LAURELS: Kim Elsbach Is UC Davis’ 1st Fellow in the Academy of Management

Kim Elsbach, UC Davis faculty, seated, portrait
Professor Emeritus Kim Elsbach, newly elected fellow of the Academy of Management, reflects on the real-world impact of her work.


  • Kim Elsbach, Graduate School of Management
  • Annaliese Franz, College of Letters and Science
  • Marina Leite, College of Engineering
  • Sue Williams, Athletics
  • Walter Leal, College of Biological Sciences
  • Melody Keena, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Professor Emeritus Kim Elsbach of the Graduate School of Management has been elected as a fellow of the Academy of Management, the first at UC Davis to achieve the honor.

Kim Elsbach headshot, UC Davis faculty
Kim Elsbach

Elsbach, who earned a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford, joined the GSM faculty in 1997.

The academy, an international association of management and organization scholars and practitioners, accords fellow status to recognize members for their significant contributions to the science and practice of management.

Upon learning of her election, Elsbach asked herself what real-world impact she had made. She responded in a blog post that reads, in part, “For me, the answer was that my work, in a small way, has helped people make sense of who they are as members of organizations (e.g., at work, hobbies, school, etc.). This includes understanding both their self-perceptions, as well as how others perceive them in their organizations.”

She noted her recent work with NASCAR fans, describing it as the first empirical field research to show a factor other than status or prestige as the primary motivator of organizational identification. “My work helped them understand how needs for authenticity underlay their motivations to join,” she wrote. “More importantly, it helped them understand that providing opportunities to be your ‘true self’ at work was important to most employees.”

Annaliese Franz headshot, UC Davis faculty
Annaliese Franz

Annaliese Franz, professor of chemistry, has been named to the American Chemical Society’s 2022 class of fellows, recognized for outstanding contributions to science, the chemistry profession and the society.

Franz, a UC Davis faculty member since 2007, is a world-renowned researcher focusing on organic synthesis, catalysis and sustainable production of biofuels and materials from microalgae.

In selecting Franz as a fellow, the American Chemical Society, or ACS, called out her scientific leadership in the fields of asymmetric catalysis and organosilicon chemistry, as well as her contributions to the society and the broader chemistry community through service, leadership and mentorship.

Franz has served as the elected chair of the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry, the organization’s largest technical division, and also serves on a number of awards and conference organizing committees, among other activities for the international scientific society. She received a Rising Star Award from the ACS Women Chemists Committee in 2012.

— Kathleen Holder, content strategist, College of Letters and Science

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced it will induct UC Davis’ Sue (Cumnock) Williams into its hall of fame in December. The ceremony will be part of the association’s annual convention to be held this year in Denver.

Sue Williams headshot, UC Davis faculty
Sue Williams

She was among the first group of women’s coaches to be hired at UC Davis after the federal government’s enactment of Title XI, requiring equal athletics opportunities for men and women, and would become an Aggie legend over the course of her three-decade coaching career.

She established the women’s cross country program in 1973, added the men’s team to her coaching responsibilities in 1990 — and led both teams to extraordinary success until stepping down in 2003. As an example, the Aggie women advanced to the NCAA Division II Championships every year from 1981 until 2002, UC Davis’ final year of eligibility at the Division II level. In 1990, she was named the NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Decade, on the 10th anniversary of the NCAA’s sponsorship of women’s athletics.

She also served as head track coach for 15 years in the 1970s and ’80s and was later an assistant coach for distance runners with the program.

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Arkansas State, master’s degree in physical education from Central Arkansas and Ph.D. in education from Penn State. She was the recipient in 2003 of the James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award, the highest accolade given by the UC Davis Academic Federation.

Watch the video shown during the Williams’ 2014 induction into the Cal Aggie Athletics Hall of Fame.

Walter Leal headshot, UC Davis faculty, with Melody Keena and Alvin Simmons
From left: Walter Leal, Melody Keena and Alvin Simmons

Keeping it in the UC Davis family, sort of: The Entomological Society of America this year will present its highest honor to Walter Leal, a UC professor; Melody Keena, a UC Davis alumna; and Alvin Simmons, a scientist who is such a kindred spirit of the aforementioned professor that they call themselves twins.

Each is being accorded the title of honorary member, acknowledging extraordinary involvement in the affairs of the society over a minimum of 20 years. Candidates are chosen by the society’s governing board and then presented to the membership for a vote.

Leal is a Distinguished Professor of biochemistry in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a former chair of the Department of Entomology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology), while Simmons is a research entomologist at the U.S. Vegetable Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, part of the Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The ”twins” co-chaired the 2016 International Congress of Entomology conference, “Entomology Without Borders,” held in Orlando, Florida, that drew nearly 7,000 people from 101 countries — the largest gathering of entomologists in the history of insect science. 

Keena received three UC Davis degrees in entomology: bachelor's degree in 1983, master's in 1985 and doctorate in 1988. She is a research entomologist for the Northern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service, working as the lead scientist in the station branch in Hamden, Connecticut.

Read more in this article by Kathy Keatley Garvey, communication specialist, Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Marina Leite, UC Davis faculty
Marina Leite

Marina Leite, associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, has been elected to senior membership in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, recognizing significant contributions to the field through professional and technical excellence.

Senior members have more than 10 years of experience and have demonstrated significant performance. Leite is known for her research on functional materials for clean energy.

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Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556,; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932,

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