McNair Program GSR Instructors



Alison Hsiao

Alison Hsiao grew up in Portland, Oregon, and has always enjoyed reading and writing. Longing to delve into other worlds and understand new perspectives, she spent much of her life immersed in literature. Pursuing her passion, she received her BA from Willamette University in English and Music, and soon after, received her MA from Tufts University in English. She believes in the power of literature to help imagine and inspire more just worlds where peoples can live outside of oppressive systems. Alison is currently a PhD student in English at UC Davis, and her research interests encompass critical race theory, comparative & relational race approaches, women of color feminism, and queer of color critique. She bridges her research interests with her teaching, and she strives to ground her pedagogy in decolonial and feminist methodologies. She believes in centering her students' strengths and building from their embodied knowledge.  


Will Turner

William Turner Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Will read a weather guide book in middle school that glued his eyes to the sky. A few months after completing the book a tornado ripped through his hometown. Although disastrous, this extreme weather event sealed the deal for his desire to study the ever-changing atmosphere. To further Will's studies, he traveled north into the bitter cold to study Earth System Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Towards the ending of his undergraduate career, he had a strong desire to teach and mentor high school students. Thus he applied directly to Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and taught high school mathematics for five years. To continue his academic growth, Will began his graduate career at UC Davis and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Atmospheric Science Graduate Group. With the aim of bridging the gap between history and science, his current research topic is El Nino, Droughts, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. For future research, he looks forward to using historical weather data to model large scale weather patterns and their impacts on society. Having lived his entire life east of the Rockies, Will misses the thrill of the extreme weather. However, he remains truly grateful for his Californian experience as it all continues to add to his personal and professional growth.