Clayton Boyd

Multidisciplinary artist (and athlete) CLAYTON BOYD calls the photographs he shot in Cameroon for this issue’s feature on UCLA’s Congo Basin Institute “the most gratifying body of work I’ve made.” To get his photos, Boyd says he “hiked 18 miles from the village to the research station in a single push, about 7 miles a day each day from the station to individual sites, and then the 18 miles again back to the village.” For Boyd, whose partner is Elsa Ordway, the institute’s co-director, the project also marked his return to the village after two years away. He was fascinated to see what’s changed, including the fact that Bidima Emmanuel, one of the young Baka villagers, had recently completed a baccalaureate degree and is now one of the few Baka ecoguards at Lobéké National Park.

Michelle Kondrich

Award-winning illustrator and art director MICHELLE KONDRICH created the animation that accompanies our story about students who have fled their homelands and found refuge in studying at the UCLA School of Dentistry. To Kondrich, it’s clear that the school “has a welcoming atmosphere and an interest in helping people continue their studies” under less-than-ideal circumstances. A designer on The Washington Post Opinions desk, Kondrich strives to create visual narratives for even the most abstract of concepts. She recently published her first graphic column for the paper.


Queen Muse

QUEEN MUSE says the thing that may have surprised her most from conducting her insightful interview with Saba Waheed, the new head of the UCLA Labor Center, was discovering that UCLA has been at the forefront of protecting workers’ rights for six decades. “Many universities exist in a community but are not of the community,” says Muse, a contributor to NBC News, Vox, HuffPost and the Philadelphia Inquirer, among others. “A university may call a community its home, but few actively engage with or contribute to that community’s well-being. UCLA clearly has a strong connection and dedication to supporting its surrounding community. The Labor Center’s efforts perfectly illustrate this commitment.”

Liz Welch

When we asked LIZ WELCH to profile Broadway legend Judy Kaye for this issue, the veteran journalist had her eyes opened wide about the legacy of the arts at UCLA. “What a cool place to get to go to school!” she exclaims. “Imagine getting to meet Carol Burnett or Walter Matthau as part of your coursework. It blew my mind.” Welch has been a collaborator on several New York Times bestselling memoirs, including those of activist Malala Yousafzai and actress Sutton Foster, and has been recognized with awards from both the American Society of Magazine Editors and the National Press Club. Her work has appeared in Vogue, ElleHarper’s BazaarNew York Magazine and The New York Times Magazine, among others.

April White

“The best part of this assignment was being introduced to mālama ‘āina, the indigenous Hawaiian concept of caring for and honoring the land. It’s a beautiful and absolutely essential idea that’s at the heart of Kaiona Swimwear,” says APRIL WHITE, who profiled Bruin entrepreneur Kalena McElroy ’14 for this issue. A former editor at Atlas Obscura and Smithsonian magazine, White is the author of The Divorce Colony, a history of the socialites who pioneered modern marriage on the American frontier. Writing this story, she says she took away a key finding about UCLA. “Kalena’s experience on campus,” she says, “made me realize how much students can learn from the global community UCLA fosters.”

Read more from UCLA Magazine’s Summer 2024 issue.