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The Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award 2021-22

Academic Personnel Office
Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty, Librarians, Vice Chancellors, and Vice Provosts
Dear Colleagues:
The 2021–2022 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award honoring Emeriti Professors in the University of California system has been awarded to Professor Emerita of Chicana/o & Central American Studies/World Arts & Cultures Judith F. Baca (UC Los Angeles) and Professor Emeritus of Sociology John Brown Childs (UC Santa Cruz).
UC Emeriti Professors Baca and Childs are the forty-eighth and forty-ninth recipients of the Constantine Panunzio Award. Both awardees have especially long and notable records of research, teaching, and service to the University of California, their disciplines, and their communities. The late Dr. Panunzio, a Professor of Sociology at UCLA for many years, has been described as the architect of the UC Retirement System and was particularly active in improving pensions and stipends for his fellow Emeriti. The award bearing his name was established in 1983 and includes a $5,000 prize.
Judith F. BacaUC Los Angeles, Professor Emerita of Chicana/o & Central American Studies and World Arts & Cultures, retired in 2018. Professor Emerita Baca, described as a “citizen-artist,” is a globally recognized interdisciplinary artist and scholar. Throughout her career, she has been committed to community involvement, social justice and empowerment. Her powerful large-scale murals and conceptual architectural works vibrantly document and give voice to collective community histories by recognizing diverse peoples’ struggles and connection to place. During her four years since retirement, she has continued her community-engaged creative work and has achieved numerous noteworthy accomplishments during this period. In 2018 Professor Emerita Baca was awarded the Phenomenal Woman Award and an honorary Ph.D. from California State University, Northridge. A major retrospective of her work: Judy Baca: Memorias de Nuestra Tierra, a Retrospective, was on view July 2021–March 2022 at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California — documenting her personal artistic explorations, activism and public art, and included an immersive audiovisual experience of her masterpiece, The Great Wall of Los Angeles (Tujunga Wash, San Fernando Valley). Significantly, in 2021 she was awarded a $5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation to expand this mural’s chronicled multi-cultural history of California. Managed by Baca and the arts nonprofit she co-founded in 1976, the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), it is a monumental project which will be completed in time for the 2028 Olympics. Recently, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art acquired her “History of California Archive,” and she also collaborated with the Museum of Contemporary Art and Vans on the production of a special edition sneaker. Finally, in 2018, Professor Emerita Baca was commissioned to design and produce the UCLA Centennial Mural, which was unveiled in April 2022. A lasting legacy for the campus, the mural project demonstrates Professor Baca’s commitment to social justice and inclusiveness, bringing students, faculty and staff together to contribute their views in the representation of UCLA’s past, present and future.
John Brown Childs, UC Santa CruzProfessor Emeritus of Sociology, retired in 2009. Professor Childs has made a model for his entire career centered on the intersection of teaching, scholarship, outreach, and social activism. His idea of transcommunality derives from the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederation to meld and promote the ethics of respect, acceptance of diverse perspectives with community engaged scholarship and cooperation. The work of Professor Childs has been described as scholarship applied towards healing the wounds and divides in our society. He has taught on recall for more than a dozen years, notably at the Soledad State Prison as part of the Barrios Unidos Prison Project. His work strives to bridge racial, ethnic, and religious divisions in a very volatile environment by creating positive outlets for incarcerated youth and men to become Peace Warriors. In Winter 2019, he implemented a course, CLTE125: Transcommunal Cooperation and Peace Making, where UCSC undergraduate students learned jointly with inmates at the Soledad Correctional Training Facility. At present, Professor Emeritus Childs is working on a book based on this practice and pedagogy, Voices from Soledad Prison: What is America Today, What Can it Be in the Future? In addition, Childs published a co-edited book, Indigeneity: Collected Essays (2012), he continues to lecture in international venues like the Sorbonne (2014; 2016) and locally throughout Santa Cruz County. Professor Childs has become known as “a silent hero” for his devoted efforts serving young people in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, California. He was instrumental in the renaming of UCSC College 10 as the John R. Lewis College, which was announced in October 2021. UCSC honored Professor Childs in 2019 with the Division of Social Sciences Distinguished Emeriti Faculty Award, and the Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professorship Award in 2020–2021.
Please join all of us on the Committee in congratulating Emeriti Professors Judith F. Baca and John Brown Childs on receiving the 2021–2022 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award.
Kathleen L. Komar
Chair, Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award
      Selection Committee
Interim Vice Provost, Academic Personnel