Judith Baca

Judith Baca, muralist: just one of the many award-winning faculty members at UCLA.

I work in the UCLA Office of Media Relations, and each morning I spend a couple of hours collecting links to all the media mentions of UCLA staff and faculty from major outlets around the world. Due to this, I think I tend to keep in mind something that many of us bruins lose track of the longer that we’re here – this university has some amazing faculty.

And not just in terms of teaching ability and research, either. They’re also making major contributions to artistic communities as well: we have published authors, artists who’ve shown in museums across the country, composers and directors who are renowned for their virtuosity.

For this post I wanted to highlight a few recent offerings from, and announcements about, some of our very own faculty. Maybe some readers of this esteemed blog have classes with these profs, and if not then maybe this will inspire some to check them out.

Joan Waugh is a professor of history who specializes in Ulysses S. Grant, this country’s 18th president.  In fact, her book U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth traces the rise and fall of the Civil War general’s reputation in the United States. Since being published late last year, the book has received many positive reviews, was named among the best books of 2009 by the Washington Post, and most recently has won Waugh the Jefferson Davis Award from the Museum of the Confederacy.

Next quarter Professor Waugh is teaching History 139A: U.S, Civil War and Reconstruction, and History 246B: Introduction to U.S. History, 1790-1900.

Greg Lynn, UCLA professor of architecture and urban design, has been with the university since 1996 and has received many accolades since. He’s known for his unique “blob architecture,” and has his own design firm in Venice called FORM. Lynn has been called one of the 10 most influential living architects by Time magazine, and on Tuesday United States Artists selected him as one of their 50 fellows for 2010 (see the Los Angeles Times announcement for other fellows).  In addition to being an awesome new addition to his resume, Lynn will also pick up a $50,000 prize. Not too shabby.

Next quarter Professor Lynn will be overseeing sections of Architecture and Urban Design 403B: Research Studio, and Architecture and Urban Design 496: Special Projects in Architecture.

Judith Baca is a professor with UCLA’s César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. In addition, Baca co-founded the Social and Public Art Resource Center. Baca is a muralist in the tradition of famous Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco. Most recently Baca has been honored by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education with the Outstanding Latino/a—Cultural Arts, Fine and Performing Arts Award.

Next quarter Professor Baca will be teaching Art M186B/Chicano Studies M186B/World Art M125B: Beyond Mexican Mural: Intermediate Muralism and Community Development, as well as that class’s associated lab.

Antonio Lysy is a professor of music with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music who specializes in the cello. Lysy is very influenced by his Argentine heritage, and much of the folk music and tango of Argentina. On November 11 Lysy won a Latin Grammy award for the song “Pampas,” off of his album Antonio Lysy at the Broad: Music from Argentina. Lysy won in the category of best classical contemporary composition.

Next quarter Professor Lysy will be teaching Music 60CW: Cello, Music 160CW: Advanced Cello, Music C175: Chamber Ensembles, Music C177: Gluck Ensembles, Music 401: New Music Forum, Music 460C: Cello, and a section of Music 375: Teaching Apprentice Practicum.

Lastly, it might not have won any awards (yet), but check out this lovely bit of architecture from UCLA Dining.