's MacArthur Grant Recipients

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, established in 1978, is a private, independent grantmaking institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals to improve the human condition. The grants are commonly referred to as "genius grants."

UCLA's MacArthur grant recipients come from a wide range of academic disciplines: social sciences, physical sciences, humanities and arts.

MacArthur Foundation web site

We make every effort to keep these listings current and accurate. Please notify if you notice an error or discrepancy.

Selected Honors held by UCLA Alumni and Students