Humanities and Arts Advisory Council (HAAC)

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The Humanities and Arts Advisory Council (HAAC) is an external advisory body for the UC Davis Humanities Institute that supports and advocates for the work of the Humanities Institute and the value of the humanities and arts in education and public life. Council members advise the Institute on development strategies, external outreach and marketing, and public programming. Members engage with the Humanities Institute and its faculty and student affiliates through its events and other special opportunities for faculty, student, and community engagement.

Eric Gimon, B.S., M.S. Stanford; Ph.D. UC Santa Barbara: Eric is a physicist and independent technical and policy expert who works in energy policy and the nonprofit sector. An active philanthropist, Eric engages in many capacities with the Flora Family Foundation and is on the boards of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as well as the Land Institute.

Bret Hewitt, B.A., M.A. UC Davis; MBA Stanford: Bret is the Executive Director of Tuleyome, a volunteer advocacy-oriented nonprofit conservation organization. He has served on the boards of UCD’s Alumni Association and Foundation, on advisory councils for the College of Letters and Sciences, and the UC Davis Arboretum, and on the board of the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. Bret lives in Davis with his daughter Clare. 

Cyril E.B. Juanitas, Jr., B.A. UC Davis, J.D. Georgetown University Law Center: Cyril is the Vice President of Business Development at Pearson, Inc. and has experience serving in board leadership positions with non-profit organizations and governmental/educational commissions. Cyril has served on boards of institutions such as: City of Davis Recreation and Park Commission; St. Joseph School Commission; The Tribes Project; and, Asian Bar Association of Washington.  As a UC Davis undergraduate, Cyril studied with both Karl Shapiro and Alan Williamson, who helped him cultivate his understanding and appreciation of poetry.  He has had his poetry published by The Seattle Review (University of Washington).

Elizabeth Lesly Stevens, B.A. UC Davis, B.S. Northwestern University: Elizabeth is a writer and editor, working at BusinessWeek (media editor), New York magazine (media columnist), Brill’s Content (executive editor), Talk magazine (senior editor) and the nonprofit Bay Citizen, which produced the Bay Area section of the New York Times. She now lives near Washington D.C. and serves on the UC Davis regional volunteer board with her husband, also a UC Davis alum. Elizabeth also serves as a mentor to incoming refugee families through Lutheran Social Services. 

Nana Nakano Howell, B.A. Loyola Marymount University, J.D. Pepperdine School of Law: Nana is Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Presentation School (K-8), Co-Chair of the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation’s Celebration of Women Luncheon Gala, mentor with the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, and former University Counsel at California State University. She lives in Sonoma, California, with her husband Daniel and daughter Sophia. 

Vikas Taneja, B.A. Stanford, MBA University of Chicago: Vikas is Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, where he is their global leader for digital topics in Technology, Media, and Telecom practice. Prior to joining BCG, Vikas worked at ARCH Technology Partners where he evaluated and helped commercialize new technologies emerging from University of Chicago’s academic labs and medical school. He is a member of BCG’s executive committee and the Boston lead of Pratham, an India-based organization that has helped more than 4 million children achieve literacy and basic mathematics skills

Leslie Teicholz, B.A. Stanford: Leslie Teicholz studied literature and history at Stanford University and the Freie Universitat Berlin. She worked in journalism and finance, managing international equity funds from London and New York. Now based in the Bay Area, she is writing her second novel.  

gayle yamada, B.A. William and Mary, M.A. UF, Ph.D. UC Merced: gayle is an award-winning broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker who co-founded Bridge Media, Inc. She received her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Humanities in 2015. gayle has also co-authored two history books and is the CEO of a non-profit organization, Media Bridges, Inc. She has served on several media and arts boards.