Department: Office of the DeanDate Posted:
April 17, 2012
Vicki L. Ruiz, dean of the School of Humanities and professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies at the University of California, Irvine, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Ruiz is among 220 new fellows and 17 new foreign honorary members elected to AAAS. The 232-year-old academy is composed of scholars, scientists, academics and business people. Fellows and foreign honorary members are nominated and elected to the academy by current members. Newly elected fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes those who have made preeminent contributions to their disciplines.
New Academy members join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy studies of science and technology policy, global security, social policy and American institutions, the humanities, and education.
Other 2012 class members include film icons Clint Eastwood and Mel Brooks; pianist, conductor and composer Andre Previn; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; television journalist Judy Woodruff; and Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos.
Vicki Ruiz helped establish the field of Chicano/Latino history with her research on Mexican-American women in the U.S. Southwest. She’s a major contributor to labor studies, women’s history, immigration history and the history of the American West. Her research encompasses 20th century U.S. history, Chicano/Latino history through oral narratives, gender studies, labor and immigration.
In 2006 Ruiz co-edited Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia
, a three-volume set with more than 600 entries and 300 photographs documenting the contributions of women of Latin American birth or heritage to the economic and cultural development of the United States. It is the first comprehensive gathering of scholarship on Latinas.
She is also the author of Cannery Women, Cannery Lives
and co-editor of the influential U.S. women’s history’s reader Unequal Sisters
, now in its fourth printing. She is currently working on a biography of pioneering trade union leader, Luisa Moreno.
Her past honors include a presidential nomination to the National Council on the Humanities and Latina magazine’s
“Woman of the Year” award in 2000. She was awarded the Humanities Associates Faculty Teaching Award in 2003.
Vicki Ruiz joined the UCI faculty in 2001 and was named dean of Humanities in 2008. She is currently a fellow of the Society of American Historians and a member of the national advisory board for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
“Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz. “We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”
Since its founding in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 6, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.