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Life Beyond Academics

While more women are present on college campuses now than in years past, they are still far from having equal footing in academic careers and their journey to become a professor remains a challenge.

This is a reality Sarah Eyerly, Ph.D. ’04 has lived and been working to address since she was a fellow of Professors for the Future at UC Davis.

GradPathways Announces 22-23 Professors for the Future Fellows

Welcome to our newest PFTF Cohort for 2022-2023!


We are pleased to announce the newest incoming cohort for the Professors for the Future program! These fellows were selected from a highly competitive applicant pool and come from a broad range of disciplines across the campus at UC Davis.

The Space Between

Being a postdoctoral scholar is frequently described as a “strange, in-between” phase of a person’s academic career.

A Forest of Hope

When UC Davis Professors for the Future alumni Rebecca Chancellor, Ph.D. ’08 and Aaron Rundus, Ph.D. ’07 arrived at the Gishwati Forest of Rwanda, government officials and conservation organizations had recently described the forest as being “to the point of no return.”

Once one of Rwanda’s largest indigenous forests being more than 28,000 hectares, the Gishwati Forest had been reduced to 900 hectares of forest cover.

The Art of Well-Being

Art has always a part of Maha Alshehab’s, Ph.D. ’18 life.

Even as her academic career progressed toward the sciences, Alshehab always sought out art because regardless of the medium — whether it was metal, wood, clay or painting — Alshehab said she found a calm focus whenever she immersed herself in the creative process.

The Prepared Professor

Wade Zeno, Ph.D. ’16 always knew he wanted to be a professor — to have his own research lab and to teach. Ever since he was a child, Zeno has enjoyed the classroom setting and as an undergraduate student, he often worked as a tutor, which only solidified his desire to pursue a career in academia.

But then, as he progressed his academic career toward obtaining a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, Zeno began to realize something was missing from his academic career.

Innovation for Empowering Others

Jeff Anderson, Ph.D. ’13 is a mathematician whose ultimate professional goal is, “to use anti-racist learning science to help people thrive.”

A Quest for Scholarly Answers

BernNadette Best-Green's, Ph.D. '20 drive to be a scholar comes from a desire to help K-12 teachers and students.

"Education is the opportunity for everyone to have success and transform your situation,” said Best-Green, who is now an associate professor of education at San Joaquin Delta College. "In my own experience, education was a transformative experience and so I wanted to make sure others have that opportunity. It’s why I’m very much connected to trying to help create teachers who are going to go back into communities and serve whatever students come through their door.”

Manufacturing a New Destiny

Destiny Garcia ’14, Ph.D. ’19 was not destined for success.

The 30-year-old UC Davis alumna who now works at Apple, Inc. grew up as the middle child of seven, born to two parents who struggled with drug addiction.

“I had a sucky life. I really did. From the day I was born, I was born into a sucky situation,” said Garcia. “When I heard stories about how badly I was neglected because my parents were high, it was just awful to hear.”

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