June 12, 2008
Hammock was nominated for his dedication to his students, his interdisciplinary thrust, and his scientific and professional career guidance.
The award, sponsored by the Academic Senate, will be presented Thursday, April 16, 2009 in the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). A reception will take place from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in Ballrooms A&B, with the presentation to follow.
"Bruce really is a campus icon," said Lynn Kimsey, chair of the Department of Entomology. "Despite his international reputation and his many commitments, he remains accessible and generously spends hours training and educating students and other professionals. He is a role model that we should all emulate."
“This award is one of the most prestigious granted on the UC Davis campus and recognizes consistent outstanding teaching and commitment to student success,” said Krishnan Nambiar, chair of the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award Committee in a letter to Hammock nominator Michael Denison, professor of environmental toxicology.
Hammock, elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in 1999, also received the Academic Senate’s Faculty Research Lecturer in 2001.
“Dr. Hammock clearly has a distinguished record in teaching at the graduate and professional level,” Denison said. “His philosophy of graduate education has been to train scientists who are specialists in their discipline but, in addition, to build the skills to reach across disciplines to generate new and creative approaches to science.”
Many of Hammock’s former students hold leadership positions in government, academics and industry. Denison attributes their success, in part, to the scientific and interdisciplinary research training they received from Hammock.
Hammock is active in five different graduate groups on campus and “gives freely of his time to qualifying exam and dissertation committees,” Denison said. Over the last five years, his laboratory awarded six doctoral degrees and two master’s degrees. The Hammock lab currently has seven doctoral students
“Professor Hammock is always available for guidance,” Todd Harris wrote. “He often employs a Socratic method when in discussion with his students. Rather than lecturing directly for long periods of time, he will often pause and ask questions.”
Hammock provides his students with “great freedom to pursue avenues of research,” Harris said, “and strives to give his students a broad perspective of the career possibilities in the current job market.”
The Hammock lab functions at multiple interdisciplinary levels. “The diversity of projects, the combination of basic and applied science and the number of international visitors has made this a rich intellectual environment,” Harris said.
“I feel very fortunate to have been in an environment that encourages fundamental curiosity-driven research but also the opportunity to transfer technology to society,” said Harris, who noted a project he is working on has resulted in the development of a drug that has completed Phase 1 human clinical trials.
Walter Leal praised Hammock’s teaching abilities. “I can unequivocally tell you that teaching is Dr. Hammock’s passion. He considers teaching the most important role of his university career. An excellent teacher and mentor, Dr. Hammock motivates, encourages and inspires, molding a whole new generation of scientists who are discovering ways to benefit humankind.”
“Dr. Hammock is totally committed to his students; he takes great pleasure in helping them grasp new concepts, explore new ideas, and interact with others,” Leal said. “At any given time, he can be found interacting with students in his laboratory, in class, in seminars, in his office and in the hallways—graduate students, undergraduates, post doctorate students and visiting scientists.”
Citing Hammock’s “stimulating and collaborative research environment,” Leal said that “Dr. Hammock is that unique individual who sparks the interest of students, holds it, and helps them succeed.”
Hammock holds a joint appointment in Cancer Research with the UC Davis Medical Center. He directs the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Program on the UC Davis campus, as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training Program in Biotechnology, and the NIEHS Combined Analytical Laboratory.
Hammock joined the UC Davis faculty in 1980 after spending six years at UC Riverside, and earlier as a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. A native of Little Rock, Ark., he received his bachelor's degree in entomology from Louisiana State University and a doctoral degree in entomology/toxicology at UC Berkeley.
Grant to Examine Whether Fish Oils Will Reverse Kidney Disease
Pioneering Inflammation Research
UC Davis Health Sciences Cancer Research Feature
Antibacterial Chemical Disrupts Hormone Activity, Study Finds
Bruce's Big Balloon Battle at Briggs
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology