Christopher S. Foote Biography

Christopher Foote BiographyChristopher Foote was a leader in clarifying the complex chemistry induced by these simple but reactive molecules. His recent work on DNA damage and on the photophysical properties of the fullerenes were among the most influential discoveries from his laboratories.  

Christopher earned many prestigious awards for his achievements, most notably an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Leo Hendrik Baekeland Award of the American Chemical Society. In 1994, he received some of the American Chemical Society's highest honors: the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award and the Tolman Medal of the Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society. His research was supported throughout his career by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. He was highly prized as consultant to prominent companies such as Procter & Gamble, Occidental, and Clorox due to his expertise on oxidation chemistry and biology.

Christopher was the chair of the Department of Chemistry from 1978-1981, providing leadership that led to the construction of the Molecular Sciences Building (completed in 1994), and served as a strong advocate in developing the department's commitment to hiring outstanding female scientists for faculty positions. In service to the broader UCLA community, Foote served as a member and chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel and was a member of the corresponding statewide committee for the UC system. He also served as member of the Executive Committee of the College. In keeping with his strong interest in computer technology, he was the first chair of the university's Information Technology Planning Board, which helped to transform educational and administrative technology policy at UCLA. He was president of the American Society for Photobiology in 1988-89 and senior editor of the respected journal Accounts of Chemical Research from 1995 until his death. He also served as elected councilor for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

With his wife Judith L. Smith, Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at UCLA, Christopher was a patron of the Los Angeles Opera and the Da Camera Society as well as a benefactor of the L.A. Chamber Orchestra. They endowed the Foote Senior Graduate Fellowships, used to attract promising graduate students to the Organic Division at UCLA.


Judith L. Smith Biography

JUDI SMITH started her career in the fall of 1969 as an assistant professor in physiological science. Her 42 years at UCLA are marked by successes in teaching, research and service. She received a Distinguished Teaching Award in 1973, becoming the second woman to be accorded this UCLA honor. She was the chair of her department for five years (1980-85) and, in 1991, was one of the founders of the undergraduate interdisciplinary neuroscience program.

Her research on spinal cord physiology and limb dynamics was continuously funded by NIH for 27 years, and in 1990 she received a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, an honor granted to neuroscientists with a history of “exceptional talent, imagination and preeminent scientific achievement.” She was the chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate (1994-95), served as interim executive dean of the College of Letters and Science (2003-04), and has been the chair of the College Cabinet of Deans since 2009.

In 1996, Judi was appointed the first dean and vice provost for undergraduate education. Through her service as the administration’s advocate for undergraduate education and liaison to the Academic Senate’s Undergraduate Council, she has facilitated the transformation of policies and the adoption of new programs that have reshaped undergraduate education at UCLA. She established the Division of Undergraduate Education and was responsible for spearheading the creation of Freshman Clusters, Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars, Writing II, Undergraduate Research Centers, Center for Community Learning and Scholarship Resource Center, and she led a successful effort to transform UCLA’s General Education curriculum.

Established units in her division, such as the Academic Advancement Program (AAP), College Honors Programs, College Academic Counseling, Office of Instructional Development (OID) and New Student and Transition Programs, continue to thrive under her guidance, despite the onslaught of deep budget cuts in recent years.

Over the past decade, Judi established UCLA’s largest undergraduate scholarship program, raising an endowment of nearly $50 million. Each year the division awards $3 million to support students engaged in entry-level and advanced undergraduate research, community projects, honors and diversity programs, as well as the College’s teacher preparation programs in math and science.

Judi has long advocated for increasing the diversity of UCLA’s student body and expanding mentorship programs for minority students. Her efforts were pivotal in establishing the UCLA Center for Community College Partnerships, and she created the innovative Vice Provost Initiative for Pre-College Scholars program for Los Angeles and Pasadena high school students. Under her leadership, the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences, or PEERS, was formed to encourage freshmen to pursue science research careers. She also obtained extramural funds to launch the McNair and Mellon Mays research scholars programs for humanities and social sciences undergraduates in AAP.