Past Award Recipients

Established at UCSC in 2011, the purpose of the Hellman Fellows Program is to support substantially the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research. Click here to find out more about the Hellman Fellows Program.

2021 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Filippo Gianferrari Literature Training the Reader: Dante and the Rise of Vernacular Literacy
Euiseok Kim Molecular, Cell, and Developemntal Biology Molecular Identities and Connectivity of Feedback and Feedforward Circuits in the Mammalian Cortex
Gueyon Kim Economics Black-White Differences in Intergenerational Occupational Mobility
Jacqueline Kimmey Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology Circadian response to Streptococcus pnuemoniae infection
Robbie Kubala Philosophy Social Aesthetics
Jaimie Morse Sociology Bodies of Evidence: Legibility, Medical Uncertainty, and the Knowledge Problem of ‘Rape Kits’
Juan Pedroza Sociology Safety Net Access for Immigrant Families
Justin Perez Latin American & Latino Studies LGBT Health Across the Americas Initiative
Jason Samaha Psychology Neural Correlates of the Subjective Experience of Time 
Samuel Severance Education Creating Sustainable Buzz for Science Learning: Piloting an Elementary Project-Based Ecology Unit Supporting Native Bee Populations

2020 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Saskias Casanova Psychology Youth Participatory Action Research, Cultural Knowledge & Resilience for (Im)migrant High School Students
A.M. Darke Arts Open Source Afro Hair Library
Camilla Hawthorne Sociology A Black Santa Cruz Sense of Place
Timothy Johnstone Chemistry & Biochemistry Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry to Treat Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Neglected Tropical Disease 
Jennifer Kelly Feminist Studies Detours: A Decolonial Guidebook to Palestine
Katy Seto Environmental Studies Turning the Tide: Shifting Access, Equity, and Vulnerability in Coastal California
Michael Wehner Electrical and Computer Engineering Low cost automation for Endotracheal Intubation 
Margaret Zimmer Earth and Planetary Sciences  Quantification of groundwater recharge in non-perennial rivers 

2019 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Susan Carpenter Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology Carpenter Lab Research Proposal
Karolina Karlic Art Rubberlands: a transmedia art work which visualizes the ways rubber manufacturing is socially, ecologically, and systemically formed
Nidhi Mahajan Anthropology Contesting visions of City and Nation: Land, and Sovereignty in Coastal Kenya
Adriana Manago Psychology Social Media, Gender, and Sexual Identity Development in Adolescence
Sara Niedzwiecki Politics Immigrants’ Access to Social Protection in Latin America
Savannah Shange Anthropology Milked: Poverty, Race and the Politics of Breastfeeding
Amanda Smith Literature Mapping the Amazon: Literary Geographies after the Rubber Boom
Sergey Syzranov Physics Conductors insensitive to disorder: insights from high dimensions
Jerry Zee Anthropology Algorithmic Necrosis: Machine Learning and Suicide Watch in China and Silicon Valley
Yu Zhang Electrical and Computer Engineering Modernizing Power System Planning and Operation to
Improve Grid Resilience Against Hazardous Events

2018 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Benjamin Breen History Indra's Net: Technology and Magic in the Early Modern World, 1600-1820
Angela Brooks Biomolecular Engineering Novel therapeutic targets in lung cancer from genes with altered mRNA splicing
Muriam Davis History Planning for Eurafrica: Development and Race in Algeria, 1958-1965
Anna Friz Film & Digital Media We Build Ruins
David Gordon Politics Accountability and Global Urban Climate Governance
Michael Hance Physics; SCIPP Searching for New Particles and Symmetries at the Large Hadron Collider
Cynthia Ling Lee Theater Arts Lost Chinatowns: a multimedia dance-theater work exploring Santa Cruz's historical Chinatowns
François Monard Mathematics Inverse problems, integral geometry and uncertainty quantification
Vicky Oelze Anthropology Chimpanzee intoxication and the evolution of termite associated tool use
Yuan Ping Chemistry & Biochemistry Theory Design of Charged Defects for Two-dimensional Quantum Technologies
Xi Zhang Earth & Planetary Sciences Deep Atmosphere of Jupiter: Insights from the Juno Spacecraft

2017 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
James Ackman

MCD Biology

Functional Dynamics of Cerebral Lateralization in the Developing Brain

Terrence Blackburn

Earth and Planetary Sciences

U-series Comminution Dating of Fine-Particle Production in Glaciers, Rivers, Faults and Extraterrestrial Surfaces

Rebecca Covarrubias


Acknowledging the Cultural Strengths of First-Generation Students: Longitudinal Explorations of Familial Interdependence and Hard Independence

Renée Fox

Necromantic Victorians: Reanimation and the Historical Imagination in British and Irish Literature

Alma Heckman

History & Jewish Studies

Radical Roads Not Taken: Moroccan Jewish Trajectories, 1925-1975

Dongwook Lee

Applied Mathematics & Statistics

New High-Order Schemes for Computational Fluid Dynamics using Gaussian Processes

Amy Mihyang Ginther

Theater Arts

No Danger of Winning

Tsim Schneider


Comparative Archaeologies of Native-Lived Colonialism in California

Christopher Vollmers

Biomolecular Engineering

Determining the Diversity of Individual Human B cells using Nanopore Sequencing

2016 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Mark Amengual

Languages and Applied Linguistics

Living in two languages: What constitutes “Good Pronunciation” in bilingual speech?

