UCLA Emeriti Association Spring Report to CUCEA


Systemwide Awards


The recipients of this year’s Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award  are Professor Emeritus of Psychology Norman Anderson, UC San Diego, and Professor Emeritus of Political Science Rein Taagepera, UC Irvine.  Each of the five excellent nominees has a distinguished record, and Professors Taagepera and Anderson both have especially long and notable records of research, teaching and service to the University of California, their disciplines, and their communities. 


Norman Anderson was a founding member of UC San Diego’s Department of Psychology, joining the department in 1965, after initiating his UC career at UCLA in 1958.  He is an experimental psychologist whose contributions over a long and distinguished career span social psychology and cognition, and he is best known for his development of information integration theory.   He formally retired in 1992, but his four books published since that date attest that his research and scholarship continued unabated, as did his mentoring of graduate students and contributions to his department and his discipline.  His post-retirement work in support of graduate student life and research has been especially notable, including establishment of the Norman Anderson Lecture series in the UCSD Department of Psychology.  


Rein Taagerpera joined UC Irvine’s Department of Political Science in 1970, following a shift from his initial career as a physicist.  He is an internationally renown expert in in political parties and systems, and the recipient of the Johan Skytte Prize, often considered Political Science’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize.  He formally retired in 1994, but has continued to publish, teach and serve both UC and Tartu University in his native Estonia, where he served as founding Dean of Social Sciences.  His combination of empirical and theoretical publications in addition to the outstanding academic leadership at Tartu University for the past 25 years constitute a remarkable third career:  first a physicist, then a luminary career at UC Irvine as an innovator in political science, and then as THE founder and sponsor of modern political science in post-Soviet Estonia. 


The Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award is housed at UCLA and open to Emeriti from all UC campuses with outstanding post-retirement records of research, teaching and service to the University and the broader community.  The selection committee is headed by UCLA’s Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, one or more prior Panunzio Award recipients, a representative from the UCLA Emeriti Association and UCLA Deans or senior scholars in fields represented by the nominees.  One or at most two awards are given annually.  


2.  Campus Awards


Melvin “MefSeeman, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, has been chosen by the UCLA Emeriti Association as the recipient of its Lifetime Distinguished Service Award.   Over his long and distinguished career Mef has been best known for his foundational contributions to the empirical study of alienation.  He served as Department Chair and President of the Pacific Sociological Association, and in 1991 was awarded the American Sociological Association’s prestigious Cooley-Mead Award for contributions to social psychology.  He formally retired in 1988, among the last professorial cohort obliged to retire because of “age.”  From 1988 until very recently Mef served UCLA as special advisor to the Academic Vice Chancellor, helping out successive incumbents, as well as myriad Committee on Academic Personnel chairs and department chairs,  with especially delicate and difficult academic personnel matters.  This quarter century “post-retirement” second career is as remarkable as it is unusual, if not unique.   


The 2014 Dickson Professorships at UCLA go to Eric (Rick) Fonkalsrud, Department of Surgery, and Howard Suber, School of Film, Theater and Television.  Dr. Fonkalsrud, a pioneer in Pediatric Surgery, is an inspirational mentor and master surgeon, revered by his colleagues, trainees and patients.   Professor Suber is a legendary teacher and scholar of film whose classes and lectures have been pillars of our Film School for decades and whose writings have extended the School’s eminence throughout the nation. 


Professor Paul Sheats is the recipient of the 2014 Emeritus of the Year Award.  A noted critic and scholar of Romantic poetry, Paul’s long and distinguished service to UCLA  has continued long after his retirement.  A former department chair and acting Dean of Humanities, Paul also served as Chair of UCLA’s Committee on Academic Personnel, President of the Emeriti Association and in innumerable other roles. 


Joyce Pellerano Ludmer received the Association’s Distinguished Service Award.  Joyce headed the UCLA Art Library for 20 years, and after her formal retirement she was appointed Senior Bibliographer at the Getty Research Institute.  She has served the Association as chair of our membership committee for the last five years and continues as a valuable Association leader.


Other News


UCLA’s Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center celebrates its 45th birthday this year by holding a series of talks and other activities.  Under the able leadership of Director Eddie Murphy, the Center continues its wide and expanding set of services to retired faculty and staff, serving as a model for other UC centers and nationwide.  UCLA’s Emeriti Association thanks Eddie and other Center staff for their extraordinary help, advice and support.


Submitted 4-30-14 by David Lopez