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Family and Community Medicine
Food Science and Technology
Foreign Languages
French and Italian

Family and Community Medicine
There is no history currently available for this department. See School of Medicine.

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Food Science and Technology
With origins rooted in Berkeley's Division of Viticulture and Enology founded in 1880, the Department of Food Science and Technology was initially established in 1919 as a division of fruit products after the Volstead Act prohibited commercial winemaking. While studies in viticulture continued at Davis, the fruit products unit at Berkeley turned its focus toward processing fruit juices and identifying optimal techniques for canning, drying, and otherwise utilizing fruits for consumption. Under the leadership of Frederic T. Bioletti and William V. Cruess, the division expanded its activities to include pioneering work on California olive oil and on the new freezing technology of the 1920s. Following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, academic instruction began to include biochemical and microbiological analysis as well as fermentation techniques. Emil Mrak joined the staff as a junior scientist in 1936 and became chair of the division in 1948, after the "jams and jellies" researchers had proved their worth during the war by producing effectively dehydrated military rations for the U.S. Army.

In 1951 the renamed Division of Food Technology moved from Berkeley into a state-of-the-art facility at Davis constructed partially with funds from the food industry. The building, named Cruess Hall in 1960, contained a first-class pilot plant for experimentation in processing, excellent laboratories for basic scientific analysis, and an "acceptance" (sensory evaluation) laboratory that was one of the first in the country. The first academic staff members at Davis were Emil Mrak, Herman Phaff, George Marsh, Reese Vaughn, and Clarence Sterling, later joined by Aloys Tappel, John Whitaker, Martin Miller, George York, and others. In 1959, after Emil Mrak was named chancellor, the food technology and dairy industry staffs were consolidated under the chairmanship of George F. Stewart, and the division was renamed the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Major accomplishments in departmental research over time have included pioneering research on oxidative damage to foods and effective antioxidant protection by Aloys Tappel, the assembling of a large and unique yeast culture collection by Herman Phaff, and the development of techniques for sensory evaluation of foods by RoseMarie Pangborn.

The department today is one of the strongest in the nation, drawing upon chemistry, the biological sciences, engineering, and the behavioral sciences to offer a unique program. Food Science programs at UC Davis are known for their application of basic science and engineering disciplines to foods and food products. Undergraduate options are offered in Food Biology/Microbiology, Food Chemistry, Food Business and Management, Consumer Food Science, and Food Technology. Besides its undergraduate and graduate programs, the department conducts a number of continuing education courses for food processing professionals. Several Cooperative Extension specialists in the department work with the food industry and the public. The department also offers an internationally recognized program in brewing science. source

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Foreign Languages
In 1951, only elementary and intermediate courses were being offered in three foreign languages, French, German, and Spanish. The staff consisted of two full-time and two part-time members and enrollment in all foreign languages was less than 100 students. In the fall of 1964, the total enrollment in the department, which then offered French, German, Spanish, Greek, Latin, Italian, and Russian, was 2,320.

The first three students started to major in French in 1953. The staff had two members. In the fall of 1964, the total enrollment stood at 789 and the number of majors was 46; the master's degree program, introduced in 1962, had ten students. The Ph.D. program was initiated in the fall of 1965.

The Spanish staff in 1952 consisted of two members. The undergraduate major, attracting many students from its early stages, had 50 candidates in 1962, and in the fall of 1964 had 67. The masters program, introduced in 1962, had four students in 1964. Plans were being made for a Ph.D. program, possibly to be introduced in 1966. The total enrollment during the fall of 1964 was 660. The staff in 1964 stood at 12.

Since 1952, enrollment in lower division and advanced German courses had grown from one undergraduate major in 1954 to 30 in 1964. The M.A. program, introduced in 1962, had three registered students in 1964. The total enrollment for the fall of 1964 was 542. The staff in 1965 had ten members.

Other languages were added as required: Latin in 1959, Russian in 1960, Greek in 1962, and Italian in 1962. The major in Latin was introduced in 1963. The staff for classics stood at three in 1965. A major in Russian was approved for September, 1965.

Effective July 1, 1965, the foreign languages staff, with a total teaching personnel of 45, divided into three departments as follows: French and Italian; German and Russian; Spanish. Classics was budgeted with the Department of Spanish. source

See also Spanish, French and Italian, German and Russian.

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French and Italian
The Department of French and Italian was established on July 1, 1965, after its predecessor, the Department of Foreign Languages, had grown to a size that made subdivision desirable.

Graduate programs were initiated in French in the early 1960s: an M.A. program in 1962, the Ph.D. program in 1965. While the department initially emphasized its M.A. program and drew students primarily from Northern California, a focused hiring of dynamic scholars in the late sixties and early seventies enhanced the department's national profile. As a result, most of its graduate students became doctoral students, drawn increasingly from out of state and from abroad. By the early eighties, the UCD program was ranked among the top 25 French departments in the nation and almost all of its 20-plus graduate students were pursuing doctoral degrees. The department successfully established an exchange program with the Ecole Normale Superieure, thus becoming one of only a handful of UC campuses with formal links to this elite French university. The exceptional quality of both faculty and graduate students, and the increasing visibility of the department on the national and international scene, are reasons why many Ph.D.'s from the department have been hired, become tenured, and have achieved leadership positions in major research universities around the country.

Improvements in the graduate program helped the undergraduate program flourish. Enrollment grew from three majors in 1953 to as many as 110 majors in the late eighties despite the fact that in other parts of the country, and even within the UC system, French enrollments began to decline significantly as the popularity of Spanish increased. A 1987 survey of French majors of the last 20 years showed that the overwhelming majority of departmental alumni felt very positive about their experience in the major, and almost all had found satisfying careers in more than 120 different occupations. Although enrollments in French have declined since the early nineties, the undergraduate program remains strong, enrolling more majors and minors than French departments of comparable campuses in the UC system or in the nation.

Retirement programs of the 1990s hit the French program especially hard, resulting in disastrous declines in faculty FTE. The department is now in the process of rebuilding its faculty through promising hires of top-ranked junior scholars and dynamic teachers.

Italian has been taught at UC Davis since 1962. It has remained an undergraduate program throughout its history, with a modest but stable number of majors. The program is staffed by a small but distinguished faculty who keep campus interest in Italian language and culture at a high level. Enrollments in Italian language classes have increased, while other foreign languages have seen a marked decline. source

See also Foreign Languages.

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