UCDEA Video Records Project


Since 1993, the UCDEA Video Records Project has been creating an oral history of the UC Davis campus by recording interviews of emeriti/ae as well as others who have made significant contributions to the development of the university. These interviews take the form of a recorded conversation between the interviewee and one of his/her friends and/or colleagues. More than 525 interviews have been recorded. All new emeriti/ae are encouraged to arrange for an interview.

All interviews have been uploaded to Aggie Video and can be streamed using links available in the upper right of this page.

Recent Interviews

James Millam - James Millam, Professor Emeritus of Animal Science was appointed in 1982 and retired in 2012. Jim’s research focused on avian endocrinology and reproductive physiology, specifically the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) physiology in turkeys. He also studied reproductive physiology and behavior of parrots, and endocrine disruption in songbirds. He was a member of graduate groups in physiology, animal behavior, animal science and avian sciences. His teaching included courses in environmental physiology, avian physiology, avian management, and avian reproduction. Jim is interviewed by his friend and colleague, Mary Delany, Professor Emerita of Animal Science. link

Xiaomei Chen — Xiaomei Chen, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Chinese Literature and Culture, was appointed in 2003 and retired in 2021. Xiaomei’s research interests include Chinese literature, theater, film, and performance studies. Her teaching interests include Modern Chinese Literature, Chinese Film, Chinese Drama and Performance, Popular culture of modern China, Propaganda Studies, Comparative Literature and Global Studies. She served as Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures from Spanish and Portuguese from 1993 to 1997 and as Chair of Performance Studies Graduate Group from 2014 to 2015. She was Founding President of American Association of Chinese and Comparative Studies (1984-1986). She has published influence books such as Occidentalism, Acting the Right Part, Staging The Chinese Revolution, and Performing the Socialist State and pioneered modern Chinese performance studies of the People’s Republic of China in the English-speaking world. She is interviewed by her friend and colleague, Michael Foster, Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture.  link

Kent Bradford Kent J. Bradford, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Plant Sciences, was appointed in 1982 (initially in the Vegetable Crops Department) and retired in 2019. Kent’s research focused on diverse aspects of seed biology, particularly in crop plants. He used genetic and molecular approaches to identify genes involved in seed dormancy and germination. He also developed mathematical models that described germination responses to temperature, water, hormones, aging and other factors affecting seed performance for crop propagation. He led a US Agency for International Development project that developed improved seed drying and storage methods for tropical climates. Kent taught undergraduate courses in seed biology, plant sciences and biotechnology. He also created and taught a graduate course on philosophy of science. Kent served as Chair of the Vegetable Crops Department from 1993 to 1998 and as Interim Director of the UC Davis World Food Center in 2018-2019. In 1999, he founded the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center and served as its director for 20 years. In 2010, he co-founded Seed Central, an organization that connects UC Davis to the California seed industry and promotes professional opportunities for students. He is interviewed by his long-time friend and colleague, Alan Bennett, Distinguished Professor of Plant Sciences. link

Rao Vemuri — Rao Vemuri, Professor Emeritus of Applied Science, held a joint appointment at Lawrence Livermore National Labs.  He retired in 2010. His research focus was on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with special focus on neural networks. He applied this technology to problems such as computer security, the discrimination of earthquakes from underground explosions, remediation of polluted groundwater aquifers, and on the reconstruction of Chromosome 19 in the Human Genome Project. He was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in India and acted as a CTO of Smartifacts.com. In his spare time Prof. Vemuri writes popular science and science fiction in his native language, Telugu – one of the regional languages of India. He published more than a dozen popular science books on topics of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology and compiled an English-Telugu and Telugu-English dictionary to facilitate science writing in Telugu. He is interviewed by his friend and colleague, Yin Yeh, Professor Emeritus of Applied Science. link

Mary Lou Leon Sianz — Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, Professor Emerita of Nursing.  After serving as Assistant Dean for Diversity and Cultural Affairs at the University of Pennsylvania, she came to Davis in 2011 and retired in 2019. Mary Lou is nationally and internationally known for her research on farmworkers, which has focused on the impact of migration on the health and development of Hispanic migrant and immigrant children and families. She was recruited to UC Davis as a founding faculty member of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.  She also served as Associate Director of The Latino Aging Research Resource Center’s Mentorship Core. In 2013, she was appointed UC Davis Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Multicultural Perspectives on Science (CAMPOS), established to promote women in STEM science, starting with Latinas. She has received numerous awards and honors including the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Fellowship in Bioethics at Georgetown University, a Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellowship, and recognition as a Top Latina in Health and Science by Hispanic magazine. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a fellow of the Western Academy of Nursing. She is a founding member and former president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and co-founder of the Mental Health Nurse Scientist Network of the Americas. Mary Lou is interviewed by her colleague and cousin, Olivia Campa, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine. link

About the Committee

The primary objective of the Video Records Committee is to record for posterity, interviews of emeriti/ae and distinguished retired members of the UC Davis campus. Additional information, including the current Charge and committee members, can be found on the Standing Committees > Video Records Committee page.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Video History Project is comprised solely of volunteers. Opportunities abound and training can be provided.

  • Schedulers: Schedule interviews, working with the Interviewee, Interviewer, and Videographers.
  • Videographers/Editors: Learn to record in a professional-style studio and edit videos with Adobe NLE editing software (will train!!).
  • Administrative: recruit candidates for interview, review, and comment on draft video interviews.

If interested, please contact the UCDEA Video Records Committee via the UC Davis Retiree Center.