Historian Brenda Stevenson has been named the inaugural Nickoll Family Endowed Chair in History, which was established by UCLA alumnus Ben Nickoll and has a focus in women's history.

UCLA Department of History professor and chair Stephen Aron said that the endowed chair will bolster the department’s efforts to attract and retain world-class faculty like Stevenson, whose research focuses on the history of slavery, particularly enslaved women, in the United States and throughout the Atlantic World.

"With this wonderful gift," Aron said, "Ben Nickoll has signaled his belief in the enduring value of a history degree, of excellent teaching and of studying the past to shape a better future."

Stevenson is the author of several books including, most recently, "What is Slavery?" (Wiley, 2015), and the award-winning "The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the LA Riots" (Oxford University Press, 2013), for which she received the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism Award. She is currently at work on two new books: a history of the slave family from the colonial through the antebellum eras, and a history of slave women. Her many honors include a 2015 Guggenheim fellowship and a National Humanities Center fellowship. 

“Thanks to the Nickoll chair," Stevenson said, "I will now have the resources to undertake larger projects more efficiently and expediently." Among these are a long-term research project on the history of racial violence in America that she plans to hire UCLA undergraduate students to assist with. "Private funding is so important for research initiatives that really do make positive contributions to our lives and to the world and to educating students," she said.

This story was adapted from the original published by the UCLA College.