Faculty

Faculty in the Social Sciences provide an outstanding context for research and learning for more than 6,500 undergraduates and nearly 400 graduate students in 12 departments.  The student experience is enriched by faculty diversity, not just diverse in terms of race and gender but a faculty that demonstrates a diversity of talents, teaching approaches, and research interests.

Social Scientists bring new discoveries to the forefront: communicating critical perspectives on social, political, and economic issues that challenge contemporary society; providing communities and policymakers with alternative visions of how to bring about social change; and making connections between data and behavior. 

Faculty research vital issues such as globalization; the link between science, technology, sustainability and social policy; modes of conflict and communication within and between societies; and how the economy is affected by governmental decisions. The faculty's interdisciplinary approach to society, culture, economics, politics, ethnicity, and gender offers students a rich understanding of the world.

new
faculty


  • Youssef Benzarti
    Assistant Professor, Economics

  • Amy Gonzales
    Assistant Professor, Communication

  • Paasha Mahdavi
    Assistant Professor,
    Political Science

  • Catherine Taylor
    Assistant Professor, Sociology

  • Alisa Tazhitdinova
    Assistant Professor, Economics

  • Sharon Tettegah
    Professor,
    Black Studies

  • Hannah Wohl
    Assistant Professor, Sociology

Awards, Honors and Notable Achievements in 17-18

Edward Telles, Sociology, was named a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi, Sociology, will be a fellow of the Natl Humanities Center in Chapel Hill.
Hahrie Han, Political Science, is co-PI on a grant from the New Venture Fund, titled “P3: Making Participation Possible, Probable, Powerful.” 
Casey Walsh, Anthropology, won a grant from the Santa Barbara County Public Works his project “Cuyama Needs Assessment Census.”
Michael Gurven, Anthropology, NIH Center For Scientific Review, for “Brain Atrophy, Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s in a Low CVD-risk Population.”
Javiera Barandiaran, Global Studies, Mellon Foundation, “Energy Justice in Global Perspective.”
Emiko Saldivar Tanaka, Anthropology, and Erica Arenas, Sociology, Kellogg Foundation, “Towards the Inclusion of Mexico’s Afrodescendent Population in the 2020 National Census.”
Barbara Harthorn, Anthropology, UCLA, “CEIN-Predictive Toxicological Assessment and Safe Implementation of Nanotechnology in the Environment.”
Noah Friedkin, Sociology, DA Army Research, QUANTA: Quantitative Network-based Models of Adaptive Team Behavior. 
Nora Dunbar and Miriam Metzger, Communication, Office Of Naval Research, Socio-Cultural Adversarial Networks.
Kum-Kum Bavnani, Sociology, has been named Vice President of the Assembly of the Academic Senate.
Beth Schneider, Sociology, led a campus efforts to land a grand from the Dept of Education for support of the McNair Scholars Program.
Joe Walther, Communication, was named the inaugural holder of the Mark and Susan Bertelsen Presidential Chair in Technology and Society in February 2018.
Alice O’Connor, Hisotry, is the inaugural BLUM Center Director; And in November 2017 we formally inaugurated the Blum Center, with a very well-attended lecture by Robert Reich in Campbell Hall.

Hellman Family Faculty Fellows Recipients
David Lawson, Anthropology, Understanding Men's Incentives for Women's Empowerment: Testing predictions from sexual conflict theory in Tanzania
Matto Mildenberger, Political Science, Prospects for climate risk mitigation in a post-Paris world

Faculty Career Development Award
Erika Arenas Velazquez, Sociology, The influence of documentation status on labor market and health outcomes of Mexican Migrants using panel data
Matto Mildenberger, Political Science, Investigating violence against environmental justice activists in the global South

Faculty Career Development Award
Laurie Freeman, Political Science, Radiation Nation: Japan and the Politics of Ignorance

Endowed Chairs

At UC Santa Barbara, philanthropic support is central to maintaining the quality of teaching, research, and public service. One of the most important types of gifts to higher education is an endowed chair, which provides research funding and support for instruction that help us recruit and retain the world's finest scholars. You can review the current array of endowed chairs below.

  • Theodore C. Bergstrom
  • AARON AND CHERIE RAZNICK CHAIR IN ECONOMICS
  • College of Letters and Science
  • Aaron* and Cherie Raznick H ’88, Donors
  • Theodore C. Bergstrom, Raznick Professor of Economics
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  • Shelley Lundberg
  • ALEC P. ALEXANDER CHAIR IN ECONOMICS
  • Economics Department
  • Walter and Thelma Mead, Donors
  • Erik Eyster, Alexander Professor of Economics
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  • Finn E. Kydland
  • ANTON VONK CHAIR IN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
  • Political Science Department
  • Anton Vonk, M.A. ’05 and Diane Boss, Donors
  • Hahrie Han, Vonk Professor of Environmental Politics
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  • Eileen Boris
  • ARTHUR N. RUPE CHAIR IN THE SOCIAL EFFECTS OF MASS COMMUNICATION
  • Department of Communication
  • Arthur N. Rupe Foundation, Donor
  • Ronald E. Rice, Rupe Professor of the Social Effects of Mass Communication
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  • J. Benjamin Cohen
  • BLAIR HULL CHAIR IN WOMEN'S STUDIES
  • Department of Feminist Studies
  • M. Blair Hull ’65, Donor
  • Eileen Boris, Hull Professor of Women’s Studies
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  • Finn E. Kydland
  • JEFF HENLEY CHAIR IN ECONOMICS
  • Department of Economics
  • Jeff and Judy Henley ’66/H ’09, Donors
  • Finn E. Kydland, Henley Professor of Economics
  • 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics
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  • Shelley Lundberg
  • LEONARD BROOM CHAIR IN DEMOGRAPHY
  • Division of Social Sciences
  • Leonard* and Gretchan Broom, Donors
  • Shelley Lundberg, Broom Professor of Demography
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  • Ignacio Esponda
  • LOUIS G. LANCASTER CHAIR IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
  • Department of Political Science 
  • Winifred H. Lancaster* H ’89, Donor
  • J. Benjamin Cohen, Lancaster Professor of International Relations
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  • Rod Garratt
  • LUIS LEAL CHAIR IN CHICANA AND CHICANO STUDIES
  • Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies
  • Individuals, Foundations, Corporations, and the Mexican Government, Donors
  • Aida Hurtado, Leal Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies
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  • Rod Garratt
  • MAXWELL C. AND MARY PELLISH CHAIR IN ECONOMICS
  • Department of Economics
  • Colonel Maxwell C. Pellish* and Mrs. Mary Pellish, Donors
  • Rod Garratt, Pellish Professor of Economics
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  • Charles Hale
  • SAGE SARA MILLER MCCUNE DEAN OF SOCIAL SCIENCES CHAIR
  • Division of Social Sciences
  • SAGE Publications, Inc., Donor
  • Charles R. Hale, SAGE Professor and Dean of Social Sciences
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  • Ignacio Esponda
  • WALTER J. MEAD CHAIR IN ECONOMICS
  • Department of Economics
  • Walter and Thelma Mead, Donors
  • Ignacio Esponda, Mead Professor of Economics
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