UC Merced

Pellissier Lecture: Spreading Excellence on a Larger Scale

A photo from the “Ernest Lowe: Black Migrants to the Central Valley, 1960-1964” photo collection that is on display at UC Merced Library. An opening reception will be held in room 355 of Kolligian Library from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 2019. The exhibit, originally at the Fresno Art Museum, will remain at UC Merced through April 5. The exhibit is sponsored by the UC Merced Library, Arts UC Merced Presents and the UC Merced Center for the Humanities.
A photo from the “Ernest Lowe: Black Migrants to the Central Valley, 1960-1964” photo collection that is on display at UC Merced Library. An opening reception will be held in room 355 of Kolligian Library from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 2019. The exhibit, originally at the Fresno Art Museum, will remain at UC Merced through April 5. The exhibit is sponsored by the UC Merced Library, Arts UC Merced Presents and the UC Merced Center for the Humanities.

Robert Sutton will share principles and examples of “Scaling Up Excellence,” the title of his presentation as this year’s Vital and Alice Pellissier Family Distinguished Lecturer.

Sutton, professor of management science and engineering and organizational behavior, will discuss how to spread, enhance and amplify excellence at all levels of business and organizational management. He’ll share his insights based on diverse case studies including Facebook, Google, Pixar, Uber, Johns Hopkins Hospital, IKEA and more.

“Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less,” the book Sutton co- authored with his Stanford Graduate School of Business colleague Hayagreeva (Huggy) Rao, is about “spreading good things from where they are to where they aren’t, without messing up the organization.”

Sutton and Rao’s work focuses on the causes, drawbacks and virtues of organizational friction. “When it comes to scaling, the first order of business is to get rid of bad behavior so good behavior can spread,” Sutton said. “You must get the mindset right for people to know what’s good and bad behavior. Get rid of bad behavior so good behavior can spread from the few to the many.”

Sutton’s talk will also highlight strategies for creating a growth mindset to replicate success.

“You’ve got to know when to slow down or speed up. Trying to run up the numbers and do things fast is dangerous,” Sutton said. “Get rid of things that are no longer working or never did.”

As the co-founder of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Sutton specializes in organizational change, leadership, innovation and workplace dynamics. He earned his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from The University of Michigan and has been a Stanford faculty member since 1983.

Sutton has co-written seven books, including the national bestseller “Good Boss, Bad Boss.”

The annual Vital and Alice Pellissier Distinguished Lecture Series was made possible by a generous gift from the Pellissier family to UC Merced. The talk, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Art Kamangar Center at the Merced Theatre. Attendees should RSVP online (https://giving.ucmerced.edu) by Feb. 4 to reserve seats. For information, call 209-228-RSVP or email specialevents@ucmerced.edu.

UC Merced Welcomes Black History Photo Exhibit

UC Merced Library has become the temporary home of the “Ernest Lowe: Black Migrants to the Central Valley, 1960-1964” photo collection.

Immediately following World War II, more than 30,000 black sharecroppers migrated to California’s Central Valley. Coming from places such as Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi, these migrants looked to escape the oppression of new-slavery tenant farming and the Jim Crow south.

However, not long after they arrived, they found themselves without work as industrial agriculture took root, and mechanization further decimated the number of available jobs.

During the early 1960s a young photographer, Ernest Lowe, came to the Central Valley to report on migrant labor for KPFA radio. While here, he captured the life of the communities of Pixley, Teviston and Dos Palos.

Lowe’s stunning photos are the only ones in existence that tell the story of the people who were brave enough to venture west in pursuit of their dreams, and instead found poverty, racism and the broken promise of California.

“His startlingly beautiful images of community provide the viewer a local historical perspective on the migrant hardships that were managed and survived,” Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Fresno Art Museum Michele Ellis Pracy said in a curatorial statement. “Although originally not meant to be seen as art, Lowe’s 1960s documentary photographs are art in 2018, and they tell a story that we should know.”

An opening reception will be held in room 355 of Kolligian Library from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 1. The exhibit, originally at the Fresno Art Museum, will remain at UC Merced through April 5. The exhibit is sponsored by the UC Merced Library, Arts UC Merced Presents and the UC Merced Center for the Humanities.

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