G. William Domhoff and Catherine Cooper receive Dickson Emeriti Professorships

Professional portrait of G. William Domhoff
G. William Domhoff
Professional portrait of Catherine Cooper
Catherine Cooper

Distinguished Professor Emeritus G. William Domhoff, who was a member of both the psychology and sociology departments at UC Santa Cruz, and Professor Emerita of Psychology Catherine Cooper recently won Edward A. Dickson Emeriti Professorships. These awards acknowledge and support the continued contributions of retired faculty in public service, research, creative works, and teaching. 

Dickson Emeriti Professorships come with funding to support a research, service, or teaching project, thanks to an endowment from Edward A. Dickson, a former Regent of the University of California. Each campus in the UC system selects up to three awardees per year. At UC Santa Cruz, the award is managed by the Academic Senate Committee on Emeriti Relations. During and after their professorships, awardees share the results of their work back with the campus and the wider community. 

Domhoff, one of this year’s awardees, started teaching at UC Santa Cruz during the campus’s founding in 1965. He took an early retirement, beginning in July, 1994, but continued to teach one or two courses a year through the 2018-2019 academic year and remained active in research on two separate topics, dreams and power. Most recently, he has been studying how power is distributed and wielded in the United States. The Dickson Emeriti Professorship will support his research on the connections between the nation's largest corporations and policy-oriented nonprofit organizations, like foundations and think tanks. 

“Corporations are among the most powerful political actors in the United States,” Domhoff said. “My research collaborators and I believe the relationships between corporations and nonprofits are essential to understanding how corporate entities build political consensus and ultimately seek to enact policies that favor their interests. We are excited to continue delving into this topic.”

Cooper will use her award to study how stackable education and career credentials—that students build as they move in and out of school to support their families—can open equitable career pathways into healthcare professions. Cooper joined the Psychology Department in 1987 and launched the Ph.D. program in Developmental Psychology. Since retiring from the Psychology Department in 2012, she has continued serving as Research Advisor to UCSC’s Educational Partnership Center and Hispanic-Serving Institution initiatives. She led an initial pilot study interviewing students, educators, and healthcare providers about barriers and opportunities related to healthcare credentials. Through the Dickson Emeriti Professorship, she’ll expand and complete that work.

“Our preliminary findings offer new ways to support first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students in earning credentials to move up their healthcare education and career ladders,” she said. “As more healthcare professionals retire across the Central Coast, the state, and the nation, streamlining inclusive and equitable healthcare career pathways helps ensure healthcare access in our communities.”

Cooper and Domhoff will both serve a one-year term in the Dickson Emeriti Professorship, starting July 1. To kick off the next round of awards, all eligible emeriti faculty will receive a call for applications early in the fall quarter. The deadline to submit applications is early in the winter quarter, and awardees are announced each spring, usually at the Emeriti Association Luncheon with the Chancellor. More information is available in the Dickson Emeriti Professorship section of the UCSC Academic Senate website.