Alexander Ayzner

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Semiconducting Polyelectrolytes as Building Blocks for a Soft Artificial Photosystem

Rajarshi Guhaniyogi

Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Hierarchical Bayesian Statistical Modeling of Massive Scale Spatially Referenced Databases

Juhee Lee
Applied Mathematics and Statistics

Novel Nonparametric Bayesian Inference for Metagenomics with Two Applications

Samantha Matherne


Idealism in Exile: Cassirer and the Warburg Institute

Nick Mitchell

Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Documenting Labor in California Black Studies

Jevgenij Raskatov

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Cell Culture Studies of a Novel Chiral Variant of Alzheimer’s Amyloid Beta 1-42 Peptide

Marilou Sison-Mangus

Ocean Sciences

Investigating the chemical cross-talk between the toxin-producing diatom and its associated bacteria

Jennifer Taylor

Film and Digital Media Department

Redneck Muslim

2015 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Gerald Casel
Theater Arts

Splinters In Our Ankles – Collective Cultural Amnesia and Performed Resistance in the Tinikling, The Philippine National Dance

Nicolas Davidenko

How experience shapes orientation-dependent visual processing

Jennifer Derr

Agriculture and Public Health in Egypt

Rebecca DuBois
Biomolecular Engineering

Understanding how astrovirus enters human cells

Lars Fehren-Schmitz

Colonial Encounters and Climate Change: Mapping the Evolution of Human Genetic Diversity in the Central Andes throughout the Pre-Columbian Period

Grace Gu

Firm-paid Benefits, Employment, and Monetary Policy

Eric Palkovacs

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

An experimental test for eco-evolutionary feedbacks along a classic evolutionary pathway in threespine stickleback

Juned Shaikh

Spatializing Caste and Class

Maziar Toosarvandani

How do languages vary? Aspect and its interpretation in discourse

2014 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Eric Aldrich

Filtering Methods for Volatility Estimation

Amy Rose Deal

Studies in Linguistic Diversity: Pronouns and Tense

Marc Matera

Decolonization and the Development of Race Relations

Adam Millard-Ball
Environmental Studies

Urban Sprawl: A Global Analysis

2013 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Jennifer Horne
Film & Digital Media
Emergent Humanitarian Media, 1917-1936
Sylvanna Falcón
Latin American & Latino Studies
Expanding the Conceptualization of Human Rights by New Constituencies
Tesla Jeltema
Using Observations of Large-Scale Structure in the Universe to Probe Models of Dark Matter and Cosmic Rays

2012 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Megan Moodie
Genomic research: benefits and drawbacks
Dejan Milutinović
Applied Mathematics & Statistics
Motion Capturing System for Real-Time Control of Indoor Robots
Ian Garrick-Bethell
Earth & Planetary Sciences
Lunar Impactors: A Low Cost Robotic Mission to Study Lunar Magnetism and Surface Water
Rita Mehta
EE Biology
Assessing the potential importance of the California moray in structuring kelp forest communities around Catalina Island
Irene Lusztig
Film & Digital Media
Lessons for Imminent Motherhood
Shannon Gleeson
Latin American & Latino Studies
Rights in Theory, Rights in Practice: Unpacking the Individual and Institutional Elements of Enforcing Worker Rights
Mark Massoud
Law in Conflict: Legal Activism and the Rule of Law in War-afflicted Regions

2011 Recipients

Faculty Name
Title of Project
Yiman Wang
Film & Digital Media
Performing Critical Differences – Anna May Wong’s “Yellow Yellowface”
John Jota Leaños
Film & Digital Media
Frontera! Animated Histories of the Southwest Borderlands
Neda Atanasoski
Feminist Studies
Publication preparation for Afterimages of Empire: Race, Freedom, and the U.S. Postsocialist Imaginary; and preparation for National Identity and Islam in Bosnia
Matthew Wagers
Grammatical role assignment in Chamorro language comprehension: Incorporating underrepresented languages in dynamic models of language structure
Dorian Bell
Frontiers of Hate: Anti-Semitism and Empire in Nineteenth-Century France
Christine Hong
Legal Fictions: Afro-Asian Human Rights Cultural Production and the Pax Americana in the Pacific Rim
Kathleen Kay
EE Biology
Evolutionary Genetics of Reinforcement: Speciation Mechanisms Between Costus pulverulentus and C. scaber
Victoria Auerbuch Stone
Germ warfare: how Yersinia manipulates its host.
Mayanthi Fernando
On the Muslim Question: Anxieties of the French Secular
Aspen Gorry
Learning, Multi-worker Firms, and the Cyclicality of Worker Flows
Eduardo Mosqueda
Linguistic Segregation and Educational Achievement in California’s Public Schools
Hector Perla Jr.
Latin American & Latino Studies
Revolutionary Deterrence: U.S. Coercion & Transnational Resistance by Sandinista Nicaragua