Colleges Nine and Ten Provost Helen Shapiro to head UC Washington Center

Helen Shapiro
Helen Shapiro, new executive director of UC's Washington Center

Helen Shapiro, provost of Colleges Nine and Ten at UC Santa Cruz, has been named executive director of the University of California's Washington Center known as UCDC.  

Shapiro, a UCSC professor of sociology, takes over September 1 for an initial five-year term. She succeeds UCSC professor Melanie DuPuis, who has served as interim executive director for the past year after Bruce Cain, the longtime executive director, retired in June 2012.

Shapiro, selected after a systemwide search, will be responsible for management and operation of the UCDC center, an 11-story residential facility, and also will oversee the center's academic program. She'll collaborate with the UC nine undergraduate campuses on academic programming and faculty hiring, fundraise for the center, and interact with agencies and the local community to sustain and further UCDC programs.

The position is unique within the UC system, said Susan Carlson, UC vice provost for academic affairs, in making the announcement.

UCDC, opened in 2001 and located near Washington's Dupont Circle, can house more than 270 students and provides students and faculty with opportunities to study, research, work, and live within the capital's cultural, political and international heritage. Undergraduates typically spend an academic quarter taking classes and completing internships. UC professors can use the center as a base while conducting research in Washington.

"UCDC provides students with life-changing experiences in Washington, DC.,"  said Shapiro, who served as a visiting professor there for two-terms in 2004-05. "I am very much looking forward to working with the UCDC staff and faculty, as well as with each campus, to ensure that the program thrives and is accessible to all qualified students."

Shapiro said she loved being provost at Colleges Nine and Ten where she served since 2006 and that the experience made her a serious candidate for the UCDC job. She also served as associate dean for the Division of Social Sciences. From 1997 to 2006, she taught UCSC undergraduate courses in Latin American and Latino studies, economics, and sociology. She also taught at the Harvard Business School from 1988-1996

Shapiro holds a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. Her research interests focus on economic policy and international relations, and she has published extensively in the area of economic development in Latin America.

Sheldon Kamieniecki, the dean of Social Sciences, said a search would be launched to find a replacement for Shapiro as provost. He said anthropology professor Matthew J. Wolf-Meyer will serve as interim provost beginning August 1 and through the fall quarter. Psychology professor Campbell Leaper, the founding provost at Nine and Ten, will serve as provost during the winter and spring quarters.

Kamieniecki thanked Shapiro for her service to the Social Sciences division, praising her efforts to navigate around many budget reductions the campus has experienced. "She has done a wonderful job modifying the curricula at Colleges Nine and Ten, organizing extremely interesting and sometimes provocative conferences, meetings, and forums on critical social, political, cultural, and economic topics, fundraising for both Colleges, and providing visionary leadership," he said.