Carol Erickson receives honorary degree in Japan

Carol Erickson

NAIST awarded Dr. Carol A. Erickson, Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology University of California, Davis (UCD), an Honorary Doctoral Degree in a ceremony on November 14th, followed with a commemorative lecture.

02/14/14

After years of collaboration with Japan's NARA Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), the institute awarded Distinguished Professor Carol A. Erickson an honorary doctoral degree in a ceremony on November 14th, followed by a commemorative lecture.

The distinguished professor of molecular and cellular biology has traveled to Japan multiple times since UC Davis began an official relationship with NAIST in 2003.

"My relationship with the Nara Institute has been a professional highlight," Erickson said. "I have developed research collaborations and deep friendships that will last the rest of my life."

A world renowned researcher, Erickson has actively supported the research and education cooperation between UCD and NAIST since the signing of academic agreements in 2003.

Since 2007, Erickson served as an international biological science seminar lecturer at NAIST, supervised at its Graduate School of Biological Sciences (GSBS) Global COE symposium and international student workshop, and participated in the International Faculty Development workshop as a guest lecturer.

Erickson was essential in the creation of the program for trainee/exchange students at the College of Biological Sciences and has also been directly responsible for the accepted GSBS students during their stay. These activities are a central part of the two institutions' relationship.

But all of this international experience has enriched her life more than just academically.

"Just as important as work has been the immersion in the Japanese culture. I feel that I must have been Japanese in another lifetime because the culture felt immediately so familiar and comfortable to me," she said. "Everything from the food, the architecture and the spirituality of Japan is special."

Erickson marks the ceremony itself as "an emotional high."

"I really felt so honored. I was given this degree for all that I have supposedly done for furthering the relationship between UCD and NAIST," she said. "But in reality I have gotten far more from the relationship than I believe I have given."