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2017 Alumni Award Honorees

UC San Diego has a history of disrupting the status quo, of looking deeper — beyond the surface. The same is true of the 200,000 Tritons out there in the world: alumni who are making a difference at home, in their communities and around the globe.

OUTSTANDING ALUMNI

Rachel Axler, MFA '04, Theatre

Rachel Axler

Award-winning television writer and playwright

Rachel Axler, MFA '04, Theatre

Rachel Axler, a critically acclaimed television writer and playwright, received three Emmy Awards for her work on The Daily Show and HBO’s Veep. She began her distinguished writing career as a playwright. Her play Smudge premiered Off-Broadway at the Woman’s Project Theatre where it received critical praise. Axler has also written for several popular television shows, including How I Met Your Mother, New Girl and Parks and Recreation.

Gary Darmstadt, MD '89, School of Medicine

Gary Darmstadt

Leading scholar in global public health

Associate Dean for Maternal and Child Health, Stanford University

Gary Darmstadt, MD '89, School of Medicine

Gary Darmstadt is making a difference for women and children around the world. Prior to joining Stanford University’s School of Medicine, he was a senior fellow in the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led an initiative to improve health and development outcomes for women and girls by addressing gender inequality and empowerment. A leading scholar in global public health, Darmstadt is known for his innovative thinking and ability to turn his ideas into solutions.

Brian Druker ’77, MD ’81, Chemistry, School of Medicine

Brian Druker

Revolutionary cancer researcher

Brian Druker ’77, MD ’81, Chemistry, School of Medicine

Brian Druker has revolutionized cancer treatment and saved thousands of lives through the development of the drug, Gleevec. His work inspired a new era of cancer research and led to the discovery of novel medications and therapies. He is currently a professor of medicine and physician-scientist at Oregon Health & Science University, as well as the JELD-WEN chair of Leukemia Research and director of OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute.

Dhanurjay “DJ” Patil ’96, Mathematics

Dhanurjay Patil

First U.S. Chief Data Scientist

Dhanurjay “DJ” Patil ’96, Mathematics

Under the Obama Administration, DJ Patil was appointed to serve as the first chief data scientist for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. His role: to maximize the nation’s return on investment by focusing on policies to help the U.S. remain a leader in technology and innovation. A graduate of Warren College, his work with weather datasets led to improved weather forecasting and a reliable 14-day model. Patil has also been a leader in the public and private sectors for U.S. Department of Defense, eBay Inc. and LinkedIn.

Carrie Mae Weems, MFA '84, Visual Arts

Carrie Mae Weems

World-renowned, award-winning artist

Carrie Mae Weems, MFA '84, Visual Arts

Carrie Mae Weems is a celebrated artist known for exploring issues of race, gender, class and how the present can be understood through history and identity. Her most recognized work, Kitchen Table Series (1990), has been exhibited in the Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art and galleries around the world. Named a MacArthur Fellow in 2013, Weems continues to engage local communities through art and activism.

Start a Nomination

We’re seeking nominations for the True Triton Awards, recognizing exceptional volunteers, and the UC San Diego Alumni Awards, showcasing four different categories of impact. This is your opportunity to recognize exceptional alumni who have made a significant difference.

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