The School of Social Sciences is pleased to welcome five University of California President’s and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows for the 2020-21 academic year. The highly competitive President’s program was established in 1984 to encourage outstanding women and underrepresented minority Ph.D. recipients to pursue academic careers at the University of California. The Chancellor’s program at UCI followed suit in 2013 to open more opportunities for highly qualified applicants. Fellows spend one year in residence – with an opportunity for renewal – on the Irvine campus working closely with a faculty mentor pursuing research, teaching and service that contributes to the campus mission of equity, diversity and inclusion. Of the 12 UC President’s and Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowships awarded to UCI-bound recipients, five will be in the School of Social Sciences – three in anthropology alone.

“Increasing diversity among UCI’s professoriate paves a clearer path forward for our many students from underrepresented minority communities who can now see themselves in the role models before them in a university classroom,” says Belinda Robnett, UCI professor of sociology and associate dean of faculty development and diversity in social sciences. “With them comes diversity in thought, perspective and experience that will help drive our university forward as a 21st century thought leader, and I’m so excited to welcome our five new changemakers to the social sciences postdoctoral program.”

Learn more about the 2020-21 social sciences fellows below, and congrats and welcome to all new Anteater postdocs!   

Ashwak S. Hauter
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology

Ashwak S. Hauter will be joining the Department of Anthropology where she’ll work closely under the mentorship of Sherine Hamdy, associate professor. Hauter earned her bachelor’s in anthropology and development studies, master’s in anthropology, and Ph.D. in medical anthropology at UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on the work of culture, medicine, and the law in and after the war in Yemen.


Meera Mahadevan
Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Economics

Meera Mahadevan earned her bachelor’s in economics at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, master’s in economics for development at the University of Oxford, and Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Michigan. She spent the past year as a postdoctoral fellow at emLab at UC Santa Barbara. At UCI, she’ll continue to pursue her research on energy and environmental economics in developing countries as a member of the Department of Economics under the mentorship of Damon Clark, associate professor.


Stephen Molldrem
President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology

Stephen Molldrem joined UCI’s Department of Anthropology in 2019 as a President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and will be continuing on for a second year under the mentorship of Tom Boellstorff, professor. Molldrem earned his bachelor’s in political communication at George Washington University and his master’s and Ph.D. in American culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His research focuses on LGBTQ health, the management of HIV and transforming sexual realities in U.S. healthcare.


Isabel Francheska Ramos
Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Chicano/Latino Studies

Isabel Francheska Ramos earned her bachelor’s in psychology at UC Riverside and her Ph.D. in health psychology at UCLA. Her research focuses on the interplay between cultural and biological processes in pregnant Latina women. Under the mentorship of Belinda Campos, associate professor and chair, Department of Chicano/Latino Studies, and Leo Chavez, Distinguished Professor and chair, Department of Anthropology, she’ll focus her work on the different cultural and contextual stressors that interact with hormonal changes to increase the risk of depressive symptoms among Latinas.


Nishita Trisal
Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology

Nishita Trisal will be joining the UCI Department of Anthropology where she’ll work closely under the mentorship of Justin Richland, associate professor. Trisal earned her bachelor’s at DePauw University, master’s at UCSC, and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. As a Chancellor’s Postdoc, she’ll pursue research on debt, default and violence in Indian-administered Kashmir.


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